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October 2, 2014

Social media giant had lost users over enforcement of its real names policy

Facebook on Wednesday (1 October) apologized for enacting a real names policy last month that had banned drag performers from the practice of using their stage names on their profiles.

The social media giant now plans to work on building new tools to authentication tools to use in verifying accounts that are flagged for being fake.

October 1, 2014

Homophobia is not a crime in the country even though it has the highest LGBTI murder rate in the world

At least 216 LGBTI people have been murdered this year in Brazil where homophobia is not a crime.

The data was collected by the Gay Group of Bahia from January to 29 September and is based on police records and news reports as there are no official statistics.

The region with the most cases was the Northeast (43%) and the city with more cases per capita was Cuiabá, with 0.03 homicides per 1,000 inhabitants.

Gay men are the most affected (59%), followed by transvestites (35%) and lesbians (4%).

October 1, 2014

LGBTI media advocacy group announces networks must include transgender characters to receive an 'Excellent' grade from next year

GLAAD has issued a record 'Excellent' grade to three TV networks this year.

With shows such as Modern Family, The Fosters and Looking huge hits, the US LGBT media advocacy organization has looked backwards at the previous season and rated the networks on their LGBT-inclusive content between June 2013 and May 2014.

They have also released the Where We Are On TV report, analyzing the scripted characters in the upcoming 2014-2015 season.

ABC Family, HBO and MTV have earned 'Excellent' this year.

October 1, 2014

Respect After Death Act ensures that authentic gender identity is reflected on death certificates

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that will make sure death certificates for transgender people accurately reflect their authentic, lived identity.

The Respect After Death Act requires that the authority responsible for completing the transgender person's death certificate adhere to documentation of their gender identity such as an updated birth certificate or driver's license.

September 29, 2014

We travel through time and the United States in honor of LGBT History Month, looking at where gay rights history was made

During October, we celebrate LGBT History Month in the US.

While the first celebration of LGBT History Month took place in 1994, the struggle for social, political and economic equality had been brewing for decades before.

Well into a new century, we look at the huge wins and massive losses we’ve seen in the legal and social battles to achieve true equality for LGBTI individuals not just in the US, but the world over.

We’ve been inspired by rebellious drag queens to stand up and speak out.

September 29, 2014

Need a big gay night out? Check into these Marriott hotels before checking out 5 of the UK’s liveliest LGBTI enclaves

From London to Liverpool, the UK is home to a variety of LGBTI neighborhoods, each with their own character, climate and distinguishing accent.

Many people around the world might not know they’re already familiar with a few of them.

The opening to Kylie Minogue’s TimeBomb music video, as she irreverently stomps her way through back allies and secret clubs, was filmed on Wardour Street in London’s Soho.

September 29, 2014

'Seriously, I'm healthier and in loving myself I attract a different kind of person now'

Grammy and Oscar winning musician Melissa Etheridge says there's one thing she has no complaints about since she turned 50: her sex life.

'The sex is better!' the 53 year old tells AARP Magazine. 'Seriously, I'm healthier and in loving myself I attract a different kind of person now.'

That person right now is Etheridge's new wife Linda Wallem who she married in May.

September 29, 2014

The Minnesota Star Tribune – the most widely-read newspaper in the state – has been widely criticized by users of social media for publishing a full-page advert on Sunday that many readers consider to be anti-transgender

The full-page advert was placed by the Minnesota Child Protection League. The advert encourages parents to contact Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) officials and ask them to oppose a transgender student policy.

The advert, which many feel plays on trans bigotry and prejudice, depicts the tiled wall of a changing room shower facility. Written over the image, it says, ‘A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are you OK with that?’

September 29, 2014

The men were arrested in a raid on an apartment they rented out as a place for gay sex

An Egyptian court has sentenced six allegedly gay men to two years in jail with labor on charges of 'committing debauchery.'

Ahram Online reported on Thursday that the men were arrested in a raid on an apartment and two of them were caught 'red-handed.'

The court said the men were advertising their apartment as a place for gay sex on Facebook for $200 a night.

The men were also fined LE200 each ($30). One of them was a Moroccan national.

September 29, 2014

Elly Barnes, CEO and Founder of the UK’s Educate & Celebrate organization, says that the decision whether the come out or not remains a pressing concern for LGBT teachers today

Despite Section 28 being repealed in the United Kingdom 11 years ago, being ‘out’ is still an issue for many teachers today. A recent trainee of mine enthusiastically began to make their school LGBT-friendly only to be told by a senior leader that they couldn’t… because of Section 28!

That notorious piece of legislation, which barred local authorities from ‘promoting’ LGBT issues, was repealed in 2003. We had to wait a further seven years for the Equality Act in 2010, which ensured LGBT be treated ‘equally and fairly’.

September 28, 2014

'Belgrade is an open city, which means it is open to all and that everyone here is equal'

For the first time in four years, there was a gay pride parade in Belgrade.

The march for equality took place today, 28 September, after getting approval yesterday from Serbia Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic.

September 27, 2014

The festival will run over two weekends in Taipei from Sep 26 to 30, and in Kaohsiung from Oct 3 to 7

While Taiwan is noted for producing numerous LGBTI-themed films for over a decade, the inaugural Taiwan International Queer Film Festival is said to be the first international queer film festival to be organized.

It will showcase 60 feature, documentary and short films from 30 countries in Taipei from Sep 26 to 30 and in Kaohsiung from Oct 3 to 7.

The LGBTI-themed films will cover a wide range of issues including family, aging, relationships and HIV/AIDS.

September 27, 2014

Cast and show's creator hope groundbreaking TV series will help public acceptance of trans people

Jeffrey Tambor feels like he's landed the part of a lifetime.

The actor, best known for his roles on Arrested Development and The Larry Sanders Show, is now starring in Transparent as a father with three grown children who is transitioning from male to female.

To play transgender female Maura Pfefferman in the dramedy, which premieres tonight on Amazon Prime, Tambor did his homework.

September 26, 2014

Activists scored the three candidates on their gay marriage stance, policies and recognition of LGBTI issues

LGBTI rights groups said yesterday all three Taipei mayoral candidates lack concrete policies on gay rights.

The candidates were scored on gay marriage stance, policies and recognition of LGBTI issues, on a scale ranging from three to minus three points.

Independent candidate Neil Peng received the highest score with 1.5 points, followed by independent candidate Ko Wen-je with minus one.

Chinese Nationalist Party candidate Sean Lien came last with minus three points.

Neil Peng is the only candidate who openly supports gay marriage.

September 26, 2014

Puerto Rican pop star gives amazing response

'Dad, was I in your belly?' This was the most difficult question Ricky Martin has ever faced from his six-year-old sons.

The Puerto Rican star revealed his amazing response when his children asked him about the origins. Matteo and Valentino were born via gestational surrogacy in August 2008.

During a radio interview with Luisa Fernanda on the Enrique Santos Show on Univision MIX 98.3, Martin spoke about his new single Adiós and opened up about his children.

September 25, 2014

A bill to recognize the hundreds of Australian gay couples who wed abroad was introduced in March

The Australian Senate has recommended parliament does not pass a bill to recognize gay couples who married in places where same-sex unions are legal.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee released a report on the bill today.

Some submitters expressed concern that the bill was 'a surreptitious attempt to introduce marriage equality.'

The Law Council of Australia was concerned that the bill would create a discriminatory situation where only couples with the financial resources to travel overseas would have access to gay marriage.

September 25, 2014

Report finds transgender women face systemic abuse and discrimination in one of the few countries to criminalize them

Malaysian transgender women are routinely arrested and abused by religious officials and police in one of the few countries to criminalize them, according to a new report.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) interviewed 45 transgender people for the report, which was released today.

One of the interviewees, Victoria, said she was arrested in 2011 by religious officials who stripped and sexually assaulted her.

She said, ‘They were rough. One of them squeezed my breasts. I was completely humiliated.

September 24, 2014

Gay asylum seekers have sent desperate letters pleading to be housed in a different, more welcoming, part of the world

Gay aslyum seekers, who fled persecution in their home countries and sought asylum in Australia, will reportedly be resettled in Papua New Guinea where it is illegal to be gay.

Currently held by immigration officials on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, the asylum seekers could be expected to live their permanently.

Homosexuality in the island nation is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

'I thought Australia and its people would be my protector, but they taught me otherwise,' a letter shown to The Guardian reads.

September 24, 2014

The last three marches were banned for security reasons

The head of the influential Serbian Orthodox Church has condemned the upcoming Belgrade Pride as 'shameless' and 'selfish.'

Patriarch Irinej said in a statement yesterday that the 'great majority' of people in the conservative Balkan country opposed Sunday's march.

He said, 'Organizers of such parading and their mentors from Europe refuse to draw conclusions from what previous parades caused.'

In 2010 marchers clashed with thousands of attackers. Dozens were arrested but none were convicted.

September 23, 2014

Read the list of eight celebrities who ‘shocked the world’ with their sexuality – including Radcliffe, who is actually straight

A leading Arabic broadcaster has ‘named and shamed’ eight international celebrities for their ‘homosexuality’ – and got it wrong.

The Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) delivers news and entertainment to 150 million Arabic speakers around the world.

September 23, 2014

Men and women who are attracted to both genders are found to disproportionate levels of poverty, violence, suicide, and discrimination

Bisexual people have it worse in life compared to gays and lesbians, a new report has found.

Even though they are estimated to make up more than half of the LGBT community, experts say they face disproportionate levels of discrimination, violence, poverty and suicide.

'Bisexual people are vulnerable to...poor physical and mental health outcomes - often at rates higher than their lesbian and gay peers,' the report states.

Around 25% of bisexual men and 30% of bisexual women live in poverty, in contrast to 20% of gay men and 23% of lesbians.

September 23, 2014

The world may never know, but advanced tickets are on sale for $15 to see the original Queen Bee at this year’s Orlando Gay Pride

The Notorious K-I-M will be performing at this year’s Orlando Pride, at 8:00 pm local time on 11 October.

The Parliament House in Orlando is selling advance tickets at $15 (€12), in addition to $100 VIP tickets (€78), which include admission, a meet-and-greet and photo-op with the rap diva.

The Brooklyn-born, Grammy award-winning rapper is no stranger to celebrating LGBTI pride.

September 23, 2014

Poll finds half of Americans consider homosexuality a sin

US support for gay marriage has fallen below 50% even though bans on same-sex unions have been ruled unconstitutional in several states this year, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

The poll released on Monday found that 49% Americans were in favor of gay marriage, down from 54% in February. Opposition rose from 39% to 41% during the same period.

The survey of 2,002 adults was conducted from September 2-9 and had a margin of error of 2.5%.

September 22, 2014

Trans teenager writes groundbreaking picture book I Am Jazz, a story that could help thousands of trans kids by making them feel less alone

'I Am Jazz' is a new children's book set to change the face of transgender children.

Jazz Jennings, the co-author, knew she was a girl from the age of two. Now 14, she wants to help other children like her that feel different from other kids.

Intended for children between the ages of four and eight, Jennings is hoping I Am Jazz will allow children struggling with being transgender to 'step out of their shadows'.

'For transgender kids who are struggling, I want them to know they're not alone,' Jennings told People magazine.