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April 24, 2015

'Gays cannot be an inspiration in Singapore society!!'

Two nieces write similar essays about their lesbian aunt; one gets an A, the other gets an F. The difference? One lives in the Netherlands and the other in Singapore.

Singapore-Dutch blogger Jane said her niece from Amsterdam wrote an essay on why she is the best aunt someone could ever have, and added that she liked other girls.

Jane said her the girl described some of the issues some Singaporean family members had with her sexuality, and said she hoped that everyone could just be  friends as it was not fair it was because she liked girls and not boys.

April 23, 2015

Boy-on-boy boat cruises, girl-on-girl tandem bike rides – the Netherlands capital boasts a plethora of out-of-the-box date ideas 

Amsterdam is known for a lot of things. Hedonism. Its unparalleled art scene. The moving Anne Frank House and the rousing Van Gogh Museum. For being a cyclist's paradise. For raining a lot.

But I for one never saw it as a particularly romantic destination.

However, a recent springtime visit (arriving on Valentine's Day no less) put paid to that...

April 23, 2015

Boy-on-boy boat cruises, girl-on-girl tandem bike rides – the Netherlands capital boasts a plethora of out-of-the-box date ideas 

Amsterdam is known for a lot of things. Hedonism. Its unparalleled art scene. The moving Anne Frank House and the rousing Van Gogh Museum. For being a cyclist's paradise. For raining a lot.

But I for one never saw it as a particularly romantic destination.

However, a recent springtime visit (arriving on Valentine's Day no less) put paid to that...

March 24, 2015

LGBTI festival has faced setbacks, but puts up a good fight

The organizers of EuroPride 2015 in Latvia have launched a crowdfunding campaign to 'help ensure a successful event.'

In a statement, the group said corporate support for EuroPride 2015 has been 'very limited'.

March 11, 2015

A workplace LGBT advocacy and networking group based in the Netherlands

A non-profit LGBTI workplace advocacy group based in Amsterdam, Workplace Pride’s vision is to ensure that ‘lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) are fully visible, accepted and valued in the workplace and in society, leading the way for others.’

Workplace Pride was formed in 2012, as an evolution and re-branding of the Company Pride Platform (formed in 2008).

It works to stimulate the formation of LGBT employee networks, connect and empower those networks, and increase awareness of issues facing LGBT employees.

February 10, 2015

Heidi Klum hosted show has never had a trans woman compete before

Germany's Next Top Model's next cycle will feature a transgender model.

Pari, a 25-year-old from Berlin is the first trans contestant on German reality TV television and will take to the runway under the watchful eyes of model Heidi Klum and the judging panel.

Born to Iranian parents, Pari grew up in the Netherlands but is now living in Germany.

Her boyfriend has always been supportive and reacted more than positively to Pari coming out as transgender.

December 2, 2014

Sex videos and humiliating 'tests' infringe on human dignity

Europe's top court has ruled gay refugees should not have to undergo 'tests' or to sacrifice their dignity to prove it.

This ruling from the European Court of Justice will apply to all EU member states, saying they all must respect human dignity.

It comes after three men, including a Ugandan, was refused asylum in the Netherlands after a Dutch court said they had not proved their sexuality.

Some countries have been condemned for asking refugees inappropriate questions, or accepting indecent pictures or film as 'evidence' for their case.

August 28, 2014

A new poll by the Gallup research group has found that people in the Netherlands think their country is the friendliest to gays and lesbians but Pakistanis and Senegalese people thought their countries were the most hostile

A global survey of attitudes towards gays and lesbians has found a stark divide between attitudes in Europe and Africa – where even people in countries where homosexuality is not a crime think their communities are not welcoming of gays and lesbians.

Only 28% of those surveyed around the world said they lived in a community that was welcoming of gays and lesbians.

People in the Netherlands were the most likely to report their community was 'a good place to live for gay or lesbian people,’ with 83% agreeing with that statement.

June 26, 2014

Parents to three young children, Brian Rosenberg and Ferd van Gameren have set out to help other gay dads and would-be fathers with their website,

A Toronto-based couple have launched a website dedicated to helping gay men to navigate fatherhood: from routes to parenthood to raising children.

Co-founders Brian Rosenberg and Ferd van Gameren have been together for over 20 years, and are now the proud fathers of three young children. Their story is more unusual than most, in that they have experience of both adoption (with their son, Levi), and surrogacy, with younger twins Sadie and Ella. The biological father of the twins is Rosenberg, who is also HIV positive.

June 19, 2014

Gay group said they wanted to raise awareness of homophobia by convincing everyone they were helping to create a gated community just for LGBTI people only

Plans to build a Gay Village just for the LGBTI community was revealed as a PR stunt yesterday evening (18 June).

Even though building plans were filed, and the mayor and other local officials was backing it, the project organizers are now claiming it to be an elaborate hoax to raise awareness of homophobia.

June 18, 2014

Becomes 17th country to make legalization of same-sex marriage a part of its national laws

Same-sex marriage has been made legal in the tiny European country of Luxembourg.

The country's House of Representatives approved a bill today by a vote of 56-4.

The vote comes at a time when the country has an openly gay Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel (pictured), who had previously announced that his government would introduce marriage legislation.

The vote is sure to be popular with citizens. A survey conducted last year revealed 83% of people in Luxembourg support same-sex marriage.

June 18, 2014

Gay activists are concerned that the city of Tilburg is planning on building a ghetto to keep gay people, rather than a place for gay people to feel safe

A Dutch real estate developer is looking to building a village specifically for the gay community, raising fears of ghettoization.

The ‘Gay Village’, planned for in the city of Tilburg, would include 13 different locations for housing. The average price for the detached and terraced homes would cost around €250,000 ($338k).

The company says the project is a reflection of research that shows 22% of gay men in the Netherlands sometimes do not feel safe in their own neighborhoods.

May 11, 2014

A new LGBTI star is born at Eurovision

For much of the Eurovision song contest, LGBTI fans hoped, rather than believed, Conchita Wurst could win the competition for Austria.

The bearded drag artiste clearly gave one of the performances of the night with stunning vocals of her James Bond-esque song ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’.

However, in amongst the sea of rainbow flags that were being waved in the arena, there were doubts that victory would materialize when it came to the votes, especially from Eastern European countries who previously tried to get her banned.

May 7, 2014

Gay Star News was on hand to witness rainbow flag moments on Danish TV, find Eurovision's Tallest Hair and capture other Eurovision highlights

With a theme of #JoinUs, the 59th Eurovision Song Contest has been welcoming contestants and fans from all over Europe for the televised competitions this week in Copenhagen.

On Tuesday night, Europe voted for ten countries to make it to the Eurovision grand final. Those through to the final are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Russia, San Marino, Sweden, Ukraine, and Gay Star News favorite Iceland

February 27, 2014

After several countries have said it could cut aid to Uganda, a government spokesman has shrugged off the threats

Uganda has told the West to ‘keep its aid’ after international criticism of its new anti-gay law.

Ofwono Opondo, the government spokesman, has shrugged off cuts to Uganda. The Netherlands has frozen a €7 million ($9.5m) subsidy to the legal system, while Denmark and Norway will redirect  €6 million ($8.2m) towards NGOs and human rights groups.

President Barack Obama has threatened the new anti-gay law will ‘complicate’ Uganda’s relationship with the US, which benefits from a reported $400 million (€293m) in aid.

February 26, 2014

As Netherlands, Norway and Denmark announce aid changes, gay activists have responded to the worldwide call to cut aid to the African country

Uganda gay activists have warned the worldwide call for aid to be cut will make the fight-back against the new law harder.

Several advocates for LGBTI equality fear politicians will directly blame gay people if aid is cut and increase hatred against them.

After Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni signed the anti-gay bill into law on Monday (24 February), the Netherlands has announced it has frozen aid while Denmark and Norway is redirecting its assistance so it directly helps non-governmental organizations and human rights groups.

February 25, 2014

The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway have announced they will suspend financial assistance to Uganda after President Yoweri Museveni signed a controversial bill that would see homosexuals jailed for life - as others review their assistance to the East African nation

Norway, Denmark and The Netherlands have become the first countries to either redirect aid away from the Ugandan Government or freeze aid.

The Netherlands froze $9.6 million in aid to Uganda’s legal system, saying that if Uganda’s courts were to enforce the country’s new harsh laws further criminalizing homosexuality then they did not want to assist that process.

February 21, 2014

The US, UK and other western countries need to be careful their efforts to tackle homophobia in Uganda don't do more harm than good

There is no doubt that countries trying to dissuade Uganda from passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law are doing it from the best motives.

But in the run-up to the bill being passed, President Yoweri Museveni and the anti-gay forces in the country have being pumping out propaganda to turn ordinary Ugandans against the LGBTI community.

And there is a real danger the west’s efforts to help gay Ugandans could backfire very dangerously.

February 19, 2014

Althete who caused controversy when she got a cuddle from Putin takes home silver in the women's 5,000 meters

Dutch bisexual athlete Ireen Wüst has won her fourth medal of the Sochi Olympic Games.

The Netherlands speedskater took home silver in the women’s 5000 meters today (19 February).

This means she will be one of the most awarded athletes in this year’s Olympics, a Games overshadowed by the homophobic legislation of Russia.

Wüst was expected to take the top spot of the 5,000 meters after she set an impressive time of 6 minutes, 54.28 seconds.

February 17, 2014

Bravo's Watch What Happens Live host says his 'blood boils' whenever he sees Putin on TV

Andy Cohen, the openly gay host of Bravo channel's What What Happens Live talk show, refered to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a 'bastard' in an interview over the weekend.

During a piece on LGBTI equality on NBC's Meet the Press, Cohen was asked about Putin inadvertently hugging a gay gold medal speed skater from Holland.

Replied Cohen: 'We all get carried away in the magic and pageantry of the Olympics. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if that bastard did too? I mean, it would be. He put on a huge show. Learn something from it.'

February 9, 2014

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Ireen Wüst dethrones defending champion Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic

Out bisexual Ireen Wüst won the gold at the Sochi Winter Games.

The Netherlands speed skater took first in the women's 3,000 meters at Adler Arena.

According to USA Today her time was 4 minutes, 0.34 seconds. She beat defending champion Martina Sablikova from the Czech Republic.

This is the 27-year-old's third consecutive gold. She won the 1,500 at Vancouver in 2010, and the 3,000 in Torino in 2006.

February 7, 2014

Dutch snowboarder Cheryl Maas says it was not an intended protest, but could have been unconscious as she's 'rebellious'

A gay Olympian has raised her fist while wearing a rainbow glove, with many saying it was a symbol to show support for LGBTI Russians.

Cheryl Maas, a snowboarder from the Netherlands, failed to get to the finals of the slopestyle event at the Olympic Games yesterday (6 February).

In the qualifying event, the gay athlete placed ninth and only the first four could go through to the final.

After her two runs, she appeared to punch at the camera while wearing a rainbow glove.

January 31, 2014

Only .0028% of all the athletes competing at the Sochi Winter Games are openly LGBTI

President Putin has unwittingly propelled the LGBTI community into the spotlight with his anti-gay laws.

With the Winter Olympics launching today (7 February), the handful of openly gay athletes competing in Sochi will not only be concerned about their sporting performance, but also for their personal safety.

Despite assurances from Russian politicians, LGBTI athletes and supporters still face danger despite Principle Six of the Olympic charter meant to eradicate discrimination from the Olympic Games:

January 1, 2014

Start saving and plan your year’s travel around these rising stars. We've chosen one party a month from Iceland to São Paolo, Puerto Vallarta to Tignes

2014 is full of LGBTI events, cruises and festivals for every palate and budget.

From Brazil's popular São Paulo pride where the country seems to descend on the city, to sharing a plot of Nevada dessert with the Glamcocks at Burning Man, Gay Star Travel looks at events for gays, lesbians and fans.

Consider these festivals and parties as you plan your travel adventures for 2014.