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October 17, 2014

Annual Spirit Day campaign had Laverne Cox, Demi Lovato, Billie Jean King and others in purple attire

To mark Spirit Day on Thursday (16 October), a number of celebrities wore purple and millions of other people decided to 'go purple' online in a united stand against bullying and to show their support for LGBT youth.

Emmy nominated actress Laverne Cox took things a step further when she took part in lighting New York City's famed Empire State Building purple for the night.

October 14, 2014

Are you a twin? Are you gay or bisexual and your sibling is straight? Then you might be able to help in a new study

Twins could hold the key to how our childhood experiences shape our sexual experiences and well-being.

Researchers at the University of Essex are seeking identical twins where one is gay or bisexual and the other is straight. Twins where both are gay, bisexual or straight are also being asked to help with the study.

They hope by studying these sets of twins, they will be able to uncover what social experiences during childhood make us become the people we are and how satisfied we are in life.

October 10, 2014

From Michael Sam to Ellen Page, celebrate Coming Out Day with a reminder of some of the most notable coming outs this year

Thousands of people have come out since the last National Coming Out Day. Some bad, some amazing, and some so heartwarming you will cry.

We'd might like to live in a world where coming out doesn't make the news. But as long as anyone alive has a bad coming out, disowned by their families or thrown out onto the streets, then celebrities coming out can still change lives.

It's all about breaking barriers and being who you are, and all 18 people on this list epitomise this.

October 9, 2014

Emmy nominee wants to send strong message against bullying 'so that young people don't have to go through what I did'

Next Thursday (16 October), Laverne Cox will help New York City's Empire State Building go purple.

The Emmy nominated star of Orange is the New Black will be on hand to light the iconic landmark which has been featured in such films as Sleepless in Seattle and An Affair to Remember.

The purple is part of Spirit Day which is held each year during National Bullying Prevention month.

Schools and communities are urged to wear purple to show their support and to raise awareness about people who have been bullied in the past and who are still being bullied.

October 9, 2014

The 'accidental activist' tells GSN how changing her gender marker changed her life

It took Geena Rocero nearly a decade to come out publicly as transgender from the time she moved to New York to become a model. But when she did, she came out to an audience of 2 million and counting in a TED talk on March 31, the International Transgender Day of Visibility.

Rocero, 30, grew up in Manila and entered and won her first beauty pageant at the age of 15. She originally intended to follow her transgender friends to Japan, but she changed her plans when she found out she could change her gender marker in California - and in doing so change her life.

October 8, 2014

The male gender marker will also be removed

A Kenyan transgender activist yesterday won a landmark case to change the name on her high school exam certificate.

The high court gave the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) 45 days to change the name from Andrew Mbugua to Audrey Mbugua on her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education.

She graduated with an A- grade.

The male gender mark will also be removed and any cost will be met by Mbugua.

Mbugua described her win as 'a huge watershed moment.'

September 30, 2014

For Richard Blanco, coming out was 'just a slow sort of easing into'

Richard Blanco was chosen in 2013 to do what such celebrated American poets as Robert Frost and Maya Angelo had done in the past: write an original poem and recite it at the inauguration of a US president.

Blanco made all kinds of history at the second inaugural of US President Barack Obama with his poem One Today. He was first openly gay man chosen as inaugural poet, the first Latino, and at 44, the youngest.

Blanco has written a new memoir, The Prince of Los Cocuyos, in which he writes about how, growing up in Miami as part of a Cuban family, he hid being gay.

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 9, 2014

The ‘gay’ chair, the child called ‘it’, the girl hit with a softball bat and the kids who think it’s ok to use anti-LGBTI language as long as it’s to their friends

Classroom commotions never bode well, even at the best of times. This was not the best of times: this was half past eight on a Monday morning in an unfamiliar school.

The problem, it transpired, was there were precisely 23 chairs in the room. There were 23 students - the math seemed simple enough. ‘But look!’ came the anguished howl, in a tone so plaintive I half expected the chair to be riddled with spikes.

Instead, a crude hand had wittily scrawled on it ‘whoeva sits on this cHair is gay’ [sic].

September 8, 2014

In an exclusive piece for Gay Star News, UK Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan explains why the commitment to equality cannot end at Britain’s shores

It’s a source of great pride to me that the UK has been recognized by the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) as being a European leader in equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for the fourth year running.

It’s thanks to the heroic work and unrelenting passion of campaigners and activists that LGBT young people growing up in Britain today can be confident that society is on their side.

September 6, 2014

'Bullying works on a level. You get to be part of the group. The catch is, you’re never really equal. People are afraid of you'

Two-time Emmy winner Jane Lynch knows a thing or two about the main character in her new children's book Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean.

In the book, to be released later this month, Marlene is a bully.

There were times when Lynch was too as a kid.

The Glee star and host of Hollywood Game Night says she realized this while working on the book with her then wife, Dr. Lara Embry, a psychologist who was a consultant on the book.

August 22, 2014

Why I founded rucomingout and what I’ve learned after 250 inspiring and moving coming out stories

I launched rucomingout.com in March 2012 when I was working as a youth worker for Britain’s National Health Service.

I was working with a 17-year-old called Jay and he told me he was gay. He had so many questions about coming out and what it was like to be gay. He regularly heard his parents use homophobic language and never heard any of his friends speak positively about being gay.

He feared he would be excluded from his group of friends and disowned by his parents.

August 21, 2014

Five men were arrested in an incident rumored to be motivated by homophobia

Police are investigating after five people were arrested in what is believed to be an anti-gay attack in Manchester’s Canal Street.

The incident has come in the days leading up to Manchester Pride, one of the last biggest gay events in the UK this year.

Police were called to Canal Street, the area most popular with the city’s LGBTI community, on 17 August on 11.10pm.

Officers arrested five men who were fighting in the street. Two have been released without charge and three others have been bailed pending further enquiries.

August 20, 2014

A 22-year-old fears rape, jail or even death if she is forced to leave the UK to return to her country

The last time a 22-year-old Ugandan saw her girlfriend was when, naked and afraid, she fled her home after a mob caught them having sex.

Joan Ayebare Tumewine has called her girlfriend, who we will call Grace to protect her anonymity, every single day for over a year.

Fearing Grace is dead, her desperate search feels hopeless. Adding to her despair is the prospect of being deported from the UK back to Uganda, where she could meet a similar fate.

August 20, 2014

Your gender doesn’t mean you are Bruce Willis or Barbie, so why are trans people forced to defend their gender identity?

I can’t remember how old I would have been when I realized that telling people I wanted to be a girl was not a wise thing to do.

Certainly I knew before I was seven. When the whole world is telling you that you’re a boy simply based on what’s between your legs, it takes a very strong-minded child indeed to stick to your convictions.

I wasn’t that strong-willed, and the physical evidence was hard to ignore. It’s why I’m so much in awe of those children who identify as trans and their parents who act constructively on it.

August 18, 2014

Take a break from the Pride festival fun, and bring your friends (or make new ones) to Manchester Pride’s new community hub

Have you ever been in the middle of a Pride event, and just wanted to find somewhere to relax for a few minutes before jumping back in to the party?

Manchester Pride organizers have teamed up with the Lesbian and Gay Foundation to offer a relaxing space in the middle of Pride madness.

August 18, 2014

LGBTI African Americans are particularly vulnerable to suicide and it’s time to start talking about why

When the first news reports of Robin Williams’ death hit the media, few questioned the report that one of the world’s most beloved comedians had committed suicide.

This reaction stands in stark contrast to the reaction to the 2012 news of the death of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius. Cornelius was found dead in his home after committing suicide with a firearm. Many African Americans believed Cornelius must have been murdered by an intruder, even after the official report.

August 15, 2014

C1 Financial has become the first publicly traded American bank to have an openly gay man to head the company in CEO Trevor Burgess

Florida based bank C1 Financial became the first publicly listed bank in the United States to have an openly gay CEO when its stock became available to trade on Thursday.

C1 Financial CEO Trevor Burgess had to disclose his husband owns shares in the bank in filing the paper work necessary for its shares to be made publicly listed – something that he would not had to have done prior to the Supreme Court’s striking down of the federal Defense Of Marriage Act last year.

August 4, 2014

New Stonewall chief, Ruth Hunt, has spoken about the organisation’s future plans to tackle homophobia in schools

In one of her first major interviews since becoming the new chief of UK-based LGBT rights charity, Stonewall, Ruth Hunt has said that she believes educating pre-primary school children that families come in all shapes and sizes – including single and same-sex parents – is vital in helping to tackle homophobia.

Speaking to The Independent newspaper, she said that she wants Stonewall to commission books ‘celebrating difference in all its forms for under-fives.’

July 31, 2014

‘In 2014, I wouldn’t want this to be perceived as an event just more for minorities. I’d like to make this as an opportunity for everyone’

Browsing through photos from the Miami Beach Bruthaz party shows crowds of black and Latino partygoers jumping into pools and enjoying the festivities.

But founder Ian Smith told Gay Star News the weekend is more than a party, and it’s not just an event for minorities.

This year, from 17 to 20 July, Miami played host to the 8th annual Bruthaz party.

In under a decade the event has grown to welcome international travelers all while keeping a family-oriented vibe.

July 30, 2014

When bullies attacked Liam Hackett he thought he was going to die – and was secretly relieved. Now his charity is fixing the problem for other kids

You know that awkward feeling you get when you go to a party with your friend without knowing anybody else there and your friend disappears?

Without even realizing, fears of rejection quickly set in and you’re left feeling incredibly self-conscious. As a safety barrier, you subtly pull out your mobile and act nonchalant whilst frantically trying to figure out where your mate went.

Maybe it doesn’t happen to you anymore, but we can all relate to that distinctive feeling of dread mixed with heightened self-awareness.

July 30, 2014

UK charity Ditch the Label is turning Brighton tropical to fight bullying at its first fundraising party

A party to beat anti-gay and other types of bullying is the newest addition to the summer line-up and GSN is delighted to be getting behind it.

Ditch the Label tells young people its ok to be different and works with schools, colleges and online to offer support and create engaging ways to stop kids from being bullies.

Now the UK charity is hosting its first fundraising party on 15 August.

The team will be transforming a popular venue in the seaside town of Brighton into a beach paradise, complete with palm trees and leis.

July 28, 2014

Leading her grandchildren down the town center, Poppy Rose sets the tone for a gay pride parade calling attention to homophobia in sport and school

Over 5,000 people celebrated Gay Pride in the English county of Norfolk over the weekend.

Highlighting LGBTI diversity in schools and promoting acceptance in sport, particularly with regards to the current Commonwealth Games, Norwich Pride started by turning the entire city into a flurry of rainbows.

Rainbow flags were flown from some of the most prominent town buildings including police headquarters at Wymondham, hospitals, department stores, the Norwich Puppet Theatre, the Castle Museum and City Hall.

July 20, 2014

The trans-inclusive policy is the first of it's kind in North America

A Catholic school district in Vancouver, Canada, has approved a policy to protect transgender and intersex children in school.