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May 20, 2015

'I was so sorry to hear about your cancer but...'

'I was so sorry to hear about your cancer but maybe it is the will of God.'

That is what a lesbian journalist from Ireland was told in a letter days before the country holds a referendum on gay marriage.

Una Mullally, who writes for the Irish Times, shared the letter dated 14 May on Twitter.

'More hate mail from No voters today. My cancer is the will of God for campaigning for equality, apparently,' she wrote.

May 19, 2015

A gay-run business that produces an innovative range of chutneys and pickles has recently won Ocado's prestigious ‘Britain’s Next Top Supplier’ award. Gay Star Business talks to Andre Dang, founder and CEO of Manfood

Thinking of launching your own business? The rise of Manfood’s provides a textbook example of how to go from zero to hero in two short years.

The brand is the brainchild of 40-year-old Andre Dang. Born to a Malaysian mother and Vietnamese father, British-born Dang studied horticulture at Reading University.

A placement with leading department store chain M&S – which brought him into contact with buyers and food students – convinced him that he actually wanted to work in the food sector.

May 14, 2015

Shepard's mother is 'thrilled that Laramie’s doing it, at the same time sort of saddened that the state of Wyoming can’t see fit to do that as well'

It's been 17 years since Matthew Shepard died at the age of 21 after being tortured in an anti-gay hate crime in Laramie, Wyoming.

The murder of the University of Wyoming student has long cast a shadow over the town where on Wednesday (14 May) its City Council passed a local anti-LGBTI discrimination ordinance.

'What a day for Wyoming, and what a day for the city that became synonymous with Matthew Shepard’s murder to now step up and do this right thing,' says Jeran Artery, head of the group Wyoming Equality.

May 13, 2015

Heading to the capital of Latvia? Add these things to your ‘to-do’ list…

Never made a trip to the Baltics? Latvian capital Riga will be the host for this year’s Europride festival in summer (15-22 June 2015) – which is reason enough alone to think about paying the city a visit.

Whether you venture there for that or at another time of year, here are 14 things to see, sample or experience…

May 8, 2015

‘We don’t discriminate against anyone’s color, religion or beliefs, and we’re just the same as anyone wanting to live a happy life and love who we want to love.’

An Irish teenager has made a passionate plea for marriage equality in Ireland when she came face to face with the head of government.

Alison Kershaw’s emotional outburst - in front of Ireland’s prime minister Enda Kenny and surrounded by cameras and reporters - broke through the awkwardness’, according to Independent.ie.

May 6, 2015

'It will create cultural and ideological enrichment'

The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro is planning a symbolic mass gay wedding on Saturday (8 May) as part of Havana's annual pride parade.

Mariela Castro, head of the National Sex Education Centre and a member of Cuba's National Assembly, said her father supported gay marriage but it is not yet legal in the country.

'We can't do a wedding, but we wanted to have a very modest celebration of love with some religious leaders,' she said.

'In the future we'll see what more we can do.'

May 6, 2015

Men are also prohibited from plucking their eyebrows

Men in Iran have been banned from wearing 'homosexual' spiky hairstyles and plucking their eyebrows. 

Tattoos and tanning beds were also deemed un-Islamic and prohibited in the annual pre-summer crackdown on western fashions.

Mostafa Govahi, head of Iran’s barbers’ union, Monday (4 April) said barbers across the country had been given a list of appropriate men's hairstyles, the Guardian reported.

May 5, 2015

Irishman is left with deep gash in head

A transgender woman has been charged with physical assault in Thailand for hammering a tourist with her stiletto heel.

Wichai Sripalang, 24, left a deep gash in the head of 55-year-old Irishman Michael Merry.

According to police, Merry was approached on the street at 3am by Sripalang while walking through the resort town of Pattaya, which is infamous for its seedy nightlife and high crime rate.

May 5, 2015

'Any head teacher who teaches my children it’s alright to be gay will be at the end of my shotgun'

Teachers in parts of the UK with large Muslim populations are receiving threats for teaching about homophobia.

Speaking at the National Association of Head Teachers’ annual conference in Liverpool Sunday (3 May), one teacher said she had been sent a death threat on Facebook. 

'Any head teacher who teaches my children it’s alright to be gay will be at the end of my shotgun,' it read.

Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, head of Anderton Park School in Birmingham, said the Trojan Horse scandal had not gone away.

April 30, 2015

While same-sex marriage, according to him, is not

Pope Francis has reaffirmed his stance on 'traditional' marriage, saying a man and woman married is the 'masterpiece of society'.

In what is being taken by some as a plea for the US Supreme Court to reject same-sex marriage, the head of the Catholic Church reiterated his view that he believes straight people are the only ones that should marry.

'Jesus teaches us that the masterpiece of society is the family: the man and the woman who love each other,' he said in his public speech today (30 April).

April 30, 2015

'Notorious RBG' destroys every argument put forward against gay marriage

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had the perfect response to every argument against gay marriage put forward at the Supreme Court on Tuesday (28 April).

The 82-year-old justice has become a liberal champion for her support of gay marriage and has been dubbed the 'notorious RBG' by younger fans.

First, Ginsburg promptly shut down the argument that the court does not have legal right to change a 'millennia' of tradition.

April 22, 2015

'This song covers the journey of any individual's struggle to understand his or her sexuality conditioned by society's norms'

India's Censor Board of Film Certification has approved an LGBTI music video for the first time — and without seeking any edits.

The video, posted online on 13 March, can now be aired on Indian TV, though it was given a parental guidance rating for children under the age of 12.

The song Head Held High is performed by Friends of Linger, 'a band of professional musicians with amateur singers, all friends freed by the equations of gender, sexuality and the emotions of music.'

April 21, 2015

Landmark ruling makes transgender citizens eligible for food security benefits

In another landmark decision for India's transgender community, a court has ruled that members are entitled to head of household status, making them eligible them to food security benefits.

Allahabad High Court observed that the intended public good of the National Food Security Act 2013 would be furthered if transgender citizens were recognized as head of household.

The court said the 'law needs to travel beyond non-discrimination, by recognising an affirmative obligation of the state to provide access to social security.

April 21, 2015

He calls himself ‘the most clinically insane cunt bitch up in the game’. Find out why here

In one of Cakes Da Killa's new tracks, he calls himself ‘the most clinically insane cunt bitch up in the game’.

This is apparently accurate, according to him.

Otherwise known as Rashard Bradshaw, this 23-year-old New York City rapper and artist is ambitious. So ambitious, he says, he's going to take on the world.

His second mixtape, The Eulogy, was a massive hit. He's been compared to acts like Lil' Kim, Cam'ron and Mykki Blanco.

April 21, 2015

David Au brings us a tender film about food, family, and the power of George Takei

I am a sucker for movies about food and family, so writer/director David Au's film Eat With Me had me in tears without even trying.

The story of a mother and son – each of them on a journey to find themselves and each other – Eat With Me perfectly captures the pain and confusion that life and love always seem to throw up along the way.

Inspired by a real-life moment between his parents, this is a story that Au has been working on since 2003 when the script began life as a short-film.

April 21, 2015

United Ramen on London's Upper Street will satisfy your hunger for quality Japanese food

I was in Islington to see a show at the King's Head Theatre. I needed some easy food but wasn't sure what I felt like – it had been a while since I'd been in this part of town so I wandered around to see what was new, what looked good, and what was taking my fancy.

April 20, 2015

Health official supports change in the law

Vietnam's ministry of health is finalizing draft amendments to the civil code that will likely acknowledge transgender people for the first time.

Nguyen Huy Quang, head of the ministry's legal department, said they were still collecting opinions on the issue but he personally preferred to 'address the fact and solve it.'

'This is the right to live with their true gender,' he told a news conference on 14 April.

Legislators will discuss the proposed changes next month.

April 13, 2015

American fell from cliff amid spate of gay-bashing attacks in the area

The New South Wales coroner has ordered an unprecedented third inquest into the death of an American gay man who fell from a cliff in Sydney nearly 30 years ago.

Scott Johnson's naked body was found at gay cruising site North Head in December 1988.

Police ruled his death a suicide but his family belive he was the victim of an anti-gay hate crime.

'The perpetrators are probably still alive and local,' the victim's brother, Steve Johnson, said outside Glebe coroner's court on Monday (13 April) morning.

April 10, 2015

Pop stars, entrepreneurs, film makers, TV celebrities and a current prisoner

From India to Japan and everywhere in between, the LGBTI movement in Asia is gathering pace.

So meet 21 of its greatest heroes.

They’ve written books, made films, founded organizations, fought in the courts and taken on the most challenging work.

Most of all they’ve stood up for their fellow LGBTIs – and often been rewarded only with harassment, persecution and even imprisonment.

But now they are being recognized. They are all nominated for the second Asia LGBT Milestone Awards (ALMAs).

March 31, 2015

The sequel to the Rocky Horror Picture Show finally gets its stage debut

It is a general rule that the sequel is never as good as the original.

The Rocky Horror Show was a huge, if somewhat unlikely, worldwide smash hit. The original stage musical premiered in London in 1973, and was then made into a movie in 1975. Created by Richard O'Brien, it's hard to believe that this surreal cross-dressing re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend has become such a cult classic.

March 26, 2015

What happens when you decide to donate your eggs? One woman tells her life-changing story

Recent reports show that the number of women registering as egg donors has risen every year since 2006 with numbers increasing to 1,103 in 2013. Similarly, there has been an increase of more than 50% in the last five years of women having treatment with donor eggs.

Following its launch in 2013, the UK's London Egg Bank has seen hundreds of women come through the doors looking to donate their eggs. Here one of them tells her story:

March 23, 2015

'Cabaret of diversity' protest held inside one of the right-wing leader's favorite pubs

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has branded a group of LGBTI activists 'scum' after they interrupted him during his Sunday visit at the pub.

Around 100 people, claiming to represent everything loathed by the right-wing, Eurosceptic party, descended on the Kent pub in fancy dress as an act of protest.

Calling themselves a 'cabaret of diversity', the group included LGBTI people, HIV activists, migrants, disabled people and breastfeeding mothers.

March 21, 2015

Justin Kelly, the director of I Am Michael movie that stars James Franco and Zachary Quinto, argues anti-gay activist Michael Glatze should not be vilified

The story of Michael Glatze electrified and horrified the LGBTI world when he converted from celebrated gay activist and journalist to homophobic preacher.

Now US director Justin Kelly has chosen this most controversial of gay subjects for his feature film debut, starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto.

It attempts to get into Glatze's head, charting his progress from running a popular gay youth mag and being in both a loving couple and three-way relationship to his conversion to Christianity.

March 20, 2015

Head of the Catholic Church will 'meet with every inmate individually'

Pope Francis will have a lunch date with 10 gay and trans prisoners this Saturday (21 March).

The head of the Catholic Church will visit a local prison in Naples, planning to break bread with 90 inmates including a contingent reserved for LGBTIs and those living with HIV and AIDS.

It is being reported the visit was not intended to include lunch, according to TV2000, but the pope apparently insisted on breaking bread with the prisoners.