Research has found that LGBT+ people make up more of America’s rural population than is often depicted by mainstream culture.
According to the study by the Movement Advancement Project, between 2.9 million and 3.8 million LGBT+ people live in rural parts of America, meaning they make up around 5 percent of the population.
“Rarely do we see images of LGBTQ people in rural areas, and when we do, they are portrayed as the only one there and stick out like a sore thumb or a target of violence,” report author Logan Casey told USA Today.
LGBT+ people live in these areas for the same reason as everyone elseThe research showed that LGBT+ people often choose to live in these areas for the same reason as others: to be a part of a close community that share similar values to their own.
The report also noted that “the highest rates of parenting by both same-sex couples and LGBT individuals are in the most rural regions of the country.”
Discrimination in small communitiesDespite this, LGBT+ people do face some discrimination while living in rural places as prejudice can spread rapidly through tight-knit communities. This can lead to difficulties joining a church, getting work or even finding a doctor who will accommodate them.
While over half of LGBT+ people in urban areas have access to health centres designed specifically for their needs, only about 11 percent of LGBT+ adults over 45 have similar access in rural areas, which means trouble finding help can easily arise as a result of acute prejudice.
This can also go the other away according to Casey, who said: “When one person stands up and takes a stance for an LGBTQ person … and really embraces them, that sets the tone for how they should be treated.”
In the US, Vermont has the highest proportion of LGBT+ adults in rural areas at around 5.2 percent and was the first place to allow same-sex couples to have civil unions in 2000. It is also considered one of America’s most LGBT-friendly states.
Population of transgender people in the USMeanwhile, there have been various studies regarding the population of transgender people in the US.
Studies have suggested that trans people make up 0.6 percent of the population, with states North Dakota and Iowa having the lowest percentage, while California and Massachusetts have the highest.
Written By: Precious Adesina. 05 April. 2019. Current Affairs. Pinknews.com
On Wednesday (3 April), Brunei introduced harsh sharia law which punishes homosexual sex with death by stoning.
The news caused international backlash, including from high-profile celebrities like George Clooney, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres. The United Nations also pleaded to halt the ‘cruel and inhuman’ new code.
People then began calling for the boycott of international hotels owned by Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
It prompted the Dorchester Collection — which owns and manages each of these hotels for the Brunei Investment Agency — to release a statement on Twitter yesterday (3 April).
‘Dorchester Collection is an inclusive and diverse company and does not tolerate any form of discrimination,’ the statement read. ‘ Although we believe in open and transparent communication, we have reluctantly deactivated our hotel social pages due to the personal abuse directed at our employees for whom we have a duty of care.
‘Our corporate social media pages remain in place.
‘Dorchester Collection’s Code emphasises equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees,’ the statement read.
Social media backlashAs a result, social media pages for The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London, Coworth Park in Aston, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris and the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan have all been deleted.
The Hotel Eden in Rome made its Twitter account private.
Many social media users began reacting negatively to the social media statement.
One person replied: ‘Equality, respect and integrity in all areas of your operation? Including where your profits are going?’
Another responded: ‘How can you say you don’t tolerate any form of discrimination when your owner murders gay people by stoning? Is it fine for Brunei but not for the UK?’
Then another tweeted: ‘Sadly your owners don’t agree with that statement.’
Background of BruneiRulers of Brunei have long enforced strictly traditional interpretations of Islamic teachings. The country, in Southeast Asia, operates under an absolute monarchy.
In other words, the head of state, the Sultan of Brunei, is also head of government. Royalty and lawmaking are one and the same.
For example, under the current 51-year-long monarch Hassanal Bolkiah, the country banned alcohol and forbade the proliferation of non-Islamic faiths.
Written by: James Beasnvalle. 04 April 2019. Gaystarnews.net
Spain’s health minister Maria Luisa Carcedo is calling for the end of LGBTI conversion (or ‘gay cure’) therapy across Spain.
Practitioners of the harmful therapy oversee LGBTI people undergoing dangerous treatments in order to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. It can include electric shocks or emotional manipulation, on the belief that being LGBTI is a mental illness.
But Spain’s minister for health, consumption and social welfare wants to see the practice ‘completely abolished’.
She said in a press conference on Wednesday (3 April): ‘They are breaking the law therefore, in the first instance, these courses have to be completely abolished.
‘I thought that, in Spain, accepting the various sexual orientations was assumed in all areas, but unfortunately we see that there are still pockets where people are told what their sexual orientation should be,’ she said.
Conversion therapy in Madrid
Conversion therapy is legal across Spain, except in autonomous communities like Madrid, Valencia, Andalusia and Murcia.
The comments come about after a newspaper reported on an alleged underground course in Madrid to cure gay men of their homosexuality.
The online newspaper, El Diario, sent a reporter posing as a gay man to a counseling session provided by a diocese of the Catholic Church close to the capital Madrid called the Bishopric of Alcalá de Henares.
People at the counseling session allegedly advised the man to stop watching porn and to masturbate less.
Representatives of the diocese called the claims ‘fake news’.
Madrid banned conversion therapy in July 2016. The ban then went into effect from 1 January 2017 and applies to medical, psychiatric, psychological and religious groups.
The practice of conversion therapy is illegal, regardless of whether someone requests it personally or not. Punishments include fines of up to €45,000 ($51,000).
Written by: James Besanalle. 04 April 2019. Gaystarnews.com
After being outed as gay by my brother, my devout Muslim father in Indonesia gave me a choice — follow his rules and stop living as an out man or choose my own path and be disinherited.
When I told my father that I wanted to be free to be myself, he immediately became angry and furious. He told me to get out. I just cried and fell silent, speechless. I couldn’t move from my seat and did not know what to do.
Until being outed in 2015 when my brother stumbled across a gay porn video I had stupidly loaded on my computer, I was feeling happy as a gay man and distance runner. In addition to the video, my brother also discovered text messages that showed I was dating a man and he told my parents.
Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country and hostile to LGBT people. Nonetheless, when I came out to my best friend, Vivi, in 2013 in high school she was accepting. I later brought my first boyfriend to meet her and told her the whole story about my sexual orientation.
After I came out to Vivi, I got the strength to tell others and my circle of friends became a great support system. But that still left me terrified of telling my family.
While my father is a Muslim, my mother is Christian, but both are very devout. My brother who outed me was of no support and when I got my father’s ultimatum, I had no one in my family to turn to.
I grew up in a family who expected me to be the one who would bring success to our name. I have two brothers, but only I graduated with a college diploma while my brothers made it through high school.
My mother tried to persuade me to change and leave anything connected to being LGBT. My parents associated being gay with rampant sex and drugs, even though that was not my experience.
In the end, my parents said they would give me a second chance if I swore a Muslim oath about honoring God. I felt that I would not be able to fulfill this vow, because I would never be able to change, as they wished me to be straight.
I was told that if I violate the oath, they would not consider me their child anymore.
Since that day, things have been low-key between us, but my mother regularly gives me advice about being closer to God.
But I know there will be a time for me to let them know that I am still part of the LGBT environment. That’s when I have to make a decision and choose for my own life, because I have the right to determine my life, not them. I really love them and I just hope they accept me for who I am.
I am still looking for my life partner and hope to settle down and start a family, living with someone I love like couples I see in other parts of the world. For now, I am grateful that there are so many friends that I consider to be a family who always support me.
Denny Faj, 27, lives in Jakarta, Indonesia, and is a member of Adidas Runners Jakarta. He can be reached via Instagram (@dennyfaj) or email (email@example.com)
Story editor: Jim Buzinski. 03 April 2019. Danny jaj. Outsports.com
Last year, the gay adult studio Icon Male launched a new site named Noir Male whose tagline is “Showcases Black Men as They Deserve to Be Seen.” However, one of its biggest name performers, Jacen Zhu, has quit the studio, stating, “We are being used to sell a product that doesn’t cater to our community.”
Before we get into it, any casual observer of gay adult videos knows that the medium generally has a poor and problematic record of handling race and performers of color.
An informal 2015 study of five mainstream studios — Men.com, Sean Cody, BelAmi Online, Randy Blue and Helix Studios — found that of each one’s roster of performers only 0.8 to 10% were black (compared to the estimated 12.1% of black men in the general U.S. population).
Black performers are typically used in scenes far less often than white ones, and many scenes in gay adult videos showcase black men as submissive arrestees or hung thugs. Black performers are also siloed into low-production niche sites catering specifically to black men.
That’s why it seemed like such a breath of fresh air when Noir Male appeared, promising some long overdue representation with decent production quality.
But in a series of tweets, Zhu wrote (link NSFW):
I stopped working for Noir Male when I woke up. When I saw that everything was a lie and I would like to apologize for [helping] the wolves in suits to sell this lie. Wake up y’all and see it’s not about us.
I [want] to be clear: I’m not angry I just sat back and watched as the aspiration didn’t meet the reality. We are being used to sell a product that doesn’t cater to our community.
As the gay adult gossip writer Zachary Sire explains, “Icon Male and Noir Male are part of the Canadian straight porn conglomerate Mile High Media, which is owned by a straight white man named Jon Blitt.” Sire points out that when Noir Male launched, only 44% of its 29 actors were black; today that ratio is 55% (37 out of 67).
It makes sense that a black gay adult studio would feature white and non-black performers to appeal to a wide swath of viewers, but if Zhu’s tweets are any indication, the gay adult video industry still hasn’t figured out how black men “deserve to be seen.”
We have reached out to Noir Male for comment and will update this story if they respond.
Written by: Daniel Villareal. 02 April 2019. Undertones. Queerty.com
Residents in the UK are the most likely to combine drugs with sex, compared with the US, other European countries, Australia and Canada, a new research shows.
Researchers at University College London surveyed 22,000 people as part of the Global Drug Survey.
Respondents answered online questions about whether they use drugs specifically to enhance their sexual experience. Moreover, they specified which drugs they used in combination with sex.
Bi and gay men more likely to take sex-enjhancing drugs
The Journal of Sexual Medicine study highlights alcohol, cannabis, MDMA and cocaine are the drugs respondents most commonly take when having sex.
Respondents further revealed MDMA increased ’emotionality/intimacy’ the most, while GHB/GBL increased ‘sexual desire’ the most.
Gay and bisexual men were more likely to have used substances to enhance their sexual experience, especially those typically considered as chemsex drugs, such as methamphetamine, mephedrone and GHB/GBL.
Particularly, gay men were 1.6 times as likely as straight men to have used drugs with the specific intent of enhancing the sexual experience in the last year.
Taylor harm-reduction message is crucial
However, people of all genders and sexual orientations reported engaging in substance-linked sex.
‘While using drugs in combination with and to specifically enhance the sexual experience tends to be associated with gay and bisexual men, we found that in our sample, men and women of all sexual orientations engaged in this behaviour,’ the study’s lead author, Dr. Will Lawn, said.
‘However, differences between groups did emerge.’
‘Harm reduction messages relating to substance-linked sex in general should therefore not only be targeted towards gay and bisexual men, as they are relevant to all groups,’ he also said.
Senior author Professor Adam Winstock, founder and director of the Global Drug Survey added: ‘Our study is by far the largest to date to investigate the relationships between sex and drugs. Previous studies have rarely compared men and women, and people of different sexual orientations.
‘Furthermore, by appreciating how different drugs affect sex we can tailor our harm reduction messages. These pragmatic messages can save lives.’
People in the UK more likely to take drugs
Survey respondents were self-selecting rather than a representative sample.
Therefore, the researchers say their estimates of prevalence will be substantially larger than the general population. Nonetheless, relative differences between groups are expected to be reliable.
While respondents didn’t need to clarify their country of residence, currency was used as a proxy.
This revealed that those from the UK were more likely to have combined all substances except for cannabis, with sex. This trend was particularly relevant for mephedrone.
Written by: Stefania Sarrubba. 02 April 2019. Chemsex. Gaystarnews.com
Everyone knows that Utah is one of the most politically conservative states in the union, but it’s apparently so conservative that it actually had a 1973 fornication law punishing sex outside of marriage as a class B misdemeanor with up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail.
This last week, the state finally repealed that law. But surprisingly, six other states have laws forbidding sex outside of marriage including Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and even Washington D.C. According to civil rights attorney Brian Barnard, all 50 U.S. states had anti-fornication laws on the books back in 1971, but it’s unclear if this is accurate.
What’s especially weird about these laws (apart from being Puritanical and sex-phobic AF) is that they explicitly punish sexual encounters between consenting adults.
Utah Republican Representative Paul Ray called the 1973 law “unenforceable,” and other legislators considered it one of many laughable old-timey laws that had been kept on the books purely for “morality’s sake” (ie. because some conservative Mormons wanted it.)
And yet, in 1990, the Salt Lake County Attorney used the law to press charges against a Murray, Utah high school teacher for having sex with two music students. The charges were later dropped in exchange for a guilty plea to two counts of sexual abuse of a child.
Along with this law, Utah lawmakers also recently voted to repeal similar statutes against adultery and sodomy, according to the Associated Press.
In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court banned sodomy laws nationwide, criminalizing sex between consenting same-sex adults. But despite this ruling, 16 U.S. states still have anti-sodomy laws still on their books: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.
Some people arrested for sodomy remain in prison even though it’s no longer illegal.
Written by: Daniel Villareal. 01April 2019. Querrty.com
Colton Haynes reveals how divorce and the death of his mother drove him into the depths of drug addiction
He's had to hide his sexuality, battle anxiety and an addiction to drink and drugs, as well as cope with the death of his mother and the break-up of his marriage, but following a year which saw him reach his lowest ebb, Colton Haynes is out the other side and looking forward to the future.
As he appears on the cover of Attitude's 25th anniversary issue - available to download and to order globally now - the Arrow star speaks for the first time about how his destructive use of drugs and alcohol spiralled into a life-threatening crisis following the death of his mother, Dana, from alcohol-related cirrhosis in March 2018, and his similtaneous split from his husband of six months, Jeff Leatham.
"In 10 years, there were maybe 25 days I didn't drink," the 30-year-old actor admits. "I remember when I started, it was a couple glasses of wine, and it regressed into really dark times.
"I used to blame it on my anxiety or depression issues, but really the root of all my problems was the alcohol and drugs."
Substances became more of a crutch after Colton's highly publicised coming out in 2016, as the star struggled to cope with the increasingly intense glare of life in the spotlight - and as his personal life began to crumble in early 2018, his self-destructive behaviour gathered pace at a worrying rate.
"I came out and, in a way, my downward spiral started," he explains. "I felt extremely free but at the same time the amount of attention I was getting was making me spin out of control.
"I got married and that didn't work out. That was extremely public and heart-breaking, and right when that was going on, my mom died.
"At that point I fell apart. My brain broke. I was doing a massive comedy for a studio, showed up to work and got fired on the first day. They said I looked as if I had 'dead in my eyes', and I did.
"I got so heavily involved with drugs and alcohol to mask the amount of pain I was feeling that I couldn’t even make some decisions for myself. I was drowning in my own shit."
Having already been admitted to hospital several times following drug and alcohol abuse, Colton - who entered a four-month treatment program and has now been sober for six months - recalls how rock bottom came when he was committed after being found at a Los Angeles hotel after a seven-day drug and alcohol spree.
"I locked myself in a hotel room at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills for seven days and was found in my room with these insane bruises all over my body," he recalls.
"It looked as if somebody had beaten the shit out of me. I couldn’t walk, so I was falling everywhere.
"I almost ruptured my kidney, ended up in the hospital, ended up in 5150 psyche hold [a way to keep someone in hospital involuntarily for up to three days when there is a 'serious need']. I was on such a destructive path that I could not function.
"I lost partial sight in my left eye for a while. I ended up having two seizures. I didn't know any of this was happening until I was sober enough to remember it."
The former Teen Wolf star says the incident served as a "rude awakening" which finally drove him to seek treatment.
"If anyone else had told me to get help I would be like 'Fuck you!'. I had to make that decision on my own. I was ready to stop running from my own problems.
"Once I went to treatment, I found this amazing amount of true love for myself, and started figuring out who I am without those vices, and recognising the people in my life who lifted me up instead of tearing me down."
As he prepares to embark on a new chapter in his life and career, Colton knows that the hard work is not yet over - but he's ready to embrace a future free from the demons that have dogged him for nearly all his adult life.
"I’m always going to be in recovery. There are so many people struggling out there, but not a lot of them talk about it. Life is much more beautiful than I could have imagined," he says.
"It's just a different life now. It's the best gift I've ever been given."
Read Colton's full interview in Attitude's 25th anniversary issue, out now featuring two other special covers with the BBC's Ben Hunte and Mashrou' Leila frontman Hamed Sinno.
Written by: Attitude Magazine. Community. 28 March 2019
A young gay man tried to attempt suicide after learning his boyfriend’s parents beat him up for coming out.
The unnamed man, believed to be around 19 years old, was found at the top of a bridge in Puebla, Mexico.
A passer-by called the emergency number at 5.46pm on 23 March.
They saw a young man, on the ledge, about to throw himself off into incoming traffic.
Emergency services raced to the bridge located between 14 Avenue South and Periférico Ecológico.
A spokesperson said: ‘After a few minutes of dialogue, officers convinced the young man to cease his efforts.
‘Once he was safe, he was removed from the site.’
Local press has claimed the young man suffered from a ‘nervous breakdown’.
‘The youth explained he made the decision to take his own life after his partner sent him a message,’ one paper said.
‘When talking with his parents about his sexual identity, they beat him. This news sparked a nervous breakdown.’
It Gets Better Mexico urged people to seek out help.
‘If you or someone LGBTIQ you know is going through difficult times, remember that you are not alone,’ they said.
‘Out there, inside and outside the internet, we exist.
‘There are also many people like you, and they can help.’
One in four gay, lesbian and bi people and 41% of trans people in Mexico consider suicide, according to Animal Político.
Homophobia in Puebla, Mexico
In February this year, a gay primary school teacher was found stabbed to death in Puebla.
Hugo Méndez, a teacher who worked in the city, was found murdered in his home.
Neighbors called the authorities after they heard a struggle.
When paramedics arrived to help him, he was already dead.
Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
If you are in crisis, feeling suicidal or in need of a safe place to talk, call the 24/7 TrevorLifeline on 1-866-488-7386.
Need support? LGBTI helplines for those in crisis or seeking advice
Written by: Joe Morgan. 28 March 2019. gaystarnews.com
The popular gay hookup app Grindr is up for sale after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has determined that the app’s purchase by Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd presents a “national security risk.”
The company has partially owned the app since 2016 and completely took over ownership in 2018. The company announced last year that it was planning an initial public offering, but that plan has been scrapped as Kunlun moves to unload the property.
The company is reportedly planning to auction the app off and is reaching out to investment firms and competitors to gauge interest.
Foreign investors are required to submit their purchase of an American company to the CFIUS for review, but Kunlun did not submit the required paperwork for review. The agency does not reveal the reasons behind its decisions since it could potentially reveal classified information by US intelligence agencies.
Experts, however, say the agency has focused on privacy concerns lately and Grindr keeps highly personal information about it’s users like HIV status, contact information, sexual preferences, and pictures of users – frequently including naked photos. American users and prominent LGBTQ activists had also expressed similar concerns.
Senators Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to Grindr last year questioning how the app would protect users’ privacy after the purchase.
The app recently shuttered it’s blog, INTO, after the publication ran a story accusing the straight company president, Scott Chen, of being anti-marriage equality. Chen quickly fired back, saying he was mistranslated, but employees resigned in protest shortly before the site was closed down.
Written By: Bil Browning. 27 March 2019. lgbtqnation.com