Members of New York’s queer community reacting to the increased number of corporate sponsors and events of the city’s Pride program have announced an alternative march.
Labeled “The Queer Liberation March,” the demonstration will take place the morning of the New York City Pride Parade. The Liberation March will begin at 9:30am while the Pride Parade begins at noon.
“On the whole, I don’t believe it benefits our community when corporations are using it as a marketing endeavor,” says Robin Scott, a member of the Reclaim Pride Coalition, the group behind the alternative march.
Ellen Shumsky, a 50 year veteran of the queer rights movement, also told NBC News she plans to boycott the Pride Parade in favor of the Liberation March. “I don’t like all the floats advertising products,” she says. “It’s not the spirit of who we are or who we want to be.”
In a surprising move, organizers of the Pride Parade welcomed the alternative march. Cathy Renna, a spokesperson for NYC Pride, said “We want every event to succeed at Pride. We are not about division. We are about a diverse community that may not always agree on everything but needs to work together to move forward.”
The New York Pride Parade and the Queer Liberation March step off June 30.
Written by: David Reddish. 16 May 2019. Queerty.com
Reebok has released their 2019 pride collection of sneakers and t-shirts and this year they feature a classic understated design.
While Converse’s collection is flashier and Adidas’ offering is more colorful, Reebok’s selection of shoes gives off a more subtle vibe. The updates to the iconic Club C, Classic Leather and Freestyle Hi silhouettes give those who don’t want to be loud and proud to be, well, proud.
A portion of the profits will be given to Fenway Health, one of the nation’s leaders in LGBTQ health issues. Fenway Health provides high quality, comprehensive health care, and quality tools to help educate the community. Based in Boston, Fenway Health and Reebok share not only a hometown, but also a common focus on improving the overall well-being of individuals nationwide.
“Since the beginning, Reebok has had a lifelong mission to transform the lives of others through fitness and wellness,” said Matt Blonder, VP of Digital Brand Commerce at Reebok and Co-Chair of the brand’s Colorful Soles LGBTQ+ employee resource group. “Inclusivity has been an intrinsic part of building our foundation, so working alongside a health center like Fenway Health felt like such a natural fit. We pride ourselves in working with those who share these same bold and inclusive values.”
The shoes start at $70 and the handful of t-shirts with a rainbow Reebok logo will run you $25.
Written by: Bill Browning. 15 May 2019. Life. Lgbtqnation.com
At least three LGBT+ activists in Cuba were detained as police broke up an “unauthorized” Pride march.
Activists went ahead with a planned march against homophobia in Havana on Saturday (May 11), making it several blocks before several participants were arrested.
The government-run LGBT+ group CENESEX, which is fronted by Raúl Castro’s daughter Mariela Castro, had abruptly canceled plans for the 12th annual official Conga against Homophobia and Transphobia march, blaming “new tensions in the international and regional context.”
The group said the decision was taken “in compliance with the policy of the Party, the State, and the Revolution.”
Activists turned up to march despite the cancellation of the government-backed event
However, activists vowed to turn up anyway without permission, in a rare public show of defiance in the tightly-controlled country.
More than 100 demonstrators took to the streets with rainbow flags for the march, according to the BBC, but came up against a vast number of police and security service officials.
At least three people were arrested, reports suggest.
Rights activist Raul Soublett told Associated Press: “It was a complete success because we got so many people together despite all the expectations of government interference.
Lidia Romero added: “This is because we don’t want to lose our rights to public space.”
Some of the marchers criticized the police for breaking up the march, with Laydel Alfonso telling AFP: “I don’t believe this is right because we’re doing nothing wrong.”
Cuba has seen divisions over LGBT+ issues
The country’s government has come under strain over LGBT+ issues, abandoning a push towards equal marriage.
In December, lawmakers caved to pressure from evangelical church groups and stripped a definition of marriage as between “two people” from the country’s new Constitution.
The document instead includes no reference to a definition of marriage.
The change was allegedly made to appease evangelical and Catholic churches in the country, who oppose same-sex marriage and had already begun campaigning against the constitutional changes.
The constitution was eventually passed after the concession.
The island’s new president Miguel Diaz-Canel has expressed support for gay marriage.
The leader, the first non-Castro to rule Cuba for generations, said he was in support of recognizing marriage “between people without any restrictions” to help eliminate “any type of discrimination in society”.
Under the long reign of Fidel Castro, who rose to power in 1959, LGBT+ Cubans suffered persecution and discrimination.
In the 1960s and 1970s, police began to round up gay men and many LGBT+ people were imprisoned or forced into “re-education camps”.
In 2010, Castro apologized for the treatment of the LGBT+ community, telling Mexican newspaper La Jornada: “If someone is responsible, it’s me.”
Written by: Nick Duffy. 12 May 2019. Americas. Pinknews.com
Get thee to a library! But not just any library.
To commemorate World Pride, taking place in New York City on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in late June, the New York Public Library has curated a stunning exhibition exploring the early fight for LGBTQ rights.
The exhibit features the photographs of Kay Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies—” pioneering photojournalists who captured the pivotal events of this era and changed the ways LGBTQ people perceived themselves”–along with items from the Library’s “vast archival holdings in LGBTQ history.”
Via the Library:
The Stonewall Riots were a flash point in LGBTQ history. After the riots that took place at the Stonewall Inn in June 1969, the LGBTQ civil rights movement went from handfuls of pioneering activists to a national movement mobilizing thousands.
Preview some of Lahusen and Davies’ powerful photos below, and head here for more info:
Here’s curator Jason Baumann with a behind-the-scenes look at the exhibition:
Written by: Dan Tracer. 03 May 2019. Photos. Queerty.com
The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled its new $1 ‘equality coin’, honoring the progress of civil rights for ‘LGBTQ2’ Canadians.
Canada’s Minister of Finance Bill Morneau unveiled the coin today via a Facebook Live stream.
The unveiling ceremony took place at The 519 Center – an LGBTI center in the heart of Toronto’s gay village.
It has been created to mark 50 years since the beginning of the process of decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.
The new coin combines the words ‘EQUALITY-ÉGALITÉ’ and features the work of Vancouver artist Joe Average.
It enters into circulation today. Only 3 million of the coins will be produced.
‘The equality coin recognizes their triumphs’
Commenting, Bill Morneau said: ‘For the past 50 years and beyond, Canadians have fought for their right to love, marry, start a family and live openly as their most authentic selves.’
He continued: ‘The equality coin recognizes their triumphs and encourages all of us to build a better, more inclusive Canada – because like the coin itself, the more equality we have in Canada, the richer we all are.’
‘Today is an important day for the LGBTQ2 community, and for all Canadians, as this commemorative coin enters circulation,’ said Randy Boissonnault, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues. ‘It is an opportunity to reflect on a landmark event in our country’s history, and a reminder of the progress still to be made as we work toward inclusion and equality for all LGBTQ2 Canadians.’
Written by: Jamie Tabberer. 23 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Story editor: Jim Buzinski. 03 April 2019. Danny jaj. Outsports.com
Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds has pleaded with religious leaders to denounce ‘gay cure’ therapy.
The pop star, both straight and Mormon, is vocal in his support to the LGBTI community.
He established the Love Loud music festival which benefits LGBTI suicide charities.
Dan Reynolds urges religious leaders to denounce ‘gay cure’ therapy Reynolds said: ‘I plead with our religious leaders across the world to stand up for equality together.
‘True equality – not empty words of love – but statements and actions thats show our LGBTQ youth that they are “sinless” and perfect just as they are.'
‘Until these changes are made within the doctrines of orthodox faith, we will continue to see increased rates of suicidality and depression/anxiety amongst our LGBTQ youth.’
He continued: ‘It is a false notion that LGBTQ youth are more likely to have emotional vulnerabilities because of who they are/how their brains are programmed.'
‘The truth is that the leaders of our communities have created societal rules that leave no room for our LGBTQ youth to be healthy.
‘It is a flawed system, not a flawed individual.'
‘Until the leaders of all orthodox faiths denounce conversion therapy and accept our LGBTQ youth into full fellowship I believe we will continue to see a great exodus from all orthodox faith.'
‘We are not a generation that will stand for intolerance, homophobia or racism.’
Reynolds concluded: ‘And to those that say the simple answer is for our youth to just leave religion – it isn’t that simple.'
‘Many of these LGBTQ youth will be kicked out of the home and put into a more dangerous situation if they denounce the faith of their family.'
‘Also many find peace in their faith. They love it.'
‘It brings them comfort in a sad and oftentimes scary world.'
‘It is now up to our leaders to LEAD. How many more children will be lost before we practice true love in our churches?’
Written by: Joe Morgan. 21 March 2019. gaystarnews.com
The year 2018 will no doubt go down in LGBT+ history with several landmark moments changing LGBT lives.
India’s Supreme Court repealed a British colonial era-rule criminalizing gay sex
The historic decision on September 6 not only freed the country’s 1.3 billion peopleof the threat of life in prison for consummating consensual homosexual relationships, but it also revitalized the fight for LGBT+ rights in nearby countries, such as Singapore, and further afield, like in Kenya.
The landmark decision will not overcome the stigma surrounding homosexualityovernight, and LGBT+ people continue to faces various forms of restrictions and persecutions across the world.
Yet LGBT+ rights have advanced in small and big steps in the past 365 days—and as American voters elected the largest-yet contingent of LGBT+ lawmakers in the midterm elections this year, there are reasons to hope for more steps to come in 2019.
Here are the landmark moments of 2018 worth celebrating and remembering.
LGBT+ history in communities: new and first points of pride
Pride parades have colored new parts of the world in 2018, starting in Myanmar in January, when the country saw thousands of people attending its first-ever public LGBT+ festival.
Over the course of the year, the rainbow community claimed rights and visibility from the glaciers in Antarctica to the Caribbean shores of Barbados and Guyana.
In New Zealand, pride festivities this year were particularly eventful. Auckland Pride march saw for the first time the participation of the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, and was also the first pride parade in the country to feature the same-sex wedding of a lesbian couple.
More community-specific parades have also emerged. Trans rights supporters marched for the first time in the streets of Belfast in Northern Ireland in June and Dublin in the Republic of Ireland in July.
Those who identify as bisexual and their allies instead held a pride march in Los Angeles in September in what is believed to be the first-ever city-wide Bi Pride in the US.
LGBT+ history for trans representation: Awarded at lastWhile the UK was engulfed in a debate around self-identification of transgender people for most of the year as part of a public government consultation on reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, similar reforms were approved in Uruguay and in Chile.
The year opened and closed with landmark moments for the transgender community working in the entertainment industry. In January, Yance Ford became the first transgender director to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature.
Ford did not ultimately win the honour, but the Oscars still represented a landmark moment for transgender representation when Chilean actress Daniela Vega became the first transgender person to present an award at the ceremony and the movie she starred in, A Fantastic Woman, also won the prize for Best Foreign Film.
In December, the Miss Universe beauty pageant featured a transgender woman as one of the contestants for the first time—beauty queen Angela Ponce, who already made history in her native Spain by winning the national title in July.
In Pakistan, a country where the transgender community faces prejudice and violence, there were particular milestones to celebrate with regards to their presence in the workforce. A TV channel appointed a transgender newsreader for the first time, while the government hired its first-ever openly transgender employee.
LGBT+ history in Parenthood: A global fight for rightsThe legal and societal recognition of LGBT+ families is yet another goal on the path to full equality. In Croatia, a book celebrating and normalizing parents of the same gender proved a success, selling out its first 500 copies upon launch.
In various countries where a legal vacuum on IVF and surrogacy for LGBT+ people persists, it has become the role of the courts or local authorities to make landmark rulings in the best interests of the child.
This was the case in Italy, where a lesbian couple convinced local authorities to recognise their child, born out of IVF, as officially having two mothers.
In Israel, where the exclusion of gay parents from a reform of surrogacy law sparked a nationwide strike this summer and inspired an activist to launch the country’s first LGBT+ party, a court agreed with a gay couple that allowing only one of the adoptive parents’ names on the child’s birth certificate was a discriminatory practice.
LGBT+ history in the Royal family: Not that kind of wedding
This year the British royal family significantly grew in size.
A third royal baby was born, Prince Harry got hitched and Lord Ivar Mountbatten, a cousin to the Queen and the great-nephew of Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who came out as gay in 2016, wedded his long-term partner James Coyle.
While no member of the royal family attended the wedding, his ex-wife Penelope Thompson walked by his side to give him away at the altar.
Queen Elizabeth II appeared to celebrate Pride month by flaunting a rainbow flower decoration on her hat to Royal Ascot—earlier that month, she had also made her first appearance with the first-ever openly gay footman to serve the monarch.
Ollie Roberts, a 21-year-old who has previously served in the Royal Air Force, was appointed to the role of personal footman to the monarch in June. He reportedly quit his job after being demoted from his position because of “courting publicity” a few months later.
LGBT+ history in sports: No kicking around
Sports remains a largely hostile environment for LGBT+ people to thrive in their authentic selfs. Two leading footballers playing in the British Premier League, Arsenal’s Héctor Bellerín and Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud have both said as much about football in recent interviews this year.
This is why is all the more remarkable that football player Collin Martin, who plays for Minnesota United in the MLS, decided to come out as gay this year posting a picture of himself wrapped in a rainbow flag. Martin is now the only out gay football player in a top professional soccer league.
In other sports, LGBT+ athletes have been able to show their excellency. On the sparkling surface of the ice rink, American figure skater’s Adam Rippon shined brightest, becoming the first openly gay man to qualify for the Olympics.
Rippon’s fellow Team USA athlete Gus Kenworthy, who came out in 2015 and competed in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as an out gay man, made television history when he kissed his boyfriend live on NBC’s international broadcast.
Even in the fighting sports, LGBT+ athletes have pulled all the right punches. Pat Manuel became the first transgender man to fight and win at a professional level in US boxing and WWE’s first openly lesbian wrestler Sonya Deville—real name Daria Berenato—competed in the first-ever WrestleMania women’s battle royal at the event.
In more strides for LGBT+ history in sports, assistant philosophy professor Rachel McKinnon won gold in the sprint at the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships, becoming the first transgender woman to win a world championship in cycling.
Traditional gender roles have been subverted in cheerleading, too, with male cheerleaders performing in the National Football League (NFL) for the first time this year.
The NFL also recorded a landmark moment when it joined the Major League Basketball to march at the New York Pride for the first time.
In yet another first, 59-year-old retired Dallas Cowboys player Jeff Rohrer became the first gay NFL player to marry a man when he tied the knot with his fiancé Joshua Ross in November.
Here’s to more progress in 2019.
Written By: Sofia Lotto Persio. 25 December 2018. Pinknews.com
This year San Diego Pride will give out money to their favorite gay charities. They have announced that they will be donating $170,000 to LGBTQ organizations.
Since 1994 San Diego Pride has donated their surplus profits and has given more than $2.7 million since then.
“San Diego Pride, its events and year-round programming are made possible by our over 30 LGBTQ-serving nonprofit community partners, 87 sponsors, 5,600 volunteer shifts, 22,000 volunteers hours, 45,000 Festival attendees, and 250,000 Parade attendees,” San Diego Pride Executive Director Fernando Lopez said. “It is this collective effort that builds on the legacy of those who came before us that makes this level of philanthropy possible.”
“Our giving will have a tangible impact on projects locally, nationally, and globally that support and sustain LGBTQ communities in a myriad of ways,” San Diego Pride’s Director of Philanthropy Sarafina Scapicchio said. “This year’s grants will help create new LGBTQ youth programs, feed and house people living with HIV, fund multiple LGBTQ-focused performing arts projects, provide legal support for LGBTQ victims of sex trafficking, scholarships for transgender students, emergency housing for homeless LGBTQ people and so much more.”
As of right now, San Diego Pride has not released the names or any specifics of who will receive the money, only that they will donate to about 59 different LGBTQ-serving organizations.
They want donate to transgender community support programs, health and human service programs, sobriety services, youth programs and LGBTQ art and culture programs.
Grey’s Anatomy’s actor Jake Borelli has publicly come out as gay after being inspired by a same-sex storyline on the show.
Borelli posted about his experience of growing up as a gay kid in Ohio on Instagram, after his character Schmitt shared a kiss with male surgeon Nico Kim (Alex Landi) in a recent episode titled “Flowers Grow Out of My Grave”—making it the medical drama’s first male same-sex storyline.
“As a gay guy myself, tonight’s episode was so special to me,” Borelli posted on Thursday.
“This is exactly the kind of story I craved as a young gay kid growing up in Ohio, and it blows my mind that I’m able to bring life to Dr. Levi Schmitt as he begins to grapple with his own sexuality this season on Grey’s Anatomy.
“His vulnerability and courage inspire me every day, and I hope he can do the same for you.”
Borelli also uploaded a photo of himself wearing a Pride-themed bandana.