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India’s Supreme Court repealed a British colonial era-rule criminalizing gay sex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.
Popular Univision morning show Despierta America had an interesting morning broadcast. Luis Sandoval the showâs host decided to open up about his own sexuality.
The 38-year-old has been on the show since 2005. Sandoval who became emotional opened up about his sexuality with views. âI do not live in the closet,â he uttered through tears. âMy family knows it. I have a partner that I am happy with and if I cry it is because this moment is very emotional for me.â
Sandoval who currently lives in Los Angeles grew up in Nayarit, Mexico, at 25 he landed his job at Despierta America.
He was prompted to go public after the suicide of 9-year-old Jamel Myles. Myles killed himself after coming out to his family and school and enduring bullying. âImagine a motherâs pain,â Sandoval said while coming out. âLosing your nine-year-old son and then I started to see people criticizing the lady, âthis is your fault, you exposed your son to these things, you deserve it.ââ
Sandoval who was out to his family and that his mother has always supported him, she even was present during the broadcast.
Amid an outpouring of support from the LGBT community, he opened up about his partner on Instagram:
âWhatâs next after leaving the closet? ? He is Renato [Perez], my life partner and is a psychotherapist,â Sandoval said in his post.
We have to congratulate Luis for having the courage and conviction to go public and to think this all happened on National Coming Out Day.
Watch the video (Itâs in Spanish)
The month of October is LGBT History Month — but why is it that, who said it is, and how did it come about?
What we now call LGBT History Month began in 1994 as Lesbian and Gay History Month, though it quickly added bisexual to the name, then later switched to the LGBT acronym.
The event was the brainchild of Rodney Wilson, a high school teacher and the founder of the first chapter of GLSEN — the LGBTQ organization dedicated to students and educators — outside of the group’s home state of Massachusetts.
In the early 1990s, Wilson was teaching history and government at Mehlville High School in suburban St. Louis.
It was while teaching at Mehlville, while lecturing on the Holocaust that Wilson came out to his students, explaining that had he been in Germany during World War II, he would likely have been imprisoned and killed under the Third Reich.
This humble beginning led University of Missouri-St. Louis — with Wilson as the founder on the first coordinating committee — to host the initial Gay History Month Event. Wilson chose October as National Coming Out Day was already established at the 11th of October.
It also commemorated the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, the first of its kind, held on the 14th of October, 1979.
On Saturday, September 22 West Hollywood will be hosting the first Bi Pride celebration in the United States. Let fly those pink, purple and blue flags.
The Human Rights Campaign and the city of West Hollywood will be organizing the event along with the Los Angeles chapter of amBi, according to the Los Angeles Blade.
“While a small number of cities have issued proclamations recognizing Bi Visibility Day, this is a historic celebration as the first full-fledged Bi Pride celebration hosted by any U.S. city,” Ian Lawrence-Tourinho, president of the amBi network, tells the site.
amBi wants to“to build a world in which our bisexuality is a clear source of pride, joy, and strength” — according to Ian Lawrence-Tourinho.
“Ostensibly LGBT events and LGBT organizations fail time and time again to address bi issues. Just a few years ago, it was common for amBi to get booed hand heckled by gays and lesbians in the crowd as we marched in the LA Pride parade. We still get hostile people coming up to us at the festival every year,” Lawrence-Tourinho stated.
Bisexuals are often mistaken for straight or gay. “Short of carrying bi flags around all day, to be visibly bi we’d have to walk hand in hand with at least two people who aren’t the same sex,” Lawrence-Tourinho says. Furthermore, there is a common misconception that bisexuals are treated better in the Heterosexual world, but a recent study found that most will experience a “higher risk for poor mental health outcomes” than gay or straight peers.
The bi population will get their moment in the spotlight as West Hollywood gears up for the Bi-Pride event.
“This is our first crack at this and the event will certainly evolve a great deal in the future,” adds Lawrence-Tourinho, “but we definitely would like to continue every year and create a model of celebration and visibility that can be duplicated in other cities around the globe.”
The New York Yankees are planning events to remember and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The team came under fire for being one of two clubs in the Major Leagues to not hold any LGBT Pride events.
But the team has announced that it is planning several major events to honor the Stonewall riots that occurred in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar, in which many regard as the foundations of the modern LGBT rights movement.
SportsNews New York writer Andy Martino said: “According to major league sources, the Yankees have been quietly planning significant events for next season to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a seminal event in both the history of LGBTQ rights and New York City.”
“While a Yankees spokesman said it was too early to confirm any specifics of the 2019 promotional calendar, other sources said that the team continues to work out details of Stonewall-centered events. ‘Specifics have not been finalized, but I hear that the final plan is likely to include activities both inside and outside the ballpark.”
The team acknowledged that they have been working on LGBT events long before it was criticized for not hosting a Pride night. Martino added the club is “focused on the Stonewall anniversary as a way to push the standard Pride Nights to a deeper level.”
The Stonewall Inn, in New York City’s Greenwich Village for many played a major role in LGBT history. It was the location for a series of riots in June 1969, by members of the community all in response to a police raid.
Two activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera who were gender non-conforming, thus sparking the entire civil rights movement and the very reason we celebrate Pride Month and celebrated in June.
Some of the earliest Pride marched started in 1970, and in some countries Pride is still referred to as Christopher Street Day Parades the location of the pub.
American model, actor, and deaf activist Nyle MiMarco stripped down and had himself covered in sign language for the cover of Gay Times magazine Pride Issue.
DiMarco’s body was covered in the words “I Love You” all written in sign language to show support for the deaf LGBT community. “Often there are not interpreters at Pride events for Deaf LGBTQ people and allies,” DiMarco tells the magazine. “The best solution is to have Deaf and people with disabilities involved in organizing Pride events.”
Nyle going further to show support posted images of him in a black leather jacket covered in red hearts, skimpy rainbow briefs and socks.
Here are some images from the photo shoot…
Written By: Patrick S. – Personal Opinion
I remember the first time I attended Pride I was in the honeymoon phase and it was like heaven to me. For the first time in my life, I was free to be myself and without judgment. I believed that Pride would connect me to other gay men and I could finally find a group of friends, friends I so desperately wanted. Let’s be honest what young, single man wouldn’t want to attend their first Pride?
But let’s be real about Pride, after a few alcohol-induced traumas, homonormative influences, and a few too many disappointed Pride’s, you have one person who is really done with the entire experience. There was a point that I attended as many as I could, too finally not attending any at all.
Now understand this didn’t happen overnight and to be honest, I can’t identify one particular thing that broke the “camel’s back” – truth be told it was several things over time that honestly took some time to settle in. I’m not trying to separate myself from the community, and I’ve never thought of myself as being better than anyone else because I don’t think defining ourselves by typical stereotypes or societal expectations is the smart thing to do. But there is no mistaking that Pride events have become commercialized and have to some extent lost its true meaning.
Most Pride Festivals have become about the party lifestyle and thrust upon us by businesses looking to cash in on our love of community. Take New Orleans Pride, I remember a time when it was held at Washington Park (on Elysian Fields Ave.). The community could come together and enjoy great food and music, hang with friends and just relax. But now it appears that just having a Pride Parade is what we are forced to endure, or you can go to several overhyped and overpriced events that have no true meaning. Where is the sense of community? The traditions of camaraderie and fellowship?
Another example is alcohol, for example, you can’t walk a block without hearing about drink specials, and for those who don’t drink Pride can be an awful experience. Absolut is a prime example of a company that capitalizes on Pride. Like many liquor companies they want to ensure that your Pride is the best experience of your life, and according to them what better way to celebrate than getting drunk on overpriced and watered down drinks. Pride has become so obsessed with and focused on doing absolutely everything in excess. Since New Orleans Pride has changed its planning format it doesn’t even pretend to reflect on the community as a whole, nor do they address or organize event addressing current issues that affect the LGBT community.
No instead, like most Pride events around the country, everything is corporate sponsored all in an attempt to commodify the rainbow Pride flag. And why? They want to make a quick buck without ever giving back or spreading a message. Nope, it’s all just a surface level “be proud of who you are” message. For example Nike’s “BETRUE 2016” campaign.
Nike created a campaign that sold Pride merchandise without giving back to the community. They never mentioned if any of the profits were going to go back to the community, instead, it appears they just lined their pockets. Nike just used Pride to make money and to drum up business and never committed to helping advance activism, but they’re not the only ones. One of New Orleans Pride’s biggest sponsors is Walgreens, however, when I tried to inquire about what social programs they support directly in the community I was directed to their Walgreens Charitable Donations page.
So where is all this money going? If it’s going back to the community, it’s not being prominently displayed. When all is said and done corporate American has figured out a way to formulate Pride. It’s really easy for them, they just slap on a rainbow on its products, and presto you have a genuine way to show how proud you are as a company, and people will buy it. And New Orleans Pride along with other Pride organizations have done little to nothing on a national level to combat this.
In my opinion, New Orleans Pride is missing out on the opportunity to bring the LGBT community together in a way that is both meaningful and productive, a way to make life better for many in the community. Instead, Pride festivals appear to be white, fit, masculine men, but Pride organizers will swear it’s all-inclusive, embracing all shapes, colors, sizes, but do you really see that? Then why would black LGBT members of the community have to form their own pride in New Orleans?
The main reason I stopped going is that I’m physically and mentally disassociated from Pride; that is often advertised as “Gay Pride.” Which feels incredibly outdated and exclusive to me. The gay community appears to take center stage and the rest of the community are forced to follow behind, almost in the shadows and take whatever scraps they are given from those with perceived power.
Don’t get me wrong this isn’t true for every Pride, but speaking from someone from New Orleans, the gay community always takes center stage. I don’t want this to be a condemnation of all things Pride. I never claimed to be perfect, so the problem could certainly be with me. But I would love to see organizers of these events engage with all members of the community and remember all the sacrifices that others who have made before us so that we could celebrate their achievements.
As long as Pride itself remains the same, or we change our attitudes and perspective about who we are as a community it will remain the same. We will come together for one day and attempt to celebrate Pride, pretend we are one community, and we are all inclusive when in fact by the next day we will be right where we started.
The following article is the opinion of the author and does not reflect the opinion of Squirrel News, it's employee's or advertisers.
Robert Páez in an op-ed by Outsports came out.
Páez is a professional diver for Venezuela, he represented the country at both the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics. The 23-year old stated: “Growing up in Venezuela, I knew from a very young age that I was different, despite not knowing what exactly that meant,”
He further stated:
I was born gay. As I got older I became more aware of it, and as I grew–like with so many others–it became my great dilemma. It was a source of worry that I was interested in things like dancing and fashion, things that in my culture were for women and gays. I shied away from doing many things. I was at times ashamed to go out into society, to face who I really was.
Páez says he is no longer ashamed of who he is and his sexuality. For many years it was fear that prevented him from coming out. However he feel that he is no longer going to give in to that fear. “Accepting ourselves and respecting ourselves are big first steps. Life is too beautiful to be hidden in a closet.”
“In sharing my story, I hope to help make homosexuality as common of a word as heterosexuality,” he writes. “We have to understand that we are all equal.”
Here are a few Instagram pages and you can read the full op-ed at Outsports.