It appears that Texas gay Republicans have been banned from this year's state convention.
A group of gay Republicans (The Log Cabin Republicans) has tried for years to gain acceptance within the GOP. However, it appears their efforts are for nothing.
The group's gay-inclusive message has not been accepted by the strict conservative members of the GOP. The Conservative Political Action Conference a major Republican event has removed a ban on the group - but with all their efforts they are not welcome a large number of GOP events.
The Log Cabin Republicans have been denied a stall at the 2018 state convention by the Texas GOP, and this is the 20th years that they have been refused permission to attend the convention.
On April 7th the State Republican Executive Committee voted to refuse the group permission to attend, with lawmakers rejecting the group's presence just after a two-hour debate.
The Austin Statesman reported that objections were raised on religion and that the group's presence would go directly against the GOP state platform that states: “homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that have been ordained by God.”
It's important to note that no other group was denied.
LGBT activists in Atlanta are trying to prevent a gay hangout/sex shop from being shut down. The adult shop Tokyo Valentino opened in 1995 in the Lenox Park neighborhood and is considered a "gay megaplex" and has the largest selection of adult products, video booths, DVD's, open/private playrooms and smoke shop.
It appears that lawmakers are doing their best to shut down the place, stating it "violate's the city's adult entertainment ordinance by being 500 feet of a residential area." However, some are not buying it. It is believed this is a homophobic attack on the community. So there appears to be a petition to stop the city from closing the business. “Tokyo Valentino at Cheshire Bridge Rd is being shut down by the City of Atlanta unless you help!” the petition reads. “If we lose our culture then we also lose our identity as gay Georgians!
The petition has about 3,000 signatures so far. Started by Gay Georgia, Inc, GAGA is a PAC that works to “preserve LGBTQ cultural and entertainment locations important to maintaining the identity and safety of gay Georgians," according to their website.
Matt Terrell a local writer has also joined the fight. Georgia Voice has published a piece "Save our historic glory holes," Terrell writes.
I do think we should save Tokyo Valentino. We should preserve this sex store because we need seedy businesses in Atlanta. There will always be a need for spaces where suburban men can come and have anonymous sex. Drugs and hustlers are part of our capitalist ecosystem, and it’s important that we give them a place to exist. Using the power of zoning and city ordinances to bully adult businesses out of town is short-sighted. The activities that happen there will move somewhere else.
He also believes that cities should have a red-light district, "they help keep "skeezy and gross" behavior "clean and quite." Furthermore, he writes “Let the hustlers have space to hustle–or else they might walk down to your neighborhood instead, and “That sort of illicit and illegal activity will happen regardless of how hard we try to legislate it out of our community."
GAGA wants to gather 2,000 more signatures on its petition. “We have fought for acceptance…now we need to fight to preserve it!” the petition says. “Please sign the petition to stop the City of Atlanta from closing Tokyo Valentino. It will only take a few clicks. We are gay Georgia. We are GAGA!”
This week Paul Ryan announced that he would not run for re-election; which set off a mad dash to see who might replace him as House speaker. Rep. Steve Scalise (R) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R) were both seeking the highly prized placement. The Speaker of the House is third in line of succession to the Presidency. However Scalise has withdrawn his name, and that just leaves McCarthy.
When it comes to Republicans these days; it usually a case of degrees of awfulness. When weighing both men McCarthy is just as awful as Scalise. For example, McCarthy has a 100% voting record from the Family Research Council and has been a starch opponent of marriage equality.
One of the lowest moments is when he stopped legislation to uphold President Obama's executive order banning job discrimination. The measure did have the votes to pass, but McCarthy pressured seven Republicans to change their vote, thus killing the bill. Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) who sponsored the measure believed that Republicans held the vote open for a long period of time and this allowed them to change the outcome while the vote was already underway.
“They literally snatched discrimination from the jaws of equality,” Maloney said. Maloney actually approached McCarthy as he was pressuring his colleagues, and McCarthy told him to get back to his side of the aisle.
“I told him, ‘What side am I supposed to stand on in support of equality?’” said Maloney, New York‘s first openly gay congressman. “It was disgraceful.” Democrats shouted “Shame” as the vote tally was completed, but clearly, McCarthy is a man without any shame.
Ryan has stated that he'll remain in the Speaker position until the end of his term, however, pressure is building for him to step down sooner. Allowing McCarthy the possibility of becoming Speaker of the House. McCarthy might have to wait, Republicans are in a panic that they might lose both houses of Congress this November.
If McCarthy thinks that his being named Speaker is going to be easy he should hold up; far-right Freedom Caucus, Rep. Jim Jordan (R) is bouncing the idea of challenging McCarthy for the position.
McCarthy lost the support of the Freedom Caucus when he made a bid to become Speaker on the grounds that he was insufficiently conservative. The Freedom Caucus is a small group but has enough votes to deny McCarthy to needed voted to become Speaker. If this happens, Scalise just might step in, and truth be told he's no better.
The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has released a new study that takes a look at the experiences of LGBT youth online. The study highlights the high level of bullying and harassment online, and at a much higher level than thought.
These are a few of the findings on cyberbullying:
Those that have been harassed have significantly lower grades in school, mental health issues and low self-esteem, this included both in-person and online bullying. Studies found that cyberbullying is both prevalent and pervasive among LGBT youth. In a 2011 poll over half of the young people encountered discriminatory language online, and most did not believe that biased slurs as being offensive or didn't know of their impact on LGBT youth.
The study also looked at the time LGBT youth spend online:
In a 2011 GLSEN's climate survey they found that 82% of LGBT youth still face verbal harassment. This revealed that LGBT youth are still vulnerable at school, at home and online. Online resources are extremely valuable to those in communities that don't have support networks or communities. It is essential that the safety of LGBT youth be addressed by community leaders, school officials, and politicians, but the conversation needs to start at home or between the youth and adults.
There has been a lot of talk about the migrant caravan coming to the U.S.- Mexico border from Central America. It has been reported that the caravan is carrying LGBT people who have been persecuted in their own country.
Neta, a non-profit organization with the assistance of the caravan organizer Pueblo Sin Fronteras posted a video on Facebook. The video shows the vast diversity of sexual and gender identities. This is a direct call to stop discrimination and violence against women and LGBT people in Central and South America.
It is important to point out that the reasons for the caravan is vastly different than what has been stated by the Trump administration. “The purpose, they say, is not to encourage Central American migration, nor to ‘storm’ the U.S. southern border,” The Hill reports. “Rather, by traveling in large numbers, the caravans provide protection for Central Americans who are vulnerable to abuse as they cross through Mexico.”
According to The Hill, the abuse includes “extortion, rape or even kidnapping by gangs and drug cartels,” And there is no evidence that members of the caravan are perpetrators, as Trumps stated last week. “There is almost no actual evidence on which to base this claim,” The Washington Post reports, adding. “There don’t appear to be any mainstream news reports of a rape epidemic taking place in the caravan. The only mentions of rape with regard to the caravan in recent days, in fact, refer to criminal behavior that the migrants have been trying to escape in their home countries or along the route.”
It is not uncommon to see migrant caravans crossing during the Christian Holy Week (the week before Easter), as this caravan set out. Some are indeed seeking asylum in the United States, most are wanting to call attention to the violence in their home countries.
Most caravans consist of roughly 200 to 300 people, this year the number is about 1,500 mostly because of current developments in Honduras, “where gang violence has made the murder rate one of the highest in the world,” The Arizona Republic notes. Many in Honduras are outraged over last year's presidential election where incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez (A U.S. ally) defeated his challenger, and many believe the elections were stolen.
The human right organization The Latin American Working Group (a coalition of groups) issued a report highlighting election fraud, and denouncing U.S. policy toward the nations. “We are reaping what we sow in Honduras: a failure of the international community including the United States to take a strong stance against repression is intensifying the human rights crisis in the country and contributing to the outflow of refugees,” executive director Lisa Haugaard said in a press release.
Australian (New South Wales Waratahs) rugby player Isreal Folau who was against same-sex marriages in Australia decided to take to twitter and had to share “I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions. but personally, I will not support gay marriage.” If that comment wasn't enough he decided to make another one about LGBT individuals and has gotten him into some hot water.
It appears that last week on Instagram a follower posted a question to Folau; “what was gods plan for gay people?” and his replay was; “HELL.. Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”
Well, it appears that Folau comments haven't gone over to well with Rugby Australia or the New South Wales Waratahs. They are demanding an explanation from him and have since denounced the player.
Folau is now whining that he is somehow how being 'persecuted" after his comments and they shared on twitter the following: “blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”
This might be the time for him to review the Rugby Australia's inclusion police.. It reads as follows: “Rugby has and must continue to be a sport where players, officials, volunteers, supporters and administrators have the right and freedom to participate regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion and without fear of exclusion. There is no place for homophobia or any form of discrimination in our game and our actions and words both on and off the field must reflect this.”
He is scheduled to meet with officials on Tuesday. Wonder what his explanation will be?
April 8, 1947, Dr. Alfred Kinsey founded the Kinsey Institute. Giving researchers the freedom to study sex, improving relationships all over the world. In the process, he began to transform our understanding of sex and sexual behavior.
Kinsey was raised in a highly religious home, passionate about the outdoors and the natural world. While in college he would study botany and zoology (while his parents wanted him to become an engineer). He would lay down the foundation for the emerging study of plants and animals in the single field of biology, thus giving scientist the ability to promote evolution.
There is no doubt that it was the Kinsey Institute that changed the perception of sex on a global platform. The institute was originally named the Institute for Sex Research, founded at the Indiana University using grants from the Rockefeller Foundation.
The landmark document, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male would be published just one year later. Researchers found that 37% of men and 13% of women had same-sex-experiences that brought them to orgasm. At the same time, they published statistics (still-cited) that 10% of men are exclusively homosexual. It would be at this point the "Kinsey Scale" was established, a six-point method to indicate gendering of a person's attraction.
The work was not without controversy or questionable methods, Kinsey encouraged sex between colleagues and he had several relationships (sexual) with work colleagues as well. One example was that he would film fellow researchers having sex. Some of the data he collected is considered inaccurate, for example on single pedophile was extrapolated to represent multiple people. Kinsey has been accused of disproportionately focusing on queer men and prisoners, without fully understanding the culture that represented each one. At one point Kinsey began to import erotic material from other countries, thus gaining the attention of the U.S. Government, and the U.S. Customs would have to sue to release pornographic material.
Kinsey passed away in 1956 and Dr. Paul Gebhard took over the institute, and successfully fought off government restrictions over the word that the institute conducted. Dr. June Reinisch took over the helm and at this time began to publish newspaper columns that discussed topics in sexual research.
Today the institute has continued to move forward the discussion about sex. There are now online resources to help people understand their bodies and desires. How far has the Kinsey Institute come? Well, there is now a sexual health clinic and exhibits erotic art shows which allow research into the humanities.
For 71 years the Kinsey Institute has changed our perception regarding sex and sexual behavior. While there have been some questionable research and conclusions, there is no doubt the Institute has allowed human around the world to have an open discussion. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
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.
Grindr is trying to handle the negative publicity over sharing users' HIV data. The popular hookup app has announced plans to remind users to get tested for HIV and has offered free advertising to clinics and LGBT centers that provide free testing.
HIV is still considered a global epidemic, there has been a rise in sexually transmitted infections that can be tracked to the uses of PreP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a drug taken once a day and when property used is almost 100% effective in preventing HIV transmission. Doctor's still caution patients to use condoms while on PreP, however, many gay men treat it as license to throw caution to the wind and just have bareback sex.
A stark report completed by the University of California of Los Angeles (UCLA) found a direct link between the use of PreP and a drastic increase in STI's. To make matters worse most gay men believe that STI's and HIV can be easily cured. For example, herpes cannot be treated with antibiotics, and some infections are now developing resistance to antibiotics, such as "super gonorrhea," or multidrug-resistant gonorrhea.
So if Grindr is interested in the health of the LGBT community then shouldn't they focus on STI's as a whole and not just HIV? The plain fact remains that while people will get tested for HIV and community centers many gay and bi men still define 'disease" in terms of HIV, while the STI's issue just remains in the background.
But issues with Grindr don't just stop there (along with other hook-up apps), as most of these apps pride themselves on shirtless (sometimes nude) photos men, might contribute to high rates of depression, body sysmorphia, and eating disorders to 3.6 million users (Grindr).There are a few professional studies that have been conducted to offer analysis and the effects of gay social media sites on mental health. But since most funding goes to HIV research very little finds it's way to other LGBT public issues. Grindr could in effect pressure medial professionals to study LGBT health on a broader scope.
With millions of users worldwide, Grinder has positioned itself to broaden the framework of LGBT health and address issues that might never receive attention.
SO, will Grindr step up to the plate and open honest dialog about STI's within the LGBT community or will the app just ignore it?
Reggie Bullock who plays for the Detroit Piston's us using his fame as a major NBA player to bring awareness to LGBTQ equality in memory of his sister.
His sister Mia Henderson was murdered in Baltimore; Henderson was a trans woman. Since 2014 Bullock, who is straight, cannot make sense of the extreme violence and struggled to understand the transgender community.
Well, he and his team have just announced that they are partnering with GLAAD and other members of the LGBTQ community to encourage open conversation about inclusion in the NBA and elsewhere.
During a game against the Atlanta Hawks he wore Equality shoes and on the sole of the shoes was his sisters name.
If you remember last summer he posted on his Instagram page a picture of his rainbow watchband. With the following caption (in part): “You are free to choose how you live, so I choose to stand for equality in the community and inclusion of all human beings.”
The man who was charged with Henderson's death was acquitted by a jury two years ago. Bullock who refused to dwell on that, instead is focused on remembering his sister's memory and doing what he can to make the world more compassionate for LGBTQ people. “A lot of people joke and do all these type of things about those type of people,” he said in a 2016 radio interview. “But me, it touches me, because I had a [sister], I had a person who was that way.
I'll just leave with this quote from Bullock; “I have come to accept trans people because I loved my sibling.”