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.”
Apparently, a gay pop singer from German jumped to his death from a cruise ship over the weekend.
Küblböck was a gay German pop singer and reality star. He appeared on Pop Idol (coming in third), and competed on Big Brother and Let’s Dance.
The 33-year old was cruising on an Aida cruise ship from Hamburg to New York when a witness says he saw Küblböck jump from a fifth-floor balcony while off the coast of Newfoundland on Sunday.
A spokesman for Aida Cruises confirmed the incident happened and the ship returned to land afterward:
“The cruise ship AIDAuna was on the sea route to Newfoundland when a person jumped overboard in the early hours of September 9, 2018. The captain and crew of AIDAluna have immediately taken all necessary reuse measures, in close coordination with local competent authorities. A cabin check was performed, which confirmed that a male guest was missing. The mission person is Daniel Küblböck. The ship was stopped as a precautionary measure and returned to the spot where the incident was accepted. The search continues. AIDA Cruises fully cooperates with the authorities and works hard to find the mission person. As soon as further information is available, we will make it available.”
The Canadian coast guard conducted an intensive search for Küblböck but was unable to locate him. It was just last month that Küblböck posted a message to fans on Facebook talking about his struggles with mental illness.
“Dear fans, unfortunately, I am still mentally and physically not getting better,” the letter, which has since been deleted read. “I have yet to cope with this pain of the last few months.”
The post has since been taken down.
For years users on Scruff were required to list the color of their skin on their profile, which allowed for race-based filtering Scruff is now making the “ethnicity” field optional.
It appears this was a sudden change, why?
Eric Sliverberg, Scruff co-found and CEO now wants to do its part to end global racism. The app currently has over 12 million users in 180 countries.
“We recognize that the queer community of color faces discrimination and racism as part of their regular lives,” Silverberg says. “It is why Scruff is the only platform that vigorously enforces its community guidelines to ensure that harassment, racism, and abuse doesn’t happen, and if it does it is dealt with swiftly.”
We have to refute the claim that Scruff is the “only” app to “vigorously” combat racism and abuse. Chappy and Jack’d have been doing this for some time and Scruff is late to the party.
Silverberg adds that “what people are comfortable sharing changes, both as you use the app more and as social and cultural expectations evolve.”
To be honest this is quite a turnaround from what he told Buzzfeed in 2016 when Sliverberg tried to defend the app’s ethnicity filters, saying:
“Ultimately we wanted to build an app and a service that enables guys to find the kind of guys they’re into and for some people that include… That can mean many things to different people. Sometimes they have ethnic preferences, sometimes they have height/weight preferences, and sometimes people have body hair preferences.”
It’s only natural that people change, right?
This comes on the heels of Grindr announcement that it will be launching “kindr”, an initiative to combat racism, transphobia, and body-shaming (good luck on that one).
“Our upcoming ‘Kindr’ initiative, which is built around education, awareness and specific policy changes in the Grindr app, will serve as the first step of many Grindr will be taking to help foster a more inclusive and respectful community on our platform,” the hookup app said in a statement last month.
Silverberg was asked to comment about Kindr and told the Advocate: “Scruff has always had zero tolerance for abuse on its app, and diligently removes these kinds of accounts to create a safe platform for its users.”
To be honest it good to see popular hookup apps finally acknowledging and coming to terms that racism exists within the LGBTQ community and admitting that they might have some reasonability for some of it.
So, the question remains that after years of promoting sexual racism, would merely getting rid of one filter be enough? We will have to wait and see.
Chris Watts appears to have a gay lover or at least according to a man who says he engaged in an ongoing sexual relationship with Watt’s for nearly a year.
Watts was charged with murdering his pregnant wife and two kids in Frederick, Colorado.
He buried his wife’s body in a shallow grave at his former boss’s yard, and his two daughter’s bodies were discovered submerged in crude oil drums nearby.
Watts managed to play the victim and made public pleas for the return of his family. He told police he killed his wife after she strangled their daughter because he told her he wanted a divorce.
He claims that they met on MeetMe a dating app and soon began an “instant” sexual relationship. “He reached out to me and messaged me,” the man alleged in the interview. “It was small talk. He told me his age. He had two daughters. He told me he was looking for a relationship in the long run.”
“I asked why his profile said straight. He said he was not out and not ready to be out as far as sexuality.”
Watts’s and this man maintained a relationship for approximately 10 months. “We had many conversations,” he said. “I asked him to make sure he’s not bisexual because he had two children. He told me he didn’t know.”
“At that moment he was attracted to me as a male.”
The unidentified man explained that in the beginning, Watt’s lied and claimed he was single. As the relationship progressed he admitted he was married, but that he and his wife “didn’t have sex anymore.”
“I asked why he lied to me. He told me he knew he wouldn’t have a chance with me if he told me he was married. He told me what I wanted to hear. He knew I had good morals.”
The man further stated that Watts explained that his wife was an abusive partner and their marriage was miserable.
“He told me his wife was verbally and emotionally abusive,” he alleges. “He told me he didn’t love her. She didn’t love him. I knew something was wrong at home. If nothing was wrong, he wouldn’t have pursued me.”
“I could see in his eyes he was very unhappy.”
When asked if he thought Chris had committed the crime, he responded, “no and yes.”
“You never really know what someone is capable of and the way he portrayed himself as the victim and made me feel sympathy for him,” he said. “Sociopath’s can easily lead to different lives and different emotions.”
“I hope he gets convicted and I hope he stays in prison for the rest of his life.”
A former Napa County jailhouse guard has claimed he was driven out of his job and ended up in a mental hospital after relentless anti-gay harassment from colleagues and supervisors. Now here’s the deal, he isn’t gay.
41-year-old Dante Michelucci was a correctional officer for Napa County from 2007 until April 2018. Despite being married and straight, he claims that he was the target of homophobic abuse from his colleagues.
It started just over a year ago when his coworkers “decided he was gay” and then started using anti-gay slurs.
The alleged harassment escalated over the months. Michelucci’s locker was “littered” with photoshopped pictures of him at Pride parades, and frequently asked how many blowjobs he had performed that day.
When he reported the abuse to supervisors, the lawsuit states, “he was labeled a snitch, and his coffee cup (was) spit into.” He was also “mocked” for complaining about being bullied and told the harassment was a sign that his colleagues “liked him.”
“The hostile work environment became so pervasive that (Michelucci) was hospitalized” with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression, the suit continues.
Michelucci claims that he suffered from Bell’s Palsy, a temporary facial paralysis caused by trauma or damage.
“He had a breakdown,” Michelucci’s attorney, David Poore, says.
Michelucci was also placed on medical leave. He has since filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco, he is seeking punitive damages and unspecified damages.
A U.K. man is bisexual and a Muslim. Not something you hear every day, Right!
Drew Dalton is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Sunderland and the chair of Hidayah, a support organization for LGBTQ Muslims. “I always felt I stood out a little bit on the ‘gay scene’ because I was bisexual,” 38-year-old Dalton tells Gay Star News in a fascinating interview. “Add on the Islam and you’ve got a hard road ahead of you.”
At 18 he came out as bisexual and converted to Islam years later of the tragic death of his best friend. “I’d lost my best friend, I was out of depth about my place in the world. You start to question a lot more things,” he recalls. “I needed some solace, so I started to think more about Islam.”
He admits that coming out as Muslim was more difficult than coming out as bi. “I felt that I was coming out twice,” he recalls. “Islam was a lot harder for me because you kind of internalizes the Islamophobia that exists.” He continues, “When I came out [as Muslim] on social media, I started to then feel the feedback. I was getting remarks like ‘how can you support a religion which kills gay people’ all this stuff.”
People told him that he was converting to the most “hated religion,” and even deleted him from their Facebook friends list. Dalton said “suggesting a person can’t be both LGBTQ and Muslim does a “disservice” to people living at that intersection. I think there’s an issue in the LGBTI community. We’ve got so used to the narrative of religion being wrong, that it’s oppressed people… we’re trapped in that narrative now.”
Dalton worries about young LGBTQ Muslims, for example, what happens when a young Pakistani man who is raised a Muslim comes out at 18, where does he go? Does he go back to his own Pakistani community and face the cultural beliefs that it’s wrong? Or does he go to the gay community who tells him “you can’t be Muslim because it’s a religion that oppresses us”.
He believes that it is possible to be queer and Muslim, and those who suggest otherwise is speaking from pure ignorance. “You can be both and you can be very proud to be both,” he argues.
Dalton wants other within the LGBTQ community to stop isolating their counterparts and embrace them. “We’re a minority within a minority,” he says. “We really need people who aren’t a Muslim to defend us.”
A London gay bear club denied a man and his friendâs entry because he was wearing high heels. âItâs not something you do every day,â Pavel Vacek explains. âI bought them a year ago, and Iâve only worn them once. When you have heels on, people look at you. Itâs something special, and something different from trainers. I think theyâre hot.â
Vacek and some friends were trying to get into XXL, a nightclub in south London and cater primarily to the bear community. However, when they got to the door, they were told by a bouncer they couldnât get in. âIt wasnât aggressive,â he explains. âHe said it was club policy that you canât wear make-up, wigs, high heels or anyone feminine. He said: âWe donât allow femininity,â Furthermore, âI think he was just doing his job. I was upset of course but I wasnât blaming the bouncer. Itâs just the general attitude of the club.â
Vacek comments that âIf you wear heels, it doesnât mean youâre feminine,â Vacek continues. âWho says heels are just for women? You can be masculine and super buff and wear heels. I think itâs sexier. Itâs not a written rule.â
Needless to say, Vacek and his friends will not be going back to XXL in the near future. âIâm quite open-minded and I like open-minded environments,â he says. âIf there are strict rules for something, I donât like it.â
The nightclub has not responded to repeated request for a comment.
NBC NEWS has reported how gay men are now using Grindr to buy and sell drugs. The article highlights several accounts of men who recount personal experiences with drugs on the app.
This is just a few of the examples:
“The issue with drugs has been a gay community plague since the ‘80s, but in the modern era, you don’t need a guy who knows a guy. All you need to do is open up your app and look for that capital ‘T.’”-Derrick Anderson, a Grindr user from Chicago
“Today with Grindr, men can have sex and drugs delivered to their door instantly. I think it’s gotten worse in the past couple of years. The apps are making it easier for people to find him.” – Phil McCabe, social worker and president of the National Association of LGBT Addiction Professionals
“Drugs were always sprinkled throughout the app, but now it’s nothing like before. Of course, drug sales are happening on other dating apps but at a fraction.” – George, a Grindr user in New York
“It gives me more clientele than I would normally get on the street.” – Mike, a teaching assistant in New York City who also sells drugs
They also show how drugs users and sellers use certain code words and emojis in their headlines and profiles. For example, a diamond would be used to represent meth and a snowman for cocaine.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2015 found that adults who identified as gay, bisexual, or lesbian, 39.1% have used illegal drugs in the past year, compared to 17.1% of heterosexual. The rates of drug use and addictions are disproportionately high within the gay community. It was also found that bisexual and gay men are 12.2 times more likely to use amphetamines. This statistic was unearthed by in the research for the book “Unequal Opportunity: Health Disparities Affecting Gay and Bisexual Men in the United States.”
NBC NEWS requested a comment form Grindr, and a spokesperson said: “Grindr prohibits the promotion of drug use in its user profiles and is committed to creating a safe environment through digital and human screening tools to help its users connect and thrive.” Furthermore, “Grindr encourages users to report suspicious and threatening activities,” the spokesperson added. “While we are constantly improving upon this process, it is important to remember that Grindr is an open platform.”
But when asked about a specific example of how they directly combat this NBC NEWS received no comment.
You can read the entire article here
Elska Magazine is celebrating their one year anniversary, so the indie queer magazine put together a series of photographs of average, everyday men in their underwear.
Every issue highlights traveling to different cities around the world, NYC to Helsinki, Los Angeles, Tel-Aviv or London – they usually feature sexy men of all races, ages, background and body types.
“I want each issue of Elska to transport the reader and let them feel like they’re getting to know people who they may not have had the opportunity or desire to meet otherwise,” says Editor Liam Campbell.
He adds: “Narrow-mindedness, shallowness, and racism are still endemic, but I believe that exposure is the best way to realize that everyone is equal and deserving of love, and that there’s really no validity in claiming to have a ’type’ or preference.”
Here are a few of the images in the series…
A guest on This Morning has been slammed for his homophobic and transphobic comments.
Tradesman Jamie Richardson joined Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on the sofa of the TV show today (July 26) to join a discussion about men taking their tops off in public.
Richardson – who attended the ITV show without a top on and showed off his tattoos including one about England winning the World Cup – got into a heated debate with guest Liz Brewer who argued that he was an “exhibitionist”.
However, Richardson went on to argue that why they talking about men are going topless in public when there are “transgender people and men marrying men”.
He said: “I’ll be honest with you now in this day and age, you’ve got transgender people, men marrying men, men going to the same toilet as women and we’re talking about a man after he’s been at graft all day.
“If I want to walk down the street and take my t-shirt off – I work hard and pay my taxes. I’m English and I’m proud to be English.”
Understandably, his argument didn’t sit well with viewers at home to take to Twitter to slam the tattooed bigot and his comments.
Watch the full interview below: