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UK’s first ever youth festival for LGBT+ young people of colour to be held in Birmingham

Despite experiencing Hate Crime at a higher rate than white LGBT+ people* and differing needs among communities, there are still few LGBT+ organisations that have specific provisions for people of colour. In Birmingham, 42% of residents are from an ethnic group other than white and 45.7% of Birmingham residents are under 30, compared with 36.8… Read the original article Author:

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Taiwan’s proposal of a separate same-sex marriage law angers equality campaigners

Taiwan’s government has proposed creating a special law for marriage equality. The country’s premier said that the government would begin drafting a separate law which would recognize same-sex marriages in conjunction with a 2017 ruling by the country’s top court. This comes after Taiwan voted against legalizing same-sex marriage by making amendments to the Civil Code in a referendum on Saturday, 24 November. However, marriage equality advocates, who are still campaigning for full equal rights, have pushed back against the government’s proposition. Activists say that by introducing a separate law for same-sex couples would effectively treat them as second-class citizens. Civil Code amendments rejected A vote on marriage equality was arranged following a decision by Taiwan’s top court in December 2017. The country’s Constitutional Court ruled that the current marital restrictions were unconstitutional. The referendum asked voters if they wanted to restrict ‘marriage under the Civil Code to one man and woman’. Taiwanese voters overwhelmingly chose to maintain the Civil Code as it is. A cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka, speaking on behalf of Taiwan’s premier William Lai of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said: ‘We have to respect public opinion and abide by the referendum outcome. We have to revise a law other than the Civil Code, which is (to enact) a separate law,’ The Japan Times reports. Yotaka said that the government would abide by the Constitutional Court’s ruling when drafting the new law. ‘As for the characteristic of the separate law and what it will be called … we will propose a bill that reflects ...

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This zombie Christmas musical is the camp movie we need right now

It’s the end of the year, which means a deluge of movies hitting the big screen. One you can’t let get lost in the shuffle is Anna and the Apocalypse. Let me set up the premise: A small English town at Christmastime. Then a zombie apocalypse breaks out. Oh, and it’s also a musical. Best of all? It’s brilliant. Directed by John McPhail and written by Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry, the movie follows Anna. She and her friends are approaching the end of their last school year before university and trying to figure out what’s next when a deadly — or rather, undeadly — virus breaks out. The movie is hysterical (one of the characters calls Taylor Swift ‘Tay-Tay’); the music, by Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly, is genuinely clever and catchy (I already have the soundtrack on repeat); and one of the stand-out characters is queer. An exceptionally talented bunch The heart of the movie rests with the young group of students trying to survive not only zombies, but their evil — and entirely human — teacher, Savage (Paul Kaye). There’s Anna (Ella Hunt) and her group, John (Malcolm Cumming), Lisa (Marli Siu), and Chris (Christopher Leveaux). Plus queer loner Steph (Sarah Swire) and bad boy Nick (Ben Wiggins). From L to R: Anna, John, Chris, Steph, and Nick | Photo: IMDB/Orion Pictures Swire is a particular scene-stealer as American transfer student Steph in the film. As she bonds with the new group, overcoming her own struggles of abandonment and ...

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Taiwan’s same-sex marriage court ruling ‘cannot be touched’ says justice minister

Referendums rejecting equal marriage in Taiwan will not override a Constitutional Court ruling that denying same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, the country’s justice department said Thursday (29 November). Two-thirds of Taiwan’s voters last week elected to keep the Civil Code’s definition of marriage to between ‘man and a woman’ rather than ‘people’. Nearly three million voted to change it. Taiwan will pass a special law to recognize same-sex marriages within three months, the government later announced. Taiwan’s Judicial Yuan secretary-general said the referendums do not affect the Constitutional Court’s ruling that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional. In May 2017, the court ruled: ‘Sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic that is resistant to change’. ‘The freedom of marriage for two persons of the same sex, once legally recognised, will constitute the collective basis, together with opposite-sex marriage, for a stable society’. It found the current Civil Code definition contravened people’s right to equality and freedom of marriage under articles 7 and 22 of constitutional law. It gave parliament two years to amend the laws. The Legislative Yuan will only be able to decide how to guarantee these rights and freedoms, via amending the Civil Code or establishing a new law, the secretary-general said. Equal marriage advocates in Taiwan are considering legal action after the referendum. They say conservative campaigners publicly refused marriage equality ‘in essence’. This contravened the Constitutional Court ruling. A referendum, therefore, should not have been permitted. Advocates also said anti-LGBT campaigners disseminated propaganda at voting ...

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This queer artist wants to heal and make you feel less alone with new song

‘In a way, everything I write is for LGBTQ youth,’ Canadian singer-songwriter Ria Mae told GSN about her new song Hold Me. Inspired by current events, Mae was looking for a song encouraging safety and hope. She wrote the song in Nicaragua with Frank Kadillac of Neon Dreams, John Nathaniel, and fellow Canadian singer-songwriter Lowell. ‘We were sharing how lately we felt unsure of how to engage online and remain positive in the current social climate,’ she said. ‘We were talking about how easy life used to feel when we were young and how anxious a lot of our peers seem to be right now. The song is just an honest depiction of how this year is making us feel.’ The subsequent song and music video created a dreamlike atmosphere of when things seemed easier. Mae, who is openly queer, told GSN she writes with LGBTQ youth in mind because she wants to create things she craved growing up. ‘I always try to be honest about how I’m feeling because I know that if I’m feeling anxious or weird about something, chances are, others feel the same,’ she explained. ‘And knowing you aren’t alone with a feeling can be very powerful.’ Remembering the good Mae said the song came easily to her. The main challenge, she said, ‘was capturing the right feeling of nostalgia with current day’. ‘I really love how it turned out and we have Kat Weber, our director to thank. Faye, the young skateboarding girl, was found through an open casting call,’ ...

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This is what women get out of having MMF threesomes

New research from an academic at Birmingham City University has shed light on women’s thoughts and experiences during male-male-female (MMF) threesomes. Ryan Scoats published research on this topic recently. One of the main takeaways he found was that women are interested in, and react positively to, men sexually interacting with one another during their threesomes. Vice published the press release, which explained that ‘while threesomes involving two men and one woman were often stigmatised by participants, more women were interested in experiencing the act than not’. Here’s more information Scoats interviewed 16 women who had all experienced at least one mixed-sex threesome. Almost 20% of them said they participated in a MMF threesome, with a desire to experience one again. A further 37% said they wanted to participate in one. Women gave the reasons of their own sexual arousal and decreasing their own objectification for wanting to see men sexually interact during a threesome. ‘The majority of women interviewed highlighted that they gained sexual pleasure from watching two males interact sexually, describing this as “quite hot”,’ the press release said. One woman explained ‘it was maybe more me that wanted to do it, and see [my partner] with another guy’. Scoats concludes: ‘The research suggests that the stigma around two male, one female threesomes is diminishing and that women are increasingly comfortable pursuing the type of sex they desire.’ More from Gay Star News ‘Love is love’: Frankie Grande reveals all about his three-way relationship Here’s what Tana Mongeau and Bella ...

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Stop speculating on men’s sexuality – it only makes toxic masculinity stronger

Celebrity gossip is a staple in the world of fame. Lately, however, speculating about people’s sexuality has crossed a line. While not new, it has been happening more and more frequently with high-profile male celebrities. In a time of rah-rah feminism, smashing the patriarchy, and ending toxic masculinity, this act has become particularly egregious. Engaging in rumors about a person’s sexuality, especially in such a public way, has never been okay. It crosses a line of privacy and can impede someone’s personal journey or their decision of when to come out. In the past several weeks, three male celebrities have had to address such rumors: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, and Shawn Mendes. This needs to stop, not only out of respect, but because it’s damaging to the fight for equality and acceptance. Let’s talk toxic masculinity At its core, toxic masculinity refers to the ‘toxic’ expectations society places upon men as the ‘more dominant’ gender. These expectations range anywhere from physical violence or intimidation, anger, and restricting what kind of emotions boys and men are ‘allowed’ to show. Toxic masculinity reinforces the gender binary. It says that women are the weaker gender, defined by their high-level emotions, nurturing disposition, physical weakness, and more, while men are the stronger of the two, and expressing emotions through crying or affection is a sign of weakness. This is part of why there is a specific history surrounding the discrimination of more effeminate gay men — certain portions of society did not see them ...

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Kristen Stewart is going to star in an LGBTI rom-com

Hollywood is currently going through a romantic comedy renaissance with movies like Crazy Rich Asians, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and the upcoming Isn’t It Romantic. There’s still a lack of LGBTI representation in these movies, but fortunately Kristen Stewart is here to save the day. Variety reported the actor is currently in talks to star in TriStar Pictures’ upcoming film Happiest Season. Openly gay writer, director, and actor Clea DuVall is at the helm. She co-wrote the film with Mary Holland and is also on board to direct. This will be her first directing gig at the studio level. The film tells the story of a young woman planning to propose to her girlfriend at an annual family event. Things go haywire when she finds out her girlfriend hasn’t come out yet to her conservative parents. More and more queer roles Stewart has chosen to act in movies with queer storylines and elements recently. In 2014, she appeared in the drama film Clouds of Sils Maria alongside Juliette Binoche. Most recently, she co-starred in Lizzie with Chloë Sevigny. The movie told the story of the infamous Lizzie Borden murders and played up the rumored relationship between Lizzie (Sevigny) and housemaid Bridget Sullivan (Stewart). Stewart was also cast as one of three Charlie’s Angels in Elizabeth Banks’ new take on the spy franchise. Here’s hoping she’ll be queer in that film as well. More from Gay Star News Kristen Stewart breaks Cannes rule and walks red carpet barefoot Crazy Rich ...

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University says no to campus Chick-fil-A due to anti-LGBTI record

A private university in New Jersey removed Chick-fil-A as an option for a new campus restaurant due to the company’s perceived anti-LGBTI record. Rider University is located in central Jersey. During the spring semester, they polled students about which food establishment they’d like to see on campus. While Chick-fil-A reportedly saw strong support in the poll, University officials decided to retroactively remove the chicken-based restaurant from the poll. In a letter to the University community, administrators wrote they removed Chick-fil-A due to their ‘record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community’. ‘We sought to be thoughtful and fair in balancing the desire to provide satisfying options for a new on-campus restaurant while also being faithful to our values of inclusion,’ the letter continues. Making the decision University President Gregory G. Dell’Omo and Vice President of Student Affairs Leanna Fenneberg penned the letter. ‘They challenged us to reflect on our values and consider what kind of community we want to provide for those who live and learn at Rider University,’ the pair wrote of the choices they made. ‘Ultimately, we decided to lean in the direction of creating a welcoming environment where differences can be appreciated and where each individual can expect to experience dignity and respect.’ They also wrote that they understand their decision may seem like ‘exclusion’. ‘We fully acknowledge an organization’s right to hold these beliefs,’ they continued. ‘Just as we acknowledge the right for individuals in our community and elsewhere to also personally hold the same ...

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Gay Chinese teacher loses case for unfair dismissal

A labor arbitration committee in Qingdao, China, last week ruled against a gay teacher who sued a kindergarten. He claims he was fired for being gay. Taking the pseudonym Ming Yue, he said parents of students at his previous school alerted his current employer, who then fired him. The committee did not acknowledge Ming’s claim. It did, however, order the kindergarten to pay six months’ salary (US$5,200) to Ming for failing to sign an employment contract with him. Ming told Gay Star News he was grateful for the ‘relatively fair result’. ‘I am disappointed that there is no clear indication in this labor arbitration that companies cannot discriminate against homosexuals’, he said. Liu Yangming, of PFLAG China, said the case would still encourage more teachers to be true to themselves. ‘The case also drew attention to employers that they should not be able to dismiss employees simply because of their sexual orientation.’ Ming brought the case to Qingdao’s labor arbitration in September. Ming posed with a sign reading: ‘I teach my kids to be honest, so I cannot lie. I am gay’. Ming and his lawyers are considering taking the case to court. A court can rule on discrimination because of his sexual orientation. Being LGBTI at work in China China decriminalized gay sex in 1997. It also declassified homosexuality as a mental illness in 2001. But, the country is socially conservative and places a large emphasis on the traditional nuclear family. Many LGBTI Chinese are not out at home ...

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