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Is this the world’s first rainbow airport?

Wellington International Airport has marked the city’s upcoming pride festival by painting a 3,000 square meter rainbow along the runway’s embankment. The capital of New Zealand this month will hold its pride festival and host the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association annual conference. The special temporary turf paint in six colors will last about three to four weeks, according to the New Zealand Herald. ‘We’re proud to reveal what could possibly be the largest pride rainbow in New Zealand on the embankment of our runway!’ Wellington International Airport wrote on Facebook. ‘We’re looking forward to welcoming those attending the events and being part of the celebration of diversity and inclusion around the capital’ airport chief executive Steve Sanderson told the New Zealand Herald. Co-chair of the Wellington Pride Festival Roxy Coevers also told the paper it was the ‘largest-scale painted rainbow in honour of pride in New Zealand’. The Wellington Pride Parade will kick off on the evening of Saturday, 16 March at Tennyson Street. Read the original article Author: Rik Glauert

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Politician thinks only ghosts, drunks, and LGBT people use highways at night

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has apologized after insulting LGBT people while discussing toll-free roads at night. He said a government plan to let people use highways for free between 11pm and 5am would only benefit ‘ghosts, drunks and LGBT looking for clients’. Najib, who was prime minister from 2009 to 2018 and is on trial for corruption, later apologized. ‘It was not my intention to insult those in society who work at night or those who use the expressways after 11pm’ he wrote on Facebook. ‘I humbly apologize if anybody was offended.’ Online users widely denounced his comments. Mr Najib, here is a list of people who work late to make an honest living (do look up the meaning of honest) Night shift workers, waiters, police, nurses, doctors, security guards “Only ghosts, LGBT will benefit from off-peak congestion charge, says Najib https://t.co/vIn62vbDgb — The IvyGram (@ivyjosiah) February 26, 2019 Just the latest anti-LGBTI comment In the last year, many political and religious leaders in Malaysia have badmouthed the country’s LGBTI population. It comes amid rising intolerance towards LGBTI people. Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamed, has said Malaysia ‘cannot accept’ LGBTI rights. He labeled them ‘Western’ values. A senior mufti in Malaysia last month became the latest figure to speak out against LGBTI people. He urged the country’s Muslims to treat trans women as males. ‘There are only two recognized genders,’ he said. The country’s human rights commission, meanwhile, has advised LGBTI people to keep their ‘lifestyle choices’ private. Last ...

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Chinese broadcaster ‘straight-washes’ Rami Malek’s Oscar speech

People are accusing a Chinese broadcaster showing the Oscars on Sunday (24 February) of straight-washing Rami Malek’s speech. ‘We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life unapologetically as himself’ Malek said as he was handed the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. The biopic of the Queen frontman and queer icon picked up four Oscar’s at Sunday’s ceremony in Los Angeles. But, China’s Mango TV translated Malek’s ‘gay man’ as ‘special group’. Tens of thousands of users shared screenshots of the mistranslation on Chinese social media, according to BBC News. ‘Even the word “gay” can’t appear on our screens, this is so sad’ one user wrote. China’s censors Mango TV irked Eurovision last year by screening censoring several moments of the semi-final, including LGBTI content. Eurovision eventually banned Mango TV from airing the final. China legalized gay sex in 1997 and removed it from the list of mental illnesses in 2001. But, in a conservative and family-orientated society, many LGBTI Chinese live in the closet. In June 2017, China’s state censorship body labeled homosexuality ‘abnormal sexual behavior’. It banned it from television and online. Internet users launched a #IAMGAY viral protest on China’s social media platform, Weibo, after it banned LGBTI content. Finally, the website backtracked in a rare win for the community. A court in Beijing last year ruled the country’s ban on online LGBTI content was lawful. Bohemian Rhapsody, meanwhile, has faced criticism of straight-washing, bi-erasure and glossing over issues ...

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Drag queens protest US border wall

Drag queens gathered at Brownsville, southern Texas on Saturday (23 February) to protest President Trump’s border wall with Mexico. The No Border Wall Drag Protest also raised money for LGBTI asylum seekers, according to NBC News. Organizers wanted to dispel myths of a crisis on the border with Mexico. Trump claims migrants from central and southern America traveling to the US pose a threat to national security. He wants a total of nearly US$8 billion to construct a wall on the southern border. After Congress agreed to US$1.3 billion in border security funding, Trump declared a national emergency in an attempt to get the rest of the money as soon as possible. Rights activists have warned Trump’s immigration policies are harming asylum seekers at the border, including LGBT individuals. Last year, a group of LGBT migrants split off from a larger group after reporting harassment and violence. Dragtavists from around the #rgv gathered today to protest at the border wall in Brownsville. Money raised today goes to LGBTQ asylum seekers. pic.twitter.com/skAVi1fCBV — Reynaldo Leaños Jr. (@ReynaldoLeanos) February 24, 2019 American Idiot The queens lip-synced to tunes including Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and Green Day’s American Idiot, NBC also reports. A dragtavist who goes by the name of Beatrix Lestrange told the network ‘the vision was to perform in front of this wall and project our beauty and our glamour and our empowerment against this symbol that stands for hate, racism and xenophobia’. ‘All of these things that aren’t really ...

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Actor claps back at homophobes by introducing world to his boyfriend

English actor Ryan Sampson publicly came out on Twitter by introducing his boyfriend to the internet after homophobes tried to bait him. Sampson, who stars in the ITV2 series Plebs, decided he needed to ‘straighten’ things out last week. As he explained on Twitter about his decision to come out: ‘I was on Instagram and I looked at my direct messages and it turned out someone was trying to rope me in to some (pretty creaky) homophobic banter. Huh! So, for clarity, here’s a pic of me and the boyf.’ What followed was an absolutely lovely photo of Sampson and his boyfriend. Hi y’all. So. I was on Instagram and I looked at my direct messages and it turned out someone was trying to rope me in to some (pretty creaky) homophobic banter. Huh! So, for clarity, here’s a pic of me and the boyf. Just to, y’know… straighten that one out. As it were. pic.twitter.com/c7dZpfPfIy — Ryan Sampson (@MrRyanSampson) February 20, 2019 Sampson’s followers quickly replied to his tweet with words of support and love. They also commended him for the dignified way in which he responded to the Instagram message. You know, by not responding at all and instead living a happy life with his boyfriend. In case you need a bit more, here’s Sampson dressed fabulous for New Year’s. View this post on Instagram have an Absolutely Fabulous New Years, won’t you? A post shared by Ryan Sampson (@mrryansampson) on Dec 31, 2018 at 2:21pm PST This ...

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Adam Lambert and Queen rock the Oscars

They performed with an image of queer rock legend Freddie Mercury behind them Queen, fronted by gay popstar Adam Lambert, opened the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday (24 February). With renditions of We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions, they paid homage to late frontman, Freddie Mercury. Lambert and Queen performed with Mercury’s image behind them. Adam Lambert and your majesty QUEEN pic.twitter.com/3aQB2ToQ6r #Oscars — Bumblebee /unbrokenfaith16 (@Lonelywarrior3) February 25, 2019 An image of Freddie Mercury was projected onto a screen while Adam Lambert + Queen perform onstage during the #Oscars pic.twitter.com/FJUKhHOwkj — Music News Facts (@musicfactnews) February 25, 2019 Hollywood blockbuster Bohemian Rhapsody tracks the rise of Queen’s fame from the early days of original front man Mercury’s career as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport. It is nominated for five Oscars. It has already picked up one for sound mixing. Queerest Oscars yet? Movie fans are gearing up for the most LGBTI-inclusive Oscars in history this Sunday (24 February). For the first time, more than half of the Best Picture nominations include LGBTI characters or actors. The Favourite, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star Is Born, Vice, and Green Book are all up for the award. LGBTI characters, actors, directors, and screenwriters have been nominated for awards across the board. This year’s nominees ‘reflect a banner year for LGBTQ inclusion in film’ US LGBTQ organization GLAAD said. ‘The diversity across the full list of nominations should be celebrated and will no doubt lead to more inclusive, culture-changing films’ ...

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Shangela makes history as first-ever drag queen on the Oscars red carpet

A Star is Born actress and drag superstar Shangela may have just made history as the first drag queen to walk the Oscars red carpet. Shangela Laquifa Wadley, the seasoned RuPaul’s Drag Race competitor, wore a light purple and gold gown by New York City-based designer Diego Montoya. Shangela has arrived #oscars pic.twitter.com/eAsRyJ6Ma6 — Mia Galuppo (@miagaluppo) February 24, 2019 A Star is Born – which also features bisexual actress Lady Gaga, as well as Drag Race queens Willam and Shangela – is up for eight awards. Shangela was accompanied by Jenifer Lewis in a copper suit. Shangela earlier Tweeted ’this is going to be a historic day for me.’ View this post on Instagram A post shared by Shangela (DJ) (@itsshangela) on Feb 24, 2019 at 5:38pm PST After saying she was one of the first ever queens to walk the red carpet in drag, she said ‘I hope that means something to somebody out there’. ‘Because it sure does mean something to me’ she also said. #AStarIsBorn actress Shangela talks on being one of the first drag queens in drag at the #Oscars⁠ ⁠: “I hope that means something to somebody out there” pic.twitter.com/zAhPF7vUyC — The Harbinger (@HarbingerMLEC) February 24, 2019 We all walk together today. #RedCarpetForAll — Shangela (@itsSHANGELA) February 24, 2019   Earlier in the evening, Billy Porter stunned those gathered 91st Academy Awards in a black velvet tuxedo gown. Queerest Oscars yet? Movie fans are gearing up for the most LGBTI-inclusive Oscars in history this ...

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What to look out for at the queerest Oscars yet

Movie fans are gearing up for the most LGBTI-inclusive Oscars in history this Sunday (24 February). For the first time, more than half of the Best Picture nominations include LGBTI characters or actors. The Favourite, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star Is Born, Vice, and Green Book are all up for the award. LGBTI characters, actors, directors, and screenwriters have been nominated for awards across the board. This year’s nominees ‘reflect a banner year for LGBTQ inclusion in film’ US LGBTQ organization GLAAD said. ‘The diversity across the full list of nominations should be celebrated and will no doubt lead to more inclusive, culture-changing films’ said GLAAD Presiden Sarah Kate Ellis. Some people, however, argue the nominations are not as inclusive as they look. What’s more, Queen, fronted by gay popstar Adam Lambert, will perform at the Academy Awards. The Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, is up for five awards. For only the second time in the Oscar’s 90-year history, the night will take place without a host. The Acadamy announced US comedian Kevin Hart would be Oscar host in December last year. But, he stepped down following a fierce backlash after his long history of homophobic jokes was revealed. The 91st Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles from 5pm (US East Coast Time) on Sunday (24 February). Here’s what to look out for: The favorite? The Favourite, telling the very queer and very brazen story of two women vying for the favor of England’s Queen Anne, is ...

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The latest episode of Broad City got super queer

The latest episode of Broad City, titled Artsy Fartsy, showed character development for both Abbi and Ilana. But also, it was super queer. As promised, the final season of the show is definitely delivering queer representation. Though the show, according to creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, has been queer ‘from the get go.’ The Episode Warning: spoilers ahead! The latest episode of Broad City aired on Comedy Central on Thursday, 21 February. In it, Abbi is invited to a fancy gallery event at the Museum of Modern Art to network for her career. But due to a few awkward mishaps, she ends up in the hospital. The female doctor treating her was subtly flirting, though it took Abbi a good few minutes to get the courage to ask for her phone number. ‘Um, I was just thinking, would it be illegal or whatever if I if I got your phone number?’ Abbi asked the doctor, Lesley Marnel (played by Clea DuVall). ‘It would not be illegal,’ Lesley replied. ‘At the E.R., you know, after I smashed my face, there was this hot doctor,’ Abbi later explains to Ilana. ‘And we, like, really hit it off. And then I realized the only reason I wasn’t automatically asking them out was because she was a woman.’ ‘So then I just did it,’ she continued. ‘We’re gonna go out on Friday night.’ With this news, Ilana looks both happy and a little heartbroken, considering her own plotline in this episode and the ...

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Trump reinstates gag rule on healthcare for LGBTIs and women

Donald Trump — again — is targeting healthcare that specifically helps LGBTI people, women, people of color, and those with a low income. His adminstration announced on Friday (22 February) their plan to divert federal funding from healthcare groups providing abortions or abortion referrals. Critics suggest this gag rule will take away funding from organizations like Planned Parenthood and reroute it to faith-based groups. This funding stems from Title X, which is a service originally enacted in 1970 to provide funds for groups offering family planning and other related healthcare services. Currently, Title X offers $286 million (€252 million) to these various groups. The gag rule prevents health organizations from referring their patients to abortion services. They also must maintain a ‘clear physical and financial separation’ between their government-funded services and any organization that provides abortion services. Trump first introduced this policy last year. An attack on more than just abortion The rule specifically attacks abortion services, which is why groups like Planned Parenthood have often been pitted as a boogeyman to anti-abortion groups. One such group, the Susan B. Anthony List, praised the rule. Their president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, described the rule as ‘decisive action to disentangle taxpayers from the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood’. The Family Research Council, another conservative group, said the move forces groups like Planned Parenthood to loosen their holds on ‘tens of millions of tax dollars’. Planned Parenthood does not only provide abortion services — which also affects lesbians, bisexual women, and trans people. They ...

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