#lgbt

Scotland to Have LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum

By 2021, Scotland will be the world's first country to teach LGBTQ inclusivity and history in all public school nationwide, according to NBC

The LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group sent thirty-three recommendations to put forth a curriculum that will teach students legends about LGBT identities, inclusion and history. On November 8th, the Scottish government approved all thirty-three, effectively implementing the new curriculum. In 2017, a survey revealed that 71% of LGBTQ students experienced bullying in schools due to their sexual orientation and 94% of the respondents said that the bullying affected their academic performance negatively. 

The curriculum will include LGBT terminology and identities as well as address homophobia and prejudice and highlight LGBT achievements in relation to equality. John Swinney, Scotland's Deputy First Minister says that the new curriculum will improve learning for LGBT students and promote understanding and encourage inclusion. 

The Scottish Organization, Time for Inclusive Education has lobbied for this change since 2015. One member, Jordan Daly, laments that he never learned about prominent LGBT figures that changed the course of history, even though he learned about important figures who fought for equality such as Martin Luther King Jr. and the suffragettes. This new curriculum is possible because of the Scottish government's dismantling of Section 28, which prohibited teaching about homosexuality. 

This is a huge victory as far as I'm concerned, as I never learned about important LGBT figures while I was in school and, while this is in Scotland, I am hopeful that one day the American education system will also include LGBT inclusivity.


h/t:  NBC

Alt-Right Video Game Has Player Eliminate Gay and Transgender People

As a perpetual pessimist, I am generally not surprised by how horrible people can be but today I am. According to LGBTQ Nation, there exists a video game in which the main objective is to shoot and kill gay and transgender people in a nightclub, reminiscent of the very real massacre that occurred at Pulse Nightclub in 2016.

Chris Cantwell, an out-and-proud Nazi, is the creator of this game. In the past, he showed the world how fragile he is by breaking down in tears on YouTube after hearing that he had a warrant out for his arrest for inciting violence at a White Supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA last year. 

The game, titled Angry Goy II, is a revision of an earlier version of the game in which players were tasked with pushing Jewish people into ovens. In this new version, players are asked to target and destroy other minority groups such as gay men and transgender people. The game starts off with breaking into a nightclub named "LGBTQ+ Agenda HQ" where the player is met with gay men meant to look like child predators because of their giant erect penises being out in the open and having signs on the outside of the building that say "Children Welcome."

In a promotional statement for the game, Cantwell refers to gay men as "mongrels" and "degenerates" that should be destroyed by using "guns, knives, pepper spray, and more." He also sent a statement to then-Alt-right platform Gab saying that “All White men should hunt down and mercilessly kill as many trannies, f—-ts, n—–s, k—s, and cucks as they possibly can, in the new hit game Angry Goy 2!” Oh god... I'm genuinely disturbed by this. And I doubt his claim that it's a "hit game."

The Pulse Nightclub shooting was a horrible tragedy and it was bad enough that people were applauding Omar Mateen for killing so many gay people, but the fact that someone actually made a video game about it sickens me to no end.

It's truly depressing to know that there are people out there who still think like this. Nazism didn't work in the 1940s and it won't work now and we can all hope that these types of people remain a (relatively) harmless minority. 

I'm going to pretend to not know about this game.


h/t: LGBTQ Nation 

Fake Kiss in Shakespeare Play Prompts Prayer Circle

Anyone who has attended school in America knows who Shakespeare is. A prolific writer, William Shakespeare's works have reached many a public school classrooms, with plays from Hamlet to The Merry Wives of Windsor being taught across the nation. Shakespeare's plays are still being performed today, and one all-male group performed an educational parody of Shakespeare's plays which contained a stage kiss between Romeo and Juliet in a high school in North Carolina. Two men performing a fake kiss on stage apparently offended parents so greatly that they felt the need to invoke God by forming a prayer circle, according to The New Civil Rights Movement.

The play, titled The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), was performed at Mitchell High School and was edited to make it more appropriate for a high school audience, but alcohol consumption and homosexuality among other things were left in, sparking  a group of angry parents and pastors to form a prayer circle.

Original reports claim that the prayer circle was formed in protest of topics such as alcohol and bad language, but one parent revealed that the real reason the circle was formed was because of the stage kiss that was performed between Romeo and Juliet, who were played by two malr actors. 

Do these patents realize that a few students in Mitchell High School are probably gay? Or that the kiss was performed technically by a heterosexual couple? Or that the kiss wasn't even real? Some people take things too seriously and in this instance, the parents really overreacted. 

I shudder to think how they would react if the group put on a production of Twelfth Night.


The New Civil Rights Movement

Stan Lee, Creator of So Many Alternative Worlds for Us to Escape into, Passes Away At 95.

To throw oneself into the world of superheroes, villains, and make-believe was and is a great escape for many of us.  Imagining that we have super powers, that we have alter egos, that we can change into something or someone we are not, to not be limited, our lives were magnified by the ability to immerse ourselves in a world that as different than our reality. 

Today, we lost a man that created a great many of those worlds.  Stan Lee, creator of so many alternate lives, people, hopes, has passed away at the age of 95.  

We thank you Stan for entertaining us for all of these years. 

But was he supportive of our community? Let's look back at some of the more recent interviews and see. 

The Evening Standard asked Stan Lee about Iceman three years ago.  Iceman/Bobby Drake was created back in 1963 by Stan and Jack Kirby, but in April of 2015 in the All-New X-Men, Bobby/Iceman came out as gay. Lee was apparently unaware of the turn of events.

When he was informed of his character’s sexuality on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he replied: “I wasn’t involved in that, that may have been after I stopped writing the books. I didn’t really have any gay characters. If they were gay I didn’t play up to the fact that they were. I wasn’t aware of my characters sexual proclivities.” - standard.co.uk

In August of 2018, WGN radio asked questions about gay superheroes, like Northstar from Alpha Flight, Stan said he was not really familiar with that character and that he might be gay. 

We had a character years ago who might have been gay. We had something called Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, and we had a character called Percy Pinkerton, one of the commandos, who was great, but he was a little bit less tough than the other guys, but we didn’t make an issue of it. We didn’t call him gay, he was just there.” - tearingdownthatfence.tumblr.com

Sounds like his answer was based a little bit on gay stereotypes - " a little less tough than the other guys," but do we give him a pass since he is of a much older generation at 95 years old? Was it similar to an answer our grandparents would have given?

But what about the recent reboot and semi-controversy over Spiderman? The Guardian shared their findings about a rule as to how Spiderman should be portrayed. Apparently it stated that Peter Parker should always be white, which did not bother Stan Lee. 

“I wouldn’t mind, if Peter Parker had originally been black, a Latino, an Indian or anything else, that he stay that way,” he said. “But we originally made him white. I don’t see any reason to change that.”

Lee is also in agreement with the requirement that Parker’s sexuality should remain as originally written, but is open to the idea of other homosexual comic book characters.

“I think the world has a place for gay superheroes, certainly,” he said. “But again, I don’t see any reason to change the sexual proclivities of a character once they’ve already been established. I have no problem with creating new, homosexual superheroes.”

...

“It has nothing to do with being anti-gay, or anti-black, or anti-Latino, or anything like that,” he said. “Latino characters should stay Latino. The Black Panther should certainly not be Swiss. I just see no reason to change that which has already been established when it’s so easy to add new characters. I say create new characters the way you want to. Hell, I’ll do it myself.”

- guardian.com

Stan liked his characters just as he made them.  He was a straight white man that created what he knew. And that may be a point that was hit home in a NY Daily News post about three years ago.  they shared that it simply never occurred to Stan Lee to make a gay superhero.

"That's something that I can't write about that much because I don't know that much about it," Lee, 92, said last week.

Though openly gay men and women now exist scattered throughout Marvel Comics, such as X-Men's Northstar, Lee didn't create them.  - NY Daily News

So was he an ally?  At a quick glance, we cannot see anything that says differently.  He wrote what he knew. He created what he desired.  He was a man creating alternate worlds and universes for us all to enjoy.  We were able to jump right in and join him along his journeys and for that, we thank you, Stan.  He may not have created any gay characters, but he did create a space where we could be ourselves.   


h/t: standard.co.uktearingdownthatfence.tumblr.comguardian.com , NY Daily News

Can You Come Out As Not A Bottom? Troye Sivan May Have Just Made Some Men Less Thirsty.

Are we going to start keeping a score card as to which gay stars play what roles? No, I'm not talking about action adventure, comedy, sci-fi roles, but more like the top or the bottom bunk.

A couple of years ago when the whole "don't ask me who I am wearing" movement bloomed on the red carpets of every award show where women were showing their disdain at the "who are you wearing" question, wanting to talk more about their acting roles, I was in total agreement.  I don't blame them!  "They're not asking the men who they are wearing," was the common statement, "but instead are asking questions about their profession and their roles."  I applauded that women wanted to talk about why they were there on the carpet as opposed to who did the hemline. It only made sense.

This PeopleTV interview in September 2017 with Lavern Cox is a great example of "let's spend time talking about the clothing" instead of her acting. They spent 1:39 of the 2:17 interview talking about her dress and fingernails.

 

There was so much more they could have talked about, especially with Laverne and they did not, but we did learn her chosen color of the night was gun metal.

Of course my little mind went crazy with the idea of, what could they ask the men to make them realize that women were being asked something a little out of place? "Do you like to be dominated in bed?" was one question I thought would be off the wall to ask the males. Well, not so off the wall because in many cases I wanted to know. I mean really, didn't we want to know if Angelina was the dominant one in the Brangelina household?

There are some things that we probably don't need to know about our stars. But what if they decide to share? We all jumped at the chance to label Troye Sivan as a bottom.  I mean really, he basically told us with that song, right?  We covered his Bloom-ing stage in three different posts:

Fans Think Troye Sivan's New Song is About Bottoming

Check Out The Music Video For Troye Sivan's #BopBoutBottoming "Bloom"

Troye Sivan Says He's Not Your Bottom, Queer, Or Gay Icon

and in one of the above posts, we shared this quote:

Without getting into like any sort of details whatsoever, [Bloom] was a song I wrote about a particular experience. I’m not branding that as myself forever. It was definitely just writing a song.”

Is it safe to say that most were just thinking, yep, he's a bottom and moved on? Most likely ... until BuzzFeed decided to film Sivan reaching into their Big Thirst Cup.

Troye Sivan sits down to read your thirstiest tweets, and is very glad that his mom isn't in the room for it. Make sure to check out Troye in Boy Erased, in theaters now! Credits: https://www.buzzfeed.com/bfmp/videos/...

At about 1:20, Sivan reads the tweet that turned the tide of many thoughts and labels.

 

 

So for those of you that care, or for those of you typing these sexy tweets, he may not be a bottom, but instead a top or versatile? Oh My God!  This has my mind not really thinking about his position preference at all, because I never really cared.

Have we cared to know the position preference of Neil Patrick Harris, Billy Eichner, Alan Cummings, Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, Matt Dallas, Jim Parsons, Robin Lloyd Taylor, and so on?

As I said, I really don't care about the bunk preference of Sivan or any other star, but if he and others want to share, maybe talking about it, mentioning it without fanfare, may make it a moot point for all some day and it won't be breaking news.  Maybe we'll come up with more lettering like, hey' I'm a CGMO for cis gay male just interested in oral.  You know we love labels and letters and ... ugh.  This is going to happen, isn't it.  CRAP!  But what this can't become is stars coming out like life is a grinning sex app, a required round two of coming out.  Yep, you're a bisexual man ... now all of our readers demand to know ... tell us how do you like it!

We may have a world some day where we are not caring about what designer an actress is wearing, which straight male likes to get pegged in bed, or which bunk a gay man prefers. But for now, people still care about labels on dresses and people, who is out as gay, straight, bisexual, fluid, which gender/sexual identity can or should take what roles, and what men may take it or give it.  We are sexual beasts and we know that isn't going to change any time soon.


This post was created by one of Instinct Magazine's contributing writers and is not a representation of the opinions fo the magazine or of the other contributing writers.

Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Says Anti-Gay Campaign is "Not the Position of the Government.”

 

 

Tunisian authorities are confiscating and searching the phones of men they suspect of being gay and pressuring them to take anal tests and to confess to homosexual activity. Prosecutors then use information collected in this fashion to prosecute them for homosexual acts between consenting partners, under the country’s harsh sodomy laws.

Tanzania: Mixed Messages on Anti-Gay Persecution
Commitment to Rights Means Ending Arrests, Discrimination

Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ disavowal of incendiary anti-gay comments by a Dar es Salaam official is a positive development, but will mean little unless the government reforms its laws and policies that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, Human Rights Watch said today.

On November 4, 2018, following major international news coverage of the inflammatory remarks, Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement that a proposed anti-gay campaign by Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda, whose district includes Dar es Salaam, represented “his opinion and not the position of the government.” The ministry pledged to “continue to respect and protect” internationally recognized human rights. However, the same day, activists told Human Rights Watch that police had arrested people in Zanzibar on homosexuality-related charges.

“It’s encouraging that the government of Tanzania has pledged to uphold its human rights obligations, including with regard to sexual orientation,” said Neela Ghoshal, senior LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “But the statement will provide cold comfort to LGBT people in Tanzania if the authorities continue to subject them to arbitrary arrests and discrimination.”

Makonda triggered panic among LGBT people on October 31 when he held a news conference announcing plans to round up suspected gays and subject them to forced anal examinations and conversion therapy. He said he would arrest or chase out all the gay men in the city, proclaiming, “In Dar es Salaam, homosexuality is not a human right.” Makonda urged citizens to report gay men to the police, claiming he had already collected hundreds of names.

Tanzania’s anti-homosexuality law is among the world’s harshest, prescribing 30 years to life in prison for “carnal knowledge against the order of nature.” Human Rights Watch and a Tanzanian coalition of groups working with sexual minorities documented dozens of cases of police abuse, public violence, and discrimination in accessing health services in a 2013 report. In the next two years, some improvements took place. Tanzania’s HIV/AIDS agencies reached out to key populations in the HIV epidemic, ensuring that they had a seat at the table in decision-making, and international health organizations scaled up LGBT-friendly HIV services. Some politicians and police officials appeared open to dialogue. New organizations formed, including several representing transgender people.

However, since the election of President John Magufuli in December 2015, Tanzania has had a marked decline in respect for free expression, association, and assembly, Human Rights Watch said. The authorities’ rhetorical attacks on rights have been accompanied by repressive laws and harassment and arrest of journalists, opposition members, and critics, while progress on LGBT health and rights has been reversed. Police raided health and human rights workshops aimed at sexual and gender minorities, arbitrarily arresting participants. They rounded up suspected gay men in the streets, reportedly subjecting some to forced anal exams, a discredited method of “proving” homosexual conduct that the United Nations and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights have denounced as torture.

The authorities shut down gay-friendly health clinics and restricted access to water-based lubricant, an HIV prevention tool. They suspended one Tanzanian organization, interrogated leaders of others, and detained and deported a team of South African lawyers, all because of their work on LGBT health and rights. Magufuli himself stated that “even cows” disapprove of homosexuality.

Makonda, the regional commissioner, has been a prominent advocate of this repression. At a July 2016 rally, he threatened to arrest gays and their social media “followers” and to ban organizations that “promote homosexuality.” In his news conference on October 31, 2018, Makonda said he had established a task force to track down gay men, sex workers, pornographers, and people conducting fraudulent fundraisers on social media.

His campaign appeared to have been prompted by a viral video of explicit heterosexual sex, but the bulk of his 30-minute news conference centered on stirring up homophobic sentiment. He threatened to “test” gay men for homosexuality, provide counselors for those who want to “get out of homosexuality,” and jail others for life, saying his task force would start its work on November 5.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement is vague on what steps Tanzania will take to uphold its international commitments, which Tanzania’s anti-homosexuality law and acts of anti-LGBT repression clearly violate. The UN Human Rights Committee, which interprets the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Tanzania is a party, has stated unambiguously that arrests based on sexual orientation violate the rights to privacy and nondiscrimination. Tanzania is also party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which protects the right to the highest attainable standard of health, and prohibits discrimination in access to this right based on sexual orientation.

“If the government is sincere in rejecting Makonda’s anti-rights messages, it needs to ensure that all people in Tanzania enjoy the same human rights regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Ghoshal said. “That means ending police repression and forced anal examinations, allowing LGBT organizations and LGBT-friendly health clinics to operate, and reforming laws that criminalize people for who they are or whom they love.”


Reprinted by request and with permission from Human Rights Watch

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on LGBT rights, please visit:
https://www.hrw.org/topic/lgbt-rights

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Tanzania and Zanzibar, please visit:
https://www.hrw.org/africa/tanzania-and-zanzibar

For more information, please contact:
In Washington, DC, Neela Ghoshal (English, French): +1-202-612-4347 (office); or +1-917-935-9087 (mobile); or ghoshan@hrw.org. Twitter: @NeelaGhoshal
In New York, Jehanne Henry (English): +1-646-508-5821(mobile); or +1-917-443-2724 (work); or henryj@hrw.org. Twitter: @jehannehenry

Following a Democratic Win, Four States Move to Ban Conversion Therapy

For years, LGBTQ people have been subject to the abhorrent practice known as conversion therapy, in which people attempt to cure their "patients" of homosexuality. Fortunately, enough people realized that this practice does more harm than good and have worked to have it banned in several states (New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, and New Hampshire). According to Into More, following the midterm election results where Democrats gained multiple seats in the local and federal government, it appears that four more states Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York, are planning on banning conversion therapy. 

NEW YORK

Openly gay Senator Brad Hoylman of New York said that the Republican party that controlled the State Senate at the time "blocked every piece of LGBTQ legislation since 2011." He also commented that he was sure that the Republicans will continue to try and block LGBTQ legislation and that would not change unless the State Senate had a Democratic majority. In 2018, New York approved a bill that would have prohibited conversion therapy from being performed on minors, but Republicans in the State Senate would not allow the bill to reach them. After November 6, Democrats will hold 35 out of 63 Senate seats in New York, hopefully the help and the majority needed to get protective LGBTQ legislation passed. Hoylman is hopeful that positive change will occur, as he saw record turnout among Democrats and he realized that many Republicans do not feel represented by their party anymore. 

COLORADO

The election of Jared Polis of Colorado, also an openly gay politician, indicates that change is also coming to the Centennial State. There is now a 19-16 Democratic Senate majority in Colorado, which will hopefully allow the state legislature to push forward with protective LGBTQ legislation.

MAINE

In Maine, Republican governor Paul LePage vetoed a conversion therapy bill, making him the first Governor to do so. Newly elected Governor Janet Mills promised once she became the new governor of Maine to sign a bill to conversion therapy. In a March 2018 statement, Mills said she recognizes the harm that conversion therapy causes, the anxiety, depression, homelessness, and other harmful effects.

"LGBTQ people don’t need to be ‘fixed'. As governor, I will make sure LGBTQ young people in Maine hear from their political leaders that they are respected and valued, not broken."

MASSACHUSETTS

In Massachusetts, both the House and Senate supported a bill that would ban conversion therapy, but could not reconcile the differences of their versions. It is projected that such a bill will be reconsidered in 2019. 

NEXT?

It is clear that the increase of Democrats and LGBTQ citizens involved in and having positions in the government will lead to positive changes and more protective LGBTQ legislation in the near future as such things have been neglected for far too long. 


h/t: Into More

Barilla Released Limited Edition Spaghetti Featuring a Lesbian Couple on the Box

On a list of my favorite things, gay representation and carbohydrates are pretty close to the top. Barilla, the popular pasta company, recently released a limited edition box of spaghetti that features a lesbian couple enjoying the pasta together, according to LGBTQ Nation.

At the Barilla-sponsored World Pasta Championship, the limited edition boxes were given to event goers. The illustration of two women enjoying some spaghetti à la Lady and the Tramp was done by Olimpia Zagnoli, an artist who Barilla's chief diversity officer, Kristen Anderson respects. She commented that the artwork on the box is "simple and joyful, like spaghetti with tomato sauce."

Barilla wasn't always so accepting of homosexuality, however. In 2013, Barilla chairman Guido Barilla publicly declared that he would not feature a homosexual couple in his advertisements and that gay people can eat a different brand if they don't like it. He also says that he is against same-sex couples adopting children. Guido did apologize for saying those things in a video in which he expresses that he has always respected everyone he met and that he will try to be more open-minded about LGBTQ people. 

Although he apologized (and it's up to you to decide whether or not he was being sincere), multiple people boycotted the company and took Guido's advice and ate a different brand. Zagnoli herself immediately stopped buying Barilla products. She was surprised that Barilla accepted her drawing of a lesbian couple enjoying the pasta together. She says: "It turns out while I was protesting in my kitchen Barilla made significant progress, radically redefining its code of ethics and adjusting its internal policies.” And it seems that Barilla really did change their mind about LGBTQ people and that the boycotting was effective.

Or was this just an attempt to save face?


h/t: LGBTQ Nation

Colorado Will Have Nonbinary Option on Licenses, ID Cards.

Gender identity is a significant aspect in many people's lives, but some do not fit neatly into the male/female mold. Unfortunately, many places do not have the option to mark one's gender as nonbinary so anyone who does not identity as either gender has to lie about their identity. However, Colorado is about the remedy this situation by allowing residents to mark X for nonbinary on their driver's licenses and other forms of identification effective starting November 30, according to 9 News.

With these new rules, people will be able to choose from M (male), F (female), or X (nonbinary) when applying for driver's licenses and identification cards. Anyone who wishes to change their existing gender marker on those IDs will have to fill out and submit, in person, a DR2083 Change of Sex Designation form at no extra cost.

The Colorado Department of Revenue has been working closely with Governor Hickenlooper and the Joint ID Task force for over a year to ensure that obstacles pertaining to getting an ID would be dismantled. 

Michael Hartman, executive director of the CDOR said that this new policy will be good for all Coloradans, as he recognizes the importance of proper identification and correct representation of one's lived experience. He also commented that by adopting this new policy, the CDOR will be more closely aligned with recent legal developments. 

It's nice to see nonbinary identities becoming valid, as in most of the world, people do not recognize anything outside of the gender binary. Hopefully this new policy will help facilitate some change in the way that we, as a whole, view gender.


h/t: 9 News 

Long Island Man Arrested for Stealing Pride Flags from Church

Sayville Congregational United Church of Christ, located in Sayville, NY is a progressive and inclusive church. The reverend, Ray Bagnuolo, is an openly gay man who has placed pride flags on the church's lawn to promote LGBT pride and to show that the church welcomes people of any sexuality. However, one man has repeatedly stolen the pride flags and, since crime definitely does not pay, he has been arrested, according to ABC News.

The 21-year-old man who stole the pride flags, Ronald Tyler Witt, was arrested at his home in Sayville on Tuesday. He was arrested on six counts of petty larceny as a hate crime.

Bagnuolo says that these thefts are "unnerving" and that "These types of things are meant often to send a message. Sometimes there just a dumb thing that people do, but repeated over and over it begins to feel like there's a targeting going on here and there's a message." I am inclined to agree with that, as the other flags displayed on the church's property remained there. He also said that he does not know Witt but is welcome in the church, as he recognized the thefts as acts of aggression and hate but instead of stealing the flags again, he should talk to the congregation. 

While he does forgive Witt, he is glad that he will be held accountable for his actions, and the rest of the congregation feels the same. 

It's sad to see such crimes in this day and age, but progress is still being made in the advancement of LGBTQ recognition which will hopefully decrease incidents such as this.


h/t: ABC News

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