Donations Abound in Iowa Library

After a book burning, in which a man burned rented LGBT-themed books in protest of a Pride event, hundreds of books have been donated to the Orange City Public Library, according to Des Moines Register.

Paul Dorr, the man who rented out and burned LGBT-themed books did so in protest of Orange City Pride, as he believes that LGBTQ people are immoral. Dorr does not plan on paying for or replacing the books, which could land him with a fine between $65 to $625 and 30 days in jail if convicted of the charge of fifth-degree theft. 

Dorr is hardly the first person to burn books and he won't be the last, unfortunately. Book burning and other forms of book censorship have historically been used to silence voices, with LGBT voices being frequently shut down. According to the American Library Association, in 2017, four out of the top ten challenged books contained LGBT themes, in 2016, five out of ten, and in 2015 three out of ten.

However, attitudes towards LGBT themes in literature may be changing, as multiple GoFundMe pages have been created to offset the loss of the books. Along with the GoFundMe pages, Justin Scott, the Iowa state director for American Atheists, set up a Facebook fundraiser in response to Dorr's book burning. The fundraiser raised over $1,000 within days. The Orange City Public Library told Scott to consider giving a portion of the funds to other local libraries and LGBT organizations. 

James Peron, president of Moorfield Storey Institute, said ghat he had shipped twenty LGBT-themed books to the library and he is planning on shipping more.

It's nice to know that the residents of Sioux County, one of the most conservative counties in Iowa, recognize that LGBT voices deserve to be heard and that there will be consequences to every action, and in this case, the good outweighed the bad. 

h/t: Des Moines Register, American Library Association

When A Major CEO Steps Up & Says Being Gay 'is God's greatest gift to me' Are People Listening? We Are!

Are you proud to be gay? When you celebrate pride, are you saying you are proud to be who you are or are you just looking for acceptance.  I think there is a difference and Tim Cook puts a spotlight on his thoughts once again.

Four years ago, Tim Cook became the first CEO of a major company to come out as gay. He says he's happy about that distinction — and his decision.

"I'm very proud of it," the Apple (AAPL) CEO told Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday in an exclusive interview for her program on CNN International and PBS. Being gay is "God's greatest gift to me," he said. - cnn.com


We need more people to come out and say more than "just please accept me" but more so, hey, you're proud of who you are, we can be proud of ourselves, too. Here's the CNN.com clip. 




And I did say that Tim Cook put the spotlight on himself once again, because it is not his first time making these statements. We were there front and center to shoot this video at LOVELOUD Music Festival. 



So, back to you.  Are you proud to be gay? Do you show your pride at Pride?  Or are you more someone who just goes with the flow?

Related posts:

LOVELOUD 2018 - When In Utah, Let The Rainbow Flag Fly High

Apple Becomes 1st $1 Trillion Company. Tim Cook's LOVELOUD Speech Making Him More Visible Than Ever?

h/t: CNN.com

Lublin Police Used Water Cannons And Tear Gas To Thwart Violent Pride Protestors

Warning: The video below shows depictions of violence.

A gay pride event in Poland was tragically and violently stalled after police had to step in to protect parade marchers.

According to local news source GGG, massive riots broke out during the first Pride parade in Lublin, Poland.

The eastern Polish city was struck with controversy just days before the parade was supposed to take pace, according to Gay Power Couple. The city’s mayor banned the march just a few days ago after homophobic Governor Przemyslaw Czarnek pressured him to stop the event.

That said, the Court of Appeal overruled the ban on Friday (October 12), and the event took place this past weekend.

Around 1,500 people took part in the Equality March on Saturday. Unfortunately, around 200 anti-gay protestors showed up to the event as well. These protestors started shouting while throwing stones and bottles at marchers, which prompted the police into action.

The authorities then used tear-gas and water cannons to thwart the opposing side.

“We have arrested several people but I am sure that number will increase,” said Lublin police spokesperson Renata Laszczka-Rusek in an official statement.

“During the gathering, we provided security for the participants despite the numerous illegal actions of their opponents.”

Despite the violence, the police carried out their job of protecting the marchers. Many pride participants praised the police for their efforts to protect the people.

h/t: GGG, Gay Power Couple

Polish Police Protected Pride Parade, Permitting Partiers Passage Past Protesters


In Lublin, Poland, police brought out, riot gear, tear gas, as well as a water cannon, but it wasn't to suppress Pride Parade goers, but instead these suppressant tools were used against right-wing extremists that were adamant in trying to block an LGBTQ celebration.

The first parade of its kind in Lublin brought out more than 1,000 celebrants this past Saturday. Just shy of 1/3 of that number were found to be present but on the opposing side of the celebration. Safety in numbers?  Well, when you have the support of the police to push aside the 300 right-wing opponents that were blocking the Pride march, you continue to march as tear gas, concussion grenades, and a water cannon pushed the protestors aside.


Mayor Krzysztof Zuk had cited security concerns and banned the parade, but the Lublin’s Court of Appeals overturned that ban on Friday. Seems he was right to believe there would be security concerns, but the marchers was protected by the police and we thank them for that. 

Pride parades in Poland's capital city of Warsaw have been going on for 17 years, but this was the first time one occurred in Lublin, Warsaw, roughly 112 miles southeast of Warsaw and about 60 miles from the Ukrainian border.

h/t: ETvB English

Virgin Airlines Launches Pride Flight to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

Very few people enjoy flying in an airplane. It's tedious, boring, and stuffy. Basically, flying is a drag. But what would you say if a flight could be a drag show? Virgin Atlantic will accomplish just that on June 28th, 2019 on their Pride Flight, according to The Guardian to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

The flight will be hosted by Tituss Burgess, who plays as the campy Titus Andromedon (also known as Ronald Wilkerson, Flouncy Magoo, Cork Rockingham, Murasaki, and Trevor Millionair) in Netflix's hit show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Anyone who has seen the show knows just how over-the-top and flamboyant Titus is so this flighy should be nothing short of entertaining. The flight will leave from Heathrow in Longford to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey (The Guardian article says it's in New York but as a New Jersey native I had to set the record straight) to celebrate World Pride in 2019, which, as stated above, marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which are widely regarded as the cornerstone of modern day gay rights movements.

On the eight-hour flight, there will be many colorful, lively, and gay events performed by an entirely LGBTQ staff, such as live performances, drag queen bingo, and a Judy Garland singalong, so while people are flying somewhere over the rainbow they can be entertained, unlike watching the same exact movie multiple times. It's definitely not your average "please fasten your seatbelt and return your tray table to its upright and locked position" kind of flight and it seems exactly like the type of flight that I would want to be on because I always like to keep it gay.

Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holiday united with the non-profit organization NYC & Company and Alliance for Downtown New York. The tickets for the flight range from £380 (approximately $502) to £699 (approximately $924). Virgin Airlines' executive vice president and global LGBT lead for Virgin Group, Mark Anderson, says that Virgin is dedicated to this flight, saying that Virgin is not "the type of company to mark an occassion like this half-heartedly" and that they "take... commitments to diversity and inclusion seriously but... have a lot of fun along the way."

It's nice to see companies standing in solidarity with LGBTQ people in a world as divisive as this one. The next time I fly, I'll fly Virgin.

A New Queen Is Crowned At A Nearly Decade Absent Atlanta Pride Event

A historic Pride pageant has returned and has crowned a new Queen.

The Miss Atlanta Pride Pageant has returned after being gone for almost a year, according to Project Q.

According to Jamie Fergerson, Atlanta Pride Committee executive director, the original drag pageant faded away in 2009 due to its huge expense, logistical leaps, and

lack of community appeal.

“It was an event that was expensive and difficult to run, and people had lost interest in the community, so we stopped having that in favor of other programming,” she told Project Q. “For the last year or so, we’ve heard more interest.”

The call for a revival of this event came from entrepreneur Keith Young who is the co-owner of the Midtown Tavern and the after hour event series called Xion. Young reached out to drag performer Celeste Holmes and husband Billy Ledford as they were the last people to organize the event. They then agreed to help bring a return to the Miss Atlanta Pride Pageant.

“I’m excited for it to be back, because Atlanta Pride is one of the largest in the country,” said Holmes. “It’s definitely the mecca for the South. To have a Miss Atlanta Pride Pageant and have someone represent Atlanta Pride all year long at events is going to add to the cache of what Atlanta Pride is and will expand the audience even further.”  

But not only did the winner of the September 30th event earn the title and responsibilities of Atlanta’s Pride Queen, but she also earned a heap a rewards.

The winner of the event received a crown, $500 in cash, a spot in the Atlanta Pride parade, a photo shoot with local photographer Just Toby, a gift certificate for a wig by Jonathan Nieves, a spot in the Shooting Stars Cabaret in Piedmont Park during Atlanta Pride, and a cast slot in Holmes’ drag show in Midtown Tavern after the pageant.

And who won the title? Miss Sheena Cassadine!

Cassadine and her fellow contestants were judged on Pride presentation, talent, and evening gown categories (according to this Georgia USofA pdf about the rules and regulations).

In the end, it was Cassadine who took home the title and all the prizes that went with it. Now, Cassadine will act as a representative of Atlanta’s gay community for the rest of the year. Congratulations to her!

h/t: Project Q, Georgia USofA,

Bearded and Burly Men Embrace Their Inner Mermaid to Raise Attention to Violence Prevention

Last year they raised over $300,000 towards mental health research and they're back to raise awareness of violence and to help violence prevention. The Merb'ys of Newfoundland in Canada are a group of burly, bearded men who pose against beautiful Newfoundland landscapes. A genius concept, really, because who doesn't like beautiful men and beautiful nature pictures?

In addition to being great to look at, the Merb'ys are raising awareness of violence in Canada, with proceeds going to Violence Prevention Newfoundland and Labrador. In doing this, the Merb'ys sending out the message that violence will not be tolerated.

The purpose of the 2019 calendar is to challenge traditional masculinity to help curb violence. The photoshoot included men of all shapes and sizes, ethnic backgrounds, and gender identities to showcase that there is beauty in differences. Merb'ys is doing a great public service by donating their money to violence prevention programs while also being all inclusive with a variety of different models. The creator of Merb'ys, Hasan Hai, never expected this concept to make as much money as it did, but judging by last year's profits, it's safe to assume that people love strong, husky men.


h/t: globalnews.ca

Pride Decorations Kicked Aside At A Polish Pride Fair

A video of a group of men kicking around a LGBT rights and pride stand is being shared like crazy.

Polish LGBT group Lambda Szczecian recently joined together with the “Equality on the Wave” association to release a small fair.

“There will be healthy cakes, salads, books, games, photo exhibition and other attractions,” said Lambda Szczecin on Facebook before the event.

The project in Szcezecin, Poland took place on Rayskiego Street and stretched from Zamenhof Square to Grunwaldzki Square, according to local news source Głos Szczeciński.

Unfortunately, a group of men stopped the fun as they started to violently kick the rainbow umbrellas placed across the street.

A few phones caught the moment on video and one such video made its way onto Facebook. It has then spread online through several posters like the Racist and Xenophobic Behavior Monitoring Center.

The police are currently investigating the situation, but no arrests have been made at the moment.

 “We’re looking into it,” says Commissioner Mirosława Rudzińska from the Police Headquarters in Szczecin. 

“If offenders are caught, they will most likely face charges for hooliganism,” added hate crime officer  Dr Piotr Godzisz according to Gay Star News.

“Most likely, there will not be a penalty top-up for the homophobic motivation.”

h/t: Głos Szczeciński, Gay Star News

Apple Blocked The Apple Watch’s Gay Pride Feature In Russia

Come Pride month, Apple is constantly promoting its commitment to celebrating equality and diversity in all ways, but it looks like Apple has its exceptions.

For instance, Apple announced the Pride Apple Watch face back in June. The design is reminiscent of the Pride flag and is meant to boldly announce Apple, and Apple users’, support for LGBTQ people.

Unfortunately, iOS developer Guilherme Rambo discovered yesterday that the Apple Watch face has been “hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale.”

After Rambo made this announcement, Verge reporter Tom Warren tested out the device and found that the Watch face disappears as soon as the connected iPhone switches to a Russian location.

Plus, the Mirror reports that the optional Apple’s Watch Pride strap also doesn’t sell in the country of Russia.

Again, this development is confusing as Apple has openly supported LGBTQ rights before, but it seems like it all comes down to money and the law.

In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed in a “gay propaganda” law. The law is supposedly designed to protect Russian citizens, specifically the youth, from being subjected to viewing LGBTQ content.

It seems that by banning the Apple Watch Pride face, Apple preemptively blocked the design from appearing in Russian quarters. As such, there’s no risk of being fined by the government.

That said, that’s only an assumption made by those who have discovered this hardcoding. In addition, Apple hasn’t made a comment on this development since Rambo initially pointed it out yesterday.

h/t: The Verge, The Mirror, Fast Company

The First Official Russian Pride Parade Was Banned Before it Occured

A tiny village known as Yablonevy in Russia was set to hold the nation's first officially approved LGBTQ+ Pride parade but the permission was denied by local authorities. The government of Novoulyanovsk holds jurisdiction over the village so its mayor approved the Pride parade which activists originally wanted to hold in that city's center but then decided against. In order to avoid conflict, they decided to move the parade to Yablonevy, a small town in Russia with 7 residents. However, the city manager overrode the decision to have the parade and claimed their permit was invalid because he had not been consulted before the city change had been made.

The city manager, Gennady Denikayev, said:

"I made a decision, there will be no gay parade. We intend to protect traditional family values and, foremost, our children from the propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations."

That type of "propaganda" was explcitly banned by 2013 Russian law when they stated that any positive mention of LGBTQ+ rights or identity is prohibited. All attempts to hold Pride events in major Russian cities have been banned by the government. However, there was a "rogue" Pride rally held in St. Petersburg in 2017 that was not approved by authorities. Since the city of Moscow issued a ban in 2012, gay Pride parades have been banned for the next hundred years.

h/t: Advocate, ProudOut.com