Gay Pride Hub
Tens of thousands marched in an LGBT Pride celebration in Taipei, Taiwan on Saturday pushing for equal rights, Reuters reports:
Taiwan's legislature on Friday began a review of a gay marriage bill, which has the support of 53 percent of the public, according to a recent opinion poll, though acceptance of a gay family member remains low.
"Chinese families are still very traditional," said Jennifer Lu of the counselling group Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association and one of the hosts on the centre stage. "People still emphasise having an heir and passing on the family name."
On a cool autumn day, the 11th annual parade was marked by colourful costumes, plenty of exposed skin, musical performances and vendors lining the route to and from the city hall.
Spokeswoman Meico Tsai praised the liberal attitudes that have put Taiwan far ahead of its neighbours in terms of tolerance of gays. "Compared to other Asian countries, we're more open, but we still have a long way to go," she said.
Watch videos of the march, AFTER THE JUMP...
Zdravko Cimbaljevic came out in 2010 and earned the distinction of being Montenegro's first out gay man. From that moment on, his life got much more difficult. The death threats and assaults began almost immediately, Buzzfeed reports, with his father disowning him, his extended family cutting him off, his neighbor attacking him in the street, and receiving death threats like one posted in public that read:
With his blown-out ass, we announce that on the day of July 24 2013 in 12 a.m., in front of the Walls of The Old Town Budva, his soul will depart in death, our afflicted and never overf--ked brother … ZDRAVKO CIMBALJEVIC. Commemoration of the dearly screwed deceased will be held in former Government building.
Despite Cimbaljevic reporting all incidents to the authorities, and despite Montenegro having LGBT protections written into law to meet the requirements for admission into the European Union, no prosecutions have been taken. Fearing for his safety and believing that the authorities had no desire to halt his persecution, Cimbaljevic sought asylum in Canada this summer after the Pride march in Budva, an action he says he wouldn't have taken if just one person had been convicted.
This past Sunday the country's capital of Podgorica held its first-ever Pride march, which Cimbaljevic attended via Skype. Violence did erupt, but unlike the march in Budva, police in Podgorica locked down the parade route and protected the marchers from harm. The event was attended to and supported by government officials.
Cimbaljevic's activism and coming out has helped to dramatically shift the climate towards homosexuals in the country in a relatively short amount of time.
“I was frightened in the beginning, but it really was easier for me than it was for Zdravko,” [Stevan] Milivojevic said. Gay and lesbian issues have been part of the national discussion since Cimbaljevic came out — people are at least aware that LGBTs exist within Montenegro now. “My parents and friends and all my surrounding people supported me,” he said.
As planned, Montenegro's capital of Podgorica held its first gay pride march today. While only an estimated 150 people marched, the event drew approximately 1,500 extremists who sought to disrupt the event, ultimately forcing police intervention, The Guardian reports.
Montenegran President Filip Vujanović had previously promised the group Queer Montenegro, who organized the march, that the government would do everything within its power to guarantee the safety of those involved. By all accounts, the government seems to have made good on that promise. Despite an explosion at the perimeter of the march, a barrage of rocks being hurled at marchers, and twelve protesters who came armed with molotov cocktails (all of whom were arrested by police), there are no reports that anyone who took part in the march was injured, according to BuzzFeed. Two thousand police officers, approximately fifty-percent of Montenegro's entire police force, were on hand for the event, Historia IME reports. Twenty police officers were injured and fourty extremist "hooligans" were also hurt as Police and anti-gay protesters butted heads throughout the day.
The march in Podgorica comes as just the second Pride event in the country's history. As previously reported, the small town of Budva held its first Pride in July of this year. That event was also marred by the presence of anti-gay protesters. However, an important distinction between the march in Budva and the one in Podgorica was the presence and involvement of the government. BuzzFeed reports:
Activists were heartened by the presence of Montenegro’s minister of human and minority rights, Suad Numanović, which they took as a gesture of the government’s commitment to protecting LGBT rights. No government officials took part in the Budva march.
“In Budva, the message was … this is the Montenegro which does not support LGBT people,” said Ljiljiana Reicević, a march participant who also attended the Budva pride march. “But Podgorica is totally different. It proves that the government is stating, ‘No, We will not allow this [violence], we will stop this, and we will protect you.’”
Many have speculated that Montenegro's desire to join the European Union is a key factor behind the government's staunch support for the march in Podgorica, especially considering that dignitaries such as Mitja Drobnič, head of the European Union’s mission to Montenegro, and Laurent L. Stokvis, the Dutch ambassador to Serbia, were on hand for the event. Moreover, as BuzzFeed notes, Minister Numanović seems to believe that "Demonstrating progress towards securing LGBT rights is crucial to Montenegro’s aspirations to one day be part of the European Union":
“On the road to European integration, the government of Montenegro has shown its democratic capacity [and the pride march] shows that Montenegrin society is maturing in the protection of all minorities, including members of the LGBT community,” he said.
That was the message received by Ambassador Stokvis. “I think it is of great significance that the LGBT community here is holding this pride [and] that it is being supported and it is being safeguarded by the Montenegran government,” he said. “This of course a sign of democracy, about the right to assemble, the right to demonstrate, and the right to free speech … important values for all of us, for the European Union and for the Netherlands in particular.”
San Francisco has long been a gay mecca in the United States, and for the entire global community. Now, things are going to become a little more official.
The San Francisco Historic Preservation Fund Committee has issued a grant to the GLBT Historical Society to catalogue a comprehensive listing of all the locations associated with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender history amongst the city's backdrop of steep hills, rainbow houses, and the Golden Gate Bridge. The project is to be unveiled on November 14th at a workshop where patrons are asked to share their own experiences and favorite locations.
The officlal media release for the workshop reports:
The workshop will bring together community members to share their recollections of places that have been important to their past experiences of LGBT life in San Francisco. "We're eager to hear from everyone who has participated in the community in any way up through the 1980s," says Graves. "Where did you go to house parties? What was your favorite bar or club? Where did you shop for books, music and fabulous clothes? Where did you attend activist meetings or go to cultural events?
"We are particularly interested in hearing from people with information about sites important to LGBT communities of color, transgender people, the bisexual community and others who are underdocumented in LGBT history," Graves adds.
The project is expected to take a year to complete, with extensive archival research, further interviews with groups and individuals, and a final community meeting at the end of the study. The outcome will be a formal document known as a historic context statement, which will be distributed publicly and will be used by community history advocates and city planners.
"Remember LGBT Historic Sites in San Francisco: A Community Workshop" will take place on Thursday, November 14th from 6-7:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Womens Building's Audre Lorde Room. Admission is free and participation is encouraged.
Eddie Redmayne is looking all kinds of geek chic on set of Stephen Hawkings bio-pic The Theory of Everything.
Speaking of physics, Francois Englert of Belgium and Peter Higgs of Britain won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in theorizing the existence of the so-called Higgs boson, also known as "The God Particle," the existence of which was finally proven earlier this year thanks to CERN's Large Hadron Collider. "Englert and Higgs theorized about the existence of the particle in the 1960s to provide an answer to a riddle: why matter has mass. The tiny particle, they believed, acts like molasses on snow — causing other basic building blocks of nature to stick together, slow down and form atoms."
Can circumcision reduce the risk of acquiring HIV? "Major studies support circumcision as prevention in Africa but a small yet vocal group argues the science is flawed."
Tens of thousands turn out for jubilant week-long Pride celebrations in Orlando, Florida.
If these walls could talk: an oral history of New York's Chelsea Hotel.
Is the Puerto Rican island of Vieques the new destination wedding spot for gay couples? The W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island is now offering wedding packages for same-sex couples: "Aimed at couples in the East, the package includes a legal marriage ceremony in New York or Boston, followed by the resort event. Priced from $12,500, the arrangement includes 45 hours of planning, a personalized wedding Web site, a prewedding tasting with Ms. Coveney Smith and the resort’s culinary team and the wedding planner’s attendance at the resort rehearsal and ceremony."
You daily dose of Awwww.
Apparently Liam Payne's underwear was stolen, hence the commando pajama pant balcony appearance.
George Takei reminds us of the silver lining to the government shutdown.
One gay father comes face to faces with the sexism inherent in toys: "The girls' section was a pink bubble. The themes: fashion, cooking and cleaning. The promotional words on the packages were fun and frivolous. In contrast, the toys that were meant for boys communicated, literally and figuratively, concepts such as leadership, command, speed, agility, skill, might and success. I got the message then and there. If you are a girl, your aspirations should be to play at elegance, nurture a baby doll, and practice cooking and cleaning. If you are a boy, you are to aspire to a persona of power. You are to build physically, train and excel."
Marilyn Monroe as you may never have seen her.
Colton Haynes basking in the afternoon glow.