Gay Youth Hub

Controversy Surrounds Screening Of Gay Teen Documentary in Russia - VIDEO

404 film

A Russian television channel has created controversy surrounding the screening of a documentary about gay teens last month at the Pacific Meridians festival in Vladivostok, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

According to People's Patriotic Channel, despite the 18+ rating of the documentary Deti 404 (Children 404), tickets to the screening were sold to minors without a proper ID check.

404404 refers to an online forum for Russian-speaking LGBTQ teens and to an error message displayed on Russian computer screens when people attempt to navigate to a web page that doesn't exist. 

People's Patriotic Channel claims that the documentary violates Russia's "gay propaganda" law.

A screening of the film in St Petersburg last April was disrupted by Orthodox Christian activists and police.

The festival's organizers have said the theater is to blame for the incident but added that the inclusion of the film into one of the festival's sections was important as it deals with a major social issue.

Festival programming director Natalia Timofeyeva said “this film is very useful because we are striving for a tolerant society in which people who are different can also exist.”

Watch a trailer for Deti 404, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Delaware School Board Member Opposes Curriculum's Discussion Of Homosexuality, Gender Identity

DelawareDelaware has not had the best school board-related news of late. In August, the Cape Henlopen school board voted to remove a coming-of-age book about a lesbian girl from its summer reading list (after which the summer reading program was removed altogether). Now, the Indian River school district board of education is facing a particularly irate and talkative member who opposes any mention of homosexuality and gender identity in the curriculum.

Pink News reports:

Last week, Shaun Fink, Indian River School District Board of Education member, spoke out at a school board meeting against lesson plans that would address issues of gender identity and sexual orientation in Indian River high schools...

He said: “I am objecting publicly to anything that discusses gender identity, homosexuality. Schools have no role in teaching someone ‘if you’re gay you’re normal.’ That is not the school’s role. When did the school become the arbiter of what’s normal and what’s not normal?”

One response? Schools have always been arbiters of normalcy, and leaving definitions of varied identities out of the curriculum only furthers some students' lack of understanding. Nina Lou Bunting, another member of the school board, had an appropriate response at the ready as well.

She said: “Whether you go into transgender, cross-dressing, all the different aspects, is that really so important? It’s just if someone is different, we are to respect them as human beings as we wish to be respected.”

It turns out that Mr. Fink also opposes lessons about STI, HIV, and pregnancy prevention, citing Title 14, which enforces an abstinence-focused education.

He said: “You can’t teach both sides of it. Condoms don’t belong in a classroom. End of story.”

Miseducation, or an utter lack of education, has never been a means to fight misunderstanding. Hopefully Fink's comments will not derail further discussion of these issues in the Indian River school district.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson Came Out At 14 After Being Caught Stealing


Funny man Jesse Tyler Ferguson is an established, out gay presence in Hollywood. He plays one half of recently married duo Cam and Mitch on Modern Family and married his own hubby, Justin Mikita, last July. Ferguson was not always so out and proud, though, and he recently shared his coming out experience with fellow comedian Aisha Tyler on her podcast "Girl on Guy." 

HuffPost reports:

"Well, I was caught stealing gay porn when I was 14," Ferguson, who was raised in New Mexico, admitted. "So, I always considered that my coming-out. ... It was so humiliating. I had been stealing porn for a while. I had quite a little collection. And I would bring it into the house, and then I'd get nervous, so I'd hide it under the mattress, or I'd hide it behind a shed in the backyard. And then it would get rained on, and I'd have to go get the barbecue tongs to [get it out]."

Ferguson said that one of his stolen goods set off an alarm. The woman behind the check out counter then took him to a back room...and called his father. 

"When I stole the porn it was like, 'OK, are you gay?' And I was, like, 14. I didn't really know. I didn't know what I was going through. But then in my later teen years I did come out to him, and it was like he needed to be told three times. ... [When I was 21] he asked me if I had a girlfriend at the time, and I was like, 'Dad! You know I'm gay, right?'"

Ferguson's father apparently had difficulty accepting his son's sexual orientation, but that did not stop him from giving an emotional speech the night before Ferguson and Mikita's wedding. 

"It was a process for him as well. It was sort of a coming-out process, and he had to figure out how to deal with having a son that wasn't the ideal son that he had," [Ferguson] told Oprah Winfrey last year.

University of California to Adopt New Guidelines for Trans Students


In more good news out of California for LGBT people, the University of California school system will adopt new considerations for its students.

Out of concern for transgender students and employees' comfort, UC will add preferred names to student records and change exisisting single-stall restrooms to be gender-neutral.

Via San Jose Mercury News, said UC president Janet Napolitano (pictured) of this decision:

UC should be the gold standard where these issues are concerned...We want to look at not only what we are doing now, but also in the medium and long term for our students, our staff, our faculty and the communities where our campuses are situated.

The changes come from a new LGBT advisory council Napolitano established in June. The council's next move is to develop proposals for improving employee training on LGBT issues, and to develop a conference to "showcase faculty research into issues of sexual orientation and gender identity."

New HRC Study Shows Bisexual Youth at High Risk

FlagA new study from HRC explores the challenges faced by bisexual youth.

To start with what may seem obvious, bisexual youth face greater adversity than their straight counterparts. On average, bisexuals report more harrassment and more unhappiness; 79% of non-LGBT youth say they have a supportive family member in the household, a mere 44% of bisexual youth report having one.

It may or may not come as a surprise, but the study finds many bisexual youths do not even always feel accepted by the LGBT community; bisexual youth often feel that other LGBT people, especially homosexuals, dismiss them as "confused" or just going through "a phase."

It's an idea we're all familiar with — that bisexuality is just a stepping stone to coming out. In fact, the study's findings could well indicate this happens frequently: there were higher percentages of bisexual students among middle school students than there were among high school students.

However, for the truly bisexual students — those not easing coming out as gay — accusations of "being confused" (etc) continue from peers and adults.

Bisexual youth also face comments saying they are promiscuous, that they are seeking attention, or even that bisexuality is "not real."

Check out the stats and particulars of the study, embedded AFTER THE JUMP...

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Colombian Teen Commits Suicide After Alleged Anti-gay Harassment From Catholic School Administrators

A 16-year-old Colombian boy has committed suicide in August after reportedly anti-gay harassment from his Catholic school administrators, GLAAD reports this week:

SergioSergio Urrego, 16, killed himself after school's administrators first made public his relationship with another young man then accused him of sexual harassment. According to the story, the relationship was uncovered by a teacher who saw a photo on Sergio's phone of he and his boyfriend kissing. The school, Gimnasio Castillo Campestre, a Catholic institution, treated the situation in a deplorable manner, according to Sergio's mother, who said she will not rest until her son's name is cleared. She is filing a complaint, supported by the LGBT group Colombia Diversa

Urrego was called to the school principal, who reportedly belittled Urrego - calling him as an "anarchist" an "atheist" and "a homosexual."

The Advocate adds:

It is unclear what actions, if any will, be taken against the school and those involved in the alleged abuse. El Espectador notes that Urrego and his parents had requested meetings with school and district officials to discuss the antigay harassment Urrego was enduring at the hands of those who were paid to educate and protect him, but school officials claimed Urrego's problems were based at home, with parents who did not accept his sexual orientation.

A vigil is planned tomorrow in front of the school and at the location where Urrego ended his life.

[photo via Facebook]


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