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04/19/2007


Gay Porn Company Uses Proceeds To Help LGBT People In Need

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Torn between your passion for social activism and your love of gay erotica? Thanks to Boys Town Studios, the new branch of Monarchy Distribution that's launching this upcoming fall, you'll apparently get to kill two birds with one...um...bone. 

"100 percent of the profits from all these movies, including DVD sales, video-on-demand, cable and broadcast will be donated to our newly-created non-profit," said Mike Kulich, owner of Monarchy Distribution, in a statement to HuffPost Gay Voices. 

"Anyone will be able to write Boys Town Studios and tell their stories about how bigotry and homophobia has affected their lives, and we will step into help those victims as much as we can."

The studio's first film, Deep In The Dark, will be released this October, and will specifically target its funds towards LGBT aid and advocacy in Russia. While Boys Town doesn't claim to be making any sort of statement by using gay porn to generate funds for charity, the studio is bound to raise at least a few eyebrows when it comes time to donate its proceeds. Nevertheless, since anti-gay activists have previously used gay porn to scare up support for their cause, it is nice to see the scales tipping back in the other direction. 

Is Boys Town on to something? Is it a good idea to use gay porn to generate proceeds for charity? Sound off in the comments section below. 


Video Chronicles Russian Bigots' Brutal Attack Of Trans Woman

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Previously, Towleroad has shown you bits and pieces of the horrifying social media posts coming from Russia. Anti-LGBT vigilantes have taken to the web attempting to lure unsuspecting victims into meeting a potential partner at a particular time and place, only to surprise and ambush them as soon as they show up. These vigilantes then record the violent ambushes before posting them on the web, often outing victims to their family and friends.  

Trans-bashing-1This latest video is simply one of the latest to pop up on the Russian social media site VK.com. In it, five men ambush and brutalize a trans woman in a public park. Since the video begins with the physical attack, it is not immediately apparent if the traditional pre-ambush verbal confrontation and interrogation took place. Nevertheless, the end result is a chilling attack that is among the most violent to find its way to the web. 

The video does not appear to be directly affiliated with the "Occupy" extremist movement perpetuated by infamous Russian ultra-nationalist and former skin head, Maxim Martsinkevich, AKA "Cleaver". Instead, the video appears to be affiliated with a site called OnlyFighting.ru, which hosts videos of amateur "street fights" from around the globe. John Aravosis of AmericaBlog attempted to upload a copy of the video to YouTube. Its ultra-violent content promptly got it removed from the site. Aravosis also reports that: 

"The Russian government refused to investigate these crimes, even with videos clearly showing the hometowns and faces of the perpetrators.  Only a week or two ago, when the international press picked up on this story did the Russian authorities claim they would investigate. No word on anything they’ve done to solve and stop these crimes." 

Russians-trans-woman-largeAccording to Aravosis, the video's title even goes so far as to label the victim a "homosexual", illustrating the perpetrators' ignorance to the difference between being gay and transgender. Then again, even if these attackers had been aware of the difference, it is unlikely that their response would have been any different. 

Those wishing to view the video can do so HERE. Be advised, however, that it portrays graphic and disturbing content. 


Fear Lives On, Even In 'Gay-Friendly' Cities

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Russia, Uganda, Jamaica, Pakistan...all countries that have made headlines with anti-gay violence and hatred just this month alone. Yet, with all of the blatant and often-institutionalized homophobia taking place around the globe, it can sometimes be easy to forget that some of the same hatred is still happening on our own soil...even in cities and neighborhoods that are traditionally considered "gay friendly". 

That's the argument made by Frank Bruni in his New York Times opinion column "Gay and Fearful". In it, he describes the sensation of holding his partner's hand in public while walking down the streets of New York City:

"Your heart rate goes up a nervous notch or two. It’s not shame that does this. It’s not embarrassment. It’s the awareness that even in Manhattan and even in 2013, you might easily encounter someone who will cast a disgusted look your way. Or say something nasty. Or, worse, throw a punch."

Attack Victim 2
Of couse, Bruni's apprehension is not without reason. Just this Tuesday, two gay men were assaulted in Chelsea by a group of attackers, just because they were holding hands. Anyone familiar at all with NYC can tell you that Chelsea is traditonally seen as a gay-friendly neighborhood. Let's also not forget the fatal shooting that took place earlier this year in another traditionally-gay-friendly neighborhood in New York City. That attack was one of several that took place within the span of just a few weeks. 

"As best I can tell, police responded with concern and energy. Exactly as I’d expect, most New Yorkers whose attention was drawn to this rash of violence reacted with sorrow and outrage. We live in a city—and, I hope, a country—where the vast majority of people do not believe that being gay warrants victimization. This isn’t Russia. This isn’t Uganda."

Yet, despite the fact that same-sex couples now reap the benefits of marriage equality in the state, and despite the fact that most seem to support the basic human rights of LGBT people, gay New-Yorkers such as Bruni are still forced to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Such a reality is one that continues to haunt many a minority group even after legislation is passed, and illustrates how obtaining legal recognition and protection is only part of the battle for full equality. 

You can read Bruni's full column HERE.


Journalist Chronicles Gay Life In Russia With Eight 'Horrific And Uplifting Stories'


Gay russiaDebate and controversy continues to surround Russia and its anti-gay laws, espcially since the country is set to host some high-profile international events during the next few years, including the Winter Olympics and the FiFA World Cup

Journalist Julia Ioffe wrote a piece recently for New Republic in an attempt to contribute to these ongoing discussions. Ioffe doesn't take any side on any issue, though. Instead, she simply seeks to add a human element to the debate, and provide several examples of how the anti-gay "propaganda" law impacts actual human lives. These pithy portraits come from both personal acquaintances of hers as well as news stories that she's seen circulate around her.

When combined, they paint a very bleak portrait of gay life within Russia's borders, and provide a cross section of the more violent, compassionate, and resilient aspects of human nature. One story tells of parents disowning their gay children, while another describes a group of friends rallying to support a person who had just recently contracted HIV. One story describes a man who was perceived as gay and subsequently sodomized with multiple bottles before being beaten to death. Another describes a young Russian man expressing his support for his gay younger brother's same-sex relationship. 

With the "propaganda" law silencing many LGBT voices trapped inside Russia's borders, Ioffe's portraits are among the few that can circulate freely without posing any risk to those involved. She has even taken it upon herself to change some names to ensure that fact. 

You can read the full piece HERE.


New Website Helps Gay Pakistanis Find Support, Navigate Anti-Gay Laws


Queer Pakistan

 

With so much controversy surrounding Russia at present, it's easy to forget that cerain other countries have even stricter anti-gay laws and policies in place. One such country is Pakistan, where laws forbid homosexual acts as well as "propaganda", and carry penalties ranging from 2 years to life in prison, or even death in some other cases. 

Queer Pakistan seeks to help improve the country's harshly anti-gay climate. It seeks to create a safe haven online for members of the underground Pakistani LGBT community, as well as provide informational tools and resources for those in and out of the community. It also seeks to spread information about sexually transmitted diseases, which is another taboo in the highly-conservative country. Its slogan declares: "Don't hate us, know usI" 

Pakistan-is-a-strange-country-1024x640Pakistan is also known for its strict censorship laws. Since the origin of the site remains unknown, it is not yet apparent if the Pakistani government has taken measures to block the site or shut it down, or if it even can. Such efforts may prove counter-intuitive, though, since Pink News reports that Pakistan leads the world in online gay porn searches. Thus, it may actually be in the country's best interest to encourage traffic to this site, since it provides actual substantive information. 

Nevertheless, this site serves as just another example of the web has allowed members of underground LGBT movements to communicate and provide support for each other


Gay, Trans TV Personality Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against BET, Viacom - VIDEO

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B. Scott, a media personality for Black Entertainment Television, filed a discrimination lawsuit last week after an incident that allegedly took place during the Red Carpet pre-show of the 2013 BET Awards on June 30th. The alleged discrimination centers around Scott's pre-approved choice of wardrobe for the live event, which apparently did not sit well with producers. In Scott's own words, via an open letter posted on his website:

"After interviewing AJ Calloway for my first segment I was literally yanked backstage and told that my look from head to toe 'wasn’t acceptable.' They asked me to pull my hair back, they asked me to change my attire. Let’s be clear, I wasn’t wearing a ball gown and stiletto heels. I was wearing long pants, and a long shirt. I was returned to my trailer and forced to change into one of the other outfits while other producers waited outside. I changed quickly and returned to set, only to be told that I had been replaced by Adrienne Bailon and wouldn’t be going on at all."

0807-b-scott-bet-getty-7The letter goes on to describe how representatives from Proctor & Gamble, one of the event's key sponsors, urged producers to allow Scott to return to the red carpet. They finally relented, but still only allowed Scott to return to the show in a significantly "diminished capacity". 

Scott, who identifies as both gay and within the trans spectrum, discussed the incident with both the Washington Blade and MSNBC's Thomas Roberts. “I have had experiences before where people have said and treated me in ways that I felt was because of my gender expression and/or my sexual orientation,” he told the Blade. “What’s different about this case or the situation was that it happened before a live audience. It happened in front of all of my peers.”

BET, not surprisingly, released a statement characterizing the incident as "a series of unfortunate miscommunications from both parties". It went on to state that:

“BET Networks embraces global diversity in all its forms and seeks to maintain an inclusive workforce and a culture that values all perspectives and backgrounds. We regret any unintentional offense to B. Scott and anyone within the LGBT community and we seek to continue embracing all gender expressions.”

Scott remains unsatisfied with the network's response, and called it "a slap in the face". 

“Everyone has a right to express who they are on the inside or the outside. I’m fighting for that right for people to be who they are and not to be ashamed of it and not to be ostracized or taken advantage of or abused for it or discriminated against. This is about the people who don’t have a voice.”

You can see B. Scott's interview with Thomas Roberts AFTER THE JUMP...

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