07/29/2014

Sweden Resumes Providing Financial Aid To Uganda

Embassy of Sweden in Kampala

Despite having previously rescinded financial aid to Uganda over their reprehensible and inhumane anti-gay laws, Sweden has relented and resumed providing aid to the African country. The Swedish embassy in Kampala says:

Sweden wants to help create better conditions in Uganda for sustainable economic growth and development. This is why Swedish aid to Uganda will remain substantial.

The Swedish embassy also said:

Sweden continues to support human rights and freedom from violence.

This will be an interesting feat to pull off given how Uganda's laws undermine human rights and freedom while encouraging violence.

Posted Jul. 29,2014 at 2:05 PM EST by in Sweden, Uganda | Permalink | Comments (9)


'Ex-Gay' Activist Yvette Cantu Schneider Comes Out In Support Of LGBT Rights

Yvette Cantu Schneider, one of the most vocal and best known representatives of the ex-gay movement, has announced that no longer wishes to identify with anti-gay groups, reports GLAAD.

225050_10150202052319238_2061929_nSchneider is known for her high-profile start at hate group the Family Research Council and her work with California's Proposition 8 campaign.  She is still one of the key people who anti-gay voices cite in order to prove that "change" works. The American Family Association continues to sell a video, It's Not Gay, in which Yvette appears as a talking head. Her "personal testimony" still appears on Ex-gaytruth.com.

However, Schneider has said that she is sorry for the pain she has caused to LGBTI people, is questioning of the idea of "ex-gay" itself and is now fully supportive of LGBT people and their families.

In her recently published book Never Not Broken: A Journey of Unbridled Transformation, Schneider "struggles to heal from difficult events from her childhood, the abuses and hypocrisies of religious leaders, and the effects of her own denial of the feminine divine" and ultimately "discovers her true self."

Writing for GLAAD yesterday, Schneider explained how, following the stress brought on by her five-year-old daughter’s diagnosis with leukemia, she sought the help of psychologist Dr. Diana Wright who taught her mindfulness meditation and guided imagery meditation.

She goes on to explain:

“I had neglected the feminine and the feminine divine when I embraced patriarchal dogma that regarded women as secondary to men...It was only when I embraced this true self that I regained my life. It meant shedding many of the beliefs I had espoused for decades—beliefs about what it means to be gay, and what it means to treat people with dignity and respect.

“This change has cost me friendships and the respect of certain people. But that’s okay. I don’t expect everyone to understand my journey. One thing is for sure: Never again will I deny my authentic self in order to gain the approval and acceptance of others. It isn’t worth it.”

A Q&A with Schneider will be published by GLAAD today.

Schneider's defection is another recent blow for the ex-gay movement after Pennsylvania pastor Duane Youngblood was arrested last week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a teenager.

Posted Jul. 29,2014 at 1:40 PM EST by in "Ex-Gays", Family Research Council, LGBT Rights, LGBT Stories, Proposition 8 | Permalink | Comments (11)


Vice News' Beautiful, Unsettling Look At Jamaica's LGBT 'Gully Queens' - VIDEO

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While homosexuality is not technically illegal in Jamaica, British colonial anti-buggery laws punish sodomy with a 10-year prison sentences and hard labor. Living as an openly LGBT Jamaican risks police harassment, muggings, violent stabbings, burnings and even death.

In his 25-minute video report with Vice News, reporter Christo Geoghegan says:

“With cultural and religious conservatism rife, being out and proud isn’t exactly an option. While some believe Jamaica’s attitudes to homosexuality are slowly evolving, last year actually saw an increase in homophobic and transphobic violence with attacks often taking place in broad daylight and shared across social media.“

So as a way to protect themselves, homeless LGBT youth near the country’s capital of Kingston have taken to living in a storm drain called “The Gully." Vice News interviewed them and examined whether repealing the country’s buggery law will help reduce the anti-LGBT stigma these youth face on a daily basis.

A conservative evangelical group called the Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society states that LGBT people want to repeal the law because “deviant behaviors are now to be considered normal and positive aspects of human sexuality.” Uganda’s Martin “Eat Da Poo Poo” Ssempa used similar rhetoric as a way to de-humanize LGBT people and foment physical revulsion and disgust against their sexual identities.

Rich queens in Jamaica — LGBT people with economic standing — can insulate themselves against the worst forms of homophobia unlike the “poor queens and the scary queens” who must hustle, sell snacks or do sex work to make money.

Local politicians blame the Gully queens and their parents for their own situation, stating that the queens rob people, aren’t fit for employment and never file police reports of violence. But the queens and other LGBT Jamaicans inherently distrust the cops and inactive politicians as complicit players in the country's anti-LGBT culture.

Earlier this year, Kingston-area police burned the Gully queens belongings and tried to run them out, stating that their presence "attracted criminals." But a judge ruled that the queens had every right to live there and so they returned.

Since then, the Gully queens have done their best to form comfortable lives within self-made families while protesting for their right to exist safely  amid an atmosphere of unending hatred and violence against them.

Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP…

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Continue reading "Vice News' Beautiful, Unsettling Look At Jamaica's LGBT 'Gully Queens' - VIDEO"

Posted Jul. 29,2014 at 1:15 PM EST by in Jamaica, News, Video | Permalink | Comments (8)


GaymerX Convention Future In Question Following Financial Woes

Gxgoodbye

Two years ago Matt Conn founded GaymerX, a gaming convention oriented towards LGBTQ players. The idea behind the project was to bring the vibrant queer gaming community together for a few days of celebration, conversation, and, of course, gaming. Initially called GaymerCon, Conn’s Kickstarter quickly met its exceeded its funding goal and drew backing from a number of notable video game developers.

After two successful gatherings, however, Conn announced via the GaymerX blog that this year’s con would most likely be the last for the foreseeable future. The reason, as is often the case with indie endeavors like GaymerX, boiled down to funding:

“After all the glitter and stardust was done, we took quite a financial hit from GaymerX2 – we ended up having a hotel bill alone of over $90,000, not counting A/V, lighting, insurance, flights for out of town teams and equipment rentals, and with our Kickstarter for the event only hitting 24K and with slightly lower than expected attendance, we fell into a $50K hole.”

Financial difficulties and the reneging of sponsorship from sponsor NIS America have left GaymerX’s organizers in the red and looking to rethink future events.

"I feel awful and betrayed," Conn told Joystiq earlier this week. "This just further puts a nail into our coffin if we don't figure out a revenue stream very quickly."

Undeterred, Conn is seeking support in spreading the word about Gaming In Color, a documentary focusing on queer gamers, which his team has completed and is now shopping around the independent doc circuit. Additionally Conn hopes to drum up enough interest to launch Read Only Memories, the team’s LGBTQ cyberpunk point-and-click style adventure game.

GaymerX may live on in the future, Conn says, as GaymerXJam, a smaller planning event “focused around giving all gamers the ability to make a game exploring SOMETHING queer.”

Check out the trailer for Gaming in Color and Read Only Memories AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "GaymerX Convention Future In Question Following Financial Woes"

Posted Jul. 29,2014 at 12:50 PM EST by in Film, Gaming | Permalink | Comments (11)


Ten Percent Of Population March For LGBTI Equality In The Faroe Islands

Faroe islands pride 2014

Police in the Faroe Islands estimate than 10 percent of the population took part in an LGBT equality march on July 27th, reports Gay Star News.

Of the island’s 50,000 people, it is thought that 5,000 took part in Sunday’s march.

A bill providing for same-sex marriage was defeated in March even though polls have shown that public support is as high as 68%.  

The Faroe Islands, an autonomous country and a dependency of Denmark, is the only Nordic country other than Finland that does not allow same-sex marriage.

Posted Jul. 29,2014 at 12:20 PM EST by in Finland, Gay Marriage, Gay Pride, News | Permalink | Comments (9)


LGBT Activist Group Queer Nation Targets Jared Polis on ENDA

Queernation

The LGBTQ activist group Queer Nation, founded by one-time ACT UP members, is targeting Democratic House Representative Jared Polis, according to their website.

Polis, who is a gay man, recently introduced two resolutions to the House floor as a first step towards triggering a discharge petition to pass a modified version of ENDA.

“Jared Polis and the Democrats are desperately trying to salvage a worthless bill, but a pig wearing lipstick is still a pig,” said Andrew Miller, a member of Queer Nation in a press release. “No version of ENDA will make LGBT people equal under the law. Only a comprehensive civil rights law will do that."

Posted Jul. 29,2014 at 11:55 AM EST by in ENDA, Jared Polis | Permalink | Comments (9)


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