What It Was Like To Watch My Conversion Therapy Story on the Big Screen

Author Garrard Conley opens up about creating Boy Erased and why we need to focus on survivors.   If I tell you how many we number, will you listen to our stories? If I tell you that before we possessed this figure, before we learned that there are 700,000 conversion therapy survivors […]

The post What It Was Like To Watch My Conversion Therapy Story on the Big Screen appeared first on Gay Men News.

Denver Lawmakers Unanimously Pass Ban on Gay Cure Therapy

Denver has outlawed gay cure therapy (Stock photo)

Denver City Council has unanimously passed a ban on gay cure therapy.

The city-wide ban in Denver, Colorado, is the latest in a wave of bills across the US seeking to tackle the discredited practice of attempting to “change” sexual orientation or gender identity.

Denver City Council members unanimously voted for a city-wide ban on conversion therapy for minors on January 7.

This proposal is aimed at state-licensed therapists operating in the city, who Mayor of Denver Michael B. Hancock accused of “falsely claiming that being gay or transgender is a mental illness, and therefore taking advantage of parents and harming vulnerable youth.”

Denver ‘will never allow’ gay cure therapy

Mayor Hancock, a Democrat, said: “Tonight’s vote to ban conversion therapy is a great example of our city coming together and saying with one voice that we will never allow our LGBTQ+ youth to be the targets of these dubious practices, and that we are here to support them.

“Who they are is something to be celebrated, not maligned, and Denver will always be there to lift up our youth and ensure that they have the opportunity to grow up safe, happy and healthy.

“I want to thank the members of Denver City Council for their vote tonight, as well as Council members Robin Kniech and Jolon Clark, the LGBTQ commission, and all of our partners who stood beside us to support this proposal and advocate for its passing.”

Denver Mayor Michael HancockDenver Mayor Michael Hancock participates in a panel discussion during the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Infrastructure Week’ program May 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

A total of 14 states have now passed statewide laws banning gay ‘cure’ therapy, with nine such laws passing in the past two years alone.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis pledged a statewide ban on gay cure therapy

Although Colorado lawmakers are yet to pass a statewide ban, the state made history in November by electing the nation’s first out gay governor, Jared Polis.

Polis is only the second out LGBT+ person to hold a state governorship, after Oregon’s bisexual Governor Kate Brown.

The newly-elected Polis has already vowed to push forward with a statewide ban on conversion therapy now that Democrats hold the governorship and both chambers of the Colorado legislature.

He told the Washington Blade in December he wanted to ensure “parents can’t force their children into unscientific, torturous conversion therapy.”

Polis added: “We, of course, have strong laws that prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in Colorado, we certainly want to make the step to make sure we’re inclusive for everybody regardless of their race, or gender, or orientation and where they come from.”

The governor said he also wanted to “make [it] easier” for trans people to gain legal recognition in the state, adding that LGBT+ issues are “particularly important in the age of Trump with some of the divisive language that’s used against our community and other communities by the president.”

Check out the original story here: Pink News.

 

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Attractive People Are More Likely to Be Accepting of Gay Sex, Study Suggests

Turns out homophobia really is ugly.

We all know that homophobia is ugly, but it turns out it could be an indication of more than just a rotten personality.

According to a recent study published in Social Science Quarterly, attractive people are more likely to be accepting of gay sex compared to their, erm, less facially-gifted counterparts.

Social policy researchers at Iowa State University used responses from the 2016 General Social Survey and the 1972 National Election Study to compare the views of respondents on a range of ‘moral’ issues including abortion rights, gay sex and marriage equality.

Those two studies were notable for including evaluations by the interviewer of respondents’ physical attractiveness, and researchers found that those deemed more conventionally ‘attractive’ were more likely to hold “permissive” attitudes when answering questions on sexual issues.

When it comes to issues unrelated to sex, such as marijuana legalization however, there was no difference between the two groups.

Robert Urbatsch of Iowa State University speculated that ‘attractive’ people may have more permissive attitudes towards sex because they are likely to have increased opportunities for sexual activity, which in turn reduces the sense of “stigma” surrounding that activity.

“These results support the hypothesis that greater opportunity to indulge in a behavior — as good looks typically provide for sexual activities — reduces the sense of moral stigma surrounding that activity,” Urbatsch said.

We’re taking all this with a pinch of salt, of course, but perhaps that old adage that homophobes are secretly gay is wrong – maybe it’s just because they’re not getting laid at all…

Check out the original story here: Attitude Magazine.

 

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Gay Bloggers Speak Out After Anti-LGBTQ Troll Uses Their Photo to Spread Pro-Pedophile Messages

Couple of Men

Karl Krause and Daan Colijn, a German and Dutch born gay couple who run the travel blog Couple of Men, began receiving e-mails and Twitter notifications that someone on Twitter was using their photos to post messages supporting pedophilia.

The Twitter user, called Alex (@vaceyi), described themselves as “a “Bi-sexual, Intersectional feminist, Nomap ally. #resist.” (Nomap is an abbreviation for “Non-offensive Minor Attracted Persons”, a pedophile who doesn’t rape or molest kids.)

According to NBC News, “Alex used strategies that have become common among efforts to spread misinformation and propaganda on social media, building up a small following by tweeting pro-LGBTQ hashtags and retweeting gay and lesbian aid organizations before sending the pro-pedophilia messages.”

Alex’s messages included tweets like, “Pedophilia is a sexual orientation you bigots,” and numerous pseudo-scientific claims that child sexual abuse is far less psychologically damaging than physical and emotional abuse.

Krause and Colijn reported the account to Twitter, but Twitter required them to prove their ownership of the photo in question and to prove that Alex was really trying to impersonate them.

“We had to write emails back and forth, taking hours before we got a reply,” the couple wrote in a recent blog entry. “Twitter has to simplify [the process].” So, to increase the speed of the process, Krause and Colijn asked their Twitter followers to help out by also reporting the profile.

Though Twitter eventually removed the fake profile, it’s merely the most recent incident of online fakers masquerading as members of the LGBTQ community to proclaim support of pedophilia.

While anti-LGBTQ bigots have long claimed that queer people are all pedophiles, in the last two years online trolls have concocted various schemes to reinforce this idea.

In 2017, trolls from the online group 4chan began claiming they were “clovergender”—that is, grown men who identify as children in order to have consensual sexual contact with kids. This, of course, was a complete lie. No one identifies as clovergender.

In December 2017, online conservatives started sharing an image of a poster with the acronym LGBTP — the P standing for “pedosexual.” But this too was a complete fabrication started by anti-LGBTQ web users.

Then, in July 2018, 4chan trolls also created a “MAP pride flag” celebrating people attracted to minors. The flag is a hoax and has never been flown by any MAPs or LGBTQ community members.

Connecting LGBTQ people to child rapists encourage others to attack us under the guise of “child safety.” It tells you everything you need to know that anti-LGBTQ liars are the ones most proudly allying LGBTQ people and pedophiles.

Studies have shown that most child molesters are actually heterosexual and cisgender, consistent with their numbers in the general population.

Check out the original story here: LGBTQ Nation.

 

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How to Find a Relationship in 2019

When it comes to dating goals for 2019, you may just want to date yourself, which is completely OK; the more comfortable you are with yourself, the more comfortable you may be later if you decide you want to date someone new. And, if you do want to focus on dating this 2019, here are some good tips to re-strategize your love life:

Love yourself.

Often singles wait around for the perfect partner to come save them. Meanwhile they won’t travel, buy a house or take a vacation. When you are happy and fulfilled, you are much more attractive. Start loving yourself the way you want to be loved. Write down some things you’d love to do this year and make them happen for yourself. You’ll be a radiant and more interesting date.

Enlist help.

Everyone does better with a cheerleader or team behind them. If dating is hard for you, enlist support. Gather your single friends to go out with you to events. Ask the people who love you to fix you up. If you want confidential support, consider hiring a professional dating coach to keep you in action this year. Or you can sign up at Gay Dating Solutions and take advantage of their free membership. They will pair you with appropriate men based on your description of yourself and what you are looking for in others.

Know what you want and if you don’t, don’t date until you figure it out.

It’s easy to feel lost at sea in the world of dating, especially if you don’t have some sort of game plan. Knowing what you’re looking for helps you know where to go to meet people, what questions to ask them and how much of your time you’re prepared to give up to do it. Don’t be afraid to be picky in 2019—the guy of your dreams will be worth the wait.

Make the first move.

Be honest—is there someone you’ve been eyeballing for some time that you’ve never plucked up the courage to ask out? Ask yourself what you have to lose from a refusal then go out there and ask for what you want—trust me, he’ll be relieved that you’ve taken the stress out of his hands!

Say ‘no’ more.

This doesn’t just go for the dating game, who would have thought there was so much power in two little letters? Saying no to people you’re not interested in, to obligations you don’t want to do, and to parties that just aren’t your scene will empower you to focus on exactly what it is you do want to do. Never feel pressured to do anything that just isn’t your thing—life’s too short and your time is much too valuable to please others above yourself.

Look beyond ‘Your Type’

Often we pick the same partners again and again, even if the package looks different. It’s now time to try something new. Sometimes it’s the man an inch shorter than your height restriction that sweeps you off your feet and proposes, making you happier than you ever dreamed possible. Get out of your own way and give someone new a chance. You may be very glad you did.

Delete your ex’s number.

Seriously, why do you even still have it there? The temptation to send the odd text is too much to resist, so take him out of the equation before your drunk self takes matters into her own hands. New Year is a time for looking forward, so make the decision to say goodbye to the past for good.

Focus on building a bomb life on your own instead of finding a guy.

It’s a cliche for a reason—you can bet that if you don’t see yourself as dateable, that opinion is going to be shared by the guys you meet. Saying nice things in the mirror, acknowledging what you love about yourself and spending some time with family and friends who boost you up will all send your dating confidence soaring. Your dates will appreciate it, trust me.

Give occasional second chances.

We’re so fixated on the idea of the fairy tale romance that we’re sometimes too quick to write off perfectly nice guys. It’s not about settling for average, but it’s definitely worth broadening your idea of the type of person you want to date. If he was awkward on the first date, put it down to nerves and give him a second chance. In a world fueled by tech, it can take more than a round of drinks to make a real connection with someone.

Have more fun.

If dating isn’t enjoyable, then what exactly is the point? However you decide to approach relationships in 2019, make sure that you’re having fun. Dating is about playing the long game, but with these resolutions, you’re in with a fighting chance of success.

 

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New Yorkers Can Now Obtain Gender-Neutral Birth Certificates

An inclusive new option for a new year.

The beginning of 2019 saw a handful of laws go into effect in New York City, but one piece of legislation has transgender advocates particularly excited: residents of the five boroughs can now obtain birth certificates with a neutral “X” gender marker to denote a non-binary or gender non-conforming identity.

As NewNowNext previously reported, the initial bill was approved by New York’s city council in September 2018 and signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio later that year. It took effect this Tuesday, January 1, 2019, meaning New Yorkers can now change their legal gender markers to M for male, F for female, or X for gender non-binary or gender non-conforming.

n 2014, the city of New York got rid of an outdated policy that permitted gender marker changes only if transgender New Yorkers underwent gender-confirming surgeries. Officials instead required a note or affidavit from a medical doctor or mental health provider, according to the Associated Press.

In addition to adding a gender-neutral option, the new law has nixed that requirement, allowing trans or gender non-conforming New Yorkers to simply attest that the new gender marker they want affirms their “true gender identity.”

Noam Galai/Getty Images

Out NYC council speaker Corey Johnson (pictured above), who introduced the bill last June, addressed its importance at a City Hall press conference in the fall of 2018:

Gender is a spectrum for many folks, and it’s not a fixed thing. So for New Yorkers who are transgender, who are gender non-conforming, who are non-binary, to have an option to better self-identify on such an important document, their birth certificate, unlocks all sorts of things for them.

Check out the original story here: NewNowNext.

 

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Arizona Republicans’ New Law Would Fire Teachers Who Discuss ‘Controversial’ Things, Like Politics

Arizona Republicans, controversial topics

Arizona Republicans have introduced a bill (House Bill 2002) that would fire teachers for discussing “controversial” political, racial and religious messages, but it doesn’t say who gets to decide what’s “controversial.”

Specifically, the text of the bill says, “Education in a democracy is best served by teaching students how to think, not telling them what to think. Our country is divided over many issues affecting its citizens. It has been established through surveys that a majority of K-12 teachers discuss controversial issues in their classrooms.”

It claims that university programs and teacher organizations encourage teachers to discuss the topics “under the guise of “teaching for social justice” and other sectarian doctrines,” and adds, “Time spent on political or ideological indoctrination takes time away from instruction in the academic subject.”

In specific, the bill forbids teachers from mentioning any political candidates, legislation, court case, executive action, or any “controversial issue that is not germane to the topic of the course or academic subject being taught.”

It also says that when teaching controversial topics (which presumably don’t involve any laws, government officials or court cases) students must be given “materials supporting both sides of the controversy.”

So if a teacher wants discuss slavery, banning trans people from the military (forbidden), or denying climate change (also forbidden), it’s important to present both sides!

The bill also says teachers cannot “single out one racial group of students as being responsible for the suffering or inequities experienced by another racial group of students.” It’s unclear if this means teachers can’t blame certain ethnicities, say white people, for things like slavery, Jim Crow and the slaughter of Native Americans, or whether this just means teachers can’t blame entire racial groups of students for the problems experienced by other students.

Either way, the law concludes, “Parents and taxpayers have a right to expect that taxpayer resources will be spent on education, not political or ideological indoctrination.”

Keep in mind: This bill exists almost purely as red meat for Arizona’s conservative voters and a distraction to progressives.

Local teachers also think that it’s Republican revenge fpr last April’s statewide #RedForEd teachers’ strike that pressured GOP legislators into increasing teacher’s pay and reinstating educational funding that had been cut.

House Bill 2002 is so broadly written — who decides what topic is too controversial or racial? — that you might think it wouldn’t survive a court free speech battle.

But it’s not so different from so-called “no promo homo” laws currently active in seven U.S. states. These laws forbid teachers from discussing LGBTQ issues — including LGBTQ politics, queer history, or sexual health — in a positive light.

These states — Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas — also have some of the worst HIV rates in the U.S., possibly a consequence of not teaching kids about sexual health.

This newly introduced law could totally pass in Arizona’s Republican-led legislature. And if it does, it could make students dumber, teachers more afraid to teach real-world topics and result in a unexpected social consequences that are much worse than whatever the GOP wants to prevent.

Check out the original story here: Queerty.

 

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8 Films in 2019 to Get Excited About

8 films in 2019 to get excited about

Grab your popcorn and get ready

2018 was a great year for LGBTI audiences at the movies.
From Love, Simon to Colette, there was an abundance of diversity and representation on the big screen. Some of those films, like Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite, is also posing as a strong contender for awards season.
Hoping to keep that momentum going, here are eight films you should be excited about in 2019.
Captain Marvel

Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel may only be queer in Marvel fans’ hearts, but that isn’t stopping everyone from declaring themselves gay for Brie Larson in the upcoming superhero flick.

Captain Marvel is Marvel Studios’ first solo female superhero film and it’s been a long time coming.

Fans’ first hint at her character, a hybrid human-alien hero, was in the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War. Following her own solo film, Larson will appear as Captain Marvel in April’s Avengers: Endgame.

Captain Marvel comes out 8 March.

Rocketman

Bohemian Rhapsody became the highest grossing music biopic of all time this year. Will next year’s biopic about the legendary Elton John try to attempt to break that record once more?

Taron Egerton stars as the openly gay singer in the upcoming film. John released his debut album, Empty Sky, in 1969 and this movie recounts his rise to fame.

Egerton also recently detailed a sex scene he shares with former Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden in the film.

Rocketman comes out 31 May.

Men in Black: International

Queer actor Tessa Thompson. In a suit. Flirting with Emma Thompson. Need I say more?

That’s all anyone could talk about when the first trailer for the new Men in Black spinoff premiered.

The film takes the premise of the original movies starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones and launches it into the global arena. Top-secret organization MIB, meant to monitor alien activity on Earth, goes to London in this new film.

Thompson stars as a new agent teaming up with a veteran agent played by her Thor: Ragnarok co-star Chris Hemsworth.

Men in Black: International comes out 14 June.

Untitled Richard Curtis and Kate McKinnon film

Not much is known about this as-yet unnamed movie, but it’s a comedy-musical written by Richard Curtis and starring Kate McKinnon. Therefore, it’s at the very top of my list.

Danny Boyle directs and other stars include Lily James (who wowed us this summer in the musical sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), Himseh Patel, and Ed Sheeran.

In March, Boyle and Curtis revealed the movie is set in the 1960s/70s about a struggling musician ‘who thinks he’s the only person who can remember the Beatles’.

This movie comes out 28 June.

The Lion King

Beyoncé as lioness Nala singing Elton John songs in a photorealistic live-action remake of one of Disney’s most beloved animated films.

John returned to the film to help rework his songs for this new project. Beyoncé also signed on to rework the music with John, as well as perform in the film.

In February, John reported that he, Beyoncé, and Tim Rice were creating a new song for the end credits.

Here’s hoping Beyoncé gets an epic solo song as Nala in the movie — perhaps Shadowland from the Broadway musical?

Comedian Billy Eichner is also in the film as Timon.

The Lion King comes out 19 July.

Charlie’s Angels

When Kristen Stewart was announced to be one of the new Angels in Elizabeth Banks’ upcoming Charlie’s Angels reboot, excitement shot through the roof.

She’ll star alongside Naomi Scott, known for her work in the recent Power Rangers movie and Disney’s upcoming live-action Aladdin, as well as newcomer Ella Balinska.

But what we all really want is for Stewart’s Angel to be queer, obviously.

Charlie’s Angels comes out 1 November.

Frozen 2

Please, please, please let Elsa get a girlfriend in the highly anticipated Disney sequel.

After numerous missteps with LGBTI representation, Disney could really use this as a chance to win back some disenchanted fans. Plus, we all know Let It Go is totally a coming out anthem.

Frozen 2 comes out 22 November.

Cats

When it comes to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats, you either love it or hate it.

That debate will come to a head in the new Tom Hooper-direction adaptation of it for the big screen. The musical depicts a single night of a tribe of cats who perform the Jellicle choice. They must decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.

The all-star cast includes Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Ian McKellan, Idris Elba, Judy Dench, Rebel Wilson, and more.

Cats comes out 20 December.

And keep an eye out for indie films, as they tend to have good representation but without the needed publicity to make waves.

Check out the original story here: Gay Star News.

 

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Adam Lambert & Cyndi Lauper Slay in Cher Tributes At Kennedy Center Honors

Last night, CBS aired this year’s Kennedy Center Honors which recognizes those in the performing arts for a lifetime of achievement.

This year’s honorees included Cher, Reba McEntire, composer Philip Glass and jazz legend Wayne Short.

And, for the first time, the Kennedy Center honored a groundbreaking work of art: Hamilton. The blockbuster Broadway musicals creators – Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler and Alex Lacamoire – received special honors for their work.

Many spectacular performances were thrown down during the telecast, but it was the tribute to Oscar & Grammy winner, Cher, that left the audience wiped out.

Whoopi Goldberg, in a sequin dress perfect for the moment, took to the stage to offer spoken tribute to the goddess.

Little Big Town rocked a medley of “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” “I Found Someone” and “Baby Don’t Go;” the indomitable Cyndi Lauper laid down her take on “(If I Could) Turn Back Time” as well as dueting with Adam Lambert for a show-closing “I Got You Babe.”

But Adam Lambert’s intimate-to-soaring performance of Cher’s iconic “Believe” left us shook.

Set in an orchestral soundscape, Lambert turned the 1998 dance hit into an stunning, emotional pop anthem with diva-worthy vocals building to the American Idol alum’s signature high notes.

Cher took to Twitter after the telecast to express her feelings about the tribute.

“Tried 2 write Feelings About Adam Lambert Singing Believe In Words, but Cant seem 2,” Cher shared on Twitter. “When Your senses are Overwhelmed All Can you feel with your [heart].”

“I Was Shocked AND Over The MOON When Cindi (Lauper) came out Rocking the house,” the diva continued. “Shocked Because SHE TOLD ME SHE WAS IN LA, & Over The Moon Because My Friend CINDI Is One Of Our ‘Great’ Singers. When Adam & Cindi Sang Together It=Heaven. ‘Little Big Town’ Were Adorable, & Harmonies. Amanda Was Genuine & Dear & When Whoopi Came Out In ”Cher Outfit” She brought Down House.”

Check out the original story here: Instinct Magazine.

 

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Same-Sex Couple Has Pride Flag Stolen, Replaced by American Flag

Neighbors Fly Rainbow Flag in Solidarity After Theft

After the crime, there was a happy ending for the women and their kids.

After a female couple had a rainbow flag stolen at their home, neighbors in their Chicago neighborhood responded by flying their own Pride flags, and even incorporating it into Christmas displays.

“The fact that this story might make someone smile, maybe it’s not so bad, and maybe the hate we see so much is not the mass of people but individuals,” theft victim Casey Handal told the Chicago Tribune.

During a gingerbread decorating party at her home earlier this month, Handal discovered somebody had stolen the Pride flag flying on a pole in their backyard and had replaced it with the American flag.

The swap added insult to the act. “The message was quite clear,” she said. “It was sort of the intolerant view vs. the inclusive liberal view. I think if somebody would have just taken the flag and not replaced it with anything, that wouldn’t necessarily have sent quite the same message. It’s more premeditated this way.”

But after word spread on social media about the theft, dozens of residents in the Fox Point neighborhood made a group order for decorations and displayed rainbow flag iconography, whether in holiday decorations, on mailboxes, or near their homes. A Secret Santa holiday drive was also set up for the family.

Handal and fiancée Zadette Rosadohave moved to the neighborhood with their two children in May.

Some neighbors report even politically conservative homeowners in the region participated in the gift drive. “They’ve come together,” said Fox Point Homeowners Association social chair Stephanie Paine. “Everyone wanted to do their best to make this right.”

Check out the original story here: The Advocate Magazine.

 

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