Will changing my label change the way people see me?

Will changing my label change the way people see me?

Check out these colorful pictures from Montreal Pride 2018 I thought myself to be a straight woman for a majority of my young life.

It had never occurred to me in the slightest that I may have actually been anything other than heterosexual, despite moments of curiosity and what I now know to be attraction to females.

I began to take my curiosity much more seriously when I reached the age of around 18 years old.

I realized I had been ignoring a genuine part of myself the entire time.

Since that moment, I have thought of myself as a bisexual woman – a proud one too. I’ve worn bi pride badges around my university halls, hung pride flags in my bedroom and been open about my sexuality to most of whom I meet.

However, I find myself now at perhaps another moment of realization in my life.

I think I might be gay.

As much as I use gay as an umbrella term in my everyday life, this time I mean that I suspect myself to be a lesbian.

My beautiful girlfriend is gay. We’ve always had this almost Rose-and-Rosie-like dynamic of a gay and a bisexual in a relationship.

Doubts have grown in my mind of how deep my attraction to the male population has ever truly been lately though.

I’ve had dalliances with boys in the past. I grew up literally believing myself to be a straight woman.

But I was never happy during this time. I never had a single pleasurable sexual encounter. I hadn’t had a relationship which wasn’t awful, and I never felt genuinely in love with anyone.

Thinking over my timeline now, I can see that any true sort of joy or attraction came when I begun thinking of women as viable option for myself. ‘My sexuality is mine’

My label of bisexuality has made me feel part of the LGBTQ+ community for a long time now.

Part of me feels scared that changing my label or my identity will affect how people see me. To my straight friends, my ‘attraction to boys’ kept me somewhat connected to them still.

If I am to take away that side of who I am, will it change the way people see me? It feels as if I’m coming out to people all over again, which strikes me as a more than scary thought.

To me, sexuality feels a difficult thing to place a label on. I wish sometimes there were a simple test I could take to give me a categorical result.

However sadly, these things are for our own minds and bodies to figure out.

My point is, that my sexuality is mine. I will continue to discover more about myself and who I am every day of my life.

The important thing is that I am true to myself and that I am happy.

My label can change a thousand times. But as long as it is the label I feel is right for me in that moment, it is the label I deserve to wear proudly.

Follow Joanna on Twitter and find her on YouTube . Read more

One year after homophobes forced it to close, Brazil’s queer museum reopens

One year after homophobes forced it to close, Brazil's queer museum reopens

Major Pride parade postponed due to killer floods in India Two of the artworks featured in Brazil Queermuseu. | Photo: Twitter A LGBTI museum has reopened in Brazil in an iconic new location almost a year after conservatives forced it to close.

The Queermuseu opened in the southern city of Porto Alegre in August last year. It was the first large-scale exhibition dedicated to queer topics in Brazil and only one of a few in South America. But conservatives forced it close saying it promoted ‘pedophilia’, ‘bestiality’ and ‘blasphemy’.

Queermuseu reponed to its former glory in Rio di Janeiro under the shadows of the world famous Christ the Reedemer statue. The new exhibition opened on Saturday (18 August) at Parque Lagos’ School of Visual Arts (EAV). Eager crowds of people lined up to see the exhibition on it first weekend. No Parque Lage na inauguração do Queer Museu com Gaudêncio Fidelis. 14 do MBL foram xingar. Inexpressivos. Discurso de Gaudêncio foi histórico, denso, digno: um libelo contra o Obscurantismo e pela Liberdade de expressão! + de 1500 pessoas na 1a hora da exposição ! pic.twitter.com/AoJxrpHjkh — Carlos Minc (@minc_rj) August 18, 2018 Queermuseu

The free exhibition called Queermuseu: Cartographies of Difference in Brazilian Art will run for one month. It features 223 works by 83 artists from around the world.

Its forced closure last year sparked a fierce debate in Brazil about art and censorship.

But thanks to the country’s biggest ever crowdfunding campaign, organizers managed to raise one million reais (US$275,000) to reopen the museum.

‘It is a very important moment for Brazilian democracy, a convincing demonstration that the most progressive sectors of society will not accept censorship,’ curator Gaudencio Fidelis told AFP.

‘We haven’t seen an act of censorship of this size and severity since the dictatorship.’ So happy to see the crowd at the opening of #queermuseu exhibition in Rio—folks crowdfunded more than 1 million BRL to bring it here! The exhibition was cancelled in Porto Alegre after a ridiculous rightwing campaign a couple of months ago. Gotta love this city! pic.twitter.com/VozYtWT0CI — Jhessica Reia (@jhereia) August 18, 2018 Increased security

The exhibition also has increased security measures from last year and is only open to people older than 14.

Curators hired 20 security guards and installed extra security cameras to protect people from right-wing protestors.

‘The cancellation of the exhibition QUEERMUSEU is not a discussion about art, but censorship’. | Photo: Twitter

‘We hope for an enormous number of visitors, but not because of all the controversy. People will see that it was a false premise, a fabricated polemic. Society will be able to see the true nature of the exhibition,’ Fidelis said.

Last year the exhibition only ran for 25 days last year after an online campaign by protesters who said it was ‘perverting the notions of family’.

San Francisco’s last gay strip club closes its doors

San Francisco’s last gay strip club closes its doors

Check out these colorful pictures from Montreal Pride 2018 Major Pride parade postponed due to killer floods in India Russian local authorities approve Pride march, then ban it less than 24 hours later One of San Francisco’s most famous gay landmarks, the Nob Hill Adult Theatre, has shut its doors. The closure comes after 50 years in business.

It hosted its final performances yesterday (19 August).

The building dates back to 1910. It turned gay in the late 1960s under the ownership of businessman Shan Sayles. The business was taken over in 2010 by partners Gary Luce and Larry Hoover, both friends of Shales. ‘Touch our junk’

Over the years, the venue – whose motto became ‘Touch our junk’ – played host to hundreds of go-go boys, porn stars and strippers. A foot surgery clinic will reportedly move in to the premises.

‘It opened as a grocery store and butcher shop,’ Luce told KTVU . ‘Throughout the years the ownership has changed hands, including its time in the ’40s as Melody Lane, a jazz club purportedly co-owned by Joe DiMaggio. It went on to become Club Hangover, a nightspot in the ’50s with an affinity for Dixieland jazz.’

Luce says he had the idea for the ‘Touch our junk’ slogan after overhearing an exchange at an airport between a disgruntled passenger and a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent. ‘You’re not gonna touch my junk!’ the angry passenger said to the security agent.

The phrase amused Luce and he suggested to Hoover they adopt it for the theatre.

Luce and Hoover now plan to retire. Luce said the theatre continued to get good lunch time trade and he felt sorry for the venue’s regulars.

‘I feel bad for the customers. It’s like Cheers. We get a good lunch crowd.’

However, the end of this particular era simply comes from the businessmen and partners wishing to leader a quieter life.

‘I’m old and ready to go away,’ said Luce. ‘Another nail in the coffin of gay San Francisco’

‘This is another nail in the coffin of gay San Francisco,’ said Shelley Steward to the SF Chronicle . Steward had worked on the front desk for 13 years. ‘It’s the end of an era.’

Some items from the theatre have been donated the the San Francisco GLBT Historical Society for posterity.

Other items will be on sale to the public via an estate and memorabilia sale on both 1-2 September at the theatre.

The sale promises ‘everything… from porn star pictures to the disco ball. From glory hole panels to theatre seats. From our infamous Fuck Bench to the theatre lighting, sound system and fog machine. Props, T-shirts, costumes, apartment furniture and retail. It will all be here.’ See also

The slogan has been gaining traction over the past decade but has exploded into mainstream conscious over the last few months

Homophobes and transphobes could be thrown into jail for three years in Australia

Homophobes and transphobes could be thrown into jail for three years in Australia

Major Pride parade postponed due to killer floods in India The sails on the Sydney Opera House lit up in rainbow colours to celebrate the launch of the 2018 Mardi Gras People found guilty of threatening or inciting violence against someone based on their gender identity, sexuality, race or religion could get a jail term of up to three years. Intersex people and people living with HIV/AIDS are also protected under the new laws.

The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) passed the new laws in June which came into effect today.

The Crimes Amendment (Publicly Threatening and Inciting Violence) Bill 2018 will make it illegal to incite violence against certain groups. Perpertrators will not only face lengthy jail terms but also a fine of AU$11,000 (US$8,046). Corporations face a fine up to AU$55,000 (US$40,220).
Any form of communication to the public inciting or threatening violence is now illegal in NSW. As is any conduct – including actions and gestures and the wearing or display of clothing, signs, flags, emblems and insignia – observable or disseminated to the public. Those public acts will still be illegal even on public land. Much needed law

NSW is the biggest state in Australia. Its capital, Sydney, is home to the world famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

One of the oldest LGBTI advocacy group, the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (NSWGLRL) welcomed the new laws.

‘NSWGLRL believes that the groundswell of support is moving in the direction of removing the last bastion of remaining discriminations against LGBTI Australians in NSW,’ said NSWGLRL co-convenor, Lauren Foy.

‘NSWGLRL support the proposal to hold all people, including religious bodies, more accountable for their actions and the effect that their actions have on LGBTI people living in NSW.’ George Michael mural

The laws come into effect just weeks before a man is due to be sentenced for vandalizing an iconic mural to George Michael in Sydney.

A judge found Ben Gittany guilty of vandalizing the mural in July. The mural depicted George Michael as a saint, holding a bottle of poppers, a joint and wearing a crucifix earring.

Gittany said he wanted to paint over the mural because he believed it disrespected his religious beliefs.

LGBT and Aging Initiative launched

LGBT and Aging Initiative launched

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SAGE Metro Detroit, in partnership with the ACLU of Michigan received a nearly $400,000 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to launch a statewide LGBT and Aging Initiative for 2017-2018.

The effort focuses on the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) older adults who live in a variety of Michigan locations, many of whom are isolated, both physically and mentally. This initiative will help provide resources and connection for those looking for local community support. Access to care, reduced isolation, and awareness of inclusive resources are key outcomes for this initiative.

“We find that many LGBT older adults do not feel comfortable sharing their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and reach out for support only when they are enduring a health crisis. Not feeling accepted by your local community or personal healthcare provider increases the isolation experienced in LGBT seniors, leaving them at risk for serious health concerns,” shares Terry Irving of the Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress’ Area Agency on Aging (UPCAP).

In the Upper Peninsula region, UPCAP, SAIL and U.P. Rainbow Pride are working together to connect to LGBT older adults through messaging that shares the call to action: Today is THE DAY.

“Today is the day to reach out to us; we encourage LGBT older adults to pick up the phone and call us to start a conversation.” Explains David Shew, Co-Chair of U.P. Rainbow Pride. Those needing services can call SAIL at 906-228-5744, UPCAP at 906-786-4701 or email U.P. Rainbow Pride at uprainbowpride@gmail.com.

As part of the initiative, SAGE Metro Detroit is developing new state-of-the-art online training for service providers which includes downloadable informational content and an interactive platform with opportunities to practice and report progress. The initiative also aims to help each region identify LGBT-inclusive local resources and provide printed materials that will be available for distribution by participating agencies.

With funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, an organization that works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of healthcare, with a special focus on children and seniors, SAGE Metro Detroit’s LGBT and Aging Initiative will be an ongoing effort throughout the remainder of 2018.

For more information on this initiative, visit lgbtseniorsmi.com . More information about the Health Fund can be found at www.mhealthfund.com .

Hovertravel in the running for LGBT-friendly travel company of the year

Hovertravel in the running for LGBT-friendly travel company of the year

Hovertravel are on the shortlist. HOVERTRAVEL has been announced as one of ten finalists in the Travel Trade Gazette’s LGBT awards.

This year’s most LGBT-friendly travel company category is hotly contested with global brands such as Celebrity Cruises and All Nippon Airways competing alongside Manchester Airport and the Thomas Cook Group.

Loretta Lale, head of commercial at the Isle of Wight company, said: “We are thrilled to be shortlisted for this award and delighted to be recognised for our efforts to support the LGBT community.

“On our hovercraft and across our business, all are welcome and we celebrate diversity.

"For the last two years we have been passionate sponsors of Isle of Wight Pride and this year we were hovering proud in the London Pride Parade.

"To be in the final with these famous travel companies demonstrates how the team at Hovertravel work together to support all their customers.”

For 2018, Hovertravel fully supported Isle of Wight Pride’s bid to host UK Pride 2018.

On Saturday, July 7, the company represented Isle of Wight Pride in the London Pride Parade.

The 30,000 parade participants were watched by an estimated 1 million plus people.

The company’s engineering truck was transformed from an everyday workhorse into a fabulous manifestation of a working hovercraft, complete with skirt, propeller ducts and some specially adapted marine technology.

Emblazoned with Hovertravel’s distinctive union flag livery, the float carried 12 people including its own dedicated DJ.

The all-white uniforms, including boiler suits for engineers, were given a Pride flourish with rainbow detailing on sleeves and the pilots’ epaulettes.

Join TTG LGBT in Manchester

Join TTG LGBT in Manchester

Goswell, who currently presents Drive Time, will share stories from her career as well as details around the launch of her podcast series – Coming Out Stories.

Since starting her career Emma has been awarded Young Broadcast Journalist of the Year and worked across various radio stations including the BBC and also launched the first radio station inside a women’s prison in the UK. She also co-presented the breakfast show on Gaydio – the world’s largest LGBT radio station – for five years between 2013 and 2018.

The free to attend event on September 6 will take place Artisan Kitchen & Bar from 6.30pm and is open to both LGBT and non-LGBT people working in the travel industry.

Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski and Justin Trudeau make hearts flutter by marching at Montreal Pride together

Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski and Justin Trudeau make hearts flutter by marching at Montreal Pride together

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continued to show his support for the LGBT+ community on Sunday, as he marched in Montreal Pride’s parade alongside his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau and Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski.

The trio were all smiles as they yelled “Happy Pride” during the event and waved rainbow-coloured flags to the thousands of spectators that descended upon the city.

The procession, which was lead by transgender women and their allies, is said to have included 10,000 marchers and featured a minute of silence for people who still face severe repression in certain countries.

LGBT+ activist Kennedy Olango was also in attendance. His ongoing mission to change attitudes towards homosexuality in Kenya echoed Trudeau’s statements at a press briefing earlier in the day.

“Can we stop talking about tolerance. We need to talk about acceptance; we need to talk about openness; we need to talk about friendship. We need to talk about love, not just tolerance,” said Trudeau.

Prior to the public celebrations, Montreal native Porowski spoke at a Liberal Party brunch reception as part of the Pride proceedings, which began on August 9 and concluded yesterday.

The food expert talked candidly about how he had previously been reluctant to get involved in marches because he believed them to be just about partying. But since being a part of Queer Eye , the hugely popular Netflix show, his perception has changed dramatically, according to the Canada edition of Huffington Post .

“I kind of stayed away from it,” he told Trudeau. “[Now] I’m understanding the definition of the word ‘visibility,’ I think we really can’t undermine the importance of it. Just by showing up, and being myself and who I am, and representing myself as part of the LGBTQIA+ community… I take that very seriously.”

Trudeau discussed the importance of reaching out to marginalised communities and making sure that they feel accepted as the fight for equality continues. “That’s a message we can never give too often or too strongly,” he explained.

Since becoming prime minister in 2015, Trudeau has been a vocal advocate for LGBT+ rights . In 2016, he became the first Canadian head of government to participate in Toronto’s annual Pride parade.

In the last two years, he has also attended events in Halifax and Vancouver, raised the LGBT+ flag above Parliament Hill and issued a formal apology to the community in to mend the nation’s fractured relationship with its own queer citizens. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became the nation’s first head of government to march in Toronto’s annual Pride Festival parade in 2017 (Ian Willms/Getty) “For the oppression of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit communities, we apologize,” he said at the House of Commons. “On behalf of the government, Parliament, and the people of Canada: We were wrong. We are sorry. And we will never let this happen again.”

In December 2017, he made history as the first world leader to appear on the cover of Attitude magazine .

Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister to gay people: Hide yourselves

Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister to gay people: Hide yourselves

Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said "LGBTs have the right to practise whatever [it is] they do in private" (SHAWN THEW/AFP/Getty) Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister has said that LGBT+ people shouldn’t be visibly out.

Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail warned that queer citizens must keep their identities secret to be accepted by society.

The country’s religious affairs minister, Mujahid Yusof Rawa, attracted global attention earlier this month when he ordered two portraits of LGBT+ Malaysian activists be removed from an exhibition. The country has been embroiled in ongoing controversy over LGBT+ issues (Charles Pertwee/Getty) Speaking about the controversy, he said: “Society cannot accept LGBT being promoted because that is against norms, culture and religion.”

Since then, a series of political figures – including members of the Government – have voiced disturbing views about Malaysia’s LGBT+ populace.

The latest to do so, Dr Wan Azizah, appeared to conflate gay people with the entire LGBT+ community when she told the Malay Mail : “LGBTs have the right to practise whatever [it is] they do in private. Homosexuality is illegal in the country (AFP/AFP/Getty) The MP for Pandan, who is the first woman to hold the position of Deputy Prime Minister, added: “Islam is the official religion [of Malaysia], whereby you have certain practices and it is there in black and white.

“As a Muslim, I have my preferences as to their rights. They are the same [rights] as the people who do not believe in Islam,” the 65-year-old continued.

She added: “Homosexuality, there are laws [against it].”

It is illegal to have gay sex in Malaysia, there are no anti-discrimination laws, same-sex marriage is banned and same-sex couples and transgender people enjoy zero legal recognition from the state. Dr Wan Azizah and her husband, former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who has spent time in prison for having gay sex (KAMARUL AKHIR/AFP/Getty) Dr Wan Azizah’s husband, former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, has been charged twice for having gay sex, serving three years in prison before he was released earlier this year. Human rights groups have said his convictions were politically motivated.

The surge of anti-LGBT+ sentiment in the country continued in the early hours of Saturday (August 18) morning, when police raided The Blue Boy club, a gay bar in Kuala Lumpur.

Authorities said they intervened to “mitigate the LGBT culture from spreading into our society.”

Last week, Latteffah Ali, state chairperson of the women’s wing of the United Malays National Organisation, said that if LGBT+ people keep pushing for equal rights, it could destroy the health and ethics of a generation. Ali said trans women shouldn’t use women’s toilets (the star online/youtube) Also earlier this month, Malaysia’s Deputy Health Minister, Dr Lee Boon Chye, said LGBT people suffer from an “organic disorder.”

Two women in the country have also been sentenced to six lashings each after being arrested for having sex with each other.

The country groups gay sex together with bestiality in a list of offences which are “against the order of nature.” Dr Lee Boon Chye (Lee Boon Chye/facebook) The women, who are 32 and 22, pleaded guilty after sharia enforcement officials in the northeastern state of Terengganu found them having sex in a car with a dildo.

They have also been fined RM3,300 (£630) each, and told that they will face a four-month prison term if they fail to pay.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mahfuz Omar has said LGBT+ people need to be helped to return to their “original identities” and that allowing people to be transgender would cause chaos in society. Mustafa Ali (R), Fadzil Noor (C) and Mahfuz Omar (UPALI ATURUGIRI/AFP/Getty) In April, a Malaysian university held a contest to convert gay students.

The Universiti Sains Malaysia, based on the island of Penang, advertised the competition as “a campaign to invite friends who have [a] disorder in [their] sexual orientation to return to their natural nature in a worthwhile way.”

This came just two months after a newspaper in the country published a checklist which provided guidance about “how to spot a gay”.

Yelp user gives restaurant one-star review because of ‘disgusting’ rainbow flag in its window

Yelp user gives restaurant one-star review because of ‘disgusting’ rainbow flag in its window

A Yelp user has given a Massachusetts restaurant a one-star review, simply because it has a rainbow flag displayed in its window.

Located in the Boston neighbourhood of Dorchester, Italian bakery and café Zia Gianna highlighted its negative feedback on its Facebook page back on 13 August.

Sharing a screenshot of the review (which has now been deleted), owner Nino Barbalace wrote: “All are welcome at Zia Gianna, even this gentleman. We’d love to show him some kindness from the LGBTQ community because love always wins.”

The image sees the triggered commenter state that they have “thrown in the towel” when it comes to Zia Gianna and that they’ve “had it” after seeing the flag on display.

“That flag says all,” they continue. “And when you delve deeper to see the real customer base here, it’s clearly geared and catered to ONLY those who rally behind the rainbow flag .”

They also seemingly use Barbalace’s heritage in their argument, suggesting that while Barbalace is Sicilian, none of his staff nor customers are and that his beliefs aren’t in keeping with his Italian , family-orientated roots. “This should be considered treason against our Nation and our Italian heritage,” they write. “[It’s] against Nature and should be punishable as a crime. At a time when the old country is imperiled by corruption and fading family units and going broke, here we have someone who is abandoning the sound family unit and structure. Absolutely disgusting and unacceptable.” A demonstrator waves a rainbow flag during a Gay Pride Parade at The Colosseum in Rome on June 10, 2017 (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty) The unnamed reviewer went on to critique the establishment’s food, calling it decent. Despite admitting that they were put off by the small portion sizes and the price, they explained that they “could deal with that,” unlike the “patronising” way in which Zia Gianna seems to be supporting the LGBT+ community.

In an interview with Boston 25 News , Barbalace, who named his restaurant after his aunt, which is translated as “zia” in Italian, explained that he had placed the small rainbow flag in the restaurant’s front window to celebrate the area’s pride celebrations back in June and has left it up ever since because he wants everyone to feel at home there. A Dorchester cafe owner got a one-star review on Yelp for something hanging in the window. His response to the negative post on @boston25 at 5:15. pic.twitter.com/WVajieMICG — Kelly Sullivan (@ksullivannews) August 17, 2018 “Zia had an innate ability to create community, comfort and love through food,” reads the café’s website, explaining his mantra. “It is that community, that sense of warmth and nourishing others that Nino hopes to bring to his caffè.”

According to the same news outlet, several Zia Gianna regulars have visited the restaurant as a show of solidarity with Barbalace’s inclusive message. Customer Tiffany Andrade said: “People are entitled to their own opinion, but I do think it’s something to understand that we are an open community and there are people who come from all different countries and all different backgrounds and we should be welcoming of everyone.”