Transgender activist in India opens fast food joint to raise money for HIV+ children

Transgender activist in India opens fast food joint to raise money for HIV+ children

Pretoria to host a spectacular Cirque du Soleil inspired Pride parade Fast food in India (Photo: Maxpixel.net) Sanjeeva Vandse is 45-year-old HIV-positive transgender activist and entrepreneur.

This month, Vandse launched Asare Fast Food in the city of Udupi on India’s west coast. It will be run by at least one transgender Indian and some profits will go to feeding and educating local children living with HIV.

‘It has been a long and difficult journey towards opening the fast food joint’ Vandse told the Bangalore Mirror. ‘I ran from pillar to post to make this happen’.

The activist pushed the Deputy Commissioner’s Office to make a special exception after authorities only granted permission for a joint in a quiet part of town.

Vandse took out a $1,400 loan and also received nearly $300 from the Department of Women and Child Welfare. Asare Trust

The 45-year-old has been fighting for the rights of transgender and HIV-positive Indians for years.

The activist set up the Asare Trust to support local people living with HIV. It is headed by a local social worker.

Currently, Asare Fast Food serves up idli vada, buns, puri, pulav, ghee rice, kebabs, pakoras, and bandas. If the joint is allowed a power connection, Vandse hopes to offer cold drinks and noodles.

‘We are hoping that the business will stabilize and hopefully have many more outlets by those in need’, Vandse told the local newspaper. Transgender Indians are still vulnerable

Despite India’s landmark decriminalization of gay sex earlier this month, transgender people are still vulnerable .

Transgender Indians in the capital, Delhi, have complained of continued violence since the Supreme Court ruling.

While LGB Indians may be pushing now for equality in marriage and adoption rights, transgender Indians are denied basic rights from birth, said Kritika Singh, board member of Transgender India. Transgender Indians need access to education, healthcare, and support services.

‘Nothing has changed for Transgender people nothing has increased for them since they were most vulnerable always’, Singh told Gay Star News.

Even though the government has directed to make laws, it has failed. ‘Still transgender Indians are not free’.

Christian protesters to disrupt pride event in South Korea, warn organizers

Christian protesters to disrupt pride event in South Korea, warn organizers

Pretoria to host a spectacular Cirque du Soleil inspired Pride parade Scuffles between protesters, police, and LGBTI advocates in Incheon, South Korea earlier this month (Photo: Facebook) Conservative Christian groups are expected to disrupt an LGBTI pride event on Saturday (29 September) in Jeju, South Korea, organizers have warned.

It comes in the same month that more than 1,000 protesters verbally and physically attacked an LGBTI event in South Korea’s Incheon.

The second annual Jeju Queer Culture Festival is slated to take place at Sinsan Park on the island of Jeju from midday on Saturday. Organizers plan to hold a fair in the park before a pride parade.

But, organizers took to social media on Friday to urge supporters to gather at the venue on Friday night and ‘occupy’ it until the pride event begins on Saturday.

‘We ask for a lot of publicity and people power to come to the venue so that the Jeju Queer Culture Festival can be held safely’, HyunJeong Shin, a member of Jeju Queer Culture Festival organization committee, told gay star news.

She said some 4,000 LGBTI and allies attended the event last year. About 200 to 300 people attempted to disrupt the event. Importantly, HyunJeong Shin expects more than that number this year.

‘Last year, cars rushed into the ranks of the march’ HyunJeong Shin warned. ‘Please keep an eye on the events happening in Jeju’, she urged

Organizers have hired security personnel and plan to work together with police. ‘We will no longer allow hate speech and interference’ HyunJeong Shin said. ‘All illegal activities will be handled legally’. Violent protests

Homosexuality is legal in South Korea. But conservative attitudes, especially among Christians, force many LGBTI Koreans to live in the closet.

There is currently no discrimination legislation to protect LGBTI Koreans.

Anti-gay protesters physically blocked 300 LGBTI supporters from leaving a plaza and beginning a march in Incheon earlier this month.

‘Our flags and banners were damaged by anti-gay protesters, said LGBTI group, Rainbow Mama Papa, in a statement. ‘We could not eat nor use the bathroom throughout the entire day’.

Earlier this year, more than 210,000 people signed a petition calling for the government to cancel a pride event in capital Seoul .
Petitioners demanded the government acts to prevent the ’abominable’ festival from going ahead.

They claimed ‘homosexuals and normal people should not engage in such perverse and obscene events in a plaza that is meant to be a space for citizens to relax’. ‘True human rights are not indulgences’, the petition said.

India opens up for LGBT travel after supreme court ruling

India opens up for LGBT travel after supreme court ruling

Great news everyone!

India has decriminalised homosexuality, opening the country up for LGBT travellers!

The country’s Supreme Court has ruled that gay sex is no longer a criminal offence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a fundamental violation of rights.

Which we think is definitely cause for celebration. To step up to the occasion, specialist travel company, Out in India literally came out this month to bring LGBT travellers products and experiences that connect them more effectively with the local communities.

The company also hopes to encourage LGBT locals to come out and be active in the Indian tourism industry and reinvesting in this growth.

A current project of Out in India and its partners is identifying locals who are interested in participating in openly providing their services to the inbound LGBT market, with priority being guides, homestays, chefs & artists.

“For a number of reasons, many LGBT travellers boycott countries where being gay is illegal, so now we can expect the interest to grow quickly,” said Mark Snoxell, Product & Marketing Director, Out in India.

“It’s taken the change in law to enable is to start being truly proactive. It’s not a case of simply putting up a rainbow flag and being able to blare Kylie in their chauffeur-driven car!” “There are many companies promoting ‘Gay & Lesbian Tours’ in India that really don’t understand the complexities of this growing sector and are in danger of damaging their brand integrity if they are not being authentic.” Despite the Indian Supreme Court legalising same-sex relationships this month, it did not consider the question of same-sex marriage. The Indian government has made no movement to legalise same-sex marriage with an apparent resistance to do so at present.

Same sex-couples interested to tie the knot in India, are advised that travel companies & wedding planners promoting gay weddings across the country, are only able to able to facilitate commitment ceremonies and not legally recognised weddings.

Out in India officially launches later next month and have reported that they are already managing a steady stream of diverse enquires.

“It’s only early days with a lot of hard work ahead, though we are very excited with what we already have in the pipeline and looking forward to bringing these to market soon”

Rebel DUP man slams ‘bigotry and intolerance’ faced by LGBT people

Rebel DUP man slams ‘bigotry and intolerance’ faced by LGBT people

Tom Smith said he has had an ‘overwhelmingly positive’ response to his actions A DUP councillor who broke party lines to back a pro-LGBT policy is “bitterly disappointed” his party colleagues could not “say to the LGBT community that we value you”.

Tom Smith has twice voted against his DUP colleagues over a proposal to light up Ards Town Hall in the rainbow colours for future Pride celebrations. Gavin Walker backed Tom Smith’s ‘courageous personal stand’ The proposed annual show of support for the local LGBT community had been passed at a committee of Ards and North Down Borough Council earlier this month, thanks in part to a vote in favour from Mr Smith.

However, on Wednesday night, despite his impassioned pleas to colleagues, councillors voted 20-16 in favour of a DUP amendment that means the building will not be lit up for Pride.

In a statement to the News Letter last night, Mr Smith said “society has changed and is changing” when it comes to “attitudes to LGBT people”.

He said he felt a duty to “support those in our society who are marginalised, who feel isolated and who have been abused due to their sexual orientation”.

He added: “Here we had a great opportunity as a council to say to the LGBT community in Ards and North Down that we value you, we support you and we want to create a society where everyone is accepted, and I am bitterly disappointed that we could not say that.”

“While it is very easy to say everyone is equal, the day-to-day life of many people makes that statement a mockery,” Mr Smith added.

“I have known many gay people during my life and I have heard from them terrible stories of being disowned, of being tormented and of being assaulted – all because of who they were.

“We are dealing with the lives of real people , many of whom are hurting because of the rejection and discrimination they have faced. We must all challenge those who still engage in bigotry and intolerance towards members of the LGBT community. What we say and do as councillors is part of that and that is one of the reasons I had to speak out.

“While I understand that there will be those who disagree with my stance, I do have to say that the public response has been overwhelmingly positive. Society has changed and is changing – attitudes to LGBT people are improving but there is still a long way to go and I will do whatever I can to be part of that positive change.”

His comments come just months after DUP leader Arlene Foster made headlines when she attended an event at Stormont hosted by the LGBT media outlet ‘PinkNews’.

Mr Smith’s decision to back the failed proposal to light up Ards Town Hall runs contrary to a view expressed by seven prominent clergy in the Free Presbyterian Church in a letter published in the News Letter on Monday.

In the letter, the clergy said their congregations had expressed “deep sadness upon learning of the divisive recommendation”.

The letter described the motion as “discriminatory” for “promoting and elevating one section of the community above another”.

Mr Smith did win the thanks of Alliance Party councillor Gavin Walker for “making a courageous personal stand” in support of LGBT people within the borough.

Mr Walker, who seconded the original motion to light up the town hall, said: “I don’t know whether it will cost him politically or not, but he took a really courageous personal stand and we very much appreciated him doing that.”

Mr Walker, whose son is gay, also refuted suggestions made by DUP representatives during the meeting that the original motion was some sort of electioneering stunt.

“If it was electioneering we’d have done it next March,” he said. “We consulted with the LGBT community and their families before we brought this to the council so there is no stunt in it,” he added.

The amendment, put forward by DUP alderman Alan Graham and seconded by his party colleague councillor Stephen McIlveen, said the “council acknowledges the many positive contributions from residents and workers from the borough and visitors regardless of their religious beliefs, their political opinion, their racial group, their age, their martial status, their sexual orientation, their gender, whether or not they have disabilities or whether or not they do have dependents – all those groups which are listed under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act.”

During the meeting, both men outlined their opposition to the original motion.

Alderman Graham said he would not go along with “creating apartheid based on people’s sexuality” and claimed the Pride banner “causes offence to those who are Christians”.

Mr McIlveen stressed that Pride is “a political movement”.

The DUP said it had no comment to make on the matter when invited to do so yesterday.

How the Chinese word for ‘comrade’ came to refer to the LGBT community, despite communist roots

How the Chinese word for ‘comrade’ came to refer to the LGBT community, despite communist roots

A print of a work titled “Work well, so that comrade Stalin will say thank you!”, by Vladislav Grigoryevich Pravdin. Picture: Alamy As of this month, Communist China has been a one-party state longer than the Soviet Union was in existence. The word “comrade” has its roots in the 16th-century French camarade / camerade and Spanish camarada , ultimately from the Latin camera (“chamber” – originally “chamberful”, then “chamber mate”).

Its earliest English attestation is camarades, in 1591; this meaning of tent-fellow persists in the military, but the word has broadened to encompass more generally an associate in friendship, occupation, or fortunes, a close companion. A comrade-in-arms is not just a fellow soldier but one who has worked for the same cause and shared similar difficulties.

In Australian English one finds “cobber” (meaning companion, friend, mate), first documented in the 1890s. This has been traced to the Yiddish chaber (“comrade”), which entered London slang by way of the East End’s Jewish population, and from there travelled with British migrants to Australia.

“Comrade” is most notable for having been adopted as a surname prefix by socialist and communist movements in the second part of the 19th century, to avoid titles and acknowledge a fellow socialist or communist. In South Africa in the early 1990s, “comrades” came to be used for politically motivated township youth, especially those involved in civil disorder.

The equivalent of “comrade” in Mandarin is tongzhi , the characters meaning “same will/purpose”: originating in the Qin dynasty (221-206BC), the term became a form of address during the Chinese Communist Party’s drive to power (1921-49) and well into the 80s, signalling solidarity, equality and respect among the revolutionaries. The term’s popularity began to wane after 1978, as China’s economy began to open up. In an attempt to address this, in 2016, the Communist Party issued a directive that members were to replace titles and honorifics with the democratic, unisex greeting tongzhi .

In the interim, though, the term had taken on a new meaning. First adopted by a Hong Kong columnist and an organiser of the city’s inaugural Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, in 1989, tongzhi was appropriated by homosexuals as a positive and gender-neutral term, preferable to tongxinglian (“same-sex love”), with its clinical, pathological connotations.

Even though Xiandai Hanyu Cidian, China’s foremost dictionary, in 2012 excluded the gay reference in its definition of tongzhi , and Baidu, the dominant Chinese-language search engine, offers the literal translation “comrade relationship” for tongzhi guanxi – though Google Translate gives “gay relationship” – tongzhi has now become established in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and subsequently the mainland, as a term of identification, solidarity and affection for the LGBTQIA community.

DUP man’s sadness at party’s missed chance to fly LGBT flag

DUP man's sadness at party's missed chance to fly LGBT flag

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A DUP councillor who backed a proposal to light up Ards town hall in rainbow colours to mark Pride has expressed his sadness after it was shot down by his party.

Tom Smith said it was a "missed opportunity" to reach out to the LGBT community.

The Donaghadee and Bangor East councillor had already defied his DUP colleagues when the plan was raised in committee, and was prepared to do so again when the matter came before a full meeting of Ards and North Down Borough Council on Wednesday night.

But the plan fell apart when the DUP proposed an amendment that removed plans for the lighting up of the town hall and any individual reference to the LGBT community, instead making it a general equality motion.

That amendment was carried, with 20 members voting for it and 16 against.

Mr Smith opposed his own party’s amendment.

Only 18 of the 40 councillors are DUP, but the support of one UUP, one TUV and an independent member meant the amendment passed.

Afterwards, Mr Smith said the proposal was about "reaching out" to other sections of the community.

"I believe that this was a missed opportunity to reach out to another section of people in our borough – a group of people, many of whom have been marginalised, threatened, abused and discriminated against," he stated.

"While lighting up a building would have been a small step, it would have been a symbolic one – one that I hope would have sent a positive message of support out across our borough." DUP councillor Tom Smith Mr Smith spoke passionately about the issue at Wednesday night’s council meeting, saying it wasn’t political but about "doing what is right, about showing compassion and kindness to other human beings".

"It’s about treating other people the same way we would like to be treated; with respect, with dignity and with acceptance," he said.

"I think it’s worth remembering that just over 30 years ago it was basically illegal to be gay in this country.

"Of course society has moved on, but still, for many LGBT people, intolerance and bigotry are a day to day reality. That is something we must all continue to confront and condemn.

"Tonight is part of the challenge to do just that.

"It’s about shaping a society where everyone feels accepted, it’s about building a borough where everyone believes they are valued and it’s about creating a community that everyone, including our LGBT friends, can call home."

It’s not known if Mr Smith will face any disciplinary action.

The DUP has declined to comment on the matter. The stance taken by Ards and North Down members comes three months after party leader Arlene Foster made headlines by attending a PinkNews event at Stormont.

She told the LGBT community that she looked on them "as my neighbours or my fellow citizens" and didn’t "define anyone on the basis of their religion, race or sexuality".

Last month, there was controversy when DUP members of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council used a procedural mechanism known as a call-in to stop the Pride flag being flown on council premises.

However, the DUP panel on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in Mrs Foster’s own constituency didn’t object to lighting up Enniskillen Castle pink last month.

The Sinn Fein motion on behalf of the Rainbow Project was organised to "demonstrate inclusivity, acceptance and welcoming to the local LGBT community".

Belfast Telegraph

Man tricks four men into gay sex by posing as a woman on dating apps

Man tricks four men into gay sex by posing as a woman on dating apps

The man allegedly tripped four men into having blindfolded sex by posing as a woman. (Leon Neal/Getty Images) A London man tricked four straight men into having sex by presenting himself as a woman on dating apps.

Duerte Xavier, who identifies as a gay man, posted photos of women on dating apps, before arranging blindfolded hook-ups, reports The Sun.

Xavier, 30, is facing six charges of making a person engage in sex without consent. Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court. (Wikimedia Commons) Appearing at Kingston crown court, south west London, one of Xavier’s victims explained that the 30-year old “sounded feminine” on the phone.

The pair met in a park, where they had sex, during which the victim was blindfolded.

“I made attempts to touch her, which were thwarted,” the victim said in court.

He said he was asked to stay blindfolded until after Xavier left, the court heard.

Xavier met up with another man in a flat, who he had been talking to on Lovoo and WhatsApp.

The man was told to put on a blindfold before Xavier arrived, the court heard.

However, the victim pulled off his mask when he met Xavier, and hit him in anger. “I pulled it down and saw this man with a beard,” the victim told the court.

“I felt p***ed off and slapped him.”

Xavier tried to persuade the man to meet him again, but he phoned the police. Xavier lured some of his victims using WhatsApp. (Wikimedia Commons) The trial continues.

It comes after another man from Florida, USA, recently pled guilty to tricking at least 80 unsuspecting men into having sex with him for porn videos by pretending to be a woman.

Bryan Deneumostier, from Homestead, Florida, admitted he duped 150 men into sex acts—more than half of whom didn’t know he was recording—and uploaded the videos to subscription-based porn site StraightBoyz.

Deneumostier pleaded not guilty in July, but changed his mind and admitted two counts of illegal interception of oral communications after prosecutors agreed to drop three related charges as part of his plea deal.

The 33-year-old will be sentenced on November 29 and faces up to 10 years in prison, though he is expected to be handed less time behind bars, according to the Miami Herald .

The federal court in Miami heard how the defendant went by the username susanleon33326 online, posing as a “real, heterosexual female” in Craigslist adverts which invited men for sex at his house near Homestead Reserve Air Base.

Gay Zimbabwe teacher quits in wake of death threats after coming out

Gay Zimbabwe teacher quits in wake of death threats after coming out

Neal Hovelmeier has resigned after coming out to his students. (Neal Hovelmeier/Facebook) A teacher at an elite boys’ school in Zimbabwe has resigned after receiving death threats because he came out to his students as gay.

Neal Hovelmeier, deputy head of the sixth form at St John’s College, in the capital of Harare, faced a wave of anger after he came out in a school assembly last Friday (September 21), which sought to tackle homophobic bullying .

In a country where gay sex remains illegal, the teacher’s announcement ignited fury from homophobic parents, who demanded him to resign.

It was reported he decided to come out because a Zimbabwean newspaper was planning to out him.

“I will not submit myself to a sham trial,” Hovelmeier wrote in his resignation letter.

Since revealing his sexuality, he said he has received “death threats as well as threats of physical danger to myself and my pets.”

“I have come to realise that my current position as deputy headmaster is now untenable,” he wrote in the resignation letter, according to the BBC.

A parents’ meeting at the Zimbabwe private school descended into chaos on Monday, after the teacher came out as gay.

Videos from the event shared on social media showed several heated confrontations, with reports that “fist fights” nearly broke out between groups of parents. Parents’ meeting at St John’s College nearly broke in2 a fist fight during a discusion about measures 2 be taken against the college deputy head Neal Hovelmeier who called special assembly 2 announce his sexual orientation as Gay infront of kids @StarFMNews @HMetro_ @TheBMetro pic.twitter.com/FEpeTp1Mv3 — Tapatapa Maxwell B. (@MaxTapatapa) September 24, 2018 A letter was also sent home to parents informing them that the teacher had come out.

In an initial statement, Hovelmeier explained that he has “always been an intensely private individual” but that former students told him they had experienced “an environment of intolerance, intimidation and homophobia while they were at school.”

He added: “I have felt increasingly troubled by the fact that we as an institution have never openly dealt with trying to curb homophobic behaviour and, equally, failed to provide a safe learning experience for students who may identify as being gay or bisexual to truly flourish and fed accepted. “I simply feel and believe that as an educator I will be able to better address and advance this issue if I am prepared to be fully and open and transparent about it myself.

“I also believe that it is integral to my own sense of personal integrity and professionalism that I deal with all students and stakeholders in an open and transparent manner. My only regret is that I did not make this disclosure earlier. Former students had denounced “an environment of intolerance, intimidation and homophobia” while they were at school. (Pexels) “I can assure you that at all times I will continue to discharge my duties with the levels of professionalism I have endeavoured at all times to uphold.

“I have been very heartened and grateful for the truly overwhelming levels of support shown to me by students and staff alike. even in the short time since I addressed the school this morning.”

Gay people face immense persecution in Zimbabwe, with police frequently target the LGBT+ community.

The country’s former President Robert Mugabe claimed homosexuality is a filthy disease , vowed to reject international aid that requires Zimbabwe to accept gay people’s human rights , and insisted Zimbabwe would “never, never, never” decriminalise homosexuality. Zimababwe’s former President Robert Mugabe (Getty) Mugabe was notoriously one of the world’s most homophobic leaders , presiding over a regime that has carried out homophobic purges, targeting gay men with extortion, arrest and even torture.

The president was ousted late last year by his lieutenant Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has shot down questions about whether he will roll back the state’s harsh anti-LGBT policies.

Asked if he would do anything to progress LGBT+ rights in the country, Mnangagwa responded: “Those people who want it are the people who should canvas for it, but it’s not my duty to campaign for this.”

Zaid: I’d be PM for all Malaysians, including the LGBT community

Zaid: I'd be PM for all Malaysians, including the LGBT community

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (pic) said if he were to become prime minister, he would make Malaysia a home for everyone, including the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.

In an Op-Ed on Malaysiakini, the former minister took Pakatan Harapan leaders to task for failing to defend the basic human rights of LGBTs, and instead joining in the public ridicule.

"Why are these ‘reformists’ and people who fought to change the system so afraid to defend and uphold human rights as an important universal principle for everyone?" he said without naming anyone in particular.

"I always thought (Pakatan) Harapan promised a shelter for everyone and a country to be shared by all.

"It’s an easy promise to fulfil. If they can’t do this, I hope someone can vacate a parliamentary seat for me," he quipped.

Highlighting the recent public caning of two lesbians in Terengganu, Zaid said the "LGBT-hatred" amongst the public as well as top leaders, senators and muftis all stemmed from an ignorance of basic science and physiology.

"No one chooses to be LGBT. I repeat: no one can choose to be straight or gay, tall or short, brown-eyed or black.

"We are born with physical and psychological characteristics that are totally outside our control.

"Also, being born LGBT isn’t a punishment from God. God isn’t cruel," he added.

Zaid said a person’s sexual orientation is merely a matter of genetics.

"Homosexuality exists everywhere in human culture. This is why many governments around the world no longer criminalise it – the latest being India.

"For those who claim that homosexuality is against the order of nature, the fact is that it is common in the animal kingdom," he said.

He cited examples of rams, female Japanese macaques and other animals that have shown homosexual behaviour.

"We should be talking about science and biology and how to accept one another, instead of festering hate.

"They (LGBTs) are just like you and me. If Malaysia is not a home for them, where do we send them? Myanmar?" he said.

LGBTI women running for US Congress up 160% since 2016

LGBTI women running for US Congress up 160% since 2016

Pretoria to host a spectacular Cirque du Soleil inspired Pride parade Sharice Davids is one LGBTI person running | Twitter @sharicedavids An astonishing 430 openly LGBTI people ran for public office in the United States this year. 244 are still in the race for November’s midterm elections, and of the 25 running for Congress and governor, all are Democrats.

Victory Fund released these numbers in their 2018 Rainbow Wave report , which supports that a record number of LGBTI people are running for office this year.

In their report, they calcuated LGBTI candidates for both Congress and gubernatorial races. What’s happening in Congress?

21 LGBTI candidates won their Democratic primaries earlier this year. This is a 24% compared to the 2016 cycle and an amazing 320% increase from 2010.

The stats are equally impressive for LGBTI women running for office, who have a record number of candidates since 2016.

13 LGBTI people who identify as women are up for a Congressional seat in November, which is a 160% increase since 2016, and more than the number of LGBTI men running for Congress this year.

Further, this is the first time since 2010 there are zero LGBTI Republican candidates. And governors?

A total of seven LGBTI people ran for governor this year, with four winning the major party nomination. This is more than ever before.

Prior to 2018, only three LGBTI people had ever run for governor in the same election cycle, and only one before got their party’s nomination.

This year, the entire LGBT acroynm is represented with: Lupe Valdez in Texas (lesbian), Jared Polis in Colorado (gay man), Kate Brown of Oregon (bisexual), and Christine Hallquist of Vermont (trans woman).

Brown is running for re-election, having become the first openly LGBTI person elected as governor in November 2016.

Currently, with 576 seats in public office, LGBTI Americans only make up 0.1% of all elected officials. 22,810 LGBTI people must be elected to achieve equal representation in government .

The midterm elections are on 6 November. More from Gay Star News

This is why it’s pointless to be cynical – and why you should vote instead