The Royal Canadian Mint announced today (April 18) that it will hold an official unveiling of a new Canadian one-dollar coin that it describes as “recognizing 50 years of progress in the journey to equal rights for LGBTQ2 Canadians”.
The event, to be held on April 23 at Toronto’s LGBT community centre The 519, will include attendance by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s LGBTQ2 advisor Randy Boissonault.
The coin, which the Royal Canadian Mint claims in a news release is the “world’s first circulation coin recognizing LGBTQ2 rights“, commemorates the date of decriminalization of same-sex sexual activity in the country in 1969, which was two years after then-justice minister Pierre Trudeau made his often-quoted remark that "there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation".
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the coin on December 14, 2018.
CBC News has reported that the design will feature two overlapping faces within a large circle.
The coin follows after the formal apology that Justin Trudeau delivered in 2017 to LGBT Canadians for past discrimination by the federal government. The apology addressed what was known as the Gay Purge, in which civil servants who were thought to be LGBT were targeted from the 1950s to 1990s.
In June 2018, Historica Canada released its first Heritage Minute about Canadian LGBT history by focusing on pioneering gay-rights activist Jim Egan, whose fight for marriage equality failed but led to sexual orientation being protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights.
In November 2018, the Bank of Canada released the first Canadian bank note to feature a woman: Nova Scotian civil-rights activist Viola Desmond who challenged racial segregation.
Tyler Blackburn attends the launch of Roswell, New Mexico. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images) Tyler Blackburn has spoken about his queer identity as he takes on a new role as a gay war veteran in Roswell, New Mexico .
The actor told Advocate that he has identified as bisexual since he was a teenager.
“I’m queer,” he said. “I just want to feel powerful in my own skin, and my own mind, and in my own heart.”
He opened up about growing up in LA as an “effeminate” boy, something which cause him “self-hatred and shame” during his formative years. “I just want to feel powerful in my own skin.”
“I got bullied a lot by other boys, and I just felt like my soul was slowly being taken from me,” he said.
“I stopped doing so many of the things that I loved doing because it felt safer. That right there is the outcome of oppression. When you literally have to mute who you are in order to feel safe. That’s soul-crushing.” Tyler Blackburn suppressed being bisexual
Throughout his 20s Blackburn suppressed his attraction to men, feeling the weight of bi-erasure.
“I heard so many things from within the queer community about bisexuality being a cop-out or the easy way out, and that always stuck with me because I felt the pressure from all sides to have my sexuality figured out,” he said. Tyler Blackburn attends Entertainment Weekly + Amazon Prime Video’s “Saints & Sinners” Party At SXSW on March 9, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly) After a string of relationships with women, he said that he “allowed himself” to explore the full spectrum of his sexual in his late 20s.
Blackburn shot to fame in 2010 as Caleb Rivers in Pretty Little Liars, a role he played until the series ended in 2017.
The franchise returned in March 2019 (without Caleb) in a new spin-off series, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists , which revealed the fate of lesbian couple Emily and Alison.
For Blackburn’s latest project, Roswell, New Mexico , he plays Alex Manes, a gay war veteran and amputee.
In light of the ongoing debate around LGBT+ people serving in the military , Blackburn admitted that he feels “a big responsibility” to the community. G4 By Golpa G4 By Golpa – Permanent Teeth in 24 Hours
A group of Sonoma residents is calling for a boycott of several businesses to protest the anti-LGBT and other conservative opinions of their new owners. The Facebook-based group is protesting the social media postings made over several years by Ken and Stacy Mattson of Piedmont and their real estate partner, Tim Lefever, a two-time Republican congressional candidate in Sacramento. The Mattsons and Lefever have recently spent about 80-million-dollars buying all or part of more than two-dozen Sonoma-area businesses. Employees of Ramekins Culinary School and the General’s Daughter restaurant flew the rainbow flag this week to show the generally-liberal community they don’t share their new owner’s opposition to gay marriage.
Thomas Ude Jr. of the Mazzoni Center At Mazzoni Center, we provide a continuum of health, wellness and legal services for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Mazzoni Center’s legal services program helps LGBT people access tools that can protect them and their families. Our resources limit our ability to provide direct representation in matters outside greater Philadelphia, but LGBT people throughout Pennsylvania need legal assistance, many of whom are low-income and many who fear that they will not be able to find the competent and respectful counsel they need. Wherever, and in whatever areas, you practice law, you will likely encounter LGBT clients. With that in mind, I wanted to address some of the realities of the lives of LGBT people, and how the legal community can address those needs. Want to continue reading?
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Angus Ta’avao | Photo: Instagram A star player for the beloved New Zealand rugby team – the All Blacks – has shown his support for the LGBTI community on Friday (19 April).
Angus Ta’avao donned rainbow laces on his boots during his Super Rugby team’s game on Friday . Ta’avao for the Chiefs who took on the Lions at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on New Zealand’s north island.
His statement comes after Australian player Israel Folau once again took to social media to tell LGBTI people they are going to hell. Last week, Rugby Australia and Rugby New South Wales terminated Folau’s multi-million dollar contract for defying warnings over his social media posts. Folau said he would appeal the decision.
Following, Folau’s posts a number of other sports players came out in support of the national player. Rugby fans booed English player Billy Vunipola after he ‘like’ Folau’s post . He also took to social media to say ‘Man was made for woman to pro create that was the goal no?’
But Ta’avo reaffirmed his support for the community and wore the rainbow laces again. The Chiefs collectively wore the laces after Folau’s first homophobic post last year.
Ta’avo was one of many players to affirm their love for the LGBTI community following Folau’s comments.
Another All Black player, TJ Perenara, used Twitter to pledge his support.
‘You are loved. You are valued. You are enough. You are worthy. You are deserving. I got you,’ Perenara wrote on Twitter. I don’t even know what to say. You are loved
You are valued
You are enough
You are worthy
You are deserving
I got you — Tj Perenara (@Tj_Perenara) April 12, 2019
Charlize Theron | Photo: Instagram/Charlize Theron Academy Award winning actress Charlize Theron has revealed for the first time her oldest child is trans.
Theron revealed seven-year-old Jackson, proclaimed her gender to the actress at the age of three.
‘Yes, I thought she was a boy, too,’ Charlize told the Daily Mail.
‘Until she looked at me when she was three years old and said: “I am not a boy!”.
‘So there you go! I have two beautiful daughters who, just like any parent, I want to protect and I want to see thrive.’
Jackson is an older sibling to three-year-old August.
‘They were born who they are and exactly where in the world both of them get to find themselves as they grow up, and who they want to be, is not for me to decide,’ Theron said.
‘My job as a parent is to celebrate them and to love them and to make sure that they have everything they need in order to be what they want to be.
‘And I will do everything in my power for my kids to have that right and to be protected within that.’
Theron has long been an LGBTI ally. In 2012, she vowed to not get married until same-sex marriage was legalized. Then in 2017 she criticised the lack of bisexual representation in Hollywood. Positive representation
Many celebrated Theron’s support of her daughter including Sense8 actress, Jamie Clayton.
‘Sending you so much love and light. Thank you beyond,’ Clayton wrote on Twitter.
UK based charity, Mermaids, who work with young gender diverse people not only celebrated Theron’s news, but the way the mainstream media handled it. UK media has come under fire recently for anti-trans articles and editorials.
Mermaids CEO, Susie Green, told Gay Star News the respectful coverage of the story by mainstream media was a welcome change.
‘Parents are constantly criticized for believing their gender variant children and supporting them to live authentically,’ she said.
‘We applaud Charline Theron for listening to her daughter. Too often children are dismissed, their feelings regarded as irrelevant.
‘Recognition that a child or young person knows who they are is hugely important, whatever age they trust their parents with this truth.’
Tributes have been paid to journalist Lyra McKee who was shot dead amid unrest in Derry .
Police have called her killing on Thursday night a “terrorist incident”.
Ms McKee, 29, was described as “a journalist of courage, style and integrity”.
“She was a woman of great commitment and passion,” said Seamus Dooley, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) assistant general secretary.
“I have no doubt that it was that commitment which led to her presence on the streets of the Creggan last night, observing a riot situation in the city.” LGBT ‘hero’
Ms McKee worked for the Belfast Telegraph and was a published author. The NUJ said she had a promising career ahead of her.
She was praised as a “hero” for the LGBT community in Northern Ireland, which is the only place in the UK where same-sex marriage is not allowed.
Many know Ms McKee for her piece about growing up gay in Belfast – Letter To My 14 Year-Old Self – which was subsequently turned into a powerful short film.
She once said during a TedX talk at Stormont: “The first lesson I learned about being gay was that it was evil and I was going to hell for it, I learned that from the Bible.
“There were times that I would cry in my bedroom as a teenager, bargaining with God, asking him not to send me to hell because I was so convinced that I was going there.
“This text, this Bible, for many people it offers them hope and salvation, but for me it offered a prison sentence, and I think it is the same for a lot of other LGBT young people.” Journalist Lyra McKee outside the Sunflower Pub on Union Street (Photo: Jess Lowe Photography/Reuters) ‘Gifted writer’
Ms McKee’s peers praised her writing talent.
Journalist Peter McGuire said she was a “gifted writer, a kind person and so generous with her time and knowledge”.
“She struck me as a thoughtful journalist unafraid to challenge her own beliefs. Rare and precious. Deepest condolences to family and friends,” said writer Brooke Magnanti, whose blogs were made into TV hit Secret Diary Of A Call Girl.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland has said that dissident republican group the New IRA was probably responsible for the killing of Ms McKee, who was shot in the head. She later died in hospital.
Officers were carrying out a search operation in the Creggan area of Derry aimed at disrupting dissident republicans ahead of this weekend’s commemoration of the 1916 Dublin uprising that led to Irish independence.
Ms McKee was wounded as a masked gunman opened fire during rioting following the search operation.
A murder inquiry has been launched. ‘Our hearts are heavy’
Irish Taoiseach Leo Vardakar said his government condemned the violence in the “strongest possible terms”.
“We cannot allow those who want to propagate violence, fear and hate to drag us back to the past.”
DUP leader Arlene Foster said: “Our hearts are very heavy because of what happened in Londonderry last night.
“Our thoughts are with Lyra‘s partner and her family, we stand with them, they’re going through a terrible time, it’s absolutely heartbreaking,” she added.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The death of Lyra McKee in last night’s suspected terrorist incident in Londonderry is shocking and truly senseless.
“My deepest condolences go to her family, friends and colleagues.
“She was a journalist who died doing her job with great courage.”
Additional reporting by PA
Gay comedian Stephen K Amos meets Pope Francis (BBC) Pope Francis has told gay comedian Stephen K Amos that gay people deserve “dignity.”
The Catholic leader made the comments to Amos during an audience filmed for BBC show Pilgrimage: The Road To Rome . Pope Francis tells Stephen K Amos: Gay people ‘do not lose your dignity’
Meeting the Pope, the gay comedian explained: “I lost my mother, three months ago I buried my twin sister, who were both very religious.
“So me coming on this pilgrimage, being non-religious, I was looking for answers and faith. But as a gay man, I don’t feel accepted.”
The Pope replied: “Giving more importance to the adjective [gay] rather than the noun [man], this is not good. We are all human beings and have dignity. It does not matter who you are, or how you live your life – you do not lose your dignity.
“There are people that prefer to select or discard people because of the adjective. These people don’t have a human heart.” Pope Francis (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty) Speaking to i , Amos explained he did not initially want to meet the Pope because of the Catholic Church’s anti-LGBT teachings, unless he could ask him about the issue.
He said: “We found out on the penultimate day that we would be meeting the Pope. I said no.
“I’ve been quite vocal in my criticism in certain aspects of the Catholic Church. I thought a private audience meant you go and see him, he blesses you and you leave. I couldn’t in all conscience go and do that, it’s not me.
“Then I said I’d only go if we can ask questions. The producers asked, well, what sort of questions, as we don’t want to spark a diplomatic incident. So we gave in some questions and the answer came back from the Vatican that the Pope will answer any questions that you have.” Anti-LGBT Catholic teachings have not changed
Although Pope Francis has given several viral soundbites about being inclusive of gay people over the past few years, critics say he has done little to actually reform the anti-LGBT teachings of the Catholic Church , which have an impact worldwide.
In a speech to an anti-gay marriage lobbying group in June 2018, the Pope said: “It is painful to say this today: People speak of varied families, of various kinds of family… [but] the family of man and woman in the image of God is the only one.”
In August 2018, the Catholic World Meeting of Families blocked participation from Catholic LGBT+ groups and censored depictions of same-sex parents in events literature. Pope Francis smiles as he leaves at the end of his weekly general audience in Saint Peter’s Square at Vatican on May 30, 2018. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty) The same month, the Pope suggested that parents should take their children to psychiatrists if they come out as gay.
“I would say first of all to pray— then, to not condemn, to talk, to understand, to make space for the son or daughter,” he said to Italian newspaper La Stampa .
“Then, it depends on the age in which this disquiet: it is one thing if it’s manifested in children, there are many things one can do with a psychiatrist.
“It is another if it’s manifested in your twenties. But I would never say silence is a remedy.
“To ignore a son or daughter with homosexual tendencies [shows] a lack of fatherhood or motherhood.
“I am your father, I am your mother, let’s talk, I will not throw you out of the family.”
Alison Bennington, the DUP’s first gay candidate (SCOPE Consultancy) The famously anti-LGBT+ Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland is running an openly gay candidate for council elections.
Alison Bennington is running for the DUP in the Glengormley Urban area of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, according to The Irish News.
If Bennington is elected, she will be the DUP’s first ever openly gay elected representative. DUP’s first gay candidate Alison Bennington is an ‘excellent candidate’
Bennington said she is “delighted” to have been selected to run for council elections as a DUP candidate.
“I am putting myself before the electorate based on what I can deliver for them as a councillor working alongside a strong team of colleagues, not based on my sexual orientation,” she said.
“I regard my private and family life as a matter for myself in the same way as everyone else.” “I am putting myself before the electorate based on what I can deliver for them as a councillor working alongside a strong team of colleagues, not based on my sexual orientation.”
Meanwhile, a DUP spokesman said that Bennington is “an excellent candidate and will make an excellent representative for the people of Glengormley.”
She was also in attendance yesterday at the DUP’s local government election manifesto launch in Belfast.
DUP leader Arlene Foster said in a speech at the event that their vision for Northern Ireland is one where “we value and cherish people from every background.” Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Leader Arlene Foster (Jack Taylor/Getty) The DUP is well-known for its anti-LGBT+ stance
The DUP has become well known across the UK for its anti-LGBT+ stance.
In the late 1970s, former leader Ian Paisley led the “Save Ulster from Sodomy” campaign which argued against the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
Current DUP leader Arlene Foster is staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage. Despite this, last year she became the first DUP leader to attend an LGBT+ event when she delivered a speech at a PinkNews reception in Stormont.
Speaking at the event, Foster said: “Just because we disagree on marriage does not mean that I don’t value the LGBT community.
“It is not a zero-sum game. All I ask in return is that my, and our views, are also respected if not agreed with.”
Foster continued: “I wanted to acknowledge the contribution of the LGBT community in Northern Ireland and to recognise the reality of diversity among our citizens.
“I wanted to recognise that some of our brightest and best in this country are part of the LGBT community.
“I wanted to send a clear message from this event, that we are all someone’s child and we are all a valued part of this wonderful place we call home.” Worldation Producers Tried to Keep These Behind the Scenes Photos Hidden
Trevor Gray was attacked in Waynesboro, Mississippi (Facebook) A Mississippi man’s jaw was broken in two places during a brutal beating because his attackers thought he was gay, according to his family.
Trevor Gray’s jaw was wired shut after the horrifying attack in Waynesboro, Mississippi, on April 12.
According to the Clarion-Ledger , Gray met alleged attackers Landon McCaa and Toman Sion Brown at a local bar. Mississippi man attacked ‘because he was different’
Gray was part of a group that went on to continue drinking at McCaa’s home when the bar closed, but some of the men turned on Gray and decided to attack him.
A video of the attack filmed on a mobile phone was circulated on social media, showing what appears to be McCaa repeatedly punching Gray.
The victim’s brother Cruz Gray alleged that the attack was motivated by sexuality, noting that Brown called him a “queer” during the beating. Trevor Gray was attacked in Waynesboro, Mississippi (Facebook) He told the newspaper: “This was an act of cruelty for no reason, because he was different.
“He’s not gay, but it wouldn’t matter if he were. No one deserves for this to happen to them.”
McCaa and Brown have been charged with aggravated assault, but Wayne County Sheriff Jody Ashley told the Clarion-Ledger that they could also face a federal hate crime charge. Thousands raised to cover medical expenses
The community has rallied round Gray in the wake of the attack, with a GoFundMe set up to cover his medical expenses raising more than $14,000.
One donor said: “Not only is this such a dastardly deed, I have a son who is gay and I’m donating to show my unconditional love and support for him as well as Trevor. God holds all of His children in his love.”
Another added: “You did not deserve this, and there are people that you may never meet that love you and are praying for your physical and emotional health following this horrific attack. I am one of those people.”
In a statement to the newspaper, Trevor Gray said: “For as long as I can remember, my family has taught me to see the best in others.
“My peace in this situation comes from that. So, for those wondering, I’m not angry or vengeful; I’m not sad. I’m optimistic. The events of that night are small when weighed against the incredible amount of love and support people have shown me.
“My mouth will be wired up for the next several weeks, so if you see me and I don’t smile, know that I’m smiling on the inside. Most importantly, believe in the good, give someone a hug, and stay positive.”