Clubbing in London can be incredibly isolating when you’re not a man

Clubbing in London can be incredibly isolating when you're not a man

Charlie at a drag convention | Photo: Darren Mew The phrase ‘Let’s go to [insert name of a gay sex club]’ might signal the start of a good night out for some.

For me though, it’s quite the opposite.

There’s nothing more gutting than when I’m having a good night in a bar with a group of friends but then said group decide that next they’re going to head to a gay sex club.

I’m neither man, or completely masculine meaning that there are multiple venues in London where I’ll simply never be welcome.

Subsequently, my only option is to hang my head and retire to an early night.

When this happens, it goes something like this.

We’ll be in a bar in Soho. Everyone’s having a great time. The alcohol is flowing. The room is filled with laughter. Everyone’s face has a grin on it. It’s a good night.

Then a couple of the guys in the group will huddle and I catch wind that they’ve agreed on something.

Then, one person will approach me and explain that they’re heading to a gay sex club. ‘I tried to convince them otherwise but it’s just not worked, I’m sorry,’ a friend will explain.

I also try my hand at reminding that people if we go to one of the many places available that isn’t a gay sex club, we can still have a good time and I can join them!

Nothing works.

So then a couple of minutes later, everyone will start moving outside of the bar. Everyone apologizes for the fact that I can’t join them. I say ‘it’s okay’ through gritted teeth. They head in one direction, and I walk to the tube station to get a train home.

I can’t help but wonder though…

If you were really that sorry, why would you still go? Queer venues in London

It’s hard to say really whether there’s been any progress in terms of diversity in LGBTI nightlife.

The number of venues that are safe spaces for those who aren’t LGBT men have experienced a noticeable drop.

Beloved queer venue HER upstairs closed abruptly in August 2018. This loss broke the hearts of many across the LGBTI London scene.

Ku Bar near Leicester square is a popular venue who host a weekly night for queer women – Ruby Tuesday’s. This is quite popular but, it’s just a weekly night.

Its sister Ku Bar, off Old Compton Street, runs SHE Soho in its basement. This venue is, as far as I’m aware, the only bar in London that is tailored and targeted at queer women.

They also have strict door policy that men aren’t allowed in unless they’re with a woman. DJ Tina Ledger once recalled seeing ‘a guy lurking around for hours offering women fifty quid to go in with him.’

Like Ruby Tuesdays, there are other examples of weekly events. Wotever World are a collective who regularly take over a variety of gay bars with their nights aimed at queer women, femme people and non-binary people.

There are other similar examples of this. Wotever World are a collective who regularly take over a variety of gay bars with their nights aimed at queer women, femme people and non-binary people.

The Friendly Society, Queen Adelaide of Cambridge Heath and CIRCA Club are venues for the community as a whole.

Bearing all that in mind, I’d say it’s pretty understandable that queer women and non-binary people would feel isolated in terms of LGBTI nightlife. Sadie Masie and FIST

The biggest and most popular LGBTI venues in London are still predominantly gay venues – Some of which have no issue with discriminating against those who don’t fit the bill of an ideal customer.

This hasn’t always been the way however.

There was a fetish club in the early 1990s at the London Lesbian and Gay Centre called Sadie Maisie. The club welcomed people of all genders.

When Fetish Queen Suzie Krueger first opened her club FIST in the mid-90’s, I’m told this night was also for everyone. However, that event was later replaced by Hard On – a more hard-dance, sex night aimed much more at the boys.

I can’t help but feel like we’ve moved a bit backwards in this sense. Once upon a time, both my friends and I would have been welcomed into sex clubs together! Not anymore however.

All I want is to be able to join my friends on a night out, regardless of where they end up.

Central Asia’s first LGBTI pride march sparks protests

Central Asia's first LGBTI pride march sparks protests

Kyrgyzstan Women’s March (Photo: Twitter) There’s been threats, protests, and fiery debates in Kyrgyzstan’s parliament after a pro-LGBTI rally earlier this month.

In what was believed to be one of the first public LGBTI pride events in Central Asia, 400 people took part in a Women’s March in the capital, Bishkek on 8 March. It included demands for LGBT rights.

But, according to Radio Free Europe , visibility has sparked an ugly backlash.

Kyrgyz parliament deputy Jyldyz Musabekova wrote on Facebook: ‘The men who do not want to have children and the girls who do not want to pour tea…must not only be cursed, they must be beaten’.

‘We have to beat the craziness out of them’ she also said. ‘Are there any decent guys out there [to do that]?’ She asked.

What’s more, during a fierce parliamentary debate last week she warned Kyrgyzstan could become ‘Gayistan’.

Some members spoke out against Musabekova’s comments.

But, others echoed anti-LGBTI comments.

Ziyadin Zhamaldinov said the march had ‘disgraced’ Kyrgyzstan in front of its neighbors.

Kyrgyzstan is the only democracy and most-progressive country in Central Asia.

But, Russia’s 2013 crackdown on its LGBTI population and ongoing purge in Chechnya has increased homophobia in the region.

In November 2018, a bisexual man in Kyrgyzstan was brutally attacked and tortured . Attackers carved the word ‘gay’ onto his belly. The march

Activists who organized the Women’s March have faced threats and intimidation.

City officials tried to dissuade organizers from holding the march for ’security issues’.

And, some 30-40 nationalist ‘warriors’ came to heckle and intimidate marchers.

One marcher, Bektour Iskender told Radio Free Europe organizers included LGBTI rights in the march previously. But, this year, opponents noticed.

‘I urge people in Kyrgyzstan to stop being afraid of LGBT people – they’re also part of our society,’ he said.

In Malaysia, the push for LGBTI rights at this year’s Women’s March in capital Kuala Lumpur sparked a similar ugly backlash.

Police are pursuing charges against organizers under draconian ’sedition’ laws.

Government leaders also reminded the LGBTI communicate they will never be accepted.

What’s more, the public blamed LGBTI visibility for bad weather.

Arizona police investigating after gay man ‘attacked by mob of 10 people’

Arizona police investigating after gay man 'attacked by mob of 10 people'

Cesar Marin in Arizona uploaded this photo on Facebook (Photo: Facebook) A gay man has said he was brutally attacked because of his sexuality in downtown Phoenix , Arizona early on Saturday morning (16 March).

It all began when a woman flicked a cigarette in into Cesar Marin’s car and called him a homophobic slur.

‘Before I knew it, I was surrounded in a hail of punches,’ Marin wrote in a Facebook post.

The post, which includes a photo of Marin with bruises and cuts to his face, has now been shared nearly 2,000 times.

‘I was just gay bashed in downtown Phoenix’ Cesar wrote.

‘I was attacked by a mob of 10 people. It all started with 1 girl flicking her cigarette in my car and calling me a faggot.’ ‘I felt like I was gonna die’

Phoenix police told ABC 15 they were investigating. They had collected the cigarette and an earring as evidence.

But, they did not confirm if they were classifying the attack as a hate crime.

Cesar told the local news station he believes he was singled out for being gay.

‘I just wanted it to stop, I felt like I was gonna die, I didn’t know how to defend myself, how to protect myself’ he said.

ABC 15 had obtained video of the aftermath of the alleged attack from a nearby restaurant worker.

LGBTI hate crimes rose 17% during 2017 in the US , according to the FBI. More than 1,000 incidents of anti-LGBTI violence were reported to the police.

India’s oldest political party mulls LGBTI rights in election manifesto

India's oldest political party mulls LGBTI rights in election manifesto

Transgender community protesting in Bengaluru (Photo: Facebook) India’s major opposition party the Indian National Congress (INC) is reported to be including LGBTI rights in their election manifesto.

INC will consult on the controversial Transgender Rights Bill. It may also make gender-sensitivity training mandatory for government bodies, according to The Print.

Its manifesto may also include better implementation of India’s landmark decriminalization of gay sex.

The party might also establish a women empowerment and justice department, according to News 18. Section 377

India made history in September last year when it struck down Section 377 of its Colonial-era Penal Code.

The archaic law punished gay sex with up to 10 years in jail. But, the Supreme Court ruled the law was unconstitutional.

But, the LGBTI community has warned, society will take time to change. Homophobia is still rife in the country.

A transgender bill currently in the Upper House of parliament, meanwhile, has riled the trans community.

While India’s Supreme Court recognized a third gender in 2014, transgender Indians remain marginalized.

Trans Indians say the bill enshrines discrimination rather than fights against it.

More than 900 million Indians are eligible to vote in the Lower House of Parliament elections in April and May. Congress

The INC was founded in 1885 prior to India’s independence.

Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, it became a force in India’s independence from Britain.

INC has already made the headlines this year for LGBTI inclusion.

In January, transgender activist Apsara Reddy became Indian National Congress party’s first transgender office-bearer at the national level.

INC appointed Reddy national general secretary of the party’s women’s wing, known as the Mahila Congress.

‘To be welcomed into one of India’s largest and oldest national parties is hugely emotional for me’, Reddy said.

Last month, India’s first Miss Trans Queen, Veena Sendra , joined the Indian National Congress (INC) party.

‘Today, Miss India ‘Trans Queen’ Veena Sendre joined the party expressing faith in the ideology of Congress’ INC tweeted.

‘When we say we are inclusive. We mean it’ the party also tweeted.

New Hope Celebrates will kickoff LGBT Pride events this May

New Hope Celebrates will kickoff LGBT Pride events this May

New Hope Celebrates Parade in 2014 It’s an exciting year for the worlds LGBT community. And New Hope Celebrates starts early. It is one of the first Prides of the season. They kickoff the Annual PrideFest on Saturday, May 11, 2019. This year’s theme is “Come as you are” and will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall events in New York City in Greenwich Village and WorldPride in NYC, which takes place during the entire month of June. The Pride Parade and Fair is May 18, but PrideFest runs from May 11-20, 2019

PrideFest will begin at noon on Saturday, May 11, with the unfurling of NHC’s 25 foot, eight color Equality Flag. This takes place atop the Delaware House building, which currently houses the Starbucks on Bridge St, in New Hope, PA. It signals the opening of the annual PrideFest Celebration.

This year, do not miss the best cocktail contest sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Templeton Rye. Local bars and restaurants will feature specialty drinks and locals and visitors can sample these creative libations and vote for their favorite. A complete list of participating establishments is online. You may cast your vote via any mobile device at . Contest dates are May 4-19, 2019.

The highlight of the Festival is the annual Parade and Pride Fair on Saturday, May 18. The parade begins in Lambertville, NJ at 11:30am. It will then cross over the bridge into New Hope, PA. There will be floats and marching bands including the Big Apple Corps and the DC Drummers. This is the only nationally recognized Pride Parade that crosses state lines to include both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The highlight of the Parade is the eight color 100 foot long Rainbow Equality Parade Flag, sponsored by Landmark Hospitality — Logan Inn. Pride Fair highlights

After the parade, join the Pride Fair which will be held on New Street in a portion of American Legion Parking lot. There will be vendors offering pride items, services and food. This area is a Smoke Free Zone with support from sponsor Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. There is live outdoor entertainment on the Pride Stage. A portion of the proceeds benefit the New Hope Eagle Fire Dept. Organizers thank the American Legion and the Borough of New Hope for their support. The Pride Fair gates open at noon with a suggested donation of $5.

Live entertainment will feature the Stephanie Chin Band, Josh Zuckerman, Christine Havrilla, School of Rock, Ruby Ru, NYC3 Band and Brother Eye. There will be a host of local Queens including Ginger Alley (Miss NHC 2018), Cyannie Lopez (Miss NHC 2017), Miss Victoria Lace, Miss Pumpkin, Carl Max, Miss Martini Madness, Mimi Monroe, Drag King Bryc and many more.

The hub of the festival will be at The Raven, in New Hope, PA, with dance parties including special DJs and piano sing-a-longs. Don’t miss the Raven Pool Party on Sunday, May 19. Havana will host the annual Ladies 2000 Pride Party on Sunday, May 19. A full schedule of events will be available the week before the event. For more information on becoming a parade participant, vendor, or sponsor, visit New Hope Celebrates online at .

Find out more about New Hope Celebrates in past years.

As Parkfield suspends its ‘LGBT lessons indefinitely’ we must all advocate for inclusive education to combat hate

As Parkfield suspends its ‘LGBT lessons indefinitely’ we must all advocate for inclusive education to combat hate

On 14 March, the Guardian reported Parkfield Community School has suspended its “LGBT lessons indefinitely”. It has done so after weekly protests against its No Outsiders lessons which teach pupils “tolerance for diverse groups”. The No Outsiders programme covers “LGBT rights” to challenge homophobia alongside “tolerance” of issues around race and gender.

Personally, I feel this is exactly the type of education we need.

In a world where hate fuels acts of harm, such as the horrific attacks in Christchurch New Zealand on 15 March, and where minority groups such as the LGBTQI+ community might feel like outsiders – impacting on mental well-being – we must all advocate for inclusive education. The UK’s education systems are available to everyone. And these education curriculum programmes should reflect the needs of all. LGBTQI+ language

Before I go any further, I’d like to critique how this story has been covered by the Guardian and the likes. Like some journalists, I share concerns on how this story has been reported in the mainstream media. Using words like “tolerance” or singling out “LGBT lessons” isn’t conducive to inclusive education. It shouldn’t take a specific lesson plan or curriculum to educate on and perpetuate inclusivity and equality. And most noteworthy, the mainstream media should not fall into this trap. Robbing children of an open mind

The government across the UK offers education to everyone. For pupils, education should reflect the needs of everyone. It should include the needs of all minorities. But Parkfield bowing to the concerns of some parents is robbing children of having a more open and accepting mind. I understand why the school must address the concerns of parents. But LGBTQI+ inclusive education won’t influence their sexuality and this ridiculous notion must be put to bed. The UK government should back and champion a UK wide policy to ensure every child has LGBTQI+ inclusive education.

Continue reading below…

As Labour MP Ged Killen said in parliament, LGBTQI+ education, or lack thereof, didn’t make him “any less gay”: “Having no LGBT sex and relationship education didn’t make me any less gay”. Yesterday I asked the Education Secretary to confirm that every child in every school will have an LGBT inclusive education — Ged Killen (@Gedk) February 26, 2019 Time for Inclusive Education Campaign

But in Scotland, the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) Campaign has spearheaded a real aligned and inclusive LGBTQI+ education programme. The campaign aims to ensure “LGBT history, role models & equalities be taught & recognised within all schools” in Scotland. The Scottish parliament “ mandated ” the TIE Campaign’s aims in 2017. It then supported the rollout of this inclusive education programme across all state schools in 2018.

The first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, pledged her support for LGBTQI+ education in October 2017: First Minister @NicolaSturgeon supports our campaign for LGBTI-inclusive education & we’re working with @scotgov to deliver it #BeThatVoice — TIE (@tiecampaign) October 22, 2017 Moreover, Sturgeon led Scotland’s largest Pride event in Glasgow as the honorary grand marshal in July 2018. The first minister’s actions show what leading from the front on LGBTQI+ issues looks like.

Although the UK government’s education secretary Damian Hinds “ backed ” Parkfield’s No Outsiders programme, the Scottish approach is how we should be combating homophobia, biphobia and transphobia across the UK. Because a policy like this should be led from the top of government. Let’s be frank, the Conservative Party has bridges to build with the LGBTQI+ community in education after Section 28 . But I also struggle to see Theresa May donning a rainbow flag and marching with LGBTQI+ marchers through any major city in the UK. If indeed she lasts as prime minister until the end of March. We need solidarity

I appreciate what Parkfield was doing. The school only wanted to promote equality and challenge bullying. And even after an investigation prompted by the protests, Ofsted agreed the No Outsiders programme is age appropriate. I am proud of Andrew Moffat, the school’s deputy headteacher who identifies as LGBTQI+, for sticking his neck out for the greater good. But I am so saddened to see he has received abuse – including a targeted leaflet campaign. I am saddened that members of different religious and non-religious communities cannot see the benefit of using education to overcome prejudice – some who may have been victims of hate themselves. What a really sorry state of affairs. The individuals peddling the abuse towards Moffat may have children that are LGBTQI+ and that makes me even sadder.

However, if all minorities had historically stood in solidarity against hate, we just might be living in a society that nurtures positive mental wellbeing. We would not be living in a society where hate crime against LGBTQI+ people is rising and where mental health issues are rampant . But I believe we can get there.

Across the UK the value of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education needs to be recognised in general. But the onus is on all of us, across the political spectrum, to work towards promoting love and unconditional acceptance to young people. And that should start with the Conservative UK government committing to inclusive LGBTQI+ education for all. I feel the rest will follow suit, with hard work and a bit of understanding.

‘I hope my actions can inspire LGBT youth’ – Varadkar

'I hope my actions can inspire LGBT youth' - Varadkar

1 Warm welcome: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matt Barrett (far right) with the US Vice President Mike Pence and his sister Anne Pence Poynter. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he hopes he has inspired young LGBT people by bringing his partner to high-profile functions during his St Patrick’s Day visit to the US.

Cardiologist Matt Barrett accompanied Mr Varadkar to the shamrock ceremony in the White House, with First Lady Melania Trump posting pictures on social media of herself and President Donald Trump welcoming them there.

But perhaps the highlight of the trip was the Irish couple’s attendance at a breakfast hosted by Christian conservative Vice-President Mike Pence.

The Taoiseach delivered a carefully crafted speech advocating for LGBT rights in the presence of Mr Pence, who has been criticised in the past for his views.

In his speech, he said as leader of his country he was "judged by my political actions and not by my sexual orientation or my skin tone or my gender or religious beliefs".

"And I don’t believe my country is the only one in the world where this story is possible," he said.

"It is found in every country where freedom and liberty are cherished. We are, after all, all God’s children."

The visit was hailed on social media by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, one of the most high-profile LGBT figures in the US.

Mr Varadkar said he hoped his visit accompanied by his partner would inspire young people in the LGBT community and send a message to countries around the world that still restrict gay rights.

He spoke of the warm welcome offered by Mr Pence and his family, and said: "Part of leadership is really speaking to people in a respectful way and setting an example.

"I hope that any actions I do around equality for any LGBT members of society, and for women as well, gives encouragement to young gay people and young women to believe that anything in life is possible."

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He also said: "Certain individual rights and liberties are universal and they belong to each of us as human beings, regardless of where we live or what government we live under or what religion or culture we have, and I would like to see those values spread around the world."

Here’s why LGBTI Jews love the holiday of Purim

Here's why LGBTI Jews love the holiday of Purim

Children participating in a Purim parade show off their costumes. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons) Purim is a Jewish holiday celebrated in the spring. Known for its costumes and triangle-shaped cookies (Hamantaschens), Purim recounts the story of Queen Esther saving the Jewish people from annihilation.

But for many LGBTI Jews, the story of Purim is so much more. It can be seen as an analogy for coming out. The story of Purim

Esther, a young Jewish girl, became Queen of Persia after the king chose her in a beauty contest. Esther was an orphan who lived with her cousin, Mordechai. Not long after Esther becomes queen, the evil grand vizier Haman became offended when Mordechai refused to bow to him. With this, he decides to punish not only Mordechai, but all the Jewish people. He informs King Ahasuerus that the Jews do not obey him. He suggests it would be in the King’s best interest to get rid of them.

In defiance, Esther fasts for three days. She then requests that King Ahasuerus organize a banquet and invite Haman to it. At the banquet, with Haman in attendance, the King asks Esther what she desires.

‘If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life — this is my petition. And spare my people — this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated,’ Esther responds (Esther 7:3).

The King is outraged that anyone would threaten his queen. He asks who is to blame, and she says Haman. The King orders Haman to be executed and gives Esther the power to overturn his orders. She issues an edict allowing all Jewish people the right to freely assemble and protect themselves from harm, which they did.

Queen Esther is celebrated for her bravery in letting it be known she was Jewish despite mounting hatred against the Jewish people.

The holiday is known as Purim because Haman cast the pur (meaning ‘lot’) on the Jews. But he ultimately failed to destroy them. Now, we celebrate in costumes and by eating Hamantaschens, designed after the funny looking triangle hat Haman wore. LGBTI Jews & Purim

In modern eras, LGBTI Jews see something of themselves within Esther and the story of Purim. It’s no wonder why many LGBTI communities host parties . For instance, the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan is hosting its own 12th annual LGBTI Purim Ball .

Many LGBTI Jews see the story of Purim as an allegory for coming out. In the story, Esther ‘came out’ as a Jew in Persia. She was brave in this, despite knowing many powerful people like Haman had it out for her people.

‘Coming out also led me to see a new dimension in the Purim story,’ writes Amram Altzman for Jewcy. ‘It was not only Esther’s fear of taking responsibility that scared her. It was the peeling away of the false identity she had created to conceal her Judaism.’ Coming Out

‘As a child, I had read rabbinic stories of how Esther would light Shabbat candles and practice Judaism in secret, with only Mordechai and a few of her maids aware of her real identity. After hiding for so long, she feared the response to her true self. Would she be rejected by her husband, the king, who had approved Haman’s plan to exterminate her people? What if she couldn’t save her people? And what if the king decided that she, despite being queen, would not be spared?’

‘Like I did when I was coming out, Esther shed her false identity in stages. Initially she does not mention her Jewishness, only that a nation is about to be exterminated. Later, she reveals her affiliation with Mordechai and the greater Jewish community. Ahasuerus becomes angered not at the fact that the Jews are in danger, but that a single minority is in danger. In executing Haman, Ahasuerus sent the message that intolerance of any kind was unacceptable in his kingdom, which was known for its diversity (the beginning of the megillah tells us that the Persian empire included no fewer than 127 distinct nations). Megillat Esther is story about—and a call for—social justice, as much as it is about shedding the false identities we create so as to not be rejected.’ Revealing identities

‘Being queer and being Jewish aren’t the same. But Esther’s courageous decision to reveal a part of her identity, despite the fact that it may not be well-received, is something many LGBTQ people can relate to,’ echoes Josh Goodman for Huffington Post.

‘Esther not only states that she is Jewish, but also behests the King to spare the Jewish people. Her fight for her people is not all too different from fighting for LGBTQ rights today. There may not be a credible plan to wipe out all LGBTQ people (at least, not in the Western World), but there are plenty of people who are working to keep our rights limited. Passively hoping that rights come our way is less likely to be effective than actively making our case for why we deserve equal rights and fair treatment.’ LGBTI inclusion in Purim

Goodman and Altzman aren’t the only ones who see connections between the story of Purim and the plight of LGBTI people. An LGBTI-inclusive children’s book called The Purim Superhero was released a few years ago. In the book, the protagonist comes from a Jewish family with two dads.

‘Purim is an event which brings people together, symbolizes the concept of ve’nahafoch hu [things turned on their head], ad deloyada [not being able to distinguish between opposite notions], the idea of gender fluidity and transforming our understanding of things and putting them into a different perspective. These are all themes that connected to LGBTQ experience and identity,’ Sarah Weil, executive director of the Women’s Gathering community of LGBTQ women, told the Jerusalem Post in 2016.

This year, Purim falls on Wednesday, 20 March. See Also:

This bisexual teen is urging Mitch McConnell to ban conversion therapy nationally

This bisexual teen is urging Mitch McConnell to ban conversion therapy nationally

A protest sign reading ‘Self-hatred is NOT therapy.’ (Photo from Wikimedia Commons) Shane* is an 18-year-old bisexual from New Jersey. He is currently petitioning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to ban conversion therapy across the United States. Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell, a Republican Senator from Kentucky, is known for his opposition to LGBTI rights and protections. Last May, McConnell appointed anti-LGBTI activist Tony Perkins to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. He also sought to confirm numerous anti-LGBTI judges to district courts around the country.

Still, Shane set up a petition urging Senator McConnell to reconsider his position. The petition

‘Fourteen states have banned conversion therapy for young people. [It is a] dangerous religion-based procedures which try to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. “Ex-gay therapy” has been linked to suicide, depression, isolation and anxiety. [It] has been condemned by nearly every medical and psychological body as dangerous, destructive and something no person should be forced to undergo,’ Shane writes on the petition page.

‘And yet in 36 states, “ex-gay therapy” remains a practice that’s largely legal. But there is national momentum as more and more states move to ban [it] and protect minors from attempts to “cure” them of their sexual orientation.’

‘Fourteen states banning this false therapy is far from enough. LGBTQ+ kids are still facing dangerous “ex-gay therapy” attempts in more than 30 states around the country.’ Why it matters to Shane

GSN spoke with Shane about the petition and his hopes for it moving forward.

‘A few months back, I met a couple of friends I’m close with through a gaming server,’ Shane explains. ‘Most of the folks in said server are LGBT+, so it’s a pretty supportive environment.’

‘At one point, one of my friends came to us and told us that she (MtF trans and bisexual, lives in a very right-leaning area) was being forced into conversion therapy by her Catholic private school counselor. She told us how terrified she had been of it, and her troubles were a wake-up slap to me.’

‘I’ve always lived in an accepting neighborhood. And I’m fairly open about my bisexuality, and don’t feel like I have to be worried for my welfare. Learning that there were people in the majority of the country like myself who weren’t allowed the same security disgusted me. After talking to a counselor, who told me a story about one of her other students who was forced into a traditional “pray the gay away” camp, I decided to start the petition. I’ve found a lot of support along the way from smaller groups and friends. I’m hoping that one day, I will have enough signatures to get a legislation passed to end conversion therapy in the States permanently.’

To keep up with Shane’s petition progress, follow him on Twitter: @rainbowprole

*A pseudonym was used at the request of the interview subject See Also:

Janelle Monáe will induct Janet Jackson into the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Janelle Monáe will induct Janet Jackson into the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Janelle Monáe (left) will induct Janet Jackson into the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Photos from Wikimedia Commons) The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees include female performers who are allies to the LGBTI community. One such inductee is the legendary Janet Jackson. And what’s more: pansexual music icon Janelle Monáe will be the one inducting Jackson.

‘In a fabulous display of one generation honoring the former that inspired them and their own work, Janelle Monáe will be presenting Jackson with the coveted honor,’ writes Tonja Renée Stidhum for The Root. ‘Talk about giving flowers to those who came before you and paved the way—Monáe is a perfect choice, as the sex positivity displayed in her latest work Dirty Computer is somewhat reminiscent of Control-era Jackson’s self-actualization.’

Janelle Monáe, who came out as pansexual last year, dedicated her recent Grammy nominations to her ‘trans brothers and sisters.’ She will soon delve into acting as well, with her role as iconic feminist Dorothy Pitman Hughes in the upcoming Gloria Steinem biopic. 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony

According to HBO’s press release, the complete lineup for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is as follows:

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, presenting for The Cure
Brian May of Queen, presenting for Def Leppard
Janelle Monáe, presenting for Janet Jackson
Harry Styles, presenting for Stevie Nicks
David Byrne, presenting for Radiohead
John Taylor and Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, presenting for Roxy Music
Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles, presenting for The Zombies

HBO will be exclusively airing the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The show airs on 27 April at 8:00 PM EST. It will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand, and other partnering streaming services. See Also: