Japan’s ruling party reveals draft ‘LGBT understanding’ bill

Japan's ruling party reveals draft 'LGBT understanding' bill

Madrid’s right-wing government accused of censoring Pride LGBTI advocates and supporters take to the streets in Sapporo, northern Japan. (Photo: Twitter) Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Tuesday (25 June) revealed a draft bill aiming to improve understanding of LGBT issues.

Local LGBTI rights advocates criticized the draft for containing no mention of same-sex marriage or anti-discrimination legislation.

The LDP’s special committee took three years to consult on and draft the ‘LGBT Understanding and Enhancement Bill’.

It includes a basic plan for the ‘realization of a tolerant society that accepts the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity’, according to Asahi TV.

LDP’s LGBT special committee chairman Furuya said the party hopes to submit the bill in the next session of parliament.

‘It seems that it would be just a call for promotion of understanding about LGBT … without any punishment against discrimination’ local LGBTI rights activist, Hideki Sunagawa, told Gay Star News.

He also said the LDP’s voter base would not support for the LGBT bill.

The LDP is known for its anti-LGBT stance. Its lawmakers have made homophobic comments. And, the administration has shown little interest in advancing LGBT rights.

The LDP currently holds a two-thirds majority in parliament. LGBTI rights bill

It comes as one of Japan’s major opposition party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) pledged to protect LGBT rights as it announced its election promises.

It would implement anti-discrimination legislation and legalize same-sex marriage if it wins upper house elections this year, party president Yukio Edano said according to local media.

Conservative Japan does not allow same-sex marriage. National laws do not protect LGBTI people from discrimination.

But, in Tokyo, a city-wide anti-discrimination bill protects against discrimination based on gender identity or sexuality.

What’s more, laws force transgender people to undergo sterilization before they can legally change gender.

But, in the last year, the CDP has drafted bills to end discrimination and bring marriage equality.

Earlier this month, the CDP joined other opposition parties to draft a bill that would change the country’s definition of marriage from a ‘man and a woman’.

In October last year, CDP announced it would introduce LGBTI anti-discrimination legislation to the country’s legislature. Mio Sugita

LGBTI rights activists were dismayed that notorious homophobe and lawmaker Mio Sugita joined the LDP committee.

Sugita last year said there was no need for LGBTI education in schools.

‘They told me that the suicide rate among homosexual children is six times higher than that of normal children. “Do you still think it’s unnecessary?” they asked,’ Sugita explained.

‘Even if the suicide rate is high, the priority is low, I think,’ she replied to the question.

She also called LGBT people ‘unproductive’. See also

How two Greeks converted a gay travel platform into the next best thing for hoteliers

How two Greeks converted a gay travel platform into the next best thing for hoteliers

26 June 2019 15:13 BST How did a gay travel website come up with the most successful idea to help hoteliers reach quality travelers, and became one of the most promising travel platforms in the global hospitality industry?

A few years ago, two Greek guys (one from Greece and one from Cyprus) Nikos and Zenios decided to create a modern gay travel website, with the purpose of helping gay travelers find the best hotels for their holidays. The idea was not just to recommend gay-friendly hotels & resorts, but also to help hoteliers understand gay travelers’ needs, thus offer a high-quality experience to this niche market.

In his constant effort towards this goal, Nikos S. Morantis , CEO at Travel by Interest, has written several articles about the subject. One of these is his recent piece in Hotelier Academy (the leading educational media for hoteliers) about How to Reach more Gay & Lesbian Travelers , and has spent countless hours helping hoteliers understand the actual needs of global gay travelers.

The idea has always been to help hoteliers understand the diversity of the audience without distinguishing them from their other guests.

The project soon became a hit among hoteliers around the globe. And, following its recent redesign by Zenios Zeniou , Travel by Interest’s co-founder and Creative Director, the platform was transformed from a gay travel directory to a major travel website for every traveler seeking for more personalized ways to pick a hotel.

But what is the story behind this transformation and how did these two young professionals penetrate the global hotelier market and speak openly about gay travel, even at conservative destinations?

One month before speaking at GNetwork 360, one of the leading LGBTI travel conventions in the world, Nikos S. Morantis & Zenios Zeniou analyze their ‘gay business success story’, showcasing how the LGBTI community can make a difference with real talent and hard work! First things first: how did you come up with the idea of creating a gay travel website that would help hoteliers communicate with LGBTI travelers?

NM: As we are Greeks, tourism and hotels are in our DNA! When I was 25, gay travel was a new thing and everybody was struggling to understand this niche market. However, back then, most people perceived the LGBTI community as a source of quick and easy money.

Realizing this, we decided to invest in creating a better way of treating gay travelers, that would not just focus on money. We decided to create a channel where LGBTI travelers could find useful information and, at the same time, hoteliers could better understand the gay market’s needs and improve their services — always focusing on mutual benefits, both for travelers and hoteliers. This means that you had to speak openly to hoteliers about LGBTI travel and make them understand our habits. Were they open to that information or did you face discrimination and offensive responses?

ZZ: Surprisingly, the acceptance of LGBTI people was much higher than we could ever imagine. Of course, money is a good way to encourage businessmen to hear you, but we always focused on building a good culture for our audience, so we insisted on the services.

The first few years, we delivered a special training course to hotel staff about LGBTI travel, before recommending the property to the gay audience. And we were not just talking about how to treat their gay guests properly, but also about the beauty that lies within diversity and that as gay travelers, we don’t require any special treatment or service!

And we were impressed, especially with Greek hoteliers, who were very open to hear us and happy to speak and educate their staff. Did you ever encounter any weird behavior while speaking about the LGBTI community to the hotel staff? Were there any homophobic people who were not open to what you had to say?

ZZ: We were truly impressed with the training procedure, as people felt really comfortable. As a matter of fact, there were many times when someone from the audience became emotional, as they shared with us some sad stories about friends of theirs who were still in the closet.

As for the ‘less open’ topics, we did encounter some controversy towards transgender people. And we tried really hard to make it clear that any kind of discrimination towards any person is simply unacceptable. The hotel staff training usually turned into an intense discussion around human culture, and I am pretty sure that it even helped in improving the hotels’ entire mentality!

Regarding homophobia among hoteliers, it is really a rare thing. And yes, we did face some stupid behaviors a couple of times, however, you can rest assured that they got just the answer they deserved. How is Travel by Interest helpful for LGBTI travelers?

NM: Think of Travel by Interest as your best gay friend who has been everywhere and is always there to advise you about your trips — either you are searching for a hotel to stay or a destination to visit.

For almost every destination, we have created a special hotel collection with the top gay-friendly hotels – also including major destinations like Mykonos , Bangkok & Lisbon . In the meantime, we are also creating special gay travel guides for major destinations around the world, informing about their gay-friendly attitude and gay nightlife.

Moreover, gay travelers can find more gay-targeted hotel collections, like the best gay-only hotels in the world , or gay-friendly hotels for honeymoons . Almost all hotels confirm their open mentality through their photos, showing single men or even male couples. Each hotel profile is also enriched with gay-popular places nearby, while our TBI Blog special Gay Section features many fascinating gay articles about gay nightlife, gay beaches, etc. Which countries were the most difficult to accept the fact that you represented an LGBTI travel project?

NM: The answer is definitely not what you might expect. Greece , Thailand and Portugal are at the top of the list with the friendliest hotel professionals – they are really open to welcome LGBTI travelers and offer them an upgraded experience. Staying on the bright and surprisingly good side of things, hoteliers from several conservative destinations, like Bali & Maldives, are really open to gay travelers and make an important effort to ensure that their hotel grounds are safe for the LGBTI travelers.

And for that reason, after we were sure of their welcoming character, we tried to help them connect with gay audiences. In any case, it is still a fact that there are places where homosexuality is not accepted, but that doesn’t mean that gay travelers must not visit those places as well — of course, always having in mind the local situation and mentality. So far so good, but how did you transform a gay travel website into a global platform that covers all travel categories and travel interests?

NM: To be perfectly honest, it felt a little bit ‘miserable’ to isolate gay travelers into a specific website. So, since there are many more niche, interesting markets, we decided to evolve the platform into the ‘Travel by Interest’ concept.

The first step was to change our name from Destsetters (gay travelers are trendsetters, so our initial travel project was named Destsetters – Destination Settters) to www.travelbyinterest.com , and open more categories like Food, Wellness and Luxury.

For all these new markets, we applied the same recipe, offering to travelers selected hotels per travel category, as well as useful guides and articles that help them organize their trips. Of course, hoteliers loved the idea and supported the project even more. And now what? LGBTI travelers are not your thing anymore?

ZZ: On the contrary! The global gay travel market is still our main target group and our strongest competitive advantage. This year, we will invest in creating much more content that will help gay travelers get even better booking decisions.

But we love the project’s diversity as well as the fact that the gay category stands out, being always at the top of our lists. And we really don’t care if homophobic people leave our website for that. Travel By Interest is made for modern travelers, with love for culture and people. So what comes next for Travel by Interest?

ZZ: Now we are working on further improving the website’s content and user experience. Our main focus is to find more hotels to offer to our audience. Last year, we launched even more specific hotel collections like hotels for gay wedding ceremonies or hotels with handsome men in their photo shooting.

This makes our hotel content more playful and useful, which helps us build an even closer relationship with our audience. Lastly, we urge you to register at Travel by Interest, so that you can save your favorite collections, articles, and hotels, and book your future trips easier and more organized!

This article was sponsored by Travel by Interest.

Prince William: It would be ‘absolutely fine by me’ if George, Charlotte or Louis were LGBT

Prince William: It would be 'absolutely fine by me' if George, Charlotte or Louis were LGBT

The Duke of Cambridge has said he will support his three children if they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in the future, insisting he would "fully support" their decision.

During a visit to a charity that helps LGBT homeless young people, the Duke said that it would be “absolutely fine by me” if Prince George, five, Princess Charlotte, four, or one-year-old Prince Louis later identified as LGBT.

He also spoke of his fears about a “backlash”, admitting he would be nervous about any “hate” and “persecution” they might face because of their position in the Royal Family.

"I’d fully support whatever decisions they make," he said. "It worries me how many barriers, persecution and hate they’d face. But that’s for all of us to try and correct.”

Meeting young people who have faced homelessness and mental issues as a result of their sexuality, he emphasised how important it is for families to support their children whatever their sexuality.

He also spoke of being left "appalled" by the recent homophobic attack on a London bus, underlining how shocking it is that "stuff like that still happens".

One of the young people he met said afterwards: "To hear him say ‘I’d support my own children if they were in the LGBT community’ was great, and to hear how much awareness he has of how difficult things are, and the awareness he has of the suicide issue, which is a massive, massive issue for the community. To know that someone that important has your back is huge." Prince William and Prince Louis, who is one Credit: Kensington Palace The Duke was officially opening a new services centre for akt [Albert Kennedy Trust], in Hoxton, east London this morning, taking part in a group conversation with several young people who are currently being supported by the charity.

One young man, who is gay and asked not to be identified by name, asked the Duke: “If your child one day in the future said ‘oh I’m gay, oh I’m lesbian’ whatever, how would you react?”

Prince William replied: “Do you know what, I’ve been giving that some thought recently because a couple of other parents said that to me as well.

"I think you really don’t start thinking about that until you are a parent, and I think: obviously absolutely fine by me.

He went on to admit: “The one thing I’d be worried about is how they – particularly the roles my children fill – is how that is going to be interpreted and seen.

“So Catherine and I where doing a lot of talking about it to make sure they were prepared.

"I think communication is so important with everything, in order to help understand it you’ve got to talk a lot about stuff and make sure how to support each other and how to go through the process.

“It worries me, not because of them being gay, it worries me as to how everyone else will react and perceive it and then the pressure is then on them.” The Cambridge family Credit: Getty The Duke also took part in a group discussion with several akt ambassadors: young people who have been supported by the charity and now mentor others using its services.

Faz Bukhari, 28, from east London, experienced problems at home from the age of 24 when he began to identify as transgender, finding support and accommodation through the charity’s Purple Door refuge scheme.

Reiterating the earlier conversation, he asked William: “You coming here is a great opportunity and platform, what would you think about it if one your children was LGBT?”

The Duke said: “I’ve only started thinking about it since I’ve had children. It is something I’m nervous about, not because I’m worried about them being gay or anything.

"It’s more about the fact I’m worried about the pressure – as you all know – they’re going to face and how much harder their life could be.

"So from a parent point of you, that’s the angle I worry about.

"I wish we lived in a world where, like you said Faz, it’s really normal and cool. But particularly for my family and the position that we are in, that’s the bit I’m nervous about.

"I support whatever decision they make, but it does worry me from a parent’s point of view how many barriers, hateful words, persecution and discrimination that might come. That’s the bit that troubles me a little bit.

"That’s for all of us to try and help correct, to put that in the past and not come back to that sort of stuff."

During his conversation with the charity’s ambassadors, he also joked about the Attitude magazine cover he did in 2016.

“I did my Attitude magazine cover which was a good day. But I’d seen some of the previous front covers and I was a bit nervous about what they might ask me to do,” he laughed. The Duke of Cambridge at akt Credit: Reuters “Thankfully there were no small briefs for me!”

After the chat, Faz said: “I thought his answer was so good, to hear him talk about having fears about what people might think of his children and how they might take to them, if they were identified as LGBT.

"That he recognises that, and is aware there could be a backlash, he understands the issues and hopefully with his comments we can get more awareness across to more parents of the issues.”

During his visit, the Duke spoke of how “stifling” many young people find the burden of coming out to their families and also of his concerns about young LGBT people taking their own lives.

"It’s a real pressure to live under,” he said during a conversation with Cath Hall, akt’s founder.

“I’ve been looking into issues around suicide and I imagine that the figures in the LGBT community are high, because of all the barriers and stigma around acceptance.” Prince William meets akt ambassadors Credit: Reuters Another young person using akt’s services who spoke with William was Claire Evans, 26, from Newcastle, who came out to her parents as a lesbian aged 16, which caused friction at home as her parents were not initially accepting.

She came across akt when she was 22, and the charity helped her deal with tensions with her parents, and later also supported her when she lost both her father to cancer in 2015 and her mother in 2017.

She told the Duke: “It is so difficult, with family members, who aren’t always accepting and it’s hard to know where to go, so akt has been like a family to so many of us. There is often the feeling that you can’t turn to anyone, and you feel isolated.”

“Did some of you find it hard coming to terms with who you are?" the Duke asked young people. "Was it daunting, worrying about society possibly judging you?”

Bridie Honour, 22, who identifies as non-binary, told him: “There’s a massive stigma around homelessness and LGBT and it brings a lot of mental health issues as you come to terms with who you are. I was badly bullied at school, people told me they didn’t want to be around me. Prince William unveils a plaque at akt Credit: Reuters "Even now, walking down the street holding my partner’s hand, I get nasty comments from older people, I’ve been spat at. Akt gives you so much support with all of that.

Shaking his head, the Duke said: “I’m so sad for you guys that persecution like that is still there. Things have progressed, but not nearly as much as they need to.”

The second-in-line to the throne also told the group how shocked he had been by the recent bus attack on the lesbian couple in London.

“I was really appalled by that attack,” he said. “That stuff like that still happens.”

After the visit, Claire said: “It was fantastic to get his input, and hear him relating to his own life. He’s under a lot of pressure, being in the spotlight. To hear him say ‘I’d support my own children if they were in the LGBT community’ was great, and to hear how much awareness he has of how difficult things are, and the awareness he has of the suicide issue, which is a massive, massive issue for the community. To know that someone that important has your back is huge.” Prince William and Harry learned about homelessness during visits to The Passage with their mother Diana The Duke was visiting akt’s new headquarters in Hoxton ahead of the annual Pride in London parade next weekend and to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.

As patron of the homelessness charities Centrepoint and The Passage, he also heard more about LGBT issues and youth homelessness, and the work undertaken by akt through its “prevention and early action” approach.

Akt is the national LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity, providing safe homes and better futures for LGBTQ+ young people. Almost one quarter of the 150,000 young people facing or experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+, and 77 per cent of those cite rejection or abuse from their families as what has led them to being so.

At the end of the visit, William unveiled a plaque, formally opening akt’s new services centre in Hoxton which hosts drop-in sessions for young people.

Newsletter embed Your Royal Appointment Newsletter

A newsletter with everything you need to know about the Royal family – direct to your inbox, each week.

Register After the visit, akt’s chief executive, Tim Sigswort, said: “I was incredibly impressed. I was first impressed by his level of knowledge already but his empathy and appreciation of the struggles and challenges faced by LGBT people was incredible to me.

“And just his willingness to learn from the young people, his willingness to challenge his own perceptions and his willingness to come out in support of LGBT people in such a personal way as to refer to his children – that will make a massive difference.

Mr Sigswort, who is gay, said: “I was personally rejected by my mum, and the idea that the future monarch is saying they would support their children if they came out as LGBT is a message to the whole of society really, a message that we need to support and we need to empower LGBT people.”

French more accepting of LGBT people but clichés persist, survey says

French more accepting of LGBT people but clichés persist, survey says

Philip Fong, AFP | Acceptance of LGBT individuals has risen in France but clichés persist In 2019, 85 percent of those surveyed said that homosexuality was “just another way of living one’s sexuality". In 1975 just 24 percent of people held the same view, according to the survey conducted by Ifop for the Jasmin Roy-Sophie Desmarais Foundation, in association with Dilcrah, the Interministerial Delegation to Fight Racism, Anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT Hate.

Only eight percent continue to view it as “an illness that should be cured", whereas 42 percent thought so in 1975, seven years after homosexuality was decriminalised in France. Today, seven percent continue to consider homosexuality a “sexual perversion that should be opposed”, down on 22 percent in 1975.

François Kraus, director of Ifop’s political section, said the growing tolerance of homosexuality should not be confused with complete acceptance.

Indeed, greater tolerance has failed to eliminate old clichés about homosexuality.

One in five among the French public think that "certain professions where one is in permanent contact with children should be prohibited to homosexuals", the survey said, while 27 percent of respondents say they are uncomfortable in the presence of transgender people and 14 percent with homosexual or bisexual people of their own sex.

In total, 30 percent of French people admitted having been at one time uncomfortable with LGBT people.

The survey was conducted as a self-administered online questionnaire in mid-2019, with a sample of 3,013 people representative of the French population aged 18 and over.

( FRANCE 24 with AFP )

50 greatest LGBT moments in pop culture since Stonewall

50 greatest LGBT moments in pop culture since Stonewall

In the 50 years since the Stonewall riots , the visibility of the LGBT community in public life has increased exponentially. Petitions, protests and politics have all played a key role in this, but the representation of LGBT people in music, film, art, TV and other areas of modern pop culture has been arguably as important for changing hearts and minds.

As with many other minority groups, it is remarkable how consistently the art created by LGBT people so skilfully coats powerful political messages in the guise of contemporary entertainment, which is often at the very centre of the zeitgeist.

This list could go on and on, but below are 50 such moments when culture helped wider audiences gain a greater appreciation of the differences which mark us out as LGBT, as well as an understanding of our desire to be treated as equally as everyone else.

50. My Beautiful Launderette (1985)

Daniel Day-Lewis stars in this cult film about the relationship between two young men in 1980s London, exploring race, class and sexuality along the way.

49. Panti Bliss addresses Ireland (2014)

When Ireland’s most famous drag queen delivered this powerful monologue about homophobia at the Abbey Theatre, the video became a global sensation – setting the tone for the country’s referendum on same-sex marriage.

48. A Little Life (2015)

This tome of a novel from Hanya Yanagihara explored the blurring boundaries of relationships between men at the advent of the 21st century, but be warned – its dark subject matter makes for a gut-wrenching read.

47. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

This film about two drag queens and a transgender woman venturing across Australia has become a major cult hit, with a stage version that plays in countries across the world.

46. Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

Portraying the real-life murder of transgender man Brandon Teena, Hilary Swank’s performance shone a light on violence against LGBT people, at a time when the US was also reeling from the murder of Matthew Shepard.

45. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Something about this love story between a teenager and an older student staying at his house in 1980s Italy struck right at the heart of the experience of young gay people – as well as the most profound scene between a father and his gay son ever written.

44. Bette Midler – The Divine Miss M (1972)

After years of performing cabaret at gay bathhouses in New York with piano accompanist Barry Manilow, Midler immortalised the show into her much-loved debut album.

43. Eastenders gives soap its first gay kiss (1987)

Played by Michael Cashman , Colin was Eastenders ’ first gay character. When he pecked boyfriend Barry on the forehead in 1987 it caused a tabloid backlash and MPs discussed whether it was ‘irresponsible’ in the context of the Aids crisis. The show pushed on, and continued to break new ground with similar characters.

42. Hayley arrives on Coronation Street (1998)

ITV broke new ground with transgender character Hayley (portrayed by the endearing Julie Hesmondhalgh), who earned a special place in the hearts of the nation.

41. Cabaret (1972)

The musical adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin novels explored the queer culture of Weimar Germany, with Liza Minnelli in an unforgettable performance.

40. The Line of Beauty (2004)

A masterful depiction of gay life in Thatcher’s Britain, Alan Hollinghurst’s Booker Prize-winning novel is a must-read.

39. Leave Britney Alone (2007)

This viral video may seem like an odd inclusion, but Chris Crocker’s impassioned defence of Britney Spears during her most difficult period perfectly sums up the gay community’s fierce loyalty to its heroes, and is an early example of our dominance in internet fandom.

38. The Village People (1978)

Dressed as popular gay macho stereotypes like the leather biker and the construction worker, The Village People produced tongue-in-cheek gay hits, like “Y.M.C.A.” and “In the Navy”.

37. Brookside ’s lesbian kiss (1994)

Beth and Margaret’s pre-watershed kiss was big news in 1994 , but its impact went much further when it was included during the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony – being broadcast uncensored to five billion people, including many countries where homosexuality remains illegal.

36. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Richard O’Brien’s cult musical is an explosion of androgyny, sexually ambiguous shenanigans, and Tim Curry in fishnets. Enough said.

35. Elsa sings “Let It Go” (2013)

It’s the standout moment in Frozen , as Elsa runs away from home to unleash and embrace the secret part of her that society sought to oppress. Many in the LGBT community saw a perfect metaphor for coming out. Is Elsa a gay Disney princess? The film’s director said her narrative is open to interpretation.

34. Scissor Sisters’ debut album (2004)

Jake Shears and friends broke into the mainstream with homoerotic imagery and an album filled with disco hits like “Take Your Mama” and “Filthy/Gorgeous” which spoke unashamedly about the gay experience.

33. Ziggy Stardust on Top of the Pops (1972)

When David Bowie presented as his alien alter-ego on prime time BBC TV, 1970s Britain didn’t know what to make of it. The unmistakable queerness of Ziggy that night has been cited as an inspiration by many of the New Romantics who would make a similar impact in the 1980s.

32. Rent (1996)

A modern-day rock remake of La bohème, this beloved musical presented the gay and transgender creatives of New York’s East Village living in the shadow of the Aids crisis at the turn of the millennium.

31. Frankie Goes to Hollywood – “Relax” (1984)

After being banned by the BBC for its explicit lyrics, “Relax” cruised all the way to number one, ironically becoming an inescapable hit, with Holly Johnson and his Liverpudlian bandmates as symbols of youth rebellion.

30. Tales of the City (1976)

Currently enjoying a Netflix revival, readers have been enjoying Armistead Maupin’s stories of LGBT life in San Francisco for decades.

29. Brian Dowling wins Big Brother (2001) Big Brother played a crucial role in inviting people from all walks of life into living rooms across the country, and presenting them simply as they are. Brian was one of the first gay contestants, and his win represented shifting waves in public opinion. 28. Nadia wins Big Brother (2004) Portuguese Nadia was the first transgender winner of Big Brother , and like Brian Dowling before her, went some way to broadening the minds of British TV viewers. 27. Elton John eulogises Princess Diana (1997) Given that she was a staunch ally of the gay community and an advocate for those affected by HIV/Aids, it was remarkably fitting that Diana’s send-off included her friend Elton John ’s unforgettable reworking of “Candle in the Wind”, referencing how she had “whispered to those in pain”. The recording became the bestselling single of all time. 26. Gloria Gaynor – “I Will Survive” (1978) With its dancefloor hits celebrating triumph over adversity, disco was practically a soundtrack for gay men in the 1970s, and “I Will Survive” is perhaps the ultimate anthem.Click through to the gallery below to reveal the top 25 LGBT moments:The final tickets are on sale for The Independent’s Pride event on 4 July. Get your tickets here.

Support for Plymouth school children to get LGBT education

Support for Plymouth school children to get LGBT education

A giant 50-metre long rainbow flag at Plymouth Pride Festival Children’s education in Plymouth should include awareness of LGBT+ relationships, councillors have declared.

The city council unanimously backed a proposal stating its support for children receiving “high quality, age-appropriate and rights-based Relationships and Sex Education that is inclusive of LGBT+ relationships”.

LGBT+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual plus, with the plus meaning inclusive of other groups.

Labour cabinet member Jon Taylor said the proposal had been brought forward following weeks of protests in Birmingham against LGBT education at a primary school and a recent hate-crime when two women were victims of a widely-publicised homophobic attack on a bus in London.

He also referred to recent comments from Devon-based politician Ann Widdecombe, who triggered an outcry after telling Sky News she thought science might “produce an answer” to being gay.

Cllr Taylor said: I don’t think we are going back to the bad old days, but I do think unless you stand up and be counted, there is a risk these horrific incidents could rise – that is why we have to push back.”

The motion backed Plymouth City Council at a meeting on Monday afternoon said children should “have access to education about, and awareness of, the diverse world we and they inhabit” including the mix of family types common in modern Britain.

It added that children were entitled to relationships and sex education inclusive of LGBT+ relationships, and stated it was important for schools to have a “clear dialogue with parents about the necessity of inclusive education.”

The council asked Labour cabinet member for education to commit to supporting Plymouth schools which undertake “this necessary part of preparing young people for the world around them and which don’t give in to bigotry of any kind”.

The proposals included issuing advice to schools on teaching an inclusive curriculum, promoting School Diversity Week in July, supporting and sharing good practice on inclusive equality education, and supporting staff to work free from discrimination and harassment.

Report: Young adults less LGBT tolerant

Report: Young adults less LGBT tolerant

NEW YORK (BP) — America’s younger generation is becoming less comfortable with LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) individuals, according to a report released Monday (June 24). The Accelerating Acceptance report, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD, showed that respondents age 18-34 were much less tolerant of LGBT people than in the prior two years’ surveys.

GLAAD first launched the report to gauge "the state of America’s hearts and minds when it comes to accepting LGBT people," according to their website, glaad.org.

Released just before the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City that started the LGBT movement, this year’s results surprised advocates, as the younger generation has typically been known as more open and progressive. Overall, only 45 percent of non-LGBT respondents in the younger bracket said they were "very" or "somewhat" comfortable around LGBTQ people or with LGBT issues in 2018 — a sharp decline from 53 percent in 2017 and 63 percent in 2016.

In 2018, the biggest drop from the previous year happened among young women — from 64 percent in 2017 to 52 percent in 2018. It had dropped only 1 point — from 65 to 64 percent — the year before.

But across all three years, the decline was especially noticeable among young males, dropping from 62 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2017, then 35 percent in 2018.

"While young people are identifying as LGBT in higher rates than ever before, there has also been an uptick in non-LGBT young people pushing back against acceptance," Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD president and CEO, wrote in the report.

The drop in comfort showed up over a variety of scenarios. For example, 39 percent of non-LGBT respondents in the 18-34 age group in 2018 said they would be "very" or "somewhat" uncomfortable learning that their child had been taught a lesson on LGBT history in school, compared with 27 percent in 2016. When it comes to their child having an LGBT teacher, 33 percent were uncomfortable, compared to 25 percent from two years before.

Other scenarios — such as learning that a family member or their doctor is LGBT — also logged a 10 points or more growth in discomfort.

Across American adults of all ages, comfort with LGBT individuals remained stable. So did backing for equal rights, with 8 out of 10 adults in support.

According to GLAAD, the survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll from Jan. 8-11 among 1,970 U.S. adults ages 18 or older, including 1,754 who were classified as non-LGBT adults.

To read the full report, visit glaad.org/publications/accelerating-acceptance-2019.

LGBT, transgender flags vandalized at Wicker Park church

LGBT, transgender flags vandalized at Wicker Park church

CHICAGO — Police are investigating a possible hate crime after a disturbing message was spray-painted on an LGBT flag at a Wicker Park church.

Surveillance video shows the vandal armed with spray paint around 3 a.m. last Sunday at the Wicker Park Lutheran Church.

The Rev. Jason Glombicki said someone spray painted a black X on the blue, pink and white transgender flag. He also said that on the rainbow LGBT flag, someone wrote “we love kids,” in what may be a hateful attempt to link homosexuality to pedophilia.

The church’s neighbors may be more upset than the reverend.

One neighbor, Matt Cerney said what happened was disgusting, and not what the community is about.

Another neighbor, Kelli Lawrence said she doesn’t understand why there are still people who want to deface something for no apparent reason.

“…Just for someone wanting to love who they want to love,” she said.

The church has long been a bastion of inclusion in the neighborhood and embraces people of all backgrounds and identities.”

The church has two rainbow flags they keep up year-round. A little over a week ago, someone tore them down.

But despite the two incidents, Glombicki said this is a chance to share what it means to be people of faith.

“Where love is the center,” he said. “It’s not about Hell. It’s not about damnation. It’s not about hate, but it’s all about love, and that’s what we preach and teach here at Wicker Park Lutheran Church.”

Chicago police are investigating.

The church is planning a special service Sunday morning. Church-goers are planning to plant hundreds of rainbow flags near the spot where the two were defaced to send a message to the vandal — and to celebrate Pride Month.

Kansas City police investigating death of a transgender woman

Kansas City police investigating death of a transgender woman

Police are currently investigating | Photo: Tomas Del Coro/Flickr Police in Kansas City, Missouri are investigating the suspicious death of a transgender woman .

Authorities found the woman’s body on the porch of an abandoned home during the early hours of 25 June.

Police Sgt. Adam Painter confirmed there were signs of trauma on her body, but no cause of death has been determined or confirmed.

A spokesperson for the police department told KMBC : ‘Homicide Detectives are still conducting their investigation to determine the identity of the victim and how they identify themselves in the community. Thank you all for your patience and understanding.’

Neighbors of the empty home also reportedly told officers they heard an argument followed by gunshots. A horrifying reality for transgender women

This unidentified woman would be the eleventh known trans woman murdered in the US in 2019.

Most recently, Zoe Spears was shot and killed in Maryland on 13 June. Over 300 supporters turned out at a vigil on Friday (21 June) to mourn the loss of Spears and another trans Maryland woman, Ashanti Carmon.

All of the transgender people who have been killed this year have been black trans women.

Last year, advocates tracked at least 26 homicides of trans people.

The life expectancy of transgender people in the US is just 35-years-old and it’s worse for trans women of color worldwide .

The Kansas City Police Department or PROMO, an LGBTI organization in Missouri, did not immediately respond to GSN’s request for comment and additional information. See also

‘Trans power’: LGBTI protesters descend on Trump Tower in NYC

'Trans power': LGBTI protesters descend on Trump Tower in NYC

Protesters gather in the lobby of Trump Tower | Photo: Twitter @riseandresistny LGBTI protesters and allies descended upon Trump Tower in New York City on Tuesday (25 June). They gathered with signs and chants to protest violence against transgender and gender-nonconforming people in the United States.

We Will Not Be Silent organized and led the demonstration.

‘Hatred and violence against queer and trans people, white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, all hatred and bigotry spewed wantonly by Donald Trump and administered by his governing body will continue to lead to violence against and to the death of our people,’ the group said in a press release about the event.

‘We are going to Trump Tower to grieve the harm done but also to bring a clear message, in the names of all those lost from our beloved communities and in our own names, “WE WANT TO LIVE FREE. WE WILL FIGHT BACK.”‘ ‘In their name,’ declare protesters

New York members of Rise and Resist, an action group, also joind the protest.

People carried signs with various messages. Some had the names of deceased LGBTI figures, such as Audre Lorde and Sylvia Rivera. Others shared messages of why they were protesting: ‘In their name’ and ‘Feel the urgency.’

As they marched to Trump Tower, they also chanted various phrases and the names of LGBTI figures the community has lost. “Queer Power! Dyke Power! Two-Spirit Power! Love is Power!” Members of the Reclaim Pride Coalition are marching with today’s action in support of those we have lost. Remember their names. WE WILL NOT BE SILENT. #StonewallIsNow pic.twitter.com/VSdAd7WcIo — Reclaim Pride Coalition (@queermarch) June 25, 2019 The March is heading from Trump Tower toward St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We are holding placards and reciting the names of members of our queer community that we have lost to violence and indifference. WE WILL NOT BE SILENT. #StonewallIsNow pic.twitter.com/0VwDCevNG4 — Rise and Resist (@riseandresistny) June 25, 2019 Once at Trump Tower, the protesters went inside and occupied the space of the lobby. There, they continued to chant and spread the message of violence against the LGBTI community. Members of Rise and Resist are part of today’s action calling attention to the violence against our queer community, especially trans and gender nonconforming people. WE WILL NOT BE SILENT. WE WILL FIGHT BACK. pic.twitter.com/OstDu9atkA — Rise and Resist (@riseandresistny) June 25, 2019 New York City activists, being lead by WE WILL NOT BE SILENT, are rallying inside Trump Tower against the violence against trans and gender nonconforming people. They are displaying signs with names and slogans. pic.twitter.com/0mO6x8SAII — Rise and Resist (@riseandresistny) June 25, 2019 Violence cannot be accepted as normal

Hate crimes have been on the rise since Trump became president.

In counties where Trump held rallies, hate crimes increased by 226% . They’ve also tripled in Washington DC.

Overall, hate crimes have risen for the past three years and hate groups in the country have also reached an all-time high .

On Tuesday (25 June), the day of the protest, police in Kansas City, Missouri began investigating the death of a transgender woman . She is the 11th known trans woman killed in the US this year.

Founded in 2006, We Will Not Be Silent is a self-described collaboration between artists and activists using language as its chosen medium to spread messages and keep people engaged. See also