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LGBT issues / support / friendship
Mitt Romney is just one of a number of politicians and high-profile personalities to offer condolences on the death of Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, on Twitter and other social media outlets. But the Republican presidential nominee’s response isn’t sitting so well with some, particularly given the posthumous revelation that Ride was in a long-term relationship with another woman.
In his original Tweet, Romney wrote:
“@MittRomney: Sally Ride ranks among the greatest of pioneers. I count myself among the millions of Americans she inspired with her travels to space.”
(Source: The Huffington Post)@10 months ago
A crowd of 20,000 strong gathered in Golden Gate Park Sunday to help the fight against AIDS/HIV in San Francisco.
The San Francisco Aids Walk celebrated 26 years on June 15, with one of the largest crowds yet for the 10k walk.
(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS)
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation raised a whopping $2,686,582 through the event, allowing them to continue to lead the way with life-saving prevention programs and bold public policy initiatives.
“Our participants show such dedication year after year because they know that ending AIDS is about fighting more than the virus itself. It is also about overcoming poverty, racism, sexism, and homophobia. These social ills continue to fuel the epidemic” Craig. R. Miller, founder and producer of the event, said in a statement.
Currently, 1.2 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, more than at any other time in history. In San Francisco, more than 15,500 suffer from the disease. Alarmingly, rates of new HIV infections are still rising among gay and bisexual men, the only risk group for which this is the case.
But there may still be hope yet. “This is the beginning of the end of the AIDS epidemic,” Dr. Diane Havlir, UCSF HIV/AIDS division chair, told The Huffington Post last week. Havlir explained that enormous strives have been made in the research and medical fields towards the future prevention of HIV and AIDS in recent years.
(Source: The Huffington Post)@11 months ago
Actor Zachary Quinto just came out as gay—not via a proclamation on a magazine cover, not in a curated press statement, but by using one little phrase in an interview: “As a gay man…”
Yesterday, New York magazine ran a profile of the Heroes actor that included questions about Angels in America and his producer role in Margin Call, plus a casual confession of Quinto’s sexuality, a qualifier as natural as where he was born or what color hair he has. Among the spate of celebrities who have come out in the last 20 years, this is an unusual course to take. Ellen DeGeneres famously came out on her own sitcom, in an episode that attracted more than 42 million viewers. Country singer Chely Wright staked out the cover of People to make her announcement, and followed that up with a tell-all memoir. After years of speculation, singer Ricky Martin wrote on his website that he was a “fortunate homosexual man.”
Quinto, on the other hand, took the plunge without fanfare. True, New York could have trumpeted the news on their cover, regardless of how Quinto framed the issue. But that was likely his strategy; he must have known that the relatively highbrow magazine would act more nonchalant than, say, US Weekly. This seems to be a deliberate move for Quinto, who has dodged questions about his sexuality in the past. And it could be a model for the many celebrities who seem to feel torn between lying to the public and becoming the next gay poster child.
Of course, this strategy isn’t new for other famous people who roll in circles that embrace gay culture. Adam Lambert, for instance, discussed his sexual orientation in a Rolling Stone interview, adding, “I don’t think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear that I’m gay.” (It wasn’t.) But gay actors, especially male ones, have a special kind of conundrum: They fear that their heterosexual persona is key to scoring the major roles. Gay actor Rupert Everett has said bluntly that he regrets coming out back in the ’90s, claiming it ruined his career. For actors, there’s an enormous amount of pressure to preserve their image.
Maybe Quinto’s admission is a sign that this is changing, especially since the actor has played both straight and gay characters onscreen. And it’s already inspired at least one other TV personality to come out: Dan Kloeffler, the host of ABC’s World News Now, who name-checked Quinto on the channel’s website. Here’s hoping that, eventually, a celebrity’s sexual orientation won’t be a factor at all.
(Source: GOOD)@10 months ago with 1 note
KIEV, Ukraine — Homophobic sentiment and violence against Ukraine’s gay community are on the rise despite increasing efforts to promote tolerance in the conservative ex-Communist nation, advocacy groups said Wednesday.
The community was forced to cancel its first ever gay pride parade in the capital, Kiev, in May due to concerns activists would be physically attacked by radical groups. After the cancellation, two gay leaders were violently beaten.
Oleksandr Zinchenkov, head of the Our World gay rights advocacy group, told a news conference Wednesday that Ukrainians have been increasingly hostile toward gays and lesbians in recent months.
This year homophobia in Ukraine “has entered the stage of physical violence,” he said.
Ukraine’s parliament began debating a bill in June that would ban the “propaganda of homosexuality” among minors by imposing fines and criminal responsibility on those seen to deliberately disseminate positive information about gays. The bill caused outrage among Western rights groups and politicians who said if introduced it would make being openly gay effectively illegal – a flashback to Soviet times, when homosexuality was considered a criminal offense for many years. No date has been set for any vote on the bill.
Singer Elton John interrupted a charity concert in the center of Kiev last month and asked Ukrainians to end the violence.
“We all deserve a chance,” John – the first person in Britain to take part in a gay marriage – told tens of thousands of cheering spectators on Kiev’s main square. “I plead with you Ukraine: stop the violence against gay people.”
Svyatoslav Sheremet, who leads Ukraine’s Gay Forum, said the community had decided to hold Ukraine’s first gay pride event believing that gays and lesbians were finally ready to be greeted by society. For every one gay Ukrainian who is out, he said, another 80 are forced to hide their sexuality.
But despite strong support from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev and other Western groups, they were forced to cancel the May 20 event on learning that hundreds of anti-gay activists had arrived in Kiev looking for confrontation.
Shortly after the parade was cancelled, Sheremet was first doused with pepper spray, and then kicked in the head, legs and arms by a group of youths wearing surgical mask. They then stomped on his back. A month later, Taras Karasiychuk, another gay parade organizer, sustained a concussion and a fractured jaw when he was attacked by men shouting homophobic insults outside his home.
“The message was clear: `don’t come out onto the streets with your gay rights, stay at home or in your clubs,’” Sheremet said.
Sheremet expressed hope Wednesday that violence and hostility would eventually give way to more tolerance and acceptance, saying that he saw this as a “necessary crisis period,” after which social integration would follow.
“Eventually, society comes to realize that one can only live peacefully when one is tolerant,” he said.
Minutes after the news conference was over, however, he was doused in buttermilk by an anti-gay activist.
(Source: The Huffington Post)@11 months ago with 1 note
If you kept yourself plugged into Twitter over the July 4 holiday, it was hard to miss the news that R&B phenom Frank Ocean had come out about his sexuality, explaining on his Tumblr page that his first love was a man. Ocean wrote: “4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide.”
The announcement comes two weeks before Ocean’s new album, “Channel Orange,” is set to drop. But rumors about Ocean’s sexuality had already been flying after those who had heard the album noticed that some of the album’s love songs mentioned “him” instead of “her.” Ocean wrote on his Tumblr: “With all the rumors going round.. i figured it’d be good to clarify.”
“Channel Orange” will be Ocean’s major label debut, but his adventurous brand of R&B started making waves more than a year ago. He gained notoriety as a member of the L.A. hip-hop collective Odd Future, his self-released “Nostalgia, Ultra” album was one of 2011’s best, he sang the most profound hook on Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “Watch the Throne” album, and his silky voice even managed to chill out the moshers at an Odd Future gig at the Rock & Roll Hotel last spring.
(Source: Washington Post)@11 months ago
Breaking news: Anderson Cooper comes out and says comfortably, “The fact is, I’m gay.”
In a story broken by the DAILY BEAST, email exchanges have Anderson openly admitting he’s been gay for a long time, something friends, family and colleagues have known well before his public announcement.
Here is the text from Anderson’s email correspondence to Andrew Sullivan:
Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I’ve thought about for years. Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to.
But I’ve also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist.
I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn’t matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn’t set out to write about other aspects of my life.
Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something - something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.
I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.
The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.
I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.
Since my early days as a reporter, I have worked hard to accurately and fairly portray gay and lesbian people in the media - and to fairly and accurately portray those who for whatever reason disapprove of them. It is not part of my job to push an agenda, but rather to be relentlessly honest in everything I see, say and do. I’ve never wanted to be any kind of reporter other than a good one, and I do not desire to promote any cause other than the truth.
Being a journalist, traveling to remote places, trying to understand people from all walks of life, telling their stories, has been the greatest joy of my professional career, and I hope to continue doing it for a long time to come. But while I feel very blessed to have had so many opportunities as a journalist, I am also blessed far beyond having a great career.
I love, and I am loved.
In my opinion, the ability to love another person is one of God’s greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life. I appreciate your asking me to weigh in on this, and I would be happy for you to share my thoughts with your readers. I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space. But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.
(Source: andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)@11 months ago with 4 notes