James Whiteside, 32, has achieved his lifelong dream. In 2013, within a year of moving to New York to join the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) as a soloist, the Connecticut native was promoted to principal dancer, a highly prestigious gig he's held ever since. Parker Kit Hill, 21, has amassed an uncommon amount of fame for his age. Raised in Fort Worth, Texas, he's a buzz-worthy quadruple threat who can sing, dance, act, and utilize the vital world of social media, which has spread his queer and quirky performance art across the world and landed him everything from TV castings to sit-downs with The Huffington Post and Paper. But both men have faced adversity amid their successes, particularly within the rarefied world of ballet. Whiteside, arguably one of the most recognized dancers in the world, and Hill, a student of dance still finding his professional path, have had vastly different journeys. What connects them is their art and their queerness, two things that haven't always jelled in the eyes of others.
I also think there's one vital thing gay uncles can offer: simply being visible. As a closeted gay kid in Queensland, where homosexuality was a criminal offence until I was eight, I didn't meet an openly queer person until well into adulthood. Looking back, that contributed a lot to me being unnecessarily torn up about my sexuality, and it made me cruel about other people's, too.
The Turnbull government should allow a free vote on marriage equality in this term or moderate Liberal MPs could sponsor a bill themselves to force the issue as a last resort, Trent Zimmerman has said.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton - who last week lambasted corporate leaders for publicly supporting marriage equality - has been working behind the scenes to help Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull find a path to legalise same-sex marriage in this term of Parliament.
Voters in some of the most conservative seats in Australia overwhelmingly support legalising same-sex marriage in 2017, according to a decisive new poll of a dozen Coalition seats.
And Coalition MPs are seen as out of touch with the community – and could lose votes, and even their seats – if they continue to block a free vote in Parliament and insist on the defeated plebiscite policy.
Malcolm Turnbull is being warned by conservatives not to break his promise to hold a plebiscite on same-sex marriage because — wait for it — he needs to focus on other issues, such as breaking the government’s pre-election commitment not to amend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Get your collective heads around that hypocrisy. One commitment must be adhered to, the other can happily go the way of the dodo bird.
Of course the premise of the conservative case is flawed anyway. The Prime Minister did not promise he would never seek an alternative means of achieving same-sex marriage. He committed to holding a plebiscite; the government tried to legislate exactly that immediately after the election but was thwarted by the numbers in the Senate. That’s called honouring your election pledge.
The government doesn’t give up on various other goals when parliament blocks its plans. Alternative pathways are sought. Why should same-sex marriage be any different? To suggest Turnbull is subsequently prohibited from pursuing alternative ways of resolving the issue is absurd.
Don’t forget that as prime minister even Tony Abbott pledged the previous parliament was the last in which Liberals would be denied a free vote on marriage equality. He said as much immediately after a lengthy joint partyroom meeting in 2015.
With the plebiscite option defeated in the Senate, many Liberals consider they now have a right to exercise a conscience vote on same-sex marriage, given that such freedom has always been a cornerstone of their party’s principles, reinforced by Abbott’s words.
A letter has been penned by the chief executives from some of Australia’s biggest companies urging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to legislate marriage equality, according to recent reports.
In a report by The Australian, the letter will be sent to Turnbull before parliament resumes next week and will ask him to pass same-sex and gender marriage so that the government is able to continue focusing on the economy.
With a one-sentence order last week, the Supreme Court dashed hopes of a big transgender-rights decision this term. The Court was supposed to review the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender teen-age boy who sued the Gloucester County School Board for the right to use the boys’ bathroom and won, in the Fourth Circuit. But the basis of the Fourth Circuit’s decision was the Obama Administration’s view that Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits schools that receive federal funding from discriminating “on the basis of sex,” requires schools to treat transgender students in a way consistent with their gender identity. Last month, the Trump Administration retracted that position. Both Grimm and the school board urged the Supreme Court to review the case as planned, arguing that the government’s shift made it no less urgent for the Court to declare Title IX’s meaning. But the Supreme Court decided to vacate the lower court’s decision and send the case back for reconsideration. Grimm’s victory in the lower court was tethered to the Obama guidance, and disappeared along with it.
The Trump Administration recently submitted a list of data categories it will collect for the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey (ACS). Although the Supreme Court, in 2013, struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, paving the way for the census to change the way it tracks same-sex households, the White House has sent yet another powerful signal that it considers LGBTQ rights as frivolous.
Although “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” were proposed subjects in the appendix, today’s version of the report excluded LGBTQ people from the list of subjects for the Census and ACS, suggesting that data collection for these subjects may have been in the works for an earlier version.
Last year, various federal agencies urged the Census Bureau to include sexual orientation and gender in their data as it was crucial to their role in enforcing the law. The current census only allows for a snapshot of same-sex households, but Democrats in Congress had pushed for more indepth questions around sexual orientation and gender identity to improve results. The logic was simple: With more focused questions law makers would be better equipped to ensure appropriate legislation to improve the lives of LGBTQ citizens.
THE Victorian Government has announced it will provide additional funding towards the state’s pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) trial to give nearly 4,000 people access to the HIV prevention pill.
While the trial has already seen nearly 3,000 people access the drug, there is still over 600 people on the waiting list. To clear this list, the state government will provide an additional $100,000 in funding towards the trial.
Pressure is growing on the Turnbull government to deal with same-sex marriage before the next election, with the immigration minister, Peter Dutton, proposing a voluntary postal plebiscite and the education minister, Simon Birmingham, suggesting the issue could return to the Liberal party room.
YouTube has released a statement in response to accusations that it is discriminating against its LGBTQ users by hiding certain videos in its Restricted Mode. The company issued the statement on Sunday night, after several popular LGBTQ vloggers and video creators, discovered that videos on topics such as dating, attraction, and inspiration had been hidden by default in the mode. Many led criticism against the company using the #YouTubeIsOverParty hashtag on Twitter.
As the Turnbull government prepares for the final two sitting weeks of Parliament before the May budget, two cabinet ministers - with different personal views on marriage equality - have repeated the Coalition's position that a plebiscite is the only way the issue will be dealt with.
Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the government should be concentrating on its efforts to reduce company tax and on getting its childcare changes through the Senate.
CONSERVATIVE government MPs are frantically marshalling their numbers to foil a plot by moderate Liberals planning to reignite the same-sex marriage debate this week.
Conservatives, including one senior government minister, caught wind of the secret plan to lobby Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to abandon his commitment to hold a plebiscite on marriage equality.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal up to 12 Liberal MPs and senators intended to sign a letter and present it to Mr Turnbull as soon as Monday, urging him to revisit the government’s plebiscite policy before the May Budget.
THE core rule of puppy play is that there are no rules.
Consent must be omnipresent however one’s sexuality, gender, or proclivities in the bedroom have no bearing on how one chooses to adopt a pup persona and engage in the subculture.
Despite its growing prevalence in queer communities around the world, puppy play is still shrouded in misconception and stigma. Some deride it as akin to bestiality, others regard it with a mild ‘sex panic’ that would sit comfortably in the 1950s, and many have never heard of it.
But for those who don fake dog ears, knee pads, and a tail, puppy play is not only an entirely safe and consensual form of self-expression – it also alleviates existing mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says the Turnbull government "won't be bullied" by chief executives who have campaigned in favour of same-sex marriage, lashing the country's business leaders for a third day in a row.
Mr Dutton also ramped up his response to the social media campaign against Coopers brewery, claiming some companies were being "extorted" and "blackmailed" into backing marriage equality.
The gay internet went gaga over Grindr's "naughty" new emojis — a set of 500 images that included symbols for foot fetishists, size queens, anilingus lovers, and more communicators of mood and sexual preference.
But the most groundbreaking "gaymoji," as the hookup app termed it, is a little blue pill. Imprinted with "701," the capsule is an image of Truvada, a drug used for pre-exposure prophylaxsis. If taken daily, this treatment has been shown to be up to 99 percent effective in preventing HIV.
Despite this outpour of support, even before Inauguration Day the LGBTQ community was in crisis mode, braced for whatever outrages and rollbacks the new White House has in store. Pence's anti-LGBTQ record is well known, from the religious freedom bill he signed as governor of Indiana, to the ambiguous nod toward conversion therapy made during his congressional bid in 2000. Donald Trump's own tepid endorsement of LGBTQ rights – particularly his view that same-sex marriage is a "settled" issue – is in stark contrast to the GOP and the conservative, evangelical base that rallies around him. It's also in contrast to many members of his cabinet. More recently, the administration rescinded Obama's directive allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. And rumors of an executive order that will chill workplace protections for LGBTQ people panicked many liberal tweeters last month, including Anthony Oliveira, who advised his 23,000-plus followers to "get married, insurance, passports now."
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