Standing on stage in a black and yellow dress, blonde hair teased high and a face of make-up akin to every contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race, a sassy (and sultry) character introduces herself. 'Find a guy you like and click,' she sings, 'pick a made to order trick / Want it nice and quick?
In 1994, investment banker Walter Schubert Jr. walked into a therapist’s office and burst into tears. Schubert told the therapist that he was the only gay man on Wall Street. His analyst calmly assured him that he most certainly was not, but that he could become the first to be open about it. Schubert did come out publicly. But five years later, at the turn of the millennium, he was still the only openly gay individual among the 1,365 members of the New York Stock Exchange.
Five gay closeted college basketball coaches talk about the deep-seated homophobia and forced lifestyle contracts that are driving them to suicidal thoughts and out of their profession. Right now, no one is doing anything about it.
On Tuesday, the Victorian government moved to repeal section 19A of the Crimes Act, which sends anyone that deliberately infects someone with HIV to prison for up to 25 years.
With HIV being linked in our collective memories (inherited or experienced) to the death and loss of the Aids crisis, it is understandable why some may pause when they hear that a law meant to protect people from becoming infected with HIV is being repealed.
After all, for many people, HIV still conjures images of the Grim Reaper ads and a decimated generation of Australian gay men. That time, sad as it was, is now history.
Laws like 19A were enacted in a time of fear and sadness. That fear of HIV-positive people with weaponised blood and a death wish to infect innocent Australians was never justified. However, in the face of such Aids/HIV hysteria, HIV-positive people fell victim to the dull political trope of “something must be done.”
Transgender students face significant obstacles even though many of the issues seldom receive attention. Even when LGBTQ issues get discussed, they are largely centered on same-sex marriage and employment discrimination. Little public attention is paid to other forms of rights violations.
IMAGINE living in a country where we no longer have the prospect of an ongoing HIV epidemic hanging over us. Where HIV-negative guys and HIV-positive guys together are doing everything to stop the virus from spreading any further.
This is now within reach.
Our adoption of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) alongside the rest of our HIV risk reduction strategies will make our community stronger and healthier. As individuals and as a gay community we all have the responsibility to do all we can to achieve the goal of no new HIV transmissions by 2020. We can do this without judgement — it’s just each of us doing what works best.
It's possible that mainstream rap's first openly queer artist will be a gay man whose music is nonetheless conservative and easily digestible. Maybe that person will look and sound as straight as J. Cole while also admitting in interviews that he sucks dick in the bedroom. But if we go by how gay rappers sound now—arty and uncompromising—it's more likely that mainstream rap will have to accept the queer underground's freaks and weirdos.
Growing up in rural Crescent, Oklahoma, Chelsea Manning found an oasis in a favorite room of her family home. "I loved being in my sister's room. I really admired her and wore her clothes to play in, played with her dolls, played with her makeup," she says. "She had a mirror with settings to see what you would look like in different lighting. I thought that was amazing."
Back then, Manning was known as a boy named Bradley. Today, Manning is a transgender woman, living in a prison for men.
She is also easily one of the most controversial figures of the early 21st century.
President Barack Obama’s staff and visitors now have the option of using a gender-neutral restroom, a White House spokesman said Wednesday — the latest in a series of symbolic steps the Obama administration has taken to work the priorities of the LGBT community into its broader themes of inclusiveness and tolerance.
The newly designated restroom is an example of how the administration has been advancing the discussion by raising the profile of transgender issues, an area of debate that is especially hotly contested right now. The restroom will be located in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where much of the White House staff works.
QUEENSLAND AIDS Council (QuAC) has achieved what they describe as a “significant milestone” with 5000 tests undergone for STIs, including HIV, in its goal to improve and increase testing rates within the LGBTI community.
Through its rapid HIV service Testing Point and Clinic 30 sexual and mental health service launched in 2012 and 2014 respectively, QuAC executive director Michael Scott described the milestone proved that testing was “reaching the right people”.
It's been a tough week for One Direction fans. The British boy band just saw the defection of its first member, the smoldering Zayn Malik. Now rumors are percolating that Louis Tomlinson or Harry Styles — the band's informal lead singer, former Taylor Swift fling, and the one most playful about his sexuality — could be on the way out too. Before the band dissolves completely, we thought it a perfect time to highlight some incredible gay-themed One Direction fan art, found all over the Web. We're not sure what drives this phenomenon of slash fiction and fan art that is "shipping" the two. No longer is it enough to dream of winning the attention of your favorite boy bander, now fans are so open minded they just imagine them together. These adorable pieces, mostly featuring "Larry" — the pairing of Styles and Tomlinson — come via the Karukara Tumblr page.
A few weeks ago, after an evening feasting on the delights stored on my TiVo, it struck me that every show I’d watched—Benched, Jane the Virgin, Glee, The Mindy Project, and Marry Me—had featured at least one queer character. My attitude to TV representation of the LGBTQ nation is and always will be “more please.” Nevertheless, I started to wonder if gay and lesbian characters were becoming a little too familiar, perhaps even a teensy bit boring.
HIGH on the to-do list for Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ new interim chief executive is looking at the possibility of reversing the direction of the iconic parade, so it heads towards and even through the CBD.
In an exclusive interview with the Star Observer to mark her ascension to the top job, Michele Bauer said preparations for Mardi Gras’ 40th anniversary in 2018 were also a top priority and that the current season was on track for a “positive” financial result following last year’s cost blow outs.
I’ve been living with diagnosed HIV for many years. In that time I’ve had my share of sexual and romantic rejections on the basis of my HIV status.
While these don’t make up any of my happiest memories, I’ve tried to take it on the chin.
I’ve always been a firm believer that individuals have a right to work out the sexual strategy that is right for them – and that included rejecting people on the basis of their HIV status. But, you know what – I’ve had a change of heart. It’s bullshit.
I have a confession: If you’ve been following my writing on drag in Outward for the past year, you’ve only gotten half of the story. Thus far, I’ve focused solely on the experiences of men who dress up in feminine attire, drag queens like myself. I’ve failed to feature the voices of women in drag—most notably women and who dress as men, or drag kings—and some of you have noticed. “I wonder, why didn't you talk to a female drag performer?” a reader wrote in a disappointed email. “I would have been interested to know how she sees her role.”
ASSUMPTIONS that gay men using hook up apps are into risky sexual behaviours may not be true, according to an expert on HIV and relationships in the LGBTI community, and health organisations may need to rethink how they communicate sexual health messages online.
LGBTI health body ACON told the Star Observer that apps allowed them to target specific groups of men but the technology had its limits in terms of effectiveness.
Far from only looking for one-night stands, University of NSW’s Kirby Institute sociology associate professor Garrett Prestage, said 80 per cent of gay men now find their boyfriends through apps and dating websites.
The latest Apple operating system update includes a new set of diverse, LGBT emoji for users to send via iMessage to friends, family, and loved ones.
iPhone and iPad users who have been yearning for more inclusive representation in their lineup of over 300 emoji found a pleasant surprise Wednesday, when the new iOS 8.3 update hit Apple products nationwide.
THERE are 36 law schools within Australian universities. How many of these do you think offer subjects relating to LGBTI rights, sexual orientation or gender identity? Half? A quarter?
Alas, on the most generous count, it is only eight: Monash University, Southern Cross University, Griffith University, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australian National University, Macquarie University, University of Western Australia, and University of Wollongong.
While this is a disappointingly low number, and a poor geographic spread – with no offerings in South Australia, Tasmania or the Northern Territory, and only one in Victoria – it is a big improvement on just five years ago. In 2010, only three law schools offered LGBTI-related subjects. Is it a problem that the majority of law schools are not offering students the opportunity to study how the law impacts LGBTI people in positive and negative ways? The answer is a resounding yes.
But 10 years down the road, Howard’s intervention looks quite different. The act of active state-sanctioned discrimination against one section of the Australian community triggered a sea change. It wasn’t the end of a conversation. It marked the beginning of a conversation.
It galvanised the gay and lesbian community, and focused minds elsewhere, too. Voters didn’t wait for political leadership on this question. This is just as well, because there wasn’t any consistent leadership; there were iterations of obstruction. It was a grassroots thing. People just formed their own views.
A 17-year-old transgender youth, Leelah Alcorn, stunned her friends and a vast Internet audience in December when she threw herself in front of a tractor-trailer after writing in an online suicide note that religious therapists had tried to convert her back to being a boy.
In response, President Obama is calling for an end to such therapies aimed at “repairing” gay, lesbian and transgender youth. His decision on the issue is the latest example of his continuing embrace of gay rights.
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