Gay UK News
  • Boyband A1 to headline Bristol Pride
    Boyband A1 to headline Bristol Pride
    Boyband A1, who feature in this year’s Big Reunion Tour will headline the Bristol Pride festival on Saturday 12 July along with 90s dance sensation, and Rhythm of The Night singer, Corona. The donation entry festival will take place in Castle Park and will feature 46 acts across 9 hours…

    The Bristol Pride Festival, named No2 ‘Best Pride In The UK’ (Cooperative Respect Awards) is one of the largest Pride events in the country and Pride ‘Week’ takes place across Bristol from the 3-13 July will showcase a diverse range of events including: comedy, sports, dog show, workplace conference with LGB charity Stonewall, the award winning Confessions of a Rabbi’s Daughter and even an all-female Shakespeare performance in a city farm playground. The week also host to the Bristol Pride Film Festival with specially selected, and award winning films including G.B.F., short film Language of Love, the multi award winning Who’s Afraid Of Vagina Wolf?, the story of a filmmaker who decides to make an all-female version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and even features a special preview screening of Lilting , starring Ben Wishaw.

    The Pride Day festival starts with the Pride Parade, departing Queens Square at 11am and the park festival will feature 3 stages of entertainment, family area with kite making classes and activities from atBristol and Bristol Zoo, funfair, market and expo stalls, food and bars, onsite roller disco and a community area hosting over 60 organisations ranging from health services, charities and sports groups. Entry to Pride Day will be by donation (£3 suggested) but Pride are offering £5 Day wristband or a Day and Night pass for £15 that will offer discounts onsite including food stalls, reduced bar prices and skate hire as well as offers with other Bristol businesses keen to support Pride.

    DJs The Freemasons headline the official afterparty at the O2 Academy which promises to be a spectacle with aerial performances from Circomedia along with eccentric party makers Sink The Pink, 90s club night Another Night and a specially created ‘Pop Paparazzi Parlour’ from performance artist Harry Clayton Wright.

    Organiser Daryn Carter: ‘2013 was our biggest year yet and we’ve got really exciting  events for 2014 as well as an amazing line up for Pride Day and Night which are a real coup for Bristol. We’ve created something truly special, an exciting and credible festival that uses a range of events to champion and celebrate LGB&T talent and culture. We aim to keep building on the success of Pride, putting Bristol on the map and bringing it alive with new talent and award winning acts. We’re creating opportunities for people to celebrate and engage with LGBT arts and the community whilst making a stand against discrimination both here in Bristol and around the world.’’

    2013 saw 31,000 people attend Bristol Pride events with Blue and Sophie Ellis-Bextor headlining the free festival which held 17 individual events across the week and had an economic impact of £953,500 to the local economy. Pride is a bold celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community across the South West, but extends its much further, earlier this year the plight of LGBT people in counties such a Russia were highlighted by the Sochi games and this year the Bristol pride has chosen the theme We Are: One as a chance for LGBT people, their friends, families and the whole of the South West to stand up and support gay rights on a global scale by maintaining a proud and visible presence and showing support to communities around the world.



  • Facebook Offers New Gender Option
    Facebook Offers New Gender Option
    Following a successful launch in the US earlier this year – Facebook has announced a new custom gender option to help people better express their own identity on Facebook.  After collaborating with  LGBT advocacy organisations in the US  earlier this year, Facebook has now teamed up with UK experts Press…

    In addition, people who select a custom gender will now have the ability to choose the pronoun they’d like to be referred to publicly — male (he/his), female (she/her) or neutral (they/their). People can also control the audience with whom they want to share their custom gender – as some people face challenges sharing their true gender identity with others, this setting gives people the ability to express themselves in an authentic way.

    Simon Milner, Policy Director, UK Middle East & Africa at Facebook, said: “When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organisations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true self.  An important part of this is the expression of gender especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just ‘male’ or ‘female.’ Today’s announcement provides significantly more options for people in the UK.” Jay Stewart, Co-founder and Director at Gendered Intelligence, said: "Gendered Intelligence supports the launch of Facebook's custom gender options. The comprehensive range reflects the diversity of identity among trans people in the UK. We welcome the inclusion of non-binary identities that are so often overlooked or erased. Facebook's decision to better reflect trans lives online sends a message to young trans people that their identities and concerns are legitimate and that their voices have been listened to."

    Professor Stephen Whittle, Vice-President at Press for Change, said: "Gender identities are complex and for many people, describing themselves as just a man or just a woman has always been inadequate. The European Court of Human Rights has upheld the right to develop our gender identity, as key to our personal autonomy. By challenging the gender binary, Facebook will finally allow thousands of people to describe themselves as they are now and it will allow future generation of kids to become truly comfortable in their own skins."

    The new custom gender option is now available to everyone who uses Facebook in U.K. English. To learn more, visit https://www.facebook.com/help/276177272409629.



  • Hope in the Desert
    Hope in the Desert
    HOPE IN THE DESERT: SERVICE MEMBERS OBSERVE DOD PRIDE MONTH IN AFGHANISTAN By Garth Langley Harvey Milk once said, “The important thing is not that we cannot live on hope alone, but that life is not worth living without it.” Decades after his assassination, Milk’s larger-than-life presence reverberates throughout the…

    For his trailblazing efforts, Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom during 2009. He sparked necessary change in LGBT rights across all spheres of American society, including the military. Activists who were at the helm during the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act were successful because of his vision.

    On the morning after the one-year anniversary of the defeat of DOMA and on the eve of the 45th anniversary of the New York Stonewall Inn Riots, approximately 50 service members represented by all five branches of the U.S. military, along with members of the U.K. military and civilian contractors gathered to recognize the Department of Defense’s LGBT Month, aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, June 27, 2014. 

    The observance joined a long list of pride events at military bases across the United States and overseas. This weekend also joined LGBT events such as the New York City Pride, San Francisco LGBT Pride, and the upcoming San Diego LGBT Pride celebration in July. 

    San Diego Pride has been at the forefront of LGBT military news since the repeal of DADT. In 2011, active-duty service members marched in the parade wearing branch-specific shirts. In 2012 and 2013, a movement of service members garnered international media attention that led to the authorization for service members to wear approved dress uniforms in the civic event.

    PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION 

    On May 30th, 2014, the White House released a proclamation signed by President Barack Obama declaring June as LGBT Pride Month. “As progress spreads from state to state, as justice is delivered in the courtroom, and as more of our fellow Americans are treated with dignity and respect our Nation becomes not only more accepting, but more equal as well. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, we celebrate victories that have affirmed freedom and fairness, and we recommit ourselves to completing the work that remains,” stated the proclamation. 

    The proclamation was celebrated at a very important time in LGBT history. On June 28, 1969, gay rights activists took to the streets of New York after police unduly raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar. The riots that ensued led to a revolutionary gay rights movement and the beginnings of the modern-day pride celebrations. 

    “This month, as we mark 45 years since the patrons of the Stonewall Inn defied an unjust policy and awakened a nascent movement, let us honor every brave leader who stood up, sat in, and came out, as well as the allies who supported them along the way. Following their example, let each of us speak for tolerance, justice, and dignity because if hearts and minds continue to change over time, laws will too,” said President Barack Obama in the proclamation. 

    On May 31, 2014, the DoD released an official memorandum announcing it would join the “Nation in celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month during the month of June. The LGBT community has written a proud chapter in this fundamentally American story by reminding us that integrity and respect remain corner stones of our military and civilian culture,” stated the memorandum. 

    U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Aaronchristian Abreu, 24, a hospital corpsman and native of Los Angeles, joined fellow deployed service members to organize a pride observance aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.

    “As an openly gay service member, the pride observance means a lot,” said Abreu. “It is celebrating and recognizing that our gay, lesbians and bisexual brothers and sisters can now serve freely without the fear of reprisal due to their sexual orientation. Recognizing the LGBT community, shows that we are setting the example to our civilian counterparts, and that we do not discriminate. We welcome everyone to our organization and value the diverse talents, skills that they have regardless of their national origin, race, religious belief, gender or sexual orientation.”

    HOPE IN THE DESERT 

    Before being deconstructed last month, a rectangular wooden chapel stood in the center of dusty Camp Leatherneck. A large sign was posted out front with jet-black spray-paint lettering that read, “Hope in the Desert.” While everyone faces the stress of being away while on a deployment, LGBT service members once faced the added burden of concealing their sexual orientation. Friday’s ceremony was a clear indication of how those fears have decreased since the repeal of DADT.

    The hour long program began with a dual-rendition of the National Anthem by U.S. Marines 1st Lt. Skye Martin and Lance Cpl. Aubrey Hepler.

    With heads bowed and a moment of silence, U.K. Chaplain Squadron Leader Alex Hopson delivered the invocation. “You have broken down barriers. You have made rainbows dance in our eyes. You’ve offered us dreams that reach for the galaxies. You have awakened the long craving for love,” said Hopson.

    The ceremony was followed by a reading of President Obama’s LGBT Month Proclamation and a selected top ten list of historic LGBT moments. Service members and military contractors formed up behind the podiums to read the list.

    Read Full Article



  • Sir Ian McKellen Celebrates London Pride
    Sir Ian McKellen Celebrates London Pride
    Hundreds of Stonewall supporters joined thousands of individuals and groups on the streets of London today, celebrating London Community Pride. More than 400 volunteers, young people and staff – the largest group ever to march with Stonewall - took part in the parade carrying placards in five languages to support…

     

    Before the London Pride parade 150 young people joined Stonewall’s annual Youth Pride Brunch, allowing many of them to celebrate Pride for the first time. The Brunch is a major part of Stonewall’s Youth Volunteering Programme, supported by Lloyds Banking Group. During the morning event young people heard a powerful speech from Sir Ian McKellen. 

    Stonewall’s Acting Chief Executive Ruth Hunt said: ‘London Pride is a celebration that the whole capital can be proud of. It’s inspirational to see so many thousands of people not just celebrating everything we’ve achieved as a community but also continuing to fight for LGBT equality here in Britain and around the world. The fact that so many young people marched with Stonewall shows that the spirit of Pride is alive and well.’ 

    In nearly 80 countries homosexuality is illegal, and in five countries people can be executed for being gay. Stonewall works with campaigners worldwide, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and international partners, to support campaigns for lesbian, gay and bisexual equality. Find out more at www.stonewall.org.uk/international 

    Here in Britain Stonewall works with more than 10,000 schools and runs an annual Youth Volunteering Programme to help tackle homophobic bullying in schools: www.stonewall.org.uk/atschool



  • Gay Jazz Singer Covers with Catherine d'Oex French Song
    Gay Jazz Singer Covers with Catherine d'Oex French Song
    Gallavin is currently working on his forthcoming and melancholic album “So Sad the Songs”, (due for October 27th, 2014). The first single, La chanson des vieux amants, is out now.  Gallavin sings this legendary song from Jacques Brel in duet with Catherine d’Oex.  Gallavin is a new kind of jazz…


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