LGBT

California Approves LGBT History Books For Grades K-8

On November 9th, California became the first state to approve the adoption of 10 LGBT inclusive history books for grades K-8. Two additional texts were denied because they exclude LGBT history, a violation of the CA 2011 Fair Education Act. California will now require for history and social studies curriculum to include the achievements of LGBT leaders as well as people with disabilities.

It's no shock that California is the first state to adopt this type of legislation, with many gay cultural hubs scattered throughout the Golden State like San Francisco, West Hollywood, Palm Springs, and San Diego among many others.

The legislation was written be Senator Mark Leno, a champion of LGBT organizations and causes.

According to Advocate, the Executive Director of Equality California, Rick Zbur, has praised the state for their decision to be more inclusive in the classroom.

This long fought victory is the next step for California students to learn about the contributions and history of LGBTQ people. Approval of these textbooks means that California schools will now have access to approved materials that accurately represent LGBTQ people, and Equality California applauds the State Board of Education for this historic decision.

Adoption of the textbooks into California classrooms will grant LGBTQIA students the opportunity to see themselves represented. Additionally, others will be able to learn about the contributions queer people have made, which will hopefully bring us strides closer to tolerance, acceptance, and inclusivity for all.

I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way. Bravo, Cali! 

 

LGBTQ Seniors Need to Share Their Stories

The sacredness and personal experience that IS coming out our even, living in the closet, is the one plight that is shared with the entire LGBTQIA community. Regardless of the journey we have each taken, we our bound together as an extended family because of the fears and dangers that we live through leading up to and even after we have spoken our truth as LGBTQIA community.

Today's youth is growing up in a time when coming out or leading a gay life is much more common than the generations before us who have essentially lived closeted lives and who have sacrificed much more than anyone could comprehend. Yes it's true that today's LGBTQIA youth battles bullying and we have a lot of work to do to uplift these individuals so that we put an end to this ridicule that is poisoning our rainbow. But it is because of our predecessors that we can now live in 2017 with less risks and much less sacrifice just to live the lives we were meant to be.

We must remember those who came before us who paved the way and many times suffered in silence so that today's community could have pride festivals, openly see drag in mainstream media, and witness marriage equality. Theirs are the stories we must never forget, so that history does not repeat itself. We need to celebrate their narratives for their courage and to finally be able to speak their truth.

In media, we see characters that come out later in life as a portrayal of these individuals who never had a voice. Stories of older folks coming out like Grace and Frankie, Transparent, Transamerica and stories that depict LGBT principal characters like Will and Grace, Queer As Folk, Looking, The L Word and now the popularity of drag culture that comes from RuPaul's Drag Race have created a upward shift. Thanks to these stories, we can now create a foundation for future generations to learn from and take control of our experiences.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center released an oral history video depicting a group of gay and lesbian seniors who share their stories of struggle growing up in very sheltered times, with conservative and fearful families. And although the video does not show much diversity in its participants, their stories are heartwarming. They recount stories of coming out, first loves, discovering what it means to be a 'homosexual' in a world where everyone felt being gay was a disease. These seniors, many who are well into their 80s, educate on experiences that we will never read in the history books.

Here's the video that will make you want to learn about your elders and that will make you see the value in sharing our stories as the LGBTQIA community.

 

 

Gays For Trump Will March With 'Deplorable Pride'

Earlier this year, Charlotte-based Republican LGBT group Deplorable Pride, were denied a spot in the city’s annual Charlotte Pride parade. The group was denied participation in the city's largest parade because of their planned 27-foot-long float that would depict a drag version of Melania Trump with others wearing long blue evening gowns that read "Make America Great Again" reports the Charlotte Observer. Now, the Gays for Trump group is planning to protest 30-minutes prior to the parade.

A statement on the group's website reads:

Come and show your support for your fellow Trump supporters who are LGBT and are being persecuted by their own gay community. Please help us show that intolerance is not acceptable.

A spokesperson for Charlotte Pride has commented about the organization's right to not include those who exclude others from American society.

The statement by Charlotte Pride reads:

In the past, we have made similar decisions to decline participation from other organizations espousing anti-LGBTQ religious or public policy stances. Charlotte Pride envisions a world in which LGBTQ people are affirmed, respected, and included in the full social and civic life of their local communities, free from fear of any discrimination, rejection, and prejudice.

Charlotte police is prepared for the protest and what it could mean for spectators and visitors to the highly popular pride event.

Are Gays Better Parents Overall Than Heterosexuals?

When it comes to gays versus heterosexuals, who makes for a better parent both in the short term or the long term?  A new article that was just released challenges this in favor of gay parenting for reasons that are quite interesting to dissect.

The article suggests that, in quote, "Gay parents tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents. Due to biological and social constraints, gay men as a category face the most obstacles in their quest for parenting."

It also states that, "Being gay parents teach about caring for children in a different and deeper way than that of their professions. They learn how children fit in to a family, how they grow into distinct young people with strong opinions and powerful voices, and how to love children."

It's a very bold statement that is made by whomever wrote this piece, as there are thousands of straight people who go through similar struggles in order to have a baby.  Whether they have to adopt or in vitro fertilization to have a baby of their own, we all come from different backgrounds with the goal of raising a family.  I do understand the writer's point of view, however, as the struggle to be gay and adopt in parts of the world (and even this country) can be a huge hassle for two people who simply want to start their own family. 

What are your thoughts on this? 

 

First-Ever Black LGBT Family Is The Face Of Fashion

Do you remember that photo from 2014 of gay dads Kordale Lewis and Kaleb Anthony doing their daughters’ hair in the morning? It went viral because of the heartwarming display by the sexy couple and their cute AF kids!

As their family has grown to now include a total of four kids, so has their fan base. Kordale and Kaleb have gained a following for their modern-day family on social media that tells daily stories of their life as gay dads who are surrounded by loving friends and family.

Now life is about to get a whole lot more interesting for the family of six as Acne Studios has profiled the Kordale N Kaleb family as the face of the high-end fashion brand for its Fall/Winter 2017 campaign.

Photographed on the brand’s website, the family is seen sporting matching outfits and posing in all their glory as the first-ever black LGBT family to represent a fashion campaign.

Each of their four children is also photographed up close and we learn a bit about each child.

Acne Studios founder, Jonny Johansson shared on the website his inspiration and the concept behind the campaign.

I have been thinking of the family concept for a long time. I’m very fond of it since I feel that at Acne Studios, we began as a collective and we saw each other as family back then. A modern family. I love those images of families dressing in the same outfit, and this new collection dedicated to the face motif also has a similar feeling of staple goods. It is also a way of highlighting that while every family is different, we all have the same love and want the best for our children. There is no ‘normal’ family — all families are normal.

In an interview with Acne Studios, Kordale stated the following about the possibility of backlash or negative comments on social media:

If you have kids, you don’t have time to think about who likes you, who’s talking about you. It’s just so much more stress on your plate, and I don’t believe in stress. The picture definitely did cause a lot of unwanted attention—we’ve always posted candid pictures of our kids, but with that picture, people somehow thought it was okay to create all this controversy. If we had the chance, we would do it again.

Later he says:

I don’t even think that’s worth my time. We’re in 2017, surely people can know there are gay people with kids, and they’re trying to achieve the same things as any heterosexual couple? It’s the straight parents who are making gay kids anyway. I don’t have to fight anymore. I feel like my voice is more powerful if there’s a legislation that comes up and I can inform my fan base to go out and vote or go to a town hall meeting. Most of the time, if you try to argue or explain to a heterosexual person that I’m gay and I have kids, they already have a preconceived notion of you anyways. Nine times out of 10, you can’t change people’s mindsets through talking. You have to show it through actions. I don’t try to force my opinions on anybody.

And finally?

You shouldn’t have to tell people how we should be treated in the age we are living in now. I’m over all of that. I don’t make it a point to express that I’m a gay parent—I’m a parent. I love my kids as much as you love yours. I want the same great things for my kids as you do for yours. What I do in my bed is none of your business.

To see the whole campaign and interview, visit Acne Studios

Anthony Scaramucci Is An LGBT Ally

Just a few days after his very very short tour (11 days!) as the White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci has been interviewed numerous times stating his disapproval of white nationalism and Trump’s actions (or lack thereof) against  Neo-Nazis and the rally in Charlottesville.

TMZ recently caught up with Scaramucci to get some insight:

We need to condemn and denounce white nationalism. Absolutely horrific. I will condemn that stuff for the rest of my life, and as long as I’m breathing.

Is it possible that his points of view were more progressive than the Donald’s?

TMZ then asked the Mooch about his liberal stance on certain topics, namely in regards to the LGBT community.

I have been an active – for the last decade – gay rights, gay marriage equality supporter. Particularly here in New York and New York City but around the world. And I think that ‘life, liberty , and the pursuit of happiness’ when they wrote that, I don’t think it was just meant for straight people, and so for me, I’m a very active gay rights supporter.

Well, what do you know!? Anthony Scaramucci is an ally! Maybe he will be the grand marshall for any of next year’s pride parades? And if not, we can certainly get Mario Cantone to fill in for him.

Take a look at the video here

 

More LGBT People Have Been Killed This Year Than All of 2016 Combined

With the past year having a huge uptick in political discourse and violence in our society, it also reflects how rough it has been for the LGBT community in the continual fight for our rights.  In a very sad report done by Buzzfeed News,  more LGBT people have been murdered since the beginning of 2017 than in all of 2016 combined, (this does not include the 49 victims of the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando). 

The numbers translate to roughly one hate-violence-related death every 13 days in 2016. So far in 2017, the pace of those deaths is at about one every six days.

Within this statistics, 15 were transgendered women of color and at least 12 were cisgendered gay men.  Apparently there is no clear reason for the increase, but based on what has happened over the past year and now with certain emboldened people thinking they can get away with this disgusting behavior, it doesn't surprise me whatsoever that there has already been this much of an increase and there is still roughly 5 months to go in the 2017 calendar year.

"I think whether it’s an increase in reporting, an increase in violence, or some combination thereof, it should be a wake-up call for us across our communities that hate violence is not going away, it’s certainly not decreasing, and it’s symptomatic of larger and deeper problems in our society that we still haven’t addressed," Beverly Tillery, executive director at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, told BuzzFeed News. Her group coordinates with the NCAVP and is the lead agency that puts together the violence report.

Now, more than ever, we need to stick together as a community and consistently watch out for each other.  In particular, the trans community needs our help more than ever as they have gotten the unfortunate brunt of a lot of things lately, from bathroom usage to now them being banned from the military.  They and we don't deserve what has been happening, and my hope is that the numbers of deaths within the LGBT community can minimize in a short period of time to an eventual zero.  

 

 

What are the 20 Most LGBT-Friendly Colleges in America?

When you identify as LGBT and are a senior in high school who is looking to head to college the year after, it is good to know which colleges are the most accepting as it can help shape your identification even further.  The Princeton Review just asked 137,000 students across the country a simple question regarding LGBT, that reads "How much do you agree/disagree with the following? Students treat all persons equally, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression." 

Based on those responses, The Princeton Review was able to find the Top 20 most LGBT-friendly colleges in America.  What was interesting to me was that a lot of colleges on the list were private Liberal Arts schools, spread all across America in states like Florida, Ohio and Minnesota to name a few.  It's good to see that a lot of these schools listed are not just in the most pro-LGBT places like New York City and San Francisco, and that the acceptance is all over.'

Each school listed provides a quote as to why they made it on the list.  Sarah Lawrence College, which made the number 6 spot, had this to say from a current student attending.  "Sarah Lawrence has a highly-eclectic student body, which continually challenges me and makes me think in new ways.  It has a very queer vibe and is known for being extremely LGBTQ+ accepting, but the actual student body is much more cis/het than one might assume".  

Emerson College in Boston made the number 3 spot, whereas College of the Atlantic all the way up north in Maine hit number two.  What made number one and the other spots on the top 20? Click here

Aaron Carter Comes Out As Bisexual

After a rough patch this year, singer Aaron Carter has come out as bisexual on Twitter. A reality that he has toiled with for sometime, according to his words. In his message to the world, he attributes music to being his salvation and quotes Boy George with "I've never felt as though I didn't belong, I just acted as though I did."

Recently, Carter was arrested for alcohol and drugs, but it seems that this is now the support he may have been yearning for.

And he does appreciate all the love:

We commend you for speaking your truth, Aaron!

Are You A #LGBTbabe?

The new hashtag #LGBTbabes is making a mark on social media to show that we’re here, we’re queer and you have to get used to it! Posts with selfies and photos of people representing the LGBT community are popping up in many beautiful ways to show pride and positivity--because, why the hell not?

Lots of notables in the LGBTQIA community are joining the #LGBTbabes campaign to show that they are also living their truth:

And well, just for fun…here’s mine:

Show your truth #LGBTbabes

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