Thursday, May 25, 2017
On Friday, May 19, 2017, Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered an address about the City of New Orleans’ efforts to remove monuments that prominently celebrate the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy.” The statues were erected decades after the Civil War to celebrate the “Cult of the Lost Cause,” a movement recognized across the South as celebrating and promoting white supremacy.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
An awkward boy secretly falls in love with the most popular boy in school, what could go wrong?
Well, how about his heart literally beating so hard out of his chest that it starts to cause all sorts of trouble.
In this completely wordless animation entitled In A Heartbeat, Sherwin’s heart is on a mission to get him the boy of his dreams.
But how will heart-throb Jonathan react? And what will the whole school say if they find out?
Esteban Bravo and Beth David are filmmakers at the Ringling College of Art.
Bravo said: ‘Being gay is a subject that hasn’t been widely explored in computer animation.
‘Nine out of ten LGBT youths have reported incidences of bullying based on their orientations and identities,’ he said.
David continued: ‘We want to put out a message of love and self acceptance to all the kids and young people who struggle to identify as LGBT+ just like Sherwin does.’
‘The heart wants what the heart wants, and there’s nothing wrong with that,’ Bravo added.
Last year, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds to provide an original score to the 3-4 minute final product.
The goal was $3000 but donators contributed more than $14,000 to the campaign.
‘We can’t even begin to say how thrilled we are by the response this project is getting,’ they wrote after a week of the campaign.
They added: ‘Thank you again, a million times over!’
Organizers of New York City Pride have announced that this year’s parade will be shown live on TV for the first time.
In a statement released yesterday, they said that WABC-TV is its official television partner. It will broadcast the 48th NYC LGBT Pride March on Sunday 25 June 2017.
‘WABC-TV will broadcast the annual trek down Fifth Avenue from noon–3pm on Channel 7 and also stream the event on its website, abc7ny.com’
New York Pride first took place in 1970 to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1969. It has grown to become one of the biggest Pride festivals in the world.
This year’s event will include 350 marching contingents and an estimated 2 million spectators. The theme is ‘We Are Proud’.
‘We’re excited to have Tri-state viewers welcome us into their homes for what will be an unprecedented opportunity for the LGBT community’s collective voices to be heard,’ said Chris Frederick, NYC Pride Managing Director.
‘Channel 7 prides itself on being able to bring important, local celebrations of community spirit to as many people as possible,’ said Dave Davis, President and General Manager of WABC-TV. ‘We look forward to making this year’s March the best ever.’
Helming this year’s march will be The American Civil Liberties Union, Brooke Guinan (trans woman, FDNY firefighter), Krishna Stone (Director of Community Relations, GMHC), and Geng Le (Founder, Blued).
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Donald Trump’s Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr Ben Carson is reportedly speaking to a global conference of anti-LGBT activists in Hungary.
Dr Carson, a long-time opponent of LGBT rights, is reportedly set to attend the World Congress of Families (WCF) event in Hungary later this week.
The annual event is attended by anti-gay activists from around the world, and a press release for this year pledges the “launch a new global pro-family alliance of countries dedicated to defending marriage and the family”.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that Trump cabinet member Dr Carson will be speaking at the event, though the topic of his talk is not listed.
At last year’s event in Moscow, WCF delegates backed the roll-out of Russia-style ‘gay propaganda’ laws.
The resolution called for “the adoption of legislative bans on all types propaganda concerning homosexual relationships” in order to “uphold the interests of children” across the world.
It also supported legislation around the world to ban same-sex adoption, calling for people to study “the negative social and psychological effects of raising children in same-gender couples”.
Despite failing to halt LGBT rights in the United States, the US-based leadership of the WCF has turned its sights to pushing anti-LGBT laws in countries which do not have a strong gay lobby, and in enabling resistance to equality laws across the world.
One of the key figures in the WCF is Brian Brown – the head of the US-based National Organization for Marriage and a bitter opponent of LGBT equality.
Dr Carson was appointed by Trump despite his long history of homophobic remarks, comparing gay people to pedophiles and insisting that prisons ‘prove’ being gay is a choice.
During his confirmation hearing he doubled down on his past comments, attacking “extra rights” or gay people.
The Republican previously insisted that same-sex marriage is a Marxist plot from the New World Order, claiming in a speech to a listed anti-LGBT hate group that gay weddings are part of a plan “to destroy unity and bring America down.”
Carson previously claimed that gay people were responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire, warned that “there will be mass killings once again” over same-sex marriage, and insisted that gay weddings are like car seats for conjoined twins.
He has also claimed equal marriage is a Marxist plot created by the ‘New World Order’.
Speaking at an event for the anti-LGBT National Organization for Marriage, he claimed “America’s strength lies in our unity. And there are so many forces that are there to try to destroy that unity —the only way to bring America down.
“If you look in a lot of writings of the Neo-Marxists when they talk about the New World Order, they say there’s only one stick in the mud: how do you get them out of the way and how do you change them?
“They said there were two things: their Judeo-Christian faith, and their strong families. Those were the things that had to be attacked, and those things have been systematically attacked.
“There’s a book called the Naked Communist… it lays out the whole agenda of how to attack the family and the Judeo-Christian values, to weaken the structure of America.
Can't wait to see how Log Cabin Republicansspin this.
Prisoners at the largest concentration camp for gay men in Chechnya have been moved to an unknown location.
According to Novoya Gazeta, the newspaper that exposed the abuse of gay people in the autonomous Russian region, police have refused to participate in any official investigation.
When it was first revealed gay men were being kept in a concentration camp in Chechnya, former prisoners said they were kept in a former military barracks in Argun.
But when the Investigative Committee of Russia arrived there, with the location and description accurate to former prisoner testimony, the camp had been buried to its roof in construction debris.
Investigators say they have learned any prisoners are believed to have been moved to a Special Police Force training base in Terek – roughly 60km north in Argun.
However they have been denied entry, as ‘training is taking place’.
Activists fear prisoners have been moved to a new, unknown location.
Novoya Gazeta has also claimed of how Chechen security forces are exerting pressure on relatives of victims and fugitives.
The newspaper says authorities are ‘demanding they sign a statement with the standard text stating: ‘their son (or brother) [FULL NAME] left the republic to work in Moscow in late February. There is no connection to the Chechen police’.
Names of the four gay men killed in the region are also known to the newspaper. Three were killed on suspicion of homosexuality. One of these was a member of the National Guard of Russia. A fourth was detained on suspicion of extremism and also killed.
The Russian LGBT Network has helped to evacuate at least 40 gay men from Chechnya, with at least nine leaving Russia completely.
They are calling on many countries to accept refugees, including the UK and US.
‘We are in the process of figuring out which countries are willing to accept the Chechen queer refugees,’ a spokesperson, who wished to remain anonymous to protect their safety.
‘We negotiate these possibilities with the foreign authorities and NGOs. This has to be done in order to ensure the victims’ maximum safety and security. We have strong evidence that families of those, who fled Chechnya, already started looking for them.’
As of 25 April, it is believed Chechnya is operating six concentration camps, with at least 200 men illegally detained there.
Kadyrov also said he wants to eliminate the gay community ‘by the beginning of Ramada’, which this year falls on 26 May.
Kadyrov’s spokesperson Alvi Karimov has claimed gay people ‘simply do not exist’ in the republic.
He said: ‘If there were such people in Chechnya, their relatives would send them somewhere from whence they could not return.