Showing posts with label Lesbian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lesbian. Show all posts

September 19, 2018

In Serbia The PM is Lesbian But She's Been Told Not To March in With The LGBT in Pride

Serbian head of government at Belgrade's Pride, Belgrade, Serbia, September 2017Image copyright

 
Image captionAna Brnabic is the first gay head of government in a Balkan country
It's the only Balkan country to have an openly gay prime minister  so why are some of Serbia's LGBT activists determined to keep PM Ana Brnabic away from Gay Pride? 
When Ms Brnabic was appointed last year, hopes were high in the LGBT community: not only was she the first woman to head the Serbian cabinet, she was also the first LGBT politician to hold such high office in the Balkans.
She marched in the 2017 Pride parade in Belgrade, surrounded by posters reading "Ana is here," and took selfies with dozens of people. 
But one year on, progress is scant: LGBT rights have not improved, new laws are still far from being adopted and there has been no fall in the number of attacks on gay people.
In largely conservative Orthodox Christian Serbia, a candidate for EU membership, discrimination and violence against the LGBT community are widespread. 

Two gay Prides, one gay PM and no end to problems

Ahead of 2018 Pride, a group of activists disappointed with the slow pace of reforms launched a campaign called "Say no". Its main goal is to prevent politicians from attending Pride marches, as campaigners believe they have done little to strengthen LGBT rights.  
Ms Brnabic is the main focus of their campaign, because her "work on strengthening LGBT rights has been disappointing," said a statement from the organization behind the campaign, GLIC.
Anti-gay protestors surrounded by police at Belgrade Pride in 2014.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe first peaceful Belgrade Pride happened in 2014, but anti-gay protesters also took to the streets
Speaking at the 2017 parade, Ms Brnabic said that LGBT rights would be addressed only after important problems such as inflation, pensions and the standard of living had been resolved. 
"It was a scandalous statement," Predrag Azdejkovic, the head of GLIC, told the BBC. 
Unhappy with the efforts of other gay activists, Mr Azdejkovic started another parade in June. Its goal is to "bring the gay march back to ordinary people and away from politicians". 
"They say: 'You have a gay prime minister, two parades, you should be content'. But it's all just made up," said Mr Azdejkovic. 
For Serbia's LGBT community, everyday life is still marred by widespread homophobia: a survey by the regional ERA organization showed that every fifth gay couple in Belgrade gets rejected when trying to rent a flat.
The situation is even gloomier outside the capital, activists say.
The government has adopted the Law against Discrimination but cases rarely come to justice. Another survey done by ERA showed that 90% of people in Serbia are against giving LGBT couples the right to adopt, while about 70% are against gay couples inheriting a partner's belongings after death. 
Same-sex marriage is still illegal in Serbia.

Bleak history

Anti-gay protestors surrounded by police at Belgrade's pride, Belgrade, Serbia 2014.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionAround 100 people were injured when anti-gay protesters clashed with police during Belgrade Pride in 2010
Serbia's first Pride parade in 2001 ended in violence when hundreds of hooligans and extremists attacked a peaceful march despite a heavy police presence.
And in 2010, about 100 people were injured when that year's march was also attacked in central Belgrade. 
In the years that followed, the interior ministry refused security clearance for the parade to take place. Only in 2014 did the marchers return to the streets, again with considerable police presence.

Make-up and LGBT rights

Four years later, the LGBT flag welcomes visitors to the Pride Info Centre that opened its doors to the public in central Belgrade. 
"If we had opened the centre 10 years ago, I am sure it would have been demolished," said Goran Miletic from Civil Rights Defenders, the organizer of Belgrade Pride. 
"Some of the people passing by stop and comment. They say, 'faggots' and then they leave. That is a step forward — some people don't like what they see, but we are still here. It is a small, but a significant step forward."
belgrade pride 2017.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionFor Serbia's LGBT community, everyday life is still marred by wide-spread homophobia
Talking to Belgrade's Pride magazine, Ms Brnabic said that not supporting the gay march would be hypocritical.
"For me, this is a way to make an active contribution to dealing with stereotypes and prejudices," she said. 
For the organisers of Belgrade Pride, having the head of government in the front ranks is a way to show the LGBT community that the country is changing. 
"Politicians have to be part of the parade and send the message that 'gay is ok'," Mr Miletic told the BBC. 
There is gay and there is "me" first and gay if it fits where is going to help "me".
I learn a long time ago that because someone is LGBT does not mean they will serve the LGBT community. It applies to any human been in any political process. You have blacks who did not back reform on civil rights, they felt fine the way they were and did not want to rock the boat. Even during the Trump campaign Vs. Clinton in 2016 there was a commercial on cable in which you had this Guatemalan lady preaching how good Trump will be for immigrants. As it turned out she was one of the first one to be depoted because they knew where to find her, who she was and her papers were not in order. 
There was a councilman where I live and I came to his office asking for help in regard to a hate crime in which I needed a little back up to be taken seriously by the police. He never even called me to say I can't help, Im afraid of cops or love them too much or what ever. I got him once in from of a camera and reporters and he said hit had to do with cops and he didn't get involved. He didn't get anywhere as councilman and the party did not support him for any open position so he is running for judge now. That probably means he did a favor to someone in the party and that would be his pay out. 
The man is gay but would not qet get involved in gay hate crime which at the time just before the supreme court decision on Gay Marriage were coming out faster than gays.


March 28, 2018

If You Are Straight and Can Marry Her You Get $65Million From Her Dad-By The Way She is Lesbian


 

 Gigi Chao, Still single, still lesbian



When Hong Kong property tycoon Cecil Chao offered $65 million to any man who could win over his lesbian daughter and make her straight, he inadvertently laid the ground for her to become one of Asia’s most prominent gay rights campaigners.

The bizarre reward in 2012 grabbed international headlines and his daughter, Gigi Chao, was bombarded with thousands of marriage proposals from across the world – from war veterans to a body double of George Clooney in a sports movie.

It was the first time the issue of acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community had played out in such high-profile way in Hong Kong – a city modern in many ways but where social attitudes remain conservative.

“I am glad it happened,” Gigi Chao told the Thomson Reuters Foundation at the office of her property firm is housed in Hong Kong’s third-tallest skyscraper overlooking the city’s harbour.

“It has been able to put a comic spin on a topic that is often marred by a lot of tragedies and taboos,” said the 38-year-old, wearing a sparkly rainbow-coloured jacket.

The elder Chao - whose property empire invests in Hong Kong, China and Malaysia - put the $65 million “marriage bounty” on his daughter’s head after she entered into a civil partnership with her girlfriend in France in early 2012.

After failing to find any suitors, the 81-year-old billionaire doubled the offer to HK$1 billion ($127 million) in 2014.

This prompted Chao to pen an open letter published in Hong Kong newspapers which said: “Dear daddy, you must accept I’m a lesbian” and urged him to treat her partner like a “normal, dignified human being”.

Such a public feud in a well-known family would have been remarkable anywhere but was particularly unusual in Asia when no country in the region at that time recognised same-sex marriage.

It was only last year that the Taiwan’s constitutional court paved the way for the island to become the first place in Asia with gay marriage after it ruled in favour of same-sex unions.

Today Chao is not only the heir to her father’s property business and one of Hong Kong’s richest women, she is also the most recognisable face campaigning for LGBT rights in the city.

ENGAGING BUSINESSES

Homosexuality has been decriminalised since 1991 in Hong Kong, a former British colony which returned to Chinese rule in 1997. The city has an annual pride parade and lively gay scene.

But despite the city enjoying freedom of speech and assembly, it does not recognise same-sex marriage and campaigners say LGBT people still face widespread discrimination and often come under family pressure to marry and have children.

Transgender people are recognised if they have undergone sex reassignment surgery but activists have been lobbying to remove this requirement.

A proposal to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation has been under discussion in the city’s legislature, the Legislative Council (LegCo), but there is no clear indication whether it will be adopted.

“It is disappointing in that LegCo doesn’t have the forward vision or the courage to put something forward like this in fear of offending the traditional groups,” Chao said.

But where the government has failed, is where Chao believes businesses can step in to take the lead.

The businesswoman has been using her influence in high society to forge a coalition of allies to mobilise support.

“What we found to be most effective is to engage top executives and allow them to see how inclusion, diversity and equality is something they should, and they shall, stand for and let it cascade down the organisation,” she said.

“There are a lot of notable organisations which have been doing that. Engaging the government is more difficult.”

TOP LGBT EXECUTIVE

There have been other signs of growing acceptance.

Hong Kong is set to become the host of the 2022 Gay Games, a sports and cultural event dubbed the “Gay Olympics”, after fighting off bids from cities in the United States and Mexico.

In a rare victory, a Hong Kong court last year ruled that a British lesbian whose partner worked in the city should receive a spousal visa.

The charity Big Love Alliance - of which Chao is a founding member - organises an annual Pink Dot gathering to campaign for LGBT rights and it has attracted sponsorship from embassies and investment banks.

Chao also works with the United Nations on LGBT rights and became the first Asian to be named as the top LGBT executive on an annual OUTstanding list compiled by the Financial Times which ranks LGBT role models in business.

A qualified helicopter pilot, Chao said the marriage bounty episode did not tarnish her ties with her father - who like her also shares a passion of flying.

“You build a much stronger bond in these relationships after you have been able to live your full self, be a full person and live as an honest person in front of your mum and dad,” she said.

“It is an important process to go through although in the short term it does jolt them into a bit of shock.”

But in a signal that there is still a long way to go for same-sex marriage in Hong Kong, Chao said she and her partner have had to temporarily put aside the idea of having children.

“Even for people like me - who many perceive as having all the resources in the world to do whatever I want in some ways - it is very difficult,” she said.

“It is not easy because you can’t do it in Hong Kong or anywhere else in Asia.”

by Beh-Lih-Yi
REUTERS

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October 2, 2017

Some Basic Things Lesbians Can Teach Gay Men About Sex



There’s so much mystery surrounding lesbian sex—even among our gay brethren. Our culture stereotypes gay guys as connoisseurs of sex, but there’s plenty they could learn about the bedroom from queer girls—and I’m not talking positions (though that too). 
Below, I share just a few lessons. There will be a quiz after. 
  1. Try a little romance.


    Should you actually like the person you’re about have sex with, try setting the mood before diving in. Straighten up. Make your bed—hell, put on new sheets. 
    And music is key: Play a little bit of Sade, or something off Spotify’s “Love, Sex & Water” playlist. If you want to get real lez on ’em, put on Melissa Ferrick’s “Drive” and just try to keep his hands off you. 
  2. Consent is sexy AF.


    I’m not saying gay men don’t talk about what they want, but queer women are especially versed in having conversations about what is and isn’t going to work for them. People joke about lesbians processing everything but these little Q&As can be as hot as they are essential. 
    Trust me, the experience will be all the better because you know exactly what your partner needs. 
  3. Foreplay, foreplay, foreplay.


    Getty
    If going from zero to 60 in seconds flat is your M.O., that’s totally cool—except you’re missing out on a lot of delicious tension (and the oh-so-good ecstasy of release). 
    Don’t forget the erogenous zones—like neck, earlobes, and nipples. (Pretty sure dudes have them, too). This is when being a tease is a good thing.
  4. There’s power in being versatile.


    Getty
    Yes, even some queer ladies identify as bottoms or tops. But most of the time, we’re down to switch it up, depending on our partner, our mood, or, hell, the cycle of the moon. 
    Don’t be so rigid, guys. Give the other side a try. 
  5. Try something new.


    Getty
    On the whole, guys figure out what makes them climax sooner than women do. But all those years we spend “researching” give us a wealth of experience—and an understanding that whatever works is just swell. 
    Use your hands, everywhere and anywhere. And don’t be afraid of sex toys: They aren’t “replacing” anything, just adding to the awesomeness. (Trust me.) 
  6. Learn to laugh at yourselves.


    Sex is funny—it just is. But the more we act like we’re on a porn set, the less fun it is. So lighten the fuck up. Did you get a strand of hair in your mouth? Are your bodies making funny noises as they slap together? It’s not embarrassing, it’s part of the ride. 
    Learn to LOL and you’ll have a more enjoyable time.
  7. Have a little bedside manner.


    Getty
    We get it: sometimes sex is just sex. But even in a casual hookup you shouldn’t shut down the second you come. Compliment your partner, or ask them if they had a good time—just check in with them somehow. 
    Even if you never run into them again, you don’t want a rude reputation to follow you like a virtual Yelp review
Trish Bendix is a Los Angeles-based writer.

June 25, 2017

So Many of Our Lesbian/Queer Girls in Juvie, Why?







Because an entire population of kids is being damaged by American justice.
By Meghan Walsh
Police disproportionately pack them into the back of patrol cars. Judges are more likely to sentence them to live behind walls of razor wire. Once behind bars, they often end up in solitary confinement, more for their own protection than anyone else’s. And it’s probably not whom you’re picturing. For starters, “they” is “she.” And she isn’t even old enough to vote. But there’s also something to her that isn’t visible. 

40%

of girls in the juvenile justice system are lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning or gender-nonconforming. 
The findings come out of years of research done by Angela Irvine and Aisha Canfield for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (both now work at Impact Justice). For this particular statistic, they anonymously surveyed 1,400 girls in juvenile jurisdictions around the country. Irvine and Canfield have surveyed thousands of kids and detention officers. Among both boys and girls, roughly 15 percent of juvenile incarcerated identify as LGBT, while the slice of LGBT youth in the general public is estimated to be around 7 percent.
It turns out that LGBT girls are also overrepresented in the child welfare system, which often leads to running away, which leads to homelessness and, in some cases, prostitution. As it is, says Canfield, most end up in juvie for committing so-called survival crimes — petty theft and breaking and entering. LGBT of both sexes is also three times more likely to receive disproportionately harsh consequences at school, while also being the target of harassment. Perhaps surprisingly, LGBT girls are more likely to get in trouble for fighting; for boys, it’s disruptive behaviors in the classroom. “It’s not difficult to put a narrative together as to how they end up here,” Canfield says.
But while it’s easy to blame bias on the juvenile justice system, that’s only a sliver of a puzzling story that researchers can’t yet figure out. For one, cops and judges often don’t know if a kid is LGBT. And sometimes they place them in detention because there’s nowhere else for them. Canfield also thinks that American society has a history of overcorrecting women. What’s more, there is an acronym that goes with much of this particular group: GOC, or girls of color. When we think teenage lesbian, experts say, most of us picture a white girl. In reality, the vast majority in this case — 85 percent — are people of color.
Kjell Luoma, who’s been a juvenile correctional officer in California for 14 years, says he hasn’t necessarily seen this trend firsthand, but in the past year, there has been a widespread effort throughout the justice system to be more sensitive to the needs of LGBT incarcerated. Shannon Minter, director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, says the answer to addressing the issue isn’t in the criminal justice system; it’s preventing these girls from coming up against it in the first place. “For a long time, we’ve missed the forest for the trees,” Minter says. “We’ve been focusing on how we can better deal with our girls in the system, but we need to acknowledge we can’t. Being locked up is damaging to every single person there. We need to keep them out.”

July 31, 2015

‘Straight' is the New Lesbian in Germany




                                                                           



Spiting digitalization, Germany's magazine industry remains one of the largest in the world. There are magazines for teddy bear lovers ("Teddy & Co"), for men passionate about food ("Beef!"), and for city dwellers dreaming of a countryside lifestyle. Altogether, there are nearly 1,600 popular magazines available in German kiosks.
And now a new lifestyle magazine has recently come out: "Straight" caters to lesbians, but carefully avoids using the L-word. In Germany, just like its counterpart for men, "schwul" (gay), it is still used as a pejorative term.
Still, it might take a while for people to get it: "Straight," a designation which normally refers to heterosexuals, might confuse a few people. It probably wouldn't be the first word to come to mind when thinking of homosexual women.
Yet beyond the antithesis created by the title, the editors also picked it to show that they aim to be straightforward and frank: "That's exactly what we are," says editor-in-chief Felicia Mutterer, "'Straight' embodies self-confidence and obviously wants to provoke."
Cut the lesbian clichés
The creators of the magazine want to avoid the usual clichés of the short-haired man-hating lesbian wearing lumberjack shirts and driving with a rainbow sticker on her car.
"It's difficult to convey the idea that you can be a lesbian without conforming to the stereotypes," says Mutterer. Fashion pieces ("Cool Summer Looks"), cosmetic tips ("Miracle Cures for Your Skin") can be found in this publication just like in any other women's lifestyle magazine.
Felicia Mutterer, Straight chief editor, Copyright: Straight
Felicia Mutterer, chief editor of "Straight" magazine
This is new. The other lesbian magazine published in Germany, the "L-Mag," deliberately avoids such content. Its co-publisher, Gudrun Fertig, feels it propagates an established image of women, which only suits part of their readership.
Felicia Mutterer, on the other hand, says it's ok if other publications chose not to write about make-up, but "Straight" will. "Straight" follows the lines of a typical women's magazine, but throws in issues specific to a lesbian audience. Alongside articles covering issues such as same-sex marriage, coming out at work and bondage games, you'll find interviews with a lesbian filmmaker and a sperm donor, as well as relationship advice, book and music reviews, recipes and travel stories. 
Angela Merkel, a lesbian?
The magazine's marketing campaign didn't go unnoticed. They created a video showing a Merkel lookalike - who's suddenly embraced from behind by another woman.
Is Chancellor Angela Merkel a lesbian? No. She is married to a man and has said that she is opposed to recognizing same-sex marriages, even though some other members of her party conservative party, the Christian Democratic Union, would be ready to accept it. Civil unions among homosexuals are legal in Germany, but unlike married couples, these unions are restricted and don't allow, for instance, adoption.
Magazines aims to make lesbian lifestyle self-evident 
The magazine has a circulation of 15,000 copies. Its target market not only includes the estimated two million gay women in Germany, but also all women who love women or who want to find out more about lesbian issues.
The editor-in-chief told DW she was very satisfied with the magazine's sales just a week after its release. She says they didn't have any international model for "Straight," but aimed to create something original.
"We did everything on our own and didn't align with anything that already exists," says Mutterer. Although the publication strives to entertain, it is also political: "We want to create different role models to get things moving in society," she explains.
CSD Cologne 2015, Copyright: REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
In Russia, allegedly for youth protection, it is illegal to discuss homosexuality 
As long as rights remain unequal and homosexuality is still punishable with the death penalty in nine countries, there's still a lot to do. Still "Straight" wants to redefine the way this battle is tackled: "We don't want to be using the old 'fight for rights' approach, but rather show this lifestyle as a given," Mutterer says.
The "L-Mag" also shares the goal of making lesbian lifestyle self-evident. Although the new magazine is a direct competitor for ads, co-publisher Gudrun Fertig still sees "Straight" as a gain: "Anything that adds to lesbian visibility is a good thing."
Happy without extra labels
In countries where gay women can live openly, there seems to be a fundamental problem: They feel falsely represented in popular media. This has a simple cause. Lesbians only have one little thing in common: They love women. They are very different in all other respects.
Gay women can just as well be the closeted-type who prefer to stay discrete on their relations as activists involved in all same-sex marriage protests. They can put on a butch or femme appearance - or, as most happily do, just prefer to stay invisible, says Felicia Mutterer. Women tend not to be as demonstrative as men in this area, she adds.
Yet there aren't that many more magazines in Germany for gay men, if you don't take into consideration the free leaflets and erotic booklets which can be found in pubs and clubs. And it appears to be the same internationally. 
Online magazines instead of print media
If state legislations were more liberal towards homosexuals, there would also be more magazines, believes Gudrun Fertig. But even in the US or in the UK there is only one magazine clearly directed at lesbian readers.
There are more online, says Klaus Jetz, director of the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation, which fights for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people worldwide. In countries like Russia as well as in many African countries, there is not even one print publication for gays. In comparison, two magazines for lesbians is a great exception.

March 7, 2015

The Home Office Tells Lesbian Applying for Stay She can’t be a Lesbian Because She is got Kids


        

The Home Office has been accused of having ‘outdated’ views on sexuality, after it rejected an asylum claim made by a Nigerian lesbian. 
Aderonke Apata, 47, came to Britain in 2004 and is an award-winning LGBT rights activist. 
Now, she is challenging the Government’s decision not to grant her asylum in Britain and fears that deportation to Africa would compromise her safety. 
Yesterday, she appeared in London’s High Court to appeal her case. 
She was accompanied by her fiancée Happiness Agboro and a group of gay-rights activists. Apata has even submitted footage and photographic evidence of her sex life to prove that she is homosexual.  However, the Home Office has refused to recognise her sexuality – arguing she can’t be classified as a lesbian because she has children from a previous heterosexual relationship.  
Barrister Andrew Bird, on behalf of the Home Secretary, claimed that Apata wasn’t “part of the social group known as lesbians,” although he conceded that she had “indulged in same-sex activity.” 
“You can’t be a heterosexual one day and a lesbian the next day. Just as you can’t change your race,” he added during the hearing. 
Apata’s barrister, Abid Mahmood, called these views: “highly offensive”. 
“Some members of the public may have those views but it doesn’t mean a government department should be putting these views forward in evidence,” he told the court. 
He added that the Home Secretary, Theresa May, had called Apata’s case a “publicity stunt” in court documents. 
Until recently, gay asylum seekers were liable to be asked ‘intrusive’ and personal questions about their sex lives, in order to establish the validity of claims about their sexuality. 
Nigeria passed a law criminalising homosexuality in January 2014and it’s punishable by up to 14 years in prison (for attempting to enter a gay marriage. Supporting a LGBT organisation can get you 10 years jail time).  
Since the anti-gay law was implemented, there has been a noticeable backlash against the homosexual community, with vigilante attacks against gay people increasing dramatically. 
In March last year, four Nigerian men were publically whipped after being convicted of gay sex. 
Apata’s fragile mental state also forms part of her case. She has previously been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress. She attempted suicide while being kept in prison and facing deportation. 
Mahmood added: “There is evidence of the genuineness of her case, that she will be picked out as a lesbian if she is returned.” 
After the hearing, Apata said: “The Home Office has treated me badly from day one. Staying in Britain means staying safe, staying with my partner and continuing my campaigning.” 
petition to overturn the decision and grant Apata refugee statushas, so far, had almost 29,000 signatures. 
A ruling is expected by the end of March.

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