Gay-Voices

‘It’s something that needs to be shared publicly’ - PVRIS’ Lynn Gunn on being gay

PVRIS’ Lynn Gunn said in an interview with BBC’s Newsbeat that being gay is something that needs to be shared publicly. An excerpt can be found below.

“I used to want to be private about it,” she claimed. “But I think it’s something that needs to be shared publicly. I think a lot of people are trying to accept themselves and come to terms with it because it’s still a pretty big thing right now. I never had someone to look up to and be like ‘oh that person is OK and they’re gay.’ If I can be that for someone then it’s why I’m open about it.”

She added, speaking of using her voice as an advocate for change:

”I think it’s good to have an open mind and speak about stuff if you have a platform to. As long as it’s something positive and something that’s beneficial to other people. The more it’s talked about, the more accustomed people become to it and it’s not an issue any more.”

huffingtonpost.com
Why I Write Bisexual Romance
When I write, all my characters are bisexual until proven otherwise. My invisible friends earn their keep, not only by being part of how I make my living in fiction writing, but by keeping me sane, by giving me an outlet for all my urges and desires.

My Queer Romance Month post is now on the Huffington Post! Go read about how my “invisible friends” – my imaginary characters – help me stay sane in a world that constantly tries to stamp me as gay or straight.

Huffington Post publishes a video segment on aromantic, demiromantic and queerplatonic relationships

Huffpost Gay Voices has published a video piece detailing three peoples’ experiences with aromanticism, demiromanticism and queerplatonic relationships, including difficulties, definitions and common misconceptions.

An excellent, respectful discussion about minorities that often don’t get much visibility. 

To see the video, please click here

huffingtonpost.com
After 13 Years, I'm Leaving Christianity
Dear Christians, do know that just because you think you're right doesn't mean that everyone else is wrong. Though I no longer consider myself a Christian, I'm still keeping a space for God in my heart. I didn't lose my religion. Instead, I'm creating my own.

If you need a reminder: it’s ok to leave Christianity. (It’s also OK to stay). Here’s Keay Nigel story of walking away. 

What about you—why did you leave or why have you stayed?

Lesbophobia in a Gay Bar: A Personal Account

Submission by Zach Stafford for The Huffington Post’s “Gay Voices” section

The other night I went to a gay bar on Christopher Street in New York City and left feeling like a broken piece of a larger, broken gay community that doesn’t seem to be whole. As I walked into the bar, I was excited to see drag bingo being played on a moderately busy Sunday evening, and an array of different kinds of people. This was New York to me, the New York you always hear about: fun, vibrant, diverse.

My friends decided to stand next to a group of people in front of the drag queen who was moderating bingo, and we befriended them instantly. This group, like mine, was a mixture of lesbians and gay men. While my friends, new and old, played bingo alongside the other bar-goers, moved to the restroom for a moment. During this break from bingo, I suddenly heard the drag queen yell over the mic, “Hey, I know you’re lesbians and all, but this is a gay bar!” among a few other hateful comments. I let that my brain absorb what had happened, and I thought, “Wait, did a man impersonating a woman just yell at women for being in a ‘gay’ bar?”

When I got back to my friends, I saw that the lesbians of the group were clearly pissed off and confused; one friend pulled a bartender over to ask him why they were being targeted by the drag queen’s hateful remarks when they were paying customers just wanting to play bingo. The bartender looked at us and responded, “I can’t kick you all out, but I can say that you all should probably leave. You’re not going to get served anymore.” This stunned all of us, and in complete anger one of my friends started yelling at the bartender that she was being denied service because she was a lesbian. She said, “I am staying and finishing my drink. You will just have to deal with me being here, a paying customer playing bingo.” The bartender shrugged the statement off, rolled his eyes, and walked behind the bar.

By this time, a gaggle of older gay men who had been watching this happen began yelling things at us: “This is a gay bar! Go home, lesbians!” “Why do you have to be here?” “Don’t you people have your own bar?” I decided to talk to these men. I approached two of them, but one looked at me and said, “You should leave here, too. You don’t belong, either!” This came off as racist to me, and I responded accordingly to the older white man: “Sir, you should be careful with how you word that sentence; you’re at risk of sounding racist along with already being misogynistic.” He glared at me and once more said, “Leave!” while grabbing my half-full drink, trying to pull it away from me, as the bartenders watched in apparent support of his actions. At that moment I pulled back, yelling, “Excuse you, I am not done yet, and do not touch me!” I drank the rest of my beverage and slammed down my drink in front of them, but once again, they insisted that I leave along with my lesbian friends. Finally, I looked at the bartender with hopes of help, but he just shook his head at me. His only response was, “Don’t provoke them.” With that statement I went for my coat and my friends, who had each been individually cornered by a combination of staff and the older regulars who frequented the bar. We left, defeated.

With the letters L, G, B, and T we see different identities being pushed in tandem in order to present a united front. At times this has caused controversy and turmoil within the “gay” community, but with recent advancements in legal rights, we seemed to be piecing together a more equal future and even beginning to look more whole. But I want to point to this moment above and ask us, as a community, to look within our own group and recognize the ways in which we are fragmenting each other. The incident that I went through is not rare, and many of my lesbian friends can point out past moments in which they were harassed for being in a gay bar. Although I understand the importance of having certain spaces for certain groups, we should not be subjecting women within our own community to the same discrimination that we are fighting against, whether we happen to be in a gay-male bar or not.

 

Follow Zach Stafford on Twitter: www.twitter.com/zachstafford

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They did it: The Huffington Post Gay Voices has changed its name to Queer Voices. 

Here’s their explanation of how they reached the decision: 

We, like many others before us, have chosen to reclaim “queer” and to rename the section HuffPost Queer Voices because we believe that word is the most inclusive and empowering one available to us to speak to and about the community – and because we are inspired by all of the profound possibilities it holds for self-discovery, self-realization and self-affirmation. We also revere its emphasis on intersectionality, which aids in creating, building and sustaining community while striving to bring about the liberation of all marginalized people, queer or not.

“Queer” functions as an umbrella term that includes not only the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people of “LGBT,” but also those whose identities fall in between, outside of or stretch beyond those categories, including genderqueer people, intersex people, asexual people, pansexual people, polyamorous people and those questioning their sexuality or gender, to name just a few. These groups have been and will continue to be featured on The Huffington Post, however now the section dedicated to these identities will be inclusive not only in scope but also in name.

We will also continue to present, cover and provide opportunities for conversations about topics that we believe to be patently queer and that we feel do not receive enough attention from mainstream or queer media including: non-traditional gender expressions and experiences, non-traditional sexualities, sex positivity, queer homeless youth, HIV/AIDS, the fight for global queer rights and expression, sex work and sex workers, romantic and non-romantic relationships, non-traditional families, the intersections of race, gender, class and sexualities and more.

As ecstatic as we are about our new name, we understand and respect that for some people, “queer” conjures up incredibly intimate and wholly negative associations and memories. We have no intention of telling anyone what words they should or shouldn’t use to define themselves or their community. That’s a personal, powerful and important choice. Our hope, however, is that those who have been hurt by this word or believe it to be solely derogatory can understand how we are employing it and why.

Thoughts? Feelings? (About time?)

On Monday, Huffington Post launched HuffPost Gay Voices

Gay Voices will provide a place for all of those stories to “live” together, thereby making it much easier for readers to find, share and discuss queer topics. What’s more, with a specific vertical dedicated to the queer “community,” The Huffington Post will be able to delve deeper into the issues that matter to queer people and that can’t be addressed by other verticals due to time or the specificity of the issue.

My take:

Yay: Finally, Huffington Post creates a dedicated portal to capture issues and news stories for the ‘queer community.’ I found this a major oversight for the website as a whole. I am looking forward to being able to find and explore new voices and writers. Huffington Post at its best is a great aggregate for news and blogs. 

Nay: Why use Lady Gaga to launch the new site? There are so many relevant stories - GOP’s silence while gay soldiers get booed, Obama and the 15th annual HRC dinner, the formal repeal of DADT - that I think the site did a disservice relying on such a polarizing pop culture figure to establish its 'voice.' 

TBD: The site in its initial form is unorganized and confusing. There’s a Gaga article next to an Obama post followed by naked guys dancing for a kitty charity. I hope the site learns to group (or identify) stories by politics, (pop) culture, living, etc. so there is more direct access to specific elements of gay news.  

youtube

The code…decoded network surfing the web for LGBT+ news and entertainment to share with our communityShare this video to fight against injustice. 


Age of consent in Russia is currently 16 years old. On video one can see allegedly a 15 year old teen lured by an organized Neo Nazi gang of self-proclaimed “pedophile fighters” who posted a fake personal ad from allegedly an older man (named “Uncle Dima”). This teen was forced to give out his full name, address, school name, parent’s names and etc. They laughed about his sexual preferences, bullied him, poured urine on him and kicked at the end. We would never know what occurred after the camera went out. Naturally, all his personal details were released to the general public and viewed by millions in Russia. Infamous Russian ultranationalist and former skin head, Maxim Martsinkevich, known under the nickname “Cleaver” (or “Tesak” in Russian) spearheaded a country wide campaign against (primarily male) LGBT teens using a popular social network VK.com to capture, torture and ultimately out unsuspected male teen victims. Over 500 online groups were created. As one can see, they operate under a broad day light. Bystanders either ignore or condone their actions. Police refuse to arrest them even though they are in violation of the existing criminal laws in Russia. Their excuse? They fight pedophiles … but attacking pedophiles’ victims. Certainly, they are selective and lure mostly gay male teens. Being outed in a small Russian city often equal death, torture, suicide. :-(