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A website designed to help users to hunt and torture Russian gay people has finally been taken down by authorities after more than a year online.

The “game” was based on the Saw horror movie franchise, and encouraged users to upload the details of LGBT+ people, including photos and addresses, for others to find and attack.

The name of the operation was “Chechnya’s comeback,” a reference to the gay “purge” in Chechnya which saw at least 200 gay people held in secret prisons throughout the region in the summer of 2017 and at least 26 killed.

The website charged fees for users to get access to the information to “play the game,” and extorted those whose details were online, charging them fees to have their information removed.

According to the Russian LGBT Network: “A homophobic group began to operate in Russia, organising the hunt for homosexual, bisexual and transgender people, in the spring of 2018.”

Although the website has now been taken down, its creators have not been identified.

The Russian LGBT Network said: “Despite the media attention, law enforcement agencies have still not done anything to find the creators of this ‘game’ and bring them to justice.”

A lesbian Russian national said: “There are no protections for Russians. It can happen in broad daylight” Hundreds attended a candlelight vigil to support gay men in Chechnya including Australian. (Julian Meehan)

The network is encouraging people to contact Russia’s Federal Security Service, the Investigation Committee and the Prosecutor General’s Office to say that “open calls to violence are unacceptable.”

A anonymous lesbian Russian national previously told PinkNews that the website is not the only one, and many exist on Russia’s dark web.

She said: “It is a very popular game for straight Russian men. It has been in action in some way since 2007, 2008, but it has normally taken place in closed groups.

“But now, there are no protections for Russians. It can happen in broad daylight.”

Russia’s “gay propaganda law” is used in a variety of ways to oppress the country’s LGBT+ community, including taking down websites and preventing protest and gathering in public.

The law was introduced in 2013, and since then there have been no anti-discrimination laws in Russia, meaning there is nothing to prevent websites specifically targeting LGBT+ people.

The post Russian website for hunting gay people finally taken down appeared first on PinkNews - Gay news, reviews and comment from the world's most read lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans news service.

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Navigating the workplace as a transgender person can be a stressful experience, and coming out can feel incredibly daunting.

PinkNews spoke to Melanie Morton, an employment law solicitor at Nelson’s law firm, to find out what, legally and comprehensively speaking, is the best way to go about it.

When you decide to come out as trans at work, who should you talk to first and what should you say?

Melanie Morton: It’s a very personal choice, but I think the first port of call could be your line manager, your HR department – if you’ve got one – or you could talk to a mate first, before you speak to someone formally.

But in a way there’s merit in telling somebody quite senior quite early on, bearing in mind that there is protection for people in this situation, so it could be beneficial that somebody important knows. Often your line manager or HR person will be important enough.

There is no hard and fast rule

And from an employer’s perspective, the more they know early on then the more informed they’re going to be and better able to support you.

The kind of things you might want to cover are: communications – as in how you might want this information to be communicated, when, and to who; and when the first day of you going to work having changed your gender presentation might be.

There is no hard and fast rule about what information you should share.

So, these protections you’ve mentioned. Can we go through them – how does the law protect trans employees from discrimination?

There are different types of discrimination, but basically it’s when you treat someone less favourably for being trans.

There are three main types of discrimination.

Direct discrimination is when someone is treated less favourably because of gender reassignment. The most basic example would be if you came out as trans and were then demoted.

Indirect discrimination is where an employer applies a provisional criteria to all the staff that puts people who are trans at a disadvantage when compared with others. It’s less obvious. For example, if an employer had induction sessions for new starters that included icebreakers, and asked everybody on staff to bring in a photo of themselves as a toddler. 

In this scenario, a trans woman, who doesn’t want people to know she’s trans, doesn’t bring in a photo. She might be criticised for not joining in. So, the requirement that everybody has to bring in a photo indirectly discriminates against someone who has a protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

Finally, harassment is where somebody treats you in a way that has the purpose of violating your dignity or creating an offensive, intimidating atmosphere for you. It’s the one you’re most likely to recognise if it happens.

(Zackary Drucker/The Gender Spectrum Collection)

How do you go about changing the name and pronouns you use in your workplace – do you need to have formally changed your name by deed poll?

No, not at all. 

The protected characteristic of gender reassignment under the Equality Act is a wider definition than people think. It doesn’t need to involve a physical change, it doesn’t need to involve a medical diagnosis or a gender recognition certificate, there doesn’t need to be any medical supervision, doesn’t need to be a change of name by deed poll – it is enough that somebody is says, ‘I’m proposing to live the rest of my life in this way.’

So, you saying, ‘I want people to use these pronouns and this name from now on,’ is enough – and your right to do that and have people respect it is protected by the law.

What about telling your co-workers?

I think, assuming that you’ve told someone at work, whether its your boss or HR, it’s good practice for the employer to agree on a communication strategy with you. 

Some people might be – understandably – against a widespread announcement-type route. But equally, it could be upsetting and prolonged if coworkers find out in a piecemeal way, because if it’s not dealt with in a succinct manner, what that could result in is perhaps a prolonging of the questions – the person might not mind having the questions, but if they’re still going on four months later then perhaps there is merit in taking quite a targeted approach. 

It’s also not an unreasonable request to ask your manager to do the communicating for you

And I think that can take any form. That can be the person going to speak to their colleagues, they can delegate that to their manager if they don’t feel comfortable, I think they can have meetings, do an email really whatever makes both parties feel comfortable.

It’s also not an unreasonable request to ask your manager to do the communicating for you. I think it’s a collaborative way to go about things. But bear in mind the resources and size of the business in question. If you’re asking your line manager to go and meet with a thousand people, clearly they’re not going to do that. Another option is going with the line manager, having somebody’s support and putting a couple of meetings in so you can go around the relevant departments.

(Zackary Drucker/The Gender Spectrum Collection)

What should you do if someone reacts badly once you’ve come out as trans?

If people react unpleasantly or in a threatening manner that is not OK. 

The simple principle in the Equality Act is it is unlawful. Individual managers can be held individually liable, too. It is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of gender reassignment. 

So, if a colleague engages in what we’ll call unwanted conduct, that’s related to gender reassignment, and as a result of that the person feels that their dignity was violated or that they’ve been degraded or humiliated – that’s harassment. It’s an actionable claim. 

It is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of gender reassignment

If that happens, it’s upsetting, and in that situation it comes down to the individual – do they want to address it informally by saying to the colleague look, please don’t speak to me like that or can you not do that. Or whether they’re going to go to the line manager to see if they can resolve it – clearly, for matters that are prolonged and serious, you’re into raising a formal grievance about it. 

Like with any problem at work, some people are more inclined to actually raise it than others.

With all of these sorts of things, there’s going to be human error. There’s going to be slipups in the first instance for a shorter period of time, as people get used to the change. What is different is when people are meaningfully and intentionally not referring to you in a way that you have asked with a view of upsetting you. Intention is important, and I think in most cases it’s probably quite evident, to be honest with you.

(Zackary Drucker/The Gender Spectrum Collection)

What about people who work in customer-facing jobs – in retail or in the food industry?

Discrimination protection does not extend to third-party harassment. 

Where I think that leaves people is that if somebody has been subjected to harassment or poor treatment by a third party – whether that’s a customer, a contractor, somebody in the shop – again, it’s happening in the workplace, so it’s a matter of bringing it to the employers attention, and it’s really the way that the employer deals with that, which will inform what happens next. 

Some employers will take a really robust response to that kind of thing, and in open public forums like shops you see the signs, things that say ‘we do not tolerate such and such’. I think it’s really important employers take a prompt response to complaints of that nature and look at what they can and can’t do. 

If you decide to transition more than socially – with surgery, or hormones – do you need to inform your boss? And, more importantly, can you get time off for it?

There is a specific protection in the Equality Act under section 16 about time off. But there’s no right to extra time off for medical appointments that pertain to a medical transition. So, what the law says is: staff shouldn’t be treated any less favourably than the employer would treat a member of staff who was off sick for any other reason – but you don’t get extra time off to medically transition!

It would be useful to provide information to your employer early on about what sort of time off for appointments you might require, if you know. 

There are planned absences and emergency absences, and all employers have different ways of dealing with things and sometimes this will come down to the rules in your workplace. And if the rules in your workplace are you should try and arrange for medical appointments outside of work time where possible and that’s consistently applied, that is something you will have to deal with. 

What about if you’re freelance?

If you’re self employed, you’re on your own – the same as with holiday and everything else.

With all these things we’ve been talking about, how different is it if you’re a non-binary transgender person?

The definition of gender reassignment under the act doesn’t currently expressly cover people who are non-binary from discrimination at work.

However, the protections under the Equality Act could stretch to the perception that someone is transgender. It’s discrimination by perception.

So, if somebody’s non-binary and somebody assumes that they are transgender for the purposes of the definition under the Equality Act, and treats them less favourably, that’s discrimination by perception. 

Protections under the Equality Act could stretch to the perception that someone is transgender

So, just to clarify, if you’re non-binary and you identify as trans then you are protected?

It’s quite feasible then that an employer might perceive someone falls under that category [of gender reassignment] and if they do and if they’re treated less favourably they could find themselves protected by the law via the perception route, even when they identify as non-binary and trans.

So, yes!

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

The post How to come out as transgender at work appeared first on PinkNews - Gay news, reviews and comment from the world's most read lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans news service.

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A prominent group of Republican politicians which counts Mike Pence as a former member reportedly wants Amazon to resume the sale of books which promote so-called gay conversion therapy.

The Republican Study Committee, a group made up of 145 of the 199 Republican house representatives, reportedly requested that members contact Amazon “with concerns” about its “censorship” of the anti-LGBT+ tomes.

“In recent days, Amazon has banned the sale of several books addressing unwanted same-sex attraction,” a handout issued on Wednesday (July 17) said, according to a Vice News report.

“It is not clear that any of the banned books have violated an Amazon policy, but rather that the company is choosing to censor speech.”

Amazon removed Joseph Nicolosi conversion books

The books in question were authored by Joseph Nicolosi, co-founder of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality who was died in 2017. He was known to some as the “father of conversion therapy.”

Surprise: none of these therapies work.

According to the handout, Nicolosi “penned multiple books to assist men struggling with unwanted homosexual attractions, feelings and lifestyles,” or, as a petition signed by 82,000 put it, manuals which try ‘to change one’s sexuality on the belief that homosexuality is a mental disorder.”

“Surprise: none of these therapies work,” the petition’s author Sky Gray continued.

“In fact, they can and have lead to mental health issues including depression, self-harm, and suicide.”

Amazon labelled hypocrites for selling Hitler books

According to Vice News, the handout urged members to read a story from the Federalist which accused Amazon of hypocrisy because it continues to sell books by Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Benito Mussolini.

“The gay community, a supposedly oppressed and marginalised group, wields an extravagant amount of power today, and does so without regard for the rights of anyone who chooses to not support them,” the article argues.

Joseph Nicolosi.

“When you can dictate what books someone can have access to, that’s power. When you do so and get no blow-back by hardly anyone (if anyone at all) in the mainstream press that claims undying commitment to the secular sacredness of the freedom to read, that is a frightening amount of power.”

Nicolosi’s books were removed from Amazon’s UK and US sites in early July, however as of Friday (July 19) other books promoting so-called conversion therapy are available on the UK site.

Gay conversion book ban could be ‘bigger fight’

According to Gray, a total ban could become more difficult to instate now that the Republican group is involved.

“It shouldn’t be surprising that the conservatives are in support of conversion therapy; they’ve made it clear they are in the past,” Gray told Vice News.

“It looks like this is going to be a bigger fight than previously anticipated, though I knew it would be an uphill battle. Looks like the hill just got a lot steeper, with this knowledge in mind.”

Several members of the Republican Study Committee—which only admits current house representatives–told Vice News that they weren’t aware of the lobbying initiative, however at least one, North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker, said that he agreed with it in principle.

PinkNews has contacted the Republican Study Committee for comment.

The post Republican group wants Amazon to resume selling ‘gay conversion’ books appeared first on PinkNews - Gay news, reviews and comment from the world's most read lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans news service.

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Ruby Rose, star of the upcoming Batwoman series, has apologised after she dropped out San Deigo Comic Con.

The gender-fluid actor announced on Instagram that filming on the lesbian superhero series meant that she would not be attending the event.

“I unfortunately will not be able to make it to Comic-Con this year, and it is devastating,” Rose, who uses she/her pronouns, said on Friday (July 19).

Adding that she had tried “everything that we could humanly to be there,” she explained: “It wasn’t until really now that we saw there wasn’t any other way to finish this ambitious episode we’re doing and create this amazing show that really is special.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I love you, I appreciate you and I’m so sorry for anyone who is let down by this but I will make it up to you xx

A post shared by Ruby Rose (@rubyrose) on Jul 18, 2019 at 8:57pm PDT

“In this particular instance, I gotta work and bring Kate Kane/Batwoman to the screen and not Ruby to a panel.”

Ruby Rose cast as lesbian Batwoman

Rose first appeared as Batwoman in the CW’s 2018 Arrowverse crossover event, Elseworlds.

Despite a mixed reception from LGBT+ fans, in January the network ordered a standalone pilot for Rose’s character Kate Kane, a cousin of Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne.

A full series was commissioned in May, and is set to debut on October 6 in the US.

Ruby Rose opens up about gender criticism

Rose has spoken out about the backlash she received, with some fans claiming that her gender-fluid identity made her unsuited to playing a lesbian.

“When I got cast as a lesbian in Batwoman, I didn’t know that being a gender-fluid woman meant that I couldn’t be a lesbian because I’m not a woman — not considered lesbian enough,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly.

After intially dismissing the criticism, Rose later reevaluated how she identifies, eventually settling on both woman and gender fluid.

“That’s when I sort of said, ‘I’m a woman that identifies as a woman. I’m not trans. But if being gender-fluid means that I can’t identify as a woman at any point, then I guess I can’t be that,’” she said.

“Maybe I need to make up another term, one that doesn’t step on any toes. One where I can be fluid in my gender, but also a lesbian, because otherwise I’m not sure what I am.”

The post Ruby Rose drops out of Batwoman Comic Con panel appeared first on PinkNews - Gay news, reviews and comment from the world's most read lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans news service.

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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is investigating why a customer service email claimed cabin crew could intervene if a passenger felt uncomfortable about being on the same flight as a same-sex couple.

A screenshot of the email, widely shared on Twitter, suggests that cabin crew members would decide the “best course of action” in the case of a homophobic complaint.

“Same as with the same sex relationship that you gave as an example, if needed be the cabin crew can approach the said party and base on the response they were given, then they would act and respond accordingly,” the message reads.

The email appears to have been sent from a staff member named Aaron in the airline’s UK reservations team.

Dont be openly gay on @klm flights or the bigots will grumble and the cabin crew may ask you to be less gay. #pride pic.twitter.com/DTH0y00A8E

— Tom Murphy (@DeVore) July 18, 2019

After the comments were flagged on social media, the KLM Twitter account replied: “We completely understand this reply is offending and we distance ourselves from it.

“We’re currently investigating the e-mail reply as it totally doesn’t represent our official point of view at all.”

KLM faces breastfeeding backlash

The email also referred to KLM’s policy on breastfeeding, which caused its own Twitter storm on Tuesday (July 16).

After a Californian mother reported being asked to cover herself while breastfeeding her child on a flight, the airline tweeted: “Breastfeeding is permitted at KLM flights. However, to ensure that all our passengers of all backgrounds feel comfortable on board, we may request a mother to cover herself while breastfeeding, should other passengers be offended by this.

“As an international airline company, we transport passengers with a variety of backgrounds. Not all passengers feel comfortable with breastfeeding in their vicinity and sometimes these passengers complain to the cabin staff.”

In the wake of a widespread backlash, KLM issued conflicting follow-up statements on its policy.

According to a Guardian report on Wednesday (July 17), the airline said it permits breastfeeding on all flights but caveated: “We strive to ensure that all of our passengers of all backgrounds feel comfortable onboard.”

On Thursday (July 18), KLM updated the statement on its website to clarify: “Of course mothers can breastfeed their children during our flights. By no means is the mother obliged to cover up herself or her child.

“And we absolutely don’t want to make the mums of our youngest passengers feel judged about the most natural thing in the world. That is why our cabin crew may suggest the mum options to ensure some privacy when feeding their child.”

 

 

The post Airline investigates email suggesting same-sex couples could face in-flight intervention appeared first on PinkNews - Gay news, reviews and comment from the world's most read lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans news service.

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Comedian Stevie Levine has apologised to Miles McKenna for deadnaming him during a VidCon LGBT+ panel on Saturday (July 17), saying she “didn’t know” that deadnaming a trans person is wrong.

Levine said that she was “so incredibly sorry” for deadnaming McKenna and using his incorrect pronouns during the annual YouTube convention.

“I am so incredibly sorry that I’ve hurt you in any way, and am heartbroken over the entirety of this situation,” the LA-based comedian wrote.

“I have been an out and proud member and advocate of the LGBTQ+ community for over a decade – spreading messages of love and support for those in my community.”

@TheMilesMcKenna I’m so sorry. pic.twitter.com/cmpkmoPEPh

— Stevie Wynne Levine (@StevieWLevine) July 14, 2019

Levine attempted to explain that she used McKenna’ deadname when referring to a time she had previously met him, and was unaware that this would be harmful.

“I regret not specifically asking you if I could reference your deadname in relation to the story, but the truth is – I really, really didn’t know.”

Miles McKenna deadnamed at VidCon LGBT+ panel

Levine made the error while moderating the LGBT Activism and Awareness panel at VidCon, which was curated by The Trevor Project. McKenna appeared along with fellow YouTubers Calle y Poché, Amber’s Closet and Miles Jai.

A day after the panel, on Sunday (July 14), McKenna took to Twitter.

He wrote: “Yesterday I was called she/her and deadnamed on a panel by the moderator who after I corrected that you don’t call trans ppl by their old name said ‘I didn’t know.’

“Who allowed someone that doesn’t know how to address trans people moderate an LGBT panel @VidCon?”

McKenna continued: “My issue is less with someone’s ignorance and more with how was that person allowed to head a panel that partly focuses on trans topics.”

Miles McKenna fans criticise Stevie Levine’s apology

Although McKenna has not yet replied publicly to Levine’s apology, his fans have said that her excuse wasn’t good enough.

“Honestly i dont buy this bs,” one wrote. “Miles passes as male in every aspect and it’s honestly hard to find his deadname, I’vee been following him since like a year before he came out and literally haven’t even heard his deadname since so theres NO WAY this would be an ‘accident.'”

Honestly i dont buy this bs, miles passes as male in every aspect and its honestly hard to find his deadname, ive been followimg him since like a year before he came out and literally havent even heard his deadname since so theres NO WAY this would be an ‘accident’

(@hellxpectations) July 15, 2019

this is a terrible apology… every sentence starts with I! Me me me!

— the lady julep (@urnotcharming) July 15, 2019

Some took the opportunity to urge members of the LGBT+ community to educate themselves about trans issues.

“This needs to be a wake up call for all cis gays to be more aware of trans issues and to also advocate for their rights and safety and not just preach about gay rights,” one fan wrote.

wow i didn’t even know the moderator @TheMilesMcKenna was talking about was you… this needs to be a wake up call for all cis gays to be more aware of trans issues and to also advocate for their rights and safety and not just preach about gay rights :\\

— tyler has seen ffh and st3 (@sadtylerexe) July 15, 2019

VidCon responded on Twitter, explaining they that were in touch with McKenna and would be taking steps to prevent similar incidents like this happening in the future.

“A mistake was made yesterday that left @TheMilesMcKenna hurt,” VidCon wrote. “We have reached out to him directly to discuss it. We are committed to trying to eliminate instances like this moving forward and are so sorry that this happened.”

I spoke to Hank Green who works closely with @VidCon and my team is reaching out to have more conversations through the week. Everyone is very apologetic and shocked at what happened and I hope that elisits change for future events.

— MILES (@TheMilesMcKenna) July 15, 2019

What is deadnaming?

A deadname is the name of a transgender person prior to their transition. So the definition of deadnaming is the action of calling a transgender person by their former name instead of their new name. It counts as deadnaming whether it is intentional or not.

The post Queer woman who deadnamed YouTuber Miles McKenna ‘didn’t know’ it wasn’t OK appeared first on PinkNews - Gay news, reviews and comment from the world's most read lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans news service.

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A prominent transgender activist has shut down “transphobic” trolls sharing her image on 4chan with an inspiring Twitter thread on self-love.

The Human Rights Campaign activist, Charlotte Clymer, discovered her picture had been shared on 4chan and other alt-right platforms alongside a strong anti-trans commentary.

The image shows Clymer in discussion with another woman at a National Girlfriends Day event. The accompanying text repeatedly misgenders her, denigrates her appearance and describes her as “a joke only God himself could come up with.”

The image of Charlotte Clymer was shared on 4chan (Twitter/@cmclymer)

When “trolls and TERFs” forwarded the image to her, Clymer saw it as an opportunity to spread a message of love and acceptance.

Instead of responding on the same level as her detractors, she took to Twitter to shut the haters down with extraordinary positivity.

“I realise this is an effort to shame my general appearance and invalidate my humanity. And I know this may come as a shock to many of you, but… I really love the way I look,” she writes.

“I am genuinely confident in my own skin since coming out of the closet. I think I’m quite gorgeous.”

I realize this is an effort to shame my general appearance and invalidate my humanity. And I know this may come as a shock to many of you, but… I really love the way I look. I am genuinely confident in my own skin since coming out of the closet. I think I’m quite gorgeous.

— Charlotte Clymer (@cmclymer) July 18, 2019


She says she is “at peace” with the fact that many people don’t find her attractive, and has no regrets about living her life as a woman.

She remembers how she felt anxious, depressed and “consistently miserable” when presenting as a male, adding: “I hated compliments on my male appearance. Truthfully, I hated that folks found me attractive as a ‘male.'”

I would dress in nice suits with a clean haircut–look “normal”–and it made me feel constantly anxious and depressed. Sometimes, I would avoid going to public events. I hated compliments on my male appearance. Truthfully, I hated that folks found me attractive as a “male”.

— Charlotte Clymer (@cmclymer) July 18, 2019


While Clymer’s haters accuse her of trying and failing to “capture the beauty of nature and make it [her] own,” Clymer asserts that she feels comfortable in her own skin.

“You may look at that picture and see someone who makes you cringe in disbelief. I look at that picture and see happiness and survival. I have never been happier than I’ve been out of the closet and living my authentic self. It is truly the best thing in the world,” she says.

“Now, are there things I want to improve about my appearance? Sure, and that’ll come with time, but if my choice was between what you see in that picture and being in the closet, I choose that beautiful woman every day without hesitation. I am proud of her. She survived.”

Her final message is simply one of forgiveness: “I hope you find healing.”

She writes: “To those of you who invest quite a lot of energy into hating this and mocking it: I truly hope you feel this happy someday.”

This picture was taken from @TheNewAgenda‘s National Girlfriends Day event earlier this year, where I participated in a panel on women in the workplace. The young woman in that original pic was very kindly praising my work and asked for advice on trans-inclusive policies. pic.twitter.com/8vcevcBfI1

— Charlotte Clymer (@cmclymer) July 18, 2019

The post Trans activist hits back at 4chan trolls circulating image online appeared first on PinkNews - Gay news, reviews and comment from the world's most read lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans news service.

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Broadway legend Patti Lupone has come under heavy criticism after telling US Senator Lindsey Graham to “bite the bullet and come out.”

Lupone went after Graham after she refused to condemn President Donald Trump for telling four American congresswomen of colour to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Graham was given the opportunity to rebuke the president during an appearance on Fox and Friends on Monday (July 15), but declined.

Instead she called the congresswomen—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar—a “bunch of communists,” “anti-Semitic” and “anti-America.”

Lupone attacked the Republican senator on Thursday (July 18), tweeting: “Lindsey Graham you are a disgrace. On a personal note, why don’t you just bite the bullet and come out. You might just come to your senses.”

I fail to see how Lindsey’s sexual behaviour is any of your business.

Lupone’s followers were quick to share their disappointment.

“Wow! Patti LuPone is homophobic! Who knew?” wrote one.

“Do you realise what you just said? You are the disgrace,” added another, with a third tweeting: “I fail to see how Lindsey’s sexual behaviour is any of your business.”

Patty Lupone previously given LGBT ally award

Lupone, who recently made her debut in the acclaimed queer drama Pose, has long been viewed as a gay icon.

In 2014 the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) gave her its Ally For Equality Award.

At the time, HRC said: “As a singer and actress, Patti LuPone has publicly supported LGBT+ equality for many years and has said that her vocal LGBT following gives her credibility.”

In her acceptance speech, Lupone called for marriage equality, which was introduced to the US a year later in 2015.

More recently she has shared her support for gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and US football player Megan Rapinoe, tweeting on Thursday (July 11): “Gays rule. Megan rules. Mayor Pete rules. Old straight white men not so much.”

Donald Trump labelled racist

Following Trump’s initial outburst on Sunday (July 14), his words were widely derided as racist, a charge he has denied.

He has since continued to spew his rhetoric, again targeting Omar—who fled her native Somalia aged 10 to escape war, and has been an American citizen since the age of 17.

The Democrat–one of two Muslim congresswomen, along with Tlaib—has previously apologised for “unknowingly using anti-Semitic tropes” when talking about Israel.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib (L-R) (Alex Wroblewski/Getty)

At a rally on Wednesday, Trump told his supporters that Omar “had a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.”

In response, the crowds shouted “send her back.”

Trump has since said that he “felt a little bit badly” about the vile chants.

The post Patti Lupone accused of homophobia after telling senator to come out appeared first on PinkNews - Gay news, reviews and comment from the world's most read lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans news service.

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A lesbian couple is fighting to win legal recognition for same-sex partnerships in Serbia, declaring: “We want more than the right to march in a parade once a year.”

The landmark case is the first ever legal challenge of this kind to be raised in the former Soviet country. Homosexuality was decriminalised there in 1994, but discrimination is common and same-sex marriages or civil partnerships are not recognised.

Jelena Dubovi and Suncica Kopunovic, who have been dating for four years, say the laws “have to change.”

“As not many same-sex couples in Serbia are willing to step out, we decided to stand for all of us and try to fight and aim to win,” said Dubovi, 27, who proposed in 2016.

Jelena Dubovi and Suncica Kopunovic: “We got sick of hiding who we are” (crowdjustice.com)

She told Reuters: “We are not afraid… we got sick of hiding who we are, because that is actually nothing bad. We just love each other, which is absolutely a normal thing.”

The couple have hired a litigator supported by the Equal Rights Trust and are preparing to take their case to the Serbian Commissioner for Equality, followed by an appeal to the Constitutional Court.

They have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise the £7,500 in legal fees needed to fight their case.

Dubovi and Kopunovic’s lawyer, Marjana Majstorovic, said the case could make it to the European Court of Human Rights, but this might take three to five years of “legal wrangling.”

LGBT+ rights in Serbia fall far behind neighbouring countries

Although Serbia’s prime minister, Ana Brnabić, is openly gay, overall LGBT+ rights are poor in the Eastern European country. Same-sex couples struggle to buy property, take out loans and visit one another in hospital.

In 2017 Amnesty International said Serbian authorities “failed to protect LGBTI individuals and organisations from discrimination, threats and physical attacks.”

By placing themselves in the public eye, Dubovi and Kopunovic know they are likely to face abuse.

Whatever we do, not everyone in Serbia will support our case and we need to be prepared for some backlash.

Despite this, they have chosen to use their full names, describing themselves as the first same-sex couple in Serbia to talk openly about their fight.

“We know that, whatever we do, not everyone in Serbia will support our case and we need to be prepared for some backlash,” the couple say on their crowdfunding page.

“By rejecting anonymity, we are fighting not only for our rights, but also for the rights of those who are unable to stand up and fight.

“We want to live up to the description of us in Politika (the oldest newspaper on the Balkans) as ‘women who gave their faces and names to thousands.'”

 

 

The post Lesbian couple launch landmark gay marriage case in Serbia appeared first on PinkNews - Gay news, reviews and comment from the world's most read lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans news service.

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The first trailer for the ‘live action’ Cats movie has united the internet in sheer horror.

Director Tom Hooper may be questioning his choices after the first trailer for his forthcoming Cats adaptation was described by Twitter users as “cursed,” “an abomination” and “a demented dream ballet for kids.”

The concept behind the big-budget adaption appeared at first to be a simple one: assemble a cast of stars including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen and Taylor Swift to transform Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s beloved musical into an equally bankable blockbuster.

Cats – Official Trailer (Universal Pictures) HD - YouTube

But in attempting to one-up the stage show’s instantly-recognisable aesthetic, Hooper appears to have complicated matters.

Cats trailer debuts ‘digital fur technology’

Where the Broadway and West End musical used face paint, wigs and lycra to transmogrify its cast, the director has developed a dubious-sounding “digital fur technology” to create CGI cat-human hybrids.

Writer Louis Virtel described the effect as “miniature yet huge cats with human celebrity faces and sexy breasts performing a demented dream ballet for kids.”

Author Celese Ng pointed out that Dench’s character—the gender-flipped Deuteronomy—appears to be wearing a fur coat, a strange proposition for a naturally hirsute creature.

“Do you think those are meant to be their own fur, or are they wearing the fur of some other animal that they, the cats, have skimmed and fashioned into garments?” she asked.

THE CATS ARE TOO SMALL!!! I REPEAT, THE CATS ARE TOO SMALL!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/z7IGQYFDCQ

— Nicole Silverberg (@nsilverberg) July 18, 2019

Though it was revealed in April that the titular animals would be the size of real, four-legged cats, the beasts in the trailer appear to be—alternately—the size of a dinner knife, big enough to sit in a dustbin lid, and half as tall as the 20-foot lion statues at the base of the Nelson’s Column.

Original Cats musical has LGBT+ undertones

Soundtracking the trailer is Jennifer Hudson’s emotive rendition of ‘Memory’.

In the original stage show, which debuted in at the dawn of the AIDS crisis in 1981, Hudson’s character Grizabella is shunned by her fellow cats until she delivers her climactic refrain.

The website Theatre Nerds suggested that this plot line can be read as an allegory for the treatment of LGBT+ people living with HIV/AIDS by an uneducated cis-het society.

The post The Cats trailer is here and the internet is terrified appeared first on PinkNews - Gay news, reviews and comment from the world's most read lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans news service.

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