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Do Dinner with The Other Foundation

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Make giving a part of your New Year's resolutions. OtherSign up to host an #AMillionOnesdinner with your friends, and pledge to support projects that protect and advance the human rights of homosexual men and women, and transgender and intersex people in southern Africa. Click the link: http://theotherfoundation.org/giving/

Compatibility In Gay Relationships

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By Lawrence Mashiyane

 

It is February and, for those who care for such things as Valentine's Day, it is the month of Love. Some scurried throughout January to get someone 'special' and others are getting on the love train before the 14th. At the end of search, many will be on dates on the 14th and many will be having sex; others will probably be watching TV, but we are not interested in them for now (and clearly love isn't either). The interest is in the ones who will be on dates and/or having a shag. The interest is in what happens after Valentine's Day.Happilyeverafter After Valentine's Day, how long until the romance fizzles out and turns into a memory or worse, a one night stand? You're probably thinking not long and if you are then it means you know about the cloud that hovers over the gay community; our relationships do not last. Of course this stereotype or stigma does not apply to everyone in the gay community but, as I always say, stereotypes do not come from out of nowhere. They are not made up. Stereotypes are that big cloud of black smoke that let every one know there's a fire. It does not mean an entire building is burning, but it does mean a floor or two could be.

For any relationship to last, one thing is important and that one thing comes before love, trust and commitment/faithfulness. That one thing is compatibility. The problem with the gay community is that compatibility has been cut down to two simple things; sex role and behaviour/gender expression. "Are you top, bottom or versatile?" They ask. "Are you 'straight' acting or feminine?" Once those two questions are asked and the answers are the desired, everything is good to go! But truth is, it is not good to go. Not at all! I am not saying that those things are not important (although how greatly important is up for debate), I am saying that there is more to find out beyond those two. There is a lack of compatibility in Gay relationships and it is usually because people have two things in mind: Society and Sex.

Whether a guy is effeminate or not is usually a concern with society; especially if one is in the closet. Sometimes it is preference but also, some people prefer to be with more masculine or 'straight acting' guys because it is a lot less obvious and covert. When two guys walk down the street, looking all heterosexual, no one really thinks "oh look, there goes a gay couple" but the concern is if a guy walks with another guy who has a twist in his hips, a twang in his voice and speaks with swinging hands; it all looks too obvious. The feminine guy draws too much attention, the two guys walking together now stick out like a sore thumb. Even if some guys are 'open' and out of the closet, the still remain (if I can say) conservative. They do not want to put society on edge, draw the attention of homophobes and they believe that their sexuality is no body's business. A fear for being judged for being gay still exists.

The second concern is Sex. The "are you top, bottom or versatile question?" simply put is, "are we going to be able to fuck or not?" I reject any other interpretation, it simply amounts to that.

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Bangkok will be hosting its first Pride parade in 11 years

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Bangkok, one of the gayest destinations in Asia, will be holding its first ever Pride festival this coming summer.

The six-day celebration, which will go from 15 to 20 May, is known to be the first of its kind held in the country’s capitol since 2006.
Jointly organised by Out BKK, Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand, QueerMango, Bangkokrainbow and the HIV Foundation Asia, Bangkok Pride ‘aims to promote gender equality and equal rights while raising awareness for LGBT-related health issues,’ reports BK Magazine.bkk
Besides lots of partying, the festival will also have workshops, film festivals and other social events happening across the city.
The highlight of the festival, being the Pride parade, will be held on 20 May. More information on the route and performances have yet been released.
According to BK Magazine, Thailand’s only regular Pride parade takes place in Phuket every April.
Though, one event that draws thousands of gay tourist to Thailand each year is the famous Songkran festival which falls in the month of April and is marked by the splashing of water.

Will our greatest ever ally be Trumped?

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Barack Obama leaves office as the most powerful supporter of LGBTI people ever.
obamaIn his last week in office, President Barack Obama, the man who has occupied the most powerful position in the world for 8 years, showed again what a potent ally he has been of LGBTI people: he commuted the 35 year sentence given to Chelsea Manning to about 5, and he pardoned a man who spent a year in prison for gay activity in the army.
Manning is the transgender army intelligence analyst who has been serving a 35-year sentence for passing data to WikiLeaks when she was Bradley Manning. She will now be released from prison on 17 May this year.
Manning has twice attempted suicide since July. The second attempt took place last October while Manning was in solitary confinement as punishment for the first suicide attempt.
A petition seeking Manning’s early release had been launched and stated: ‘Chelsea is a woman in a men’s facility facing ongoing mistreatment. She has attempted suicide and has been punished with additional time in solitary confinement for her desperation. Her life is at risk and you can save her.’
It also stated: ‘Chelsea has already served more time in prison than any individual in United States history who disclosed information in the public interest. Her disclosures harmed no one.’
Manning ended a hunger strike in September after the US Army agreed to provide her with gender confirming surgery.
In the second case, Obama pardoned Peter Heidgerd a Georgia man who spent a year in prison for being gay.
Heidgerd was a captain in the US Army who was court-martialed for relationship with fellow soldier. He was convicted in 1989 of conduct unbecoming an officer. Because of his prison record (what they call in American a “felony conviction”) his employment opportunities have been severely hampered. With this pardon the slate is wiped clean.
Heidgerd said after hearing the news: ‘I’ve never arrived. I’ve never been allowed to arrive. But I have been the person I wanted to be. I knew whatever I was as a person that I needed to love me and be me.’
Obama signed a bill repealing the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military on 23 December 2010 after more than 13,000 troops had been discharged under the policy. Read about Obama’s other LGBTI affirming actions on the centerspread of the February issue of Exit, or on Gay Star News now.
I write this on 20 January, the day that Obama leaves office. Will all he has done for the LGBTI community be Trumped? It is surely impossible, as the changes to American society (which have inevitably rippled around the world) have been too profound. Gays and lesbians are proudly out in the American Armed Services, there have been gay American Ambassadors, Hillary Clinton as the Presidential candidate (who won millions more votes than the man who is becoming president) made numerous public speeches to rousing applause in which she affirmed the position of LGBTI people in American society. Only time will tell….

George Michael dies at age 53

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GeorgeMichael3George Michael has died at the age of 53.
The Wham! singer is said to have ‘passed away peacefully at home’, according to his publicist.
Thames Valley Police said South Central Ambulance attended his property in Oxford at 1.42pm today (25 December).
Police say there were no suspicious circumstances, according to the BBC.
The gay star sold more than 100 million albums with his group and as a solo artist, becoming known for songs like Careless Whisper, Faith, and Last Christmas.
He first came out as bisexual, before officially being out as gay.
Speaking about his time with Wham! in the 1980s, Michael said: ‘I used to sleep with women quite a lot in the Wham! days but never felt it could develop into a relationship because I knew that, emotionally, I was a gay man. I didn’t want to commit to them but I was attracted to them. Then I became ashamed that I might be using them.‘
In 2009, Michael said: ‘My depression at the end of Wham! was because I was beginning to realize I was gay, not bisexual.’
In a statement, the star’s publicist said: ‘It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period.

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