Queer South African Film “The Wound” Earns Praise Globally, But Threats At Home

“The movie made everything public—even the very sensitive and secret things.”

 

Premiering at Sundance, John Trengove’s directorial debut, The Wound (Inxeba), is a brutal yet beautiful study in identity: Kwanda, a young gay South African, goes out into the wilderness to undergo Ulwaluko, a painful circumcision ritual and his rite of passage into the Xhosa tribe. But his desire to claim his manhood comes in conflict with the reality of his sexuality.

The film, which opened in the U.S. last week, has received wide critical acclaim—and comparisons to MoonlightVariety called it “sensitively nuanced” and “rich in… small, observational details” (It’s also earned a respectable 86% on Rotten Tomatoes.)

In South Africa, though, The Wound has faced protests from the Xhosa community, which claims it reveals too much about Ulwaluko.

“The movie made everything public—even the very sensitive and secret things,” Xhosa king Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu told The Times. “It is insulting to the tradition because it stripped the tradition of its secrecy and sacredness. This will provoke the wrath of ancestors. Attacking and insulting this custom is an attack to our ancestors.”

 

Sigcawu and members of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, or Contralesa, are calling for The Wound to be banned and have lodged complaints with the country’s Film and Publication Board. King Sigcawu wants to talk to em>The Wound’s producers “amicably” before approaching the courts.

“His subjects are complaining. He is the custodian of custom and what is being dealt [with] in the film is custom,” his attorney, Matthew Mpahlwa told News24. “There’s a lot of panic among the amaXhosa people who have undertaken the rituals, some of the men mostly, and they called on the kingdom of the amaXhosa to intervene.”

Sigcawu has not, however, seen The Wound yet. “He’s seen [the] trailers and people are just shocked,” said Mpahlwa. “There is an extent [to] which freedom of expression can go.”

South Africans have also blasted The Wound on twitter.

 

Read more at: NewNowNext.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Domestic Violence: It Happens in Gay Relationships Too

Extra stress in gay relationships may raise risk of domestic violence.

 

Domestic violence occurs at least as frequently, and likely even more so, between gay relationships compared to opposite-sex couples, according to recent studies.

Previous studies, when analyzed together, indicate that domestic violence affects 25 percent to 75 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals. However, a lack of representative data and underreporting of abuse paints an incomplete picture of the true landscape, suggesting even higher rates. An estimated one in four heterosexual women experience domestic abuse, with rates significantly lower for heterosexual men.

“Evidence suggests that the minority stress model may explain these high prevalence rates,” said senior author Richard Carroll, associate professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a psychologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “Domestic violence is exacerbated because same-sex couples are dealing with the additional stress of being a sexual minority. This leads to reluctance to address domestic violence issues.”

Domestic violence — sometimes called intimate partner violence — is physical, sexual or psychological harm occurring between current or former intimate partners.

Research concerning the issue began in the 1970s in response to the women’s movement, but traditionally studies focused on women abused by men in opposite-sex relationships.

“There has been a lot of research on domestic violence but it hasn’t looked as carefully at the subgroup of same-sex couples,” Carroll said. “Another obstacle is getting the appropriate samples because of the stigma that has been attached to sexual orientation. In the past, individuals were reluctant to talk about it.”

Of the research that has examined same-sex domestic violence, most has concentrated on lesbians rather than gay men and bisexuals.

“Men may not want to see themselves as the victim, to present themselves as un-masculine and unable to defend themselves,” Carroll said.

He suggests that homosexual men and women may not report domestic violence for fear of discrimination and being blamed for abuse from a partner. They also may worry about their sexual orientation being revealed before they’re comfortable with it.

Mental health services for people involved in abusive same-sex relationships are becoming more common, but this population still faces obstacles in accessing help, reports the paper.

“We need to educate health care providers about the presence of this problem and remind them to assess for it in homosexual relationships, just as they would for heterosexual patients,” Carroll said. “The hope is that with increasingly deeper acceptance, the stress and stigma will disappear for these individuals so they can get the help they need.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Every LGBTQ Rights Group You’ve Ever Heard Of Opposes Two Of Trump’s Judicial Picks

Gay rights activists gather outside the US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC on June 26, 2013. The US Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a controversial federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, in a major victory for supporters of same-sex marriage.The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) had denied married gay and lesbian couples in the United States the same rights and benefits that straight couples have long taken for granted. AFP PHOTO / MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

John Bush and Damien Schiff “would cause grave harm” to LGBTQ people and women, reads a new letter to senators.

 

WASHINGTON ― A whopping 27 LGBTQ rights groups on Monday urged the Senate to reject two of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, John Bush and Damien Schiff.

In a letter to all senators, groups including Lambda Legal and the Human Rights Campaign say both nominees’ views on civil rights “are fundamentally at odds with the notion that LGBT people are entitled to equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law.”

Bush, a Kentucky lawyer up for a lifetime seat on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, has applauded critics of same-sex marriage and compared abortion to slavery, calling them “the two greatest tragedies in our country.” Schiff, an attorney up for a 15-year seat on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, has said LGBTQ anti-bullying efforts are akin to “teaching ‘gayness’ in schools,” and argued that states should be allowed to criminalize “consensual sodomy.”

“Although neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Schiff has any judicial experience, their public statements and writings have repeatedly demonstrated not only an extraordinary lack of judgment but also plain contempt for the rights of LGBT Americans, people living with HIV, women, and other vulnerable populations,” reads the letter, which goes into specifics on each count.

Read more at HuffPost Queer Voices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Human Rights Campaign Launches Grassroots Movement to Elect LGBTQ Politicians

as they march during the annual Gay Pride Parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, June 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)

 

Human Rights Campaign wants to put LGBTQ politicians in office with a new initiative to elect out politicians and allies in the 2018 midterm elections. The LGBTQ advocacy organization’s campaign, called “HRC Rising,” also aims to combat anti-LGBTQ policies across the country.

 

“We’ve got to accelerate the pace of progress toward full equality and secure protections for LGBTQ people in states and communities across the country,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “That’s why we’re going on offense with the largest grassroots expansion in HRC’s 37-year history.”

The Human Rights Campaign plans to commit $26 million to the initiative, and will hire 20 additional full-time staff to support its vision. The grassroots movement will support LGBTQ candidates and pro-equality allies in all 50 states, but it will give particular attention to mobilizing LGBTQ voters and allies in the battleground states of Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Wins by LGBTQ and pro-equality candidates in these states could help to dismantle the conservative majority present in the United States government.

“The power and determination of the 10 million LGBTQ voters and our allies across America will only continue to grow stronger in the face of discriminatory attacks on our rights and freedoms,” Griffin said.

Additional information about how to get involved with the HRC Rising Initiative can be found by visiting HRC.org.

 

Read more at: Out Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Same-Sex Marriage Could be Coming to Australia Soon

Senator Dean Smith confirmed that he is drafting a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia.

Many MPs want the bill debated when the Australian parliament returns in August. This comes after a new poll suggested Australian voters want to go to the polls for same-sex marriage, rather than let politicians have a free vote in parliament.

Senator Smith, who is openly gay himself, has been seeking to end the “embarrassment” of the nation and legalise same-sex marriage.

Leader of the opposition, Bill Shorten, has voiced support in The Australian: “We’re going to be in parliament for a number of weeks for the rest of this year. We can just get on and have the vote.

“Quite frankly this issue’s been talked to death. I think many Australians are now sick and tired of it.

 

“The Prime Minister knows what should be done but he doesn’t have the ticker to do it.”

Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury Matt Thistlethwaite argued that the people of Australia are ready for equal marriage.

“I think it’s instrumental that the majority of Australians want marriage equality and more importantly they expect it to occur.

“They expect at some stage over the next few years that we’re going to have marriage equality in Australia.”

Despite overwhelming public support, right-wing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has repeatedly blocked votes in Parliament on same-sex marriage.

 

Read more at: Gay Times Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gay Cop Whose Pride Proposal Went Viral Opens Up About The Dark Side Of Fame

A London police officer who became a viral sensation last year after he proposed to his boyfriend in the middle of a Pride parade now says he wishes he’d never done it.

In a June 30 essay for The Guardian, Phil Adlem said he wasn’t prepared for the global attention he’d receive after he popped the question to fiancé Jonathan Sammons during London’s 2016 Pride festivities. A tweeted photo of the proposal received more than 4,000 likes, while video footage of the moment, as seen in the clip above, has been viewed over 45,000 times on YouTube.

Calling the experience of internet fame “unexpected and surreal,” Adlem said he hadn’t expected photos and video of his proposal to Sammons to take on a life of their own. When the video started to garner attention, he assumed it would stay “with the Pride bubble,” meaning that it would be received positively by all who viewed it. “I was on an emotional high in the immediate aftermath,” he wrote. “I had a wonderful fiancé and I was getting amazing messages of support from friends and colleagues.”

Much to Adlem’s surprise, things quickly changed when he began reading comments that viewers had made on social media about the photos and video. “My smile did not last long as I continued reading,” he recalled. Among the comments he said had been posted: “Both should be hanged till death,” “Absolutely disgusting” and “Don’t blame ISIS if they strike them!”

Worse still, the officer said he received a “hostile reaction” from a colleague, as well as a college friend. The responses brought to mind his earliest experiences with homophobia. “I was raised in a household which was staunchly anti-gay. On my 18th birthday, I went out with my ‘secret boyfriend’ and was the victim of a brutal homophobic attack,” he wrote,“in which I was dragged down a narrow alleyway by three men and severely beaten without a chance of defending myself. They did not stop until they were forced to by the police who arrived at the scene.”

In the end, however, the anti-LGBTQ pushback sparked by the proposal video and photos have inspired Adlem to live more out and proud than ever before. “I am lucky to live in a time when I can join the police service as an openly gay man – and I have previous generations to thank for that,” he said. “I am lucky to live in the UK, where I am not imprisoned or tortured for how I was born… Pride is an invaluable source of positivity and strength for anyone who has experienced abuse or bullying.”

Read more at: HuffPost Queer Voices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Teen’s Incredible ‘Coming Out’ Graduation Speech is Going Viral for All The Right Reasons

Teen’s incredible ‘coming out’ graduation speech is going viral for all the right reasons

 

Down on humanity? Well, give this a whirl: A graduation speech from a palpably nervous, ridiculously charismatic young man named Evan Young is making the rounds — and deservedly so. Without giving anything away, we’ll just say the brief video demands your undivided attention.

Devoid of cynicism yet brimming with insight, Young’s rationale as to why he asked his best girlfriend out — despite the fact that he’s gay — has the potential to change the way you view your relationships. His speech becomes a persuasive appeal to reconsider our place in the world, and the ways in which we’re all connected — whether we like it or not.

Though it’s impossible to know what’s to become of Young in the years to come, one thing’s for certain: The guy’s going places. Encore!

 

Read more at: Queerty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Teen Fashion Designer is Upcycling Clothes for Young Homeless LGBT People

A teenage fashion designer from Los Angeles is upcycling unwanted clothes and donating them to young homeless LGBT youth.

Dillon Eisman is a high school senior who invented “Sew Swag” who decided to put his love of fashion to use for the community.

Speaking to NBC Out, the 18-year-old explained that he was “heartbroken” when he realised the extent of the homelessness issue that young LGBT people faced.

“Seeing people who are my age who are not accepted and basically being kicked out of their families because they’re gay was just so heartbreaking,” he said.

Eisman learnt how to sew with the help of his mother and began practicing on old clothes that family members no longer wanted.

He hopes that one day he can be so skilled that his can create his own brand on a much larger scale with other people working with him.

“It’s something that all underprivileged kids need — new clothes that make them feel good when they put them on,” Eisman said.

 

Read more at: Pink News.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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YouTube celebrates the LGBT+ community with powerful Pride video

YouTube has released a powerful video in support of Pride.

The clip highlights the diversity of the LGBT+ community, and features videos of Pride marches, same-sex families, popular LGBT+ YouTubers like Tyler Oakley, and even Drag Race’s RuPaul and Shea Coulee.

“I was told to wipe off my makeup and be a boy,” says male makeup artist Patrick Starrr in the video. “What they should have told me was to be myself.”

 

The video has received over 3.5 million views in just one day, but has also had 150,000 ‘downvotes’ and attracted homophobic backlash in the comments section, proving there’s still a long way to go to achieve equality.

“By not changing who you are, you are changing the world,” says YouTube of the video.

Watch the inspiring clip here.

Original story from Gay Times Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Remembering The UpStairs Lounge Fire That Killed 32 LGBTQ People

Firemen walk through the charred ruins of the Upstairs Bar 6/24 in the French Quarter where 29 persons trapped by a fire, died.

The 1973 arson is one of the deadliest attacks on LGBTQ people in American history.

Saturday marks the 44th anniversary of the UpStairs Lounge arson, a flash fire that killed 32 people in the New Orleans gay bar on June 24, 1973.

Until the Pulse nightclub massacre in 2016, it was the deadliest attack on a queer venue in U.S. history. But the event is still relatively unknown, even within the LGBTQ community.

A secondfloor bar in New Orleans’ French Quarter, the UpStairs Lounge featured a pianist and drag shows, and was enjoyed by a diverse crowd.

Ronnie Rosenthal was 21 years old when he survived the fire.

“Everybody knew everybody,” Rosenthal told HuffPost via Skype. “The crowd that was at the UpStairs Lounge, they were all friends. Everyone was there to have a beer, some dancing, a good time.”

But the UpStairs wasn’t just a space for the New Orleans gay community to come together and socialize. It was also a place of worship. The Metropolitan Community Church was the first church in the U.S. to cater to LGBTQ congregations. Earlier that day, an MCC pastor, the Rev. Bill Larson, led a Sunday service at the lounge, followed by the weekly beer bust.

As the evening was drawing to a close, survivors later reported smelling gasoline, though they didn’t think much of it at the time. Just before 8 p.m., the doorbell rang, usually a sign a taxi had arrived on the street below. The bell kept ringing, though no one had called for a cab. When the door was opened to investigate, a fireball burst into the room and the inferno quickly spread.

 

Read more at HuffPostQueer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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