Tag Archive | "LGBT"

President Obama Makes History With Last Night’s SOTU Address


By Dustin Shrader

It appears 2015 will be the year of history-making firsts. In regards to the US Supreme Court’s upcoming decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationally, President Obama highlighted his continuing campaign for legal and social equality for the LGBT community in his State of the union address last night. During his remarks, the president used the terms “bisexual” and “transgender,” becoming the first to do so in a live State of the Union forum.

“That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender,” President Obama stated. “We do these things not only because they’re right, but because they make us safer.

I’ve watched Americans beat back adversity from the Gulf Coast to the Great Plains; from Midwest assembly lines to the Mid-Atlantic seaboard,” he later continued. “I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in ten Americans call home.”

President Obama has never been shy speaking about his compassion and drive to aid the LGBT community’s fight for equality. In an interview conducted back in October, the president revealed to The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin, he feels the constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry in all fifty states.

And the US Supreme Court’s pending decision, to be announced in June, will ultimately solidify or crumble the president’s opinion.

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PRIDE Kickball – Making The Grade

By Dino Thompson-Sarmiento and Dean Boswell

All of us have memories of elementary school – some of us fond memories; some of us not so much. One particularly bad memory for a number of LGBT adults: recess. As a gay child, I was often terrified of recess myself. Because I wanted to play jump rope (and, please I believe I could double-dutch anyone under the monkey bars even today), I was the object of ridicule for many a playground bully. Where I did excel at recess, however, was in playing the game of kickball. I was lucky enough to be blessed with strong legs, and those legs propelled me around the bases at lightning speed every time I would send an air mail delivery careening out to left field. It got to the point where everyone would back up 10 paces when I approached the plate. And so, I found my playground popularity.

Unfortunately, it seems that many of my gay counterparts were not so fortunate. I have learned that a larger number of gay adults have horrific memories of all things grade school sports – kickball included. When I was approached by Go Kickball to assist them in starting a PRIDE league, I was more than excited. I knew this would be a great way to create a sense of community and offer a place where LGBT community members could come together to network and have some fun. And with Blake’s on the Park sponsoring the flagship league at Piedmont Park, I knew the after-party every week would be great.

I set out to find my players. What I found instead was that a lot of people in the community are fearful of kickball because of their childhood experience with the sport. The idea of playing again dredged up memories of being picked last and then being laughed at because of lack of skill. One man even broke out in hives as I was talking to him about it. I’m not kidding. Hives. Over kickball.

Undeterred, I continued to look for players. I’m certainly glad that I did. I am happy to report that the inaugural season of PRIDE kickball has been amazing. With more than 100 players taking to the active oval every Monday night for the last few months, Piedmont Park has been alive with PRIDE all summer long! More importantly, everyone has been having fun and forgetting all about the bad memories from the playground. One player even approached me after the first game to say how thankful he was I talked him into playing. He said that the experience on the field actually erased all of the negative memories associated with the game. That comment alone verified for me that the establishment of a PRIDE league is a great thing for our community. Beyond that comment though, the positive responses have been overwhelming. Every player I’ve spoken with has reported having a great time, and several players have already started recruiting additional players for the upcoming fall season.

I would like to personally thank the good people at Go Kickball for creating a welcoming and fun environment for our community to come together and be kids again – nicer kids without the side of judgment, of course. Also, I would be remiss if I failed to thank the Atlanta institution, Blake’s on the Park, for recognizing the potential of this league and for supporting our community as always.

I would love to see more of you on the field. If you missed out on the summer league, be sure to register for the fall league. I promise you – you’ll kick yourself if you don’t. To register for the fall season, click here, you may also contact Spotted Dog Agency or call us at 404.428.0497 for additional information. Want to see some of FENUXE’s pictures from PRIKE Kickball this season? Check them out here.

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UFC Fighter Shows Support For LGBT Community In Unexpected Way

By Dustin Shrader

UFC light-heavyweight fighter Kyle Kingsbury is quite the social activist and a man of few words. Two words to be exact.. At his weigh-in on Friday July 25th, Kyle made his assets… er public in support of the LGBT community.

In front of the audience, the 32-year-old fighter stripped down to a pair form-fitting, pro-gay baby-pink briefs with the words ‘Legalize Gay’ written oh so playfully across his derriere.

His Ultimate Fighting Championship bout with Patrick Cummins on Saturday July 26th, turned out to be Kingsbury’s last. Kingsbury has decided to end his UFC career. Unfortunately, the retiring fighter lost the match against Cummins.

However, the loss did not seem to damper Kingsbury’s spirits. Following his defeat, he posted a very heart-felt message on his twitter account: ‘In my run it felt like peaks and valleys but in the end I am completely grateful for it all- every beating I delt out & every beating I took … I’ve learned more about life in the small window I’ve fought than in any other venture. Life only continues to get better. I love you all ’

Despite the final loss, Kingsbury’s show of solidarity for the LGBT community is one that is wantonly welcomed. Nothing makes a stronger statement or even saying a final goodbye quite like dropping your pants and bending over for gay rights.


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Demi Lovato Shows Her Pride And Dedicates Video To Equality

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

This guy has a ‘Burn In Hell’ poster. You don’t have to hate, because my Jesus loves ALL“. The words come from pop sensation Demi Lovato who performed at the L.A. Pride parade just weeks ago, and they open the video for her new hit song  ‘Really Don’t Care’.

Demi Lovato has always been an avid supporter of the LGBT community and with this video she steps it up a notch by showing lots of footage from the parade showcasing everything from leather bears, bulges and french-kissing boys and girls to drag queens, unicorns, rainbows and sexy go-go boys. Celebrities like Perez Hilton, FENUXE favorite and Vampire Dairies star Kat Graham and even beau Wilmer Valderrama make brief appearances in the clip, and, of course, the interluding rap is undertaken by Cher Lloyd.

The video and song both ooze of confidence, carefree attitude … and of course PRIDE. Which is why we love it already. And we’re so digging the cool undercut ms. Lovato is flaunting on stage!

Take a look at the video below and tell us that you won’t be singing along to this tune on a dance floor some time soon? And if you’re not or of the message of the song and video don’t agree with you? Well, as the song says: We really don’t care!

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HBO Tackles Prop 8 In Award-Winning Film Airing Tonight

By Dino Thompson-Sarmiento

The riveting HBO documentary “The Case Against 8″ takes an in-depth look at the historic federal lawsuit filed in an effort to overturn Prop 8, California’s discriminatory ban on same-sex marriage. Shooting over five years, with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the powerhouse legal team of David Boies and Ted Olson and the four plaintiffs in the suit, directors and producers Ben Cotner and Ryan White have created a powerful emotional account of the journey that took the fight for marriage equality all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The Case Against Prop 8″ won the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award in the U.S. Documentary category and the SXSW Audience Award in the Festival Favorites category.

FENUXE Magazine chats with Ryan White, Atlanta native and “The Case Against 8″ film director and producer.

Ryan WhiteHow do you expect or desire to impact society with this documentary?

Our goal in making the film isn’t to impact society or change people’s minds — our goal was to make a character film about the journey that these four incredible plaintiffs took part in for five years, and hopefully by the end of the film our audience feels like they went on that journey too. If we’ve done that, then we’ve done our job well. And our audience can decide in the end when they watch the two couples get married if they feel like it’s a right that they deserve.

In your opinion what are the top two reasons that folks refuse to support same sex marriage (SSM) even when they have LGBT family and friends?

I think there are many reasons people don’t support same-sex marriage, and what’s important is to keep those conversations going. Don’t close people off, because as David Blankenhorn exhibits in our film, there’s a lot of power in someone changing their mind. I have seen a lot of my own friends and family change their mind on the issue over the last few years, and I think we’re at an incredible tipping point in the country as we watch public opinion polls continue to move.

Does the issue of raising children within LGBT families strengthen or weaken arguments for SSM?

I think it strengthens the argument. Kris and Sandy are wonderful mothers of four great boys. All they want is for their family to be treated equally under the law. As Justice Kennedy pointed out in the oral arguments, someone has to speak up for these children with LGBT parents, because often their voices are lost in the politics surrounding the issue.

What can individuals do to help the movement of equality?

I wasn’t particularly active in the No on 8 campaign, probably because no one really thought that it would pass and I took that for granted. Following the lawsuit the past 5 years has given me a whole new perspective on activism, and the biggest way that manifests I think is by telling our stories. Kris and Sandy and Paul and Jeff lived openly and honestly about who they are — and they were willing to do it in a very brave and public way — and I think that humanity holds a lot of power in winning people over on marriage equality.

Prop 8 is California-centric, how exactly will it help or hinder other states decisions?

Some version of Prop 8 still exists for 31 states around the country. Each of those states currently has a lawsuit waging challenging the ban. So, while Prop 8 was California-specific, the arguments that were made in court — that this violates the 14th amendment and the human dignity of LGBT people — are the same principles that LGBT people nationwide are experiencing and deserve to be heard.

Can you describe why SSM is not the same as domestic partnership and why the more than 1,138 federal rights to civil marriage are so important to same sex couples?

I think the word marriage is a lot more than a word. Benefits aside, when LGBT kids grow up feeling different because they and their relationships are classified in a different way by their government, they can’t help but feeling the weight of that discrimination.

Tune in to HBO tonight (June 23 at 9 p.m.) and watch this informative documentary. For a sneak peek take a look at the trailer below:

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June Is Officially LGBT Pride Month

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Just as pride season commences all over the world, President Barack Obama gave LGBT rights another push in the right direction during a Presidential Proclamation on May 31, where he declared June the official LGBT Pride month of 2014.

In the declaration he urges Americans to eliminate prejudice “everywhere it exists”, but also asserts that even though we have moved forward there is still work to do.

“As progress spreads from State to State, as justice is delivered in the courtroom, and as more of our fellow Americans are treated with dignity and respect – our Nation becomes not only more accepting, but more equal as well. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, we celebrate victories that have affirmed freedom and fairness, and we recommit ourselves to completing the work that remains,” President Obama states in his declaration.

The President also writes that last year saw substantial victories with the Defense of Marriage Act being repealed paving the way for marriage equality in many states, but “… despite this progress, LGBT workers in too many States can be fired just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; I continue to call on the Congress to correct this injustice by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. And in the years ahead, we will remain dedicated to addressing health disparities within the LGBT community by implementing the Affordable Care Act and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.”

The President also mentioned the 45 anniversary of the Stonewall riots and acknowledges the nascent movement it spawned saying: “following their example, let each of us speak for tolerance, justice, and dignity — because if hearts and minds continue to change over time, laws will too.”

So, with those words, we urge you to get out there and celebrate LGBT Pride Month! You could do that by visiting one of the many pride festivals here in the U.S. or abroad – so make sure to pick up the new issue of FENUXE this coming Thursday which includes a guide to pride festivals all over the world.

Source: whitehouse.gov


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PRIDE Kickball: A Kick In The Grass

By Dino Thompson-Sarmiento and Dean Boswell,

Atlanta has long been known as the gay capital of the South, and it’s no secret that LGBT residents of the ATL are not afraid to show their PRIDE. In fact, this October will mark the 44th year that LGBT Atlantans and our supporters will take to the streets to celebrate our community and all of the fabulousness we embody. So, when the owners of Go Kickball decided it was time to create a PRIDE division, there was only one city considered to act as host to the flagship group of PRIDE players. This summer, Go Kickball is proud to bring you PRIDE Kickball!

Go Kickball was actually started right here in Atlanta as well. In 2005, a group of friends decided that it would be a good idea to develop a social activity where grown-ups could relive a few childhood memories while breathing in the great outdoors… and maybe downing a few beers in the process. Since its inception, Go Kickball has grown to a network of over 60,000 players in over 40 cities across the U.S. As the premier adult social experience, Go Kickball is an affordable and fun way to meet people and make new friends. Best of all, Go Kickball is still growing at an incredible pace. PRIDE Kickball is expected to follow suit and grow just as rapidly.  

Just like Go Kickball, PRIDE Kickball will feature 16 teams per league and eight week seasons. This summer, the first season kicks off in June right here in Piedmont Park. The registration fee of $62 includes a full season of playing (every Monday night for eight weeks), a team t-shirt, and an end-of-season tournament and closing party. Blake’s on the Park, our bar sponsor will also host post-game cocktail hours each week, including drink specials that are available only for PRIDE Kickball team members. The Spotted Dog Agency is leading the pack in signing up team captains You can contact them at 404-428-0497 for help getting your team started today.

PRIDE Kickball is now accepting registrations for the summer season and is open to anyone 21+ who is either LGBT or a proud supporter of the LGBT community. Registration information and other details can be found at http://www.gokickball.com/atlanta/. The Atlanta PRIDE league plays on Monday nights at Piedmont Park. Use code ‘pride’ when registering for the league. So, come on Atlanta, show your PRIDE and join PRIDE Kickball today!

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Bert’s Big Bike Ride – Atlanta Moon Ride

By Dino Thompson-Sarmiento and Dean Boswell,

If you are in the know in Atlanta, you’ve likely heard of Bert’s Big Adventure. You probably also know that Bert Weiss of Q 100’s Bert Show started Bert’s Big Adventure in 2002 to offer an annual, memorable experience to children who endure chronic illness. Well listen up, my shrewd know-it-all friend.  What may be news to you is that last year an exciting fund-raiser now known as The Atlanta Moon Ride was implemented to support Bert’s Big Adventure.  The inaugural ride featured over 600 riders having a blast and raising money for a very worthy cause.  See for yourself what the excitement is all about:  

The successful Atlanta Moon Ride is now in its second year and, as Bert has said himself, promises to become an Atlanta institution. Now, we all know that when something is to be an Atlanta institution, it means a fabulous hello is in order from the LGBT community. Actually, it seems there were costumes last year, so how is it even possible that we’re late to this party?  I digress; we’re here now. Let’s talk about what we need to be doing to be prepared, shall we?  

This year’s ride is scheduled for Friday, June 13th. Don’t panic. There is still time for us to register and secure our places among the pack. Let’s really show the streets of Midtown Atlanta what it means to have the LGBT community show up to support a cause. Registration is simple and can be completed online. Even better, registration is a crazy affordable $25 (although there is an opportunity to make an additional donation to Bert’s Big Adventure at registration…so, dig deep into those bike shorts and dig out all that loose change, honey).  

Oh, and did I mention costumes? You and I both know that where there are costumes, there must be a costume contest.  So, let’s just settle down and get to it. The prize for the best costume is a one-night luxury stay at the W Hotel Midtown with Pool Cabana (fruit plate, champagne, flat screen – sorry, cabana boy not included) and dinner for two at Trace. Side note, ladies and gents – a full moon is already predicted for the evening of the ride, so you may feel free to keep yours covered. I am as disappointed as you are, but let’s focus on the mission at hand.    

After the ride: while the 6.5 mile loop both kicks off and culminates at Park Tavern, riders are also invited to an after party at Blake’s on the Park where drink specials and drag queens will be waiting to thank you for your support. Thanks in advance for what I know will be a great showing of support for the Atlanta Moon Ride and Bert’s Big Adventure.  

Don’t have a bicycle? Need help with costumes? Call the Spotted Dog Agency at 404-428-0497 and they will get you riding. 

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Atlanta Gay News Flash

By D. David Kinney

Same-sex Marriage Ban Struck Down In Idaho

Federal U.S. District Magistrate Candy Dale issued an injunction on Tuesday stopping the enforcement of Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage. The injunction is the result of a lawsuit filed by four Idahoan couples who sued after voters amended the state constitution to make gay marriage illegal. According to the decision, Idaho will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning Friday at 9 a.m. However, that could be stopped by Idaho Governor Butch Otter (that’s really his name… we swear) who has announced that he plans to appeal the injunction.

Source: Reuters


New Study Suggests ‘Sexuality Is An Innate Characteristic”

A new study out of China found that the affect male or female pheromones has on a person depends on their sexual orientation. “To test their hypothesis, Wen Zhou of the Chinese Academy of Sciences set up an experiment in which participants looked at a video in which human figures rendered in a connect-the-dots style (shown above) were shown walking,” Jason Koebler wrote for Motherboard, “Participants were then asked to guess whether the figures were masculine or feminine. When exposed to androstadienone, heterosexual women were more likely to suggest that the wire figure was a man—but the pheromone had no effect on heterosexual men. Perhaps most importantly, homosexual men also responded to that pheromone, suggesting that gay men innately perceive (and are perhaps affected by) male pheromones. Straight men, meanwhile, were more likely to perceive the figure as feminine when exposed to estratetraenol. Straight women showed no effect, while lesbian and bisexual women showed a response somewhere in between.”


Danish Health Minister Pressured To End Gay Blood Ban

Just like the United States, Denmark bans gay and bisexual men from donating blood. However, six different Danish political parties are now pressuring the country’s health minister to abolish the ban all together because there is no scientific evidence supporting it. Several other countries around the world have already lifted their bans on gay blood like Uruguay, Mexico and Portugal. In 2011, the United Kingdom decided to life the ban on gay blood for men who hadn’t had sex within the last year. Finland and Sweden also have similar waiting periods for gay men who wish to donate blood.

Source: Copenhagen Post

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Atlanta Gay News Flash

By D. David Kinney

MLS Soccer Studs Coming To Atlanta

Major League Soccer announced Wednesday that its newest team will be right here in Atlanta starting in 2017. The team owner, Arthur Blank, is the same man who controls the Atlanta Falcons. So it should be no surprise that the new team’s colors will be red and black. Other details about the team (like what they will be named) haven’t been decided yet. However, we do know they’ll play in the new football stadium downtown which will be soccer-friendly.

Source: WSB-TV, AJC


Tom Of Finland Honored With Stamp Collection

Finland is honoring artist Touko Laaksonen, more commonly known as Tom of Finland, with a stamp collection that it describes as “confident and proud homoeroticism.” Tom of Finland is the creator of iconic gay illustrations enjoyed around the world. However, as Slate points out, “Finland isn’t notably LGBTQ-friendly; gay marriage has yet to be legalized, and citizens can only legally change their gender if they are surgically sterilized. (Before you gasp, note that 16 other European countries require the same).”

Tom of Finland

Netflix Teases With Season 2 Of ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Trailer

What do you think? Excited for Season 2?

Catch Up With This Week’s ‘Gay Of Thrones’

Can you believe what happened last Sunday? We totally weren’t expecting that so soon!


Egyptian Gays Fear Anti-Gay Government Raids

Gay life in Egypt is almost entirely underground– for good reason. Homosexuality is illegal in Egypt. However, the country still has “a flourishing underground gay community,” to use The Guardian‘s description. Until recently most gay Egyptians could avoid arrest by staying away from publicized gay parties and hangouts, however, gay Egyptians are now being arrested in their homes. “The latest and most concerning raid saw four men seized from their east Cairo apartment on 1 April within hours of signing the lease, according to activists. Within a week, the four were given jail terms of up to eight years – sentences unusual for both their length and the speed at which they were handed down,” The Guardian details.

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