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Exclusive: America’s first trans candidate for governor talks about hope… & death threats

Christine HallquistChristine Hallquist is a former energy executive who has stepped out from behind the CEO desk to step into the Vermont governor’s race. She’s married, and a parent.

She’s a long-time Democrat running to unseat a Republican governor in a state where that party has held the seat since 1963.

She’s also a transgender woman who, if successful, will be the first trans person to serve as a governor of an American state.

We had a chance to sit down with Ms. Hallquist and while she recognizes the historical importance of her run — and the challenges she faces — she remains focused on issues dear to her and others in her state.

Read moreExclusive: America’s first trans candidate for governor talks about hope… & death threats

'Progressive' Pope Francis Says Gay Couples Can’t Be Families

Pope Francis face in palm of handJune 18, 2018 - It was just a month ago that Pope Francis told a man that God had made him gay and that God loved him.

But now the pope says that gay couples can't be considered as families.

In unscripted remarks Saturday to the Forum delle Famiglie, an Italian lay movement representing Catholic families, the pope discredited the love that gay parents provide their children.

Read more'Progressive' Pope Francis Says Gay Couples Can’t Be Families

The Difference Between a Welcoming Church and an Affirming One Is Huge

April 30, 2018 - A survivor of "conversion therapy" tries to find a church that doesn't just tolerate, but embraces.

The church service was exactly how I remembered it as a child. I raised my hands in praise as the worship team sang songs I had heard on the radio every day of my childhood. I swayed and closed my eyes as the feelings of love and community and honor to God filled every part of my body.

This was home. Or so I thought.

Read moreThe Difference Between a Welcoming Church and an Affirming One Is Huge

Activist Aims To Get UK To Allow Genderless Passports For Residents

April 23, 2018 - Christie Elan-Cane may get a step closer to that goal this week.

CHELTENHAM, England (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In a 25-year battle to have the identity of genderless people recognized in British passports, Christie Elan-Cane fought depression and unemployment.

The campaigner, who was born female but identifies as neither male nor female, wants the government to change its passport policy and introduce a third category for people who regard themselves as genderless.

Elan-Cane could move a step closer to realizing that goal when the high court holds a hearing on Wednesday and Thursday to review the government’s passport policy.

The current system allows applicants to tick only a male or female option, and does not provide for a genderless alternative, which is usually symbolized with an ‘X’.

It is the first legal challenge against that policy, Elan-Cane said.

“I’m quite apprehensive because it could go either way, and the future direction of what I’m doing and the lives of a lot of people will be dependent on this,” Elan-Cane said.

“I can’t remember when I last slept a night,” Elan-Cane told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview in Cheltenham, a town in southwest England.

 

The 60-year-old first started campaigning for awareness of genderless people in 1992 after shedding a female identity and taking on a gender-neutral one.

Although Britain recognized the gender identity of trans people in the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, Elan-Cane said the decision to identify as non-gendered had drastic consequences, including being forced out of work and facing discrimination.

“I find it very degrading that I have to fight to achieve (a) legitimate identity that most people can take for granted within gendered society,” Elan-Cane said.

After initially raising the issue of ‘X-passports’ with the British passport office in 1995, the campaigner went on to seek support from a local parliamentarian in 2005.

In 2013, London-based law firm Clifford Chance took on the case pro bono and has since represented Elan-Cane.

Narind Singh, a partner at Clifford Chance who is leading the legal team, said in a statement that X-passports were “a crucial step” in protecting the rights of genderless people.

 

Without such documents, Singh said, they faced an “unacceptable choice between forgoing a passport, and making a false declaration, and using a passport which misrepresents their identity”.

The law firm told the Thomson Reuters Foundation it was hopeful for a positive outcome, but expected it would be weeks before a decision was made.

The British-based charity Stonewall, which advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, said it supported a move for X-passports, and wanted government documents accurately to reflect gender identity.

“Many trans people are afraid to travel abroad for fear of intrusive questioning or difficulties at passport control,” said Laura Russell, head of policy at Stonewall, by email.

Britain would join Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Germany, Malta, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Ireland and Canada if it were to issue genderless passports.

A government spokesperson said it would be inappropriate to comment on ongoing legal proceedings.

 

Should the court rule the current passport policy unlawful, it could increase pressure to amend the law, Elan-Cane said. And if not, the campaigner said, there was still hope that change would be only a matter of time.

Reporting by Serena Chaudhry; Editing by Robert Carmichael. Please credit Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org

Original Article:  Huffington Post

Grindr Is Telling Other Companies If You’re HIV Positive

April 2, 2018 - The gay hookup app Grindr is in damage control mode after a Norwegian nonprofit exposed that the company is sharing users’ HIV status and other personal information with two other corporations. Buzzfeed News independently confirmed the allegations by the researchers.

Apptimize and Localytics, companies that help “optimize” apps, are being sent Grindr users’ HIV status and the date they were last tested if it is included in their profile. The information also includes users’ screen names, GPS data, email address and phone ID.

Read moreGrindr Is Telling Other Companies If You’re HIV Positive

Former Captains of the U.S. & Canadian Women’s Hockey Teams Have Baby

November 15, 2017 by Jeff Taylor 

The former captains of the United States and Canadian hockey teams have just had a baby daughter together and the photos are adorable.

Caroline Ouellette and Julie Chu shared the happy news on Monday, introducing the world to Liv Chu-Ouellette.

“I feel truly blessed to experience this incredible adventure with my love and best friend Julie,” Ouellette shared on Instagram. “Cheers to the sleepless nights to come!”

The couple were teammates last season on Les Canadiennes de Montréal in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. They faced off in the 2002, 2010, and 2014 Olympic games.

Read moreFormer Captains of the U.S. & Canadian Women’s Hockey Teams Have Baby

Lesbian Seeks ‘Love Connection’ In Historic First For Rebooted TV Favorite

July 13, 2017 - “I decided to take one for the team and represent well.”

When televised dating show Love Connection returns this summer on Fox, it brings an updated format and new, queer-friendly twists. In addition to Emmy-winning, out host Andy Cohen, who now helms the reformated one-hour classic, it will feature its first LGBT contestants.

“We’re so diverse, it’s important to represent everybody, which is hard to do unless we have more and more and more visibility,” said Liz Baxter, who July 27 becomes the only lesbian seeking romance in Love Connection history.

Read moreLesbian Seeks ‘Love Connection’ In Historic First For Rebooted TV Favorite

Womb Transplants for Gay, Transgender and Straight Men Who Want to Carry a Child?

Fertility doctors in the U.K. are reportedly working on womb transplant procedures that would allow transgender people born as males, and also other men, to have babies.

Moreover, National Health Service doctors told The Mail on Sunday that taxpayers should fund such transplants, citing "equality enshrined in law."

Dr. Amel Alghrani of Liverpool University said that such a transplant procedure is a real possibility, and explained that it could help not only transgender women have children, but also gay and straight men who "wanted to experience the joys of carrying a child."

Alghrani further suggested that such a move would "revolutionize reproduction."

For straight men who opt to have such a transplant, it would allow "for couples to jointly share the reproductive burdens and joys of pregnancy," she said.

Read moreWomb Transplants for Gay, Transgender and Straight Men Who Want to Carry a Child?

Christian Lesbian Rock Star Vicky Beeching Given Award by Archbishop of Canterbury

Vicky BeechingControversial Christian rock star Vicky Beeching, who in 2014 came out as a lesbian and argued that God loves her "just the way I am," has received an award by the head of the Anglican Communion for her contributions to worship music.

Beeching, who is also a theologian and media commentator, hit back against online criticism from conservative Christians who argued that her pro-LGBT convictions disqualify her from such an award.

The rock star has been posting throughout the week about her experiences of being presented with the Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, last week.

Read moreChristian Lesbian Rock Star Vicky Beeching Given Award by Archbishop of Canterbury

Fractured Faith: The Journey Back To Church After Coming Out

May 27, 2017 - For Erryca Robicheaux of Rockville, walking into the right church should feel like coming home. A place where you’re not only welcomed but you’re also celebrated.

Recently ABC7 News went to Rockville United Church in Montgomery County to talk with Robicheaux about an inspiring faith journey that began with a complicated past.

“The church where I grew up when I was younger it was Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve,” says Robicheaux.

Read moreFractured Faith: The Journey Back To Church After Coming Out

Church Of England Faces Calls To Condemn Gay Cure And Hold Transgender Renaming Services

May 26, 2017 - The Church of England will be asked to denounce gay conversion, consider special services for transgender people and re-examine its teaching on marriage as between one man and one women in a raft of measures to be debated at its forthcoming General Synod meeting in July.

In its first meeting since the surprise rejection of a bishops' report recommending keeping the status quo on marriage, the CofE's parliament will debate whether to join medical experts and condemn so-called 'gay cures' as 'unethical, harmful' and having 'no place in the modern world'.

Read moreChurch Of England Faces Calls To Condemn Gay Cure And Hold Transgender Renaming Services

New Dads

May 23, 2017 - My daughter, Lauren, has had a baby girl for two new dads.

She wanted to do something really special for someone for her 45th birthday, and 45 yo is the cutoff for being accepted as a surrogate, so she went through all the psychological counselling, genetic testing, surrogacy camps, and within an hour of her being posted to the website, there were 17 couples asking her to have a baby for them.

Read moreNew Dads

Church of Scotland Expected to Move Towards Gay Marriage

May 21, 2017 - Scotland is moving towards being the country in the UK with most liberal Christian practice on gay marriage with the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church both taking steps in this direction in the near future.

On Thursday the Church of Scotland is expected to back same-sex marriage in a debate on how such weddings could take place in church.

Read moreChurch of Scotland Expected to Move Towards Gay Marriage

Christian Drag Queen Nedra Belle Finds Acceptance in Church

May 18 2017 - "I'm sorry I'm running late, church got out late," Chris Weaver, also known as drag queen Nedra Belle, said as he entered the gay bar. He came straight from performing in two church services with the praise team to the gay bar for his weekly show Sermon.

"But you know black church," he said, pouring his makeup bag all over the counter in an unused service area of the gay bar. "We always running late."

Born and raised in Long Island, NY, 29-year-old Chris Weaver says it was his godmother who first took him to church. "When I was about three, my godmother used to take me to church. I would come back and put on my dad's shirt and preach the message we heard that day," he said.

Read moreChristian Drag Queen Nedra Belle Finds Acceptance in Church

Being A Gay Man And A Conservative Christian Can Be A 'Gift To The Church'

April 7, 2017 - For decades the evangelical church has struggled to deal with the reality of same-sex relationships, attraction and disagreement within their congregations.

Along with women's role in leadership, sexuality has become the issue in danger of defining the western Church's identity. And it shows little sign of being conveniently swept under the carpet.

Until now the conservative wing of Christianity has struggled sometimes to offer answers that do not cause offence and further estrangement.

It is to Spring Harvest's credit they are not shying away from these issues. The evangelical conference in Minehead on the Somerset coast, is themed 'One for all', and is trying to promote Church unity while admitting there are deeply opposing views.

Read the whole article on Christian Today

A Cure For What Fails Ya: The Legacy of Sexual Orientation Change Therapies

April 6, 2017 - The Rise and Fall of the Ex-Gay Movement

A little over a century ago, the nascent science of psychology took an interest in the origin of same-sex desire. Up until that point homosexual sex was seen as a vice to which a person might be habituated for any number of reasons. Psychologists, however, construed it as a mental disorder which had roots in early childhood development. Both the notion of a sexual orientation itself, and the idea that sexual orientation could be altered by treating childhood trauma, originally derived from this foundational supposition.

These new trends in the research, coupled with changing social mores and pressure from gay-rights organizations, caused the APA to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic Standards Manual in 1973. Being gay was no longer seen as a mental illness.

Except in Christian circles.

See the whole article on Patheos

Jonathan's Journey: Faith vs. Sexuality

March 29, 2017 - He would pray. Again. And again. And again.

God heal me. Please heal me.

Please heal me of these attractions to men and make me the man you want me to be.

Jonathan Brower so desperately wanted to be healed. He so desperately wanted God to take away his homosexuality. To make him not gay.

And so he would pray. After every thought. After every inkling of a feeling. He prayed and hoped that one day, God would listen.

Indeed, the extent to which Jonathan tried not to be gay is exhausting.

And yet, just as powerful, just as enduring is his strength of determination to hold on to his faith. A faith that did not embrace him, as is. A faith that told him he was loved, but that being gay was wrong.

Jonathan Brower

Read more on the St Catherines Standard

God, Church, and Gay Loneliness

March 27, 2017 - For gay men, life outside the closet can be brutal, and not only due to homophobia. A recent longform article by Michael Hobbes on the Huffington Post went into detail about “The epidemic of gay loneliness.” In it, Hobbes describes a toxic environment that leaves many gay men feeling isolated, even in the most progressive and gay-affirming cities. It is a raw, difficult read, and it reminded us to never take for granted the community with which we’ve been gifted.

Read moreGod, Church, and Gay Loneliness

Our Bible App Wants to Let LGBT Christians Be Their Whole Selves

March 24, 2017 - In the year that led up to naming my queerness, I drifted away from church. It wasn’t deliberate, but after a lifetime of subtle messages about the church and homosexuality (and by proxy bisexuality), I needed to step back to figure out if I could be a bisexual Christian — if I could be my whole self.

Now I’m back in church regularly, teaching Sunday School and the whole deal, but my church is only tacitly welcoming and I end up doing a lot of spiritual labor to try to nudge the community toward affirmation. The code-switching gets me down, y’all.

When I first heard about the plans for Our Bible App last year, my head exploded. The app, to be released in June, aims to be a one-stop resource for LGBTQ Christians and any others who are not getting the spiritual fuel they need in brick and mortar faith communities.

The Bible For Outsiders

Read more at autostraddle.com

Katy Perry said she tried to 'pray the gay away at Jesus camps' as a teen

March 22, 2017 - Pop singer Katy Perry, who is famous for the 2008 hit song "I Kissed a Girl," said that she tried to "pray the gay away at Jesus camps" during her teenage years.

During her speech at the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Los Angeles gala dinner at JW Marriott L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, she revealed that she did more than just kiss a girl and said that she spoke about her fantasies in "little, bite-sized pop songs" similar to the 2008 hit song.

Katy Perry

Read more at ChristianTimes.com

Waiting Until Marriage: Gay Christians Navigate Faith and Sexuality

March 18, 2017 - They met on OkCupid. At the time, Constantino Khalaf, now 37, lived in New York City, and David Khalaf, now 39, lived in Los Angeles. But the distance didn't faze them. The couple, now married, had found two shared traits in each other: They were both Christian, and they were both waiting until marriage to have sex.

"You can use sex to control someone or denigrate a person. Or you can use sex to say something beautiful like 'I love you,'" Constantino Khalaf said. "Sex can be used to say 'I am yours, you are mine' -- the idea of a marriage covenant."

waiting until marriage

Read more on NBC NEWS

LGBT Students To Give Faith Journey

March 17, 2017, Houghton, NY

Courtney Walters ‘17 and Philip Maenza ‘17 will be giving their faith journeys next week, focusing on their understandings of faith and sexual orientation. Both students identify as gay as well as Christian. Their talks will take place in the Center for the Arts (CFA) recital hall Tuesday, March 28, at 7 p.m.

Psychology professor and former counseling center director Michael Lastoria cooperated with Maenza and Walters to plan the event. According to Maenza, Lastoria “wanted to have the campus be able to hear a different side of the LGBT Christian narrative. Both Courtney and I have been wanting to share our stories in a public capacity. So it just kind of worked out.”

“I’ve always wanted to give my faith journey at Houghton,” Walters said, and noted she was told she would not be allowed to do so in a chapel service. She continued, “So if this the platform that I have to do it, then I’ll do it. And I couldn’t have picked a better person to do it with than Phil.”

Read more at The Houghton STAR

Beauty And The Brainwashing: Disney's 'Gay' Agenda

March 16, 2017 - Disney’s remake of its classic children’s film “Beauty and the Beast” is attracting headlines, not so much for production quality, although movie critics seem to be mostly on board, but for the controversy surrounding the studio’s decision to include its first “exclusively gay moment” in a scene between villain Gaston and his sidekick, Lefou.

Read more at WorldNetDaily.com

Gay Christian To Represent U.S. In NATO?

March 17, 2017 - For about a week now rumors and reports have circulated that Richard Grenell, an openly gay man, is set to become the next U.S. Ambassador to NATO.

The White House has yet to confirm the appointment, although news outlets ranging from Breitbart to Bloomberg are reporting sources say it’s a sure thing.

If confirmed Grenell, 50, would be the highest ranking gay man in the Trump administration. A Michigan native, Grenell served in the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration and is frequently a contributor to Fox News.

Richard Grenell - gay Christian NATO

Read more at South Florida Gay News

"Gay Christian" appointed by President Trump

March 15, 2017 - Rick Grenell, an openly-gay man and 'gay Christian' advocate, has been chosen by President Donald Trump to be the United States Ambassador to NATO. Though widely reported, the appointment has yet to be confirmed by the White House and will make Grenell the highest-ranking openly-gay member of the current administration.

Read more on "Out In Jersey"

Disney's 'Gay Moment' Sours Many Christians

Disney's 'gay moment'March 16 2017 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

A gay plot twist in Disney’s upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast continues to stir discontent among Christians, with an online poll at Faith Driven Consumer (FDC) among the latest to voice displeasure.

The poll reports 95 percent of 6,700 consumers said they are less likely to see the film because of an intimate attraction the bumbling LeFou character expresses toward the villainous Gaston. And 94 percent of those polled said they will likely spend less money on all Disney offerings as a whole, the online forum of 41 million Americans reported March 14.

Read more at BRnow.org

Life after going viral for 'Pride baby'

July 3, 2014 - A photograph of two shirtless fathers holding their newborn baby boy for the first time has quickly gone viral online. Baby Milo was born during WorldPride last Friday to fathers Frank Nelson, 44, and BJ Barone, 34, both teachers with the Toronto District School Board. “I remember being in pure joy,” recalled Nelson. “I think it has been a gift to everyone who sees that photo and knows that it does not matter if it’s a man or a woman or gay couple, anyone would feel utter joy in that moment.”

Pride Baby

Read about it on Toronto's TheStar.com

June 26, 2015 - Update one year later: Watch video on Toronto CityNews.ca