Monday, March 31, 2014 / Labels: , , , , , ,

WEREWOMAN web series reapplying for IPF funding after impressive online response

March 31, 2014 /Kingsberg Studios/ Last year Kingsberg Studios released the teaser for it’s upcoming web series WEREWOMAN and got an overwhelmingly positive online response: over 350,000 YouTube views in just a few months. 

With an outstanding cast including TIFF Rising Star Johnathan Sousa (The Animal project), WEREWOMAN creator Kimberly-Sue Murray (The Scarehouse, The Good lie), Amber Goldfarb (Helix, Being Human), Mikaela Davies (Soulpepper Academy), Sarah Booth (The Scarehouse, 30 Vies) and Quebec’s favorite Catherine Bérubé (19-2 Fr. version, Bomb Girls – the movie) this supernatural dramedy explores what it would be like for a man to unexpectedly wake up inside a woman’s body. 

The web series follows Patrick, a young man living in an otherwise all female house, who magically transforms into a woman during his roommates' synchronized menstrual cycles. Gender identity and social norms are explored through Patrick’s relationships and fumbled adventures as a man stuck inside a woman’s body. 

WEREWOMAN’s creative team and cast is comprised of 8 alumni of Norman Jewison’s prestigious Canadian Film Centre, including Producer Kevin Kincaid (RATTAN, Bernard the Magician), Director Chris Agoston (Crawlspace, Love, Same), writer Surita Parmar (Minus Lara, How To Create a Killer), Editor Richard Mandin (Frost, A Trip To The Island), as well as actors Kimberly-Sue Murray, Amber Goldfarb, Johnathan Sousa, and Matthew G. Brown (Instant Star, The Kennedys). Their creative collaboration was initiated while attending the CFC in 2011-2012. 

WEREWOMAN has reapplied to the Independent Production Fund after the incredible online response it received. Producers Kimberly-Sue Murray, Kevin Kincaid, and associate producer Amber Goldfarb are confident that the web series will see the light of day this time around. They would like to encourage their fans and viewers to SHARE, LIKE and COMMENT to ensure its success. A new 3 minute HD version of the teaser is now available online. They were asked to provide a shorter version for the application process; therefore the original full-length version is not available at this time. Please visit WEREWOMAN's official website at 

You can follow WEREWOMAN on and on Twitter @WerewomanSeries

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Sunday, March 30, 2014 / Labels: , , , , , , ,

Lesser citizens: Trapped in a queer world of dystopia

March 30, 2014 /LGBT News/ This study explores the myriad health problems faced by the transgender community by probing the blatant hypocrisy of our society’s curiously selective notion of providing healthcare to the privileged majority and thereby systematically excluding the minority groups. While stigma and discrimination continues to jeopardise the health of this community, piecemeal measures of a leading NGO in Kolkata have put their need for basic medical facilities to the fore as its aim to assimilate the transgenders in the mainstream no longer remains a pipedream.  

By Indrani Kar, Shuvojit Moulik & Somya Tyagi 
Picture Courtesy: Sutanuka Gupta 
Civilian Welfare Foundation, Kolkata, India

A dominant, mainstream model undoes the very idea of multiple modes of living and diversity which excludes the real demands of the minority groups and contributes to their social exclusion. Whereas everyone is entitled to equal and inalienable rights and opportunities set forth in the Preamble to the Constitution of India without distinction of any kind, such commitments are yet to be translated into action. Although Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees ‘Right to life and personal liberty’ to all, of which the Right to Healthcare forms an integral part, a large section of the society is still insensitive to the healthcare needs of the transgender community. 

The transgender population faces grave misunderstanding, prejudice, harassment, ridicule, rejection and even exploitation at the hands of health service providers as they do not fit into the society’s prescribed, rigid gender roles. Though the transgender community is hardly a homogeneous entity and is considerably diverse in terms of gender identity and livelihoods, in public imagination such complex identities of gender ranging from hijra to transgender are all lumped into one category which becomes extremely problematic. Unfortunately, government policies also seem to feed on these generalisations, making use of such umbrella terms rather than focus on the specific needs of different groups.  

Moreover, by relegating minority issues to the margins, perceiving the queer as the ‘other’ and evading responsibilities towards promoting their well-being, the dominant forces of the society largely contribute to the constant deteriorating health condition of the society as a whole. In case of India, this becomes all the more crucial issue against the backdrop of rampant rise in Sexually Transmitted Diseases including HIV / AIDS etc. Society’s apathy and inhuman treatment of the transgenders or those who transcend sex categories is clearly evident in their personal histories that make the heart quake. Anecdotal evidence indicates that this transphobia manifests most commonly in health care settings, but few studies address the forms of mistreatment experienced in this context. This study is designed especially to explore the various negative experiences of the transgender patients within the health care sector. 

Participants' descriptions of mistreatment coalesced around themes like gender insensitivity, displays of discomfort, substandard care, denied services, verbal abuse, mishandling and forced care. The most significant concern that emerged out of interviews with transgender persons was the apathy of government hospitals towards them due to which individuals belonging to sexual minority groups seldom visit doctors. Saikat, a transgender who met with a train accident died since the hospital could not decide whether to treat Saikat in the male or female ward while Tanushri, a transsexual met with a similar apathetic treatment when the doctors refused to examine or treat her post her gang rape incident during her field work in an NGO.  

Comprehending the significance of promoting transgender health in Kolkata and its centrality in maintaining public welfare, Civilian Welfare Foundation (CWF), a city based NGO consists of young and enthusiastic social workers who pledge to stand up against anything unjustified, undignified and corrupt that punctuates the growth of a city, nation or mankind. It ventures to resolve the medical and health problems faced by the transgender population of the city including transsexuals, hijdas and kothis. The NGO aims to provide them a basic healthcare clinic with doctors, testing facilities and free basic medicines and most significantly, a well-informed and empathetic environment wherein a transgender may walk in during illness without having to face any discrimination or prejudice. CWF engages with numerous trangenders via NGOs such as Pratyay Gender Trust, People Like Us (PLUS), Amitie Trust etc. in order to assess the nature and magnitude of healthcare discrimination that they encounter on a daily basis.

These discussions brought forth two main dimensions of health which require immediate medical intervention that includes the psychological and physical health of the transgender community. The former is quite crucial to transgenders who face identity crisis right from childhood as their biological sex assigned at birth does not coincide with their gender identity. Unlike gays, lesbians and bisexuals who confront questions of sexual orientation during adolescence, the transgenders have to deal with the more fundamental and serious issue of self-identity. Transsexuals, a subset of trangenders on the other hand, have to undergo surgery to change their bodies in order to assign themselves the gender to which they internally identify with. Thus, Transmen and Transwomen are ‘female to male’ and ‘male to female’ transsexuals respectively. 

Boys who are effeminate and express interests akin to girls, in dolls, household work, make up, singing and dancing during their childhood, needless to say are thought to be deviant, diseased or mentally unstable. They are often subjected to ridicule and harassment at home, school and neighbourhood by everyone including their family and friends. Such a predicament affects their   psyche to the extent that they inevitably suffer from acute depression and feel suicidal. This ultimately compels them to leave their school, home and locality and hence become imprisoned in a Kafkaesque world of social exclusion and isolation. 

“My parents took a lot of trouble to cure me at first, showed me to various doctors, took me to Vellore as well”, says Sourabbh Das, a transgender at Amitie Trust. “Even doctors in Vellore did not know about transgenderism and I was given electric shocks and even put in an asylum to be cured. Now my mother understands that this is not abnormal or a disease and she participates in workshops to understand it more.”

Sohini, a beautiful transwoman also recounts her heart wrenching story. “My father never understood who I was or what I was all about. Since the time my mother was ill, I had taken up all responsibilities at home and looked after my two younger sisters. But father never understood or accepted me and finally asked me to leave since my being a transgender would create problems for my sister’s marriage later. To create problems for my sisters however, was the last thing that I would want to. So, I left home and don’t keep in touch. Whenever I stand in front of the mirror, it’s a fight with myself because the mirror shows a body which I do not relate to. It is not who we are from inside.” 

Physical health of transgendered individuals ranging from the common health problems like cough, cold, loose motion, malaria, typhoid, etc. to specific health issues like SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery) and STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) is the dimension where actual, palpable discrimination takes place. “We too have self-respect and the way the staff laughed at me and ridiculed me in a hospital once has forced me to stop going to hospitals and doctors. That happened in 2007. I have never gone back to a hospital since!” says Sohini. 

In the words of Tanushri, yet another beautiful transwoman and a wonderful singer, “Doctors are considered second to god who give other human beings the gift of health. But for us, doctors too discriminate. They do not want to examine us, or asks us to come in the wee hours of morning or late night so that other patients do not object. There are doctors who unnecessarily examine our private parts and ask demeaning questions or make invasive inquiries about our genitalia. I had diarrhoea once and the doctor made comments related to my anus and my sexual practices then. When I was gang raped, the doctor there did not even examine me, didn’t even suggest the anti HIV infection PEP Drug that I should have taken within 24 hours to combat infection if any. Usually doctors do not want to see us and even if they do, they just prescribe sleeping pills to get rid of us from their premises.”  

If a clinician is not aware of a patient’s gender identify, he or she may fail to accurately diagnose, treat, or recommend appropriate preventative measures for a range of conditions. Jaya, a strong and confident transwoman in Amitie Trust exclaims “Doctors don’t even know the difference between trangenders and transsexuals, leave alone treating them for their specific medical issues! “ Sohini, Jaya, Tanushri, Bhanupriya, Mausam and almost all of them recalled having taken pills and other hormone injections to develop feminine characteristics just on the basis of word of mouth or hearsay. To quote Jaya “We have never been guided by any endocrinologist. Who will we go to? Who will tell us? We just hear from our friends and take them.” 

Deshopriyo from Amitie Trust says “While castration is totally illegal in India, SRS does not have any proper guidelines. It is not clearly stated anywhere whether it is legal or not and there exists no proper guidelines regarding the same. So, all trangenders go to quacks for the surgery which results in high chances of serious infections, severe side effects and even death sometimes.” Konkona, Piyali and Deshopriyo, office bearers of Amitie unanimously state that only with extensive sensitization programmes for doctors and staffs, and increased platforms for expression of who we are, will this large gaping unfair divide be bridged. Till then, a separate medical clinic having supportive environment and sensitized staff with basic medical facilities is the best alternative.

Many in the transgender community are ostracised by their biological families and they receive emotional and physical support from people in the hijra settlement with whom they forge familial bonds which sadly, the government fails to accept as familial. Private health insurance companies also deny coverage to transgenders and exclude them from related services as such companies clearly rely on the gender binary. Infrastructural problems such as lack of a separate ward for individuals who do not fit into the constructed mainstream gender roles leads to their rejection in hospital admissions, delay in health services and a life of complete segregation. Thus, considerate and respectful treatment, together with equitable access to health services including routine physical examination and counselling, contraceptive management, HIV testing, immunizations etc. can help protect the lives and health of the vulnerable.  

The discourse of welfare for transgenders needs to transcend mere tokenism to address their complex issues of identity and healthcare. With a view to improve the community’s health standards, a separate medical clinic having basic amenities such as well-informed doctors and staff, basic testing facilities and medicines for the sexual minority groups is a must. In this regard, Civilian Welfare Foundation (CWF), a group of young enthusiastic activists, is leaving no stone unturned for the cause of justice by working personally with all the sexual minority groups of Kolkata and other organizations. The NGO is vigourously trying to create  a separate, supportive environment for the basic medical facilities for both trangenders and transsexuals to enable them to access adequate health services like everyone else. They work with a holistic outlook that sporadic half measures of the State and hyperventilating free speech campaigners are not sufficient to alleviate the condition of our lesser citizens, while translating such speech into action can. 

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Friday, March 28, 2014 / Labels: , , , , , , ,

Dyke Outfitters brings to market a much needed niche clothing line geared to lesbians

Dyke Outfitters will launch on line on March 30, 2014.

March 28, 2014, Barrie, Ontario /LGBT News/ Karen Ford and Karen Brown, a couple of Canadian dykes, have created an e-commerce store specializing in gender neutral, androgynous clothing, suitable for both work and play.  Whether women are looking for a polished, classic looking, button down Oxford for corporate environments or jackets and T’s for weekend fun, this store carries a large selection of the latest trends.

These two innovative lesbians have committed themselves to making shopping a more positive experience.  

Dyke Outfitters have put together a product line of androgynous, classically styled clothing, that could redefine how gay women shop.  This store's innovative approach is reflected in their commitment to supplying the styles of clothing gay women wear.  Many lesbians are left no choice but to shop in the men's section to find  clothes that suit their style.  This results in ill fitting clothes in limited available sizes.

Gay women, all women who do not dress in traditional women’s styles, welcome this ground-breaking store to provide clothing that better reflects the essence of who they are.

“At Dyke Outfitters we believe women need clothing designed to fit our bodies,”  said Ford and Brown.  “As gay women we need clothing designed to fit our style.  The style of our clothing is a personal reflection of how we choose to present ourselves to the world.  It is deeply personal and unique.”

The dream to build this  store has grown from Ford and Browns personal frustration with what they believe is a fashion industries continuous stereotyping of women's fashion.   Their personal belief is that gay women, all women who do not dress in traditional women’s styles, deserve a marketplace which provides these styles in sizes that fit their bodies.

phone: 705-321-8393   or    289-795-5033

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Saturday, March 15, 2014 / Labels: , , , , , ,

Remembering Dansih illustrator and painter Gerda Wegener, best known for her (lesbian) erotica

March 15, 2014 /LGBT News/ Born 128 years ago, on 15 March 1886, Gerda Gottlieb Wegener Porta was a Danish illustrator and painter best known for her erotica. 

Gerda moved to Copenhagen to pursue her education at the Royal Art Academy, and married fellow artist Einar Wegener (later Lili Elbe) in 1904. After moving to Paris in 1912, she found much success both as a painter and as illustrator for Vogue, La Vie Parisienne, Fantasio, and many other magazines. Her career relied on a phenomenal talent but perhaps even more so on her notorious diligence, and the advantages that her unusual marriage brought her.

Lili Elbe, who by many at the time was considered a more talented artist, toned down his own work and profile to help his wife in her artistic endeavors. Posing for Gerda in women's clothes, Lili became Gerda's favorite model, and eventually came out as a male-to-female transsexual woman. She had the first publicly known sex reassignment surgery in history in 1930. Her partner supported Elbe throughout her transition. The Wegeners' marriage was declared null and void in October 1930 by Christian X, the King of Denmark at that time.

In 1931, Gerda Wegener married the Italian officer, aviator and diplomat Major Fernando Porta and moved with him to Morocco. She later divorced Porta in 1936 and returned to Denmark in 1938. She held her last exhibition in 1939, but by this time she was largely out of fashion. She died in July 1940.

The Danish Girl, David Ebershoff's 2001 novel about Einar/Lili and Gerda was an international bestseller and was translated into a dozen languages. 

Books illustrated by Wegener:

  • Le Livre des Vikings by Charles Guyot (1920 or 1924)
  • Une Aventure d'Amour à Venise by Giacomo Casanova. Le Livre du Bibliophile. Georges Briffaut. Collection Le Livre du Bibliophile. Paris. 1927
  • Les Contes by La Fontaine (1928–1929)
  • Contes de mon Père le Jars and Sur Talons rouges by Eric Allatini (1929)
  • Fortunio by Théophile Gautier (1934)

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 / Labels: , , , , , ,

Thou shalt not take the Bible literally

March 4, 2014 /LGBT News/ Immersing himself in alternate lifestyles and long, hilarious experiments, writer A.J. Jacobs tests the limits of behavior, customs, culture, and knowledge with the year he spent living biblically -- following the rules in the Bible as literally as possible.

"At the beginning of the year, I wrote down every rule, every guideline, every suggestion, every nugget of advice I could find in the Bible. It's a very long list. It runs 72 pages. More than 700 rules," Jacobs says.

He vows to follow the Ten Commandments. To be fruitful and multiply. To love his neighbor. But also to obey the hundreds of less publicized rules: to avoid wearing clothes made of mixed fibers; to play a ten-string harp; to stone adulterers.

"First, since the Bible requires me to tell the truth (Proverbs 26:28), I must confess that part of the reason is to write this book. A couple of years ago, I came out with a book about reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica, all of it, from A to Z — or more specifical, from a-ak (East Asian music) to Zywiec (a town in southern Poland known for its beer). What could I do next? The only intellectual adventure that seemed a worthy follow-up was to explore the most influential book in the world, the all-time best seller, the Bible.

Second, this project would be my visa to a spiritual world. I wouldn't just be studying religion. I'd be living it. If I had what they call a God-shaped hole in my heart, this quest would allow me to fill it. If I had a hidden mystical side, this year would bring it out of the closet. If I wanted to understand my forefathers, this year would let me live like they did, but with less leprosy.

And third, this project would be a way to explore the huge and fascinating topic of biblical literalism. Millions of Americans say they take the Bible literally. According to a 2005 Gallup poll, the number hovers near 33 percent; a 2004 Newsweek poll put it at 55 percent. A literal interpretation of the Bible — both Jewish and Christian — shapes American policies on the Middle East, homosexuality, stem cell research, education, abortion — right on down to rules about buying beer on Sunday."

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Saturday, March 1, 2014 / Labels: , , , , , ,

US release for SUBMERGE - lesbian feature film

Press release

March 1, 2014 /LGBT News/ After making a splash on the international film festival circuit, Australian film SUBMERGE is finally set for its general release, joining Emma-Kate Croghan’s 1996 Love and Other Catastrophes as only the second Australian lesbian feature film to attain commercial release. The film has already drawn praise around the globe, having screened at 27 film festivals in 18 countries across four continents, with lead actress Lily Hall securing awards from both FilmOut San Diego and Downtown Film Festival L.A. for Best Actress in a Feature Film

The feature film debut of both producer Kat Holmes and director Sophie O’Connor (MIFF 2008 Award Winner), SUBMERGE is grounded in the story of protagonist Jordan (Lily Hall [Neighbours]), a 20 year old honours student and elite swimmer. Jordan is caught up in building her own success story, carefully negotiating the rigors of study and the expectations of her ambitious mother (Kath Gordon [The Playbook, Prisoner]); all while maintaining an active social life, flanked by her best friend Lucas (Kevin Dee [Underbelly, Strange Bedfellows]). 

SUBMERGE delivers an unflinching exploration of the desire for instant gratification in a consumerist world full of choice. When Jordan finds herself falling for her tutor Angie (Christina Hallett [Burlesque]) – who just so happens to be the partner of her history lecturer, Cameron (Andrew Curry [Conspiracy 365, The Cup]) – she is unable to stop herself from pursuing a liaison. A narrative of experimentation and the search for the self, the story follows the dizzying highs and heart-wrenching lows as Jordan attempts to reconcile the chaos of youth with her ambition to succeed. As the attraction between her and Angie becomes ever more intense, failure is not an option, but how far is Jordan willing to go to get what she wants?

SUBMERGE’s soundtrack is naturally as diverse and evocative in tone and emotion as the film. Each track painstakingly handpicked by director Sophie O’Connor and music supervisor Andrew Penhallow, the soundtrack boasts a spectrum of some of Australia’s best and brightest independent musicians (Falling Joys, Asian Envy, Tokyo Denmark Sweden), a fitting underscoring of the many moods and tones of the film. SUBMERGE has also been drawing attention for its depiction of alternative representations of sexuality in a positive light, blurring the rigidity of labels and stereotypes and distilling this into something realistic and raw, offering a wide-eyed depiction of the fluidity and unpredictability of human sexuality. It’s a bold, challenging representation that strives to challenge perceptions and dominant stereotypes – SUBMERGE pulls no punches about pushing boundaries.

“[SUBMERGE is] a postmodern story, told through different lenses, reflections and refractions. Self-awareness and self-judgment is a key theme - the modern human condition - as is the exploration of what it takes to break through the surface and SUBMERGE into emotional depth.”
Planet London Film

SUBMERGE will be available in the United States on DVD and download from March 1, 2014.

Official trailer:


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Friday, February 28, 2014 / Labels: , , , , ,

Thinking of a holiday in Vegas?

February 28, 2014 /LGBT News/ One of the current top destinations in the world for the LGBT community is Las Vegas. Over the past few years Vegas has opened its arms and  welcomed its LGBT clientele. Many casinos and hotels now cater for the  LGBT scene, offering themed entertainment and organised events. With Vegas now becoming such a popular destination for holiday makers, there  has never been a better time to visit the strip and hit up one of the  many casinos. No matter what your game; poker, roulette, blackjack or craps, Vegas has it all.

When it comes to choosing a hotel there are many available, however certain hotels are better than others for LGBT’s. Among the first hotel come casinos to open its doors to the LGBT community was the Paris Las Vegas. Offering special packages to its guests they will perform wedding ceremonies for anyone who wants to take the plunge whilst in Vegas. Another hotel favourite is the Blue Moon Resort for Men, offering a ‘clothing optional’ pool it is a real hit with many gay men in Vegas.

Nightlife is of course important for any singles in Vegas, with many single people going on holiday to experience the nightlife of various destinations. Well nobody goes to Vegas to sit in the hotel playing online pokies. Some of the most popular bars and clubs in Vegas can be found on Las Vegas’s gay strip. Just south of the Hard Rock Hotel on Paradise Road is the home of the FreeZone, Piranha Nightclub and 8 ½  Ultra Lounge. All notorious for their atmosphere and party scene. Whilst there also make sure you visit Charlie's Las Vegas, the recent winner of Naked Boy News "Best gay bar to meet new friends" award.

So when planning your next get away don’t rule out Las Vegas. It may be a stereotypical casino mecca, but it also offers so much more, for the LGBT community it really is unrivalled in terms of variety.

This article was written by Ashton Rowe

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Saturday, February 15, 2014 / Labels: , , , , , ,

La Vie en Rose: Europe's First LGBT "Active Lifestyle" Retirement Village

Press release

February 15, 2014 /LGBT News - The Villages Group/  The image of retirement has changed dramatically in recent years. With the state pension age creeping up and financial uncertainty on the increase, more and more individuals are facing the prospect of working well beyond their official age of retirement. But it's not just the age of retirees that has changed - these days, a growing number are demanding 'active retirement.' 

One previously marginalised group in particular, the LGBT community, has tapped into the joie de vivre and increasing accepting attitudes towards the "gay and grey" available in France with buyers keen to snap up one of the one level, eco-friendly villas at the new The Villages Group - Rainbow development.

The Villages Group - Rainbow, a 17 are gated community of affordable one level eco-friendly/energy efficient "village-houses" with concierge services nestled in the heart of the Languedoc region of South West France, is a private oasis for the Gay & Lesbian (LGBT) Community who want an “Active & Healthy Lifestyle” in a warm, friendly, healthy climate set on the banks of the Canal du Midi; between Vineyards & Olive groves and near to several typical Languedoc Villages.

Designed especially for LGBT living, the Villages Group Rainbow offers typical French “village” houses set within outstanding natural environments with full on-site amenities including tennis courts, indoor pool, gymnasium and a quality entertainment programmes.  The “Village” includes its own Hotel with restaurant; bar; gym; saunas; theatre/meeting room; library. 

The emphasis is on active living and the wide range of activities on offer includes tennis, archery, aerobics, equestrian events, sailing, boating and swimming in the village's outdoor and indoor pools. Owners enjoy special membership to the stunning nearby golf course and free bicycle hire. The development even boasts access to four ski resorts, all within a 55 mile radius.  

Social engagements abound, with a focus on arts and crafts, music, dance, wine and theatre. 

Located on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canal du Midi, the village will be perfect as a hide-away but close enough to the Med to make the most of all that France has to offer.

The Canal du Midi has become a popular tourist destination in its own right due to the beauty of the waterways and surrounding countryside. Initially used to transport good from the Atlantic to the Med - the Canal has now become a tourist attraction and place for leisure activities, with many people rowing, canoeing, fishing or even cruising on luxury hotel barges.

The Languedoc-Roussillon is easily accessible by air, rail and road. With five main airports in Nimes, Montpellier, Carcassonne, Beziers and Perpignan and the TVG from France & Spain is just a 15 minutes drive.

The Villages concept is certainly not a place where the older generation go to live out their remaining days in seclusion or to go back into the closet. For us, we have a positive forward thinking approach about our own Villages in France, providing a lifestyle that we believe will be most attractive to active 50+s from the LGBT community who want to live their lives to the full in one of the top ten expat countries in the world that affords a relaxed pace of life, stunning natural landscapes and low living costs.

House prices at Le Village-Canal du Midi start from around 236,000 Euros which includes all closing costs and the first year's management fee and taxes; weekly maintenance costs are just 70 Euros per house per week including all activities. All houses are finished to an exceptionally high standard and clients have a choice of colour scheme and have an input into interior design factors such as the style of kitchen. 

The great weather, French gastronomy and picturesque location provide perfect reasons to spend your latter years here across the Channel and offers the opportunity to live out your days with pride.

For more information on retiring to France and the first gay retirement community, The Villages Group - Rainbow contact Danny Silver and his team on +33 1 4007 8625, email or visit

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Friday, February 7, 2014 / Labels: , , , , , , ,

Google makes LGBT rights statement with rainbow doodle ahead of Sochi Games, targets Russian anti-gay law

February 7, 2014 /LGBT News/ With the Winter Games underway in Sochi, Google quietly but vibrantly added its voice to the chorus of companies speaking out against Russia’s law restricting gay-rights activities by updating its iconic search page logo to depict illustrations of athletes skiing, sledding, curling and skating against a rainbow-colored backdrop.

Here’s the quote on Google’s landing page:

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –Olympic Charter

Although Google is not an Olympics sponsor, its action came a day after three sponsors of the U.S. Olympic Committee — AT&T, DeVry University and yogurt maker Chobani — issued statements explicitly speaking out against the Russian law.

The doodle appears on Google pages worldwide, including the Russian

The logo is a direct rebuke to Russian president Vladimir Putin's government, whose recently-introduced anti-gay legislation, the so-called anti-gay propaganda law, has been a focal point of critics of these Games. 

President Vladimir Putin has defended the policy, pointing out that homosexuality is legal in Russia. In a January interview, he said gay people are welcome at the games as long as they leave the children alone.

The move by Google, one of the largest and most powerful companies on the planet, comes on the same day that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the persecution of homosexuals in a speech to the International Olympic Committee.

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Friday, January 17, 2014 / Labels: , , , , ,

The Perfect Wedding movie tops LGBT On Demand list

January 17, 2014 /LGBT News/ Small or Large Productions and Arcadia Creative have been informed by LGBT film distributor Wolfe Releasing that their award-winning feature, The Perfect Wedding, whose ensemble cast is anchored by Hollywood veterans James Rebhor (Independence Day, Scent of a Woman, Homeland) and Kristine Sutherland (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Honey I Shrunk the Kids), is Wolfe On Demand’s all-time sales leader of gay films. To buy or rent the movie, visit its website:

A family collaboration was the genesis of this family-based, LGBT romantic comedy. New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann, her screenwriter husband, Ed Gaffney, and their son, actor Jason T. Gaffney, co-wrote the script, and also co-produced the movie with its director, Scott Gabriel.

“This is thrilling news,” said Jason, who had the original idea for the story.  “To be named Wolfe On Demand’s all-time gay sales leader after being available for only two months is fabulous news. We’re so excited that audiences are responding to our movie.”

The co-creators describe The Perfect Wedding as a touching, funny story that takes place in Florida during a gathering of family and friends over a holiday weekend.  Meryl and Richard Fowler are planning their daughter Alana’s wedding, struggling with an unspoken conflict between Meryl and Alana, and trying to face a newly diagnosed health problem for Richard.  And with that as a backdrop, their son, Paul, falls in love with a young man he believes to be the new boyfriend of Paul’s ex.  

“Most independent movies face tough odds at every stage of production, so for The Perfect Wedding to be Wolfe On Demand’s number one gay sales leader so soon after its release is a huge accomplishment for us,” said Ed.  “We knew that our little movie was a long-shot from the start, but all of us, including our fearless, dedicated and talented cast and crew, really believed there was an audience for this story. And Wolfe Releasing proved us right.”

To buy or rent The Perfect Wedding, and for more information about the film, visit the movie’s website at 

Eric Aragon
Jason T. Gaffney
Jason T Gaffney with Eric Aragon
James Rebhorn and Kristine Sutherland On Set
Full cast

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Friday, December 27, 2013 / Labels: , , , , ,

Pilot episode of the series based on real stories about gays was filmed in Russia

Press release

December 27, 2013 /LGBT News/ The pilot episode of Russian series is 21+ age restricted. It is dedicated to LGBT issues and based on real events. The project is dedicated to reflect the realities of a life in Russia, where homosexuals have to deal with rejection of others on a daily basis and literally survive to prove their right to exist.

The project is done by professional actors, who are not related to the LGBT community. Director and screenwriter is Ekaterina Polyanskaya.

Series trailer airs with English subtitles in order to broaden the range of viewers. The series itself is planned to be professionally redubbed in English.

The series does not intend to criticize the Russian government, but intend to destroy or at least shake society stereotypes about homosexuals.

All characters in the series are ordinary people who can be found every day at work, at school or public transport. Gays do not walk around with the "labels" and do not shout about their "differences". They are just trying to stop being the shadows in a society where they do not see the sunlight.

The filmmakers hope that their projects will be "anti-propaganda" of homosexuality. Being gay is not an attempt to follow the fashion. It is a personal tragedy of a human living in the modern world.


There are two parallel stories about a boy and a girl in the center of the series' plot. They live in different parts of the vast country, in small provincial towns. They are of different ages, social status, and their families have different incomes. Despite all the differences, there is something that unites them. It is their sexual orientation, which spoils their relationships with parents, friends and acquaintances. But the most important common ground of both characters is their ability to love. Sincerely and desperately. No matter what. Sometimes this love could cost them their lives and lives of the people who would love them in return.

Confrontation of one "little" person and a crowd, sincere feelings and social stereotypes, love and fear - these are the real issues that have pushed us to make this film.

The catch of this project is in its sincerity. The series script was not made up, not to follow the fashion, not based on logics or the fantasy of the writer.

Each frame of the series is based on the real events. Each character has its prototype in everyday reality. Why the pilot episode is quite tough, but at the same time touching and unpredictable? Just like real life of each and every one of us.

Director's goal was also a desire to show psychological drama in which gays are not seen as a separate category of people, but just like ordinary ones. Their only difference is that society denies them the right to be recognized as "normal". The iron curtain separates not only a single country from the rest of the world, but each of the homosexual from himself.

Philosophical subtext of the series is that the boundaries of consciousness define the boundaries of the world. Thus the false stereotypes that exist in society about gay representation ruined many human lives. So if this film will save at least one life then it served its purpose.

Official website:

Official trailer:

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Sunday, December 22, 2013 / Labels: , , , ,

Scholarship opportunities for the 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia

December 22, 2013 /LGBT News/ Key dates: 
Deadline for scholarship application: 13 February 2014, 24:00 CET
Conference dates: 20 - 25 July, 2014

International Scholarship Programme

The International Scholarship Programme is open to everyone around the world working or volunteering in the field of HIV and AIDS. 

Priority will be given to those whose participation will help enhance their work in their own communities, to those who are able to assist in the transfer of skills and knowledge acquired at the conference, and to those whose abstract, workshop or programme activity submission has been selected. Scholarship selection will be based on a non-biased scoring system established in advanced. A Scholarship Review Committee will contribute to the reviewing and scoring of the applications. 

Although every attempt will be made to assist as many people as possible, we regret that there are only a limited number of international scholarships available. On average, less than 10% of applicants are awarded a scholarship. Applicants are therefore strongly encouraged to seek other funding as well. 

Those interested in applying for an International Scholarship must complete the online International Scholarship application form through their conference profile between 5 December 2013 and 13 February 2014, 24:00 CET. Click here to see questions included in the International Scholarship application form. 

Those submitting an abstract, workshop and/or programme activity proposal and interested in applying for an International Scholarship should start their scholarship request through their conference profile. Applicants will then receive instructions on how to link their abstract, workshop and/or programme activity to their scholarship application. 

International Scholarship applicants will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation after completing the scholarship application form. No international application will be accepted without submission of the letter of recommendation. 

Media Scholarship Programme

A very limited number of scholarships will also be available for media representatives from around the world. Media scholarship applicants will be asked to provide media accreditation and supporting documents. No media application will be accepted without submission of the required supporting documentation. 

Those interested in applying for a Media Scholarship must complete the online Media Scholarship application form through their conference profile between 5 December 2013 and 13 February 2014, 24:00 CET. Click here to see questions included in the Media Scholarship application form. 

Application Criteria

International scholarship applications are open to anyone working or volunteering in the field of HIV who are at least 16 years of age at the time of the conference (20 July 2014). Click here to look through the International Scholarship terms and conditions. 

Media scholarship applications are open to all bona fide journalists who are at least 16 years of age at the time of the conference (20 July 2014). Click here to look through the Media Scholarship terms and conditions. 

Most of the questions asked on the application form are related to personal details and work experience. There are also questions which ask for further details regarding the applicant's organization, occupation or involvement in the field of HIV, motivation to attend the conference and how the applicant's organization or community would benefit from the scholarship. 

Types of Support

Scholarship applicants will be able to request a full or partial scholarship. 

A full scholarship includes:
  • Registration fee for the conference (include access to all sessions and exhibitions);
  • Travel (pre-paid airfare at the lowest fare available, from the nearest international airport);
  • Accommodation (shared in a budget hotel or dorm for the days of the conference);
  • Modest daily living allowance for the duration of the conference (20-25 July 2014, USD 55 per day).
  • A partial scholarship includes any combination of the above. 

Please note that funding is limited and demand for scholarships is high. Scholarship applicants are therefore encouraged to seek other funding as well.

About the conference

"The International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. It is a chance to assess where we are, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward. 

The AIDS 2014 programme will present new scientific knowledge and offer many opportunities for structured dialogue on the major issues facing the global response to HIV. A variety of session types – from abstract-driven presentations to symposia, bridging and plenary sessions – will meet the needs of various participants. Other related activities, including the Global Village, satellite meetings, exhibitions and affiliated independent events, will contribute to an exceptional opportunity for professional development and networking."

Contact details:

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