"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."
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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact:
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.thevillagesgroup.com/rainbow.
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 www.google.ru.
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.
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: www.theperfectweddingmovie.com
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 www.theperfectweddingmovie.com
or its Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ThePerfectWeddingMovie
|Jason T. Gaffney|
|Jason T Gaffney with Eric Aragon|
|James Rebhorn and Kristine Sutherland On Set|
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: www.moonlightpeople.com
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.
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: email@example.com
For more information visit: http://www.aids2014.org/Default.aspx?pageId=610
December 19, 2013 /LGBT News/ This is why a closet is no place for a person to truly live in:
I am going to talk to you tonight about coming out of the closet, and not in the traditional sense, not just the "gay" closet.
I think we all have closets, your closet may be telling someone you love her for the first time. Or telling someone you're pregnant. Or telling someone you have cancer. Or any of the other hard conversations we have throughout our lives. All the closet is, is a hard conversation. And although our topics may vary tremendously, the experience of being in and coming out of the closet is universal. It is scary, and we hate it, and it needs to be done.
Several years ago, I was working at the Southside Walnut Café, a local diner in town, and during my time there, I would go through phases of militant, lesbian, intensity. Not shaving my armpits, quoting Ani DiFranco lyrics as gospel and depending on the bagginess of my cargo shorts, and how recently i'd shaved my head, the question would often be sprung on me, usually by a little kid: "Mmmm, are you a boy, or are you a girl?" And there would be an awkward silence at the table, I'd clench my jaw a little tighter, hold my coffee pot with a little more vengeance, the Dad would awkwardly shuffle his newspaper, and the Mom would shoot a chilling stare at her kid. But I would say nothing, and I would seethe inside. And it got to the point that everytime I walked up to a table that had a kid anywhere between 3 and 10 years old, I was ready to fight. And that is a terrible feeling. So I promised myself that the next time I would say something. I would have that hard conversation.
So in a matter of weeks, it happens again: "Are you a boy, or are you a girl?" Familiar silence. But this time, I am ready. And I am about to go all Woman Studies 101 on this table. I've got my Betty Friedan quotes, I've got my Gloria Steinem quotes, I even got this little bit from Vagina Monologue I'm gonna do, so I take a deep breath, and i look down, and staring back at me is a 4-year old girl in a pink dress. Not a challenge to a feminist duel, just a kid, with a question: "Are you a boy, or are you a girl?" So I take another deep breath, squat down next to her and say: "Hey, I know it's kind of confusing, my hair is short like a boy's, and I wear boys' clothes, but I'm a girl, and you know how sometimes you like to wear a pink dress, and sometimes you like to wear your comfie jammies, well, I'm more of a comfie jammies kind of a girl." And this kid looks me dead in the eye without missing a beat and says: "My favorite pajamas are purple with fish, can I get a pancake please?" And that was it, just: "Oh, OK, you're a girl. How 'bout that pancake?"
It was the easiest hard conversation I have ever had. And why? Because Pancake Girl and I, we were both real with each other. So, like many of us, I've lived in a few closets in my life, and yeah, most often, my walls happen to be rainbow. But inside, in the dark, you can't tell what color the walls are. You just know what it feels like to live in a closet.
So really, my closet is no different than yours, or yours, or yours. Sure, I can give you 100 reasons why coming out of my closet was harder than coming out of yours, but here's the thing, hard is not relative, hard is hard. Who can tell me that explaining to someone that you've just declared bankrupcy is harder than telling someone you cheated on them? Who can tell me that his coming out story is harder than telling your 5-year old you're getting a divorce? There is no "harder", there is just "hard." We need to stop ranking our "hard" against everybody else's "hard" to make us feel better or worse about our closet and just commiserate on the fact that we all have "hard."
At some point in our lives, we all live in closets, and they may feel safe. Or at least, safer than what lies on the other side of that door. But I'm here to tell you, no matter what your walls are made of, a closet is no place for a person to live. So why is coming out of any closet, why is having that conversation, why is it so hard? Because they're stressful. We're so concerned about the reaction of the other person, and understandably. Will they be angry? Sad? Disappointed? Will we loose a friend? A parent? A lover? These conversations cause stress. So let's kick out on stress for a minute.
Stress is a natural reaction in your body. When you encounter a perceived threat, your hypothalamus sounds the alarm, and adrenaline and cortisol start coursing through your veins. This is known as Fight or Flight. Sometimes you rumble, sometimes you run. And this is a totally normal reaction. And, comes from a time when that threat was being chased by a wooly mammoth. The problem is your hypothalamus has no idea if you're being chased by a wooly mammoth, or if your computer just crashed, or if your in-laws just showed up on your doorsteps, or if you're about to jump out of a plane, or if you need to tell someone you love that you have a brain tumor. The difference is the wooly mammoth chases you for what, maybe 10 minutes. Not having those hard conversations, that can go on for years, and your body just can't handle that. Chronic exposure to adrenaline and cortisol disrupts almost every system in your body and can lead to anxiety, depression, heart disease, just to name a few.
When you do not have hard conversations, when you keep the truth about yourself a secret, you're essentially holding a grenade. So, imagine yourself 20 years ago. Me, I had a pony tail, a strapless dress, and high heel shoes. I was not the militant lesbian ready to fight any 4-year old that walked into the café. I was frozen by fear, curled up in a corner of my pitch-black closet, clutching my gay grenade. And moving one muscle is the scariest thing I have ever done. My family, my friends, complete strangers, I had spent my entire life trying to not disappoint these people. And now, I was turning the world upside down. On purpose. I was burning the pages of the script we had all followed for so long, but if you do not throw that grenade, it will kill you.
One of my most memorable grenade-tosses was at my sister's wedding. It was the 1st time that many on attendance knew that I was gay. So in doing my Maid of Honor duties, in my black dress and heels, I walked around the tables, and finally landed at the table of my parents' friends, folks that had known me for years. And after a little small talk, one of the women shouted out: "I love Nathan Lane!" And the battle of gay relatebility had begun. "Ash, have you ever been to the Castro?" "Well, yeah, actually, we have friends in San Francisco." "We've never been there, but we hear it's 'fa-bu-lous'!!" "Ash, do you know my hairdresser Antonio, he's really good, and he's never talked about a girlfriend." "Ash, what's your favorite TV show? Our favorite TV show: favorite, Will and Grace, you know who we love? Jack. Jack is our favorite." And then one woman, stumped, but wanting so desperately to show her support, to let me know she was on my side, she finally blurted out: "Well, sometimes my husband wears pink shirts."
And I had a choice in that moment, as all grenade-throwers do. I could go back to my girlfriend, and my gay-loving table, and mock their responses. Chastise their unworldliness, and their inability to jump through the politically-correct gay hoops I had brought with me, or I could empatize with them, and realize that that was maybe one of the hardest things that they had ever done. That starting, and having that conversation, was them coming out of their closets. Sure, it would have been easy to point out where they fell short. It's a lot harder to meet them where they are, and acknowledge the fact that they were trying, and what else can you ask someone to do, but try.
If you're going to be real with someone, you've got to be ready for real in return. So, hard conversations are still not my strong suit. Ask anybody I've ever dated. But I'm getting better. And I follow what I like to call 'The Three Pancake Girl Principles." Now, please, view this through gay-colored lenses, but know, what it takes to come out of any closet, is essentially the same.
Be Authentic, take the armor off, be yourself. That kid in the café had no armor, but I was ready for battle. Stupid hypothalamus. If you want someone to be real with you, they need to know that you bleed too.
Be Direct. You say it, rip the bandaid off. If you know you are gay, just say it. If you tell your parents you might be gay, they will hold that hope that this will change. Do not give them that sense of false hope.
And Number Three, and most important:
Be Unapologetic. You are speaking your truth. Never apologize for that. And some folks might have gotten hurt along the way. So sure. Apologize for what you've done. But never apologize for who you are. And yeah, some folks may be disappointed. But that is on them. Not on you. Those are their expectations of who you are, not yours. That is their story. Not yours. The only story that matters is the one that you want to write.
So the next time you find yourself in a pitchblack closet clutching your grenade, know that we've all been there before. And you may feel so very alone, but you are not. And we know it's hard, but we need you out here, no matter what your walls are made of. Because I guarantee you there are others peering through the keyhole of their closet looking for the next brave soul to bust a door open so BE that person, and show the world that we are bigger than our closets, and that a closet is no place for a person to truly live in.
Thank you Boulder, enjoy your night.
December 10, 2013 /LGBT News/ Everyday Feminism has just announced its new project – The Coming Out Course. It’s a site that provides LGBTQ youth with support, guidance, and community during their first coming out experiences.
This will be the first ever free online course of its kind and will be especially beneficial to youth in conservative, rural, and other areas without access to local LGBTQ organizations.
It will help LGBTQ youth, facing homophobia and transphobia, determine their own coming out process and build a support network. And for when coming out isn’t the safest or the desired outcome, it will also help people learn how to both honor their identity while protecting it at that same time.
While the online course will be offered in mid-2014, the project is already providing support through its inspiration board with messages of support, blog articles, and a Facebook page.
For more information, please visit http://comingoutcourse.com.
About Everyday Feminism
Everyday Feminism is dedicated to supporting people address the everyday violence, discrimination, and marginalization they face due to their gender, sexual orientation, race, class, size, and other social differences. After having been launched just one year ago, it has become one of the fastest growing feminist platforms. Through its online magazine, online courses, forum, and podcasts, it draws on average 300,000 visitors per month to its site. For more information, please visit http://www.everydayfeminism.com.
December 2, 2013 /LGBT News/ Denial, Deceit, Discovery is a new work of fiction by J. James. Written in the style of a personal memoir, James tells the complex, engaging and moving coming out story of the book’s main character, Jack Ellis. Jack is a young Catholic man living in the UK who struggles mightily on the road to self-awareness. Jack’s life is inspired by many events experienced by the author, but the universal themes of honesty, personal growth and acceptance transcend one person’s story. Denial, Deceit, Discovery is available at YPD Books, Amazon, and iTunes.
James recently completed the following interview exclusively for LGBT-News.com!
What inspired you to write Denial, Deceit, Discovery?
Having always worked in education I had always planned on writing a children’s book but that all changed when I came out. My wife and I were Catholics and when we divorced she requested that I support her application for an annulment from the church, which then allows either party to remarry in the eyes of God. As part of the process of obtaining an annulment for my marriage I was requested by the priest to write a page expressing my situation and the feelings I experienced about men, etc. and the confusion around my sexuality. I found the task difficult to do on one page and it took 6!! The priest said it was the most moving and emotional account he had ever read. Having talked to so many other men who had gone through similar trials I realised then that my story and experiences could really help. I also found it incredibly cathartic.
Would you describe this book as a 'Coming Out Story'?
Essentially. I guess the book has a very strong ‘coming out’ story within it. It expresses the confusion, fear and difficulties that many men face prior to, during and after coming out. It tackles the emotions of not only the person revealing their identity but also the emotional responses of loved ones. However, the book does also deal with many other themes such as growing up and puberty, relationships, sexual behaviour and the pursuit of happiness.
You say that Denial, Deceit, Discovery is "written in the style of a personal memoir" and inspired by events in your own life. Is it an auto-biography?
The book is based on true events and many of these are events from my own life. However, I have drawn on the stories and experiences of the many other gay men I have met over the years of which there were always common themes. I think there is a little bit of every gay man in the main character Jack.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your first book?
Considering this is my debut novel I found it surprisingly easy to complete. There was no real need to plan out the story as it followed a natural time line and involved familiar characters. Probably the most challenging aspect was having to re-live some of the more emotional moments expressed in the book such as the death of my uncle and the breakdown of my marriage. If I am honest, the greatest challenge has not been writing the book but actually marketing and promoting the book. I know the book can help many others but making those people aware in the first place is tough. Social media and websites like this have been really helpful.
How have your family and friends responded to Denial, Deceit, Discovery?
Many of my friends read the story as I was going along. Each time I finished a chapter I would send it to a group of friends for appraising. They were so supportive and encouraging and really believed in me. Originally when I started the book I never even thought about publishing it but my friends and especially my partner, made me believe in myself. I have to be honest and say that some of my friends are struggling to read such intimate details about me, especially the sex scenes! Some of my family members who are featured in the book have also been great supporters whilst others find it difficult to read – especially reading about how alone and confused I felt. I know my father has read the book, which is in fact the only book he has ever read! I am a little bit embarrassed to know my father has read about my sex life. My mother has chosen not to read the book – which is a bit of a relief!
What can you share about the visit you're planning to the U.S. in 2014 to promote Denial, Deceit, Discovery?
I am really excited about my trip to the US in April 2014. The book has been attracting a lot of supporters in America and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to come and meet people. This will be my debut book signing tour and I am so happy it will be in the US. I am currently planning the event with my publicist in the US – Brian Goldthorpe and aiming to visit NYC, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia. Be sure to catch me on the East Coast guys!
Are you planning write another book in the future?
At the moment I am so busy promoting my debut book that I don’t have as much time as I would like for writing. I have started on my second book and can reveal that maybe it won’t be too long before Jack makes an appearance. I’m experimenting as an author and trying some different genre and styles of writing. You will have to wait and see.
November 11, 2013 /LGBT News/ How do parents feel when their child tells them that he or she is gay? An aspect of homosexuality not taken up too often. CNN-IBN’s Anubha Bhonsle spends time with 4 sets of parents, to document how they responded when they learnt their child was gay. Parents from different parts of the country, different backgrounds, different sections, yet standing together as parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children. Stories of how parents came to accept, understand and stand by their children, and why they are standing up to the self-appointed guardians of family values.
Director: Anubha Bhonsle
Producer: Rohit Khanna
Produced In: 2011
Story Teller's Country: India