January 24, 2017 /LGBT News/ Chances are you’ve never heard of anyone’s sex organs spontaneously changing from female to male, but this fascinating condition affects about one in every 50 children born in the small isolated village of Salinas in the Dominican Republic. This phenomenon poses many challenging questions about what defines gender and how societies shape their concepts of it.
In the 1970s, Julianne Imperato, PhD, of Cornell University traveled to the Dominican Republic to investigate claims of young female-appearing children developing masculine features. The locals referred to the phenomena by two names: guevedoces, translated to mean “penis at age twelve,” and machihembras, meaning “first a woman, then a man.” In the following years, reports suggested that this was also common in the Sambian villages of Papua New Guinea, where the locals called these individuals turnims, meaning “expected to become men.”
|Photographs of a psueodhermaphrodite published originally in the American Journal of Medicne (Am. J. Med. 62: 170-191, 1977)|
The chromosomes that determine our sex normally do so at conception even though sex organs don’t begin to form until eight weeks into fetal development. When a fetus has a Y chromosome, it causes a surge in testosterone production that leads to the development of male sex organs. Meanwhile, if a Y chromosome is absent, the fetus will instead develop female sex organs. However, for guevedoces, who are also known as pseudohermaphrodites, an enzyme deficiency during fetal development, specifically the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, causes the male sex organs to never properly form. It’s not until puberty, when these children experience a second surge of testosterone, that the testes descend from inside the body and a penis grows.
Deficiencies in 5-alpha-reductase seem to be hereditary, which explains why pockets of pseudohermaphrodites often appear in small communities like Salinas.
During the 1970s, guevedoces births were reported to account for as many as two percent of all births in these small villages of the Dominican Republic. Since then, doctors in villages in both the Dominican Republic and Papua New Guinea have become experts in distinguishing normal female external genitalia from the ambiguous genitalia of guevedoces babies. Due to the prevalence of these births, both cultures believe in three sexual categories: the male, the female, and the pseudohermaphrodite.
The guevedoces’ rare start in life has also provided insight into human sexuality. Despite being brought up as girls for the majority of their lives, most young guevedoces identify strongly as heterosexuals, proving that hormones in the womb matter more than rearing when it comes to your sexual orientation.
The differences in the way these two societies deal with this rare occurrence hint at the magnitude to which a society’s culture can affect an individual’s beliefs and opinions. The Sambians view these children as flawed males; the children are rejected and humiliated by their families and society. On the other hand, in the Dominican Republic, the birth of a psueodhermaphrodite is fully accepted and during puberty, the child’s physical transformation into a male is marked by joyous celebration. Gemma Nierman, PhD, of St. Mary’s College and summer lecturer at University of California, Berkeley, remarks, “the Dominican Republic communities that quietly accept their citizens with 5 α-reductase deficiency are a model to the world on how to deal with genetic differences...[they] are showing us how to help these folks have a full and rewarding life despite their genetic disorder.”
August 24, 2016 /LGBT News/ ILGA-Europe and COC Netherlands together invite proposals for small funding program ‘Allies in Action’, designed to foster an enabling environment for LGBTI equality work in the specific project countries. It aims to create ways for local LGBTI advocates and groups to involve more supporters in their work.
In Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine, LGBTI groups and human rights defenders work in an increasingly hostile environment. There are limited or even rapidly diminishing opportunities for meaningful dialogue with policy- and decision-makers. These factors strongly affect the public debate on LGBTI-related issues, the position of civil society, and functional paths towards achieving change. At the time when opportunities for ‘conventional’ campaigning targeting state bodies and aiming for legislative and policy changes are limited, we believe that it is crucial to develop horizontal ties in the society, activate person-to-person connections, and increase the capacity of LGBTI groups to engage supporters outside of LGBTI movement in a progressive, meaningful, and sustainable way.
This small action support fund will welcome a wide variety of activities with the overall goal of educating and mobilising potential allies of LGBTI equality work among such professional groups as journalists, lawyers, educators, as well as among local communities and families of LGBTI people; activities that would contribute to:
- establishing cooperation between LGBTI groups and professionals who have advocacy potential
- raising awareness of specific professional groups about LGBTI-specific issues
- expanding the network of support for LGBTI people and LGBTI organisations
- increasing access to professional assistance for LGBTI people in the area
The preferred activities for funding include:
- Initiatives that feed into, reinforce, and/or diversify other ongoing efforts towards better environment for LGBTI persons and protection of their rights (by you or another group);
- Genuine and innovative approach to action that is strongly rooted in a local reality, with its limitations, opportunities, and existing relations;
- Duration of action or initiative of no more than 6 months in total (from receipt of the award to its completion and reporting);
- Willingness to share experience with colleagues and activists across the above-indicated countries and beyond.
The funding allotment will be of not more than 5,000 euros.
Deadline: 18 September 2016
The program support initiatives that:
- Are led by LGBTI persons and/ or allies of LGBTI (with no limitation in regards presence or absence of official registration of the group);
- Are implemented locally by groups in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Russia, or Ukraine;
- Are focused on a specific, carefully selected audience/ target group outside of LGBTI movement and serve to engage, inspire, mobilise individuals and collectives that are in a position to impact everyday realities of LGBTI persons, advocacy capacity of LGBTI organisations, and/ or proper understanding of issues pertaining SOGISC;
- Demonstrate a clear vision of how this action contributes its bit to a change you want to achieve in your environment;
- Are concrete and scalable (i.e. with balanced, matching goals and actions);
- Are endorsed by LGBTI organisations (if proposed by an informal group of allies or activists).
How to Apply
Interested applicants must submit brief proposals in a prescribed format via email.
For more information, please visit Allies in Action.
August 4, 2016 /LGBT News/ In a remote village in northern Tanzania, same sex marriages are on the rise, but not among lesbians. Within the Kurya tribe, a longstanding tradition of straight women and widows marrying each other in order to preserve their homes and lifestyles without husbands has seen a resurgence in popularity recently, as women seek more freedom and power, according to Marie Claire magazine.
|Photo courtesy of Marie Claire magazine|
The Kurya tribe, with a population of 7,00,000 spread all over northern Tanzania, has a practice they call Nyumba Ntobhu, which translates to “House of women.” This centuries-old local tradition has been given a modern revival by members of the Kurya tribe in remote villages in the north of the country.
Under the tradition, a woman is permitted to marry a younger woman if she is widowed or her husband chooses to leave her. This means she can keep the family home which is jointly owned with the younger woman, despite a tribal law which dictates that only males can normally inherit property.
These married women live together, cook, work, and raise children together. They share the same bed, but no part of this union involves sex, and the Kurya tribe forbids homosexuality. “Most Kurya people don't even know gay sex exists in other parts of the world. Especially between women,” a Kurya reporter, Dinna Maningo, told Marie Claire.
According to the practice, the younger woman is able to take a male partner and potentially give birth to male heirs on the older woman's behalf.
Mugosi Maningo and Anastasia Juma are one such couple. Mugosi’s husband left her 10 years ago, while Anastasia had survived a forced marriage at the age of 13, was treated like a slave by her husband, and ran away after giving birth to his child. The pair married in 2015.
“I certainly didn’t want another husband. Marrying a woman seemed the best solution,” Anastasia said.
The two women will soon reach their first anniversary as a married couple. They're not sure if they'll do anything to celebrate the occasion—their lives are busy with their land, their livestock, and their three boisterous boys. "Anastasia likes goat meat, so I might cook some for her as an anniversary treat," says Mugosi. Anastasia is excited about their future together. “The marriage is working out better than I could have imagined. I wasn’t sure at first, because it was such a new experience—now, I wouldn’t choose any other way.”
As modern as this practice sounds, it's quite an old custom, but wasn't created with the modern implications it now has. Kurya women are only now waking up to the fact that they can use this custom to find a stable home, devoid of the domestic and sexual violence traditional heterosexual marriages stand for, and also to choose their own male sexual partner. As reporter Dinna Maningo says, the problems of domestic abuse, child marriage, and female genital mutilation are rife in their society.
Date of Issue: Saturday 30 July 2016
Gendered Intelligence, a British non-profit organisation that works with the trans community, will take 70 transgender and gender variant young people aged 11-24 camping in August and is aiming to raise £12,000 through Crowdfunding to make it possible.
In 2010, Gendered Intelligence (GI) took a chance on arranging a short summer camping residential for a handful of young trans people. It was so successful that they have done it every year since. This year, GI is taking 70 young people camping over two weekends – the biggest number yet and a massive undertaking for the organisation.
The camping trip attempts to solve some of the problems that young trans people face if they want to go away on conventional camping or activity holidays. As the majority of summer residentials are segregated by gender, they can prove anxiety-provoking for young trans people, especially those who identify as non-binary.
Attending the camping trip can make a massive difference to a young person's life. It's also a chance to learn new skills such as kayaking and raft-building, to go swimming – an activity which is generally unavailable to young trans people – and make new friends.
The camping trip gives young people respite from the challenges that they face in their everyday lives. It can be a huge relief to be able to have fun in a safe environment. Many young trans people feel isolated and vulnerable, typically suffering inequality and discrimination across society.
The response to this year’s camping trip call out was phenomenal – GI received 134 applications, almost double to the number of places available.
"The best thing about GI camping trips is that everyone gets to relax and be themselves. We create our own community, respect and look after each other without having to worry about what the rest of the world thinks" – Jake, camp worker
“A few years ago one of our young members described the camping trip as 'a little bit of paradise'. This has always stayed me - partly because it's wonderful to know that Gendered Intelligence is providing such valuable experiences, but also because it motivates me and the team who are working hard to make society more trans inclusive. Because at the end of the day, going camping should be fun no doubt, but 'paradise'? It points out to me that everyday life for young trans people is generally difficult. So in the meantime - until we make the world more intelligent about gender - let's go camping” – Jay Stewart, director of Gendered Intelligence
"Perhaps the highlight of the year was the Camping Trip. My son did things that he, and I, did not expect him to do, including swimming - something he used to love but had not felt able to do for some time. He spent quality time with his GI friends and made new friends and it was heart-warming to see them return, the bond between them was touching. My son came home tired, dirty, a little smelly, but most importantly, he came home very happy. “– Parent of a 15 year old trans boy
Notes to Editors:
Gendered Intelligence’s Crowdfunding Campaign can be found at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/trans-youth-camping-trip-2016
Research Indicates That:
91% of trans boys and 66% of trans girls experience harassment or bullying at school (EHRC)
72% young trans people self-harm (Youth Chances, 2013)
31% of trans people attempt suicide and 73% experience harassment (Engendered Penalties, 2007)
81% say they avoid some situations in public spaces due to fear (Trans Mental Health Study 2012)
About Gendered Intelligence:
Gendered Intelligence is a CIC, founded in 2008. We work with trans community and all those who impact on trans lives; specialise in supporting young trans people 8-25. Our vision is of a world where people are no longer constrained by narrow perceptions and expectations of gender, and where diverse gender expressions are visible and valued.
Trans Youth Work
Regular group sessions in London, Bristol and Leeds for young trans people up to the age of 25, residentials, peer support for parents and carers and special projects
Work in Education
Working one to one mentoring with young trans people from across England in their educational settings, workshops and assemblies for students across all educational sectors, staff training, consultation and policy development
Trans Awareness and Inclusion training, consultancy work, policy development and a membership scheme.
Presentations, conferences, panel discussions, lectures and workshops.
For press enquiries, please contact Jamie Pallas
Phone: 0207 832 5809
July 21, 2016 /LGBT News/ The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section in Dublin, Ireland in collaboration with the U.S. Consulate in Belfast is seeking proposals from eligible organisations for a program entitled “Advocating for Human and Civil Rights for the LGBT Community” with an aim to implement a U.S. exchange program for current and emerging leaders from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in support of a core tenant of U.S. foreign policy—the protection of universal human rights.
The project is designed primarily for civil society activists and legal experts involved in LGBT advocacy work, as well as developing human and civil rights laws, policies and programs.
This U.S. exchange program will focus on addressing some of the human and civil rights challenges for members of the LGBT community, while also building cross-border relationships and collaborations between participants from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Specifically, it will explore U.S. advocacy efforts, at the local, state, national, and international levels, to support the equality and dignity of the LGBT community.
Participants will examine the legislative framework surrounding LGBT issues and political, societal and judicial perspectives on LGBT rights. The project will also highlight the impact of the increasingly visible, open and active role of the LGBT community in political, economic and cultural life.
Deadline: 19 August 2016
- Examine U.S. and international initiatives to promote and protect the human rights of the LGBT community;
- Discuss social and cultural approaches to gender and sexual orientation identities in a diverse society;
- Examine efforts to protect LGBT youth and explore equal access to educational, economic and healthcare opportunities for citizens with diverse gender identities and sexual orientations;
- Analyze the legislative framework and political perspectives on current and pending efforts to ensure equal human and civil rights in the United States;
- Observe how organizations monitor, influence, and advocate for human and civil rights policy at the local, state, national, and international levels;
- Gain insight into how LGBT rights groups work effectively across regions and across borders.
- The grants for this call for proposals range between $30,000.00 to $60,000.00.
- Grant project should be completed in one year or less.
- The history of the movement
- The contemporary debate on LGBT rights and same sex marriage
- Workplace rights
- The support needs of LGBT youth and families, as well as general social inclusion and diversity in the United States.
- Participants will learn how LGBT advocacy groups counter discrimination and defamation and how they engage religious leaders to create wider social acceptance and understanding.
- Particular emphasis should be placed on challenges regarding access to health care, adoption issues, bullying in schools and workplace diversity.
- Eligibility is open to all U.S. non-profit, non-governmental organizations.
- Individuals are not eligible for an award under this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
- Organizations may sub-contract with other entities, but only one, non-profit, non-governmental entity can be the prime recipient of the award. When sub-contracting with other entities, the responsibilities of each entity must be clearly defined in the proposal.
- Cost-sharing or matching is not required for this funding opportunity.
- This award does not allow for construction activities or costs.
- U.S. Embassy Dublin grants/cooperative agreements cannot be used to fund religious or partisan political activity; fundraising campaigns; commercial projects; scientific research; projects whose primary aim is the institutional development of the organization, or illegal activities.
- Academics and government officials working in the area of LGBT advocacy may also be considered.
- Participants must be fluent in English.
- Half of the participants will be nominated by the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, while the other half will be nominated by the U.S. Consulate in Belfast.
How to Apply:
Interested applicants can apply via website.
For more information, please visit grants.gov.
June, 12, 2016 /LGBT News/ A gay nightclub in orlando, Florida, was the scene of the worst terror attack in U.S. history since 9/11. 49 people were killed inside the Pulse club and at least 53 were injured, police say.
The gunman, Omar Mateen, 29, of Ft. Pierce, Florida, called 911 around the time of the attack to pledge allegiance to ISIS and mention the Boston bombers, according to a U.S. official.
"It appears he was organized and well-prepared," Orlando Police Chief John Mina said early Sunday. The shooter had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and "some type of (other) device on him."
Mateen was killed after a shootout with Orlando police.
President Barack Obama in a news conference said the shooting is "a sobering reminder that attacks on any American - regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation - is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country."
"We know enough to say this was an act of terror and act of hate," President Obama said. While the violence could have hit any American community, "this is an especially heartbreaking day for our friends who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender," he added.
While we still know very little about this morning’s brutal massacre at Pulse in Orlando, this terrible tragedy is a reminder of the threat of violence against LGBT every day, and that we must always remain vigilant.
March 14, 2016 /LGBT News/ Here is a fun and gay easy recipe for you to try at home.
- One small box of jello for each color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple)
- One large tub of cool whip
- Pour jello purple into glasses, reserving about 1/3 of the liquid jello. Put glasses in the refrigerator and chill for 15-30 minutes, or until slightly set. Mix about 1/3 cup of cool whip into the remaining purple jello. Pour the jello/cool whip mix on top of the purple jello in the glasses.
- Repeat process for each color.
- Top with some additional cool whip and sprinkles.
European Commission: Supporting National and Transnational Projects on Non- Discrimination (LGBT included)
February 9, 2016 /LGBT News/
Deadline: 12 April 2016
European Commission is inviting applicants for Action Grants aims to co-fund national or transnational projects on non-discrimination and Roma integration in line with the specific objective to promote the effective implementation of the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, and to respect the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds.
The Commission wishes to support activities which tackle at least one of the following groups at risk of discrimination: racial or ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, older/younger people, religious minorities and LGBTI people.
- Discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation in order to improve social acceptance of LGBTI people. The activities may aim to raise awareness about and combat harmful stereotypes towards LGBTI people, organise training, mutual learning and exchange of god practices. The activities may cover specifically non-discrimination in the field of education, employment, health and/or mainstreaming social acceptance of LGBTI in other areas.
- Diversity management in the public and private sector: identification of existing practices, research work, measurement of diversity management benefits, and awareness-raising. The proposed activities may be linked to the launch and implementation of Diversity Charters.
- Roma: activities aiming to raise awareness about and combat harmful stereotypes of Roma and supporting thereby their integration into mainstream society. Identification and exchange of good practices across fields of access to education, employment, healthcare or to housing as well as anti-discrimination, protection of Roma children and women and empowerment related to Roma integration.
- Multiple discrimination: research work on the phenomenon, awareness-raising of its existence and consequences, identification and exchange of good practices in combating multiple discrimination.
Size of Grants
Any grant requested under this call for proposal must fall between EUR 150.000 to EUR 500.000.
The initial duration of the projects should not exceed 24 months
Eligible Countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Iceland and Liechtenstein
1. In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:
- be a legal person, and;
- be non-profit-making,
- be legally established in European Union memeber States, Iceland or Liechtenstein and
- be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary
2. The lead applicant must act with co-applicant(s) as specified hereafter. Co-applicants participate in designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the lead applicant.
How to Apply
Applicants first need to register and obtain a login and password to access the system.
Applications must be submitted, in their entirety, through PRIAMOS.
For more information, please visit European Commission.
By Dr. Harold Reed
1. How to Get the Longest Metoidioplasty
It takes one to 2 years to max out testosterone effects and also testosterone precursor effects when used as a topical cream.
There is a cream favored by European doctors that can be applied daily, and if possible you may wished to place over than a strip of Saran-wrap or Glad-wrap.
This is called an occlusive dressing and keeps the cream more on the clitoris than allowing it be rubbed off in your night wear.
There are also vacuum erection devices designed just for your purpose. You may wish to visit our web-site http://srsmiami.com/metoidioplasty/
2. Sex Change for Individuals Serving in the Military
The military has now one VAH center which proclaims it will follow transgender patients, but as to the logistics of changing while you are on duty, this could be best answered by (perhaps) the commanding officer of your post or the Department of Defense.
If you do have surgery while in the service, would think that reassignment to a new post where you are not known would make more sense.
The Department of Veterans Affairs opened its first health care clinic dedicated to transgender service members.
Housed within the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center in Ohio, the clinic will offer primary care services alongside hormonal therapy and mental health care. The VA center, which provides care to more than 112,000 people, is currently treating around two dozen transgender patients.
For more information, please visit our website at http://srsmiami.com/sex-reassignment-surgery/.
3. Scrotectomy Only
When it comes to scrotectomy, the removal of the scrotum, there are many questions that patients have ahead of time. The following are some of the most common inquiries about this process and the answers we provide our patients.
⦁ Q. How long will I need to stay off work?
A. You could return to an office environment in 10 days after scrotal removal. You will need a ring pillow for 3 weeks when you sit down.
⦁ Q. What should I expect in terms of costs and fees?
A. Our fees as posted on our web-site which includes surgery, local anesthesia with or without IV conscious sedation, use of the operating and recovery room and any follow-up care we provide $2,500.
⦁ Q. Where should I stay on the day of and the days following the procedure, while I’m still being monitored by Dr. Reed?
A. I recommend you consider the Daddy O Hotel which is one block from our office and ask for a ground floor room, easier to get to the breakfast bar (included with your room).
4. MTF Hormones – Best Practices?
The National Institute of Health has come out with an advisory: estrogens are not recommended for women over 55 without due caution.
That said, we do hormones in a careful and monitored fashion. This will provide considerable assistance in the development of breasts. The majority of people are around one cup size smaller than other immediate family members such as a mother or sister, following two years of hormone therapy. Of course, estrogens also provide feminizing effects to your skin and tend to shift body fat from your belly to your buttocks.
A letter of therapy clearance is required by a licensed therapist with a doctoral degree. Our fee is $250 for consultation and $600 per year to follow you with needed lab tests, office visits, prescriptions, counselling, numerous telephone calls, and medical records documentation. The $600 fee is payable whenever you wish to start on hormones.
Lab tests are an out-of-pocket expense, as is the medication. We may recommend a laboratory, but you can have them done at a nationally recognized laboratory of your choice.
5. Electrolysis Requirement for Male to Female Sex Reassignment
Before undergoing male to female surgery, it is important to visit the official website for the Reed Center and to review the electrolysis diagram which is posted on our site.
The reason for this is that the scraping at the time of surgery is not always successful and the outcome can be that, over time, pubic hair can grow out of the newly created vagina. This is neither aesthetically pleasing nor is it fun during sex.
Therefore, electrolysis is nearly always recommended over the months that precede a male to female surgery.
Find in-depth answers to these questions and more at The Reed Centre.
Harold M. Reed, M.D. FICS
Senior Member of the American Urological Association
Member Society of Genito-Urinary Reconstructive Surgeons
Founding Member and Treasurer of American Academy of Phalloplasty Surgeons
Founding Member Sexual Society of North America
International Society for Sexual Medicine
This is a sponsored post.
If you’re looking to sponsor a post please contact us at info [at] lgbt-news.com.
|AIDS 2014 scholarship recipients © IAS/James Braund|
January 14, 2016 /LGBT News/ The AIDS Conference 2016 organizers are seeking applications in order to provide scholarships to applicants to attend the AIDS Conference 2016.
The conference organizers are committed to doubling the number of scholarships for AIDS 2016 to make the conference even more accessible to people from resource-limited settings, researchers, young people, community activists and civil society representatives.
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 who’s abstract, workshop or programme activity submission has been selected.
Deadline: 12 February 2016
Where and when:
Durban, South Africa | July 18-22, 2016
Durban International Convention Centre (ICC)
A full scholarship may include:
- 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 (18-22 July 2016).
The Scholarship Programme is open to everyone around the world working or volunteering in the field of HIV and AIDS.
For more information, please visit Scholarship for AIDS 2016.
January 12, 2016 /LGBT News/ Hasselblad just announced the winners of their prestigious Masters Awards.
Selected by a combination of a public vote and a professional Masters Jury - comprising internationally renowned photographers and imaging experts, photographer John Paul Evans won the ‘Wedding’ category with his same-sex wedding photograph from the series "Till death us do part" that challenges the paradigm of the wedding portrait.
|Wedding: John Paul Evans, UK|
For the winning photo Evans posed with his partner, Peter.
"Till death us do part" is a series of absurd permutations of the wedding portrait. These performative responses to ideas of marriage and domesticity evoke a sense of the uncanny — Freud's idea of the 'homely and un-homely.'
To view all Hasselblad Masters Awards winning images, go to Photos: Hasselblad Masters 2016 Winners gallery.
January 10, 2016 /LGBT News/ Reno local jeweler BVW Jewelers' new commercial depicting two women getting engaged has been playing on local TV stations and in movie theaters and drawing great attention.
The commercial shows a same-sex couple riding through Reno in a Mercedes-Benz. Then one woman proposes to another on the Crystal Peak Toll Bridge overlooking the Truckee River.
The ad mostly airs during commercial breaks during broadcasts of Ellen DeGeneres' talk show.
BVW Jewelers owner Britten Van Wolf said that he’s proud to support LGBT causes and said that his company believes in equal rights for all.
"If anything, it was a risk on me being a small business in Nevada," BVW owner Britten Wolf said. "I love our state but you don't know how that's going to hit people here. Being a small business, it takes a few people here and there and you could have some adverse effects."
The jeweler was ranked fourth nationally as one of America’s coolest jewelry stores. It also sells the work of local artists with a percentage of proceeds going to the Food Bank.
A National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce report released in June 2015 estimates the combined buying power of the LGBT population to be worth more than $880 billion. According to the Pew Research Center, 35 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage in 2001. Today, 55 percent support it.