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LGBT group raises funds to buy anti-gay church

LGBT advocacy groups are fundraising to purchase a New YorK City Church that was run by reverend David Manning, best known for proclaiming ‘Homos should be stoned’.

The Atlah Worldwide Church is set to be sold in a public auction this month following a court order. The Church is said to owe over $1million in unpaid taxes and bills.

Upon hearing of the sale, LGBT groups have set up a GoFundMe page in an attempt to buy the church to turn it into a support and respite centre for homeless LGBT young people.

Since setting up the page on Friday more than $118,000 has been pledged to the Ali Forney Center which is hoping to use the space to expand housing for LGBT youth.

“I think it would represent a real healing of a terrible wound that’s been in that neighbourhood,” said Carl Siciliano, founder and executive director of the Ali Forney Center.

The centre currently houses 107 homeless youth and has a drop-in area three blocks from Atlah. It offers mental health and medical services and provides over 50,000 meals to homeless LGBT youth annually.

Siciliano said that every night the centre turns away between 170 to 200 young people in need.

If the centre fails to raise enough funds to buy the building, it plans to use the monies raised to assist with homeless LGBT youth programs at other sites.

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Trans activist stands for Irish Assembly

Transgender activist Ellen Murray has announced she will be standing in West Belfast as a candidate for the Green Party in the upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly elections.

Murray is the first openly transgender candidate to stand for election in Ireland.

“I am delighted and excited to put my name forward as a Green Party candidate in the upcoming Assembly election,” Murray said.

“Having spent a number of years working with marginalised young people, I believe the time is right for change in Northern Ireland, to bring about equality for all.

“There is clear under-representation of many groups within the Assembly, including women, young people and the LGBTQ community. I will to give a voice to those who need it most.”

Murray said she is standing for election because she believes the political system should be accessible to everyone.

“As a young, queer, trans woman, I hope that standing for election as an MLA will offer choice and hope for those who need it most,” Murray said.

“I am proud to stand for the Green Party which has such a strong record on social issues. Having more Greens in Stormont can only help to improve the quality of life for everyone in Northern Ireland.”

LGBT Documentary, Pakistan’s Transgenders

Flamboyant, colorful and eccentric, many among Pakistan’s marginalized transgender community scrape a living through dancing, singing and begging on the streets of the country’s economic capital, Karachi. Many others, though, earn money catering for the sexual needs of the city’s seedier districts.

Investigating a never-before-seen side of life in Pakistan, this film from Oscar and EMMY award-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy follows the stories of three transgender people, who each represent a different way of life in the country. Maggie is a prostitute who dreams of becoming an air hostess, while Chahat was abandoned by every middle-class family to beg on the streets. Sana is Karachi’s most sought-after transgender dancer, desperate to give up the profession after a particularly gruesome gang rape. Is there any hope for these courageous individuals who want to stand out on their own?

With exclusive access, this cutting-edge film goes behind the scenes of the transgender community to uncover the truth behind Pakistan’s Open Secret.

Official Selection, United Nations Association Film Festival

Content licensed from TVF International. Any queries, please contact us at: owned-enquiries@littledotstudios.com

Produced by Clover Films

Date: 2016-12-30 15:00:04
Duration: 00:53:14

ISIS throw gay teen from rooftop

A 15-year-old-boy has been thrown from a rooftop by ISIS militants

A teenage boy who was found engaging in sexual activity with a senior ISIS officer has been thrown from a Syrian rooftop whilst the ISIS member has been sent to the frontlines in Iraq to fight.

According to Syrian news agency, ARA, the teen was reportedly ‘captured’ in the house of ISIS leader Abu Zaid al-Jazrawi on Thursday.

ISIS militants arrested the teen on charges of homosexuality and he was convicted under Sharia law. Abu Zaid al-Jazrawi was also scheduled to be executed however ISIS officers intervened and sent the former leader to fight on the frontline instead.

The boy was thrown from the top of a building in central Deir ez-Zor, Syria.

The UN suggests that more than 30 people have been executed by ISIS in the past 12 months for being gay.

The executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Jessica Stern, said Islamic State’s homophobic violence was inspiring widespread homophobic attacks.

“In addition to men perceived as gay, trans-identified people and lesbians are among those who have been raped and killed,” sais Stern.

Gay Advertising, The Campbell Spot

Adorable: there are no other words to define this spot by Campbell, the famous brand of canned soups in the United States, made for the Star Wars Edition. Two gay dads grappling with the meal time, a scene of daily love (with reference to the film) and the claim “Created for real, real life”.

In the face of those who think that rainbow families are “stuff from another world”!

Chinese Treatments To “Heal” Homosexuality

The Chinese Psychiatric Association has de-registered homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses for 15 years, and homosexuality itself is not a crime in China. Still, many clinics still offer treatments to “heal” from this “condition”.

The social and cultural stigma against homosexuals is still strong. For Chinese parents, the most important thing is that their children make them grandparents.
As John, a Chinese LGBT activist in this video, explains to us, for a Chinese person to come out with their parents is the most difficult thing.

The British Channel 4 has made a documentary in which a courageous Chinese LGBT activist has infiltrated one of the clinics that promise, with shock treatments, to “heal” homosexuality. The treatments people are subjected to in this clinic are horrifying and are IN fact dangerous. For example, there are various forms of electroshock – performed on different parts of the body – which should, in theory, make the patient associate a negative stimulus with the sexual impulse towards people of the same sex.

We can see the result in this trailer.

Anticipation grows for ‘Girl/Girl Scene’ season two

If you haven’t seen the series, Girl/Girl Scene, you have time to catch up on season one episodes before the season two release in July. Girl/Girl Scene premiered their first 45 minute episode in June 2010 and quickly garnered the attention of the LGBT community, gaining instant fans.

Tucky Williams is the creator, writer and lead actress of the series. She started in the industry after auditioning for the indie horror film, Shadows Light where she not only landed her first role but also was cast as the female lead. Unfortunately, a common story among actresses emerged; she was not getting parts she related to or wanted to play. That’s when executive producer and friend Nick Brown stepped in and encouraged her to write. She wrote the first episode the night they spoke and he helped her to its fruition. “We had just made the first episode and I was surprised it even got made, and we put it out online and all my wildest dreams came true and people loved it, and embraced it, and watched it; and I still can’t believe that it happened to me; that I got so lucky; to find that success so quickly,” said Williams.
The show is shot guerilla-style in her home state of Kentucky and has no budget or affiliation to a studio or TV network. “I’m really lucky to have the talented cast and crew that we have,” Williams said. “We have very limited amounts of money. The show is very low budget and I watched the dailies and they’re beautiful. We have this amazing talent; we do have this tiny budget and it looks like we have a huge budget; so we’d love to have more money to put into it but … we’ve done so much with so little,” Williams continued.
Most recently, Williams caught the eye of producers from Showtime’s The Real L Word. They mic’d her during a New York engagement and during her hosting gig at The Dinah in Palm Springs this year. “I don’t think I was cast, it was more like I was there, and I wasn’t going to be a dick and say no you can’t mic me and you can’t put me on camera,” said Williams. The impromptu appearance on the show seemed to confuse the members of The Real L Word, that hadn’t seen Girl/Girl Scene. They looked on quizzically as her fans approached her for pictures and hugs. She imagined they thought she was someone’s girlfriend.

The Dinah event in Palm Springs also lead to the casting of American pornographic actress and lobbyist for the adult entertainment industry, Kayden Kross. “I met Tucky on one of the red carpets at the Dinah last year. I was hosting the special for Here! TV and she was walking it and we kinda met mouth first. There’s YouTube footage,” said Kross. “Her producer emailed me out of the blue and asked if I’d be interested. I figured it would be fun and had the free time.” In comparison to her day job, Kross found some similarities and differences, “The mood seemed very similar though. For the most part it’s relaxed and there is a cohesiveness in the group effort involved in getting wrapped on time. The difference is we don’t wrap on time on porn sets,” said Kross.
Another new member to the cast is Abisha Uhl from the band Sick of Sarah. “The first time I met her she ran up to me and gave me a hug; she was just really sweet and so I asked her to be on the show in episode eight, and we flew her out here and she did one scene and I was like, ‘Oh My God’ because she was amazing, and so then she became a cast member in season two, because she was that good; she’s hilarious,” said Williams.

That one episode has Uhl’s music fans eager for more; so much so that a promo photo of Uhl and Williams kissing spread like wildfire on Tumblr and viewership instantly increased. “Well, they haven’t even seen much yet, but so far the response has been great! I’m thinking they like seeing me kiss girls. My character really develops more this next season. I’m excited for the response,” said Uhl. With acting experience under her belt and touring with her band, expect to see more of Uhl. “I would love to do both. My band is my main thing, but acting is something I’ve always wanted to explore,” Uhl added.

“I think we’re just taking it up a level and it’s the same show and at the same time it’s more fun, more engaging, but we still take it to those dark places plus we got some really really awesome new cast members for season two” says Williams, enthusiastically. One of the themes that will be explored in season two is epilepsy which she hopes more public figures will speak out about. “So many people are in the closet about having it and it makes me crazy because [there’s] just such a stigma over it,” explains Williams.
As the anticipation for the new season grows there are two things to learn from Williams, Uhl and Kross. One, if you want to be on Girl/Girl Scene make sure to give Williams a kiss and/or hug when you see her and two, if you want something, go for it, live your dreams and if you’re good, the fans will follow.

You can watch Girl/Girl Scene on blip.tv, girlgirlscene.blip.tv and/or on GGS’ official Web site, girlgirlscene.com. For more about Tucky Williams go to tuckywilliams.com.

For more information about Kayden Kross go to clubkayden.com and/or follow her on Twitter @kayden_kross.

For more information about Abisha Uhl and her band, Sick of Sarah, go to sickofsarah.com.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=24847

For one openly gay Muslim, a pilgrimage to Mecca carries threat of death

The struggles normally associated with making an independent documentary are largely associated with costs; the cost of paying for equipment and rentals, the cost of paying the actors and crew and keeping them fed, the costs associated with marketing and promoting the film. But for openly gay Muslim, Parvez Sharma, the costs associated with making his documentary A Sinner in Mecca included the very real threats to his life. “For a gay filmmaker, filming in Saudi Arabia presents two serious challenges: filming is forbidden in the country and homosexuality is punishable by death.”

The documentary, which filmed, among other things, the mass pilgrimage to Mecca by Muslims – known as the “Hajj” – with two smuggled cameras and iPhone, put the Indian-born filmmaker in constant fear for his safety. But, as he told the Indian portal Scroll.in recently: “As a filmmaker and an activist intent on reforming Islam, it was important for me to challenge Saudi authority ‒ this is the most corrupt and secretive regime in Islam and they have an insidious and longstanding project to export their version of an 18th century Islam called Wahabi Islam, which is an Islam of fear. It is an Islam that reserves the death penalty for openly gay Muslims like me.”

And according to OpposingViews.com, which picked up on the story, the film also explores “the brash commercialization of the five-day Hajj experience, the harsh treatment of Shia Muslims by Sunni Muslims and the filthy conditions created by the mass overcrowding for the event, which Muslims are expected to attend at least once in their lives.”

Meanwhile, The Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival has implemented strict security measures for next week’s world premiere of A Sinner in Mecca. Hot Docs Communications Director Jonathan Da Silva told The Hollywood Reporter about hiring personal security for Sharma, “Hot Docs strives to ensure that all guests feel safe and secure while attending the festival, and out of an abundance of caution we felt this measure was appropriate.”

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=59632

Appeal For Trans Sex Worker

A crowdsourcing campaign has been launched after CJ Palmer — the HIV-positive transgender sex worker arrested in Sydney recently after a client made an HIV transmission allegation — was denied bail and detained in a male prison in Perth.

Managed by peer-led advocacy group People for Sex Worker Rights in Western Australia, the online appeal aims to raise $7,000 so that Palmer’s family (who live overseas) can be flown to WA to support her. A report for the Guardian describes Palmer as being “very distressed” amid fears she may be put in solitary confinement.

While Sex Worker Rights WA cannot comment on a case before the courts, its president, Rebecca Davies, said: “We have continually seen, both within Australia and globally, that prosecuting people for cases of this nature result in poorer public health outcomes, and a reduction in people going in for sexual health testing.”

Davies also criticised the media reporting of the Palmer case. “It has been extremely disappointing to see the media actively encouraging stigma towards people living with HIV, transgender women and sex workers,” she said. “Such reporting only serves to create fear and misinformation, when it should highlight the need for drastic improvement in public health sex education.”

Gay Star Network AU

Former BP CEO, Lord Browne invests in Gay Star News

LGBTI Web site, Gay Star News announced today that former BP CEO Lord Browne of Madingley has become a shareholder in the business, taking a 12.5% stake.
Seven years after his resignation as CEO of BP, Lord Browne wrote The Glass Closet, a book about the acceptance and inclusion of LGBT people in business. He has since become a high profile advocate for greater openness in the corporate world.
Lord Browne said: ‘When I wrote The Glass Closet, I always hoped that it would grow into something more than just a book. Gay Star News provides the perfect platform for that growth.

‘I am looking forward to bringing the messages of The Glass Closet to a wider audience, supporting Gay Star News in its next phase of development, and improving the environment for LGBT people in business around the world.’

Tris Reid Smith, editor and co-founder of Gay Star News which is headquartered in London said: ‘I am immensely proud we have a business leader of the international standing of Lord Browne joining our team of shareholders.

‘This is a milestone in the development of Gay Star News – coming after a January in which we celebrated our third anniversary and saw over 5 million readers visit the site.

‘Lord Browne’s involvement will help us offer even more to readers, clients and stakeholders.’

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=56409