Sunday, 29 April 2012

What's Happening, Hot Stuff?? 29 April 2012

Welcome to this week's What Happening, Hot Stuff?? - have you had a good week? We have finally come out of winter 'social-hibernation' and have had a great week with Megan from Wegan over to stay, dinners out, home cooked Mexican fajita's (courtesy of Laura) with Sarah's sister and an amazing roast dinner with Laura's Nan on Saturday in Windsor (oh and a Starbuck's stop with Megan!)

Mexican Night!

Toby's with Nan!
Elsewhere in the world, the President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, has warned foreign diplomats that his country would not be “bribed” with or dictated by promise of aid to accept homosexuality. He said: “If you are to give us aid for men and men or for women and women to marry, leave it. We don’t need your aid because as far as I am the president of the Gambia, you will never see that happen in this country.” The comments come less than a two weeks after 19 people, including citizens of Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria, were arrested and charged with “indecent practices in a public place” after being “suspected of homosexuality.” They now face up to 14 years in prison. The comments coincided with Gambian Parliament which opened last Saturday, and was attended by ambassadors from Britain and US, both countries recently having said they will consider gay rights when considering aid. However, most African countries have reacted angrily with the announcement of this, saying homosexuality is “un-African.” So there you have it - gay = un-African! What kind of a statement is that?! Ridiculous! We hope anyone of African heritage doesn't face any kind of prejudice because of such idiotic comment!

The next campaign is one that caught our attention, as it so happens to be named after where Laura came from. IDAHO or International Day Against Homphobia – started following initiatives such as the National Day Against Homophobia. IDAHO was created in 2003 by Louis-Georges Tin, a French university lecturer, campaigner for Black and LGBT Rights and chief editor of the 'Dictionary of Homophobia'. He launched an appeal for universal recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) and proposed that this day be fixed on May 17th, to commemorate the World Health Organisation’s decision to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. Laura volunteered last year with them in SOHO to help raise awareness and bring the IDAHOan link.

This year 50 companies and organisations in Merseyside, Liverpool, have agreed to fly the rainbow flag or make some form of pro-gay visual statements for the day. Developed by Liverpool based arts and social justice organisation Homotopia, it is launching IDAHO 50 on May the 17th. It hopes to create a high-impact stand against homophobia and transphobia in the county. Some of Liverpool’s leading institutions and companies have signed up to support the day including Liverpool John Moores University, University Of Liverpool, Voodou, Liverpool Community College, Knowsley College, Merseytravel, Jackson Canter Solicitors and many more. Gary Everett Artistic Director of Homotopia said: “‘IDAHO 50’ is very much a part of Liverpool’s DNA, and its commitment to social justice and equality. The day will raise awareness of our year long social justice programme helping to create a more cohesive and healthier city. Since 2005 our inter-generational and youth engagement programme has reached over 80,000 people and is growing.” It's a great cause and well worth getting involved if you can!

Dr Julia Gasper
Dr. Julia Gasper has caused shock by making her views on homosexuality public on her blog. The former UKIP (UK Independent Party) parliamentary candidate and current Oxford City Council hopeful has said people who ‘choose’ to be gay should stop ‘complaining about persecution’ and start thanking straight people for giving birth to them.'  She wrote: “Homosexuality (as Jean-Paul Sartre said) is simply a form of behaviour, not like being black at all. Black people could and did for thousands of years live independently on another continent, but homosexuals can only exist as a by-product of a heterosexual society. Homosexuals are completely dependent on heterosexuals to create them.” Well technically that’s not true is it! Not to give anyone a science lesson but as long as you can get both vital ingredients, you can make baby! Sexuality doesn't even come into play - and people were gay long before it became acceptable to be 'out'!

GLAAD has called for the suspension of a DJ who suggested rape as a method to change sexuality! The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is calling for the suspension of a Cleveland disc jockey who told a father to have his daughter 'screwed straight.'. On the 27th of April, the watchdog organisation reported on Cleveland radio personality Dominic Dieter. He is part of 'Rover's Morning Glory,' a show that airs on WMMS 100.7 FM radio (The Buzzard)- if you care. Dieter apparently received an email from a father who said he saw his teenage daughter kiss another girl. 'You should get one of your friends to screw your daughter straight,' the radio host said on the air. The organsation is shocked a radio personality offered rape as a solution. 'It was appalling and dangerous for this show to tell a father that he should have one of his friends rapes his daughter,' said Aaron McQuade, GLAAD's director of news and field media. The organisation does note Dieter's on air colleagues (thankfully) took him to task for his comment, but GLAAD still wants Clear Channel, the owners of the station, to suspend him. The group also requested a 'sincere apology, and for the show to devote a segment to speaking about the real harms that can come from parental rejection.' We watched an awful film (awful in content that is, but great in acting!) with Hilary Swank in ‘Boys Don’t Cry’- The story of the life of Brandon Teena, a transgendered teen who preferred life in a male identity until it was discovered he was born biologically female who was subjected to rape to ‘sort him/her out’ – in a modern world it is shocking to hear people still think like that and get a chance to make the view public.

After that terrible news article here's something that will hopefully make you smile, it's from the Coalition for Equal Marriage unveiled its annual Power 50 list this week too. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Ellen DeGeneres, Peter Thiel, Ryan Murphy, and Rachel Maddow are top 5. Those who made the list were selected because they are 'exemplary individuals who manage to influence the way others live -- either through their public personas, politics, or wealth -- and affect cultural and social attitudes.' The website does not require that someone is publicly out to merit selection. Others on the list include US Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (number 12), TMZ founder Harvey Levin (number 15), financial guru Suze Orman (number 25), fashion designer and film director Tom Ford (number 26), blogger Perez Hilton (number 39), and Glee star Jane Lynch (number 47).

To finish this week’s round up we turn to two media campaigns that caught our eye! The first is too-cool-for-school Ray-bans and their ‘Never Hide’ Campaign showing two men holding hands. The company said in a press release: “Real trendsetters, real opinion leaders, real individuals believe the most fashionable thing you can be is yourself; to be authentic, real, bold and stylish.So to reclaim its rightful place as a legitimate leader in sunglasses, Ray-Ban has to only speak and act like their maverick selves. Never pretend. Never be afraid. Never give up. Never Hide.” – who’d argue with that! Swedish furniture giant IKEA has also unveiled an ad featuring a gay couple in Italy. The ad – which is not the first gay-friendly campaign the company has run – shows two men holding hands under the slogan: “We are open to all families.” Below, the text says: “With us you will feel at home. What we want to do is make life easier for everyone, every family, every couple, whoever they are.”

The final, final thing is that Montana Democrat Dave Strohmaier wants to take a liberal perspective to the House of Representives. In a recent ad, called 'If You're a Progressive, Prove It' the candidate promises to advocate for marriage equality. In the video Strohmaier, clad in a brown suit and an awesome tan hat, officiates a wedding. As a bride walks down the aisle, the candidate makes a promise. 'In Congress, I'll protect everyone's right to liberty and happiness. And I'll support marriage equality.' VOTE STROHMAIER!! Please can we see more of these kinds of things!!!

Have a great week!
Until next time
Sarah & Laura


  1. The situation in Gambia is so heartbreaking. It is so unbelievable to me that something like that can happen in 2012.

    And "Homosexuals are completely dependent on heterosexuals to create them" .... If you could see me you would see my eyes rolling. My son certainly wasn't dependant on heterosexuals to create him.

  2. I love the Ray Bans advertisement, especially as it just looks like any other advert, it just happens to feature a gay couple - great to see visibility and normality promoted at the same time!
    And wow, Dr Gasper seems like one sad miserable woman!
    S xx


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