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

Thursday, 26 April 2012

7 Question Thursday!! Get To Know Us A Little Better! #1

We found the 7 Question Linkup on Gentri Lee's lovely blog - through Adventures in Mediocrity, another newly found blog we are loving, so we really took the long way around on this one!!

Anyway, so we are going to try to answer the questions every Thursday, for a bit of fun and so you can get to know us a little better. Okay? Okay!!

We have to put up a funny photo each week with it, so for your viewing pleasure:

How do we feel about each other right now? Haha!
7 Questions:

1. You are stuck somewhere you really don't want to be, do you- walk home, call a friend, or stick it out?
L: I would get the heck out of there!! I'm as lazy as they come, but I'd much rather walk home than stick it out, and no doubt Sarah would be with me so I wouldn't really call anyone else... no doubt, whether S was there or not I'd make up something bad happening - friend just got dumped and I have to console her, someone got tapped by a car and is in the hospital (I prefer 'tapped' to 'hit' because I feel less like I'm tempting fate!), locked out of the house and have to meet S with the keys... I'm a master at avoidance and getting out of things I don't want to do. If I know about it in advance, a lot of the time I just sulk, stamp my feet and get out of it before it happens - I must be a joy to live with! 

S: Always, always, always get out of there - I have no doubt that I would rather walk out of a situation than stick it out and the only reason I would call a friend is to find the quickest way out :) Laura learned her Master avoidance technique from me, I have been known to 'disappear' from parties where I'm uncomfortable and setting an alarm that sounds like someone's calling is my best trick yet!

2. Do you like to PLAY sports?

L: Short answer is no. Long answer is.... still no. Growing up I swam, played soccer and softball - but I wasn't great, and I've never really enjoyed it. However, I quite like a bit of skiing/snowboarding in the winter, but only when we go home to Idaho, at Brundage Mountain! 

Rebecca with her medal haul!
S: Not really - far too much effort for not much gain. I enjoy sports for fun and can play almost everything but I don't have the commitment to get back to 'play'-ing sport. My sporting moment of glory to this day- qualifying for an Olympic trial spot by winning 3 gold medals in a swim meet and on the podium receiving my 3rd medal saying I was quitting the sport- I was 13 and it felt so good, my coach and parents were devastated. Having spent 5 years swimming 6 days a week - 5am starts and 9pm finishes I look back and still think it was the best thing I could have done. (However watching my team mate Rebecca Cooke compete at the Olympic's was a proud moment).

3. Everyone has that one "different" song that they secretly love- what's yours?

L: Oh, I love SO many ridiculously embarrassing songs. My little brother and I used to blast the most ridiculous music we could find while driving around town - think 'I Touch Myself' while waiting in line at a Drive Thru, or the Mexican music station pumping out of Mum's old mini van (we are both white and pasty, it is still hilarious to think about, like 8 years later!) - my favourite ridiculous song for years has been 'Make It Rain' by Fat Joe Ft. Lil' Wayne. Because I'm hood. Seriously though, whatever happened to Fat Joe?

My fav person in this music video by far is the gangsta holding Fat Joe's umbrella. It's SO hard to look cool holding an umbrella!!

S: 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' from Mary Poppins - there are a couple of reasons 1) you can't fail to smile at this song (unless you dislike musicals, in which case boooo!) 2) after one verse you can suddenly spell the longest word EVER in song! Whenever I'm about to present in a meeting or when I used train a group I used to listen to the song on repeat until I felt less tense and used it as a way of 'limbering' up my voice, so yep that would be my song choice.

4. What is one thing you feel you are really good at?
L: I like to think I'm pretty good at correcting spelling and grammar. I know as you all are reading this, you are groaning, because everybody hates 'Grammar Nazis' - but come on, if it weren't for us, the written word would have depleted into 'text speak' by now. Nightmare! I'm also good at singing, remembering all the lyrics to songs, and I'm getting increasingly better at cooking/baking. I still fail at cleaning though. And apparently sticking to question restrictions on the number of things I can be good at. 

S: As I'm writing this, I have changed my mind at least a dozen times- not because I have that many choices but because I judge things I'm really good at differently depending on the time of the day, my level of tiredness, what's gone on recently- but to answer the question, I'll go with 'quick-thinking / thinking on my feet'. I'm the go to girl if you need an excuse, an explanation, a different way of saying something etc, it comes in handy in more ways than I'll list here, but lets just say i'm rarely stuck for something to say!

5. A dog is running in your direction and barking loudly- what do you do?

L: It depends on the size of the dog. I love dogs so so so much, but a big dog running and barking, I'd be out of there!! And a smaller dog, I'd probably think how annoying small dogs are and keep walking. 

S: I am sooooooo desperate for a dog so any chance to I get to play with one I take, I just hope the bark is a happy one and not an aggressive one!

Sarah and our friend Jess's baby, Zeke - he loooooves Sarah!!
6. Star gazing or cloud watching?
L: Star gazing fo' sho'!! It's so romantic! I love pretending I know different constellations - did you know that every set of stars makes something that looks like the Big Dipper? 

S: I cloud watch A LOT more trying to work out where the sun is hiding- if I could out run/drive clouds I would! However star-gazing fascinates me - seeing Venus hanging out with the moon always impresses me and I like the fact that you can see the moon from wherever you are in the world! 

7. What time of the day do you feel the most productive?
L: I know its writes off the next day, but I work at super human speed between 1 and 3 am!! I love staying up that late accomplishing things I didn't really need to do haha. During the work day, I'm most productive weirdly right after lunch. Until about 3:30, when I freak out at how slow the afternoon is going! 

S: Any time I have just had a Diet Coke - my first is just after 11am - you'll get a good 2 hours of productivity until lunch distracts me. Technically it's easier to measure the other way - I am less productive between 9 - 10am (that's waking up time) and then 2 - 3 pm (thats when I would ideally have an afternoon nap)! Most days I'm get up and go though, and Laura thinks my need to be 'productive' is tiring :)
Hope you got to know us a little better!! :)

Lots of love, 
Laura & Sarah xo

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

What We Love Wednesdays!! Baths or Showers?

Okay, so here’s the situation - we couldn’t decide what to do this week's WWLW on, so during lunch we decided that maybe we should skip this week, and as always that was the moment it hit us….well technically it hit Laura - as Sarah said ‘Well, I'll have a nice long bath instead- there’s nothing I LOVE more!’ and viola! Our WWLW topic was started.

Except it’s not quite than simple, as we share somewhat different opinions on this subject. For those of you that have followed our many posts, you may recall ‘The Valentine’s Debate’ - another subject we can’t quite agree on. So here is a WWLW post on another great debate: ‘Baths vs. Showers’.

From Sarah’s point of view:
I have been a water baby pretty much since birth, as a youngster I swam for my city and county and even tried out for the Olympics, so being in water is something I LOVE. Couple that with being a Cancerian, a water sign, if you follow zodiac stuff and you have someone who feels most comfortable surrounded by water - and where better to do that than a bath?

For me, a nice hot bath has reviving qualities only likened to an ice-cold Diet Coke. After a long hard day, soaking in a nice full bath transports mind and body to somewhere else. Surrounding yourself by candles, soap and bubbles and there you have your own private spa. Obviously I don’t get to do that EVERY night but any opportunity I can I will disappear for a bath – whether it is to relax, to ease my weary feet (running for London buses is more of a sport than a way to get around) or to do the ‘all over body maintenance’ I just don’t think a shower quite does it.

And I’m not alone – hot baths and their reviving qualities have been celebrated from Homer onwards and the oldest bathtub on record is in the Queen's bathroom in the palace of Knossos on Crete, dating from 1500BC. It was made from fired clay, and sat alongside one of the earliest water-flushed lavatories.
You also have the fact that bathing has always meant more than hygiene – most religions use water, literally and metaphorically, to clean away sin and purify the body. The Ancient Egyptians washed twice a day to honour Isis, Jesus washed his disciples' feet, and the Odyssey's sorceress Circe washed her head to entice dreams. 

Plus you get those bath wrinkles – that's when you know it has been a truly wonderful bath! One theory for what causes wrinkly skin after a bath is that the outermost layer of skin, contains dead keratin cells which absorb water. This makes the surface of the skin swell but not the lower layers, so the surface is forced to pucker as a result.

And if you’re not quite convinced it’s also better for the environment as the average bath uses 80 litres of water; compared to an eight-minute power shower of 136 litres.

Laura’s point of view:
I am a shower advocate. I LOVE the clean, refreshing, revitilising effects of a shower. I don’t see the point of sitting in your own dirt and dead skin cells when you can have warm water washing over your body and leaving you feeling immediately better – a shower does in 5-8 minutes what a bath takes half an hour to do.

And then you have the different types of showers – rain showers (hell yes), massage showers (ohh yeaaaah), showers that come at you from all angles (first discovered in Sarah’s Aunt’s house - I thought it had sprung a leak!) and then my all time favourite – the POWER shower! None of this water trickling, no thank you!

The main pleasure in a shower, for me, is that fact that the water always remains at the temperature I set it at, it doesn’t go cold after I have been in for 5 mins, I don’t have to give it a shot of boiling hot water to make sure I don’t get cold. More importantly I can lather up, wash off and step out and not have to have wrinkly fingers and toes that make me feel like I’ve aged 50 years. 

Showers are obviously a newer invention, so I can't go on and on about the history of showers as Sarah did with baths - but I think this is a good thing. People improve things over the decades and centuries - just because something is old, doesn't mean it isn't outdated and out of place in today's busy world. All the pleasure of a hot bath delivered in a short 10 minute package? That leaves us with more time for tea, or anything else we enjoy! I bet if Homer had the option of a massage shower, the Odyssey would have...well, made a lot more sense. And maybe wouldn't have been such an odyssey haha.

Where does your vote go - baths or showers??

Lots of love,
Sarah & Laura

Monday, 23 April 2012

Laura's Dad's Amazing Bike Ride for the National MS Society!

Today we want to bring attention to a good cause - the National MS Society. Multiple Sclerosis is a different subject than we usually cover, but that doesn't mean we think its any less important.

MS is a progressive disease that affects people in many different ways. Symptoms can be anything from dizziness and loss of sight to spasms and loss of memory, and these symptoms become worse over time. MS is so dangerous because, as of yet, it cannot be cured - only managed.

Around 100,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with MS - and another person is diagnosed with the disease every hour of every day. Multiple Sclerosis affects not only the victim of the disease, but their families and friends.

The National MS Society is working to rid the world of MS by finding a cause, and helping those with the disease cope and lead fulfilled and rich lives. They are hosting a charity bike race in which Laura's Dad is taking part.

The race itself, 5-6 May, is 150 miles (242 km) long, and Laura's amazing Dad (who is in his 60s) has been competing (and beating the rest of the participants in his team, all who are at least 10 years younger than him) every year for 4 years now. This year, he/we are asking you to join his team, donate to the National MS Society, and support my Dad as well as the hundreds of thousands of people around the world with Multiple Sclerosis. Every little bit helps, and we'd greatly appreciate it!

Here's the link to see Dad's profile and donate:

We're so proud of him!

If you do donate, please leave us a comment so we can thank you!!

Laura & Sarah xo

Sunday, 22 April 2012

What's Happening, Hot Stuff!? 22nd April 2012

Welcome to this week’s WHHS – for us, this week has been a mix of extremely early mornings, April showers and random house guests but elsewhere in the world there has been plenty going on.

We mentioned last week that Stonewall was using London buses to promote their Equal Marriage campaign with adverts saying ‘some people are gay, get over it!’ and as the campaign is coming to an end, religious groups decided to launch their version, a ‘Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!’ banner around London for two weeks starting on Monday. A press notice from Anglican Mainstream and the Core Issues Trust said Stonewall’s bus campaign “implies the false idea that there is indisputable scientific evidence that people are ‘born gay’, and that they have no choice but to affirm their homosexual feelings”. Hmm – what’s the polite way of saying ‘WTF’? That is the case: people are born gay- get over it! Thankfully the ads have been banned.

Current London Mayor – Boris Johnson said: “London is one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance. It is clearly offensive to suggest that being gay is an illness that someone recovers from and I am not prepared to have that suggestion driven around London on our buses.” Yay Boris.

Elsewhere in the world, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reportedly banned gays and tomboys from its schools citing efforts to tackle the two ‘phenomena’s’. A report on Emirates 24/7 this morning says the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has been called on to ensure implementation of new orders on homosexuality and girls who adopt masculine appearances. The newspaper quotes the ‘Sharq’ Arabic language paper on the announcement: “Instructions have been issued to all public schools and universities to ban the entry of gays and tom boys and to intensify their efforts to fight this phenomenon, which has been promoted by some websites.” Neither paper states who issued the instruction but Emirates 24/7 said the students would be able to attend school only if they “stopped such practices”. Saudi Arabia operates a system of Shari’ah law and punishes homosexuality with sentences of corporal and capital punishment. It’s not a country on our to-do list, that’s for sure! It’s amazing how the UK can be working to tackle homophobia in schools while Saudi Arabia is doing its best to incite it.

In Pink News this week they reported that ‘American LGBT activists have reacted angrily to President Obama’s decision not to sign an executive order that would have outlawed workplace discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and gender identity. Tico Almeida, president of the group Freedom to Work, thought that many felt betrayed by this decision. “I believe this is a political calculation,” he said, having learned about the decision during a meeting with White House officials on Wednesday. “It’s not about the substance,” he added.’

Jay Carney, White House spokesperson, said that political motives were “absolutely not” the reason behind the president’s moves. ”We’re deeply committed to working hand-in-hand with partners in the LGBT community on a number of fronts to build the case for employment non-discrimination policies,” Mr Carney said.

Gay and transgender rights activists have also said that the bill has popular support, pointing to a poll by the thinktank, Center for American Progress, which showed that three in four voters supported protections against discrimination for LGBT people. Besides, they add, both the Department of Labour and of Justice had given the green signal for the White House to act.

 “He has not been able to provide a single valid reason for why he is now refusing to sign the executive order protecting LGBT workers,” Mr Lewis said in a statement. “It has become increasingly clear that this decision is based on cowardice rather than principled leadership.”

Mr Almeida, however, did add that Mr Obama “has done more for LGBT equality than any other president in United States history and more than the prior presidents combined.” Although the order may not be signed now, the administration has left sufficient room for the decision to be reversed, he said.
Following this President Barack Obama has used Twitter to point to his gay and lesbian record. Yesterday, 20 April, his team created a list called 'Progress for the LGBT Community.' 'Together, we've fought for equal rights for LGBT Americans--and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is just one example of the progress we've achieved since President Obama took office,' the page announces. After that brief introduction, a rainbow coloured timeline notes gay and lesbian specific milestones. The first is from June 2009, when Obama ordered that the same-sex partners of federal employees be eligible for benefits. The last highlight is from last month; the Veterans Health Administration started to pay attention to transgendered veterans. This guide was published immediately after LGBT advocacy groups voiced disappointment that Obama did not sign an executive order banning LGBT workplace discrimination. Well we guess that means Obama doesn’t mind showing his support!
Obama’s reaction makes sense; in current polls, Obama will need as many LGBT voters as possible because the upcoming November election will be extremely close. The Pew Research Center recently noted the incumbent 'holds a slim 49% to 45% advantage' over assumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney after Rick Santorum conceded! – yay!

In other USA news, a number of large-city mayors in the US have formed a coalition with the hope to achieve same-sex marriage equality. The group have come together with a view to increasing the pressure on President Barack Obama and to achieve full support of equal marriage rights nationwide. Organised by Freedom to Marry, a group campaigning for country-wide acceptance of gay marriage, their aim is simple - to end to ‘federal marriage discrimination.’

The group released a statement: “By joining the group, mayors hope to expand public and political support for ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.”

Staying stateside, a recent USA survey has shown that Equal marriage is not top among the concerns of voters for the 2012 presidential elections. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, which carried out the survey on the 4th and the 5th of April, said that only 28 per cent of those polled considered marriage equality as “very important” in determining their vote. Rather, what concerned them was the economy, and relatedly, jobs, which topped the list at 86% and 84% respectively. Health-care followed closely at 74%.

We think it’s fair to say that the other issues highlighted should and understandably are a priority. Commenting on these findings, the president of Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese, thought the news was good for LGBT equality. He noted in a statement: ”Fair-minded people are increasingly aware that extending rights, benefits, and protections to their LGBT neighbours strengthens the communities they live and work in. It’s important to remember that so much of what we’re fighting for — marriage equality, workplace protections, fair treatment when our loved ones are hospitalised — contributes to a strengthening of the issues voters care about the most… This latest data reinforces the fact that supporting LGBT equality is not a divisive wedge issue.”

In contrast, after the Australian House of Representatives' inquiry into same-sex marriage, the results show that over 120,000 people voted in favour of legalising gay and lesbian marriage. From the 218,048 people that took part in the online survey, 58% of people were in support of full legalisation, 79% of people said that religious ministers should not have to marry same-sex couples and 58% wanted overseas same-sex marriages to be recognised in Australia. Woohoo – looks like once again Australia is tempting us to make it our permanent home!
Give us the option!
The last piece of news that came to our attention is related to Glee, if you have read our About Us page you may have noticed we are both fans, and so the press surrounding the latest episode is not something we want to see! The episode we are referring to is called ‘Saturday Night Glee-ver’ and other than having a great Santana moment(s) (see below) it saw Mercedes getting the chance to ‘do her thing’, the appearance of Unique (the shows first transgender character) and addressed the issue of what a few of the characters were planning to do after they graduate. But Bill O’Reilly Fox News personality thinks this might lead some of the kids watching to experiment with their gender identity or sexuality. 'If you make the behavior of these people ... if children hear it, unsupervised children, okay who don’t have parents watching -- they might go out and experiment with this stuff,' O'Reilly said on Thursday's (19 April) episode of The O'Reilly Factor! You know because kids that aren’t gay really just want to be gay! Seriously Bill – we can’t say we know ANYBODY who would want to ‘become gay’ just because people on tv are.

Bill’s guest Gretchen Carlson, a current host of Fox News and a winner of Miss America way back in ‘89, joined in by saying she didn't think watching Glee would 'suddenly make kids transgender,' but she believes the shows gay characters could lead to 'experimentation. I wholeheartedly believe, in today’s society, that kids are experimenting with homosexuality. We see it in celebrities who maybe just do it on the side, and it may be drug-fuelled...I totally agree with Bill that this causes kids to experiment. And if we didn’t– why do we have any rules in society then if we don’t try and set some parameters for our children to live their lives? I just think that this is way over the top.' Wow, now drugs cause you to trial being gay – hasn’t this been a week full of educational quotes – NOT!!!

Checkout the article and video clip here:

From our knowledge, Fox News is a Republican slanted news station that is not known for their un-biased reporting! Plus Gretchen’s nanny was former Republican presidential hopeful, and all round crazy person, Michelle Bachman- who we know hates gays and everyone that not ‘just like her’- so really Gretchen had no hope!

Following the popularity and widespread reporting of the ‘It Gets Better’ video made by Mormon students at Brigham Young University (check it out here), several parents and friends of gay mormons have joined forces to add another video to the project. The video will be formally released during a national conference for LGBT Mormons in Washington DC today, and aims to confront the homophobic image associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

And congratulations to Adele who has just unveiled as a new 'gay icon' in a survey by Gaydar Radio and replaces Kylie! Yay!

Have a great week, we hope you've enjoyed the updates! 

Love Always
Sarah & Laura

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

What We Love Wednesdays!! Stonewall, Baby!

Welcome to our WWLW, this week we are giving a shout out to Stonewall, a UK based charity that supports the LGB community. Stonewall was founded in 1989 by a small group of people who had been active in the struggle against Section 28 of the Local Government Act, an offensive piece of legislation designed to prevent the so-called 'promotion' of homosexuality in schools.
The legislation was:
Section 28: of the Local Government Act 1988 caused controversy with the addition of Section 2A stating that a local authority "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship"

Stonewalls aim from the outset was to create a professional lobbying group that would prevent attacks on lesbians, gay men and bisexuals from occurring in schools and work places. Stonewall has put the case for equality on the mainstream political agenda by winning support within all the main political parties and now has offices in England, Scotland and Wales. With a growing presence, they are certianly a charity making an impact. We first found out about Stonewall at our first gay pride event and have proudly displayed their signature t-shirts.

Stonewall is best known for its campaigning and lobbying.  Its current campaign for Equal Marriage is literally hitting the streets in the form of bus adverts all over London with 1000 big red buses adorned with their recognisible tag line ‘Some people are gay. Get over it!’. From our office in Victoria we can see them flying past - so far 10 in a hour is the most! What great publicity! And a great photo opportunity.

In May they are organising the ‘Brighton Stonewall Walk’ for the 9th year, to help tackle homophobia in schools. During the last six years, they have worked with secondary schools to prevent homophobic bullying. Its Education for All campaign, launched in January 2005 to help tackle homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools, works with a wide coalition of groups. Stonewall has extended its Education for All campaign to all 21,000 primary schools across the Great Britain by producing a teacher training DVD, Celebrating Difference. The more money they raise the more DVD’s they send out!

Stonewall has formed partnerships with organisations outside Parliament to ensure the rights and needs of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are addressed in the wider community. They has also raised public awareness in terms of civil partnership, through their Get Hitched guide (HERE), and on the changes to the employment regulations relating to sexual orientation through guides for both employers and employees.

Stonewall hosted the London Gay Mayoral Hustings on 14 April - it allowed the capital’s lesbian, gay and bisexual voters to ask candidates from the four main parties in London about their policies before the mayoral election on 3 May. The Hustings were attended by Boris Johnson, Jenny Jones, Ken Livingstone and Brian Paddick. Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill made this comment following the Stonewall London Gay Hustings:
‘It’s really impressive that all of the main mayoral candidates wanted to engage lesbian, gay and bisexual Londoners – something that would have been unthinkable 15 or 20 years ago. What was particularly interesting was that many of the people in the audience were completely undecided about how they were going to vote, so clearly no-one should take London’s 350,000 gay voters for granted.’
London Mayoral Hustings 2012
Stonewall is officially a Charity but receives no public funding and raises all its money itself in a range of ways including donations, sponsorship, and fundraising events. You will see them rattling buckets at every Pride running UK wide.

London Pride 2011 - Stonewall group!

Click here to find out how you can help Stonewall:

Stonewall is a great charity that we actively support and look forward to taking part in their future initiatives!

We hope you've enjoyed this weeks WWLW! If you want to check out more about Stonewall there website is:

Sarah and Laura

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Reading FC - we are the Champions!!

Dear Reading FC  -THANK YOU!

As a loyal Royal for almost 20 years I have shared plenty of my Saturdays at Elm Park and in the Madjeski Stadium cheering for the Reading players that have played in blue & white hoops. I have shared so much joy and plenty of sorrow - from our progression to the Championship to our first promotion to the Premiership, to our playoff losses to Bolton and Swansea-I have witnessed them all. On this night, 17th April 2012, I was not able to get a seat at the game but  listened to the match eagerly from home. 

While I can't be there my parents are representing and if the phone call is anything to go by they are having a great time singing on the pitch! Reading truly is my family's club!
My parents are on there somewhere!
Congratulations Reading FC - promoted as Champions - I look forward to the Premiership campaign! 

At least we can get carried away now.....

And we are top of the league, say we are top of the league!

Mad Stad celebrations as we are also champions now!!