Skirts for Shorts

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Breaking gender norms, especially for practical reasons, is not just for queer activists. With temperatures sometimes close to 40°C currently plaguing many parts of Europe, there are school boys who also wanted in on the action.

Some had borrowed from girlfriends, others from sisters. A few had gone the extra mile and shaved their legs.

About 30 boys in  in Devon, England wore skirts to school in protest at being told they were not allowed to wear shorts to school. Head teacher Aimee Mitchell said shorts were ‘not part’ of the school uniform.

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How to deal with Hate

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It’s easy to get frustrated lately. It was never exactly a simple task for queer people to find their place within our society and while we made huge steps into the right direction over the last decades, a lot of work still remains to be done.

Sadly some of the achievements we celebrated in the past are being undone by right-wing politicians gaining new support in America and Europe. It seems like their success motivates many rather small-minded people to come out of their holes to tell you who you’re allowed to love, what you’re supposed to do with your body and which gender you have to live with.


Arguing with these people takes a lot of, often fruitless, effort and can suck all energy out of you. It can become tempting to answer their hate with aggression and cynicism. And while this kind of reply is understandable, it does feel more rewarding and satisfying to take their hateful messages and turn them into a sign of love and strength. And that’s exactly what some New Yorkers on Gay Street did…

You can read more about the incident here :) Submitted by Scatterbrain

Gay Men tortured & killed in Chechen Concentration Camps

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Earlier this month more than 100 queer men have been arrested in Chechnya and rounded up in concentration camps where many have been tortured and at least 3 killed according to the BBC and the Huffington Post.

The Russian opposition news publication Novaya Gazeta first reported that men between the ages of 16 and 50 were being gathered and arrested “in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such.” The paper published the names of three murder victims, and speculated many more had likely been killed, as well.

Speaking to the New York Timesthough, Chechnyan leader Ramzan Kadyrov dismissed the claims, and denied that any gay people even exist within the region at all. “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic,” he said. “If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

The sweep of arrests was apparently prompted by an application of the gay rights group GayRussia.ru for rights to celebrate a Pride parade— rights which, unsurprisingly, were immediately denied, and met with severe authoritative backlash.

Foreign ministers from the European Union, the US and UK have all urged Russia to urgently intervene. “We condemn violence against any individuals based on their sexual orientation or any other basis,’ a US State Department spokesperson said. “We urge the Russian government to conduct an independent and credible investigation into the alleged killings and mass arrests, and hold the perpetrators responsible. We were likewise deeply disturbed by local authorities statements that apparently condone and even incite violence against LGBTI persons.”

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YouTube just got a Queer Filter

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Queer content creators have accused YouTube of hiding their videos with a new “restricted mode”. The video sharing site introduced the feature to automatically filter out “offensive content”.

According to Google, the company uses “community flagging, age-restriction, and other signals to identify and filter out potentially inappropriate content”.

Rowan Ellis is one of many LGBT creators who have criticised YouTube for the feature, arguing that it means their content is being blocked. Ellis made a video hitting out at YouTube, and when restricted mode is turned on the video is hidden. She said that move by YouTube implies a “bias” because it “equates LGBT with ‘not family friendly’.”

 NeonFiona, another LGBT creator posted screen shots of her channel without the mode, and with the mode. Videos with the words gay, lesbian and bisexual were all hidden from her channel with the mode switched on. Trans YouTuber SeaineLove also found her videos were hidden with the feature. She considers the videos that were hidden to be “pretty G rated”.

The YouTubers who are finding that their content is being censored have expressed that they’re not worried about the effect on the ratings, but the effect on young people seeking out their own LGBT education. Seaine said she wanted young LGBT identifying people to “be able to watch my videos and go ‘Hey, I feel the same way! That’s how I am too!”

NeonFiona added: “Kids who want to know about different orientations and definitions and about the history of LGBT people, etc, they can’t access that when their videos are being restricted. Restricting these videos makes it harder for these kids to find information they need and the community that they’ve been missing.”

A spokesperson for Google said: “Restricted Mode is an optional feature used by a very small subset of users who want to have a more limited YouTube experience. Some videos that cover subjects like health, politics and sexuality may not appear for users and institutions that choose to use this feature.”

YouTube has always claimed to be queer friendly. But it’s making it seem that all videos that talk about someone’s sexual, romantic or gender identity – aren’t appropriate, even when they don’t show it in a sexual way.

via PinkNews & Affinity