Thousands of US Teens will undergo “Gay Conversion”

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More than 75,000 American teenagers aged 13 to 17 will face gay conversion “therapy” before they turn 18 according to a study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a university located in California.

According to the research, around 20,000 queer kids will receive the controversial treatment from health care “professionals”. Another 57,000 will undergo treatment from religious or spiritual charlatans. The research further found that approximately 698,000 queer adults already received conversion therapy. 350,000 of them received it in their youth.

Conversion therapy posits that pseudoscience or religion can “cure” people of homosexuality. Professional health associations condemn the practice and have consequently called on the U.S. Congress and politicians to pass laws against it.

“Our research shows that laws banning conversion therapy could protect tens of thousands of teens from what medical experts say is a harmful and ineffective practice,” said Mallory, one of the authors of the study.

Indeed, the study reveals 6,000 people would have received conversion therapy before 18 if it hadn’t been for state laws banning it. So far, nine states, Washington D.C., and 32 localities have banned health professionals from practising it. Recently, New Hampshire failed to pass a law banning the practice.

Professionals link the practice to severe mental health problems and suicide.

America’s moving backwards: Homophobia on the Rise

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For the first time in four years, Americans are less accepting of queer people in a dangerous yet not wholly unexpected reversal of progress. GLAAD released the findings from its fourth annual Accelerating Acceptance report yesterday and they show that the attacks on the community by the Trump administration are having a real effect.

Less than half of non-LGBTQ adults, 49 percent, reported being “very” or “somewhat” comfortable with LGBTQ people across seven situations, down from 53 percent the previous year. Alarmingly, this is the first time the Accelerating Acceptance report has shown a decrease in acceptance for queer people.

Meanwhile 55 percent of queer adults reported that they experienced discrimination because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity, up 11 percentage points from the previous year.

30 percent of those polled said they would be uncomfortable to learn a family member is LGBTQ, up from 27 percent last year. 31 percent reported that they would be uncomfortable to have their child taught by an LGBTQ educator, up from 28 percent last year. 31 percent also said they would be uncomfortable to have an LGBTQ doctor, up from 28 percent the previous year.

“In the past year, there has been a swift and alarming erosion of acceptance which can only be fought by being visible and vocal,” said GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis. “This report puts numbers to the bias that too many LGBTQ Americans have recently experienced.”

The Trump administration has attacked the queer community in a number of ways in its first year, including an attempted ban on transgender soldiers, siding with those who wish to discriminate against us in employment, healthcare, and public services, ensuring a pride flag didn’t fly on federal property on National Coming Out Day, fired the remaining members of his HIV/AIDS council without explanation, and appointed anti-LGBTQ lawmaker Sam Brownback to lead as the “religious freedom” ambassador. He was confirmed yesterday, with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. And that’s just a partial list.

You can read the full report on GLAAD’s website.

Opinion: Labels are good

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Opinions like “Labels are bad” and advice á la “Stop trying to put people into boxes” are widespread, especially among queer folks. And many people probably think they’re doing us a service by spreading that gospel.

The truth is more complicated. By trying to get rid of labels you actually end up risking to disenfranchise the marginalised groups within the queer community who are glad to have a small point of representation.

It might not be convenient to end up with seemingly infinite acronyms like LGBTQQIP2SAA (extreme example, to be fair) but guess what? Sometimes convenience is not the priority when it comes to treating people right and making sure no one feels like an outcast.

Finding out that there is actually a term for your orientation or your preferences can mean the world to someone, it can help you establish an identity and make you feel like you belong, that you’re not just some weirdo who’s different from everyone else in the world. Labels can literally save lives.

I often personally opt for the term “queer” when I talk about my own sexuality just because I can’t be bothered to explain the mess that are my preferences to people who likely don’t even care about the details (and how do you explain in one word that you prefer sex with girls, love a boy but don’t seek relationships with either not to mention anything that goes beyond binary genders…).

And I believe that queer is a great umbrella term for our community but that doesn’t mean that we have to take more nuanced labels away from the people who rely on them for representation. So let’s not.

Slate has more on the topic.

Russian Satisfaction

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Young cadets from Russia’s Ulyanovsk Institute of Civil Aviation (UIGA) are being investigated for violating the student code of conduct after participating in an eye-popping, homoerotic music video.

The video — set to Benny Benassi’s 2002 electro-house hit “Satisfaction” — shows one cadet repeatedly deep throating a banana while others dance, shake their rumps and thrust their bulges in nothing more than underwear, belt straps, neckties and cadet caps. The Russian cadets now face possible expulsion for their participation.

The video (below), which appeared on YouTube earlier today, shows a handful of students gyrating, seductively posing around their dormitory, pretending to do chores and generally performing like a low-budget Russian schoolboy version of Magic Mike.

Submitted by Timothy 

Periodical Political Post *58

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Make America scared again

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Mission America’s Linda Harvey is one of the religious right’s most vociferous homophobes with a long string of stupid statements meant to spur outrage and disgust in her followers.

With a string of greatest “hits” (among other things she said that fighting anti-LGBT bullying is sexual abuse) at her back, Harvey must have noticed her ilk doesn’t get as much attention any longer now that people can see the truth is the exact opposite of what she claims.

So on her recent radio show, she invited one of America’s other most notorious anti-LGBT activists, Peter LaBarbera from the Orwellian-named “Americans for Truth About Homosexuality ,” to discuss what to do about the increasing acceptance of LGBT people.

The newspaper The Stranger writes:

“It used to be easy for people like Harvey to horrify straights. For centuries—for millennia—they only had to point to a couple of clobber passages in the Bible. They keep repeating those passages to each other (and screaming them at us), of course, but when they had to come up with a more secular rationalization for their hatred, they went with poop. And it worked! For decades, all they had to say was ‘They put their pee-pees in each other’s poopers!’ and that was enough.”

“Anti-gay Christian bigots used to horrify believers by herding them into church basements to watch footage from gay pride parades mixed in with graphic clips of extreme gay porn — gay men beating each other, pissing on each other, fisting each other — and that was pretty reliably horrifying back when straight people could pretend that other straight people didn’t do and enjoy the exact same perversions.”

So what’s their answer? Make people think we’re icky again.

“So many of these groups are predators,” she said according to Right Wing Watch. “I believe that the homosexual clubs in schools are just red flags for predators. I think that they exist there as an audience to continue to fast track kids into the lifestyle, network with adults—I mean, who knows what goes on there.”

“How do we re-horrify people about the sin of homosexuality?” she wondered. “People are becoming so comfortable with this, even people on our side. We need to re-horrify them.”

Listen to the entire segment below if you have the stomach.

Homeless Queer Youth in the UK

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Over 10,000 young queer people were made homeless in the UK last year, new figures show. Freedom of information requests from 234 councils across the country show 45,000 18-24 year-olds came forward to local authorities in past year.

Figures from the Albert Kennedy Trust show that of young homeless people in the UK, about 25% are queer. Therefore, of the astonishingly high number of young people who have come forward to say they are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless – an estimated 11,250 are queer.

However, with more than 100 local authorities not providing information – the Guardian reports the real number could be much higher.

The AKT figures make the LGBTI representation among homeless young teens hugely disproportionate. Additionally, they also show coming out is the reason nearly four in five of the young LGBTI teens AKT spoke to become homeless.

Moreover, once homeless, queer youth are more likely to experience targeted violence and discrimination. They are also more likely to abuse drugs, face sexual exploitation, and take more risks in their sex lives.

Speaking at the announcement of their partnership with National Student Pride, Tim Sigsworth, CEO of the Albert Kennedy Trust says:

“AKT believe that youth homelessness is the most pressing human rights issue facing the UK LGBT+ community. No young person should have to choose between a safe home and being who they are.”

Gay singer Troye Sivan has spoken out about LGBTI homeless youth

Troye Sivan spoke to queer kids in New York about being homeless. The singer visited the Ali Forney Center in New York City and spoke to three LGBTI youth aiming to turn their lives around.

Sivan met Skye, Maddox and Lala, who all had their different reasons for being homeless. The three are part of the centre’s youth ambassador program and are looking to, and working on, turning their lives around.

“As a community, we’ve come so far,” Sivan said. “But we clearly have a very, very, very long way to go. Now it’s my job, and our job, to keep pushing that forward and keep moving things in the right direction.”

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Max & Kyle put a Ring on it

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If you’re a fan of the gay porn company Helix Studios then perhaps you know about Max Carter and Kyle Ross, a young twink couple who are real-life boyfriends. They’ve appeared together in a handful of duo and group scenes and as of yesterday the two are engaged.

Carter, who presumably popped the question, tweeted, “He said yes!!” Ross simply wrote “Guess what…” and posted an image of his diamond-studded engagement ring.