Can Preferences be racist?

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This is going to be controversial: In a new episode of MTV Decoded, Dylan Marron tackles an ongoing problem in the gay community: racism. Particularly, the sexual racism found on dating apps.

“When gay men are confronted with their racist language, many try to explain it away as ‘a preference.’” Marron says. “I mean, they can’t help it, it’s just how they feel. As if they were captive to some mystical, romantic force that naturally discriminates against people of colour.”

Before you get all defensive, hear him out: “This is where structural racism comes into play. Because preferences are actually shaped by learned values. When you’re judging a person based solely on their racial background, you’re acting on generalizations you’ve learned to associate with that person’s appearance or heritage. You can’t say it’s their personality because you shut them down before you even got to know them.”

Watch the full video below:

The choice to be unafraid

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Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon was honoured with the Visibility Award at the Human Rights Council annual gala on Saturday — and as we’ve come to expect from him, he completely stole the show with his poignant words.

“When I was little I used to care so much about what others thought of me,” he said. “I was mindful of the way I dressed, my mannerisms, the way I talked. I was afraid people would think I was weak. I was afraid of making mistakes. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be welcomed by the LGBTQ community because someone like me wouldn’t be the role model they were looking for. Maybe I was too gay, and maybe I was just too myself. Throughout my life, I have fallen short many times. I have felt depressed. I felt not good enough. And I felt like there would never be a day where I would feel like I belong. I was living life afraid. I remember hearing the quote, ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ I remember really hearing it, and honestly asking myself, ‘What would I do differently?’

“I remember making the choice to be unafraid,” he continued. “I made the choice to not care what others thought of who I was. I was going to be truly me. This was the biggest and most important decision I’d ever made: To live fearlessly. To take risks. To let go of my fear of what others may think of me, and to always keep learning. You will find that you will have your greatest success when you wear your scars proudly. Through my shortcomings and from my successes, I’ve learned that a champion is more than a medal. It’s a mindset.”

He closed with a powerful, inclusive sentiment: “To all the young kids out there, whether you are gay, straight, bi, trans or still on a journey of self-discovery; whether you are white, black, or any color in between, you are smarter than you think. You hold more strength than you may ever know. You are powerful. No matter where you have come from or where you are going to, there is someone who looks up to you, and they will find inspiration in your strength of just being yourself. Be a role model, and never forget that you can be someone’s champion. You are a winner. When we all come together, we can change the world.”

Feed the Gays

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Jimmy Kimmel broke down last week’s headline-making ruling allowing a California bakery to refuse to make cakes for same-sex weddings in a way that should make it easy to understand for everyone why this ruling is a problem.

How Homosexuality actually benefits Evolution

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This talk from Dr. James O’Keefe MD gives us a deeply personal and fascinating insight into why homosexuality is indeed a necessary and extraordinarily useful cog in nature’s wheel of perfection.

Two Gay Dads making the World a bit of a better Place

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Rob Scheer wants to make sure no other child in the foster care system has an experience like the ones he and his children had. Warning: descriptions of abuse. Submitted by Kimmo

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.”

Some Senior Advice

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When these folks were teenagers just realising they might be gay, the idea that they could be allowed to actually marry the person they end up loving some day probably seemed crazy to them.

Just imagine what we could achieve from here on, where we could be once the current queer teen generation turned into seniors.

Gay Conversion “Therapy”

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Conversion therapy is the practice of “curing” gay people by trying to turn them straight through counselling and lifestyle restrictions. At the Journey into Manhood program, men pay more than $600 to attend a weekend retreat where they participate in exercises and activities the staff members claim will help them battle their same-sex ­orientation. The only qualification to become a staff member is to have successfully completed the program.

The report meets with the founder of reparative therapy, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, who is illegally practising on minors in the State of California, and investigates the controversial legal battle to fight conversion therapy for individuals under 18 years of age.

It also attends the annual Gay Christian Network Conference and features interviews with former “ex-gay” leaders including John Smid of Love in Action, who is now married to his gay partner, and hears the gruelling stories of the individuals who have survived this brutal practice.