Seniors give Gay Advice

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They lived through bar raids, blatant discrimination and isolation and are still around to tell about it. A group of gay and lesbian seniors from a LGBT Community Center have teamed with YouTube personality Davey Wavey on a video to share memories and advice.

Gay Conversion Therapies

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US-based Vice, known for its controversial documentaries, has released a three-part documentary investigating gay conversion therapy – a practice that has been denounced by medical communities and partially banned by several states. For the documentary, Vice sent their cameras to Journey Into Manhood, a gay conversion program, where men pay more than US$600 to attend a weekend retreat where they participate in exercises and activities to ‘cure’ themselves of their attraction to other men.

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Dr Joseph Nicolosi, the founder of reparative therapy, is seen saying in the film, ‘Everyone is heterosexual. The idea that some people are naturally homosexual, or naturally gay, is just a social construct. So when you have individuals with same-sex attraction, we see it as something went wrong developmentally and we try to resolve the issue and put them back on the path toward their natural heterosexuality.’

It also investigates the controversial legal battle to fight conversion therapy for children.

Sam Brinton, a survivor of reparative therapy who is today a nuclear engineer as well as co-chair of Born Perfect which works to end reparative therapy, spoke of being physically tortured during his therapy sessions during which he was shown erotic pictures of men while his hands were ‘wrapped in hot coils’ and ‘shocked with electricity.’

The documentary also travels to the annual Gay Christian Network Conference in the US and speaks with former ‘ex-gay’ leaders including John Smid of Love in Action, who is now married to his gay partner. He says in the documentary, ‘Today I’m very offended at the concept of change therapies for homosexuality because the message that someone who is gay has something intrinsically wrong with them is a shame-producing, negative message that hits at the core of a human life and I’m offended that the message is still in any way communicated.’

Watch Part 2 | Watch Part 3

Swallow Troye’s Happy Little Pill

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Teen idol Troye Sivan had a Hollywood gig at age 13, a lead role opposite John Cleese at 14 and a recording contract on his 18th birthday – all after a career “failure” at 12. How, exactly?

To most shoppers out at Perth’s Murray Street Mall, 19-year-old Troye Sivan probably looks like any other local teenager – albeit an elvishly pretty one – out running errands with his mum and little brother. But to girls of a certain age (say, 12 to 17), Sivan seems to exist on a different plane altogether. Sporting his trademark quiff and oversized T-shirt promoting Tumblr, he could be a good 100 metres away and still the girls somehow sense him, the way birds detect unseen disturbances in their immediate environment.

Soon enough – in Topshop and City Beach; outside Fossil and the newsagency – Sivan is surrounded by teenage girls in the process of thoroughly losing their minds. To be fair, most of them are lovely and sane, asking Sivan to pose with them in selfies before running off for a private group squeal. But on other days, Sivan’s fans have proper, pituitary-induced meltdowns. Some scream at his face point blank, while others shed hot, silent tears.

Last Halloween, fans tracked down Sivan’s home address and waited outside the front door, calling out tauntingly, “Trick or treee-eeat?” Troye’s younger brother Tyde – who has a face that belongs in Dolly magazine and is fast becoming famous in his own right – deadpans that it was more like “Troye or Tyyy-yyde?” The brothers spent the evening hiding indoors, held hostage in their own home. Later, Sivan tells me that this kind of behaviour is why he avoids being near local schools after 4pm. Sivan’s mother, Laurelle, adds that she’s in the process of having their home de-listed from the White Pages.

Read on…

Stay Weird

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Graham Moore gave a very candid speech while accepting the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, a film about gay codebreaker and computer pioneer Alan Turing.

”When I was 16 years old I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong, and now I’m standing here,” he said on stage Sunday night. ”I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes you do. I promise you do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn, and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along.”

The Fosters: Queer Childhood

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The Fosters Explores the Fear and Possibility of Queer Childhood

the-fosters-connorIn the Feb. 9 episode of ABC Family’s The Fosters, 13-year-old Jude goes to the movies on a double date with Connor, his best friend, and Daria and Taylor, two girls from school. It seems Connor and Daria are there to make out, and they have brought Jude and Taylor along as cover.

When Jude takes his seat, Connor pointedly lowers the armrest between them. But after the lights go down, their pinkies touch and then cross. The camera cuts back and forth between their flushed faces, their eyes wide with nervous excitement and surprise at the intensity, while Daria and Taylor absently watch the “chick flick” they’ve supposedly come to see.

The scene is unexpectedly and palpably erotic—a feat that speaks to the richness and complexity with which the show has developed Jude’s storyline over its first two seasons. And yet it is clear that this touch will not provide a neat resolution to the questions about Jude and Connor’s relationship or sexuality, but, rather, will only deepen the exploration.

Jude is not the first queer teenager on television, but he is among the youngest—and he is the first to be raised by queer parents. The Fosters follows a modern family of a kind rarely seen on television—an interracial lesbian couple, Lena and Stef Adams-Foster, and their five racially diverse children: one biological; three adopted, including Jude; and one whose adoption has been repeatedly stalled—Jude’s sister Callie.

It’s a sentimental teen drama that manages at moments to show foster care and LGBTQ parenting with sensitivity and texture. But its most radical move may be in its depiction of Jude, played with thoughtful nuance by Hayden Byerly.

Read on…

I think I’m a Poof

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Queer writer and relationships columnist Samuel Leighton-Dore’s new picture book I Think I’m a Poof addresses the challenging realities often faced in our youth, including discovering yourself, and being on the receiving end of bullying. Samuel has filmed three Aussie dads with gay sons reading the book and discussing their experiences.

Copies of the book are available from ithinkimapoof.com, with $1 from every book sold being donated  to QLife, an Australian counselling and referral service for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people.