I love You Both

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So Wild is the debut single of I Love You Both, a Ukrainian band by Oleg Zhezhel (best known for his former project Kazaky) which has a heavy focus on a surprising subject: bisexuality. The band is made up of two boys, Roman and Nazar, and one girl, Dasha.

So Wild is about the disappointment and despair of teens stuck between childhood and adulthood. It’s about a lost generation that wants to find itself but isn’t sure how.

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.