Boy Ballet Dancer

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Not many boys dance ballet, but 11-year-old Gabriel Romero, who trains at Thom McIntyre’s Philadelphia Dance Center, is the ultimate boy ballerina (or ballerino). Even if he’s the only boy ballet dancer among dozens of girls, Gabe doesn’t let it get to him. He’s in the studio and at the barre for one key reason: dance is his passion, and he’s not afraid to express it.

Submitted by Paul

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.

Morning Glory Tracker

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Need to document your morning erection? Now there’s an app for that! Roman, the men’s sexual health app that launched last year, wants guys to start logging their “morning wood” as soon as they wake up.

Once a day, when you first open the aptly named “Morning Glory” app, it will prompt you to answer the simple yes or no question: “Did you wake up with morning wood?” The fun begins from there.

Depending on your answer, the app will take you to a GIF-filled screen. According to Roman, logging three morning erections in a row unlocks a “confetti party” to celebrate your streak success. But behind the the silliness is a serious concept: tracking your sexual health.

“One of the best indicators of a guy’s overall health is whether or not he wakes up with an erection,” a company spokesperson tells Inverse. “If you wake up with morning wood it means your blood flow & hormones are working properly, and that you’re at a lower risk for things like diabetes, heart diseases, or other chronic diseases.”

 For example: if you log “no erection” for three consecutive days, the app will suggest you chat with a physician and offers a free phone consultation with Roman’s Clinical Director. Responses will also be automatically logged in a calendar that displays your monthly history of “morning wood” and “boner streaks” to help generate monthly data.
 

Despite the fun marketing, the Morning Glory app is being backed by Dr. Steven Lamm, the Medical Director at the NYU Center for Men’s Health, who explains the important signals men’s bodies send via erections.

“If you’re experiencing a diminished erection, it’s often the first sign of a far more serious condition that could be brewing,” Roman says in the app’s preview. “Think of ED as the man’s equivalent to a car’s check engine light.”

Alex and the Handyman

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Alex And The Handyman takes a look at pre-adolescent sexuality in a sweet way. The film precocious nine-year-old Alex, who develops an instant crush on much older handyman, Jared. The child wants the moody 20-something man’s attention, but Jared isn’t that interested in humoring the fantasies of a kid.

The short starts off as a sweet and sometimes funny look at pre-sexual awakening. However, some people will probably be freaked out a bit by the end.

You can watch the whole short here. Submitted by Marvin.

Saturday Church

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Saturday Church tells the story of 14-year-old Ulysses as he struggles to express his personality & sexuality in a hostile environment.

Ulysses, the young protagonist of Saturday Church, is first seen at the burial of his father, a soldier killed overseas. The New York teen, played by Luka Kain, has delicate features and carries an air of quiet about him.

He and his younger brother will now be looked after by both their mother Amara and strict Aunt Rose. The latter does not mince words after Ulysses is discovered trying on his mother’s shoes. “If I ever hear of you even looking at women’s clothing, I will beat it out of you. You are a man. Start acting like one,” she says, enunciating each word with controlled rage.

But the boy is in no way conflicted about his sexual orientation — he’s just surrounded by disapproval. As a form of escape, he imagines his life as a musical, and the movie is dotted with song and dance, beginning with a particularly audacious locker-room scene in which Ulysses’ jock tormentors turn into backup dancers.

For real-life affinity, Ulysses seeks companionship on the pier by Manhattan’s Christopher Street, where he is enlisted into Saturday Church, a program for at-risk queer youth (the program in the movie is based on a real one).

The film was written and directed by Damon Cardasis, making his feature debut. It is a disarmingly and consistently sensitive movie that remains engaging even when its reach sometimes exceeds its grasp (a musical number set in what might be the world’s tidiest homeless shelter for example).

The wonderful cast brings the story home, and Luka Kain in particular is a real find. When Ulysses first puts on lip gloss in a room full of people who accept him, the smile that plays on his face is both ebullient and heart-rending.

Periodical Political Post *58

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Periodical Political Post *57

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Queer News

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