Queer kids as young as 10 suffer from depression at alarming rate

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Queer kids are four times more likely to self-harm with suicidal intent compared to straight youth. They’re also far more likely to experience symptoms of depression from as young as 10 years old. These symptoms will persist then into their 20s.

Researchers from the University of College London also found gay, queer youth will have worse mental health overall. ‘We’ve known for some time that sexual minority youth have worse mental health outcomes,’ study author Dr Gemma Lewis said. ‘It’s quite concerning that we’ve found this trend starts as early as 10 years old, and worsens throughout adolescence. The study is the first of its kind in the UK, questioning 4,828 young people. Participants responded to questions about depression seven times from age 10 to 21, and at 16 and 21 were asked if they self-harmed in the past year.

While depressive symptoms increased throughout their teenage years for all groups, the increase was far greater for queer teens. Self-harm was more common for non-straight teens at both 16 and 21. At 18, queer teens were twice as likely to fulfil the criteria for a clinical diagnosis of depression.

Madeleine Irish, one of the authors of the study, said the sense of feeling different may affect mental health in children. She suggested a range of stressors could be involved. These can include ‘discrimination, stigmatisation, social isolation, shame or fear or rejection, including at home or at school.’

Dr Lewis added: ‘The fact we found mental health disparities at such a young age suggests that early interventions may be useful to prevent and treat such mental health challenges. ‘Despite changes to public perceptions and attitudes in recent years, gay, lesbian and bisexual youth remain at increased risk of long-term mental health problems—addressing this inequality should be a research, policy, clinical and public mental health priority.’

Gay Man’s Worst Friend

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In the early years of this blog the glossy Destroyer Journal from Swedish queer activist & troublemaker Karl Andersson was a steady source of inspiration. It was the first magazine that dared to put teenage boys into a perspective that modern society had reserved for adolescent girls. What was normal for the latter—to be adored and idolised—was unforgivable once the same patterns were applied to boys.

The predictable outrage didn’t just come from the usual right-wing suspects but also, and even harsher, from the gay community. While love without boundaries was an ordinary part of the queer spectrum once (no matter if you take historical personalities like Oscar Wilde & Walt Whitman or the fact that mainstream gay mags in the 70s & 80s used to make no difference between teenagers and buff men when it came to lewd photos) it seems to have become somewhat of a dark family secret of the past that must be kept under the rug lest we fuel the “homos are pedos” argument and eventually lose the equal rights and fragile freedom we achieved over the last decades.

You can read the whole story in a recently published book. Gay Man’s Worst Friend is not only the thrilling story of Europe’s most controversial gay magazine, told from Stockholm, Prague and Berlin. It’s also the story of the gay movement in the 21st century. The outraged reactions to Destroyer expose hidden power structures and show how gay identity has been steadily shrunk over recent decades, excluding ever more expressions of queerness.

You can order the book at cmykrush.

What good Sex Ed looks like

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Jansrud is a Norwegian celebrity and the host of the state-funded educational TV series Newton on Norway’s NRK TV. Among other things, Newton aired a segment on puberty featuring Jansrud frankly discussing (and demonstrating) such topics as kissing, masturbation, and how to give a hickey.

The segment begins with Jansrud explaining that puberty “gives you a new body that can make children if you have sex—otherwise known as fucking, screwing, shagging, getting it on, or making love”.  Jansrud then demonstrates where the clitoris and the sensitive nerves on the penis are located, on both live and rubber models.

“Now, what everyone starts with sooner or later, but rarely talks about, stroking your own sex parts. To masturbate,” she says. “Both the clitoris of the girl and the head of the penis on a boy is full of nerves that make it pleasant to touch.”

She then lubricates the vagina before demonstrating penetrative sexual intercourse on the rubber models, as well as how to use a condom. “For it to be pleasant, it’s vital that the vagina be moist enough,” she explains.”For the woman, you also have to rub the clitoris.” Jansrud caps off the segment by showing viewers her pregnant belly. She found out she was pregnant on the air in February, and she plans to turn her pregnancy into a recurring segment on the series in the coming months.

This isn’t the first time that Newton has taken such a frank and educational approach to sex. The series landed in hot water on Facebook when the social network deleted a clip of Jansrud demonstrating where the uterus and fallopian tubes are located on a woman’s body by painting the organs on a naked model’s skin. Another clip showed Jansrud explaining menstruation by filming the blood trickling down a live model’s legs.

Such a straightforward approach to sex education seems to be par for the course in Nordic countries. A few years ago, a Swedish TV children’s cartoon segment featuring a dancing penis and vagina went viral. The video featured the lyrics “Here comes the penis at full pace” and “the vagina is cool, you better believe it, even on an old lady.”

Unsurprisingly, Newton’s segment has been heavily criticized on a handful of foreign blogs, whose writers seem to think the it’s borderline pornographic and prurient. This is despite the fact that Jansrud also touches on such important issues as homosexuality, the age of consent, and the need to use contraceptives. She’s also quick to assure teens that “there’s no need to rush into having sex. It’ll happen soon enough.”

Sex-positive Norwegian commenters are applauding Jansrud for speaking about issues, like masturbation and penetrative sex, so frankly. “Great series, that I wish I would have seen when I was in school!” one commenter wrote, while another chimed in: “I am genuinely proud of the fact that Norway is leading the way here”.

Perhaps other countries should take a page out of Jansrud’s book and take a similarly frank approach to sex ed, or maybe we wouldn’t have things like chlamydia epidemics at public high schools in America to deal with.

The queer communities harmed by Tumblr’s NSFW content ban

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On Monday, Tumblr announced that it will ban “adult content” from its social network starting December 17. But the ban will penalise the site’s thousands of LGBTQ artists, educators, sex workers and others fans as well.

Tumblr’s move was foreseeable: Last November, Apple briefly removed Tumblr from its App Store. This January, the US congressional Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) will hold websites liable for when users post any content seen as promoting sex work. Eager to avoid prosecution, Tumblr and other sites are purging all sexual content.

An estimated 20% of Tumblr’s current traffic comes from people seeking adult content. So Tumblr’s decision will make the site more advertiser friendly while effectively killing off one-fifth of its user base. Its automated system for detecting adult content is currently flagging pictures of sand dunes, women sitting on desks, wrestlers and other non-explicit content. Thus, it’s hassling far more than just posters of adult content.

While Tumblr may retain its large fandom and social justice communities who use it to connect and share artwork, the ban will harm user who’ve amassed hundreds of thousands of followers through a shared love of erotic art & images celebrating sexuality. Meanwhile the site will still allow posts glorifyig white supremacy. Here are five communities that’ll be most harmed by Tumblr’s adult content ban.

Read on…

The best esports player of the year is gay, black and a furry

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“I’m gay, black, a furry — pretty much everything a Republican hates — and the best esports player of the whole year.”

—Dominique “SonicFox” McLean, American esports player and four-time Evolution Championship Series winner, in a speech accepting the award for Best Esports Player at the The Game Awards 2018.

McLean is famous in the esports community not only for being a skilled gamer, but also for his open embrace of his sexuality and SonicFox furry persona, including wearing his fur suit to gaming tournaments.

The 20-year-old gave a nervous, excited speech while accepting his award Thursday evening, donning his blue fox furry head as he walked up to the stage before stating in disbelief, “I really won this shit.” Calling the award — which is voted on by a panel of international gaming journalists, all well as by members of the public — a “big honor,” McLean said he “just really really [enjoys] playing video games competitively” and that he doesn’t compete for the fame. Instead, he joked, “I kind of just enjoy the rush of beating people up” — a nod to his preferred genre of fighting games.

The highest-paid fighting game player in the world, McLean also referenced during his speech a $10,000 donation he made last month to help the father of fellow gamer Curtis “Rewind” McCall, who is undergoing stage three cancer treatment.

He then gave a series of shout-outs to his team and friends, before ending on a bold declaration of his sexuality and identity that drew cheers from the crowd.

“As you guys also may know — or may not know — I’m also super gay,” McLean said. “I wanna give a super shoutout to all my LGBTQ+ friends that have always helped me through life. Obviously I’m a furry, so shout out to the furries…. Guess all I gotta really say is I’m gay, black, a furry — pretty much everything a Republican hates — and the best esports player of the whole year I guess. Thank you so much!”

McLean made headlines and drew praise in August this year when he came out publicly immediately after winning the 2018 EVO championship. “I’m gay,” McLean tweeted, before reminding any haters, “also the best [Dragon Ball FighterZ] player on this fucking planet [don’t] forget it.”

Facebook bans talking about sexuality. Yes, talking.

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If you thought Tumblr banning pictures and videos containing nudity was dumb, wait till you hear what Facebook just announced: They’re banning talking about your sexual preferences and activities on their site. Yup. The biggest social network in the world wants you to stop talking about sex because, you know, that’s dirty.

Their new content policy makes things like saying you’re a ‘top’ or a ‘bottom’ off-limits, in a move the social media behemoth says will combat content that “facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters between adults” and bars “sexually explicit language that may lead to solicitation.”

“Sex positions,” “sexual preference” and any number of other sexy umbrellas pertaining to “sexual hints” are all means for moderator intervention now. Another common phrase you see a lot — “send nudes” — is a no-no, whether its meant as a joke or an actual request. The new rules ban “offering or asking for nude images.”

This new wave of Puritanism with companies demonising anything that is even remotely related to sex hits queer people the hardest because queer themes are regraded “adult” topics by default on many U.S. sites.

Further reading: Facebook’s new community standards blatantly hurt queer users

Periodical Political Post *81

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Tumblr, that site no one’s using for anything but porn, banned all porn

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Imagine living in a world where kids grow up not being taught that their bodies are something to be ashamed of or that sex is something nasty that will taint you as a person. Or actually being taught how to have sex safely to not get pregnant or STDs or how consent works.

You’ll need quite some imagination for this seeing how the West seems to slide back into the moral mindset of the 19th century lately. Led by American companies who have no problem whatsoever with violence or nazi propaganda on their sites, this new Puritan movement just culminated in one of the biggest social networks banning all NSFW content.

Tumblr, the site that has become a hub for so many communities and artists with adult themes, the site that is used to view porn by a majority of its users, wants to become a “better and more positive” place. Apparently that doesn’t include body or sex positivity. Tumblr did say that they won’t remove artistic nudity in art, paintings and sculptures for example but turns out that statement was not quite true as you can see below:

Two weeks from now, all NSFW content will be removed from Tumblr. The decision comes just weeks after the Tumblr app was removed from Apple’s iTunes store because of problems with Tumblr’s content filter. Apparently Tumblr came to the conclusion that just removing all porn would be easier than fixing their software.

The NSFW bloggers are easily Tumblr’s largest community so this move will be a huge blow to the site. The stock price of Tumblr’s parent company Verizon is in free fall and many users started fleeing the site, migrating to Twitter and other networks just hours after the decision was announced.

Below I’ll list some of the Tumblr bloggers I featured on milkboys and their Twitter accounts so you can keep up with them that way in case they announce where they will set up in the future. For more developments on this follow the milkboys Twitter.

Tumblr Twitter (follow for updates)
Milo @milomauwmauw
Jero @SuperSolidSquid
Josh @milkkore
F0reverUnde4d @F0reverUnde4d
Kahran @skinnykinks
Kirby @tn_kirby
Almosttoast @almosttoasty
Fawnykid @fawnykid
Xag @asoftcreature
Broccolibutts @SlutElf
Autistic Sissy @AutisticSissy

Russian school kids are being investigated for gay propaganda

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Russian police seized several drawings from a school art exhibition to investigate possible violations of the country’s ban on gay propaganda after parents complained that they depicted same-sex couples. Russia outlawed “gay propaganda” among minors in 2013, a move that allowed courts to ban gay pride events and was followed by a surge in anti-LGBT sentiment in the country.

The drawings were made by students of a school in Yekaterinburg for an art contest marking the UN’s international day of tolerance. The police said they seized 17 drawings from the competition to investigate complaints that they contain gay propaganda, Interfax reported.

The the 5th- to 11th-graders had portrayed gay couples in their drawings. One drawing attracted attention for depicting the silhouettes of a female couple, a male couple and a mixed couple. “Around 10 other posters hang next to this picture showing a rainbow (a symbol of the sexual minority movement), planets and people of different nationalities,” a Russian news site wrote. “Another work contains the motto ‘We’re for peace! We’re for tolerance!’”

Being gay or bisexual doesn’t require you to like anal sex

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Anal sex has become conflated with the male gay or bisexual experience — so much so that the top-vs-bottom question is often the first talking point in chats on queer hookup apps. So much so that it’s often the punchline of homophobic jokes. And so much so that people think you have to be into anal to be a gay or bi man (just as they think you have to be a gay or bi man to be into anal).

Take this question from a curious Redditor: “Can you be in a relationship with a guy and not be into the top and bottom stuff? I’m into guys but the whole top/bottom stuff doesn’t look enjoyable to me.” The overwhelming response from commenters? This dude isn’t alone.

In fact, in a study of men who have sex with men — published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2011 — less than 40 percent of respondents had engaged in anal intercourse during their last sexual event.

“Of all sexual behaviours that men reported occurring during their last sexual event, those involving the anus were the least common,” observed Joseph Rosenberger, lead author of the study. “There is certainly a misguided belief that ‘gay sex equals anal sex,’ which is simply untrue much of the time.”

Consider what Alim Kheraj writes for GQ: “Sex isn’t one-size fits all, and that applies to anal. Some people aren’t comfortable with the idea of anal penetration, or have tried it and found that it really isn’t for them. This should be common sense, but it’s worth repeating. Additionally, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker for a partner. To limit oneself to just a single flavor is to shut out a smorgasbord of new experiences.”

Meanwhile other studies found that straight couples have anal sex about just as often as queer ones so the idea that anal sex is somehow “gay” or that being gay means you have to have anal sex is quite frankly nonsense.