Queer youth is diverse beyond the common categories of gay & bi

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More than 20% of queer American teenagers and young adults identify as something other than gay, lesbian or bisexual, according to a survey presented yesterday by The Trevor Project.

The survey, which was conducted last year, reveals a major part of LGBTQ youth prefer terms like “queer, trisexual, omnisexual or pansexual” to describe their sexual orientation. In comparison to the 21% of queer kids who use those less common terms, 45% identify as gay or lesbian and 33% as bisexual.

Dr. Amy Green, director of Research for The Trevor Project, said in a statement the survey results are consistent with terms used by LGBTQ youth in speaking with the organisation.

“The Trevor Project often hears from young people who identify outside of the sexual orientation labels of gay, lesbian or bisexual, and many times they are able to articulate the difference between their emotional, romantic and sexual attractions to others,” Green said. “LGBTQ young people understand the complexities of their sexual orientation, so we hope to see the research, education and clinical fields expand their sexual orientation measures beyond lesbian, gay and bisexual labels in an effort to better serve LGBTQ youth.”

The vast majority of LGBTQ youth who wrote in a sexual orientation in the survey provided one sexual orientation, according The Trevor Project. Among the terms are asexual, polysexual, abrosexual, graysexual, androsexual, bicurious, homoflexible, masexual, omnisexual, sapiosexual and two spirit.

A substantial portion of respondents used terms to denote distinctions between their sexual and romantic attraction, especially those who identified as asexual, according to the Trevor Project. For those individuals, they chose another term to recognise their romantic attractions, such as asexual aromantic, asexual panromanic or asexual homoromantic.

The survey was conducted The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth organization that focuses on suicide prevention, LGBTQ people aged 13-24 among a sample of 24,836 youths who were recruited via social media to participate.

You can read more here.

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UK’s controversial porn block could come sooner under no-deal Brexit

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The UK government’s plan to introduce mandatory Age Verification (AV) measures could come into effect sooner than previously thought, if the UK leaves the European Union under a ‘No Deal’ scenario, without a formal Withdrawal Agreement.

The AV plans, which have already been extensively covered, and delayed more than once, were supposed to come into effect from July 15, 2019. However, the UK government neglected to inform the European Commission under the Technical Standards and Regulations Directive (EU-TSRD), which it needed to do before enacting the changes.

As a result, a delay of around six months was expected when this was announced back on June 20, meaning it should come into force just before the end of the year. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the organisation tasked with enforcing the age verification measures, told SEXTECHGUIDE.

Read on…

We still need Pride. Very much so.

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Some people are calling for an end to Pride events because we supposedly don’t need them anymore. Meanwhile trans women are still being shot, gay couples are being beaten up in public and teenagers are driven into suicide. All in the United States, all just within the last few days.

Others countries are just now having their first Prides and there too it becomes painfully obvious why they’re so urgently needed in this day and age.

The video below shows footage taken after the first-ever Pride march in Kharkiv, Ukraine, the country’s second largest city. It shows a queer boy being slapped, kicked, stomped and chased by an angry anti-gay mob until a courageous photographer steps in to help the teen escape.

Read more on PinkNews…

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It’s back to school time for kids in the U.S. and you know what that means… (CW: the video is fairly graphic and might not be suitable for trauma survivors)

How selfies destroy our self-esteem

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Social media has changed our aspirations. It’s changed the way we see ourselves, creating a new layer of perfectionist pressure in every aspect of our lives, but equally enabling us to share resources, opinions, help and information more quickly than ever before. We love it, we hate it, we can’t get off it, we have mixed feelings.

Those mixed feelings and extreme highs and lows are something model and activist Naomi Shimada and fashion journalist Sarah Raphael explore in their new book Mixed Feelings: Exploring Modern Life and the Internet, One Discussion at a Time.

With their book they explore what the internet and social media is doing to our minds, bodies and hearts, while celebrating difference at the same time. The book is a bulwark against the onslaught of images of perfectionism and aspiration we are bombarded with on a daily basis; a guide to show that however you’re feeling, you’re not alone. Read an extract below.

I first started seeing a therapist during a six-month period of insomnia and depression a few years ago when all the little things I didn’t like about myself – which get called ‘imperfections’ – were going round my head on a loop as I walked to work or lay awake in bed. I would stare at other people’s selfies, listing all the ways I didn’t measure up.

The obsessive thoughts I was having when scrolling through Instagram started to interrupt me in real life and I became so self-conscious that, when I spoke to people, I’d feel very aware of how my face looked as I was talking. Had they noticed the hair on the side of my face? Did speaking make my lips look thin?

When I shared these thoughts with my therapist, embarrassed about how they sounded out loud, her expression was somewhere between a raised eyebrow and a frown. ‘I understand that’s how you feel about yourself,’ she said, ‘but the person you are describing is not the person sat in front of me.’ I later realised it was the person I saw in the reverse camera on my phone.

Read on…

Merriam-Webster dictionary adds gender-neutral ‘they’ pronoun

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Merriam-Webster gave the use of “they” as a nonbinary, gender neutral pronoun this certain whiff of linguistic authority by adding the definition to the dictionary in their most recent batch of additions.

The announcement was made on Twitter and certain people predictably lost their shit. But as Merriam-Webster acknowledged, the definition reflects an increasingly common usage of the “singular they.”

A recent study has shown that usage of the singular “they” has a welcome side-effect: It boosts positive attitudes towards women and queer people.

The dictionary’s senior editor Emily Brewster told the Guardian, “Merriam-Webster does not try to be at the vanguard of change in the language. Over the past few decades, there has been so much evidence that this is a fully established use of ‘they’ in the English language. This is not new.”

In a blog post, the authors of the dictionary addressed critics who argue that using “they” to describe one person is grammatically incorrect, which includes many right-wingers who seem to only care about grammar when it comes to the pronouns queer people choose to identify themselves with:

We will note that they has been in consistent use as a singular pronoun since the late 1300s; that the development of singular they mirrors the development of the singular you from the plural you, yet we don’t complain that singular you is ungrammatical; and that regardless of what detractors say, nearly everyone uses the singular they in casual conversation and often in formal writing.

It’s not quite as newfangled as it seems: we have evidence in our files of the nonbinary they dating back to 1950, and it’s likely that there are earlier uses of the nonbinary pronoun they out there.

 

Arizona Supreme Court tells businesses it’s OK to discriminate against gay people

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Whatever happened to Christians leaving the judging to god? The Supreme Court of Arizona just ruled in favour of two Christian business owners who sued the city of Phoenix so they wouldn’t have to abide by its requirement to provide services for a same-sex wedding.

In 2016, the “devout Christian” owners of Brush & Nib — an Arizona-based business that makes hand-written calligraphic invitations and signs — sued the city of Phoenix because the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance allegedly violated the company’s freedom of speech (ie. their right to refuse service to people they think are dirty sinners).

Brush & Nib’s co-owners Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski sued to overturn the city’s civil rights law before any complaints could be filed against them. They also wanted to post a sign saying that they refuse to serve same-sex couples.

In its decision, the court wrote, “Our holding today is limited to Plaintiffs’ creation of one product: custom wedding invitations.” As such, the ruling doesn’t apply to all businesses in Arizona, but it’s not hard to see how it could.

After all, anti-gay Christians owners of wedding-related businesses — bakeries, florists, videographers, wedding dress makers — have piped up all over the oh-so-free United States stating that their religious beliefs compel them not to serve The Gays.

So really, what’s the difference between these businesses and Brush and Nib? Little to nothing. And if these business fight for their right to discriminate against same-sex couples, Arizona’s Supreme Court seems prepared to give them permission.

Famous skeletons holding hands were male

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A pair of hand-holding skeletons–the so-called Lovers of Modena –in a burial site in Italy have been found to be male, according to researchers at the University of Bologna. The two bodies were discovered in 2009 and are believed to have been buried between the 4th and 6th century.

The sex of the skeletons could not be determined using genetic analysis at first but researchers developed a new technique using a protein found in tooth enamel and determined that both skeletons likely belonged to men, according to an article published in Scientific Reports.

This isn’t the first ancient grave site archaeologists have found with two people buried hand-in-hand; others have been found in Greece, Turkey, Romania, and Russia. But those were all male and female couples. And while researchers were confident enough about the couple’s relationship to name them the “Lovers of Modena” in 2009, discovering that they were both men has researchers confused.

“There are currently no other examples of this type,” Federico Lugli, the lead author of the study, told Rai News. “Many tombs have been found in the past with couples holding hands, but in all cases there was a man and a woman. What might have been the bond between the two individuals in the burial in Modena remains a mystery.”

Lugli said that it wasn’t common for men to be buried like this in this time period, but that their burial suggests a relationship of some sort. “In late antiquity it is unlikely that homosexual love could be recognised so clearly by the people who prepared the burial,” he said, suggesting that they may have been cousins or soldiers.

Yeah, about that…