Mexico’s Third Gender

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In Tehuantepec, a town in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, Lukas Avendaño and fellow muxes live beyond the gender binary. A muxe is an individual assigned male at birth who behaves outside roles traditionally associated with masculinity. Sometimes referred to as a third gender, muxe identity pre-dates Spanish imperialism in the Zapotec region.

For Lukas, dressing in feminine Zapotec clothing is a political act, giving everybody the power and the liberty to decide who they want to be.

Letters to another Generation

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Imagining what you’d say to your younger self always can be deeply impactful. But for queer elders looking back, there’s not only personal growth to factor in but also all the ways in which the world has changed drastically for gay people over the decades.

Davey Wavey teamed up with the LGBT Community Center of the Desert in Palm Springs, California to film gay elders reading letters to their younger selves. The result is another reminder of how much today’s younger generation of queer folks stands to gain from listening to the older generation.

This Is Me: A Pride Anthem

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During Sunday’s L.A. Pride parade, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles danced past the cheering crowd to perform a choreographed rendition of “This Is Me.” To the spectators present, the joyous moment officially confirmed the song as an anthem of Pride, which will undoubtedly be replayed throughout the month of June.

The song’s journey to the parade may be unexpected. But it has all of the requisite ingredients for this distinction. “This Is Me” was written by a gay man, Benj Pasek, and his writing partner, Justin Paul. The two are known for their original songs for Smash, La La Land,and Dear Evan Hansen, the latter of which won them a Tony Award for Best Original Score.

In addition to these queer credentials, the anthem in question is from The Greatest Showman, a 2017 musical film starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum. In the production, “This Is Me” is sung by Keala Settle, who portrays a bearded lady in the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Her experience, articulated through the song, is one of resilience in the face of hardship — which, after all, is what Pride is all about.

“I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be, this is me,” Settle sings in an unapologetic declaration of identity that all queer people can relate to. She adds, “I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me.”

People can change

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27-year-old YouTuber Riyadh Khalaf is best known for his 2015 viral video in which he shared his Grindr messages with his mother, but the process of coming out to his dad was very difficult.

Speaking to Brendan O’Connor on Cutting Edge on RTE One on Wednesday night, Riyadh said he came out to his Irish mother first but they kept the news from his Iraqi father for a further nine months.

“He was brought up Muslim and in Islamic culture and in that world, as many of us know, it’s not okay to be gay most of the time. It’s full of shame, it’s full of fear. It’s seen as a sickness. It’s just not good.”

He said his father took it “incredibly difficultly” and revealed that his mother’s “main fear” was how to break the news to her husband. And their worst fears came true when Riyadh’s father attempted suicide. But things changed dramatically since. Watch the short video below :)

A Valentine’s Kiss

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A Valentine’s Day video of a schoolboy in South Africa standing in the school yard waiting to surprise his Valentine has started to go viral for all the right reasons.

As he waits with a bouquet of flowers, a gift and an ‘I Love You’ balloon, he is surrounded by his very excited class mates. Moments later another schoolboy emerges from the building to excited screams, and the two embrace before kissing each other on the lips.