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.”

CBS on gay conversion

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On the heels of the ‘gay conversion therapy‘ drama Boy ErasedCBS Sunday Morning took a look at the harmful and useless practice, as well as its ridiculous methods, like “cuddle therapy,” but it sadly gave way too much a platform to the proponents of this dangerous and debunked practice in an effort to appear “fair and balanced”.

Gay culture in Japan

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Gay culture in Japan has changed a lot over the decades, when in Europe people were still being killed for being homosexual, it was not a big deal in Japan. However, with Western culture and religion influencing Japan that changed. So how accepting is modern Japan towards LGBT? At Tokyo Rainbow Pride people of various backgrounds living in Japan talk about their thoughts on gay culture in Japan.

Russia’s first gay married couple had to run for their lives

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Yevgeny Voitsekhovsky and Pavel Stotsko aren’t just a married gay couple — they were the first married gay couple in Russia after their January marriage was officially recognised by a government official. But their bliss was short lived, and they were quickly forced to flee the country in fear for their lives. The couple has been staying ever since in a small town in the Netherlands.

Although gay marriage is illegal in Russia, Voitsekhovsky and Stotsko took advantage of a loophole earlier this year after discovering the government recognises foreign marriages. They wed in Denmark in January, seven years after they first started dating. On their return to Russia, they took their internal passports to a government office to be officially registered. To their surprise, registering at the municipality office went off without a hitch.

“They just took our marriage certificate and stamped our passports. At the time, the woman that did it saw that there are two men before her, but she wasn’t in any way shocked. She acted by the order they have that marriage registered abroad is recognised in Russia”.

The trouble came afterwards, when the couple went on television to talk about their status as Russia’s first married gay couple. Over the next few days, they say, they were harassed by police and had their domestic passports containing their marriage stamps confiscated and cancelled.

On the advice of lawyers — and with the financial support of LGBT activists — Voitsekhovsky and Stotsko fled to Amsterdam, without even saying goodbye to their family. They declared themselves as asylum seekers to police at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport, and have been living as refugees ever since. Last week, after six months of uncertainty and adjustment to life in a place very different to Russia, they received their permanent resident cards.

“We went to gay parade in Amsterdam and there we could hold hands in public for the first time in the street because we saw same sex couples — females, males — who were also walking holding hands without any problems,” said Yevgeny Voitsekhovsky. “No one was abusing them by shouting insults behind their backs. No one was threatened physically. We know that we are in a safe environment.”

Are Bert & Ernie queer? Let’s ask their actual target audience.

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All hell broke loose after an interview with a gay former writer for Sesame Street who said he wrote the characters Bert and Ernie as if they were a gay couple. From Stephen Colbert to a cartoon in the New Yorkeradults had their say about the muppets’ sexual orientation for days.

But what do kids think of the idea? Do they like the idea of the two muppets as a gay couple? Do they care?

Grindr kicks of Kindr campaign

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Grindr wants to take a step to combat racist and shaming language on user profiles. RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant The Vixen, former Queer Eye host Jai Rodriguez, Joel Kim Booster, Malcolm Robinson, Rakeem Cunningham, Ray (Emilio Amador), and Jasmine are featured in the “kindr” campaign from Grindr against sexual racism, speaking about their experiences of racism on- and offline.

“If you don’t put ‘no Asians’ in your profile, it doesn’t mean you have to f**k Asians now,” says Booster. “It just means I don’t have to see it….For you to say ‘I know what every Asian guy looks like and I know for a fact that I would not be attracted to any of them?’ That comes from a racist place. Because you don’t know what we all look like. That’s ugly.”

“You don’t know what the person on the other side of the phone is going through,” adds Rodriguez. “You have no idea what their experience is, or what else they have going on, or what that comment might do to them.”

Grindr, also released a statement further elaborating on the Kindr initiative:

Sexual racism, transphobia, fat and femme shaming and further forms of othering such as stigmatization of HIV positive individuals are pervasive problems in the LGBTQ community. These community issues get brought onto our platform, and as a leader in the gay dating space, Grindr has a responsibility to not only protect our users, but also to set the standard for the broader community that we serve.

Online discrimination has reached epidemic proportions affecting not only Grindr but other social networks. Our ‘Kindr’ initiative is a rallying call for Grindr and our community to take a stand against sexual racism and all forms of othering.