Boys (and Teachers) Beware!

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A US high school has indefinitely suspended one of their teachers after he showed his class a film warning boys of ‘predatory homosexuals’.

Simons, a history teacher at the school, was suspended weeks before he was due to retire for showing a law enforcement class the film Boys Beware; it warns students to avoid strangers ‘because they might be homosexual’.

Made by Sid Davis Productions with assistance from Inglewood Police in California, the film was a social guidance film depicting gay men as sexual predators, prowling around high schools on the lookout for underage boys. One of the film’s scenarios shows a boy named Jimmy being lured in by a man named Ralph.

‘I’m not against homosexuality,’ Simons told KCTV. Simons said three days after showing the film, he was told by school officials that two students had complained; the school then suspended him from teaching.

Simons argued he had been using the film to highlight how attitudes towards homosexuality have changed. Why the students would report him in this case remains unclear.

Surveillance, Dick Pics & You

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“The good news is, there is no government program named The Dick Pic Program,” said Edward Snowden. “The bad news is they are still collecting everybody’s information, including your dick pics.”

It’s a pretty long but important (and entertaining) video, so if you have some time to spare, please check it out. It’s pretty important stuff.

Seniors give Gay Advice

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They lived through bar raids, blatant discrimination and isolation and are still around to tell about it. A group of gay and lesbian seniors from a LGBT Community Center have teamed with YouTube personality Davey Wavey on a video to share memories and advice.

Gay Conversion Therapies

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US-based Vice, known for its controversial documentaries, has released a three-part documentary investigating gay conversion therapy – a practice that has been denounced by medical communities and partially banned by several states. For the documentary, Vice sent their cameras to Journey Into Manhood, a gay conversion program, where men pay more than US$600 to attend a weekend retreat where they participate in exercises and activities to ‘cure’ themselves of their attraction to other men.

gaydemons

Dr Joseph Nicolosi, the founder of reparative therapy, is seen saying in the film, ‘Everyone is heterosexual. The idea that some people are naturally homosexual, or naturally gay, is just a social construct. So when you have individuals with same-sex attraction, we see it as something went wrong developmentally and we try to resolve the issue and put them back on the path toward their natural heterosexuality.’

It also investigates the controversial legal battle to fight conversion therapy for children.

Sam Brinton, a survivor of reparative therapy who is today a nuclear engineer as well as co-chair of Born Perfect which works to end reparative therapy, spoke of being physically tortured during his therapy sessions during which he was shown erotic pictures of men while his hands were ‘wrapped in hot coils’ and ‘shocked with electricity.’

The documentary also travels to the annual Gay Christian Network Conference in the US and speaks with former ‘ex-gay’ leaders including John Smid of Love in Action, who is now married to his gay partner. He says in the documentary, ‘Today I’m very offended at the concept of change therapies for homosexuality because the message that someone who is gay has something intrinsically wrong with them is a shame-producing, negative message that hits at the core of a human life and I’m offended that the message is still in any way communicated.’

Watch Part 2 | Watch Part 3

Kids react to… Equality

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On a weekend afternoon, 13 kids between the ages of five and 13 were sat down & asked to watch two gay couples get engaged. After that, they were interviewed about how they view gay relationships and laws banning LGBTI rights in the US and the rest of the world. The results will warm your heart.

 [via GSN]

Muslim Drag Queens: Bhangra, Bollywood & Bravery in Britain

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The Guardian has teamed up with writer Kieran Yates and director Marcus Plowright to produce a short documentary on the small but tight-knit community of London’s Muslim drag queens.

At 12-minutes long, the film takes us behind-the-scenes as Ali, a gay Pakistani asylum-seeker, prepares to perform for the first time. “Ali fled Pakistan, where he was persecuted for being gay, but now faces abuse from his neighbours in London,” reads the blurb. “Mentored by Asifa Lahore, the UK’s first Muslim drag queen, Ali is determined to overcome his fears and express himself in a dance performance at the UK’s biggest ‘gaysian’ club night.”

You can watch the video below and read more about it here.

Goodbye, Leelah

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“Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better,” the note reads. “The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender.”

leelah-alcorn16-year-old Leelah Alcorn died Sunday morning at 2:20 a.m. in a suspected suicide. Police believe she had walked three or four miles from her parent’s house in Kings Mill, Ohio to Interstate 71 where she leaped in front of a truck.

Following her death, a suicide note appeared on Alcorn’s Tumblr blog that suggested that she intended to kill herself. The missive offers a heartbreaking glimpse into the life of a teenager struggling with being accepted by her family and unable to see a hopeful future for herself:

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Ireland votes on Equality

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Ireland has set a month for a referendum on marriage equality. Groups both for and against same-sex marriage will rally as they prepare for the public vote in early May 2015. No specific date has been announced as of yet. The issue was discussed today by Ministers at their final meeting before Christmas. Recent surveys suggest that more than two thirds of the country’s population support marriage equality. The Guardian has more on the topic.