China banned “effeminate” men

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In 2021, China’s broadcasting regulator issued a ban on ‘niang pao’ or ‘sissy men’ from appearing on TV and video streaming sites. The derogatory term is used to describe men with effeminate looks. Do these rules signal a return to more traditional notions of patriarchy, masculinity and even nationalism?

It’s about control, not protection

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It doesn’t take a genius to recognise the gaping logical flaws in the moral panic US conservatives are trying to cause when they assert that kids are in grave danger if books in school libraries would be allowed to mention homosexuality or if drag performances remain legal while they on the other hand refuse to tackle the country’s huge gun problem, vote against child marriage bans and roll back child labour protections.

It’s quite obvious that these people couldn’t care less about the welfare of children, they would rather kids be shot than let them read books.

On the most recent episode of The Problem with Jon Stewart, the show’s namesake and host grilled an Ohio Republican, using his support of drag show bans to expose the hypocrisy behind his opposition to gun control legislation.  Read on…

I’m gay but don’t like anal sex

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Topping, bottoming, flip-flopping. With boyfriends, dates and guys I’d met on one night stands. I had anal sex because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do, what I’d been told to do, because being gay is synonymous with anal sex, right? And then one day I came across the term ‘side’ – a term used by gay men who don’t enjoy anal sex, and suddenly I felt seen.

That was almost ten years ago. I started having the sex I wanted to have instead, and started talking about my new identity to anyone who would listen. The surprising thing was, that the more people I spoke to, the more I started to realise how many other people felt exactly the same as me. I completely lost count of the times I’d hear – ‘Wait, that’s a thing? I feel that way too!’ – it seemed that there was a staggering number of gay men who also weren’t in to topping or bottoming, and yet hadn’t found the language to express how they felt.

A guy I used to date even reached out to say that he too now identified as a side – the irony being that for the duration of the time we dated each other, the two of us had been having anal sex that neither of us wanted to have.

And it’s not always just a preference either – there are gay guys with medical conditions that mean they physically aren’t able to have anal sex. Men with phimosis (a tight foreskin) may not be able to top, and for gay men with stomas, bottoming could quite literally be life-threatening. So why then, after all of these years, is identifying as a ‘side’ still something we hear about so seldomly? The term was coined in 2013, and yet there still seems to be so little awareness. We still very much live in a top/bottom/vers culture, and I still have to find myself explaining what it means to be a ‘side’ on a near daily basis.

Read on…

Drag queens fight back against armed protestors

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Right-wing media and politicians have spent months equating drag shows with pedophilia, but this San Antonio community is fighting back. When armed protestors came to town, the community met them on the streets — fully prepared. Vice News Tonight’s Dexter Thomas Jr. meets up with one of San Antonio’s drag queens and the rest of the community to see how they are handling the rise in hate.

Staying positive about being HIV positive

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Jordan identifies as a sexually fluid person, and has been living with HIV for many years. After battling the fear and stigma that came with his diagnosis, Edwards learned not only to empower himself but to help others. Now the center director of the Normal Anomaly Initiative in Houston, he works to raise awareness and end the stigmas around getting tests and treatment for HIV.

Colorado shooting comes in a year of relentless anti-LGBTQ campaign

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The tragic shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ club in Colorado, is the latest event to transpire in a year marked with a jump in anti-LGBTQ legislation and sentiment, according to LGBTQ advocates.

Vigil at a makeshift memorial near the Club Q nightclub

The shooting, the deadliest attack on LGBTQ people in the U.S. since the Pulse shooting in 2016, occurred on the eve of this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. Just days earlier, the National Center for Transgender Equality released a report finding that at least 47 transgender people were killed in the past year.

And research is painting a bleak picture when it comes to the lives of LGBTQ Americans: The rate of suicidal thoughts among LGBTQ youth is also on the rise, and is particularly affecting both queer people of color and trans youth.

Meanwhile, across the country, legislators introduced more than 300 anti-LGBTQ bills across 36 states in the past year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group. Some advocates say violence can be the end result of political efforts geared toward removing protections from LGBTQ Americans.

Read on…