No Love (Like First Love)

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Nearly eight years ago, a timid 12-year-old walked onto the audition stage of Britain’s Got Talent and stunned the nation by belting out his cover of ‘Feeling Good’. Now 19-years-old, Ronan Parke is back with his comeback single, No Love (Like First Love), and it’s impressive.

The new single has all the hallmarks of a successful release, but no-one saw just how good it would be. The teenager’s voice has matured a lot since his first steps in the industry, but the youthful power is still very much there, and it is glorious in No Love (Like First Love).

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Will Albus Dumbledore be gay on the big Screen after all?

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In January, David Yates, director of the Harry Potter spinoff sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, said his film will “not explicitly” show the homosexuality of Albus Dumbledore, the crossover character from the original Harry Potter book series who appears as his younger self. News that the upcoming film wouldn’t definitely make Dumbledore gay made some queer fans very upset.

But now Jude Law, the actor playing Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts, has hinted that future films might reveal Dumbledore’s sexuality. Of course, considering there’s five more films left in the Fantastic Beasts series, it’s unclear when this Jude Law gay prediction might ever prove true.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Law says, “As with humans, your sexuality doesn’t necessarily define you; he’s multifaceted.” He continues, “What you’ve got to remember is this is only the second Fantastic Beasts film in a series, and what’s brilliant about J.K. Rowling’s writing is how she reveals her characters, peels them to the heart over time.”

Law adds, “You’re just getting to know Albus in this film, and there’s obviously a lot more to come. We learn a little about his past in the beginning of this film, and characters and their relationships will unfold naturally, which I’m excited to reveal. But we’re not going to reveal everything all at once.” Law adds that his film’s character doesn’t even have any scenes with Grindelwald, the evil wizard who we know Dumbledore eventually develops feelings for.

In October 2007, J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, revealed she had long envisioned Dumbledore as gay. According to Rowling, Dumbledore — headmaster of the series’ wizarding school, Hogwarts — hadn’t been explicitly gay in the books because his love for his wizarding associate Grindelwald ended so tragically. Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in a duel to stop him from becoming a magical Hitler, basically.

Since his one romantic attraction had ended tragically, Rowling claims, Dumbledore lived a solitary life for the rest of his days, free of any outward romantic or sexual attractions.

Queer fans have long felt divided about Rowling’s claim. While some were happy to have a major character in a massively popular fantasy book series be gay, others claim Rowling “queer-baited” queer fans by claiming Dumbledore is gay without providing anything explicit to back that up.

After all, is it really queer representation if a character is never actually shown to be queer, only said to be so offhandedly by his or her creator? Especially considering that Rowling pulled the same stunt on several other characters, making them bi-curious, black and otherwise diverse after the fact.

Talent Show Drag Act is illegal, School tells Teenage Boy

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A school has been criticised by a teenager and his family for blocking his participation in its end-of-term talent show because he wanted to perform in drag. Lewis, who is 14, said that he was left distraught after spending weeks perfecting a lip-sync dance routine only to be told on the eve of the event that he could not take part.

“I’m heartbroken and confused. After all the effort I have put into it, it has knocked my confidence a lot,” said Lewis, a student at an visual arts college in Dudley, England. “When I’m in drag I feel I’m truly being myself,” said the teenager, who has always loved dancing and decided he wanted to be a drag performer after watching the television show RuPaul’s Drag Race.

The school’s principal maintains that its decision was entirely made on the basis that it was not “age appropriate” for young people to perform drag acts. Lewis’ mother claimed the school’s legal team said that it was illegal for people under 18 to take part in drag act competitions and accused it of inventing the law because they “don’t accept him for who he is”.

Lewis has performed in drag at home, and his family say his new hobby has helped him overcome a lack of confidence. His performance, which was to have been his first in public, was a dance to a medley of tracks he mixed with his stepfather, including songs by Little Mix, Ariana Grande and RuPaul, and he was planning to wear a blazer, skirt, a silver wig and high heels bought for him by his grandmother.

Michelle King, the principal, said the school was inclusive and celebrated diversity. “We made the decision that it was not age appropriate for either the learner and for the intended audience, his peer group, for Lewis to appear as a ‘drag act’,” she said.

“We understood Lewis wanted to appear in the style of RuPaul, whose style of performance is characterised by strong language and sexual innuendo. We invited Lewis to appear in the show as a singer and were happy for him to dress in any manner he wished.”

Meanwhile Lewis was invited to perform at DragWorld UK, “Europe’s largest celebration of drag,” alongside some of the biggest names in drag like Violet Chachki and Courtney Act. The convention’s website promises that Athena Heart will perform “the very routine his school banned” in London this August.

“I’m very excited about my DragWorld invite to perform and get my name out there so others just like me know that it’s ok to be different,” Lewis said. He’s the only drag performer on DragWorld UK’s front page who didn’t compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

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One Size definitely doesn’t fit all (when it comes to Condoms)

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Pasante, one of the largest independent condom manufacturers in the UK, has released a condom sizer card that allows people to slip their boners into differently sized holes, all to determine what size condom will work best for them.

While it’s super important to use condoms that actually fit your penis size, we hope Pasante’s condom sizer card isn’t made solely out of hard cardboard, because sticking your penis into that would hurt.

According to one custom-size condom manufacturer, various condom studies have shown that one-size-fits-all condoms don’t actually fit anywhere from 40–45% of people with penises. Either the condoms are too long, too short, too tight or too loose.

When a condom is too tight it can be difficult to put on quickly and it can uncomfortably constrict the penis, causing pain and reducing blood flow, both of which can lead to a loss of the erection. When a condom is too loose it bunches up near the base, which can reduce sexual stimulation and even run the risk of slipping off during sex.

Often gay folks will use whatever condoms they get for free at the gay bar, or they’ll just buy whatever’s cheapest at the drug store, but it’s a good idea to really examine and experiment to see which ones are going to work best for you.

A few years ago extra small condoms for teens between 12 and 14 went on sale in Switzerland. Called the Hotshot, the condom has been produced after government research showed that teenagers did not use sufficient protection when having sex.

Still Smiling

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The victim of a homophobic attack in Neilston, Scotland has gone viral after posting a picture of his grinning, bloody face on social media. Blair Wilson’s Facebook post got thousands of reactions since he made it last Friday.

The 21-year-old said he was on his way home from his mum’s house, walking in the town’s Main Street, when a man called him a “faggot”. Blair said he confronted the man over his language and was then physically attacked, leaving him with a cut across his nose and blood on his face and shirt.

He managed to get away and took a selfie, grinning through his injuries, posting it to Facebook, letting his friends and family know what had happened. He said he had never experienced physical violence as a result of his sexuality and was shocked it had happened in his hometown.

“I knew, as soon as it happened, that I could either keep quiet and feel embarrassed about it or I could shame him over Facebook. As soon as I posted it, even though my nose was still bleeding, I didn’t care.” His post soon accrued over 2,000 likes and dozens of comments expressing concern and support.

Blair said: “It’s amazing. I’ve heard from so many people I haven’t spoken to in ages and people I don’t even know telling me I’m an inspiration and stuff. It’s made me feel so good about myself.

“I did use some choice words in the post, but the message I wanted to get across is you need to stick up for yourself. Maybe don’t go getting yourself hurt, but show them you have friends, you are loved. I think some people think because you are a different sexuality from them you have no friends and everyone is in the same mindset of them, when the reality is they’re the minority. You can prove to them you’re much more loved than they will ever be if they live a life of hate.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson confirmed that they had received a report about the incident and enquiries are ongoing.

UK wants to ban “Gay Conversion”

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The British government has released an LGBT action plan that seeks to ban conversion therapy. The initiative, released during Pride Week in London, pledged to consider “legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy,” the harmful and debunked practice of trying to turn gay, lesbian, and bisexual people straight.

“These activities are wrong, and we are not willing to let them continue,” the plan stated, adding, “Our intent is [to] protect people who are vulnerable to harm or violence, whether that occurs in a medical, commercial or faith-based context.”

The action plan was released in response to a 2017 survey of over 108,000 LGBT  people in the United Kingdom — the world’s largest national poll of its kind. The survey found that 2 percent of respondents had undergone conversion therapy and 5 percent had been offered it.

In addition to the findings on conversion therapy, the results showed that queer British people still experienced significant discrimination, stigma, and violence. For example, 40 percent of respondents said they had experienced hate incidents with a person they did not live with in the 12 months preceding the survey. Workplace discrimination is also common — 71 percent said they experienced a negative incident at work in the past year.

In both cases, most respondents did not report these incidents because they believed no change would happen. And in a testament to enduring stigma, two-thirds said they were afraid to hold hands with their partner for fear of a negative reaction from the public.

“No one should ever have to hide who they are or who they love,” said British Prime Minister Theresa May in a statement, reports CNN. “This LGBT action plan will set out concrete steps to deliver real and lasting change across society, from health and education to tackling discrimination and addressing the burning injustices that LGBT people face.”

To tackle these “burning injustices,” the British government has created an “LGBT Implementation Fund” of £4.5 million, which will be used to address the findings of the survey. You can read the results of the survey and the responsive LGBT action plan here.