Residents of Sydney's gayborhood are getting hate-mail signed by "Jesus"

People who live in the LGBT-identified Sydney neighborhood of Darlinghurst are getting letters through their door signed by "Jesus" that blame queer people for extreme weather (drought, hail); "Jesus" also takes credit for felling the (admittedly horrible) former PM Malcolm Turnbull. Read the rest

Michigan school board members recalled for enacting LGBTQ-friendly policies

John Frost writes, "Four members of the Williamston, Michigan Board of Education are being recalled because they enacted policies that enable schools to treat children with respect regardless of their gender identities." Read the rest

It just got easier to change your gender in California, thanks to 2 new laws

Two new laws that allow California residents to officially change their gender identification went into effect this past Labor Day weekend. Read the rest

Everyone who's raving about Hannah Gadsby's special 'Nanette' is right

Comedian Hannah Gadsby is single-handedly opening up a new era in comedy with her breathtaking comedy special 'Nanette,' which won Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017 before being filmed in her native Australia. It dissects the toxicity in the self-deprecating humor minorities are often expected to perform, and it will undoubtedly stand as one of the great performances of the decade. Read the rest

Google Sheets' hidden Pride Easter egg

June is Pride month. What better time to spruce up your rows and columns with the colors of the rainbow?

David Murphy of Lifehacker shares an oldie-but-goodie Easter egg in Google Sheets that turns them into the colorful spreadsheets we all need.

To check it out, simply pull up a new spreadsheet in Google Sheets. In cell A1, enter a “p”—the case doesn’t matter. Scroll right one cell (B1) and enter an “r.” You can probably guess where this is going. Basically, you’ll be spelling out pride, one letter per cell, from cells A1 to E1. And as soon as you tap that final “e” and hit Enter (or Return), your entire spreadsheet will turn into a giant rainbow to match the six colors most commonly associated with Pride.

The only bummer is that if you delete any letter from the word "pride," the colors disappear. Murphy suggests hiding the first row (1) to keep the fun going. Read the rest

New Jersey town paints crosswalks in bold Pride colors

In New Jersey, four crosswalks have been permanently painted in rainbow stripes. The Maplewood Township is the first in its state to permanently honor its diverse community in this way.

NJ.com reports:

The crosswalks will be at the intersection of Valley Street, a county road, and Oakview Road. Maplewood will become the first town in New Jersey to feature permanent rainbow crosswalks on a county road to celebrate and honor diversity and inclusion within the community, town officials said.

"We want to do something that would serve as a permanent marker or symbol of our commitment to inclusion," said Dean Dafis, the first openly LGBTQ Mapplewood Township Committee member.

"I wanted it to be something you can encounter every day. We want our youth in particular -- perhaps those struggling to find their way, those in need of empowerment and affirmation -- to proudly cross or walk over their fear and self doubt."

While it's a first for New Jersey, Maplewood isn't the first place in the U.S. to get colorful crosswalks in the name of Pride. Select streets in San Francisco, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Seattle, Key West, Miami Beach, and Philadelphia also sport rainbow stripes. Read the rest

Delightful Trek-themed Pride tee

Andy W writes, "An artist/illustrator friend of mine just put an illustration of hers up on RedBubble — two iconic science-fiction television characters sharing a tender moment on the couch." Read the rest

Dirty Computer: Janelle Monáe's gorgeous, sexy, queer afrofuturist short film

Back in April, afrofuturist icon Janelle Monáe (previously released Dirty Computer, an "emotion picture" that serves as accompaniment to her album of the same name. Read the rest

Kickstarting Dream Askew and Dream Apart, no-dice, no-GM RPGs about radical justice, queers and Jewish shtetl life

Dream Askew and Dream Apart are "no-dice, no masters" RPGs where players collaborate to tell stories together without dice or dungeon masters: Dream Askew uses the system to create campaigns in "a queer enclave enduring the collapse of civilization" and Dream Apart is set in "a Jewish shtetl in a fantastical-historical Eastern Europe." Read the rest

Maryland has banned "gay conversion therapy" for minors

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill into law protecting minors from "gay conversion therapy," a bullshit, discredited, harmful "method" of trying to psychologically change a person's sexual orientation. The new law prohibits health "professionals" from practicing the "treatment."

"I think it's fantastic, because it will save the lives of young people in our state," said bill sponsor Sen. Richard Madaleno (D).

From CBS News:

Mathew Shurka, an activist who has campaigned for the measure and experienced conversion therapy for five years between the ages of 16 and 21, said the new law marks another step toward ending the practice.

"We know 700,000 people in the United States have been through conversion therapy, and 78,000 teenagers will go through it in the next five years, and this is getting us closer to zero," Shurka said.

California, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington also have laws on the books, as well as the District of Columbia. New Hampshire and Hawaii recently passed similar measures that have gone to the governor in those states.

Read the rest

Disney has unveiled rainbow mouse ears in time for Pride

June is Pride month and Disney has already rolled out rainbow mouse ears, with a depiction of Mickey's gloves in a hand-heart, in their U.S. parks. I spotted this pair, which is officially called the "Mickey Mouse Rainbow Love" hat, in Disneyland a couple of weeks ago for $17.99.

I bet these ears, along with the rainbow products like trading pins and lanyard pulls, will be a big hit come early October for Gay Days.

photo by me Read the rest

MSNBC's Joy Reid says anti-gay posts on her old blog were 'fabricated', Internet Archive responds

MSNBC news host Joy Reid has been the focus of controversy this week over her old blog, and her assertion that someone may have manipulated the Wayback Machine's archive of that content to make her look bad. Read the rest

Watch Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard play the re-prounouned Beatles song "And I Love Him"

Universal Love is a new compilation of wedding songs reimagined for same-sex couples. It includes the likes of Kesha doing "I Need a Woman to Love," Bob Dylan playing "He's Funny That Way," and my pal Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie singing "And I Love Him." Check out Ben's lovely performance on Conan last night!

More about Universal Love in this New York Times article. Read the rest

Molly Ringwald's brilliant essay about John Hughes is a superb exploration of what it means to love "problematic" art

If you've been paying attention, you might already know that Molly Ringwald is a brilliant writer with smart things to say about the movies that made her famous. Read the rest

Gays who were charged under discriminatory laws in New Zealand will have records cleaned

Great news from New Zealand this morning. According to the BBC, the nation's government has passed legislation that will allow individuals who were charged under the country's old laws against homosexuality to have their records wiped clean.

Homosexuality was illegal in New Zealand up until 1986. Up until that time, it was possible for men who wanted nothing more than to express their love or to enjoy one another to be slapped with charges with names such as "sodomy, indecency between males and keeping a place of resort for homosexual acts." Anyone charged with these offense before 1986 still has the charge on their official police records. According to the BBC, around 1,000 individuals will have the option to scrub these bullshit charges from their records next year:

Justice Minister Andrew Little said the legislation "sends a clear signal that discrimination against gay people is no longer acceptable, and we are committed to putting right wrongs from the past".

"I would like to apologize again to all the men and members of the rainbow community who have been affected by the prejudice, stigma and other negative effects caused by convictions for historical homosexual offenses," Mr Little said.

In instances where an individual charged under the old laws has passed away, the New Zealand government is making it possible for the families of the deceased to apply to have their charges expunged as well.

Given that New Zealand passed laws banning discrimination against homosexuals in 1993, the official apology from the government and the olive branch of purging the records of those charged under the country's old discriminatory laws has been a long time coming. Read the rest

Fantastic video of New York City's Gay Pride Parade in 1989

In the 1980s, Nelson Sullivan was ubiquitous in the downtown NYC art and club scene, documenting his community and culture on his handheld video camera.

Read the rest

Jen Wang's "The Prince and the Dressmaker": a genderqueer graphic novel that will move and dazzle you

I love Jen Wang's work: her debut graphic novel Koko Be Good was thought-provoking and challenging and beautiful; "In Real Life," her adaptation of my story Anda's Game took the tale to places that delighted and surprised me -- today, Firstsecond publishes The Prince and the Dressmaker, which I believe will be her breakout graphic novel.

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