Is homosexuality genetic?

Scientists in the US claim they may have discovered how to predict a person’s sexual orientation.

They found nine parts of a person’s genetic code which may play a role in determining whether someone is straight or gay – read more of the report by clicking the button below,

 

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When you have finished why not let us know what you feel about this study?  Is it valid, or do you feel that other matters come into the mix?

 

 

Camp Sites: Classic camp horror films for Halloween

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Mike Nesbitt still opposes same-sex marriage despite 'wrong side of history' remark

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Mike Nesbitt
Image caption:  In his speech to the Ulster Unionist Party’s conference on Saturday, Mike Nesbitt warned members who oppose same-sex marriage they would be “on the wrong side of history”

The UUP leader has said he will still vote against same-sex marriage, despite saying that UUP members who oppose it will be “on the wrong side of history”.

Mike Nesbitt made the history remark at his party’s annual conference.

He told Monday’s BBC’s Nolan Show his view has not changed. He said he was “warning” his party same-sex marriage was likely to be introduced regardless.

He said he believed marriage should be “between a man and a woman” but added the issue gives him “sleepless nights”.

‘Prepare yourselves’

“I am against same sex marriage, but I am challenging myself always on these issues,” Mr Nesbitt told the programme.

He said as a mental health campaigner, suicide statistics within the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community gave him “pause” for thought about his own attitude to same-sex marriage.

Northern Ireland is currently the only place in the UK and Ireland that has not legalised same-sex marriage. Stormont MLAs have rejected it four times.

Mr Nesbitt repeated that the UUP has not changed its policy of allowing its members to vote according to their consciences on the issue and said that position would not change while he remained as party leader.

However, he said he believed same-sex marriage could be introduced “through the courts”.

“I was just warning our conference that I think that the argument will be lost.

“For those who cannot bring themselves to support same-sex marriage, I think we will be on the wrong side of history and I’m just laying it down as a warning – prepare yourselves,” Mr Nesbitt said.

‘New generation’

He also told the programme that his own children did not understand why he had “an issue with same-sex marriage”.

He said surveys had suggested that the majority of people in Northern Ireland, especially younger people, were in favour of allowing gay couples to marry.

During his speech at the UUP conference on Saturday, Mr Nesbitt said: “Some of us support same-sex marriages, some of us don’t and I think it’s part of the beauty of the Ulster Unionist Party that we respect each others’ positions.

“I’m not going to labour the point today, but to those of us who cannot bring ourselves to support a change in the law, I say this – be aware, we are on the wrong side of history.

“There is a new generation and they simply do not understand why there is a problem.”

English footballers and fans will end the stigma around gay players themselves

The Guardian LogoTuesday 27 October 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

The news that two Premier League players may come out is no longer shocking. But the response they receive will be the true test of football’s tolerance

Robbie Rogers

The LA Galaxy player Robbie Rogers came out in 2013 after leaving Leeds United. Photograph: Danny Moloshok/Reuters

 

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ast weekend, news broke that two Premier League players may be ready to come out. The story has once again teased us with the prospect that English football could finally be ready to join the 21st century. Yet it’s the way in which the news was covered – a shift from tabloid exposé to Twitter debate – that offers real signs of encouragement.

The Mirror’s headline was designed to shock, yet fell flat; pricked hours later by a breezy tweet from Manchester United’s Luke Shaw denying his involvement. With its peace sign and smily face it was hardly the work of the Westboro Baptist Church, yet some were quick to condemn his simple denial as evidence of entrenched homophobia in players.

Quite the opposite. More likely it’s the long-term lack of faith in both players and fans – surely the two most important groups involved – by governing bodies, pressure groups and the media that has added to the swirling culture of fear within the game. Compare Shaw’s tweet to the FA’s bizarre anti-homophobia filmjust five years ago – they’re worlds apart – mainly because this generation of players simply don’t have the same fear factor when it comes to sexuality. All the campaign films and rainbow laces in the world are no substitute for the carefree potency of youth with 140 characters to spare.

Neither are they a match for the power of player solidarity and self-policing by fans. In years gone by this may have meant a cheeky message under a club shirt in regard to the former, and a stern talking-to on the terraces in the case of the latter. The arrival of Twitter however, amplifies a positive perspective more than ever. Put it this way – if a player came out tomorrow, could you seriously see anything but a flood of supportive tweets from fellow footballers and fans?

Take a look at the comments section under any recent story about footballers coming out. Aside from the odd flash of bigotry one theme keeps returning – boredom. It’s the story that won’t go away, yet the reaction of football fans is not one of hostility, but weariness. Replies such as “Who cares?” and “It’s 2015” suggest a growing anger not directed at the players in question but the debate itself.

Social networking has – as traditional gay bars and nightclubs continue to close – provided a more subtle and nuanced platform for sexuality full stop. Rugby player Sam Stanley quietly featured his boyfriend in a series of Instagram photos before coming out, thus diffusing any drama from the situation. There’s no reason for today’s footballers to suffer the same clunky red-top outings endured by early 2000s boy-band members (often given little choice or notice) when a tweeted pic of a loved one can filter out slowly across social media making the same point. A shift from lurid to lovely.

That’s not to say conditions are perfect. While social media may offer a newfound subtlety and control to the coming-out process, it brings with it a global audience. Perhaps this, more than any other reason, may explain why English football has teetered on the brink for the past 10 years. The old enemy – the English press – was at least a familiar one. The worldwide web offers less cosy adversaries.

Yet if English players do choose to step out on to that global stage they won’t be alone. They’ll be joined by the US’s Robbie Rogers, Sweden’s Anton Hysén and Germany’s Thomas Hitzlsperger (an average age of 28 between them) as well as countless other lower-league players to have come out in the last five years and prospered.

It might be naive to suggest that as with the closeted teenager (and there are definite parallels here for football) the only thing to fear is fear itself, yet those who suggest this new generation of players and fans can’t deal with their colleagues and heroes’ sexuality could perhaps use a reminder.

Link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/27/english-football-openly-gay-players

ISIS Stone Two "Gay" Men To Death On Tarpaulin

the-gay-uk-logoBy The Gay UK, Oct 27 2015 01:59PM

 

 

Pictures have emerged of two men, their hands bound behind their backs, rocks surrounding their bloody, lifeless bodies. Their crime? Accused of being gay by the so-called Islamic State.

Warning report contain distressing images.
Pictures of the lifeless, bloodied bodies of two men, accused by ISIS fighters of being gay have emerged on social media. The two men were executed by stoning, with their hands bound behind their backs and blindfolded, on top of a tarpaulin in Aleppo, the largest city in Syria.
Violence against gay men, or those accused of being gay, by the Islamic state has increased in 2015, with well attended public executions usually concluding with the victims being thrown off the tallest buildings in the area. If the victims survive the surrounding crowds often stone them to death.

Last month 10 males included a 15-year-old boy were murdered, in the most violent day against gay men in territories controlled by the so-called Islamic State, which adopts Sharia Law. Homosexuality is illegal in states and countries that adopt Sharia law.

WHAT IS SHARIA LAW?

Islam’s legal system, derived from the Koran

Informs every aspect of Muslims’ lives

Islamic jurists issue formal guidance through fatwas, or religious edicts

Sharia law includes provisions for capital and corporal punishment but modern scholars say getting to that stage can be difficult

Marriage is treated as a contract in Islam

From The BBC
It was announced last week that sex between consenting Muslim same-sex adults in the Indonesian province of Aceh, could attract 100 lashes as the province adopted Sharia law.

 

London Spy airs in November – watch it!

London-Spy

 

BBC Two’s new five-part thriller looks like it will nail you to your seat.

London Spy is a gripping, emotional thriller that sees an innocent, young romantic drawn into a dangerous world of espionage.

With an incredible cast including: Ben Wishaw, Edward Holcroft, Charlotte Rampling and Jim Broadbent, we won’t be moving from our TVs on Monday nights.

Watch the new trailer here:

London Spy airs on BBC Two 9 November at 9pm

Homotopia 2015: Nine must-see shows

Butch Monologues

Butch Monologues for Homotopia 2015Butch Monologues for Homotopia 2015

Liverpool’s Homotopia festival – the annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture – is back for a 12th year, and taking over city venues from a month from this Friday.

This year’s festival has the theme Art = Life, and features more than 50 events from dance, debate and literature to visual art, film and comedy.

 

If you are around then try to fit at least one of the festival items in.

 

Here is a link: Click Here Red Button

LARRY KRAMER'S SOUR TIMES

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by Larry Kramer / photo by Ryan McGinley

 

For our Nowstalgia issue, we asked legendary author, playwright and LGBTQ activist Larry Kramer, whose book The American People: Volume 1: Search for My Heart was released this year, to reflect on how the media’s coverage of gay writers has changed over the years. Kramer, never one to hold back, doesn’t think much has changed at all.  
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So many thoughts when one publishes a book.
Do you know who the best gay writer we have today is? Unless you are gay, I’ll bet you have never heard of him, much less read him. Every one of his books is a gem. If he were straight, his reputation would be immense. The beauty of his language, the empathy for his characters and the world he writes about, are unsurpassed by any other gay writing of our time. Here are the titles of some of his books: Dancer from the Dance; Nights in Aruba; The Beauty of Men; In September, the Light Changes; and Grief.

His name is Andrew Holleran. He is our Fitzgerald and Hemingway but for one thing: he writes better than both of them.

But straights have not read him and appreciated him and rushed to read any of his beautifully written work. Straight people don’t really want to discover us and who we are. Holleran’s novels “…seem so determined to speak for their disenfranchised gay characters that the works become inaccessible to anyone else, like looking through a window at someone else’s world,” a critic wrote in her New York Times review of his most recent novel, Grief. Funny, but I thought that’s exactly what any good writer tries to do.

When we fall into the hands of book critics at The Times, we are amazed at their lack of understanding, empathy, of what we are trying to do and say. It is quite amazing how fervent and omnipresent is the homophobia that never-endingly remains the norm for gay writers in their book reviews. There is not one gay or lesbian author who has not experienced what I’m talking about.

The daily New York Times and its Sunday Book Review are famous among gay writers for ignoring us, or trashing us. Straight critics just don’t get us. Just like straight historians don’t get us. It’s their way or the highway. And as The Timesgoes, so go other publications and critics in America in their relentless game of Follow the Leader.

I have been trashed in both daily and Sunday Times for almost everything I have written. Why does anyone still consider the Sunday Times Book Review seriously? It is not only second rate and homophobic, it is tired, very tired. I’ve never heard of most of the critics they use to judge us. Its power is nevertheless colossal and it has ruined many a career. (And theNew York Times controls the New York Times Best Seller List, which surely is a conflict of interest or restraint of trade or something smelly.)

So is it any wonder that I should write a novel about how homosexuals have been ill-treated and ignored by straight historians since the beginning of time? And naming names of some famous people I believe to have been gay. The nerve of me! The nerve of Andrew Holleran to make us sympathetic, sad and real.

When I read a review I can tell if the critic has really read my book. The two NYT reviewers border on the unprofessional. I would bet that neither of them read the 775 pages of my book, as they continued to trash it and its “loudmouthed activist” author. They spend most of their reviews discussing a me they think they know from my alter-ego activist persona and not my book, which they hardly mention, or its goals, or the quality of its writing, which I’ve worked so very hard to do well. The few sentences they finally spend discussing content are invariably filled with inaccuracies. That’s the giveaway for their cherry-picking. (Their daily critics tend to review mostly short books, have you noticed?)

Dr. Oliver Sacks, the great gay doctor, said this of Thom Gunn, the great gay poet: “Thom rarely reviewed what he did not like, and in general his reviews were written in the mode of appreciation.”

Can you remember the last time you read any review expressing appreciation?

What Times critic is appreciating Andrew Holleran? It would be New York Magazine, which asked 61 critics to reveal their favorite underrated book of the past ten years, and Daphne Merkin chose Grief. “This slim but singularly affecting novel put in an appearance to conditional praise last June and, to my knowledge, sank thereafter without a trace. A meditation on personal loss and the loss of erotic/romantic possibilities for aging homosexual men (and by implication aging everyones) it’s bone-spare but plangent with meaning — the kind of novel that would be immediately hailed if it were written by a laconic European writer.”

Charles McGrath, who was editor of the NYTBR from 1995–2004, recently wrote about critics:”How many of these voices are worth paying attention to… If for a start we require that critics know what they’re talking about — that their judgments are actually informed — the field thins considerably, and if we also insist on taste and discernment, then the number of valuable and useful critics dwindles pretty drastically. A valuable critic is someone whose judgment you can rely on and can learn from.” It’s interesting to note that McGrath left the Book Review to write what he wanted to write. His son Ben is at the New Yorker where they used to treat gay writers terribly but have been making up for it.

Yes, one has many thoughts when publishing a book. What my new book, The American People: Volume 1: Search for My Heart: A Novel, is about is rarely discussed. It is a history of gays and other minorities through all time, yes, but it is a history of where aids came from, why it is here, why it is ignored, why it is murdering us and, in the process, naming names. It is about the destruction and elimination of the homosexual population, which has been here since the beginning of our country’s history. It is a long and complicated history and Farrar, Straus and Giroux thought well enough of it to allow it to be published in two volumes.

AIDS is out of control again. You don’t know it. The New York Times isn’t really writing about this either. Just as it did not write about AIDS for its first horrendous years. Gays were reduced to affixing all over town stickers that said: “Gina Kolata of the New York Times is the worst AIDS reporter in the world.” Well, the world still doesn’t know that AIDS is a worldwide plague and The Times still isn’t telling us.

The one thing I discovered as I was writing The American People is that I believe this plague is intentional. That it was allowed to happen and is allowed to continue.

Our world. Andrew’s and my world. That is what I write about in my novels and plays. It is my way of fighting back against the evil and hate that has followed us since the beginning of time. It isn’t easy when your hometown paper does nothing to help your cause. A drunk Times critic named Clive Barnes arrived 45 minutes late for opening night of my first play, “Four Friends,” and started his review with, “With friends like this you don’t need enemies,” and we closed on opening night.

So I can’t say I was surprised by the paper’s less than generous response to The American People. And I hope I shall soon have a new play and volume two of The American People, titled The Brutality of Fact, both just waiting for The Times to trash them.

No, I don’t like The New York Times. And neither does any gay or lesbian writer that I know of. I believe that a good writer’s responsibility is to try and change the world. That is what theater since ancient Greece was meant to do. I wantThe American People to change the world. I want gay people all over the world to know our history. And I am certain that Andrew Holleran, in every word that he writes, wants this, too.

I recently asked a straight critic who had reviewed some gay titles if he had read Andrew Holleran, our greatest writer. He had never heard of him. Yes, these are some thoughts I’ve been having as I launch another creation into the world.

THIS STORY WAS PUBLISHED ON OCTOBER 20, 2015 12:50 PM

Icelandic children’s show perfectly explains being gay

An Icelandic kids television show has given a touching explanation of what it’s like to be gay.

Stundin Okkar, the longest running programme for children in the country, aired the scene in a recent episode, with former Eurovision contestant Paul Oscar making a guest appearance.

When asked by a woman on the show when he knew that he was gay, he replies: “You don’t decide what makes your heart beat, it just beats.”

Iceland has long been known as a tolerant society for LGBT people – the country was the first to elect an openly gay head of state, with Johanna Sigurdardottir becoming Prime Minister in 2009