Mind the gap – What do older men with younger partners have in common?

What do older men with younger partners have in common? Why are they attracted to each other? And why does it offend some members of the gay community so much? With Tom Daley [21] making headlines for his engagement to to Dustin Lance Black [41] this year, GT talks to five gay men to discover whether or not we should mind the gap.

You’ve seen him in the bar – he’s the grey-haired, much older man sitting with his hand on a much younger guy’s thigh. Immediately you assume the attraction is either based on a mutually satisfactory financial agreement, a daddy fetish or a mid-life crisis.

But does an age gap relationship need strings attached to work? Can’t it just be two people who have fallen in love despite the years that separate them?

Most of us in the gay community have dated, or at least had a one-nighter, with someone considerably older or younger than us. Friends of Tom Daley, who recently revealed he’s in a relationship with a man, say that finding love with Milk writer Dustin Lance Black, a man 20 years older than him, was the catalyst to him talking publically about his sexuality.

However, it’s often the case that being in a long-term, committed relationship with an older or younger man must still raise eyebrows from some quarters. And in some cases, it can find the older man branded a pervert or manipulator while his younger counterpart is dismissed as a gold digger.

There’s a 24-year age gap between Michael and Dennis*. They began dating three years ago after meeting online. “My last boyfriend was ten years my junior and I was dubious about dating someone younger again,” explains Michael, 53. “When we split up, I started internet dating and was adamant I wanted to meet someone my own age. I went on several dinners with men in their 40s and 50s, but we didn’t click.

“Then I met with Dennis at a bar in Vauxhall, London, and we hit it off straight away. But the age gap worried me, even though the more time we spent together, the more we got on. And soon I realised I was being prejudiced about younger guys. Just because my last boyfriend turned out to be an immature idiot, it didn’t mean everyone younger than me was too.”

Dennis, 29, adds: “I’m not into older or younger guys, it’s about how we get on, and Michael and I just fit. I like the grey bits in his hair, the fact he’s lived a bit more of life than me, that he’s had experiences I haven’t. The only time our age difference gets in the way is when we’re doing a music quiz down the pub. He knows everything about the 1970s and I wasn’t born until 1984.”

“Some guys in bars have suggested Dennis is a kept man, but he actually earns a lot more than me,” Michael continues. “One friend says I’m a dirty old man for falling for a younger guy. We don’t speak any more.”

Age differences between gay couples are much more common that straight ones. A study in the UK, USA, Sweden, France and the Netherlands revealed that gay couples are almost three times more likely to have an age difference of more than ten years between them, compared to heterosexual couples.

“In speaking with thousands of people about relationships, gay men are more open to a relationship with an age gap,” says Lemarc Thomas, managing director of Seventy Thirty, the exclusive matchmaking and introduction agency. “Most gay men over 30 will understand the feeling of going against what’s considered a societal norm, which makes them more open to breaking such barriers.

“There is still a stigma attached, even among other gay men. Freud might encourage the assumption that there are a few father issues for both the younger and older man. We may see manipulation, a life crisis, one being kept or something worse. However, an age gap relationship can be functional and successful if built on solid foundations with mutuality. But it’s more difficult to achieve long term compatibility.”

Gay age gaps like that between Tom and Dustin are nothing new. French poet Arthur Rimbaud was 17 when he started a relationship fellow poet Paul Verlaine, 11-years older than him. Oscar Wilde was 36 when he became involved with the 22-year-old Lord Alfred Douglas. There are 15 years between Sir Elton John, 66, and husband David Furnish, 51. Stephen Fry made headlines in 2010 when he started dating actor Steven Webb, despite their 26-year age difference. And designer Calvin Klein was 48 years older than his ex-partner, model Nick Gruber.

There’s nine years difference between Joe Marsden, 28, and James Hilton, 19, who met on a phone dating app. But that nine years was enough for Joe to be on the receiving end of a flurry of nasty Facebook messages when the two began dating.

“I didn’t notice James’ age straight away, but he did look quite young. And when it turned out he was 17 I thought, ‘ahh, okay this could be a problem,’” recalls Joe. “James was still in college, and that sounded so young. Even if he’d been 18 or 19 it would have sounded better. But he didn’t seem bothered about my age.

“I’m a member of a few groups on Facebook that help young people to come out. Most people I’ve dated have been in similar situations – they’ve had no or few friends and struggled to meet people without the help of the internet. A lot of younger people look for older people because there’s potential for a deeper relationship there.

Robert Gershinson

Robert Gershinson

“I had 110,000 Facebook followers. But when it came to talking about my relationship with James, I got so much hate online. They asked why he’s with me because he can do better. If I post pictures of us I will get more than 100 messages saying they want to sleep with him.

“Eventually it got too much and I deleted my account. The age gap comments were a whole new level of nastiness and jealousy. I put a lot into the gay community so it was a surprise to get such negative comments just because I’m going out with someone younger than me. At one point I even thought about ending the relationship; it would have been so much easier to go out with someone my own age.”

According to Lemarc Thomas, an age gap is just one of many factors which can contribute to whether a relationship is functional or dysfunctional. “At Seventy Thirty, when we’re matchmaking for our members, we don’t look at age per se, instead we think of life stage. We also consider shared core values, background, lifestyle, goals, personality and attraction.”

Some therapists believe younger gay men are attracted to older men because, when they were boys, they were deprived of their father’s attention and became isolated in their own closeted gay world. So older gay partners can become a role model, a teacher and protective elder friend. In return, it can bring out the paternal side of an older gay man. Others claim it’s an issue of control – the older men want to be in charge in a relationship.

It’s that reason which has put Jeremy*, 24, off dating anyone over 30. “Most men I’ve been out with have been at least a decade older than me,” he begins, “and without fail, those relationships have all gone wrong because they don’t trust a younger guy. They think we cheat on them, that we want them to come home, but behind their backs we’re fucking around with people our own age. Older men are very, very insecure. They want a good-looking lad on their arm to control them. I’ve yet to meet one who is confident enough in themselves to trust me not to cheat on him.”

“Balance is important in relationships and each person must feel what they bring is equal to what they receive,” adds Lemarc Thomas. “A study on social exchange in age gap relationships suggested the younger partner was much more likely than the older to grant or refuse sexual gratification as a means of securing or maintaining power. Sex was not necessarily exchanged for financial compensation, the older partner offered intelligence and social accomplishments, which are often as strongly attractive to younger partners as material possessions.

“When we think of gay history, there has been rapid societal changes. In the early 70s, homosexuality was still listed as a pathological disorder; today we’re talking about gay marriage. The generation gap for gay men is potentially massive. This means that the couple may realise they’re from very different backgrounds, from which it is difficult to build a mutual understanding.”

*Some names have been changed by request.

Words John Marrs

How to Break the Bullying Cycle

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Author Jonathan Fast discusses his book Beyond Bullying and the danger of ‘gay-neutral’ school policies.

 

Jonathan Fast knows what it’s like to be bullied. As a chubby 8-year-old in summer camp, he was tormented by an athletic boy who broke his arm. Even his father, Spartacus author Howard Fast, was bullied by the House Committee on Un-American Activities for being communist in the 1950s.

In his powerful new book, Beyond Bullying: Breaking the Cycle of Shame, Bullying, and Violence, 67-year-old Dr. Fast takes an unhurried look at the shame underlying violence towards LGBT and straight folks alike. “With this book, I hope readers will be better equipped to deal with bullying of every sort,” he explains, while speaking at his Yeshiva University office. “With time, we’ll be moved, if only by a single degree, closer toward a place where all people are equally valued and respected.” Fast spoke about the danger of “gay-neutral” school policies, fighting back, and whether or not there’s a “cure” for bullying.

Out: Did being harassed as a kid inspire this topic?

Jonathan Fast: In my last book, Ceremonial Violence, about school shootings, a detail was missing about the Columbine killers and other perpetrators. At a conference I heard a talk about shame, and had an epiphany: I realized these vicious guys were carrying huge amounts of that primal emotion. Most likely they were disappointing their parents, not gainfully employed, having trouble socially. Why turn to school shooting? Because they couldn’t express their shame if they wanted to appear mature, powerful, and successful. It’s taboo even to talk about this feeling because it’s associated with little children, weakness, and failure. Ultimately it comes out of their guns.

Gays have been bullied for decades. But during Stonewall, they fought back. Is rioting a useful reaction to feeling oppressed?

It’s a common form of shame management when the feeling is intense, shared by a lot of people, and there seems to be no other peaceful means of managing it. Rioters are usually unaware of their motivations beyond a general sense of rage and frustration. While neighborhoods may be damaged and community members hurt, the events draw attention to grave social problems. Stonewall created a milestone for the gay rights movement and empowered a subculture.

How have LGBT individuals dealt with society’s violence toward them?

Some choose to use their fists, which yields mixed results. Jamie Nabozny invoked the law. In 1988, after coming out in his Wisconsin middle school, he was repeatedly tortured by classmates. The problem persisted into high school. He sued both principals, staff members, and the school district for neglecting to protect him. Lambda Legal came on board, pushing the case into the headlines. A partner at the white shoe law firm Skadden Arps offered his services pro bono. The jury found the school administrators liable for failing to stop antigay violence against Nabozny, who won a 1 million dollar settlement.

In Minnesota, two young women responded with social action. A romantic couple in high school, they’d heard about a series of local gay teenagers killing themselves and wanted to bring visibility to non-traditional gender roles. They got elected to a 12-member Royal Court, and were set to walk in a public ceremony. But days before the procession, a teacher told them their plan was unacceptable because they were two women. They contacted the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center and battled against the school leadership. Ultimately they won the right to proceed on the red carpet, to wild cheers and applause.

Regarding that group of suicides, you point to education policies as potential culprits. One high school had written a mandate for faculty and staff to show respect for all students, and to remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation. It led to a spate of teen suicides over two years. What went wrong?

A lot. The 2009 recession hit that suburb hard. Residents bought big houses and got caught with giant mortgages. Middle class folks became homeless, living in their cars. Kids were told not to speak about their depression and lack of cash. So they couldn’t manage their shame. To begin with, adolescents aren’t working with a full biological deck. The frontal lobe—the part of the brain that analyzes consequences—doesn’t mature until age 25. Influenced by their peers, teens often make poor choices.

Add to that mix a poorly worded edict that bans any reference to homosexuality, spearheaded by conservative parents. It silenced the few gay teachers who’d acted as a support network for kids coming out. Trying to be neutral, one school psychologist took down the picture of her partner on her desk. Youngsters stopped hearing “it gets better.” All these things contributed to hidden shame, which you tend to turn inward, resulting in acts like cutting, and in this case, a cluster of suicides.

The ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy in the U.S. military has been repealed. Marriage equality is the rule of law. But in one study, 95% of gay adolescents reported feeling separated and emotionally isolated from peers because of their sexual orientation. Around 50% of gay adolescents have experienced physical violence by family members. Research has shown that LGBT teens attempt suicide four times more frequently than their heterosexual peers. When will this trend reverse?

It’ll take another generation to change. I grew up in a homophobic home and my father was an intellectual. He’d say a great writer would never be gay, because they couldn’t relate to the basic human experience. Which was absurd. But when you’re a little kid and your father is a celebrated author, you tend to believe him.

In 1963 the New York Times published an article “Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern.” Its title reflected the opinion of the Times and the times. I see it getting better with my grown kids.

We all carry shame at times. What are healthy ways to deal with it?

Write about it. Express yourself through art. The film The Gift is a good example. It’s about a teenage bully who grows up and doesn’t understand why in high school his target complained about getting beat up. After all, the bully had been abused by his own dad, but believed he’d sucked it up. Of course, instead of sucking it up, the roughneck had displaced his pain and trounced his victim.

Other ways to deal include going to confession, if you’re Catholic. Volunteering. Doing a good deed. The “It Gets Better” campaign is a great example.

Is there a cure for bullying?

No. We have endless examples of maltreatment of people in politics—think Donald Trump—and in media, like certain newscasters. We live in a bullying society. We have the highest homicide and incarceration rate, and the worst income division, which is a big shame factor. Believing that society is a meritocracy can be humiliating to a lot of people. They imagine success yields happiness. But if prosperity is unattainable, people take that personally. They feel ashamed, and unhappy. Sometimes the shame is turned outward, which is how we get bullies

The 10 Best LGBT Documentaries of 2015 (USA)

 

Best of Enemies

This documentary covers the legendary televised 1968 political debates between liberal Gore Vidaland conservative William F. Buckley Jr., in which the two intellectuals didn’t always keep their rhetoric lofty — at one point Vidal called Buckley a “pro-crypto-Nazi” and Buckley responded by calling Vidal “queer” and threatening to punch him. Directed by Morgan Neville (an Oscar-winner forTwenty Feet From Stardom) and Robert Gordon, Best of Enemies is not only a master class in debate, it’s also one of the most entertaining films of the year.

Tig

In 2012, Tig Notaro made comic history when she joked about her cancer onstage at a club in Los Angeles. The heartfelt routine launched her into fame and the national spotlight. And Tig, a new Netflix movie, chronicles the aftermath, a story of a lesbian comedian and cancer survivor who is searching for meaning, love, and perhaps parenthood through surrogacy.

Tab Hunter Confidential

Hollywood’s all-American boy Tab Hunter is setting the record straight (by coming out as gay) in his new documentary, Tab Hunter Confidential. Based on his 2005 autobiography of the same title, the film by Jeffrey Schwarz (Vito, I Am Divine) explores how Hunter dealt with decades in the closet while making dozens of films and delves into as personal details like his love affair with Anthony Perkins. Sadly, Hunter’s struggle remains relevant in Tinseltown, as A-list stars are still grappling with the love that dare not speak its name. Perhaps they will find some courage from watching this insightful documentary.

Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story 

For nearly 30 years, Chuck Holmes’s Falcon Studios was the world’s largest producer of gay pornography, altering the way a generation of gay men saw themselves and their sexuality. Thestory of its founder is told in this insightful new documentary, Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story,directed by Mike Stabile. Through archival footage and interviews with porn stars, as well as Holmes’s long-term partner, Steven Scarborough, the documentary shows how one man achieved wealth and fame by reinventing how mainstream culture perceived gay men, while navigating the dangerous early days of the adult film industry.

RELATED | An Oral History of Early Gay Porn

Do I Sound Gay?

Is there such a thing as “gay voice”? That’s what David Thorpe’s documentary explores, with input from celebs including Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, Don Lemon, Dan Savage, David Sedaris, and George Takei. A hit at film festivals and with critics, Do I Sound Gay? features conversations with linguists, family members, and strangers on the street to weigh in about one of the most personal and perhaps revealing parts of ourselves: our voice.

Larry Kramer in Love and Anger 

It’s been a landmark year for Larry Kramer. The HIV activist turned 80, released the book The American People: Volume 1, and was nominated for a slew of awards for the recent HBO adaptation of his 1985 play The Normal Heart. And now he’s the subject of a new documentary, Larry Kramer in Love and Anger, which documents his fight as a firebrand activist to make AIDS a national issue and change public health policy. Don’t miss the making of one of the LGBT community’s great activists.

The Glamour & The Squalor

Directed by Marq Evans, The Glamour & The Squalor tells the story of the legendary rock radio DJ Marco Collins. As a gatekeeper and great lover of music, Collins helped make the careers of bands like Weezer, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam by broadcasting their songs to the public. But in his private life, the Seattle-based figure was battling demons and struggling to keep his sexuality out of the public eye. Archival footage, animated re-creations, and interviews with artists like Carrie Brownstein, Macklemore, and Collins himself help tell one of the year’s most glam tales.

The Royal Road

One of the year’s most poetic documentaries comes from filmmaker Jenni Olson, who in addition to her cinematic contributions, is known as one of the founders of PlanetOut.com. Olson calls her new film, The Royal Road, “a cinematic essay in defense of remembering” as well as “a primer on the Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican American War alongside intimate reflections on nostalgia, butch identity, the pursuit of unavailable women and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo — all against a contemplative backdrop of 16mm urban California landscapes, and featuring a voice-over cameo by Tony Kushner.” What’s not to love?

Mala Mala

Mala Mala is a timely new documentary that shows portraits of the transgender community in Puerto Rico. A hairstylist, a prostitute, an activist, and a RuPaul’s Drag Race star (April Carrion) are several of the subjects interviewed by directors Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini, who capture the discrimination and hardship that can come from one’s journey to selfhood.

A Sinner in Mecca

A gay Muslim filmmaker comes to term with his sexuality and his religion in A Sinner in Mecca. In this documentary, Parvez Sharma embarks on a hajj (a pilgrimage to Mecca) in Saudi Arabia, where it is not only a crime to be gay, it’s punishable by death. It is also forbidden to film in Mecca, making Sharma’s film an unprecedented view into a place and culture off-limits to most of the world

Armed gang targets Grindr users in London

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Grindr

Victims of attacks are “very shaken”.

An armed London gang has been targeting men who use Grindr – and robbing them at knifepoint.

The Independent reports that two men were robbed while being held at knifepoint by men who made contact with them on the hookup app. The same four men are suspected in both attacks, and have not been apprehended at the time of writing.

Speaking with the BBC, Sheree Yates – Senior Detective Constable with Croydon Police – said: “We are keen to identify the suspects as soon as possible and are appealing to anyone with any information to contact the police.

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“I would urge everyone who uses online dating apps and sites to take steps to help them to stay safe whilst meeting strangers.”

A spokesperson for Grindr urged users of the app to remain vigilant and be cautious: “There are many ways to verify and take steps to protect yourself, from meeting in more public spaces to getting phone numbers and speaking beforehand.

“We take these matters very seriously and cooperate with local law enforcement at all turns where we can.”

Watch an Intimate Scene Between Young Men in 'Charlie'

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Charlie Movie starring Shawn Ryan

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Written and directed by Shawn Ryan (Bones, America’s Got Talent), who also plays the film’s title character, a young man named Charlie who goes mute after putting his abusive past behind him and then faints in front of the Sanderson family home on Christmas Eve.

“Charlie” was nominated for the Emerging Filmmaker Award in the American Pavilion at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and Ryan won Best Actor at the Riverbend Film Festival. The film was also recognized as the Best Short at the Gulf Coast Film Festival, and Best International Short at the Shropshire Film Festival.

You can watch it now on WatchBGPfilms.com.

Christmas carols have never been so sexy

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All-male a cappella group Hunkappella have released their latest video just in time for the holidays, and it’s a present we can all enjoy.

Taking on a variety of classic Christmas tunes, the hunky group go through more costume changes than Cher on tour, including a few revealing outfits…

Give it a watch below!

Three LGBT Youths Describe Being Homeless in NYC

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Editorial

UK Homeless Youth

I make no apologies for republishing this article from The Advocate on homelessness in New York City ; its relevance is because in the UK a quarter of the UK’s homeless youth are LGBT, according to a groundbreaking new survey carried out by the Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT). Yyoung people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans are more likely to end up on the streets than their hetero peers. Many were rejected from their family homes on account of their sexuality, while others were fleeing abusive households. 

Please remember the homeless, no matter who they are, and if you can help then donate to any of the following charities:

John

 

In recent months photographer Ocean Morisset and I been documenting the stories of LGBT youths who have been driven to homelessness. Their experiences of cruel rejection in their homes as well as the ordeals they endure on the streets provide stark evidence of the harm still suffered by the most vulnerable in our community

We live in times that have seen tremendous progress for LGBT people. We have torn down some of our society’s most formidable structures of homophobia. But progress for our community isn’t monolithic. There are at least 200,000 LGBT youths suffering homelessness in our nation. The abuse, hostility, and neglect they endure seem to belong to the time before 1969, rather than 2015.

It is easier to change a law than to change the human heart. LGBT youths who have the misfortune to grow up in homophobic or transphobic homes face terrible cruelty and abuse. At the Ali Forney Center, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth, we hear heartrending accounts of their mistreatment. We hear about severe verbal abuse, kids being called “faggots” by their parents, being told that they are disgusting, that they are “against God.”

Unfortunately, it’s not just verbal abuse. Often youths are subjected to physical violence in their homes; they tell us of being punched, kicked, choked. Also they tell of degrading and humiliating treatment, like the young man profiled below who was made to literally sleep in a closet.

When they become homeless, either being thrown out of their homes, or fleeing from the cruelty and abuse there, trauma intensifies. Homelessness is an ordeal for anyone, but for LGBT youths it is horrific. Listening to them describe their experiences on the streets, I am most struck by how frightened they are, how terrified. Terrified of the people who would rob them or bash them. They tell of being overwhelmed by stress, not knowing how to find food, or shelter, or protect themselves.

Too often the available shelters pose insurmountable obstacles. Many homeless youth shelters push religion on homeless kids, with youths being encouraged to pray, read the Bible, or participate in “pastoral ministry” programs. No young person’s desperation for shelter should be exploited to promote a belief system. But this is especially problematic for LGBT youths who have so often been made homeless because of the religious beliefs of their parents. Even more problematic for LGBT youths is the hostility they face from other shelter residents. Unfortunately, many of the beds in this country are in large warehouse shelters. Warehousing homeless people creates dehumanizing conditions where LGBT youths are frequently targets of anti-LGBT violence and harassment. It is very frustrating to listen to so many LGBT youths explain how they feel safer sleeping in the streets than in large warehouse shelters.

Homeless LGBT youths need the advocacy and support of our broader community, The most important step we can take to protect them is to support shelter and housing programs where they can be safe from abuse, whether it be from abusive religious agendas or from conditions that promote violence and harrassment.

The Ali Forney Center offers emergency and long-term housing dedicated to LGBT youths. We also offer programs which help youths overcome the harm of rejection and homophobia, enabling them to be healed and to rebuild their lives. These include medical, mental health, and substance abuse treatment as well as extensive educational and vocational training and placement programs. All these services are offered in an environment where the youths can be free of the further trauma of homophobia and transphobia. We provide care to over 1,000 youths per year. Please consider offering your support here.

I would also encourage support for LGBT-dedicated homeless youth programs in other parts of the country. To learn more about such programs in your local area, please see our Web page devoted to the services available to homeless LGBTyouths across the country. The Ali Forney Center is dedicated to encouraging the success of programs dedicated to homeless LGBT youths, and we have offered training and technical assistance to many of these vital programs.

This holiday season, please help us bring homeless LGBT youths in from the cold to a place where they can find warmth, healing, safety and affirmation. Now meet three LGBT youths and hear about their lives on the streets of New York. —Carl Siciliano, executive director of the Ali Forney Center

Why Homeless LGBT Youth Need Our Help

Tank, 23

I grew up in Queens. I had to leave home because I was abused by my mother; called a faggot, vulgar stuff.

When I was with friends who were also homeless, we would huddle together, sometimes in Union Square, sometimes in Staten Island. We would sleep in Staten Island in abandoned buildings that had been left wrecked by Hurricane Sandy. Once when we walked on the floor, the floorboard broke underneath us, and a friend had his leg split open. We closed the wound and took him out into the street before we called the ambulance. We didn’t want anyone to know where we were staying.

We were afraid to stay in the adult shelters — we heard too many things about LGBT kids being beaten and robbed there.

A friend who knew I was on the streets got me a job at Taco Bell. I was working maintenance, working the night shift. I was also going to college. It was hard, sometimes I was crying. Sometimes I would look bummy, but I was still going to class. I had to go. I always heard my mother in the back of my head saying I wouldn’t get nothing for myself.

I want to be a veterinarian. Plus I want to open a home for youth who have nowhere to go.

Why Homeless LGBT Youth Need Our Help

Angel, 22

My grandmother raised me and my brothers and sisters. She died when I was 14. For a while I stayed with my aunt. It was a nightmare. She wouldn’t recognize my gender. I had a job at a theater, and she charged me $200 a week to sleep in a clothes closet on a pillow. I tried to make the best of it. At least the pillow was tempurpedic; it was the comfiest pillow ever.

When I became homeless I tried to go to a big shelter for hundreds of kids. The intake worker refused to respect my gender identity. I showed her that I had a male ID, but she said it didn’t make a difference, that my wanting to be respected as a male was bullshit.

They put me in a female dorm. One of the other girls there said I couldn’t use the bathroom unless I payed her $40! She raised her fist to me and threatened me for $40!! I couldn’t deal with it, so I decided to sleep in the subway. I slept in the subway for two weeks. I found the whole thing so stressful that I couldn’t eat.

It was better when I stayed in an LGBT shelter. They respected me when I was transitioning.

Today I got a promotion at my job at Dunkin’ Donuts. Now I’m a shift leader!

Why Homeless LGBT Youth Need Our Help

Quincy, 21

I had to leave my home because my mother couldn’t accept me. She would get angry about the way I acted and the clothes I wore. It was always “You’re a fag, you’re a batty boy” (she’s from Jamaica).

For a while after I left home I was sleeping on friends’ couches. Then for two weeks straight I was sleeping on the subway. I would clutch all my stuff really tight, holding them close, especially after I was robbed.

Mornings were rough because I was so exhausted. I could never get enough sleep, only two or three hours. It took a toll on my body. I was always tired and irritated. I couldn’t focus.

I was afraid to go to the men’s shelter. I have a friend who stayed there, and when they found out he was gay they beat him up mercilessly. If they would do that to a grown man, what would they do to a scrawny 21-year-old gay kid.

When you are on the streets, riding the subways, nights are very tough. Sometimes I felt so alone. Nobody cared, nobody asked about me. I was just alone.

THIS EUROPEAN NATION JUST FOUGHT THE GAY AGENDA AND WON

Church MIlitant Logoby Ryan Fitzgerald  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  December 21, 2015

And Pope Francis lent a hand

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LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (ChurchMilitant.com) – Same-sex “marriage” was shot down by voters in the central European nation of Slovenia last week.

So-called marriage equality had been effectively forced onto the Slovenian people by their parliament in March, but conservatives in the country challenged it and ended up having it put to a vote.

The referendum required at least 343,104 citizens to vote for it to count. More than 380,000, or around 36 percent of the population, turned out, so the results will be enforced.

And the earliest count, with nearly 90 percent of all votes accounted for, shows that about 63 percent voted to repeal “gay marriage.”

That outcome may very well have been helped by Pope Francis, who didn’t hide his views on the matter last Wednesday when he urged Slovenians to stand up for the traditional family.

“I wish to encourage all Slovenians, especially those in public capacity, to preserve the family as the basic unit of society,” His Holiness declared to Slovenians at his general audience.

At the end of the latest cultural battle, despite the prior approval of same-sex “marriage” back in March, there still has not been a single legal marriage between two persons of the same sex in Slovenia

Tom Daley's fiancé Dustin Lance Black gets the green light from ABC for his new gay rights period drama When We Rise

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Dustin Lance Black’s mini series, When We Rise, has officially been officially picked up by ABC after two years in development.

The eight hour mini-series focusing on the gay rights struggle in America, in the 20th Century, penned by the 41-year-old Oscar-winner is set to be put into production in 2016 by the channel.

According to Variety the confirmation of When We Rise will see Tom Daley’s fiancé reunited with director Gus Van Sant – who worked on Milk alongside Lance.

All stations go: Dustin Lance Black's mini-series, When We Rise, has officially been officially picked up by ABC after two years in development

All stations go: Dustin Lance Black’s mini-series, When We Rise, has officially been officially picked up by ABC after two years in development

Following in the vein of Milk, which told the story of California’s first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, the show focuses on the political struggles of the LGBT community in the late 20th Century.

Chronicling the tale of a diverse family of activists in the 1960s and 70’s, When We Rise will focus on the groups pioneering work to conquer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights movement.

Tom Daley and Lance Black

The wait is over: The eight hour mini series focusing on the gay rights struggle in America penned by the 41-year-old Oscar-winner (pictured with faince Tom Daley) is set to be put into production in 2016

Lance, who is now engaged to British Olympic diver Tom, 21, has worked tirelessly as for marriage equality and gay rights.

Clearly excited by the news, Lance took to his Instagram last week and shared a snap of himself alongside Milk producer Bruce Cohen and civil rights campaigners Roma Guy, Ken Jones and Cleve Jones.

Pictured in San Francisco, the screen writer and director can be seen beaming in the picture – clearly delighted with the news from ABC.

He captioned: ‘Thanks for a great trip #SanFrancisco! With Producer Bruce Cohen and #SocialJustice heroes Roma Guy, Ken Jones and Cleve Jones. #WhenWeRise prep begins!’

Earlier this year, in October, Lance and Tom announced their engagement in The Times newspaper after dating for two years.

Lance Bruce Cohen and Roma Guy Ken Jones and Cleve Jones

Delighted: Clearly excited by the news, Lance took to his Instagram last week and shared a snap of himself alongside Milk producer Bruce Cohen and civil rights campaigners Roma Guy, Ken Jones and Cleve Jones Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3370460/Tom-Daley-s-fianc-Dustin-Lance-Black-gets-green-light-ABC-new-gay-rights-mini-series-Rise.

 

10 People Who Really Made A Difference In A Landmark Year For LGBT Rights

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By The Gay UK, Dec 22 2015 04:55PM

Earlier we reported on the disappointing list of 6 people The Independent published as having made 2015 a landmark year for LGBT rights worldwide.

Writer Matthew Hoy shares his top 10 landmark personalities with THEGAYUK who made 2015 a truly exceptional year in the LGBT equality movement.

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera

CREDIT: Time

CREDIT: Time
Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera is an out Lesbian, LGBT rights-activist and co-founder of Uganda’s first LGBT publication – Bombastic. In June she appeared on the cover of arguably one of the most prestigious publications in the world – Time Magazine. It is hoped that this will help shine a light on LGBT issues on the continent which often go unseen.
“All we need is respect, and protection from violence, and our basic inalienable human rights. Speaking out and bringing attention to the plight of LGBT people is life. I will not be silenced by anyone.”

ALSO READ: Independent Fails To Hail Any Gay or Bisexual Men As Important For Landmark Year

Casey Conway

Casey Conway, an Aboriginal Australian and former national rugby league player for the Sydney Roosters, came out as gay this year. Following a shoulder injury he retired from rugby at the age of 22 and went on to work with vulnerable and homeless youth. In coming out he said the following about his work, “I’ve worked with kids who are homeless because they’ve been kicked out of home when they came out [as gay]. They’re suffering not only because they don’t have a home, but because of their mental health and a raft of other issues.”

Jaime Lopez Vela and Alexi Ali Mendez

It made worldwide headlines when Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages were legal and that previous legislation defining marriage as “something to be celebrated between a man and a woman” was in fact un-constitutional.
This issue however would have never come before the Supreme Court had it not been for the likes of Vela and Mendez, both LGBT activists and lawyers who together fought various game-changing legal battles across the country eventually leading to the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court this year.

Xavier Bettel

When Xavier Bettel decided to declare his undying love for Gauthier Destenay in marriage, he became the second sitting world leader and first in the EU to marry their same-sex partner. This hopefully set an example for LGBT youth across the EU, that it is in fact okay to be gay and that marriage is about love.

Elena Klimnova

This year Russian LGBT activist, Elena Klimnova, faced tough criticism and even fines from the Russian government for her site Deti-404. The site was a treasure trove for LGBT teens in the homophobic state to share their stories of harassment and to offer support. Despite facing repeated prosecution and threats from members of the public, Elena has fought for this brave cause and given LGBT teens a ray of hope in an ever-depressing environment.

Richard Fung

Richard Fung is an award winning documentarian who was awarded this year’s Kessler Award for his contributions to LGBT Studies. One of his most notable works was his film entitled “Orientations” which explored the Asian-Canadian gay and lesbian communities that existed underground in the 1980s.

Nepal

This year the small Asian state became the first in Asia to provide explicit protection for LGBT people from discrimination, violence and abuse as part of its new constitution.
Upon hearing this news, Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global said, “We congratulate LGBT Nepalis and their allies for this historic victory, and hope to see other nations across Asia and the globe take similar steps to ensure full legal equality for their LGBT citizens.”

Israel Gay Youth Organization

This year the Israel Gay Youth Organisation took the first steps in its planned outreach into the LGBT-Arab community with the translation of its site into Arabic and the opening up of online forums wherein Arab youth can discuss their fears and concerns.
In an interview with Haaretz, one of the new Arab counsellors had the following to say, “Arab gay youth have no sources of information about being gay…Until the age of 18, I thought I was the only gay person in the world. I was completely cut off. We didn’t even have sex education at school. I went looking for a boy who had left our school, and I was told he was gay. I met him, he was in an art school and he introduced me to the community. Until 12th grade I never met a gay person or went to a gay party.”

This is the first step in the right direction in offering LGBT education to Arab youth.

LGBTory

The LGBT Group of the Conservatives Party was proud to boast this year that at the 2015 General Elections, the Tories had put forward the largest number of openly LGBT candidates forward totalling 37. No matter what your political affiliation it is a great moment when a political party can boast about how many LGBT candidates it has, as this will only encourage more LGBT youth to become active politically.

by Matthew Hoy