Turkish Police Ends Gay Pride Parade

Riot police in Turkey interrupted a gay pride parade in Istanbul on Sunday with rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons. It’s still not clear why the police decided to break it up but they cleared it out quickly and left the people celebrating upset.

The annual gay pride celebration, which has been held in the city for years now, was packed and it is not immediately clear why police wanted to break up the celebration, Reuters reported.

Rumors say that the conservative Muslim officials had a problem with the celebration being around the same time as Ramadan. Homosexuality isn’t illegal in the country, but many are not ok with them and they have no laws that protect them from discrimination in employment, education, housing, health care, public accommodations or credit. The EU Commission on Enlargement released a report a few years ago saying, “There have been several cases of discrimination at the workplace, where LGBT employees have been fired because of their sexual orientation. Provisions of the Turkish Criminal Code on ‘public exhibitionism’ and ‘offences against public morality’ are sometimes used to discriminate against LGBT people. The Law on Misdemeanors is often used to impose fines against transgender persons”.

The country does not recognize same-sex marriage.

The Event

The gay pride event was held in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, a place that is known for its protests against the government. The AFP reported that police targeted the crowd after hearing slogans accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of engaging in “fascism.”

The event has been going on since 2003, and now occurs each year on either the last Sunday of June or the first Sunday of July, to mark the end of Istanbul pride week. In the first year of the celebrations, only 30 people attended but the numbers have drastically increased with time. Estimates say that in 2010, 5,000 people attended and in 2011 the number doubled with 10,000, making Gay Pride Istanbul the biggest march of its kind in Eastern Europe. Three years ago the parade attracted around 10,000-30,000 people and in 2013, almost 100,000. The European Union has praised the country in the past for hosting the parades without any disruptions, but not this time.

See Also Report from the METRO – LINK Here

London Parade

On Saturday, thousands of people took the streets to celebrate the annual Pride parade just a day after gay marriage was ruled to be legal across the U.S.London

To celebrate the historic decision, the U.S flag joined those of Ireland and Mozambique at the front of the celebration, all three have recognized gay rights recently. More than 250 groups showed up at the event with extra security alert for any irregularities after the attacks on Kuwait, France and Tunisia.

Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall, said Pride was “a wonderful event that celebrates LGBT equality and how far we’ve come”, adding: “However, we must not lose sight of how much is left to do.

“The number of reported LGBT hate crimes is on the rise across the UK, our government must address trans-law reform, LGBT people are still being bullied in school and isolated at work, and overseas, many Prides either take place under armed guard or not at all. In fact, it’s illegal to be gay in 75 countries and punishable by death in 10.”

Other people protested against Northern Ireland, which does not allow same-sex marriage. Campaigner Peter Tatchell held a sign which said: “Northern Ireland! End the same-sex marriage ban. Equal Marriage.”

Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

The project has launched an interactive map of 200 locations and are calling on the public to help further map the heritage of the LGBT community


From The Shim Sham, a gay-friendly jazz club set up in Soho in 1935, to a popular 18th-century cruising spot dubbed Sodomites’ Walk in present-day Finsbury Square, historians have this year begun to chart the untold LGBT histories of buildings in London.

Now the “Pride of Place” project is to be widened to the whole country, with the launch of an interactive map of 200 buildings and locations and a call to the public to help further map the heritage of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The map includes an extraordinary range of sites: a Manchester temperance hall whose infamous cross-dressing ball was raided by the police in 1880, a 14th-century bisexual prostitute’s lodgings, and Bletchley Park, where Alan Turing broke the Enigma code during the Second World War before he was persecuted for his homosexuality.

It also includes the story of French soldier Chevalier d’Eon, who fenced in women’s clothing in 1787 at Carlton House, the London residence of the Prince Regent.

Rosie Sherrington, a social inclusion and diversity adviser at project organisers Historic England, said: “The project is looking at national recognition of LGBT heritage. I think it’s really important, largely because it hasn’t been formally recognised before. There aren’t any buildings listed entirely due to their lesbian and gay relevance.

“I think people will be surprised… there are some really rural sites that have been important for lesbian and gay people in this country. We want to show how important LGBT people have been in influencing the environment around us.”The Chevalier d’Eon, the androgynous 18th-century spy

The Chevalier d’Eon, the androgynous 18th-century spy

Ms Sherrington hopes the project may lead to more buildings being protected. “This comes at a time when buildings and places with LGBT associations are coming under increasing pressure.

“Many are disappearing as LGBT culture becomes more integrated into wider society, while others – often in urban areas – are closing to make way for redevelopment.”

The project is led by historians at Leeds Beckett University’s Centre for Culture and the Arts, who have researched important places and will moderate the suggestions from the public.

Other important LGBT sites include Shibden Hall in Halifax, home of the lesbian diarist Anne Lister, and Millthorpe in Derbyshire, home of Edward Carpenter, the founding father of gay rights in Britain.

Reading Gaol, where Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for “gross indecency” in 1895, is among the sites under the “crime” category, as is the Old Bailey, where James Pratt and John Smith were convicted, and became the last men in Britain to be executed for sodomy in 1835. The project began in London in May and Historic England plans to have the project completed by autumn 2016.

Ronald Wright, a gay magazine illustrator, artist’s model and author who was a prominent member of the gay scene in London from the early 1950s, said the project was a “marvellous idea”.

“So many of our traditions are disappearing. If it wasn’t for something like this jotting it down, the nation would be poorer in years to come.”

Now 87 years old, Mr Wright said: “So much had to be hidden in the old days. I’ve seen some remarkable changes and the biggest change was gay marriage. I wish I had been born 20 years ago so I was young enough to enjoy the things young gay people can enjoy these days.”

He suggested a series of prominent gay pubs, many of which have closed, for the map. These included the Coronation Club, The Standard and The City of Quebec in London’s West End. “It was a tremendously close community,” he said.

Nick Herbert: Parliamentary group on global LGBT rights will help tackle ‘discrimination and abuses’



Tory MP Nick Herbert has said that a new cross-party Parliamentary group on LGBT rights will work with NGOs to help tackle “breaches of LGBT rights” around the world.

Members of Parliament and peers for the first time this month formed a new All-Party Parliamentary Group on global LGBT rights – to tackle rights issues around the world.

APPGs are informal cross-party groups, which have no official status within Parliament – but dedicate their time to working on specific issues across party lines.

The new APPG, which includes politicians from the Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem, Scottish National and Green parties from across the Commons and the Lords – will work to push issues in Parliament relating to LGBT people around the world.

Tory MP Nick Herbert said: “I am delighted to have been elected Chair of the APPG on Global LGBT Rights and I look forward to working closely with my fellow parliamentarians on these issues.

“While the advance of LGBT rights in many countries has been remarkable, as the decision of the Supreme Court in the US testifies, elsewhere in the world we are seeing discrimination and abuses which are of real concern.

“The power of this group is that is cross-party and will work closely with interested NGOs. I hope that it will help to ensure that, when breaches of LGBT rights occur around the world, UK parliamentarians respond in the most coordinated and effective manner possible.

“I would also like to put on record my gratitude to Crispin Blunt and the Kaleidoscope Trust for providing the foundations for this group, and I look forward to continuing their good work.”

The group’s vice chairs include Lord Cashman, Labour’s Envoy on LGBT Rights, SNP MP Stewart McDonald, Lib Dem peer Baroness Barker, and Green MP Caroline Lucas. Labour’s Lord Collins of Highbury was elected Treasurer, and Tory MP Ben Howlett MP as Secretary.

Caroline Lucas MP said: “There is a tremendous amount of work to be done in advancing LGBT rights across the world, and it’s good to see parliamentarians coming together on such a crucial issue.

“I hope that this all party group can hold the Government to account where necessary to ensure that British foreign policy, and our rules on immigration, promote the wellbeing of LGBT people across the world.”

Lord Cashman, who was one of the co-founders of Stonewall, said: “The APPG will give us a unique opportunity to share our skills to ensure that LGBT people both in the United Kingdom and internationally enjoy the same rights wherever they are born and wherever they live.

“Working with local activists in other countries and in the UK we can ensure that the universality of human rights becomes a reality.”

Baroness Barker said: “The APPG is uniquely placed to bring together governments, civil society and businesses to build strong, safe communities in which all citizens, including those who are LGBTI, prosper. Let’s get started.”

Stewart McDonald added: “I am very pleased to have been elected as vice chair of the APPG on Global LGBT Rights. This group has been founded at a crucial time.

“Although in the UK LGBT rights have advanced rapidly in recent years, the opposite is true in many other countries around the world.

“I look forward to working with colleagues across the House to put our commitment to promote LGBT rights internationally into practice.”

There is already a long-standing APPG on HIV and AIDS – which Tory MP Mike Freer was recently elected to chair.

Parliament introduced a Women and Equalities Select Committee for the first time last month, and former equalities minister Maria Millerwas elected as chair. Select Committees provide scrutiny of the government’s equality work, and are distinct from APPGs

26 Million People Change Profile Pictures With Facebook's Rainbow Pride Filter

facebook rainbow


Photos from Facebook/Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Elizabeth Warren, Elizabeth Banks, Mark Zuckerberg, Arianna Huffington, Arnold Schwarzenegger

As anyone with a Facebook account can attest to, this weekend saw rainbows sweep across the social media site. In honor of Pride, and in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, Facebook developed a program to allow users to quickly and easily add a rainbow filter to their profile images. Originally created by two interns, the company saw the concept’s promise and streamlined the process.

The reaction was nothing short of viral, with more than 26 million people across the world turning their profiles into visible statements of LGBT pride and support. So far the photos received more than half a billion likes and comments, and the momentum shows no sign of slowing down.

Among the millions were a number of familiar faces, with stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Elizabeth Banks, and Arianna Huffington taking part. Arnold Schwarzenegger had a particulalry memorable encounter with an anti-gay fan:

Embedded image permalink


Bryan Hawn reveals all in new Justin Bieber featured video

GT Hunks


Shrillex and Diplo have released their new track which features music superstar Justin Bieber.

However, this version of the tracks video is a little different.

The track, titled Where Are U Now now features fitness enthusiast Bryan Hawn in his latest parody as he dances at the sea, gives a touch of camera sex up close and even rides a polar bear in his pants. Yes, really!

Oh, and he wears like no clothes. Complaining? We said nothing of the kind.

So what’re you waiting for?

Get watching…

Words William J Connolly, @wjconnolly

Romantic Irish package holiday aimed at LGBT market in US

10-day trip, which includes Blarney Castle and Cliffs of Moher, will cost €5,150 per person

A major US tour operator has become among the first to create a romantic Irish tour for the LGBT market following the passage of the marriage equality referendum.

Brendan Vacation has created a 10-day romantic Ireland itinerary for LGBT couples, but only for those with a lot of money too.

The cost of the trip will be $5,750 per person (€5,150). For that price the itinerary will include a chauffeur in a vehicle with free WiFi.

Brendan Vacations specialises in high-end visits from North America to Ireland and Scotland. The company has offices in Dublin and Anaheim, California.

“It’s a new step for us,” its president Paul Wiseman said. “It’s a substantial change in the way that we are going to create and market [to the LGBT community]. We’ve done all kinds of different custom departures over the years. But this isn’t a one-off. This is now a much broader program that all agents would be able to get access to.”

The Romantic Ireland package begins with two nights in Dublin at the Merrion Hoteland continues with a night at the Cliff House Hotel in Co Waterford, two nights at theMalton Hotel in Killarney, a night at the Mustard Seed in Co Limerick and two nights at Ashford Castle in Mayo, before returning to the Merrion for a final overnight in Dublin.

Sightseeing will include Dublin, Glendalough, Blarney Castle, the Ring of Kerry, Torc Waterfall, the Cliffs of Moher and Strokestown Park House. Participants will also be offered a chance to cycle along the Wild Atlantic Way, drink Irish coffee at the Foynes Flying Boat Museum and eat St Tola goat cheese on a working farm.

Among those partnering with Brendan on the new product is Dan Mullane, owner of the Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge in Adare.

“We are so proud the Irish people voted yes for marriage equality, making us the first country in the world to do so,” he said. “Nobody blinks an eyelid here. Everyone is equal at the Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge, where they’ll be greeted by the warm, friendly welcome that Ireland is known for.”

The “pink pound” or “pink dollar” is now much sought after in the tourism market. At the World Travel Market in November, Out Now, an LGBT marketing solutions provider, valued the global LGBT tourism market at more than $202 billion annually.

The annual Gay and Lesbian Tourism Study in the United States has found gay people in the United States earn significantly more and travel more than straight people.

Tourism Ireland has already launched a new campaign to promote Ireland as a wedding and honeymoon destination for same-sex couples. The campaign was launched just a day after the referendum passed in May.

The “Ireland says I do” initiative aims to encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourists to visit Ireland and to corner a larger slice of what chief executiveNiall Gibbons described as a “new and emerging” tourism market.

A conversation with Andrew Doyle about Forrest Reid, Northern Ireland's forgotten author

photo of BBF15: Forrest Reid - Andrew Doyle In Conversation With Stephen Connollyphoto of BBF15: Forrest Reid - Andrew Doyle In Conversation With Stephen Connolly


Belfast Book Festival

Verbal ArtsFriday 12 June | 6.15pm | £6/£4

at Crescent Arts Centre

Described by E. M. Forster as “the most important man in Belfast”, Forrest Reid (1875-1947) is a major literary figure whose books have somehow fallen into obscurity.

The writer of sixteen novels, including Young Tom (winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction), Reid was a founder member of the Irish Academy of Letters, and received an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University, Belfast. Andrew Doyle discusses his life and his legacy, and explains why a revival of interest in Reid’s work is long overdue.


An Asian Minor by Felice Picano

By Felice Picano

Publisher: Sea Horse Pr Ltd (Oct. 1981)

An Asian Minor: The True Story of Ganymede  is a clever retelling of the Greek myth of Ganymede in the language of a likeably streetwise American ‘teen’.  There are a couple of lapses of style, but the joke outstays the welcome.

The illustrations are “Gay Act” at its worst, they appear to have been bought as a job-lot.  They are irrelevant, contradict the words, the main characters in the pictures being an Aryan blond while the script describes him as swarthy and having curly brown hair.

The drawings are probably the reason why the book is so pricey though they drag it down from the plane of genuine wit to that of a questionable jest.

Amazon link

The Wounded by Tom Clarkson

Originally this review was published in our paper magazine of Spring ’85


Published: Brilliance Books 1983


WoundedOriginally published in 1953, this novel is a story of unrequited (heterosexual) love, by Gay characters play a significant part.  The main gay character, Chris, is a ‘drag performer’, who plays the woman’s role in everyday life which, Clarkson implies, is the only possible one a homosexual man could play in England in the 1950s.

Chris’s attraction to other men is because of his deeply inculcated inferiority feelings, associated with a desire to be dominated, or even abused by them.  He is a victim of the attitudes of his time.

Subconsciously, Chris wants to be a ‘real man’, but the social stigma attached to homosexuality forces him further into the sordid (and tragic) life-style of the homosexual sub-culture,which was all that was available before the rise of any kind of Gay Pride.

A good read – which has the salutary affect of allowing us to see how far we have come in a mere 65 years.


This book would now appear to be out of print, but there are still second-hand copies available on Amazon – here is the link – The Wounded Amazon LInk


Thousands march in Dublin’s first LGBT Pride Parade since Ireland’s Marriage Referendum

 – Life Family

Thousands of people joined Dublin’s LGBT Parade this afternoon, as part of the city’s first Pride Festival since Ireland’s Marriage Referendum in May.

Thousands of Irish people splashed the city with colour as they marched from Parnell Square, and through Dublin’s O’Connell Street to finish up in Merrion Square.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar joined the annual parade for the first time since coming out as a gay man.

This year’s Dublin Pride Festival was particularly sweet for those celebrating following the results of last month’s Marriage Referendum.

“I think this Pride is especially significant because of this referendum passing,” a Parade-goer told Independent.ie

“Pride used to be the only day where I felt free but now that the marriage referendum has passed I feel free every day.”

Jade Corcoran from Walkinstown & Elizabeth Mazurok from Blanchardtown during the  Dublin LGBT Pride Parade 2015OPEN GALLERY 24
Jade Corcoran from Walkinstown & Elizabeth Mazurok from Blanchardtown during the Dublin LGBT Pride Parade 2015

Another Pride marcher said the last few months have been remarkable for LGBT people around the world and in Ireland.

“It’s been an incredible year. To see what happened in the United States yesterday and with Ireland’s huge ‘Yes’ it’s been an incredible couple of weeks and months,” she said.

An Garda Síochána took part in the Pride Parade for the first time.

Politicians who marched in this afternoon’s parade included Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, Children’s Minister James Reilly and veteran gay rights activist Senator David Norris.

The festival kicked off on Thursday night with a gig by Samantha Mumba at 4 Dame Lane. It was the 31-year-old singer’s first trip back to Ireland from the US since her daughter Sage was born in March.

Online Editors