#LGBTQ

Trans Woman Alleges WestJet Airline 'Outed' Her To Passengers

A transgender Canadian woman traveling from Calgary to Saskatoon told CBC News that she was “outed” to the other passengers by a WestJet gate agent.

Lenore Herrem says that when she presented her ID at the gate for her flight, the agent became “upset and confused.”

While Herrem presents as female, her five-year-old ID lists her as male.

More from CBC News:

"She got upset and said, 'They don't match,' but her colleague said, 'Yes, they do, it's fine, go ahead,'" Herrem said as she described the agent's reaction.

"So I gently and discreetly expressed to her, 'It's because I'm transgender, that's why they don't match up. But my face is the same and my ID matches the name on my boarding pass.'"

Herrem boarded the plane and was settled in her seat for about 10 minutes when she said both gate agents boarded the flight, and the agent who had been confused once again demanded her ID.

"She said something like, 'Oh, that's not the name I remember seeing on the computer when I looked at it,' and she started spouting off different, other women's names that were not mine," Herrem recalled.

"She rolled her eyes at me and said, 'Are you sure it wasn't your girl name that was on the computer?' … She outed me in front of the whole airplane."

Herrem says the experience left her feeling “unsafe, vulnerable, belittled.”

"I was in shock, it was quite traumatizing having someone, especially the way she did it so loudly and in front of everyone, it was really unprofessional,” she added.

In an email, WestJet apologized for the incident writing, "WestJet's inclusive culture is a point of pride for WestJetters and our goal has always been to create a safe and inclusive environment for all.”

"We have extended our apologies to the guest and are reviewing the matter as we are continuously assessing and evolving our practices and policies to maximize inclusiveness and celebrate diversity."

Herrem says she was “pleased with the way” the airline dealt with the incident.

“She expressed that they will be implementing training to staff to deal with these sort of situations better in the future which was the most important thing for me to hear," Herrem added.

 

(h/t CBC News)

'The Shallow End' is a Funny NSFW Series, think Sean Cody--if Mel Brooks Directed

You may be sad that summer is ending soon, but there’s a new comedy YouTube series that is here to keep you hot and sweaty—all while laughing your ass off at some awkward situations that may hit close to home. The Shallow End is a new LGBTQ comedy series created by comedians Jason Michael Snow, Lucas Hazlett, and Mathew Francis.

The show features three gay friends sipping cocktails poolside as they reminisce on their comical hookup horror stories—we’re talkin’ the good, the bad, and the UGLY! The show features gay artists Brian Jordan Alvarez (Will and Grace, Caleb Gallo), Drew Droege (Heathers, Bright Colors and Bold Patterns), Zeke Smith (Survivor), Blake McIver (The People’s Couch), Nick Adams (Broadway’s Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and Zach Noe Towers (Just for Laughs 2018).

The Shallow End was released on August 1st and has released three episodes to date that will both haunt you and make you spit out your martini with laughter. Oh and did I mention that the series is definitely NSFW? The creators clearly point this out at the beginning of each episode. The sexually suggestive storylines feature implied nudity and scenarios that co-creator Snow asserts are completely real!

Here’s the trailer:

 

 

Some of you (us) may have encountered situations that are similar or WORSE than those told in The Shallow End so you should feel right at home with the queens as they kiki in their towel turbans and lounge on their pool floaties. Just think Sean Cody—if Mel Brooks directed it.

Season one of The Shallow End will feature 6 original episodes with a behind-the-scenes ‘Gag Reel’ episode being released next week. The season finale will include original culture vulture from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Jai Rodriguez and Vincent Rodriguez III from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

So if you’re craving the raunchy cabana pillow talk without that awful chlorine taste—take a dip in The Shallow End.


Episode 1 | Therapy is a F@#%ing Joke

 

 

Episode 2 | Mexican After 7:00

 

 

Episode 3 | Dark Knight Surprises

 

 

 

h/t: The Shallow End

 

Gay Dancer Turned Away From A London Club For Wearing HIgh-Heels

A gay man was denied entry into a London gay club because he was wearing heels.

According to QNews, 33-year-old Pavel Vacek says he was surprised when a bouncer told him he couldn’t enter the XXL London club.

“I’ve been to XXL before, so I was quite surprised,” he said. “They say on the website that it’s a bear club, but you see all kinds of guys there – twinks, young guys, older guys – anyone.”

As a member of the Gay Men Dance Company, Pavel has been wearing high-heels in order to prepare for an upcoming performance. He thought, why not practice while enjoying himself during a night out.

“It was only my second or third time wearing the boots because I don’t have many places to wear them, and I thought, ‘why not?’ Where else should I take them other than a gay club?” said Vacek to Pink News.

“It shouldn’t be about what you wear. That doesn’t define you. If you feel comfortable wearing high-heels or pink, if you feel good and you don’t hurt anyone, what’s the problem?” he said.

That said, his night wasn’t ruined by the XXL London bouncer. Vacek says that he and friends went to a different gay club where he acquired many fans of his heels.

“People were admiring me and everybody loved the shoes,” he said.

h/t: QNews, Pink News

Vermont: Trans Businesswoman Clinches Historic Gubernatorial Nomination

As the 2018 midterm primary season marches on, more and more LGBTQ candidates are not only running for public office but winning their initial contests.

In last night’s primary for the Democratic nomination for governor in Vermont, transgender businesswoman Christine Hallquist made history as the first transgender candidate to win the nomination of a major political party for governor.

With 99% of precincts reporting, the former energy company CEO garnered 48.3% of the Democratic primary vote, more than twice the 22% of her nearest opponent, James Ehlers.

She will now face incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who is running for his second term. While Vermont tends to lean progressive, Hallquist still faces an uphill climb as no candidate has defeated an incumbent governor in the Green Mountain state since 1962.

Should she win this fall, she would become only the second LGBTQ person to become governor in the United States following openly bisexual Gov. Kate Brown, the incumbent governor of Oregon who’s running for reelection this year as well.

Hallquist, who came out as transgender three years ago, told The Advocate last month that her priorities include addressing poverty, promoting renewable energy and fighting climate change, spotlighting economic development in the state’s rural areas, raising the minimum wage, working toward single-payer health care, and reworking the school funding structure, as well as empowering LGBTQ Vermonters.

Hallquist’s historic win last night means, as noted by Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, that "all 4 letters in [the] LGBT acronym" are represented in Dem gubernatorial nominees this year.”

 

 

In addition to Hallquist, the LGBT Democratic candidates who have won their primaries for governor include Oregon’s Brown; Lupe Valdez, a lesbian woman running in Texas; and Jared Polis, a gay man running in Colorado.

According to a study by the LGBTQ organization, The Victory Institute, 2018 has seen over 400 LGBTQ political candidates running for office in America.

Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of The Victory Fund, released a statement about Hallquist’s historic win, which read in part:

“Christine’s victory is a defining moment in the movement for trans equality and is especially remarkable given how few out trans elected officials there are at any level of government. Many thought it unthinkable a viable trans gubernatorial candidate like Christine would emerge so soon. Yet Vermont voters chose Christine not because of her gender identity, but because she is an open and authentic candidate with a long history of service to the state, and who speaks to the issues most important to voters."

Tom Perez of the Democratic National Committee issued this statement:

“The DNC is proud to congratulate Christine Hallquist, Vermont’s Democratic nominee for governor and the country’s first-ever openly transgender nominee for governor, along with all of tonight’s Democratic nominees in the Green Mountain State.

“Christine’s historic victory tonight is an inspiration to LGBTQ people everywhere, and we are excited to stand behind her and the entire slate of fantastic Democratic nominees in Vermont.

“There’s no doubt that Christine and her fellow nominees will join a strong ticket this November that will fight for our values and serve as dedicated advocates for Vermont’s working families. Vermont voters know that Democrats have their backs and share their values, and they’re ready to organize to turn more seats blue this November.”

Watch Hallquist’s campaign video below. The general election takes place on November 6, 2018.

 

 

Market Days 2018 Roundup!

Market Days 2018 Roundup!


The Summer Ends In Chicago But Delivers The Heat!

#MOAN! Alright, so summer time 2018 is coming to an end. It’s terrifying to think in just a few short months, we’ll be shivering as Fall approaches. But, at least we get a consolation prize of risqué Halloween costumes so we have something to look forward too.


If you aren’t familiar: Chicago’s gay neighborhood, Boystown, hosts the incredible LGBTQ event, Market Days, in August each year. I’m originally from the Windy City and Market Days has been my favorite LGBTQ event since the beginning of my gay-life. I tend to call it a gay block party, because that’s really what it is. The clubs come outside, the food vendors are endless, and the streets are filled with nothing but gorgeous men and women who…underdress for attention. I’m here to give it to them! Check out the best of Market Days 2018 – according to Instagram – below!


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

#instagay #gaggle #scruff #boystown #marketdays #chicago #kansascity

A post shared by Jamen Dean (@the.jman) on

 


 

 


 

 

Take a pick for your #MCM  — #MarketDays was a success with the crew  #SundayFunday

A post shared by Pawblow (@pawbloww) on

 


For Market Days madness and sexy pictures, head here!

Get Hyped For Flame Con, The World's Biggest LGBTQ Comic Con

The fourth annual Fame Con is almost underway and we can’t wait to see what happens this year!

While geek and fandom-centric conventions have become mainstream with San Diego Comic Con now being the go-to place for movie and tv news, LGBTQ fans are still struggling with representation and comfort in comics/tv shows/movies, and more.

To help create a space for LGBTQ fans/geeks (and creators trying to give create that representation), Flame Con was created.

"Flame Con is by and large the refuge for the weird queer kid," said convention chair Steve Gianaca says in the latest episode of The Fandom Files. "You go to New York Comic Con and it's a needle in a haystack to find queer content. That's actually how the organization was formed, a lack of representation at New York Comic Con. Everywhere you go, there's open queerness. People are happily in drag as Princess Peach. Last year's cosplay contest winner was Rita Repulsa. It was a dude and he looked fabulous."

 

A post shared by Elffi (@elfficosplay) on

Flame Con will be happening this weekend on August 18 and August 19 at the Sheraton in Times Square, according to Syfy.

Each year, the convention is getting bigger and bigger with this year’s space having enough room to fit 10,000 guests.

From LGBTQ-themed merch to LGBTQ themed comics/properties, and LGBTQ panels, this convention is all about celebrating LGBTQ geeks.

To hear more, check out the Fandom Files podcast with guest star Steve Gianaca.

 

A post shared by Lorentz @otakon (@lorentz_iwood) on

h/t: Syfy

Germany Takes the Crown for Mr. Gay Europe 2018, Get to Know Him!

Hundreds protested this year’s Pride parade and Mr. Gay Europe competition in Poznan, Poland over the weekend, but regardless of their presence, the competition crowned its newest winner. 30-year-old German delegate, Enrique Doleschy, took home the title, beating out six other contestants—including the competitions very first trans contestant.

GCN reports that protestors spoke out against the LGBTQ community in Poland where polls have suggested that up to 70 percent of the population believe gay relationships are unacceptable. Doleschy said:

We need competitions like this to bring out the best in people and to force them, to drive them, to be better for each other.

Other delegates included:

Niels Jansen from Denmark, the first trans contestant

  • Antony Dzwonkiewica from England, who proudly represented the HIV positive community
  • Guilherme Souza from Ireland, originally from Brazil
  • Christopher Price from Wales
  • Karol Pacyna from Poland
  • Pedro Ferreira from Portugal
  • Dominik Svechnikov from Ukraine
  • Stefan Dimov from Bulgaria
  • LUKÁŠ GREČKO from Czech Republic & Slovakia

 

 

Mr. Gay Europe’s President Tore Aasheim says:

Mr Gay Europe is not a beauty contest. We are looking for genuine and real-life role-models for our LGBT communities across Europe and we are honoured by the fact that a trans person wanted and felt comfortable enough to take part. Niels proved himself to be a positive and significant addition to the group of delegates.

Get to know 2018’s Mr. Gay Europe in his bio package:

 

 

h/t: GCN, Mr. Gay Europe

The 27th Zia Regional Rodeo Was the Highlight Of LGTBQ Western Life

Looks like LGBTQ people were having all kinds of fun last weekend.

While plenty of LGBTQ people were dressed up for the Red Dress Run in Louisiana on Saturday, others were dressed in cowboy hats and more for the annual LGBTQ rodeo in New Mexico.

According to the Weekly Alibi, the New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association holds an annual Zia Regional Rodeo at the Rodeo de Santa Fe. This year’s event, which was the 27th one, was held this past weekend between Friday, August 10th and Sunday, August 12th.

The event went off without a hitch with plenty of events such as bull riding, calf roping, goat dressing, camp events, rodeo school, a dance party, and so much more.

For those who participate in the event every year, the Zia Regional Rodeo offers a safe space for LGBTQ people who’ve grown up surrounded by the cowboy life.

 

I’m at a gay rodeo! #santafe #gayrodeo #horses

A post shared by Alex Valencia (@mr.alex.valencia) on

“It’s a way to unite everybody and [show] we are all basically people,” said team roping competitor Shelly Woodson of Wickenburg, Ariz. to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

“I love rodeo,” she added. “It feels good to be part of a community of participants in rodeo.”

On top of that, the annual event disproves the stereotype that LGBTQ people aren’t capable of being a part of a rodeo.

“The stereotypes are that only real men and women can ride the bulls and do the dangerous events,” said 15-time rodeo participant Keith Holtzclaw. “We do the same events and take the same risks.”

And the Zia Rodeo isn’t the only gay rodeo to serve the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. In fact, it’s just one in a large group of connected rodeos. The top 20 from these rodeos can then qualify for the World Gay Rodeo Finals that take place in Texas every fall.

That said, there is a negative viewpoint to all of this.

Despite some praising the efforts of the Zia Regional Rodeo in normalizing LGBTQ people in cowboy and rodeo culture, there are some who condemn the entire thing. Responses to the before mentioned Santa Fe New Mexican article have stated their offense to Rodeos, LGBTQ or otherwise, due to the treatment of animals.

"Rodeos are nothing to be proud of! I hate to see gay folks emulating straights when institutionalized animal abuse is involved," said one commenter.

"This is animal cruelty, pure and simple. No group of people should be applauded for causing unnecessary cruelty for entertainment purposes. This is a hate crime against animals, which the LGBTQ community should not condone," wrote another.

For some, it is a way of life. For others, it’s a cruel form of entertainment. But to all, it’s an international sensation that seems to have no end in sight.

h/t: Weekly Alibi, The Santa Fe New Mexican


Update (8/15/2018):

After checking back on the Sante Fe New Mexican post, it looks like even more commenters have shared their distaste for the Zia Regional Rodeo, and rodeos in general. Many of them make accusations that such events glorify animal abuse.

In response, Brian Helander, the spokesman for the New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association, made the following statement:

"Rodeo events sanctioned by the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) operate under modified rules of professional and non-gay rodeo while preserving GLBT participation in this North American tradition. Although consisting of traditional rodeo events such as bull riding and bronc riding, gay rodeo activities have purposefully been tailored to provide the animal and human participants with the safest environment possible, while still demonstrating the skill of the contestant."

"IGRA uses stock animals in the sport of rodeo. Our position is that this responsible use of stock does not rise to the level of abuse. IGRA does not abuse animals nor condone animal abuse, at any time, in any way, by anyone."

"The IGRA imposes specified rules related to animal welfare which are strictly enforced. The Association penalizes any contestant, official or contractor found to be treating any animals inhumanely."

"The minimum penalty for contestants is immediate disqualification from further competition.
IGRA Certified Officials are routinely evaluated by IGRA committee chairs and educated regarding IGRA animal use policies."

"Stock Contractors are informed of our policies and bylaws related to animal welfare and may suffer financial penalties for failure to comply."

"Specific IGRA animal use guidelines include:

  • IGRA prohibits the use of electric prods in bucking chutes.
  • Spur rowels in riding events have event-specific requirements.
  • A fleece flank strap is used for bucking events and is not painful to animals in any way.
  • Goats participating in the "Goat Dressing" event are required to be between 25 and 30 inches in height and are rested after every 8 "dressings".
  • Arenas are groomed and leveled for maximum horse safety during the speed events.
  • We prohibit the use of lame, sore, sick, or undersized stock in any event at any time.
  • A large animal veterinarian must be on site from the start to the finish of every rodeo.
  • IGRA directs the removal of any animal from competition that appears to be in danger of injuring itself."

"Our association has an international level Animal Issues Committee of LGBT cowboys and cowgirls that tracks issues related to animal use, annually reviews our animal use and welfare policies and reports directly to the annual convention."

"All IGRA members, contestants, certified officials and volunteers are educated on and responsible for the implementation of these animal welfare policies at our member association rodeos and at the IGRA-produced World Gay Rodeo Finals®."

How an Emoji Can Make a Difference for the Trans Community

You might be wondering why you have been seeing the lobster emoji more and more lately. The According to the Press Herald, this is the response to the efforts by Lobsters Against Transphobia, a British transgender activist group that launched an online petition to urge Unicode to create a pink and blue flag emoji. The pink and blue flag is one of the most prominent symbols for transgender lives and the lack of representation of trans folks in the media is still disheartening. By creating the petition, Lobsters Against Transphobia aims to bring awareness to this issue and to spread love to the trans community.

 

A lobster can possess both male and female characteristics, making it the basis for choosing this symbol. You can join the movement by using the lobster emoji and using the hashtag #ClawsOutForTrans and definitely by signing the petition HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

h/t: Press Herald, Change.org

If You Spread Hate, You Reap What You Sow

When a gay couple in Sandy Springs, Georgia contacted landscaper Stuart DiNenno about getting some work done in their yard, they did not expect the drivel of intolerance that would come out of his mouth with regard to their relationship.

According to Towleroad, the owner of Botanica Atlanta Landscape Designs turned down doing the job for couple because he considered their relationship to be “very perverse and foolish” and a “delusion”.

One of the guys took to the company’s Yelp Page to call out DiNenno on his homophobia, but DiNenno responded by actually confirming the claims and restating his distaste for gay people.

Since then, the company’s Yelp page has been hit with tons of negative feedback from people who are showing their support for the Sandy Springs couple. Folks have also shared screenshots of DiNenno’s racist remarks and bigotry on Facebook, an account that seems to have disappeared since the onslaught of bad press.

But DiNenno seems to be fueled by all the comments.

Just a couple of weeks ago Yelp announced that they would be incorporating a new feature into the app that shows which businesses are Open to All, meaning they serve people of all walks of life. I think it's safe to say that Botanica Atlanta won't be joining in on the campaign to welcome "everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion or disability."

Maybe the Fab 5 should pay DiNenno a visit in Season 3 of Queer Eye?

h/t: Towleroad, Yelp

 

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