Nervous Around Gay People? Get a Gay Friend, Study Shows

A study found that the minds of people who are uncomfortable around LGBTQ individuals can be changed if they make just one gay friend, reports NBC

This was the case for one Dr. Nelson Bonheim, who was hesitant to invite his female coworker to his golf club after finding out that she is a lesbian and was living with another woman. However, after getting to know his colleague, he became good friends with her and realized that she and her wife are just like any other couple and even spoke at their wedding. Bonheim recalled that he wasn't against same-sex marriage, but he was not as accepting as he is now. 

Bonheim's acceptance of his lesbian colleague after befriending her is known as contact theory. Daniel DellaPosta, a gay sociology professor at Penn State and author of the study “Gay Acquaintanceship and Attitudes Toward Homosexuality: A Conservative Test" had a personal interest in understanding the relatively recent rise in the acceptance of homosexuality. In his study, he examined how straight people are affected by relationships with gay and lesbian people. He compared data from the 2006, 2008, and 2010 General Social Survey, or GSS.

The results of the study found that  “respondents who were acquainted with at least one gay or lesbian person in 2006 exhibited greater shifts toward increased acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage in 2008 and 2010.” In 2006, only 45% of people with a gay or lesbian friend supported same-sex marriage, while in 2010, 61% of respondents did. In contrast, in 2006, only 22% of people who did not have a gay or lesbian friend supported same-sex marriage, and in 2010, the number actually decreased to 18%. 

DellaPosta hypothesized that people who only see LGBTQ people in a superficial setting, i.e. in a grocery store, may have their prejudices enforced, while people who take the extra step to get to know an LGBTQ person, whether it be just knowing their name or sitting down and talking to them, will be affected by the contact effect and reconsider their biases. 

DellaPosta also recognized the two-fold importance of coming out. The process of coming out can be very liberating for LGBTQ people but it can also help straight people connect with their LGBTQ friends or family members at a more personal level which may reduce prejudice. He also wants to see every gay doctor, lawyer, architect, etc. to come out to show the world that LGBTQ people aren't part of some out-group that is different, but people who are the same as everyone else. He believes that this will help straight people conquer their own bias and stereotypes of LGBTQ and reduce homophobia. He realizes, however, that not everyone who has a gay or lesbian friend will change their mind, but at a macro scale, the contact effect works. 

As a gay friend, reading about this made my Grinch-sized heart grow three sizes, as it made me realize that by just being myself, I could have and can continue to make a positive difference in how people think. You really never know how you can change someone's life by simply being a part of it, and I think that's beautiful. 

h/t: NBC

San Diego Pride Considers Donating $170K Worth Of Profits

San Diego Pride’s giving back, and it’s giving back a lot.

San Diego Pride has announced on Thursday that it will be donating more than $170,000 to 59 different LGBTQ-serving charities and organizations around the world.

According to Patch, San Diego Pride has so much money to spend after having a successful 2018 Pride. They now plan to give over that extra money back to LGBTQ people.

"San Diego Pride, its events and year-round programming are made possible by our over 30 LGBTQ-serving nonprofit community partners, 87 sponsors, 5,600 volunteer shifts, 22,000 volunteers hours, 45,000 Festival attendees, and 250,000 Parade attendees," San Diego Pride Executive Director Fernando Lopez said. "It is this collective effort that builds on the legacy of those who came before us that makes this level of philanthropy possible."

"Our giving will have a tangible impact on projects locally, nationally, and globally that support and sustain LGBTQ communities in a myriad of ways," added San Diego Pride's Director of Philanthropy Sarafina Scapicchio. "This year's grants will help create new LGBTQ youth programs, feed and house people living with HIV, fund multiple LGBTQ-focused performing arts projects, provide legal support for LGBTQ victims of sex trafficking, scholarships for transgender students, emergency housing for homeless LGBTQ people and so much more."

As for which organizations San Diego Pride will donate to, some organizations include Accra Pride, Associação de Educação do Homem de Amanhã de Brasília, Being Alive San Diego, Blindspot Collective, Breakthrough Workshop Theatre, Casa Ruby, Inc., and more.

San Diego Pride plans to donate to Pride Community Grants to fund youth programs, sobriety services, LGBTQ arts and culture programs, queer communities of color, transgender community support programs, and health and human services programs.

Check out the official press release for more info and the full list of recipients.

India's Citizens Rejoice At First Dehli Pride Since The Historic Supreme Court Ruling

LGBTQ residents and allies celebrated the decriminalization of homosexuality in India earlier today.

Just two months after India’s Supreme Court ruled that the colonial era law Section 377 was unconstitutional, the city of Dehli was graced with a joyous pride parade.

Thousands participated in India's first pride parade since that historic court ruling (though the 11th in history). Many marchers chanted “We Got Our Freedom” while waving rainbow flags or signs with messages like, “Love Wins.”

"It's the first time we are not marching as criminals," said parade organizer Deepti to AFP.

"People are marching with freedom and zero burden," she added.

Now with India joining 119 other countries who have all legalized homosexuality, parade participants are noticeably walking with a spring in their step.



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"This parade is about happiness, happiness and happiness," said participant Deepanshu Goswami to AFP.

"It will take one more generation for a social acceptance but the fear factor is gone. I'm enjoying my life as a free citizen now," he added.

Check out some photos from the event down below.



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Delhi Queer Pride 2018 #delhiqueerpride #delhipride #freedomtolove #human #loveisnotacrime #pride #freedom

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Pride Wall Vandalized in Houston

The pride wall, located at Jenni's Noodle House in Houston, Texas was recently vandalized with hurtful messages, according to The Houston Chronicle.

The vandal or vandals painted in black a large X and the words "stop your gay agenda" 

The wall was created after another pride wall, located at Select Skate Shop was painted over in black with the word "select" in rainbow letters to contrast the black background. Select Skate Shop said that the decision was made because the wall kept being vandalized and it became expensive to repaint it every time.

The owner of Jenni's Noodle House, which has three locations throughout Houston, Jenni Tran-Weaver "jumped at the chance" to have Houston's next pride wall on the side of her restaurant. The new wall contains all traditional pride colors along with bright colors meant to represent the entire LGBTQ+ spectrum. The words "Be Visible" as well as a quote from Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case can be seen on the wall. It's a shame that someone would ruin a beautiful wall with an equally beautiful message but I'm not entirely surprised. 

In response to the vandalism, Jenni's Noodle House asked if anyone knew who was responsible for the graffiti in a Facebook post. They also wrote "Hater gonna hate. Noodle gonna rule." So at least they're in good spirits after this vandalism. However, Jenni should be mindful of the fact that the wall may get vandalized again, as it frequently happened when the wall was at Select Skate Shop. It is my hope that they find who vandalized the wall and dish out the appropriate punishment. In this day and age, hating or "disapproving" of LGBTQ+ people is definitely passé and has no purpose; not that it ever did. 

h/t: The Houston Chronicle

Donations Abound in Iowa Library

After a book burning, in which a man burned rented LGBT-themed books in protest of a Pride event, hundreds of books have been donated to the Orange City Public Library, according to Des Moines Register.

Paul Dorr, the man who rented out and burned LGBT-themed books did so in protest of Orange City Pride, as he believes that LGBTQ people are immoral. Dorr does not plan on paying for or replacing the books, which could land him with a fine between $65 to $625 and 30 days in jail if convicted of the charge of fifth-degree theft. 

Dorr is hardly the first person to burn books and he won't be the last, unfortunately. Book burning and other forms of book censorship have historically been used to silence voices, with LGBT voices being frequently shut down. According to the American Library Association, in 2017, four out of the top ten challenged books contained LGBT themes, in 2016, five out of ten, and in 2015 three out of ten.

However, attitudes towards LGBT themes in literature may be changing, as multiple GoFundMe pages have been created to offset the loss of the books. Along with the GoFundMe pages, Justin Scott, the Iowa state director for American Atheists, set up a Facebook fundraiser in response to Dorr's book burning. The fundraiser raised over $1,000 within days. The Orange City Public Library told Scott to consider giving a portion of the funds to other local libraries and LGBT organizations. 

James Peron, president of Moorfield Storey Institute, said ghat he had shipped twenty LGBT-themed books to the library and he is planning on shipping more.

It's nice to know that the residents of Sioux County, one of the most conservative counties in Iowa, recognize that LGBT voices deserve to be heard and that there will be consequences to every action, and in this case, the good outweighed the bad. 

h/t: Des Moines Register, American Library Association

When A Major CEO Steps Up & Says Being Gay 'is God's greatest gift to me' Are People Listening? We Are!

Are you proud to be gay? When you celebrate pride, are you saying you are proud to be who you are or are you just looking for acceptance.  I think there is a difference and Tim Cook puts a spotlight on his thoughts once again.

Four years ago, Tim Cook became the first CEO of a major company to come out as gay. He says he's happy about that distinction — and his decision.

"I'm very proud of it," the Apple (AAPL) CEO told Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday in an exclusive interview for her program on CNN International and PBS. Being gay is "God's greatest gift to me," he said. - cnn.com


We need more people to come out and say more than "just please accept me" but more so, hey, you're proud of who you are, we can be proud of ourselves, too. Here's the CNN.com clip. 




And I did say that Tim Cook put the spotlight on himself once again, because it is not his first time making these statements. We were there front and center to shoot this video at LOVELOUD Music Festival. 



So, back to you.  Are you proud to be gay? Do you show your pride at Pride?  Or are you more someone who just goes with the flow?

Related posts:

LOVELOUD 2018 - When In Utah, Let The Rainbow Flag Fly High

Apple Becomes 1st $1 Trillion Company. Tim Cook's LOVELOUD Speech Making Him More Visible Than Ever?

h/t: CNN.com

Lublin Police Used Water Cannons And Tear Gas To Thwart Violent Pride Protestors

Warning: The video below shows depictions of violence.

A gay pride event in Poland was tragically and violently stalled after police had to step in to protect parade marchers.

According to local news source GGG, massive riots broke out during the first Pride parade in Lublin, Poland.

The eastern Polish city was struck with controversy just days before the parade was supposed to take pace, according to Gay Power Couple. The city’s mayor banned the march just a few days ago after homophobic Governor Przemyslaw Czarnek pressured him to stop the event.

That said, the Court of Appeal overruled the ban on Friday (October 12), and the event took place this past weekend.

Around 1,500 people took part in the Equality March on Saturday. Unfortunately, around 200 anti-gay protestors showed up to the event as well. These protestors started shouting while throwing stones and bottles at marchers, which prompted the police into action.

The authorities then used tear-gas and water cannons to thwart the opposing side.

“We have arrested several people but I am sure that number will increase,” said Lublin police spokesperson Renata Laszczka-Rusek in an official statement.

“During the gathering, we provided security for the participants despite the numerous illegal actions of their opponents.”

Despite the violence, the police carried out their job of protecting the marchers. Many pride participants praised the police for their efforts to protect the people.

h/t: GGG, Gay Power Couple

Polish Police Protected Pride Parade, Permitting Partiers Passage Past Protesters


In Lublin, Poland, police brought out, riot gear, tear gas, as well as a water cannon, but it wasn't to suppress Pride Parade goers, but instead these suppressant tools were used against right-wing extremists that were adamant in trying to block an LGBTQ celebration.

The first parade of its kind in Lublin brought out more than 1,000 celebrants this past Saturday. Just shy of 1/3 of that number were found to be present but on the opposing side of the celebration. Safety in numbers?  Well, when you have the support of the police to push aside the 300 right-wing opponents that were blocking the Pride march, you continue to march as tear gas, concussion grenades, and a water cannon pushed the protestors aside.


Mayor Krzysztof Zuk had cited security concerns and banned the parade, but the Lublin’s Court of Appeals overturned that ban on Friday. Seems he was right to believe there would be security concerns, but the marchers was protected by the police and we thank them for that. 

Pride parades in Poland's capital city of Warsaw have been going on for 17 years, but this was the first time one occurred in Lublin, Warsaw, roughly 112 miles southeast of Warsaw and about 60 miles from the Ukrainian border.

h/t: ETvB English

Virgin Airlines Launches Pride Flight to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

Very few people enjoy flying in an airplane. It's tedious, boring, and stuffy. Basically, flying is a drag. But what would you say if a flight could be a drag show? Virgin Atlantic will accomplish just that on June 28th, 2019 on their Pride Flight, according to The Guardian to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

The flight will be hosted by Tituss Burgess, who plays as the campy Titus Andromedon (also known as Ronald Wilkerson, Flouncy Magoo, Cork Rockingham, Murasaki, and Trevor Millionair) in Netflix's hit show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Anyone who has seen the show knows just how over-the-top and flamboyant Titus is so this flighy should be nothing short of entertaining. The flight will leave from Heathrow in Longford to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey (The Guardian article says it's in New York but as a New Jersey native I had to set the record straight) to celebrate World Pride in 2019, which, as stated above, marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which are widely regarded as the cornerstone of modern day gay rights movements.

On the eight-hour flight, there will be many colorful, lively, and gay events performed by an entirely LGBTQ staff, such as live performances, drag queen bingo, and a Judy Garland singalong, so while people are flying somewhere over the rainbow they can be entertained, unlike watching the same exact movie multiple times. It's definitely not your average "please fasten your seatbelt and return your tray table to its upright and locked position" kind of flight and it seems exactly like the type of flight that I would want to be on because I always like to keep it gay.

Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holiday united with the non-profit organization NYC & Company and Alliance for Downtown New York. The tickets for the flight range from £380 (approximately $502) to £699 (approximately $924). Virgin Airlines' executive vice president and global LGBT lead for Virgin Group, Mark Anderson, says that Virgin is dedicated to this flight, saying that Virgin is not "the type of company to mark an occassion like this half-heartedly" and that they "take... commitments to diversity and inclusion seriously but... have a lot of fun along the way."

It's nice to see companies standing in solidarity with LGBTQ people in a world as divisive as this one. The next time I fly, I'll fly Virgin.

A New Queen Is Crowned At A Nearly Decade Absent Atlanta Pride Event

A historic Pride pageant has returned and has crowned a new Queen.

The Miss Atlanta Pride Pageant has returned after being gone for almost a year, according to Project Q.

According to Jamie Fergerson, Atlanta Pride Committee executive director, the original drag pageant faded away in 2009 due to its huge expense, logistical leaps, and

lack of community appeal.

“It was an event that was expensive and difficult to run, and people had lost interest in the community, so we stopped having that in favor of other programming,” she told Project Q. “For the last year or so, we’ve heard more interest.”

The call for a revival of this event came from entrepreneur Keith Young who is the co-owner of the Midtown Tavern and the after hour event series called Xion. Young reached out to drag performer Celeste Holmes and husband Billy Ledford as they were the last people to organize the event. They then agreed to help bring a return to the Miss Atlanta Pride Pageant.

“I’m excited for it to be back, because Atlanta Pride is one of the largest in the country,” said Holmes. “It’s definitely the mecca for the South. To have a Miss Atlanta Pride Pageant and have someone represent Atlanta Pride all year long at events is going to add to the cache of what Atlanta Pride is and will expand the audience even further.”  

But not only did the winner of the September 30th event earn the title and responsibilities of Atlanta’s Pride Queen, but she also earned a heap a rewards.

The winner of the event received a crown, $500 in cash, a spot in the Atlanta Pride parade, a photo shoot with local photographer Just Toby, a gift certificate for a wig by Jonathan Nieves, a spot in the Shooting Stars Cabaret in Piedmont Park during Atlanta Pride, and a cast slot in Holmes’ drag show in Midtown Tavern after the pageant.

And who won the title? Miss Sheena Cassadine!

Cassadine and her fellow contestants were judged on Pride presentation, talent, and evening gown categories (according to this Georgia USofA pdf about the rules and regulations).

In the end, it was Cassadine who took home the title and all the prizes that went with it. Now, Cassadine will act as a representative of Atlanta’s gay community for the rest of the year. Congratulations to her!

h/t: Project Q, Georgia USofA,