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Rob Manser

Rob Manser

Guidetogay.com is the leading travel, news and social network for the LGBTQI community.  Join us on social media.

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Sydney wins bid for WorldPride 2023

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has won their bid to host the international marquee Pride event, WorldPride 2023.

 

 Members of the worldwide InterPride network of Pride organisations voted between Sydney, Montreal and Houston as the host city for WorldPride 2023. The final results were Sydney 60%, Montreal 36% and Huston 3% .  The win was announced in Athens, Greece overnight at the annual InterPride AGM.

 

Sydney WorldPride will be held over February and March to coincide with Mardi Gras 2023. This will be the first time ever WorldPride has been to the Southern Hemisphere and Asia-Pacific region. This is important as many LGBTQI communities within the Asia Pacific are still denied fundamental human rights.  
 

WorldPride represents a major tourism initiative for Australia. Deloitte have estimated a 25-40% increased growth in visitors, in addition to the 1.094m-1.225m visitors for Mardi Gras. Sydney will be the first stop, and other regional attractions will see visitation pre and post event.

 

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Co-Chair Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco, says: “This is a major win for Sydney, Australia and the region more broadly. Bringing WorldPride Down Under means we can celebrate and shine a spotlight on the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQI community in the region.”

 

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Co-Chair Kate Wickett, says: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to our Federal, State and Local governments, corporate and community partners, the extended team at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras as well as our global community for helping bring WorldPride to Sydney 2023. This has been a truly collaborative pitch.”

 

WorldPride Committee Chair Robyn Kennedy, says: “Interpride has recognised how far Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has come since 1978, and now the world will march with us down Oxford Street to celebrate our community and support our region,”

 

Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham says: "Sydney has long demonstrated its ability to host spectacular world-class events that attract visitors from right across Australia and around the globe. 

 

"It is absolutely fitting that Australia and particularly Sydney celebrate our diversity through such a symbolic event that will also deliver a huge boost to our tourism industry. 

 

"Congratulations to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the wider LGBTQI community and all other supporters on the work they have done to secure the internationally renowned extravaganza that is World Pride 2023. We are proud to have helped secure this win and look forward to promoting an event not to be missed!"

 

NSW Minister for Arts Don Harwin says “I am absolutely delighted that Sydney has been chosen to host this incredible event, which coincides with the 45th anniversary of the first Mardi Gras Parade and the 50th Anniversary of the first Australian Gay Pride Week.

 

“This event will attract thousands of international visitors and put Sydney on the world map as a truly inclusive and united global city.”

 

Michelle Jablko ANZ Chief Financial Officer and Executive Sponsor of ANZ Pride says: “We are so excited that World Pride 2023 is coming to Sydney and what it means for Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. ANZ is proud to have supported this bid not only because of our enduring partnership with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, but also as a way we can demonstrate our commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect to the community. Congratulations to the team who worked so hard on this bid.”

Courtney Act and Duncan James to host the Inaugural UK Rainbow Honours.

The Rainbow Honours, a celebration of those who have stood out in their support for the LGBTQ+ community will take place on 4th December at Madame Tussauds in London.

Honours will go to the people and organisations who show commitment to equality all year round in categories such as LGBTQ+ Icon, LGBTQ+ Champion and LGBTQ+ Campaigner, and Trans Advocate.

Celebrities, campaigners and organisations who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to equality and diversity will be recognised at the inaugural 2019 Rainbow Honours Awards.

This is a unique evening of celebration to shine a light on those unsung champions who give up their spare time to volunteer, work tirelessly and strive to make the world a better place for the LGBTQ+ community.

There’s no doubt that the LGBTQ+ community has made amazing strides in recent years, yet it’s also true that LGBTQ+ people still face prejudice in the workplace, education and across social media.

That’s why this event will reward those wonderful individuals and organisations who further LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion. We will honour those who dedicate themselves to fairness for all and deserve our accolades – they are, after all, the UK’s Rainbow Heroes.

The star-studded awards ceremony is set to take place on 4 December 2019, in partnership with DIVA, Europe’s leading magazine for lesbians and bisexual women, and The Thomson Reuters Foundation’s LGBT+ digital platform, Openly. The event will also feature LGBT+ community champions who are striving to influence change in the quest for true LGBTQ+ Equality. The charity partner for the event is Queer Britain, the national LGBTQ+ museum.

The public is now being encouraged to vote for their Rainbow Heroes at www.rainbowhonours.com. It’s time to nominate those who you feel further the cause of LGBTQ+ equality and have stood out in their support over the past year.

Duncan James said “I am honoured and proud to be hosting the 2019 Rainbow Honours, where we will celebrate and honour the achievements and accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community. This is something that is very close to my heart and I look forward to a fun and exciting evening.”

Courtney Act said ‘As our community makes leaps and bounds with acceptance and visibility in the mainstream it’s important to maintain focus on the so too often unsung heroe’s who are doing amazing work. This is our chance to celebrate them, lift them up, and amplify their voices and stories. I’m so honoured to host this special night and celebrate the achievements of our queer community.’

Antonio Zappulla, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation said: “Shedding a light on the untold stories of LGBT+ people around the world is core to the work of Openly, the Foundation’s dedicated LGBT+ digital news platform. We pride ourselves on impartial, authoritative and trustworthy coverage of global issues. Openly provides an alternative source of credible news and in doing so, works to break down global stereotypes or ignorance. For this reason, we are delighted to be supporting the Rainbow Honours to celebrate LGBTQI heroes, networks and allies who do so much to advance LGBT+ equality and inclusion.”

Joseph Galliano, Co-Founder and CEO of Queer Britain, the national LGBTQ+ museum, said: “It is of vital importance to recognise and celebrate the people and organisations working tirelessly to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people and their families. At Queer Britain, we want to shine a light on these stories, which can inspire and uplift us all. This is why we are proud to be associated with the Rainbow Honours.

Interview: Monica Helms - creator of the Trans Pride flag

It's coming up to international Trans Pride Flag Day - the day that marks the occasion when Trans pioneer Monica Helms designed and made the very first flag and symbol for the Trans community - that had its roots across the LGBTQIA family.

We caught up with Monica to discuss this important milestone in our queer history.

What made you want to design the Trans Pride Flag?

I was having dinner with Mike Page, the man who designed the Bisexual Pride Flag.
He said to me that the Trans community should have their own flag.

We talked about it but nothing came to me.
He also said, "The important thing to remember is to keep it simple.
"The least amount of stitches makes it cheaper to make and cheaper to sell."

This was before flags were silk-screened. A couple of weeks later, I woke up one morning and while I lay in bed, the image came to me. I got up and drew out the design on paper.

So how did your concept progress to a physical representation of the Trans colours?

I liked what I saw, so I contacted the same company that made the Bi Flag and they sent me some swatches. I picked out the colors and a week later, I had the first Transsexual Pride Flag.


What would young young trans people like to hear from a pioneer such as yourself?

I think that the youth are very inquisitive about a movement that they grew into and started long before they were born.

They want to know who came before them and opened the doors so they could be themselves at a much younger age then many of us older people could.

I find that they like hearing how the Trans Flag came about and all the efforts people put into to make it as popular as it is today.

The flag they wear as a cape at Pride has a long history of where it's been and how it got there.

 

 


So what has been the impact of your designs on Pride celebrations globally?

It was 2013 when I looked at Pride photos around the world when I noticed that the Trans Flag and the Trans colors where popping up in many places. I was amazed at its popularity.

Then I realized that I had the original and I became scared of its safety.

I decided that I needed to find a place where it would remain safe from harm and that people could see it, knowing it's the first one.

I decided to start at the top, so I contacted the Smithsonian in Washington DC and just so happen they were starting to collect LGBTQ related items.

The first Trans Flag was perfect.

The Smithsonian doesn't just take donations like a thrift store. They want to know everything about the item and the person who is donating it.

 

So how did your life history effect the acceptance of the Trans flag?

When they learned about my Navy history, they decided the flag should be stored with other military-related flags.

After all the time spent communicating with the Smithsonian, I finally donated it to them on August 19, 2014. 15 years to the day when I created it.

In 2016, the original Trans Flag was displayed in the White House for President Obama's last LGBTQ day for his time in office.

Thats incredible Monica - thank you so much for spending this time with Guidetogay.com - you have a book detailing the journey and history of this iconic symbol - where can people get it?

It is called, "More Than Just a Flag" because I felt that I have done many things in my life other than creating the Flag. I wanted people to see that the person who created the Trans Flag has done many more things for the Trans community over the years and that creating the Trans Flag was just a small part of it. It can be found on More Than Just A Flag

NYPD apologises for Stonewall raids 50 years on.

“I think it would be irresponsible to go through World Pride month and not to speak of the events at the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969,” New York City’s police commissioner, James P. O’Neill said Thursday during an LGBTQ police event, according to The New York Times.

“The actions taken by the N.Y.P.D. were wrong, plain and simple,” he continued. “The actions and the laws were discriminatory and oppressive, and for that, I apologize.”

In recent years, multiple commissioners have refused to apologize for the now-documented violence that the LGBTQ community faced at the hands of New York City officers at the Stonewall Inn. In 2017, O’Neill originally declined to apologize, saying “I think that’s been addressed already," before adding, "we’re moving forward."

O'Neill's predecessor, Bill Bratton, acknowledged the year prior that there had been a "terrible experience" at Stonewall that became a "tipping point" and eventually led to "so much good." He added, "An apology, I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s necessary. The apology is all that’s occurred since then."

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is gay, had called for an apology from the NYPD in a Wednesday interview with Juliet Papas of the 1010 WINS radio program. Johnson said the police raid, which took place in the early morning hours of June 29, 1969, said such an act would be a show of "decency."

"The NYPD in the past has apologized for other incidents that have occurred, so I think the NYPD apologizing on this would be a very, very good thing, and it's something they should do,” he said. "I think it's never bad to apologize. One thing that personally I do, is if I think I've made a mistake, I try to say I'm sorry, I was wrong and I learn from that because I don't think there is anything wrong with admitting a mistake. It shows decency to recognize something that you may have done wrong."

Incidents that the NYPD have apologized for in the past include a “long overdue” public apology to a rape survivor whose 1994 complaint was met with skepticism by investigators. “We were wrong then,” O’Neill said in a statement on the police department website in October 2018. “I want us to be right today.”

In 2015, Bratton, New York City's police commissioner at the time, said he personally called James Blake, the former tennis star, to say sorry after Blake was tackled by a police officer after being racially profiled “I spoke to Mr. Blake a short time ago and personally apologized for yesterday’s incident,” a statement read.

Johnson had anticipated a similar apology as the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising neared. Stonewall is credited with being the most important event to spark the modern fight for LGBTQ equality in the United States.

"I would love for it happen this month and I will bring it up to the police commissioner," Johnson said Wednesday. "I will have a conversation with [the NYPD commissioner] about it because I think it would be an important step toward further healing and reconciliation and recognizing what happened in that crucial moment, and not just in American history, but New York history in June of 1969."

Pride's across the world are kicking off, with the launch of the Sydney Pride Festival last night at Sydney's own Stonewall Hotel, and celebrations across America and Europe will go through to August...  with the main festival in NYC for World Pride at the end of June.

Taiwan becomes first Asian country to legalise Marriage Equality.

Lawmakers in Taiwan have approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, a landmark decision that makes the self-ruled island the first place in Asia to pass gay marriage legislation.

The vote came almost two years after the island's Constitutional Court ruled that the existing law - which said marriage was between a man and a woman - was unconstitutional. The panel of judges gave the island's parliament two years to amend or enact new laws.


On Friday - only a week off the two-year deadline - lawmakers in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan passed a bill making same-sex marriage a reality. It will go into effect on May 24.

Check out our galleries from Taipei Pride.

US congress passes Equality Act

The US congress passed legislation Friday that would protect those living in states where it's legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and other services as well as access to public accommodations such as restaurants.

The bill, known as the "Equality Act," would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other civil rights laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. But critics argue it raises serious concerns for religious communities as well as women's sports.

It passed largely along party lines in the Democratic-controlled House, 236-173, but it's not expected to be taken up in the GOP-led Senate. Eight Republicans supported the bill.

The passage of the bill comes one day after President Donald Trump offered support to Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who's seeking the Democratic presidential nomination and who would be the first married gay US president if elected.

In an interview with Fox News, the President was asked to put aside policy disagreements and weigh in on Buttigieg's status as a married gay man.

"Don't you think it's just great to see the fact that you've got a guy there on the stage with his husband and it's normal?" Fox's Steve Hilton asked.

"I think it's absolutely fine, I do," Trump said.

He agreed with Hilton's assessment that Buttigieg's candidacy is a "sign of great progress," adding, "Yeah, I think it's great. I think that's something that perhaps some people will have a problem with, I have no problem with it whatsoever."

It's Australia's election day on Saturday - so who was against same sex marriage?

Well, it's that time again for Aussies to head to the polls and decide which party/parties will run the country for the next few years. One major change that happened for our community in the last session of parliament, was the legalisation of Same Sex Marriage. 

Whilst the conservatives were in power when it happened, Australians suffered through a divisive and unnecessary postal survey which would not guarantee the will of the people would be reflected in the vote by parliament.

The current, non-elected Prime Minister, Scott Morrison abstained from the vote. Whilst pressed recently at a press conference, he states he now backs same-sex marriage, but as a confirmed evangelical, he refused to comment on whether he believed LGBTQIA people would go to hell.

When making up your mind this Saturday - if you have not voted already - check out the list of politicians who DID support our community and those that did not.

The ABC has a full list of those who voted for and against or abstained from the marriage equality vote.

JUDITH LIGHT TO RECEIVE 2019 ISABELLE STEVENSON TONY AWARD

Judith Light to Be Recognized for her Advocacy to End HIV/AIDS and Her Support for LGBTQ+ & Human Rights

 

The Tony Awards® Administration Committee has announced today that two time Tony Award (Other Desert Cities and The Assembled Parties) and two time Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light will receive this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award.

 

The Isabelle Stevenson Award is presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. Ms. Light will receive the Award for her impassioned advocacy to end HIV/AIDS and her support for LGBTQ+ and human rights.  

 

“To be so generously acknowledged by The American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League and the Tony Awards, and to be included with these outstanding individuals who have received this honor before me, has been one of the most extraordinary gifts I have ever received in my life. The HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ communities are inspirations and demonstrations of how to be and live in the world; courageous, honorable, and uplifting. They inspire me and it is my privilege to be of service to them. I am humbled by this recognition from my theatre family, whom I so respect, honor, and love,” said Ms. Light. 

 

Since the early days of the AIDS pandemic, Light has reacted to the divisive response towards the LGTBQ+ community by speaking out and aligning herself with numerous organizations, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, GLAAD, NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, Project Angel Food, Elton John AIDS Foundation, among many others.

 

Light’s commitment to each cause has come in various forms throughout the years. In 1993, she spoke at the LGBT March in Washington. In 1995, Light rode her bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the California AIDS Ride to support HIV/AIDS Programs for the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. In 1996 she joined Elizabeth Taylor, who served as grand marshal, at the National Mall in Washington DC for the display of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. In 1998, GLAAD recognized Light with the Vision Award for her dedication to fight HIV/AIDS alongside the LGBTQ+ community. Light traveled to South Africa for the AIDS walk to raise awareness for on the ground care in South Africa and research in the United States. Countless times, Light has lent her voice at Outfest, the LGBTQ+-oriented film festival in Los Angeles, and she sits on the honorary board of Point Foundation, which is the National LGBTQ+ Scholarship Fund.  She has participated in Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Gypsy of the Year competition and Broadway Bares.

 

She continues to push boundaries with her roles in Jill Solloway’s Transparent (Amazon Prime); Ryan Murphy’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX); the film Save Me, written by her husband Robert Desiderio, in which Light produced and starred. The film explored the subject of reparative therapy in a way that had rarely been done before; and The Ryan White Story (ABC).  These roles continue to create conversations about prejudice and bigotry towards HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ communities.

 

“Judith is one of the most beloved members of our theatre community,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing.  “Her talent is as big as her heart and spirit – and her tireless commitment to HIV/AIDS organizations and to the LGBTQ community, are unparalleled.  We are honored to salute Judith at this year’s Tony Awards!”

 

Judith Light is known for her extensive body of television, film, and stage work. This fall she stars in the musical finale of Transparent, Amazon Prime’s Golden Globe–winning series, created by Jill Soloway, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination and multiple Emmy and Critics’ Choice nominations as well as in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series The Politician with Bette Midler and Ben Platt. Last year, her role in Ryan Murphy’s FX series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story garnered her an Emmy nomination and a Critics Choice nomination.

Light stars with Alec Baldwin and Mandy Patinkin in Before You Know It which premiered at Sundance and was picked up by distributor 1091; as well as Ms. White Light, that premiered at SXSW; and Lifetime’s Nellie Bly with Christina Ricci. Upcoming, Light can be seen in film Hot Air with Steve Coogan. 

In 2017, Light she starred in God Looked Away with Al Pacino at the Pasadena Playhouse. In 2016, the play, All the Ways to Say I Love You (MCC) garnered her a Drama League Award nomination. For the Broadway production of Thérèse Raquin with Kiera Knightly, Light won an Outer Critics Circle Award.

In 2012 and 2013, Light won two consecutive Tony and Drama Desk awards for her performances in Other Desert Cities and The Assembled Parties; these two performances dubbed her the first actress in nearly two decades to win consecutive Tonys.

For the Pulitzer Prize winning play at MCC Theatre, Wit, she was awarded the Helen Hayes and Eliot Norton awards. In 2011, Light received a Tony nomination for her role as Marie Lombardi in Lombardi, directed by Thomas Kail.

Light starred in and produced the film, Save Me, written by husband Robert Desiderio which premiered at Sundance in 2007. The year before, Light could be seen in the indie film Ira and Abby.   Selected TV includes: “Ugly Betty” (Emmy Nomination), “Law and Order, SVU”, “Dallas”, “Who’s the Boss”, “One Life to Live” (Two consecutive Emmys).

For additional information on Judith Light’s advocacy work, please visit: https://www.judithlight.com/human-rights-aids-awareness.

 

The American Theatre Wing’s 73rd Annual Tony Awards, hosted by James Corden, will air on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 9, 2019 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT) live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Tony Awards, which honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

 

The Nominations for the 2019 Tony Awards will be announced live, by Bebe Neuwirth and Brandon Victor Dixon, on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 from the New York City Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. The event will be streamed on Facebook LIVE (at Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards), and covered by CBS This Morning at 8:30am ET.

Follow the Tony Awards on Twitter and Instagram for real-time updates on the nominees as they are announced (@TheTonyAwards). The entire announcement will also be available on TonyAwards.com after the event.

A list of Sydney bars and clubs shut down due to the lockout laws

Just to keep it fresh in your mind - thousands of jobs, experiences and a vibrant night-time economy has been lost since the Libs introduced the lockout laws to "punish" one punch attacks. and whilst these dickheads who come into the city for a night out don't know how to behave the city and its villages are struggling to survive.

Everyone from drag queens to DJs to graphic designers and venues are suffering harshly.  Here is a list of the venues closed because of these draconian laws.

  • Backroom (Potts Point)
  • Soho (Kings Cross)
  • Hugo's Lounge (Kings Cross)
  • The Bourbon (Kings Cross)
  • The Flinders (Oxford Street precinct)
  • Trademark (Kings Cross)
  • Bank Hotel (Kings Cross)
  • Q-Bar (Darlinghurst)
  • Exchange Hotel (Darlinghurst)
  • Hot Damn (Darlinghurst)
  • World Bar 
  • La Cita (Darling Harbour)
  • Bar Century (George Street)
  • Goodgod Small Club (Chinatown)
  • The Goldfish Bar (Kings Cross)
  • Beach Haus (Kings Cross)
  • The Cuban Place (Sydney)
  • Jimmy Liks (Potts Point)
  • Grasshopper (Sydney)
  • Absinthe Salon (Surry Hills)
  • Mr Fox (Surry Hills)
  • Swanson Hotel (Erskineville)
  • The Basement (Circular Quay)
  • Love Machine (Potts Point)
  • Dream Girls (Potts Point)
  • Porky's Nite Club (Potts Point)
  • Midnight Shift (Darlinghurst)
  • Moulin Rouge (Kings Cross)
  • Tunnel Nightclub (Potts Point)

 

Is the new RuPaul doll worth $204.33aud?

She is an icon and a real queen for the ages, but the new RuPaul Doll that was shamelessly plugged on this weeks episode of Drag Race from Infinity Toys works out to be 204.33 aussie dohlahs, and thats before shipping.

She is magnificent in her barbie glory, but its apparent from the doll pix that her wig was not a "wigs by Vanity" - that hairline leaves a lot to be desired.

I wanted to buy one so I could go all "Just Jack" like he did with his Cher doll - but this breaks the bank...  between paying for tickets to drag race promoted gigs for all the gurls to this its starting to stretch the wallet thin.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Sissy that credit card.

Ru's Doll includes:

 

  • 12.5-inch/1:6 scale, fully articulated, vinyl collectible doll, rooted hair and delicately hand-applied eyelashes;
  • Elaborate micro-sequined stage gown designed by Jason Wu;
  • Shoes;
  • Earrings;
  • Miniature RuPaul "chocolate" bar accessory;
  • Miniature "makeup" accessory set;
  • Miniature RuPaul "book" accessory
  • Pair of hands with long manicured nails (new hand sculpt!);
  • Alternate pair of grip hands (new hand sculpt!);
  • Doll stand;
  • Certificate of authenticity.

 

 

Sashay you pay??? 

 

 

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