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San Fransisco Drag to bodyslam wrestling's homophobic stereotype

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One might not imagine a strong LGBTQ presence in the testosterone-driven world of professional wrestling. How , Northern California-based Wrestling for Charity and San Francisco drag queen Pollo Del Mar are laying the smack down on that perception! 

 
“Packed with colorful characters, crazy antics and led by the world's most wrestling-obsessed drag personality, Wrestling for Charity is arguably today's most queer-friendly sports entertainment promotion,” writes The Bay Area Reporter, SF’s most widely-read LGBTQ weekly.
 
Since joining WFC in 2017, the beloved drag performer has become a central figure in the independent promotion “Where Philanthropy Meets the Mat!” Both publicly and behind-the-scenes, according to The San Francisco Examiner newspaper, she is “trailblazing a path for the LGBT community in a hyper-masculine setting.”
 
A long-time sports entertainment enthusiast, the 2016 SF Nitey Award-Winning “Drag Queen of the Year” is  rapidly becoming one of the most recognizable faces in the Northern California independent wrestling scene. “Feminine but Amazonian, flamboyant but stylish,” per The Examiner,  Del Mar leads WFC’s “passionate, die-hard” team as it makes inroads in the City By the Bay. 
 
Only a year into her latest pro wrestling foray, she was promoted both in storyline and reality to head all SF shows from WFC, a “small outfit that packs a big punch.” Just as she “took San Francisco by storm” as a drag entertainer, says The Examiner, Del Mar hopes to do the same with area pro wrestling. 
 
Known in the industry as “Booking,” Del Mar will lead creative content and promotion of upcoming shows at El Toro Nightclub, 2470 San Bruno Ave. With increased LGBTQ themes, theatrics and characters expected, The Examiner notes Del Mar hopes to “piledrive the idea that professional wrestling is only the domain of the testosterone-fueled.”
 
“As a drag queen emcee, Del Mar aims to make Wrestling for Charity at El Toro the nation’s most inclusive professional wrestling event,” wrote The San Francisco Chronicle in a glowing review of WFC’s May 2018 outing.
 
Drawing a crowd combining avid wrestling fans, drag lovers and first-timers there to see what the hype was about, the audience included  uncharacteristic numbers of LGBTQ spectators. In The Chron’s exhuberant report, the Bay Area’s biggest daily newspaper declared: “The spectacle was well-worth the trip.”
 
WFC returns to El Toro on Thurs., July 26. Local favorites The Berkeley Brawler, tag team champs The Honor Society, Lucha Libre legend Chicano Flame, “The Sexy Swinger” Jheri Gigalo,  “Lovely” Lisa Lace and more will continue their “over-the-top wrestling, complete with rivalries, soap opera antics and prolonged heckling” (per The Chron). However,  Del Mar will be driving the “storylines and schtick.” 
 
“A love of professional wrestling is not required” to enjoy the show, The Chronicle assures the curious. “Costumes are theatrical, personalities are tongue-in-cheek. In no way does this take itself too seriously.” 
 
“Thrilling WFC mat action, over-the-top stories and [an] all-inclusive, interactive audience experience,” the BAR raves. “WFC not only allows but encourages fans to be exactly who they are.” 
 
Perhaps neighborhood-based news outlet Portola Planet best sums up Del Mar’s influence on WFC shows.
 
“This is more than just pro wrestling,” the website declared, “It is a gender-bending, bone-crushing, only-in-San Francisco theatrical event!”
 
Follow Wrestling for Charity on Twitter/Instagram: @WFCWrestling
Follow Pollo Del Mar on Twitter: @TheGlamazonPDM
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Ten's Ten's Ten's across the board - Drag Race season 10

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It's back baby! As quick as you can delete a negative social media post from a 16 year old girl, the All Stars Season 3 controversy is swept under the carpet and floor launched into the world's pop culture psyche within a week.

Mother Ru is fresh from receiving her star on the Hollywood walk of Fame thanks to the legend that is Jane Fonda - and even with that career defining moment - Ru's own cage was rattled thanks to some comments made about Trans performers and Drag Race - which was quickly squashed, explained and apologised for by RuPaul and brought to task by amazing folks like Peppermint... at least it has started a conversation on the issue and should not be more than an exercise in growth, loving your fellow humans and celebrating all forms of drag and performance art.

But back to Season 10. The snippet of the first episode has been released and we are GAGGING over it. Sooo many New York City Queens are in this season, along with some real superstars of the pageant circuit and some states in the USA that have never before been represented!

Drag Race is on VH1 in the USA,  STAN in Australia and WOWPresents+ in other territories.

Check out the teaser below!

 

 

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Courtney Act wins Celebrity Big Brother UK

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Tears were not in short supply earlier today as our mate Courtney Act / Shane Janek took out the crown as the winner of Celebrity Big Brother UK!

After a rigourous month of antics, trials and heart warming chats (plus her bromance with another housemate) - Court's took the win over conservative politician Anne Widdecome.

And it was clear from the start of the finale that Courtney had it in the bag - the audience went wild for her every time her name was read out.

Looking stunning in one of her "Wigs By Vanity" wigs and unicorn-esque outfits, she rocked the stage, without a costume malfunction this time :)

Boyzone star Shane Lynch finished in third, reality TV personality Jess Impiazzi came in fourth and choreographer Wayne Sleep came in fifth.

Celebrity Big Brother is a whopping 21 seasons into its run - so finding strong characters to show on air has sometimes been hit and miss - but this year was a great line up of folks who really made the show a joy to watch.

Condragulations Courtney! We are soooo proud of you! May this opportunity bring your music and shows to the UK audience in a way never been seen before! You rock.

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The Modern Sex-pest

I keep hearing from gay men my age (yes, I’m old enough to be referred to as “daddy”) and a lot younger guys about a current plague of guys on line I’m calling the ‘Modern Sex-pest’.
 
Let’s get something straight, there is nothing attractive, flattering or even sexy about contacting someone you don’t know and within the first few lines of communication asking for a cock pic. It’s actually ugly... not the cock pic, the attitude.
 
Like here is an example, a guy messages me on Facebook Messenger (Could be Instagram/ Snapchat/ WhatsApp, any form of social media). Don’t know him, we have no mutual friends, no idea how they even found me when my profile is private. Conversation starts nice enough, “Hello, how are you and good morning”. It’s early so I say “I’m just waking up, how are you?” I get a thumbs up “I’m good thanks. Can I see you wanking?”
 
Wow – that’s forward.
 
I look in his profile and just like that old saying “People who talk the most have the least to say”, these days it seems to be the “People who are the most forward have the least to show”. The profile is limited, only thing on the timeline is shared from other people, not giving anything of himself except a filtered profile pic with “beauty face app” set to FULL.
 
Now, I’m a sexual being and in the past I had no problem sharing pics or vids of myself cause it was fun and exciting, but the key word here is “sharing”, and that’s the difference, there is a change happening where these type of people don’t want to share, instead they talk to you like it’s a job interview, they ask all the questions and reveal nothing about themselves, except maybe to find a few common interests with you and that’s only to gain your trust and think you have a ‘friend’ on line.
 
So you send a photo, and you wait for a return photo, and you wait, and you ask, and they come back with “man, you look so great” or “that’s so big” or something to that nature and they ask for another photo – guess what, that’s your cue for “they aren’t sending anything”. Stop all communication, block them even. They will call you rude and make it seem like they were only having fun and try and weasel their way back in. They are wasting your time and playing with you in a way that’s not going to result in an orgasm.
 
And those apps like Grindr, Scruff, Tindr, they are great, love them, they have a genuine purpose; however they also can allow a certain type of person a platform to manipulate you into meeting with them and they have either used another person’s pics on their profile, or put up a front of being someone they are not. The classic line of “I go to the gym” does not count if you are only walking past it on your way to Hungry Jacks.
 
If you decide to meet up with someone, and I’ve had to say this to my niece so it’s not just a gay issue, and they are not who you thought they were cause of a pic that was decades old or not even them, you have every right to turn around and leave, don’t even entertain the idea of a ‘mercy’ fuck. Same as if you meet them and within 5 seconds they are trying to rip your clothes off and have sex with you. If you haven’t given the ok for this and they are making you feel extremely uncomfortable, get up and get out. I’m sure when you arranged to meet it may have been just a hook up or to get to know them, however when it’s not a mutual and not working for you a sex pest like that is verging on rape.
 
I had one guy turn up to my place years ago and I said to his face “They are not your pics, you’re a liar” and I shut the door in his face and he said “I used those pics cause I knew you wouldn’t fuck me if I used my real pics, and you’re so rude for shutting the door in my face” – no mate, you are a liar, and what is rude is you assuming I’d be so horny I wouldn’t care what you looked like. Trust me, I was horny, but pretending to be someone you are not is a massive turn off.
 
What’s the point of writing this? Hmmm, good question, gets it off my hairy chest for one, and I wanted it to be a reminder out there for anyone reading this that’s had similar experiences to know that there is nothing wrong with you at all, stand your ground, don’t give in to the insistent pressure of someone online or in person that you don’t know trying to get naked photos/ cock pics/ sex from you. They are not being flattering, they are not sincere, they certainly won’t travel half way across the world to be with you cause “OMG you’re so hot
 
It’s all a game I know, and some people score and win big meeting someone for either just great sex or finding love, however let’s play it all a bit smarter and give these people spoiling it for everyone exactly what they deserve – nothing!
 
Have a bit of dignity and self-respect, something none of these types of modern sex-pests have.
 
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Pride in London Parade to honour emergency services

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The Pride in London Parade will tomorrow be officially launched by members of the emergency services in honour of their commitment and bravery in recent tragic events.

London's Fire and Rescue service, the Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance service have all nominated LGBT+ colleagues to officially open the Pride in London Parade this Saturday 8 July at 1pm. Those LGBT+ colleagues who were involved in the recent Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, the London Bridge terror attack and the Westminster terror attack will be joined by the Rt. Hon. Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Ian Adams, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, members of the volunteer run Pride in London board and flagbearers showing flags from countries around the world - in particular the 72 countries where it’s still illegal to be LGBT+. They include:

Acting Inspector Natasha Walker who works as a community Inspector in Tower Hamlets. She has been a police officer for 16 years and is currently assisting with police community liaison after the Grenfell fire.

Jules Lockett, Head of Control Services Training for London Ambulance who supported the control room staff and attended in a support role at Grenfell.

Group Manager Norman Perry who representing the London Fire Brigade. He is a group manager and interagency liaison officer and was heavily involved with the London Fire Brigade response at several of the recent major incidents.

Marking 50 years since Parliament first voted to partially legalise homosexuality in the UK, which applied to England and Wales only, Pride in London will be marching with a global message of hope, acceptance, activism and love and in a show of solidarity to LGBT+ people living in Northern Ireland which has yet to legalise same sex marriage. The theme Love Happens Here is a much needed antidote to hate and the Parade will be a protest against hate. A recent hate crime report showed nearly half of LGBT+ people in London say they’ve experienced hate crime compared with a national figure of 18%.

With over 330 groups including around 80 floats, the Pride in London Parade is set to be the biggest and most colourful yet as it shuts down Oxford Street, Europe's busiest shopping street. An estimated 26,500 people are due to take part in the Parade and there is expected to be 1 million people attending Pride, making it London's largest single day outdoor event. Over 60% of parade groups are non-profit and community groups with others including LGBT+ employee networks, religious and political groups, trade unions and musical and sporting organisations.

The Parade will be the pinnacle of what is believed to the be the world’s largest Pride Festival – with well over 100 events since Saturday 24 June, and will officially close on Sunday 9 July, where awards for best new group, best walking group and best float amongst others will be announced at Pride in the Park with UK Black Pride at 4:15pm on Sunday in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.

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Australian Pioneer Activist Graham Carbery passes away

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One of Australia's most active and engaged community members has sadly passed away.Vale Graham Carbery (14 January 1947-5 July 2017)

In a statement from the Australian Gay and Lesbian archives, Graham Carbery was honoured for his services to the entire community.

 

Vale Graham Carbery (14 January 1947-5 July 2017)passed Vale Graham Carbery (14 January 1947-5 July 2017)

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the death of Graham Carbery, teacher, activist, VFL senior umpire, and archivist and historian for the gay and lesbian community. While Graham was an important gay liberation and law reform activist from 1972 onward, most notably with groups such as the Gay Teachers and Students Group and the Homosexual Law Reform Coalition, his legacy is the extent and longevity of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives, which he founded and committed much of his life to for the past 40 years. Graham is survived by his partner of 45 years Gary Jaynes, and our thoughts and love are with him, his family and friends.

On behalf of the ALGA Committee.

He shall be sorely missed.

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Germany Legalises Same Sex Marriage

Germany's lower chamber of Parliament, the Bundstag, approved a measure by a vote of 393 to 226 to legalize same-sex marriage.

The vote came suddenly after Chancellor Angela Merkel softened her stance on the issue to allow a legislator's to "vote their conscience" on this last day of the country's legislative session.

Merkel herself voted against the measure, saying after the vote, "For me and the basic law, it’s about the marriage of a woman and a man. That’s why I voted against it. I hope that the vote today shows not only the mutual respect for different opinions but that this also leads to more peace and social cohesion as well.”

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UK TV Star Duncan James opens up about being Gay

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UK TV Star and boyband member, Duncan James has opened up about his sexuality in a candid interview on TV show - Loose Women, saying that coming out was "the best thing he ever did".

Duncan is best known for being a member of boyband Blue, but he is currently starring in Hollyoaks as detective Ryan Knight.

Fans of the soapie will know that his character Ryan is currently hiding his sexuality, after it was revealed he was cheating with Kyle Kelly on the night his wife Amy Barnes died. (ooooer!)

And after reflecting on his character's storyline with the Loose Women panel, Duncan started to open up about his own experience.

"After years of carrying this secret inside me, I wanted to be who I am", he explained of coming out. "I wanted acceptance. I carried this burden on my shoulders for so many years.

"I was worried about what the fans would think, I was worried about family and friends, and I was living a lie really. It was the best thing I ever did.

"I did a story in a newspaper about coming out and it was one of the best things that could have happened."

On the reaction he received, Duncan added: "I thought people would say horrible things, but nothing happened. I just had positivity, love and support.

 

hollyoaks

Ryan and Kyle in Hollyoaks
© LIME PICTURES


"It's so important for people to feel comfortable with who they are and to come out and feel proud of who they are.

"I was very lucky that I had wonderful response from everybody and it made me feel happy that I could be me.

"We are living in 2017 now and it shouldn't be a problem anymore."

Watch the interview in our videos section.

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NSW Police Force Update Transgender Poster

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New educational posters are being distributed across the state to every NSW Police Force command to assist officers better understand transgender and gender diversity terms, including how to respectfully address people. Thanks to The Gender Centre and Twenty10 staff for helping us update our existing poster.

The Gender Centre and Sydney's Twenty10 organisations assisted the Police with the update to the posters.

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Commonwealth of countries establishes Equality Network

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The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN) welcomes the decision by the Commonwealth to approve the Network for accreditation as a Commonwealth organisation.

As a result of this landmark decision, TCEN is now the first and only LGBTI-focused organisation to be officially accredited by the Commonwealth.

Accreditation means that TCEN activists will benefit from increased access to, participation in and information about Commonwealth matters. It also sends a strong signal that the voices and needs of LGBTI people are legitimate and LGBTI activists have a vital role in civil society.

Established in 2013, TCEN is a diverse network of 38 civil society organisations in 39 countries working to challenge inequality and end discrimination against LGBTI people in the Commonwealth. The majority of TCEN members originate in low- and middle-income countries in the Global South. The Government of Canada has welcomed the Network’s accreditation, noting that TCEN “has challenged discrimination and countered homophobia and transphobia around the world—and today it represents a diversity of civil society organizations within the 52 member nations of the Commonwealth. This step will ensure that LGBTQ2 rights are an ever more important priority for the Commonwealth.”

TCEN is greatly encouraged by accreditation.

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, Chair of TCEN and Executive Director of EQUAL GROUND – SRI LANKA, said: “Considering the process it takes, it is a small wonder and a great victory for TCEN to have been given accreditation as a Commonwealth organisation. I am certain TCEN can make great inroads into gaining LGBTI rights in the Commonwealth. I look forward to the day when all countries within the Commonwealth adhere to the principles of human rights and equality enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter, safeguarding LGBTI rights and upholding freedom and equality for all.”

Caleb Orozco, Executive Director of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) and the winner of the 2017 David Kato Vision and Voice Award, whose successful lawsuit ended in Belize’s anti-homosexuality being law struck down in 2016, said: “Finally, Commonwealth governments have acknowledged that their LGBTI citizens’ dignity and rights are a part of democratic principles that should be at the policy table. As a citizen of the Commonwealth, it gives me hope that states will not leave totally the defence of rights to be the burden, alone, of individuals.”

Paul Dillane, Executive Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust, a London-based Network member and host of the TCEN Secretariat, said: “Let us be clear about the scale of the challenge: 36 countries in the Commonwealth continue to criminalise consensual same-sex acts and in many others LGBTI people experience discrimination and violence.

TCEN provides an important platform for activists around the world to organise and collaborate in the struggle for equality and freedom. This decision provides TCEN with a vital opportunity to put the human rights of LGBTI people on the agenda.”

In 2015, a group of TCEN members participated in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta, where a Barbadian activist became the first person to address Commonwealth foreign ministers on the lived reality of its LGBTI citizens. Such activism is resulting in the emergence of progressive policy; research on LGBTI rights in the Commonwealth shows how Commonwealth governments have made progress on LGBTI rights and presents best practice that other governments can learn from.

TCEN will harness the momentum accreditation gives to continue the struggle for the dignity, equality and basic freedoms of all LGBTI people throughout the Commonwealth, particularly during next year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit hosted by the UK in April 2018.

 

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