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Muppets to get own exhibition in NYC

A long-awaited permanent exhibition featuring nearly 300 costumes, puppets, scripts and sketches from cartoonist and puppeteer Jim Henson's career in film and television will open at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, on July 22.

Henson is known for the adorable puppets from his perennially popular television show The Muppets, as well as for his work on the children's show Sesame Street and the films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.

We can't wait. It the most perfect felt lined post Pride come down! 

Ma na ma na.... 

Hundreds of Thousands March in Largest Ever Gay Parade in the Middle East

Over 200,000 people from around the world descended on Tel Aviv today to march in the largest ever pride parade in Asia and the Middle East. This year’s theme, “Bisexual Visibility,” highlighted the important contributions of bisexual individuals to Tel Aviv’s thriving LGBTQ community. Today’s parade was the first large-scale pride parade in the world to ever celebrate the theme of bisexuality.

The Tel Aviv Pride Parade has become, over recent years, one of the world’s largest gay tourism events.

The parade itself marks the highlight of Tel Aviv's annual pride festival, which included an LGBTQ Cultural Festival at the City's theatres, a special performance by the Israeli Opera at the NYX Tel Aviv – the official pride hotel for 2017, a "family friendly" float sponsored by the UK's "Love is Great" Campaign, pride concerts featuring the "Petshop Boys" duo and internationally acclaimed local DJ Offer Nissim and more.

Tel Aviv-Yafo Mayor, Ron Huldai: "Tel Aviv Pride Parade is not just a celebration, but also an important declaration of support. Tel Aviv, which has already been acknowledged as the world's "most gay-friendly city" will continue to be a light-house city – spreading the values of freedom, tolerance and democracy to the world."

Blogger and Television Star, Perez Hilton: “I am so excited to be the International Ambassador for Tel Aviv Pride 2017 and I’m thrilled to be in this city with my children and to show them a place that I truly love. With all the awful things happening to Gay, Lesbian and Transgender people all over the world, I am so happy to be in a place that is so welcoming”.

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Nelly Furtado headlines Sunday finale of NYC's Pride Island

The chart-topping, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, Nelly Furtado, touches down to close out Sunday’s Pride Island on June 25, 2017. 

Gaining steam in the year 2000 with her debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, the Portuguese-Canadian singer hasn’t slowed down since. Furtado’s spell-bounding solo hits such as “I’m Like a Bird,” “Turn off the Light” and “Say It Right” are impressed in the history of pop music. Her collaborative pop smashes with Timbaland for “Promiscuous” and “Give It to Me” featuring Justin Timberlake, will move the crowd for Sunday’s dynamic closing. 

With a career that spans two decades, five albums under her belt, and more than 16 million records sold worldwide, 

Nelly Furtado is back in the limelight. Her recent studio album, The Ride, is a bold comeback project taking fans along a spectacular ride with her. And that ride is scheduled to make quite a landing at Pride Island. 

“Pride Island was created to celebrate the heart of our community with each day representing a different musical sound,” said Jose Ramos, Pride Island Director. “Nelly Furtado closing out our three-day experience will be one for the record books.” 

Pride Island is a three-day cultural experience featuring vocal powerhouses Deborah Cox and Patti LaBelle on Friday and indie pop duo Tegan and Sara and British electronica trio, Years & Years, on Saturday. Rounding out Saturday, Róisín Murphy, Gallant, Dimitri from Paris, and Occupy The Disco are scheduled to perform. Chus & Ceballos, Cindel, and Scott Martin will join Nelly Furtado for Sunday’s finale. 

Furtado joins a star-studded list of Sunday performers that include Cher, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Ariana Grande. 

Tickets for Pride Island are now on sale. For more information about Pride Island or to purchase tickets, visit: nycpride.org

NYC Pride Unveils 'We Are Proud' Theme

“This year’s theme speaks to the striking nature of the human race to stand in commonality and be accounted for in moments of thrilling victory and tumultuous times,” said Maryanne Roberto Fine, NYC Pride Co-Chair.


NYC Pride is thrilled to announce 2017’s official theme, “We Are Proud.” This year's theme pays honor to our diverse community of LGBT people and the progress made for LGBT rights. “We Are Proud” similarly recognizes the continued battle for freedom and liberty amidst the existing political climate in the United States and abroad.

“We are the ever-evolving LGBTQ community and the tireless work of women and people of color. We are the valiant immigrants and refugees who found places to call home in America and around the globe. We are an undaunted community with disabilities and we are the rising youth and wise elders of yesteryear. We are etched into the very fabric of American history. And we are proud of it,” said Roberto Fine.

The 2017 NYC Pride week will take place from June 16 to June 25. This year’s roster will include the March, Rally, PrideFest, OutCinema, Teaze and a new multi-day cultural experience on Pier 26.

Guidetogay.com is a proud platinum media partner of the 2017 events.

Join the official NYC Pride/GTG Group here.

NYC issues the USA's first intersex birth certificate

For the first time in the United States, New York City issued a birth certificate reading "intersex" in the gender field.

 

On December 15, the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene corrected the original birth certificate of Sara Kelly Keenan, born in Brooklyn 55 years ago. She received it in the mail at her Santa Cruz, California, home on Tuesday.

 

"It was wonderful. It was the first time I saw 'intersex' in print related to my name," said Keenan, an addiction life coach. "When I applied in court, I chose 'non-binary,' because that's an umbrella term that would also include gender variant people."

 

"A person may amend their birth certificate to have 'intersex' reflected on their birth certificate with appropriate documentary evidence from a US-licensed doctor," said Julien A. Martinez, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "The department will continue to work with community partners as we adopt changes to more accurately reflect a person's sex."

 

Though Keenan had requested a term not strictly based on medical evidence, she found the city's correction "really validating."

 

Ultimately, the term "intersex" "carries more personal significance to me than 'non-binary,' " she said.

LUXEMBOURG’S PRIME MINISTER IS THE FIRST EU LEADER TO MARRY SAME-SEX PARTNER

Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel married his partner Gunthier Destenay on Friday reports NPR, making him the very first EU leader, and second world leader, to marry a same-sex partner. Bettel is only the second openly gay leader in the EU, with former Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Eupio being the first.

 

Gay marriage was only recently legalized in Luxembourg, with “Bettel’s party winning a prominent spot in the ruling coalition after campaigning for same-sex marriage.”

 

“[Same-sex marriage] was previously knocked down in 2007 by the then ruling Christian People’s party, but a poll in 2013 found 83% of Luxembourgers supported a change in the law.

 

“Little is known about Destenay, who works for the Belgian-Luxembourger architecture firm A3. He has appeared alongside Bettel at a number of official events, including the royal wedding of Prince Guillaume and Princess Stéphanie in 2012.

 

“What is known is that it was Destenay who proposed, reportedly asking for Bettel’s hand just weeks after Luxembourg’s parliament last July became the ninth EU legislature to lift a ban on gay marriages.”

 

Related: Justin Trudeau appealed to French speaking countries on behalf of LGBTQ rights

According to BBC, Mr. Bettel “was keen to keep his private life out of the public spotlight,” and that the couple will not be going on a honeymoon; Bettel is expected to attend an ecomonoic forum in Kazalhstan.

 

Congratulations to the happy couple!

 

h/t: NPR

Airbnb launches diversity requirements

Airbnb forces all users to sign anti-discrimination pledge after ‘no gays’ incidents

 

Online accommodation rental service Airbnb is forcing all users to sign an anti-discrimination pledge, after a string of homophobic and racist incidents.

The service allows users to rent out their own rooms to strangers seeking a place to stay.

 

Looking to buy a home or refinance? Review mortgage rates from top lenders in your area

 

It has faced a string of incidents where people have been rejected from rentals because of their sexuality or race.

 

Though the site has long banned users who actively discriminate, it recently vowed to implement new tougher policies.

 

In a message to all users this week, the service announced that from tomorrow (November 1) all users will be required to sign a “Community Commitment” to fight bias and discrimination in the Airbnb community.

 

The Commitment requires users to affirm that  “you commit to treat everyone—regardless of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age—with respect, and without judgement or bias”.

 

People unwilling to sign the Commitment will be booted off of the service, their bookings cancelled and their rentals de-listed.

 

Airbnb explained: “On or after November 1, we’ll show you the commitment when you log in to or open the Airbnb website, mobile or tablet app and we’ll automatically ask you to accept.

 

“If you decline the commitment, you won’t be able to host or book using Airbnb, and you have the option to cancel your account.

 

“Once your account is cancelled, future booked trips will be cancelled. You will still be able to browse Airbnb but you won’t be able to book any reservations or host any guests.”

In a message to all users a few months ago, CEO Brian Chesky wrote: “At the heart of our mission is the idea that people are fundamentally good and every community is a place where you can belong. We don’t say this because it sounds nice. It’s the goal that everyone at Airbnb works towards every day – because we’ve all seen how when we live together, we better understand each other.

 

“Discrimination is the opposite of belonging, and its existence on our platform jeopardises this core mission. Bias and discrimination have no place on Airbnb, and we have zero tolerance for them.

 

“Unfortunately, we have been slow to address these problems, and for this I am sorry. I take responsibility for any pain or frustration this has caused members of our community. We will not only make this right; we will work to set an example that other companies can follow.”

 

He added: “Beginning November 1, everyone who uses Airbnb must agree to a stronger, more detailed nondiscrimination policy. We aren’t just asking you to check a box associated with a long legal document.

 

“We’re asking everyone to agree to something we’re calling the Airbnb Community Commitment, which says: ‘We believe that no matter who you are, where you are from, or where you travel, you should be able to belong in the Airbnb community. By joining this community, you commit to treat all fellow members of this community, regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age, with respect, and without judgment or bias.’

 

“We’ll be implementing a new policy called Open Doors. Starting October 1st, if a Guest anywhere in the world feels like they have been discriminated against in violation of our policy – in trying to book a listing, having a booking canceled, or in any other interaction with a host – we will find that Guest a similar place to stay if one is available on Airbnb, or if not, we will find them an alternative accommodation elsewhere.

 

“This program will also apply retroactively to any Guest who reported discrimination prior to today. All of these Guests will be offered booking assistance for their next trip.”

He added: “These steps are just the beginning, not the end, of our efforts to combat bias and discrimination.

 

“While we as a company have been slow on this issue, I am now asking you the community to help us lead the way forward. Every time you make someone else feel like they belong, that person feels accepted and safe to be themselves. While this may sound like a small act of kindness, we are a community of millions of people strong. Imagine what we can do together.”

TV Celeb opens new UK nightclub

TV celebrity, Gok Wan is starting his own LGBT club night in response to a diminishing gay scene.

The London club night is called Magazine and will be a place for music, people and dancing as Gok Wan told UK outlet, DivaMag.

Gok is not only creating Magazine for people to have a good time but also offering an open, inclusive environment for LBGT people.

He said: “The London club and gay scene is diminishing so we need to do all we can to ensure there are places the LGBTQ community can go where we can hold hands, kiss, relax and confidently be ourselves.

“I’ve always respected and loved the gay scene. It has been my home for many years. Of late I have felt disconnected, and I am unsure whether that is because I am not sure where I want to go to, or that many of the nights I used to love going to are closing down.”

Magazine is going to be a mixed night in London’s Steel Yard and rumours have already begun spreading about DJ’s and dancers on a catwalk.

Gok said: “I am all about inclusion and having a fun time, and it doesn’t matter who or what you are, you are all welcome at Magazine.”

We wish him all the best, God has been nothing but lovely to us in person and our scene globally needs champions to stand up and provide inclusive spaces for the LGBTQI community.

Israel Announces $US2.7 Million Plan To Advance LGBT Equality

The Israeli government announced Wednesday a nearly $3 million plan to promote equality for the country’s LGBT community.

The plan was approved as part of the 2017-18 budget, and will be divided among the Social Equality, Welfare and Education ministries.

Under the new initiative, the Social Equality ministry will receive $660,000 to create a campaign aimed at combating discrimination, the Welfare ministry will be allotted $400,000 to construct LGBT centers nationwide and the Education ministry will be granted $1.3 million to formulate activities that promote tolerance.

The remainder of the funds will be evenly distributed among various LGBT organizations throughout the country. Some money will also be set aside for the Sheba Medical Center, which oversees a majority of Israel’s gender confirmation surgeries.

“There is no doubt that this is a significant milestone for the gay community in its efforts to achieve equality in Israel,” Aguda Israeli National LGBT Task Force Executive Director Ohad Hizki said. “This is the beginning of a truly good year.”

The move comes at the end of a summer that saw both triumphant moments for the LGBT community (such as the great successes of Tel Aviv Pride and a movement to bring Israeli soldiers and LGBT families together for the High Holy Days) and moments of blatant homophobia (like these religious protests over a gay singer’s performance and the military’s inclusion of LGBT soldiers.)

Hopefully, this new allocation of funds will only help to push Israel toward full acceptance of its LGBT citizens.

h/t: Jewish News Service

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