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Sydney Raises the Rainbow Flag over Town Hall to launch Mardi Gras 2018.

The colours of the rainbow are proudly flying over Sydney Town Hall as the city gets set to mark the 40th anniversary of our world-renowned Mardi Gras festival.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore today led an official flag-raising ceremony on the steps of Sydney Town Hall that was attended by Mardi Gras organisers, ‘78ers and key members of the community.

“The rainbow flag is a potent symbol of pride that was born out of political action in the global LGBTIQ community and it just happens to be the same age as our historic Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Flying the iconic flag above Sydney Town Hall continues to raise awareness, highlight important issues that continue to face the LGBTIQ community and acts as an emblem for inclusion.

“We celebrated Australia (and 84% of Sydneysiders) saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality with a beautiful rainbow waterfall of fireworks cascading from the Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Year’s Eve, and we will continue our support for the LGBTIQ community in the months and years to come.”

The raising of the rainbow flag marks the start of 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival. This is the ninth year the international symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) pride has flown over the city’s landmark civic building.

The rainbow flag originated in San Francisco in 1978. Designed by artist Gilbert Baker, it has become a worldwide symbol of gay pride and gay-friendly areas. The red in the flag symbolises life, orange denotes healing, yellow is for sunlight, green represents nature, blue stands for harmony and violet signifies spirit.

Mardi Gras CEO, Terese Casu, said the City has been an important partner of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for many years.

“The City’s support has helped grow Mardi Gras into the globally recognised beacon of diversity and acceptance that it is today,” Ms Casu said.

“The raising of the rainbow flag proudly over Town Hall signals the beginning Mardi Gras and 17 sparkling days of festival fun. We invite Sydneysiders and visitors alike to join us in this beautiful city to celebrate our historic 40th anniversary Mardi Gras Festival.”

The City is a government partner of Sydney’s Mardi Gras Festival and will fly the rainbow flag above Sydney Town Hall from Friday 16 February until Sunday 4 March when the festival ends.

Britney Spears to receive GLAAD Vanguard Award

The global pop icon has influenced millions of people in the LGBTQ community, and she'll personally attend GLAAD's event on April 12 to receive an accolade recognizing so.

Previous GLAAD Vanguard Award honorees include Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg, Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Janet Jackson, Demi Lovato, Eric McCormack, Josh Hutcherson, and Patricia Arquette.

"She has consistently stood up for LGBTQ youth on GLAAD’s Spirit Day by going purple on social media to speak out against bullying," it reads. "In 2015, she released a Spirit Day video and promoted participation in the anti-bullying campaign by organizing a meet-and-greet for LGBTQ fans, washing her stage at Planet Hollywood purple, and providing anti-bullying materials to concertgoers."

"In 2016, she was among over 20 music artists to appear on GLAAD's song “Hands,” released with Interscope Records to remember the 49 lives taken in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. The musical tribute to the victims of Orlando, written by Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels and Blood Pop, benefited Equality Florida, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida and GLAAD."

"In 2017, Spears was among 140 leading entertainers including Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Laverne Cox, and Whoopi Goldberg to speak out in an open letter against two anti-LGBTQ bills, which targeted transgender youth in Texas and were later defeated. Most recently, Spears sparked global attention when she wore a t-shirt stating ‘We Are All Dreamers’ and called on Congress to pass the Dream Act via Instagram."

GLAAD also mentions her letter to a young gay man who considered suicide, and credited not going through with it to her music and lyrics – it gave him the courage to continue fighting. She wrote to him: “I was very happy to hear how courageous you’ve been about being openly gay. I’ve always been told as long as you know in your heart that’s what matters most.”

Most recently, for LGBTQ Pride Month in 2017, Queen B penned a heartwarming love letter to the LGBTQ community published in Billboard Pride, telling the community that their unwavering loyalty and acceptance uplift and inspire her. “I have a secret to share with you. You see it’s actually you that lifts me up. The unwavering loyalty. The lack of judgment. The unapologetic truth. Acceptance! Your stories are what inspire me, bring me joy, and make me and my sons strive to be better people.”

And here's something you may not know. After a gay couple who met at the opening of Piece of Me married, Brit surprised them with a touching video to send congratulations and show her support for marriage equality.

"Honored to be receiving the Vanguard Award at the @GLAAD Media Awards this year!," Britney wrote on Instagram. "The LGBTQ community means the absolute world to me and inspires me every day. I am proud to be an ally and I will continue to support equality and acceptance for all!!"

Britney will receive her honor at the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at Beverly Hilton on April 12.

Britney is also booked to appear in the UK at Brighton Pride as the headliner this year, with the event selling out in seconds.

britney glaad

 

Source:  www.poprepublic.tv   |   @POPrepublic   |   POPrepubic on FB  |   POPrepublic on Instagram

Google's Mardi Gras Parade Grants announced

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and supporting partner Google today announce the recipients of the second annual SGLMG Community Parade Grants Program.

The Google Mardi Gras Parade Grants program is designed to fund and support a diverse range of community ideas and provide grants to individuals, community groups and not-for-profit groups to help lift their parade entries to a completely new artistic level.

The 2018 parade marks the very special 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. As such, the Google Mardi Gras Parade Grants Program has invested further funds to support a greater number of community and not-for-profit groups and organisations. A total of $80,000 in grants has been divided among 31 applicants from all over Australia to help create extra fabulous floats in celebration of the anniversary.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Terese Casu said: “The Google Parade Grants Program is designed to provide capacity and access support for community groups, and non-profit organizations, so we can help them spread their message around the world on Parade night.”

“From Selamat Datang, who want to show their Indonesian LGBTQI brothers and sisters that they stand with them in solidarity as the constitutional courts classify homosexuality as a mental disorder, to Trans Sydney Pride, who have a something special planned for President Trump, the recipients of these grants all have a powerful message to share,” said Casu.

KJ Pittl, who leads Google Australia's Gayglers group of LGBTQ employees and supporters said: “The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the biggest highlights of the year for many Googlers, and we are proud to continue our partnership. We want to assist as many people as possible to get involved with Mardi Gras - the SGLMG Parade Grants Program was a big success last year, and we’re thrilled to be able to help so many community organisations create fabulous floats for this year’s parade.”

Full List of Google Parade Grant Recipients:

  • Aqualicious Masters Swimming Inc
  • Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives
  • Bentstix Hockey
  • Cairns Tropical Pride
  • Colours of Our Community
  • Departure Lounge
  • Different Strokes Dragon Boat Club
  • ethel yarwood enterprises
  • Evolution of Dance and Divas
  • Flying Bats
  • FOBGAYS
  • Free Gay n Happy
  • Glitterati
  • In Memory of Carmen Rupe
  • Inner City Legal Centre
  • Itty Bitty Titty Committee
  • Mature Age Gays
  • NSW Trans Youth Alliance
  • People With Disability Australia
  • Selamat Datang GLBTQI
  • SM&M The Other 29ers
  • Sydney Rangers
  • Sydney Silverbacks
  • TGLRG - Tasmanian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby
  • The Incredigays
  • The Kirby Institute
  • Trans Sydney Pride
  • Trikone Australasia
  • Turing Circle
  • twenty10
  • Wonder Mama & The Warriors of Love

Courtney Act wins Celebrity Big Brother UK

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.

Just For The Record!?

A brand new year and a brand new me ! WoW hasn't it started with a bang ?

After volunteering at the local radio station 89.3fm 2glf at Liverpool back in 2001 and being part of 3 fabulous shows, Out West & Proud 1998-2001, Queer Out West 2001-2016 & Queer Radio Sydney in 2017, I decided (Beverly Buttercup) on 18th December 2017 to have a break.  I will not be returning to the studio in 2018. it’s a combination of a few different things, people have changed , too much politics , sick of relying on people, and being attacked for things out of my control.. ITS TIME FOR A BREAK.. The fabulous Pandora Box & crew will continue doing the show. Queer Radio Sydney 89.3Fm from 8th January 2018 and fingers crossed someone will reapply to do the program in February/March , I would like to thank everybody that has contributed to the program and helped me and listening and for supporting community radio. All inquiries should be directed to : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

89.3Fm 2GLF is the local non-profit community broadcaster for the Liverpool and Fairfield region. Our programming covers all aspects of the community with local information, ethnic programming, specialist music and local event coverage. The station is run and managed by volunteers from the local area. In addition to the station FM broadcast, it is streamed on our website www.893fm.com.au and all program are available On Demand for a four week period after broadcast  and have supported fabulous LGBTQI  Programs like : Out West And Proud Program , Lesbians On Air , Queer Out West &  Queer Radio Sydney over the last 36 Years....

threesisters

Something very exciting and new has been announced by the Three Sisters Social Group, they now will add to their calendar and Australia Day Weekend Disco Dance Party on Saturday, 27th January at the Blackheath Community Centre , Great Western Highway Blackheath from 7:15pm - 12:45am $25 at the door,  BYO alcohol & entertainment by LayDee KinMee & Her Dancers . for more info : www.threesisterssocial.asn.au

dragfactor judges

Also in other news Heaven Social Dance on 3rd February will present '' Drag Factor '' Have you got talent could win a share of $1200 at Mounties Bowling Club from 6pm to midnight, $10 Entry and Shows 9.30pm and 1030pm.  Hosted by Laydee Kinmee and Special Guest Judges : Portia Turbo, Beverly Buttercup & Melicious D’amage with the grand final taking place on 7th April, with the top three winners, who are going to be the face of heaven for 2018. We are so excited about heaven this year with record crowds turning out to support us last year and helping us raise over $31,000 for charity, this year is going to be a big one on behalf of myself and the other committee members of heaven ; Greg Robert, Ian Stumbles & LayDee KinMee A BIG THAN YOU XXX  for more information about terms and conditions check out our website : www.heavensocialdance.com

 

draggossipDRAG GOSSIP

OMG which former Western Sydney (drag) queen is being chased by the taxation Department for unpaid taxes, with another Sydney drag queen being monitored for receiving payments and not declaring their extra income from drag ....K is for Karma what goes around comes around, remember that Girls and Boys not mentioning any names  it has happened to all of us in the past. I could also say people in Glass Houses shouldn't  throw stones.  Being a bully and a hypocrite and spreading rumours does not make you popular...

 

So for now I leave you with my resolutions - what's yours?  ? 

(1) Discover who my real friends are.

(2) Do whatever makes me happy, And be with whoever makes me smile.

(3) Put me first this year

(4) Try and stress less ...

 

Until next time gorgeous! (15FEB) Luv BB    www.beverlybuttercup.com   

Lobby calls for reform to victims of crime laws

The Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL) has made a submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s review of the Victim of Crime Assistance Act, calling on the law reform body to recommend changes to the Act better protect Victorian LGBTI people.

One of the VGLRL’s major concerns is that the Act may limit the ability of unmarried same-sex partners to access compensation.
 
"There is no guarantee that unmarried same-sex partners, including those in registered relationships, will be recognised as related victims of crime. This is out-of-step with contemporary values and, moreover, unfairly discriminates against unmarried partners," said VGLRL Co-Convenor Dale Park.

The VGLRL has recommended that the law be changed to allow unmarried same-sex partners to access compensation without a time or living together requirement on the relationship.

“There are a number of different definitions of domestic partner used throughout Victorian law, which is one of the faults of de facto couple recognition in the state. The Victorian Government has committed to examine proposals for further reform to strengthen the rights of same-sex couples in this term of government, and we expect that this is one of the issues that they will address,” said Mr Park.

The VGLRL is also concerned that the Act contains strict requirements that an act of violence be reported to police within a reasonable time.

“LGBTI people are more reluctant to report violence to police because of actual or perceived discrimination and harassment, including a fear of ‘outing’,” said Mr Park.

The VGLRL has recommended that the sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status of the victim as a factor to be taken into account in determining whether an act of violence was reported to police within a reasonable time, and that the Act should provide for alternative reporting provisions, including reporting to professionals, agencies and peer support groups.

“We look forward to consulting with the Law Reform Commission and the Government on reforming the law to provide better access to compensation for LGBTI victims of crime. LGBTI victims of crime and their partners should not have to jump through unnecessary hoops in order to access compensation,” concluded Mr Park.

Jessica Mauboy returns to Eurovision

Jessica Mauboy will be competing for Eurovision glory in 2018, as Australia’s representative in Lisbon, Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest, which will be broadcast exclusively on SBS from May 9 to 13, 2018.

Eurovision aficionados are well aware that in 2014, Jessica made history when she was invited to perform as an interval act at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, Denmark, being the first non-European solo artist to do so. This time, she’s competing for Australia and a shot at Eurovision glory.

The 2018 contest will mark Australia’s fourth year of competing in the event, following a remarkable record of three top ten finishes, with Guy Sebastian’s fifth place in 2015, Dami Im’s second place in 2016, and Isaiah Firebrace coming ninth in the 2017 contest, which was held earlier this year in Kyiv, Ukraine. Since joining the competition, Australia’s results of 5th, 2nd and 9th put Australia second only to Sweden over the past three years.

Who voted against equality in Australia?

It was an overwhelming victory for equality in Australia - but let us not forget those who voted against the will of the Australian people and in some cases, their electorates. The following list shows those that voted NO and those that abbott-stained... we mean abstained from even voting.

Who abstained from the same-sex marriage vote?

  • Barnaby Joyce (Nationals)
  • Tony Abbott (Liberals)
  • Andrew Hastie (Liberals)
  • Michael Sukkar (Liberals)
  • Kevin Andrews (Liberals)
  • Scott Morrison (Liberals)
  • George Christensen (LNP)
  • Rick Wilson (Liberals)
  • Stuart Robert (Liberals)
  • Bert van Manen (Liberals)

 

What about no votes?

  • Bob Katter (independent)
  • Russell Broadbent (Liberal)
  • Keith Pitt (Nationals)
  • David Littleproud (Nationals)

 

Gay and bisexual men urged to vaccinate against meningococcal after Melbourne outbreak

Gay men are being urged to get vaccinated against meningococcal disease after a sudden outbreak in Melbourne.

Health authorities are offering a free vaccine from today after eight men were struck down with the disease's C-strain since May.

Victoria's deputy chief health officer, Brett Sutton, said almost all the patients identified as gay or bisexual.

"Eight doesn't sound like a big number, but if this were to affect the whole of Melbourne at the same rate as it's affected men who have sex with men, we'd be talking about a couple of hundred cases over a few months," he said.

Meningococcal disease is uncommon but it can be deadly.

Ten per cent of cases are fatal within 24 to 48 hours of diagnosis.

The bacteria lives in the throat and nose and is passed on through close and prolonged contact.

"That includes intimate kissing and we think that's what's driving transmission in this outbreak," Dr Sutton said.

Patients in the high-risk group who come down with a high fever, headache and light sensitivity should see their doctor or go to hospital.

Men can get the vaccine from their local GP as of today.

Sydney New Years Eve Rainbow waterfall heralds new dawn for equality

A rainbow waterfall of fireworks will cascade from Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the dramatic technicolour fireworks would confirm Sydney as the New Year’s Eve capital of the world and celebrate Australians saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality.

"This is a fabulous way to see out 2017 – the year that four out of five Sydneysiders said a resounding 'Yes' to marriage equality," the Lord Mayor said.

"The rainbow waterfall is a well-earnt tribute to the Sydney 78ers who marched for gay rights 40 years ago – it's a reminder of how far we have come and how far we have left to achieve true equality for our LGBTI community. It's a wonderful way to ring in the New Year, and celebrate the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras.

"With more fireworks than ever before, this year's Sydney NYE celebration guarantees to be the biggest, brightest and best in the world.

"Sydney New Year's Eve contributes an estimated $133 million to the local economy and puts Sydney on the map as a global city for tourism, business, events and creativity on every level."

It takes Sydney fireworks director Fortunato Foti and the crew from Sydney family company Foti Fireworks International more than 5,000 hours to create the New Year's Eve display.

"The challenge this year was to create never-before-seen displays. Out of this we've created some great effects that I'm looking forward to sharing with the people of Sydney and the world," Mr Foti said.

"This waterfall effect is a first for the bridge and we've chosen the rainbow colours that work best for fireworks: red, yellow, green, blue, purple and silver."

Mr Foti says there will be more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects on the night, setting a new record for the annual event's 9pm and midnight displays, with:

8 tonnes of fireworks – 1 tonne more than in 2016
13,000 shells – 1,000 more than 2016
30,000 shooting comets – 5,000 more than 2016

Inner-Sydney artist Nadia Hernández is the creative artist for this New Year's Eve and a series of bright artwork designs have inspired vibrant colour palette for the fireworks.

This year the 9pm and midnight firework display and the dramatic lighting effects beamed from the Sydney Harbour Bridge will feature new pastel shades, including bright orange, pink, lime green and light blue.

Her artwork designs also feature inspirational words, including wonder, harmony, hope and together, which will feature in the animations projected onto the harbour bridge pylons on the night.

"I included these words in the New Year's Eve artworks because they reflect my love of Sydney and send a positive message of hope for Australia and the world as we move into a new year," Ms Hernández said.

"The words and colours are all about what a wonderful place Sydney is in summer – spending time outdoors with family and with friends – and that sums up New Year's Eve in Sydney, too.

"It's such an honour to have been chosen by the City to be the creative artist for New Year's Eve. This project really has been a dream come true for me."

This year the Welcome to Country will include a tribute marking the 50th anniversary of the Sydney-San Francisco sister city relationship that will be celebrated in 2018.

A message from the Muwekma Ohlone peoples of the San Francisco Bay area will be projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons at the close of the evening's Welcome to Country.

Sydney New Year’s Eve creative consultant Rhoda Roberts AO said the message marked a close connection between the two cities' First Peoples.

"There is a lovely connection between Sydney and San Francisco – both cities are very similar in their geography and both cities have a strong and vibrant Indigenous culture," Ms Roberts said.

"There's a great synergy between the histories of the First Peoples of these two great cities. The language, the stories and the rituals of the Indigenous peoples here and in San Francisco have survived recognised and honoured, and are still strong today."

At the close of New Year's Eve Welcome to Country, the following words in the language of the Muwekma Ohlone people will appear: "Makkin Mak Muwekma Wolwoolum, Akkoy Mak-Warep, Manne Mak Hiswi!", which translates: "We Are Muwekma Ohlone, Welcome To Our Land, Where We Are Born, San Francisco Bay Area".

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee said the city was proud to be Included in Sydney's New Year's Eve celebrations.

"We are honored that 2018 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the founding of our Sister City friendship which has built common understanding, cooperation and partnership across the Pacific," Mayor Lee said.

"In January our San Francisco delegation will be visiting your beautiful city and joining with your citizens in celebrating 50 years of friendship and to set the foundation for another 50 years of citizen diplomacy.”


The 2017 New Year’s program highlights include:

6pm Pre-show entertainment
8.38pm Welcome to Country ceremony
9pm Family fireworks display
9.15pm Harbour of Light Parade
midnight Spectacular 2017 Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks display

Getting in and out of the city centre is different on New Year’s Eve. There will be road closures, on-street fencing and diversions to help people get around safely and move crowds to transport. Visit sydneynewyearseve.com for detailed information.

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