Seattle’s Favorite Bearded Gay Couple Cleans Up Real Nice

1. Remember Larry and Randell?

Meryl Schenker/ZUMAPRESS.com

2. On Sunday they were officially married at the First Baptist Church in Seattle.

Meryl Schenker/ZUMAPRESS.com

Congrats!

All photos from Meryl Schenker.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-awesome-bearded-guys-from-washingtons-wedding

Immigrant Groups Lose Catholic Funding Over Gay Marriage Support

Joe Raedle / Getty

Nine Illinois immigrant groups have lost nearly $300,000 in grants from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development after joining a statewide coalition that backs same-sex marriage, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development awarded more than 40 grants this year to groups that work with those in poverty. All groups had to sign a contract agreeing to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church.

“Donors to the (Catholic Campaign) give to this anti-poverty organization with the understanding that their money will be passed on to organizations that respect the teachings of the Catholic faith,” Cardinal Francis George, Chicago’s archbishop, said in a statement in July. “Organizations that apply for funds do so agreeing to this condition.”

Groups that lost grants report they have had to scale back their services.

“It was difficult to settle into our decision and live with it, but it wasn’t that hard a decision to make,” Leone Jose Bicchieri, the executive director of the Chicago Workers’ Collaborative told the Chicago Tribune. “It was not the moment to splinter off from a statewide immigrant rights coalition. It was not the moment to not be united around immigration reform. That was the overriding consideration.”

Several groups have created an emergency fund to help them raise the money they lost. So far, they have raised $91,000 of the $300,000 lost in grant funding.

“We don’t have a formal stance on marriage equality,” Jenny Arwade, executive director of the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, told the Chicago Tribune. “Our organizational values are that we believe in equal rights for all people. We were disappointed in the decision. We also believe it’s the church’s decision to do what they want to do.”

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/hunterschwarz/immigrant-groups-lose-catholic-funding-over-gay-marriage-sup

The Story Behind The Rainbow Flag

1. The rainbow flag is an iconic symbol for the LGBT community:

Keith Tsuji / Getty Images

2. It’s easily recognized in nearly every corner of the globe:

Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters

Keith Tsuji

 

3. Who can we thank for this colorful symbol of unity and pride?

4. You can thank Gilbert Baker:

After teaching himself to sew, he created banners for gay-rights marches and rallies while living in San Francisco during the ’70s. In 1979 he began work at Paramount Flag Company. Baker was commissioned by the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade in response to a need for a symbol that could be used over and over.

5. Gilbert’s original rainbow flag had eight stripes:

6. Each color with it’s own meaning:

7. Baker said of his design:

John Walker/Fresno Bee / MCT

8. Pink had to be dropped because, at the time, it was difficult to find for mass production.

Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images

9. Indigo would later be removed so that the flag would have an even number of stripes:

seattlepi.com, Joshua Trujillo / AP

10. The first time the rainbow flag was used publicly was in 1978, at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade:

Baker and thirty volunteers hand-stitched and hand-dyed two huge flags for the parade. After the assassination of openly gay Supervisor Harvey Milk in November of that year, demand for the rainbow flags skyrocketed.

The Associated Press / AP

11. Before the rainbow flag was created, the most widely used symbol was the pink triangle:

12. The symbol was originally used by the Nazis in concentration camps to identify gay prisoners:

13. In 1988, the rainbow flag came gained national attention in the U.S. after a man named John Stout sued his landlord for not allowing him to display the flag from his West Hollywood apartment.

He won the case. Stout said afterwords, “This means I can continue with my life style; that I can express myself freely whenever I want to.”

Mario Tama / Getty Images

14. Gilerbt Baker famously said of his creation:

Mike Hollar / Getty Images

15. Listen to Gilbert discuss his rainbow flag:

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/skarlan/the-story-behind-the-rainbow-flag

Jane Lynch Is Getting A Divorce

1. Jane Lynch and her wife of three years, Dr. Lara Embry, have announced they are separating:

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

2. Lynch told People magazine, “Lara and I have decided to end our marriage. This has been a difficult decision for us as we care very deeply about one another. We ask for privacy as we deal with this family matter.”

Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

3. The couple has been married for three years:

Lynch, 52, and Embry, 44, met in 2009 and married on Memorial Day in 2010 in Sunderland, Mass. Lynch was a step-mom to Embry’s daughters, Haden and Chase.

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

4. Needless to say, this is unhappy news.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

6. And there will be plenty of feelings to sort through:

10. Was it just a year ago they were happily taking selfies together?

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press / MCT

11. Although we may not understand, we have to hope it’s for the best.

14. Because our favorite Jane is a happy Jane:

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/skarlan/jany-lynch-is-getting-a-divorce

Ezmerald Kim Kardashian Wins Zimbabwe’s Discreet Drag Queen Pageant

At a recent rally during his successful reelection campaign, Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe vowed to behead the nation’s LGBT people. Critics have accused Mugabe of using anti-gay rhetoric to win support. In 1996 his supporters crashed a pride week event and Mugabe famously quipped that gays were “worse than pigs and dogs”.

The country has harsh laws against sodomy — an ex-president was convicted of violating them in 1998 — but attacks on people in same-sex relationships are rare.

Zimbabwe recently celebrated its annual ZimPride week — a low-key version of gay pride week, complete with book readings and film screenings. But the week ended with a rowdy drag queen pageant held outside of an “isolated farmhouse on a forest-shrouded hilltop on the outskirts of Harare, the capital,” according to the AP.

Although their country is generally uncomfortable with their sexuality, some gay men couldn’t worry about all that — they had a crown to win.

2. They painted their nails.

AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

3. Put on their flashiest outfits.

AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

4. And picked out their hottest pairs of heels.

AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

5. So that they could strike the finest poses.

AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

6. Okay, really fierce amazing poses.

AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

7. All in the name of being out and proud.

AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

8. But we all know there can only be one queen crowned Miss Jacaranda.

9. And this year, the honor went to 17-year-old Ezmerald Kim Kardashian.

A finer drag name has never been created.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/mylestanzer/ezmerald-kim-kardashian-wins-zimbabwes-discreet-drag-queen-p

When Did Everyone Start “Throwing Shade”?

As far as Google trends go, “fierce” jumped the shark four years ago but thanks — at least in part to the breakout success of RuPaul’s Drag Race — words once unique to gays-in-the-know have taken over the internet. Even Ben Smith, BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief, has tweeted about throwing shade! Here’s a look at just how ubiquitous drag-speak has become.

3. Throw Shade

View this embed ›

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/saeedjones/when-did-everyone-start-throwing-shade

15 Heartening Ways Indian Brands And Bollywood Stars Are Fighting For LGBT Rights


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Some of India’s oldest and biggest brands came out in support of the Indian LGBT community after the country’s top court upheld Section 377 of the constitution, which enforces India’s ban on same-sex intercourse.

Indian companies tend to shy away from espousing controversial causes, so their ads celebrating equality and diversity were seen as unusual. Many Indians expressed appreciation for the brands’ stand on a sensitive issue — although others still see the ads as a well-timed publicity campaign.

Big Bollywood celebrities with a massive social media presence also tweeted their disappointment and shock over the Supreme Court verdict. Bollywood personalities are often criticized for their inaction when it comes to such issues, and it remains to be seen if their tweets translate to concrete support for the LGBT community.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/tasneemnashrulla/15-heartening-ways-indian-brands-and-bollywood-are-fighting

The 10 Most Loved Lesbian And Bi Characters

10. Luce — Imagine Me and You

Just her name makes you weak in the knees — Luce. Who doesn’t daydream about falling for the florist at your own wedding? OK, maybe not, but this cheesy movie made it seem like an OK possibility. Did we feel slightly horrible when Rachel left Heck? Yes. But they obviously weren’t meant to be. Maybe it’s Luce’s accent, maybe it’s her crooked grin and knowledge of football — but everyone wants to receive some lilies from Luce.

Bonus? Lena is a double-dipper when it comes to lesbian roles.

 

9. Santana Lopez — Glee

Leave your feelings for Glee at the door because no one made us feel feelings like Santana Lopez. She is never afraid to say exactly what’s on her mind, but that doesn’t make her a bitch — it makes her an honest badass. She is the girlfriend you’d always hoped you would have one day. And if we are being honest, most of us are still holding out for our own Santana.

8. Evie — The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love

Yes, this was an incredibly cheesy story. Yes, it was — but how can you not enjoy watching the stereotypical tomboy lesbian, who fixes cars in her free time, fall for the straight-edge girl? Evie even leaves Randy a book of Walt Whitman poems, people, Walt Whitman! We know that Randy went on to become our Tina Kenard, but we always are left wondering what happened to Evie.

7. Idgie Threadgoode — Fried Green Tomatoes

No one was immune to the charm of her overalls and suspenders. She helped tomboys everywhere realize that being a tomboy is actually the best thing ever. At first, it was probably her rebelliousness and attitude that made us love her — but her protective relationship with Ruth made us fall all over again. Plus, who knew that having a food fight could double as flirting?

6. Emily Fitch — Skins (UK)

She’s Emily fucking Fitch, who the hell are you? Her character taught us what it meant to be brave and absolutely fearless, and she also taught us about heart-wrenching loss — can we all get a group hug for Naomily? Cheers to you, the only girl who doesn’t look completely dorky on a moped.

5. Cay Rivvers — Desert Hearts

She burst into our hearts as if she had been driving an Oldsmobile backwards down the highway wearing aviators. Oh, wait, she did do that. Cay had serious swagger and guts, always making that first move on the polite and vulnerable Vivian. Kissing in the rain? Smooth. Desert Hearts is known for being the first film to depict a lesbian relationship where both characters actually enjoy a satisfactory ending, and for that we love it — but the real gift of this film was Cay teaching ladies everywhere how to make the first move.

4. Callie Torres — Grey’s Anatomy

Even if you’ve completely abandoned the show, you probably still catch snippets just to watch Dr. Torres stroll around in her white lab coat. She has that passion and drive that makes you want to get up off your ass and do something! That, and you would be damned to find anyone who can make cracking bones sexier than she can.

3. Alice Pieszecki — The L Word

Let us count the ways Alice Pieszecki is a perfect human being. She loved Dana in a way most people cannot comprehend. She single-handedly made many episodes of The L Word watchable with her witty banter and hilarious antics. She swore like a sailor while being more lovable than most puppies. We are STILL waiting for the spin-off featuring Alice as a main character — still waiting.

2. Megan — But I’m a Cheerleader

Watching this cult classic has become a rite of passage for many a gay girl, and we mostly have Megan to thank for that. When she falls in love with Graham, you have to contain yourself from literally hugging your television screen (or, for all you watching it on Netflix, computer screen).

1. The entire entity that is Orange Is the New Black

When The L Word ended, we never thought so many lesbians would grace our screen ever again. Then a little show on Netflix not only answered our prayers, but upped the game by giving us actual diversity to work with. From Alex’s iconic glasses to Crazy Eye’s poems and Nicki’s endearing sense of humor, this show has simply nailed it. It’s not only filled with lesbian and bi characters, but it addresses many misconceptions about sexuality with humor and wit. We can only hope this is the beginning of a beautiful trend, and that more characters to love will be gracing our screens in the future.

And please, can Taystee and Poussey get together already?

 

Hear that, world? Keep the lesbians coming.

 

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/skarlan/the-10-most-loved-lesbian-and-bi-characters

Meet Binational Couples Affected By DOMA

1. There are 40,000 plus binational same-sex couples in the United States.

A series of short films , produced by the DeVote Campaign and the DOMA Project, have been released featuring LGBT families across America who are asserting their equality by petitioning for green cards.

3. They are demanding that the U.S. government treat them no differently than opposite sex couples under federal law.

“Most people don’t even know what DOMA is. The way that we get people to think about it today and bring it to an end is to introduce people to the couples impacted.” – Soloway

5. A few of the couples featured:

6. Yohandel & Daniel

Following their wedding in early 2012, Daniel overstayed his visa to remain in the U.S. with his husband, knowing the risks and sacrifices it entailed.

8. Becky and Saane

Becky and Sanne first met while traveling around India several years ago. Though able to live freely in The Netherlands, the first country in the world to grant full marriage rights to same sex spouses, they are raising their 2-year-old daughter, Willow, in Asheville, North Carolina.

10. Karin and Judy

Judy and Karin first met on an online lesbian-dating site over seven years ago. Self-proclaimed “golden girls”, they have become outspoken activists for immigration rights for binational same sex couples.

Karin has to decide if she can go to her son’s wedding in Scotland, or stay here in the U.S. with her wife. See her full story here.

12. Brian and Alfonso

Alfonso came to the United States from Mexico when he was only 14 years old. They met and fell in love in San Francisco. Even after more than a decade of life together, they still worry about their future because of DOMA.

14. Cathy and Catriona

Parents of three beautiful children, Cathy and Catriona were running out of options last year when Cathy’s H-1B visa petition was denied (she is a citizen of Ireland). They decided to join The DOMA Project, file a green card petition based on their marriage and assert their right to be treated equally under the law.

16. Watch the trailer:

See more couples and read about their stories here.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/skarlan/meet-binational-couples-affected-by-doma

Out Web Designer Allegedly Raped By Policemen In Ahmedabad, India, After LGBT Parade

1. Two months ago, India’s Supreme Court upheld a law that criminalizes sodomy.

2. In the same month, on Dec. 1, in honor of World AIDS Day, gay pride parades were held in cities across India, including in Ahmedabad.

Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

3. A 23-year-old web designer was reportedly heading home from a night with friends when two cops recognized him from the parade and stopped him in Vastrapur, a posh area of the Ahmedabad city. He shared his story with the Mumbai Mirror:

“I was returning home from S G Highway around 2:30 am on my two-wheeler. The roads were empty. Two cops on a motorcycle passed by. They looked at me but did not flag me down. A little ahead, I saw them standing by the road. They stopped me and asked for my license. I showed it to them. They saw a packet of condoms in the front carrier and asked me why I had it. When I said it was for safety, they asked me if I was the same guy in ‘that parade.’ When I feigned ignorance, they asked me, ‘tu leeti chu?’ It was a derogatory way of questioning my sexual preference. Offended, I said, ‘No, I am gay’.

They took me to a dark, narrow lane. They stopped near a gate in the wall, locked my hands to its iron bars and tried to sodomize me. They pushed me down. I cried but they both forced themselves on me. They forced me to perform oral sex. When one of them was done with me, I got up to leave but the other dragged me, injuring me further. They were reeking of alcohol. They pushed me down, jumped on their motorcycle and fled the spot.”

4. Fearing police harassment, he did not file a complaint. He could not remember the individuals names or the numbers on their motorcycle. All he could remember was that they were in uniform.

“I came out of the closet when I was 15 years old. Had homosexuality been legal, I would have had the courage to file a complaint. Also, my attackers were cops. How can I expect any justice from them? There were no CCTV cameras. I was in shock so I went home and bathed. I do not think the attack can be proved medically. I have spoken up now because I want others to know the trauma gays have to suffer.”

5. Chairperson of Gujarat LGBT pride festival Swagat Shah, said, “I really wish he had filed a police complaint. But I understand his viewpoint. We have lost hope in the police and government.”

6. Watch this video from the World AIDS Day celebration in Ahmedabad.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/clairepires/web-designer-raped-by-policemen-in-mumbai-after-lgbt-parade