IconMilly Shaw

Milly Shaw

Milly is the Editor and one of the founders of Lesbilicious. She co-ordinates the writing team, and even writes the odd word on occasion. Milly loves a careful metaphor and hates multiple exclamation marks. She admires the works of Margaret Atwood, Hilary Mantle, Jeanette Winterson and Sarah Connor.

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Next Lesbilicious Comedy: 24th February 2011

We’re pleased to announce the return of our comedy night in Newcastle upon Tyne.

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Zoe Lyons touring UK

Up-and-coming lesbian comedian Zoe Lyons is touring the UK from February 2011.

Lyons’ second ever nationwide tour follows her recent successes on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Mock the Week and Comedy Central Live at the Comedy Store.

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How to: survive a long distance relationship

Fact: Relationships can be difficult, writes Ellen Tout. But what if your sweetheart lives miles away? How can anyone survive a long distance relationship?

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L Fest 2011 Launch Party in Birmingham

This Friday 28th January will see the official launch of L Fest 2011 take place at the Purple Lounge in Birmingham.

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LGF launch screening campaign for lesbian and bisexual women

Manchester based charity, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF), have launched the “Are You Ready For Your Screen Test?” campaign which aims to dispel the myths around lesbian and bisexual women and cervical screening. The campaign hopes to raise awareness that lesbian and bisexual women do need regular cervical screening tests.

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How to: be exciting

Are you stuck in a rut? Do you get up every morning, go to work, college or university, come home and have something to eat, watch TV, then go to bed?

Or maybe your image doesn’t match your personality, writes Kirsty Smith. You just blend in with the crowd; you’re no more exciting than the next person. If this sounds like you, you need to inject some excitement into your life. And the first step is to get out of that rut, and make an effort to do something different. Your first step, in short, is to read on…

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Heather Peace to perform at GOGO 2011

GOGO Festival have revealed today that Lip Service star Heather Peace will be joining their line up at the festival in June this year.

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Stonewall 2011 Workplace Equality Index preliminary results

Preliminary results of Stonewall’s 2011 Workplace Equality Index have been released. The full results are to be published on January 12th.

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Former chair of Brighton Pride speaks out

The chair of Brighton Pride from 2003 – 2006, David Harvey, has written to national gay publication the Pink Paper to air his view that Brighton Pride is failing.

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Obama ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

President Obama has signed a landmark bill today which will allow openly gay and lesbian people to serve in the US military for the first time in 17 years.

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The 25 biggest lesbian news stories of 2010

2010 was a big year for lesbian / bisexual news. In case you didn’t catch them all, here are some of the biggest stories from the last 12 months, as compiled by Kim Renfrew.

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Merry Christmas and happy new year from Lesbilicious

Happy holidays to all our readers from the staff at Lesbilicious.co.uk. We’re taking a break now over the Christmas period but will be back bringing you the latest news for lesbian / bisexual women from 5 January 2011.

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British couples challenge marriage rights at European court

Eight British couples have launched a legal challenge in the European Court of Human Rights to extend full marriage rights to gay couples, and civil partnership rights to straight couples.

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Jeanette Winterson withdraws support for Clegg

Award-winning author Jeanette Winterson has told the Evening Standard that she has withdrawn her backing for Nick Clegg.

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L Word stars to headline UK lesbian festival

GOGO Festival (formerly Lez Go Camping) has announced the headline acts that will perform at the festival in June 2011.

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Fury at Fifa president’s gay joke

The president of Fifa has caused outrage by making a flippant joke about how LGBT football fans should act at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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Lesbian Christmas gifts: 6 terrible ideas (and one that’s ok)

Christmas is round the corner, and if you’re one of the unorganised majority, that means that now is the time to start panic-shopping for Christmas presents, writes Milly Shaw.

Dad gets a tie he’ll discreetly lose at the back of the wardrobe, mum gets some overpriced bath oil to add to the pile of untouched soaps from last year. But what about the lesbian in your life – your girlfriend, sister or the girl from your hockey team you got in the Secret Santa?

Of course you could treat your lesbian like an ordinary human being and get her an imaginative gift which suits her personality and interests. But this is not the time for thoughtfulness. This is the time for rash, ill-considered decisions.

So here is the Lesbilicious guide to help you find something, anything, to chuck under the tree. We’ve even grouped them for your convenience into three common lesbian stereotypes: pets, sports and women’s bodies. Enjoy!

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BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival dates announced

The 25th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival will run from 31st March to 6th April 2011.

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BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival dates announced

The 25th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival will run from 31st March to 6th April 2011.

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Cameron is latest figure to back Stonewall campaign

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has become the latest high-profile figure to back Stonewall’s ‘It gets better… today’ video campaign.

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Gay dad gets joint custody with lesbian mums

A gay man has won joint custody of two children who he conceived via artificial insemination with a lesbian couple.

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Tory councillor sacked for homophobic comment

A Bristol councillor has been suspended from the Conservative party after complaining that the openly gay actor Sir Ian McKellen was visiting local schools.

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Lip Service Season 1: highlights and lowlights

They came. We saw. But did it conquer? Lip Service’s brief but memorable showing on late night BBC3 is over, writes Chloe Setter.

It managed some impressive viewing figures, drawing in a 9% audience share – double the usual for that slot – and more than 500,000 each week, not including repeats and iPlayer downloads. But did people actually like it? And will there be a second series?

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Lesbian heroines from history #13: Anne Lister

Anne Lister: ‘Britain’s first modern lesbian’ and author of history’s most scandalous diary.

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Average coming out age falls from 37 to 17

People who are gay, lesbian or bisexual are coming out earlier than ever, according to gay rights group Stonewall.

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Win Lip Service on DVD

Lip Service, the iconic new lesbian TV series that’s had us glued to our TVs for the last month, is released on DVD today (Monday 15 November 2010).

To celebrate its release we have 5 copies of the DVD to give away, courtesy of Universal Playback.

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0% abuse in study’s lesbian-parent families

A long-running study of 78 lesbian-parent families has found that none of the adolescents in the study have been physically or sexually abused by parent.

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What is Ladyfest?

Ten years ago, in the picturesque town of Olympia, Washington, Ladyfest was born.

Emerging from the embers of the influential riot grrrl scene, this new DIY, non-profit festival embraced the resurgence of grass-roots feminism sweeping the USA and Europe.

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Lesbian heroines from history #12: Claude Cahun

Nazi-fighting surrealist artist / photographer.

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Life models needed for Channel 4′s ‘The Sex Education Show’

Male and female life models are required for anatomy lessons on the fourth series of the Channel 4 series ‘The Sex Education Show’.

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Lesbian couple take legal action over marriage rejection

A lesbian couple’s application for a civil marriage licence was today refused by Greenwich register office in south-east London, sparking a new legal challenge against the ban on same-sex marriage in the UK.

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Lip Service finale party in Glasgow

Lip Service cop Sam (aka Heather Peace) is to star at a special Lip Service finale party on Tuesday 16 November 2010.

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Why do we still play the pronoun game?

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you start a new job, and someone asks you if you have a boyfriend, and you have to say “Well, actually…”, writes Holly Edwards. Or a telemarketer calls, and when you say you live with your partner, asks “And what’s his name?” Or while having your hair done you volunteer a funny story about your partner not being that good with technology, and your hairdresser rolls her eyes and jokes, “Men!”

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Part-time news writing positions available

Do you want to work for Lesbilicious? We are looking for new people to join our team of news writers.

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“I miss being able to hear real gay people on the radio” – interview with radio presenter and comedian Rosie Wilby

Comedienne and Lancashire lass Rosie Wilby talks exclusively to Lesbilicious about trying not to get tongue-tied when meeting guests in the new series of her LGBT radio show.

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Lesbian heroines from history #11: Colonel Victor Barker

More of a reluctant trans hero than a lesbian heroine, Colonel Barker walked his own path and made a fair few enemies along the way.

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Same-sex couple on Israeli ‘Dancing with the Stars’

The new series of Israel’s answer to Strictly Come Dancing will feature a female dancing couple.

Gili Shem Tov, an openly lesbian TV personality will dance with professional dancer Dorit Milman, who is heterosexual.

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US ban on gay soldiers reinstated

The US military can once again discriminate against lesbian, gay and bisexual personnel.

An appeals court has reversed the decision made by a Judge just eight days ago which had overturned the Pentagon’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.

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‘Don’t come out yet’ Pentagon warns gay soldiers

Lesbian, gay and bisexual members of the US armed forces are being told not to come out of the closet, despite a court order banning the homophobic ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ legislation.

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Ellen named 10th most powerful woman in world

Ellen Degeneres is the tenth most powerful woman in the world, according to a list compiled by Forbes magazine.

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Gay people no more promiscuous than straight

The average number of sexual partners gay and straight people is 6, busting the myth that gay people are more promiscuous, according to dating website OK Cupid.

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Lip Service: your verdict on Twitter

The first episode has now aired (twice – once at 10:30pm the other at 1:15am) so what did everyone think?

Here’s a snapshot of what the nation’s lesbians thought, in the form of 140 character instant-reaction tweets. (Warning: spoiler alert! If you’re planning to watch it on the iPlayer proceed with caution!)

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Lez-Go launch

The people behind Lez-Go Camping have launched a new website specialising in events for lesbian and bisexual women and their friends.

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ORTV looking for participants for BBC documentary

ORTV looking for participants for BBC documentary

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2 days left for special rate Lesbilicious Comedy tickets

Calling all lesbian/bisexual women in the North East: there are just two days left for the early bird discount for the next Lesbilicious Comedy night.

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Lip Service: our verdict

“It’s the British L Word” “It’s the lesbian Queer as Folk” “There’s too much sex” “Lesbians aren’t that pretty in real life” – there’s been a lot of chatter about new BBC drama Lip Service. So is it any good? Read on…

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Lip Service – who’s who in this new BBC lesbian drama

“Sex, lies and true love in modern Scotland.” Here’s our take on everything you need to know about Lip Service, the new British lesbian drama coming to your TV on 12 October 2010.

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Lesbian heroines from history #10: Tallulah Bankhead

American party girl with a fondness for life’s excesses (and some fabulous names for pets).

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Blue plaque for Peter Tatchell

On Wednesday 29 September 2010 Sir Ian McKellen will unveil a blue plaque in Southwark, London, honouring human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

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1% of the UK is gay? Where did everyone go?

Do you feel like the only gay in the village? Well if your village has a population of 150 people than statistically yes there is only one gay person, which must therefore be you. Congratulations.

Or so the Office of National Statistics (ONS) would have you believe. A new report released this week (Sept 2010) claims that just 1.5% of the population of the UK is lesbian, gay or bisexual. That’s 730,000 people. Surely it’s too few?

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Stonewall launches YouTube channel

Gay rights charity Stonewall has launched a YouTube channel which will feature films about new research and major campaigns, tasters from events, and interviews with youth volunteers, politicians and celebrities.

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Next Lesbilicious Comedy: 27 Oct 2010

We’re pleased to announce the return of our almost-regular comedy night in Newcastle upon Tyne.

On Wednesday 27 October 2010 Lesbilicious Comedy presents improv stars The Short and Girlie Show, plus guests Hannah Brackenbury and Julie Jepson.

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Lesbian heroines from history #9: Virginia Woolf

Post-modernist writer, feminist, snob and manic-depressive.

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Interview with Ruby Rose – Australia’s hottest lesbian

MTV Australia host Ruby Rose talks about puking on rockstars, her love/hate relationship with Katy Perry and ‘outing’ Twighlight star Kristen Stewart…

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Tracking Newcastle’s gay history

The search is on for information about the colourful – and often clandestine – history of Newcastle upon Tyne’s gay scene.

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Poorer lesbians forced to use internet sperm donors

Lesbians wishing to become mothers who cannot pay for expensive fertility treatment are increasingly turning to the internet to find sperm donors and may therefore miss out on protection from the law, according to a new study.

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Lesbian heroines from history #8: Mercedes de Acosta

Unapologetic lesbian scene queen of 1920s Hollywood.

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Lesbilicious exclusive: interview with Shabby Big Brother

Shabby: cute, androgynous, cheeky and bloody entertaining. Sophie Wilkinson interviews the Big Brother lesbian you either love or hate.

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Lesbilicious on Radio 4

Lesbilicious’ very own Kaite Welsh was on Radio 4′s Woman’s Hour this morning, discussing the word ‘dyke’ following the Clare Balding / AA Gil dyke on a bike issue. Click to listen to the ‘dyke’ section on the Radio 4 website.

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Lesbian heroines from history #7: Marie Antoinette

Everyone knows her as the Queen of France when it was the world’s most unpopular job. But why is she also a lesbian heroine?

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Would you pay for lesbian sex?

Friday night. You’re lusty and lonely so you pick up your phone, scroll past the takeaways and order an escort. A couple of hours later a woman comes to your house. You pay her, have sex with her, and she leaves.

No gay bars, no pick up lines, no undisclosed expectations – just sex, for cash. As a lesbian or bisexual woman would you do this? Could you do this? Would you pay another woman to have sex with you?

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Gender Bending festival in Newcastle

This weekend is the first ever ‘Festival of GB’, a queer arts festival for the North East.

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Gel cuts HIV risk to women by 54%

A gel has been developed which can reduce by the risk of contracting HIV by half. The vaginal gel, which should be applied before sexual intercourse, is the first HIV/AIDs protection available exclusively to women.

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5,000 Shabby fans beg Big Brother to reconsider

An internet campaign has started to help ex-Big Brother housemate Shabby to re-enter the Big Brother house.

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‘Lesbian author’: What does it mean?

“I hate labels. I’ve worked for 25 years to rip labels off. Once you’ve slapped a label on something you no longer have to look behind it and make your own mind up.”

Author Jeanette Winterson recently gave an interview to The Guardian in which she argued against being labelled a “lesbian author”.

But is “lesbian author” still a useful and valid description for readers, asks Lorraine Douglas. Is “gay/lesbian” a valid means of categorising writing?

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Basshunter headlining Northern Pride 2010

The North East’s biggest gay pride event takes place this Saturday (17 July 2010).

10,000 people are expected in the Pride Parade, which starts at Newcastle Civic Centre at 11:30am on Saturday.

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Lesbian heroines from history #6: Frida Kahlo

Mexican artist and feminist heroine. Fans include Madonna, who owns several of Kahlo’s paintings.

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Shabby walks out of Big Brother house

Tempestuous Big Brother housemate Shabby has voluntarily left the house.

In an interview following her departure, Shabby said the turning point for her was when she was called a “thundercloud of doom” by Nathan.

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Are you ‘Queer of the Year’?

The city of Montreal in Canada has launched a competition to find the worldwide ‘queer of the year’. The winner will take part in Montreal’s Pride Parade and enjoy a VIP treatment package worth $4,000 CAD.

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Lesbian heroines from history #5: Getrude Stein

Avant garde writer, art collector and author of the first coming out story in print.

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Kylie snogs Scissor Sister at Glastonbury

Kylie Minogue has reinforced her reputation as a sexual exhibitionist and natural flirt by kissing Ana Matronic of the Scissor Sisters live on stage at Glastonbury.

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Why we must back Big Brother’s Shabby

Big Brother’s old news, right? Its novelty has long worn off, and we’ve better things to do on a Friday night than watch a televised freakshow beg us to run up extortionate phone bills.

But, thanks to one Shabby Katchadourian, Big Brother’s finally worthy of a lesbian/bisexual fanbase, writes Sophie Wilkinson.

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Lesbian heroines from history #4: Angela Bowie

Angie Bowie: bisexual poster girl and former Mrs David Bowie.

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Lesbian parents better, say scientists

Children with lesbian parents perform better in school and have fewer behavioural problems than children of the same age of the general population, according to a new study.

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You’re so vain I bet you think this album’s about you

As of last year, Apple announced that it had sold over 225 million iPods, writes Bianca Camminga. Since the rise of electronic music, luddites across the globe have been heralding the end of the album, compact disc and, well, life as we know it.

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Lesbian heroines from history #3: Marlene Dietrich

Marlene: Wartime glamour girl and the epitome of elegance. (Just don’t look at her feet)

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Inside the secret diaries of Miss Anne Lister

Tonight (Monday 31 May 2010) the BBC airs The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, a period drama based on the fastidiously-detailed diaries of an 18th century gentlewoman. Here Kaite Welsh gives the lowdown on what to expect from the scandalous Miss Lister.

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Lesbian heroines from history #2: Josephine Baker

Leopard-wielding Parisian erotic dancer.

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International Day Against Homophobia: 17 May

Today is International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) – a day to highlight the inequality and homophobia that LGBT people still face across the world.

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Lesbian heroines from history #1: Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield: singer, diva, lesbian (well, bisexual) heroine.

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Calls for ‘homophobic’ Equality Minister to stand down

The Conservative’s new Minister for Women and Equality, Theresa May, is being urged to resign from her position due to her voting records on key equality legislation.

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Afraid to be Gay – ITV’s Tonight explores homophobia in the UK

ITV’s Tonight programme which aired last night, showed an investigation into attitudes to homosexuality in the UK and a rise in homophobic hate crime.

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Lesbian heroines from history

Introducing our new weekly feature: lesbian heroines from history

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Twitter fury as media ignores ‘pray for gay’ Tory MP

An influential prospective Conservative MP was this weekend exposed as the founder of a church that claims to ‘cure’ homosexuality with prayer.

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How to plan a civil partnership: 5 tips for avoiding disaster

You’ve set the date for your big day. You’ve read all the legal stuff about notifying the registrar, you’ve picked the venue and maybe even trawled through a few of those bridal magazines with endless pictures of ceiling-high cakes and improbably-scaffolded dresses. But how do you make the day right for you? Lorraine Douglas has some tips…

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‘Gay sex as dangerous as war’ – Tory MP

The Conservative shadow minister for Defence has declared that the age of consent for gay men should be raised from 16 to 18 because he believes that younger men should be protected from ‘dangerous’ sexual practices.

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Ugandan politician to be banned from UK

A Ugandan MP who is trying to impose the death penalty for gay people in Uganda will be banned from entering the UK if the law passes.

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Election top trumps (lesbian edition)

The UK’s next general election is in less than a month’s time, writes Kim Renfrew.

So which party will be most likely to stand up for your rights as a lesbian or bisexual woman? Here’s a cut out ‘n’ keep guide to the major (and a couple of minor) parties’ take on LGBT matters, in terms of representation, policy and numbers. And on 7 May, you can always use it to play top trumps.

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How does your MP score on gay equality?

Ahead of next month’s General Election on 6 May, Stonewall has published a detailed table of how all MPs have voted on gay rights issues.

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A short history of banned music: The Queer Fear

Music makes you gay. I’m sorry to be the one who has to break it to you, writes Bianca Camminga, we don’t even really know each other, but you best come to terms with the fact because it’s pretty much widely known and accepted.

I’m not just talking disco here people, there is a list and it is long…

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“Pope must resign over sex abuse cover up” – Tatchell

50 protesters from humanist, secular, women’s and gay organisations yesterday accused the Pope of “covering up child sex abuse by Catholic clergy,” calling him a “protector of paedophile priests” and “an accomplice to sex crimes.”

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18th century dildos sold for £3,600

Two antique wooden dildos have been sold at auction for £3,600.

An anonymous bidder bought the dildos, which measure 10 inches and 11 inches respectively and come in a custom-built leather-lined case.

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Make a difference in social housing

Your Homes Newcastle is recruiting for people to join its Board. Could you step up to the challenge?

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Tell the press what you think about lesbian representation in films

A journalist from the Independent on Sunday wants to hear what you think about the portrayal of lesbian/bisexual women in film, particularly if you’ve seen Julianne Moore’s new film Chloe.

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London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival preview

Are your L Word DVDs worn out? Did your ex steal your copy of Aimee et Jaguar? Never fear, the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is on hand to provide you with some new favourites.

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Should a straight woman run a gay news website?

Last week the editor of Pink News publicly ‘outed’ herself as straight in the Guardian. ‘So what?’ some might sigh. Surely in this modern world of alleged equality, we gays should well know how sexuality is not a factor in how well someone can do a job?

But if this is the case, asks Chloe Setter, how come so many people have got their pink knickers in a twist?

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What’s the difference between a bad tranny and a butch dyke?

Occasionally, and usually when I’ve been drinking, I like to tell people that I wasn’t born female; I’m trans, writes Ioana Poprowka. I don’t do it all that often, but the reaction is always the same: disbelief. As in “I never would have guessed!” And you know what? I get a kick out of that. I like the fact that I’m under the radar.

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Lesbilicious Comedy: 25 March 2010

Attention North East ladies: Lesbilicious Comedy is back!

Starring at Lesbilicious Comedy on Thursday 25 March 2010 will be Zoe Lyons, Ruth Cockburn, Shelagh Martin and Maureen Younger.

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‘So how do you have sex?’ and other stupid comments – coming out as queer and disabled

Most queer people have to come out as queer. Eva Sweeney, a self-defined ‘butch dyke with cerebral palsy’ has to come out four times. Here she explains why.