Top 5 lesbian tattoos
You’re hanging out at a straight bar, or fundraising for an animal rescue centre, or queuing for Eliza Dukushu’s autograph at a Buffy the Vampire convention, writes Siobhan McGuirk. You’re chatting to a really nice girl, waiting for the chance [...]
October 9, 2011
Independent lesbian cinema: a new era?
It may only be only six months old, but BuskFilms, the niche online video-streaming site, has already developed a large following of fans.
Siobhan McGuirk reports on a project bringing independent lesbian cinema to new audiences, giving filmmakers their dues and building an international community.
September 9, 2011
Country star Chely Wright ties the knot
The American country singer, who came out in May 2010, married LGBT activist Lauren Blitzer on Saturday.
August 23, 2011
Mexico City annouces 1000th marriage under new equality law
The marriage took place on Sunday, just over a year since the capital became the first Latin American district to pass marriage equality legislation.
August 17, 2011
Homotopia arts festival given funding reprieve
The Liverpool-based queer arts festival Homotopia has been awarded a three-year Arts Council England grant after successfully appealing the claim that they were ineligible to apply.
August 2, 2011
Denise Richards confesses to lesbian fling
The former Bond girl, promoting her new “tell-all” book, spoke about her fling with another famous actress on the Howard Stern radio show.
July 29, 2011
North American OutGames underway in Canada
The second North American Outgames runs until 31 July and will feature cultural and conference events as well as sporting competitions. The next International Outgames will be held in Antwerp, Belgium in August 2013.
July 26, 2011
Stonewall publish second annual guide to gay-friendly universities
The LGB rights charity’s “Gay by Degree” examines institutions against ten criteria, including the quality of university policies and the presence of LGB societies and events on campus. Four institutions received top marks.
July 19, 2011
Chile set to legalise same-sex unions, Uruguay pushes for marriage
As the Chilean government is preparing to pass legislation recognises the legal rights of co-habiting same-sex couples, activists in Uruguay launch an ad campaign demanding full marriage rights in their country.
July 13, 2011
Candy Bar Girls: London’s answer to The Real L Word?
Episode one of the new reality show airs tonight on Channel 5. A string of ‘steamy’ promos accompanying the series are already courting controversy, raising expectations and landing the broadcaster in hot water at Ofcom. “Real lives, real lesbians, no clichés”, the teasers promise. Siobhan McGuirk asks, does the show deliver?
July 7, 2011
Anna Paquin addresses anti-bisexual prejudice
The Oscar-winning actress tells V magazine: “There is a lot of prejudice against us but the more people talk about it, the less of a deal it will be.”
June 29, 2011
New York passes same-sex marriage bill
The bill was approved 33 to 29 in a tense vote that took place late last night. From 24 July, when the bill comes into force, New York will be the largest US state where same-sex marriage is legal.
June 25, 2011
St. Petersburg authorities ban Slavic Pride – but sanction anti-gay rally
City authorities allowed an anti-gay rally to take place on Saturday, while continuing to turning down applications for Slavic Pride 2011.
June 21, 2011
Sue Perkins and Sam Fox star in hard-hitting AKT campaign video
The one-minute film has been made by the Albert Kennedy Trust, to raise awareness of the victimisation faced by many gay people – and the tragic consequences it can have. The video also features Paul O’Grady and Sir Ian McKellen.
June 12, 2011
US anti-gay groups target all-American institutions
Homophobic organisations take offence – and action – against Disney World’s LGBT Family day and the presence of a rainbow flag at the Federal Reserve for US Pride month.
June 8, 2011
Preview of GO.GO Festival, aka ‘Europe’s biggest lesbian party’
Go.Go 2011, Europe’s biggest outdoor women’s festival, lands at the Headcom Aerodrome in Kent on 17 June 2011. Uniquely situated as a weekend for lesbian and bisexual women, there’s plenty to get excited about, from world famous Main Stage artists to carousels and climbing walls. Siobhan McGuirk surveys the line-up.
May 30, 2011
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy to cover royal nuptials
The new verse will be published on the morning of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. It had been thought that Britain’s first LGBT Poet Laureate would decline to cover the event
April 19, 2011
Beth Ditto and Jessie J join Lovebox Weekend line-up
Jessie J set to play on Saturday while Ditto will take to the stage as part of the the “Out and Out Fierce” queer-friendly Sunday line-up. The event will take place in Victoria Park, London 15-17 July.
April 6, 2011
Plymouth Out:Fest postponed
The city’s new LGBT festival, which organisers had already pushed back a week, was due to take place on Saturday 26 March. It will go ahead later in the year.
March 23, 2011
Manchester City Council slashes LGBT event funding
Manchester Pride and Queer Up North International Arts Festival both hit hard by deep cuts set to significantly dent the city’s cultural calender.
March 8, 2011
London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival programme announced
The British Film Institute have announced the final programme of the 2011 London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. The LLGFF, which has suffered significant funding cuts in the run up to its 25th anniversary celebrations, runs 31 March – 6 April.
March 6, 2011
Gay-only hotels to be investigated under discrimination laws
The Equality and Human Rights Commission will test exclusively gay hotels for breaches of equality legislation. The move follows high-profile rulings against guesthouses that have discriminated against same-sex couples, with the ERHC claiming to seek “objective balance”.
February 22, 2011
San Francisco reveals plans for gay ‘walk of fame’
The Rainbow Honor Walk will feature plaques dedicated to international, historical LGBT icons and run throughout the city’s predominantly gay Castro District.
February 8, 2011
Son’s impassioned defense of gay marriage goes viral
Zach Wahls, the 19-year-old son of a lesbian couple from Iowa, has become an internet sensation after publicly speaking in defense of gay marriage.
February 5, 2011
Barnardo’s chief appeals to gay couples to adopt
Anne Marie Carrie has encouraged more gay couples to consider adoption after the children’s charity published survey findings showing 32 percent of adults believe gay parents to be inferior to their heterosexual counterparts.
February 1, 2011
Daily Mail columnist accuses ‘ruthless gay lobby’ of ‘brainwashing’ children
Melanie Phillips yesterday accused the Government of backing a “drive to promote the gay agenda” and appeared to imply that homosexuality would soon become “mandatory” as a result of being tolerated in society.
January 25, 2011
LGBT people more concerned about the environment, study finds
The Harris Poll found that LGBT adults in the US express more concern about the environment than their straight counterparts. Although “green attitudes” are rising in the LGBT community, the Poll also found that the overall number of people holding such views is falling .
January 22, 2011
London’s Candy Bar re-opens under new management
The long-standing lesbian bar and club is set to re-open tonight, after being taken over by Sandra Davenport and Gary Henshaw, mangers of Soho’s Ku group. They hope to return the faded venue to it’s former ‘Best Lesbian Bar’ status.
January 21, 2011
Anne Hathaway to play Kurt’s gay aunt on Glee
The A-list actress was approached by show creator Ryan Murphy, after announcing that she had invented her own role for the show.
January 18, 2011
Lesbian drama given extended West End run, before opening
The Keira Knightly and Elizabeth Moss starring play has received strong pre-sales and will now run until 30 April.
January 14, 2011
Gay rights lawyer threatened facing arrest in Cameroon
Alice Nkom, founder of Cameroon’s Association to Defend Homosexuals (ADEFHO), faces imminent arrest after receiving a European Union grant to fight homophobia in the country.
January 11, 2011
Lesbian film nominated for Golden Globe and SAG awards
Star-studded family drama The Kids Are Alright has been nominated for four Golden Globes and three Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards. Both are seen as strong indicators of Oscar recognition.
December 17, 2010
Rachel Maddow challenges Ugandan “death penalty for homosexuality” lawmaker
American news anchor and out lesbian Rachel Maddow challenged David Bahati to justify his controversial claims live on air.
December 10, 2010
Amber Heard comes out at GLADD awards
Attending the GLAAD 25th anniversary gala with her girlfriend Tasya van Ree, the American actress explained she couldn’t “be part of the problem” by being in the closet.
December 7, 2010
“Gay cure” psychologist picketed in Manchester
Sixty protesters gathered outside the British Psychological Society conference on Saturday, angry that Professor Kenneth Zucker had been invited to deliver the keynote speech.
December 6, 2010
Delhi Pride marks new era for India
A two thousand-strong crowd turned out for Delhi’s third annual Pride over the weekend, the first since homosexuality was decriminalised last year.
November 30, 2010
The L Word creator developing new show
Ilene Chaiken’s Rhodes to Recovery will follow the life of a lesbian trauma surgeon.
November 26, 2010
Iranian photographer wins right to stay in UK
Iranian queer-feminist photographer Tara Inanloo, 21, has been granted asylum in the UK as a political refugee, her facebook support page has announced.
November 23, 2010
French gay marriage case taken to constitutional court
A French lesbian couple are set challenge the country’s gay marriage ban in Constitutional Court.
November 19, 2010
Coronation Street stars support anti-gay bullying campaign
Soap actors Brooke Vincent, Sacha Parkinson and Antony Cotton are publicising Manchester schools-based anti- homophobic bullying scheme “Taking Action Together” as part of Anti-Bullying Week.
November 16, 2010
High Schools accused of homophobia in Australia and US
An Australian school is accused of discrimination for banning a lesbian couple from their formal dance, while two US students claim they were kicked out because of their sexuality.
London’s only gay arts festival gets underway
The fourth annual Gaywise Festival, GFEST, launched yesterday with a series of exhibition openings and talks. The festival runs until 20 November.
November 9, 2010
Stonewall names heroes and villains of 2010
Gay rights campaign group Stonewall named former shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling their Bigot of the Year, for his remark that Bed and Breakfasts should be allowed to turn gay couples away. Former professional ruby player, Gareth Thomas, was awarded the Hero of the Year prize.
November 5, 2010
Lesbian Police Officer commits suicide after harassment
Trainee Police Constable Lara Goldie, 28, killed herself after being bullied by her instructors, an inquest heard today.
November 3, 2010
Equal Love Campaign set to challenge marriage inequality
Four gay couples will apply to wed next month and four straight couples attempt to be granted civil partnerships in a bid to highlight the UK’s controversial marriage laws.
October 26, 2010
Facebook closes down same-sex kiss flashmob group
Organisers claim the social networking site has closed down their group page planning a same-sex kiss flashmob to mark Pope Benedict’s visit to Spain next month.
Obama and Clinton join It Gets Better! project
The It Gets Better! project, launched last month in response to five US teen gay-bullying related suicides, has received high-profile support from the Whitehouse.
October 24, 2010
Lesbian couple ejected from baseball stadium for kissing
A lesbian couple are considering legal action after being forced to leave a baseball game in Baltimore, Maryland for “making a scene”.
October 11, 2010
US shock over fifth teen homophobic bullying suicide
After five homophobic bullying-related teen suicides in three weeks, the American LGBTQ community speaks out.
October 5, 2010
BBC reports 1 in 5 “uncomfortable” with homosexuality on television
Eighteen per cent of people feel “uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable” with depictions of gay, lesbian and bisexual people on television and radio.
October 1, 2010
Indonesian Film Festival attacked by masked Islamic protesters
The Q! Film Festival, which opened last week in Indonesian capital Jakarta, has been targeted by masked protesters.
September 30, 2010
Portia DeGeneres name change made official
Actress Portia de Rossi has legally adopted her wife Ellen DeGeneres’ surname. The former Ally McBeal and Arrested Development star will henceforth be known as Portia Lee James DeGeneres.
September 28, 2010
Muslim world’s only queer film festival opens tonight
The ninth annual Q! Film Festival opens tonight in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is the biggest festival of its kind in Asia and the only one to be hosted in a Muslim country.
September 24, 2010
Top Gun actress Kelly McGillis marries partner
Kelly McGillis has wed her girlfriend, Melanie Leis, in a civil union in New Jersey just one year after coming out as a lesbian.
September 21, 2010
Lesbos’ International Women’s Festival celebrates tenth anniversary
The Greek village of Skala Eressos has been host to hundreds of women over the past two weeks, as the lesbian-run International Women’s Festival celebrates its tenth year.
September 15, 2010
Lady Gaga highlights Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell at MTV Awards
Lady Gaga picked up eight statuettes at the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend, and used the opportunity to highlight the US Military’s controversial Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy.
September 14, 2010
Emma Donoghue on shortlist for Man Booker Prize
Lesbian author Emma Donoghue has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for her novel Room.
September 8, 2010
Lesbian scenes fuels buzz for Natalie Portman’s new film
Film critics and showbiz commentators were abuzz last night with reports of Natalie Portman’s “steamy” new role in ballet drama Black Swan.
September 3, 2010
Jane Lynch scoops Emmy Award for Glee
Jane Lynch was celebrating her first Emmy win last night, taking home the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy award for her role in hit series Glee.
August 31, 2010
South African athlete’s return reignites gender debate
Caster Semenya made a triumphant return to athletics this week, one year after being ordered to undergo gender verification testing. Her victory has provoked frustration among her competitors, however, reigniting debates over gender and sport.
August 25, 2010
Civil partnerships in decline but dissolutions on the rise
The number of civil partnerships performed fell twelve per cent over the past year, while dissolutions – equivalent to divorce – have nearly doubled since 2008. The majority of dissolutions were to female couples.
August 24, 2010
Legal wrangling extends California gay marriage ban
The legal battle over Proposition 8 continued yesterday, as a California court of appeal extended the state’s same-sex marriage ban until the end of the year.
August 17, 2010
Homophobia complaint filed after Nottingham Pride
A member of the public has filed an official complaint of homophobia to Nottinghamshire Police, in response to anti-Pride posters put up around the city to coincide with the 31 July event. The Pride march was also met by religious protesters.
August 6, 2010
Gay Games VIII under way in Cologne
The eighth Gay Games were opened on Saturday with an Ceremony attended by almost 10,000 people. The Games run until August 7 in Cologne, Germany.
August 3, 2010
Celebrity lesbian Sara Gilbert hosts US talkshow on motherhood
Mainstream US cable channel CBS has launched a new panel show hosted by former Roseanne star Sara Gilbert. The openly gay mother of two is also co-creator and executive producer of ‘The Talk’, which promises audiences “a mother’s view” of current affairs.
July 29, 2010
Scottish politicians pushing for equal marriage
A cross-party coalition are demanding legal change to allow gay couples full marriage rights in Scotland, with the backing of senior church officials.
July 23, 2010
Amy Lamé made Mayoress of Camden
Comedienne and broadcaster Amy Lamé has been named mayoress of the London Borough of Camden by incoming mayor Jonathan Simpson, who is the first openly gay holder of the position.
June 2, 2010
Police brutality and arrests at Slavic Pride march
Slavic Pride 2010 hit by violent police crackdown, echoing events of Moscow 2009 event. The parade, held on Saturday, had been previously been banned by Minsk city officials.
May 19, 2010
US school board bans gay book
A New Jersey school board has voted to remove an anthology of gay literature and art from a high school library, following complaints from the conservative 9.12 group. Free speech groups have vowed to fight the decision.
May 12, 2010
Gay pride, queer pride: the battle for gay culture
How queer is Gay Pride? With its corporate sponsors and expensive after-parties, Prides across the UK seem happy to forgo politics for pop – and stepping into the gap are proudly queer alternative festivals. But do either sides truly represent LGBT culture? Siobhan McGuirk investigates…
May 10, 2010
Christian music star comes out as a lesbian
US star Jennifer Knapp, a Grammy-nominated evangelical folk singer, has come out as gay and in a relationship.
April 21, 2010
Brighton Pride street party cancelled after £10k goes missing
The Brighton Pride annual street party has been cancelled after £10,000 suspiciously vanished from its budget. A 33-year-old man had been arrested in connection.
April 14, 2010
Stonewall welcomes landmark legal change for gay parents
Landmark legal changes came into force yesterday, which will greatly affect gay parents who have children through surrogacy. Previously, only married couples had been able to apply for ‘fast-track’ court process to grant them legal parenthood.
April 7, 2010
Anna Paquin announces “I’m a bisexual and I give a damn”
Anna Paquin, the Oscar-winning child star of The Pianist and currently on TV screens in True Blood, announced yesterday in a public service announcement: “I’m a bisexual and I give a damn.”
April 2, 2010
Brighton Pride parade open for registration
Registration opened this week for the Briton and Hove Pride parade, one of the biggest events on the UK LGBT calendar. The event will take place on Saturday 7 August, at the end of the week-long summer festival. The theme of the parade this year is Pride and (No) Prejudice.
March 31, 2010
Cameron “gaffe”, Bradshaw “hypocrisy” over gay legislation votes
Another party political gay rights row has broken out after David Cameron was filmed stumbling over his words in an interview with Gay Times magazine.
March 24, 2010
FOX News outrage over Gaga music video
Lady Gaga’s latest music video has provoked a storm of debate in the US with a FOX News commentator declaring it “poison for the minds for our kids”. The video has also seen backlash from trans people and feminists, who have slammed the promo’s message.
March 17, 2010
Queer Up North announces 2010 festival highlights
Queer Up North International Festival has revealed the first glimpse of their May 2010 line-up. Europe’s first queer arts festival, based in Manchester, celebrates its 18th anniversary this year and will re-present key works from past years alongside a programme of premières and new work.
March 12, 2010
Catholic adoption agency chooses closure over gay parenting
West Yorkshire adoption agency Catholic Care have told a High Court judge that they would rather close than place at-risk children in the care of gay couples. They are fighting Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs) which state that gay couples must be considered as adoptive parents in the same way heterosexual parents are.
March 10, 2010
South African school dormitory closed after lesbian kiss
Education officials in South Africa are investigating reports that a dormitory at a girls’ boarding school was closed after lesbian relationships were discovered there. 27 pupils were also expelled.
March 3, 2010
Bishops, Green Party call to lift ban on religious civil partnerships
Senior Church of England clergy today called for an end to the ban on religious civil partnerships, saying that it is “inconsistent” and “plainly discriminatory” to ban churches willing to accommodate gay couples from conducting ceremonies. The move follows the Green Party’s announcement of new policy opposing the ban.
February 24, 2010
Date set for Coronation Street’s first lesbian kiss
The Sun newspaper has claimed that Coronation St. will feature its first lesbian kiss on April 9th. The episode will see religious teens Sophie Webster and Sian Powers lock lips after a comforting hug leads Sophie to exclaim, “you’re more important to me than any lad”.
February 10, 2010
US military to review gay service member ban
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates told congress yesterday that reviewing the policy that prevents gays and lesbians serving in the US military is “the right thing to do”. His statement follows an announcement that the Pentagon will launch a year-long review of the controversial ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.
February 3, 2010
February is LGBT History Month
Today is the first day of LGBT History Month, celebrated in the UK since 2005. The Month was established by a grass-roots campaign dedicated to making a strong public statement after the repeal of Section 28. Drawing inspiration from the US equivalent, founded in 1994, and our own Black History Month, the idea behind the month-long campaign was to highlight the often hidden histories of LGBT people, bursting the silence surrounding homo- and transexuality that so often leads to harm.
February 1, 2010
Lesbian TV online: what to watch after The L Word
The L Word is long gone, but in its place are countless online lesbian series. Are they any good? Siobhan McGuirk investigates…
Survey says Britain relaxing towards homosexuality
A new government-backed survey has found that people are becoming more tolerant towards homosexuality. The annual British Social Attitudes report, published yesterday, found that 39 per cent of people believe homosexuality is “never wrong”, while 10 percent say it is “rarely wrong”.
January 27, 2010
Nepal’s new constitution to protect LGBTI rights
Nepal will become the first Asian country to guarantee equal rights and anti-discrimination protections to homosexual, trans and intersex citizens when its new constitution comes into force later this year.
January 20, 2010
Upsurge in gay Muslims fleeing forced marriage
UK charity The Albert Kennedy Trust has reported an upsurge in young gay Muslims becoming homeless after fleeing forced marriages and so-called honour violence.
January 13, 2010
US President Obama appoints first trans woman to executive branch
President Obama has appointed Amanda Simpson, a transgender woman, to a Senior Technical Advisor post in the US Department of Commerce. It is the first ever presidential appointment of an openly transgender individual to the executive branch.
January 6, 2010
Lesbian author Sarah Waters to firewalk for feminism
Tipping the Velvet novelist Sarah Waters has pledged to walk over hot coals for feminist campaign group The Fawcett Society.
December 23, 2009
Christian registrar loses appeal in same-sex partnership case
The Court of Appeal has ruled against a registrar disciplined for refusing to perform same-sex partnerships. Lillian Ladele had claimed her Christian conscience prevented her from performing the ceremonies and accused her employers, Islington Council, of religious discrimination.
December 17, 2009
Why are lesbian films so bad?
Bad acting. Ridiculous plots. Terrible production. It’s no secret that lesbian-interest films are generally pretty awful. But does it always have to be this way? And are there any hidden classics that are actually worth watching? Film buff Siobhan McGuirk investigates…
December 7, 2009
The battle for the ‘Pink Vote’
At the Conservative Party’s first Gay Pride event a few weeks ago, out MP Nick Hewitt announced, “the Left does not own gay people!” The ‘LGBTory’ audience cheered so enthusiastically it seemed he was correcting an eons-old misapprehension, writes Siobhan McGuirk.
Yet it is undeniable that gay campaign groups have traditionally found their alliances on the left, and that LGBT equality is still considered a ‘liberal’ concern.
Homosexuality and right-wing values are strange bedfellows, surely? Not according to Hewitt, or lesbian Party Vice-Chair Margot James. Their presence at Conservative Pride made a clear statement: the Tories want you!
October 26, 2009