LGBT Link Round Up 2.25.15

Australian-based street artist Astrotwitch uses art to remind people that LGBT people exist in all manner of shapes and sizes.

The LGBT community rarely sees its experiences depicted authentically in mainstream media. A 2014 GLAAD study found that a mere 3.9% of scripted broadcast TV series regulars are LGBT individuals. Even when they’re shown onscreen, they’re often reduced to insulting archetypes like the “sassy gay best friend” or “angry lesbian.”

One Australia-based street artist is attacking this problem by promoting authentic representations of LGBT individuals in public spaces. Astrotwitch launched “Queer the Streets” last year based on the idea that, as theywrote in a Tumblr post, all the “queer community needs is simply for more people to know that they exist.” For the past year, Astrotwitch has exclusively painted queer people of all “body shapes and looks” throughout the streets of Melbourne.


The artist told Mic that one of the biggest barriers for queer advocates doing political work is that people often “forget that queers exist.” Depicting them so vividly in public, they wrote, allows “people who identify as queer to see themselves represented in society” and helps people feel like part of a community. It also educates others about issues like marriage equality and violence against transgender people.

Here’s a sample of his art, which you can find at the above link, or at the Queer the Streets Tumblr

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 Christian publisher drops young Evangelical after he comes out as gay

Brandan Robertson, 22, was told his contract was canceled out of concern that Christian retailers would not buy his book because of his LGBTI advocacy.

The Evangelicals for Marriage Equality spokesperson signed a deal with Destiny Images before he publicly came out in January.

Within hours of submitting his manuscript later that month, he received an email from a communications specialist at Destiny, Mykela Krieg.

‘Since you’ve been receiving more media attention over the past few months, we’ve had some questions/concerns arise from our buyers,’ she said.

Robertson said as soon as read those words, a knot formed in his stomach.

‘I immediately knew that the problem was going to be with my very vocal support of LGBTQ equality and inclusion in the church. Unfortunately, I was right,’ he told Time magazine.

‘I am at a frustrated point, not for my book, but this is so symptomatic of what happens in the broader evangelical community — every day, LGBTQ individuals are told that they are no longer welcome in churches, are kicked out of homes, are fired from jobs, and forced in to reparative therapy by those who claim to represent Jesus.’

Yet another example of so-called “christian love”.

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In the latest example of Republican politicians seeking to trample on the rights of USAmerican citizens, a committee in West Virginia has advanced a bill that would prevent towns and cities from enforcing non-discrimination ordinances.

Targeted at the LGBT community, the bill, if it becomes law, would nullify the non-discrimination laws in six West Virginia cities, and would ban other jurisdictions from enacting non-discrimination laws that protect LGBT people, the elderly, and veterans.

The legislation is being pushed through as a commerce bill, under the claim that it will attract businesses from out of state who would prefer to not have to deal with varying laws in different cities. In truth, most businesses have far stronger non-discrimination  policies than any in the state.

The bill, HB 2881, known as the West Virginia Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act, was filed just Monday and scheduled Tuesday night, displaying Republican’s desire to push it through without time for factual debate.

It mirrors a similar bill that just became law in Arkansas, another that is being debated in Texas, and one that is already law in Tennessee. Opponents say it undermines local control.

HB 2881 is sponsored by Republican Rep. Lynne Arvon (photo), who is also sponsoring an anti-gay, religious license to discriminate bill, the West Virginia Freedom of Conscience Protection Act.

It’s so adorable that they’re hiding their bigotry behind claims that this is all about bringing businesses to the area.

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Do you live in the San Francisco area? You may want to check out Lesbians Who Tech.

The Summit is our marquee event, bringing together over 1,000 LGBTQ women (and allies) across all areas of technology. The Lesbians Who Tech Summit is the only event focused on increasing visibility and tech participation in two historically underrepresented communities: the women’s and queer communities. Join us for our second annual summit starting on February 26 and ending March 1, 2015 in San Francisco, the epicenter of the technology industry. Through this summit and future endeavors, we will bond together to demonstrate our shared commitment to these two critical groups in the tech world.The Lesbians Who Tech Summit will bring together hundreds of queer women in tech (and the people who love them), for the most unique technology conference ever. We will be highlighting incredible queer women who are the next generation of technical leaders, as well as the people who have paved the way.

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In a special report, VICE has been granted access to an organization that performs “gay conversion therapy”

In this special report, VICE gets exclusive access to one of the hundreds of gay-conversion-therapy organizations, groups, and sessions in the United States. At the Journey into Manhood program, men pay more than $600 to attend a weekend retreat where they participate in exercises and activities the staff members claim will help them battle their same-sex ­orientation. The only qualification to become a staff member is to have successfully completed the program.

The report meets with the founder of reparative therapy, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, who is illegally practicing on minors in the State of California, and investigates the controversial legal battle to fight conversion therapy for individuals under 18 years of age. We also travel to the annual Gay Christian Network Conference, speak with former “ex-gay” leaders including John Smid of Love in Action, who is now married to his gay partner, and hear the grueling stories of the individuals who have survived this brutal practice.

I suspect a lot of lies will be exposed in this report, which is a good thing. Far too many people believe in conversion therapy, despite the practice being discredited.

LGBT Link Round Up 2.25.15