Youth Understanding Youth

Youth Understanding Youth

We are your safe place to burst out your problems, confusions, and concerns about LGBTQ. We offer free resources to completely get you more educated about our cause! More »

Youth Understanding Youth

Youth Understanding Youth

We are your safe place to burst out your problems, confusions, and concerns about LGBTQ. We offer free resources to completely get you more educated about our cause! More »

Youth Understanding Youth

Youth Understanding Youth

We are your safe place to burst out your problems, confusions, and concerns about LGBTQ. We offer free resources to completely get you more educated about our cause! More »

Youth Understanding Youth

Youth Understanding Youth

We are your safe place to burst out your problems, confusions, and concerns about LGBTQ. We offer free resources to completely get you more educated about our cause! More »

 

Famous Beards and the Gay Men Who Loved Them

With the recent US Supreme Court decision to recognize same sex marriages as a legal union, and making it illegal to deny that right, this is a good time to reflect back to when being gay was not acceptable at all. There were dozens of film and movie stars who tried relentlessly to hide their sexual preference, even going so far as to make arrangements with a beard.

What is a Beard?

Thanks to changes in public opinion, beards are popular in Hollywood for an entirely different reason.  A-list actors are investing in beard trimmers and sporting the bearded look with plenty of beard balm and shaping with their brush today, thanks to the growing popularity of facial hair. Real beards are big in Hollywood now but only the real deal.

Not so long ago, a beard in Hollywood referred to a woman who would accompany a gay man in order to help prove that he was not gay. Many even went so far as to marry them to keep up the illusion. This was a term coined in the ‘50’s and also referred to a man who went out publicly with a lesbian.

Some of these unions were amicable agreements between two ambitious stars who wanted to bank on the publicity, while sadly, some beards never even knew they were being strung along.

Phyllis Gates – Phyllis married movie icon Rock Hudson in 1955. A Hollywood leading man, Hudson was terrified of what would happen to his career if word got out about his real love life.

Renate Blauel – It seems preposterous now, but at one time Sir Elton John was trying to convince the world that he was in fact, bisexual, not gay. He took this so far that he even married, a union that lasted only four years before the knight publicly announced his sexuality. He deserves kudos as being one of the first openly gay stars advocating for gay rights around the world.

Judy Garland – Favorite to the trans world Liza Minnelli is the product of Garland’s “marriage” to director Vincent Minnelli, who went on and married three more women after his union with Garland went south. Of course the irony is that fast forward a few decades and Liza’s ex is announcing his preference for men.

Liza

Berry Berenson – One of the more tragic Hollywood beard stories, Berenson married Hollywood heart throb Anthony Perkins in 1973 and had two sons with him. Twenty years later he died from AIDS complications and Berenson was sadly one of the WTC victims who perished on 9/11.

Thankfully Hollywood has come a long way, and for the most part we no longer need to wonder about an A-list actors sexuality (ahem Tom Cruise). Jim Parsons, star of the ragingly popular “Big Bang Theory” explains it best as he says since becoming a star it has never even been an issue. No beards for him thankfully.

Get Your Recurve Bow Ready – The Gay Games Have Added Some New Sports

The next round of Gay Games is not scheduled until 2018, but there is already a ton of buzz about the new events. Taking a cue from the Olympics, the organizers have decided to add some more sports to attract gay athletes from all over the world.

Wheelchair rugby players, archers and fencers are all now Gay Game hopeful for 2018 since their respective sports were approved by the event’s governing body.

Also added is a boxing tournament, roller derby and petanque, but there still won’t be any polo events to look forward to for at least another decade. Still, the list of sports is impressive, and should bring in a lot more athletes for 2018.

The Location

There are currently five cities vying for the chance to host the 2018 gay games, including London, Orlando, Limerick, Amsterdam and Paris. The city of love would be a good choice considering the number of nations who have recently made changes to their same sex marriage policies. This will be the 10th event, and the winning city will have the chance to add more games appropriate to their area. So polo may still stand a chance if London wins their bid.

gay

Archery sounds the most promising considering the recent resurgence of interest. Those who have special skills with handling a recurve bow and arrows will certainly love that they now have the chance to show it off to such a large audience. Archery is not a sport to be taken lightly, and you are sure to see a lot of skill when the athletes start positioning their arrows inside of their recurve bows.

Sports List

In addition to the new sports added for 2018, the Gay Games also include:

  • Diving
  • Open water swimming
  • Swimming
  • Synchronized swimming
  • Water polo
  • 5k and 10k road races
  • Marathon and half marathon
  • Track and field 23 softball
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Bodybuilding
  • Bowling
  • Mountain bike race
  • Road races
  • Dancesport
  • Figure skating
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Martial arts
  • Powerlifting
  • Racquetball
  • Football
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Table tennis
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Aerbobics
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Bridge
  • Chess
  • Darts
  • Field hockey
  • Flag football
  • Handball
  • In-line speed skating
  • Judo
  • Netball
  • Billiards
  • Rodeo
  • Touch rugby
  • Rugby
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Sport climbing
  • Sport shooting

With a list that long there has to be something that you can find to excel at. Try your hand and join the team at archery or any of the other sports for the Gay Games, and help us to show our pride in everything we do.

Do Boycotts Work at Changing Public Opinion on Gay Marriage?

Back in 2012, fast food giant Chick-fil-a was in some serious hot grease when they went public with their anti-gay marriage philosophies. Considering their long standing and very candid Catholic roots, it really should have come as no surprise, and yet people from around the world were shocked at their blatant disregard for gay and lesbian rights.

This is a chain that for decades has gone against the grain, operating on biblical principles and closing every Sunday of the year so that their employees can attend church services. CEO and owner S. Truett Cathy has been quoted as saying they are thankful for living in a country where their values can be shared publicly.

Of course the public, and especially the LGBT community went nuts, staging all kinds of protests against the chain, including boycotts, protests and even kiss-ins. There were even music videos made in an attempt to belittle the company for standing up for their beliefs.

chick-fil-a

Afterwards, the CEO admitted that he had made an error in judgment by expressing his personal views in a professional forum. His intent clearly was not to make his company a symbol in the great debate over gay marriage rights. Does that mean that the boycotts and protests worked? Well no, because personally, Cathy’s views were not altered. Rather, a stance of no comment was taken.

Charitable Donations to Anti-Gay Groups?

If you don’t already know, Chick-fil-a makes its living off of fast food, particularly fried chicken and French fries. Over the years, they have become known for being a benevolent company, making a seemingly large contribution to a number of charitable causes. Upon further examination however, you find that a number of the recipients for these generous contributions are groups that are quite openly anti-gay and lesbian.

In that regard, boycotting will make a difference. With less profits comes less ability to make those charitable contributions. This is important to understand. Chick-fil-a by itself is not endangering the rights of gays and lesbians, but the large groups that they support are. And the best way to hurt them is in their bank account.

Go out, buy a really good deep fryer and start making fried chicken and French fries at home. It’s easy to do, and probably even healthier and cheaper. Just find the best deep fryer on a review site online, buy some chicken and look up a good recipe. There’s probably even some that are supposed to taste like what comes across the Chick-fil-a counter.

We do need to take a stand and start actively protecting our rights. When push comes to shove in any major debate, money always trumps common sense.

Ireland says ‘YES’ to Gay Marriage

Rainbow_flag_and_blue_skies

Coming in with a historic vote, Ireland finally says ‘YES’ to Gay Marriage and campaign activists have now surfaced celebrations on the new referendum results.

Although the counting hasn’t finished yet, there has been an overflowing support given for same-sex marriage last Saturday.

No campaigner and head of Catholic Iona Institute David Quinn tweeted on Saturday upon conceding to the defeat saying, “”Congratulations to the Yes side. Well done.”

Irish voters have then made a remarkable celebration on the event, which is truly recognizing its essence.

“I’m elated and relieved,” Joan O’Connell, Yes campaigner said on Saturday. “Just to see that level of acceptance from Irish people — it’s fantastic. It just shows that people are really fair-minded.

“Love has conquered all.”

Another one from the YES Equality campaign, Grainne Healy, was ecstatic over the results and reportedly saying, “”This is about the kind of Ireland we want to live in.”

The throng of people gathered around Dublin Castle in full anticipation for the announcement of the official voting results that day. The atmosphere must certainly be shrieking with excitement and worry all at the same time.

The first boxes were opened at the Dublin City count centre in Ballsbridge, and as soon as they brought out and sorted the results, it was already clear for the Yes campaign party that Ireland will be going to say ‘yes’.

It was estimated that a total of 70% approved of the same-sex marriage out of the turnout registered voters amounting to 60% of the population of campaigners and politicians. This means there will be an amendment in the constitution of Ireland following the votes in favor.

Accumulating these votes made Ireland the first country in the world ever to approve of the campaign of same-sex marriage by a popular and historical ballot. Surely, this is a cause for celebration among many activists who hope to spread awareness of the same issue. This is nothing sort of possible years back in 1993, when homosexual activity was against the nature of law in a Catholic country.

Also, it was a great joy for Irish voters from abroad who traveled back to Ireland to vote on the campaign, as there no absentee ballots allowed. The #hometovote tag definitely brought some emotional space on these homecoming Irish people.

Some famous personalities shared their sentiments on the approval of the new campaign, such as:

J.K. Rowling: “Sitting here watching the Irish make history. Extraordinary and wonderful.”

Colin o’donoghue: “Looks like it’ll be a very proud day to be Irish! Well done to our country! #MarRef #YesEquality”

Hozier: “The pure joy of it. I’m so proud of Ireland today… We can all take pride in making history. Only sorry I can’t be there to celebrate!”

Sam Smith: “So happy Ireland have passed the law to get married there. Still genuinely shocks me thou, that this is only just happening!!”

Clearly, this is another record that Ireland made straight by choosing now to have no barriers in love based on genders.

Celebrating the National Coming Out Day with Pride

IRELAND-GAY-MARRIAGE-VOTE

Today’s event is most importantly special as we come to celebrate the National Coming Out Day with our beloved LGBT communities as it marks its 26 years of commemoration!

A proud 120 fabric squares commemorative quilt now hangs in the CSUN Pride Center, which certainly pertains to the same common themes of self-acceptances, struggles, love, and sweet victories.

According to the Price Center working student Leonel Sanchez, he said, “The goal for National Coming Out Day is to get exposure to the LGBT community. Not only that, but also to get people to see that coming out is not necessarily a bad thing.”

The thing about the National Coming Out Day is for the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and queer community to celebrate who they really are and let themselves and true colors shine despite the criticisms and discriminations.

The National Coming Out Day is not just a celebration meant for the people who have finally found their identities, but also those people who are struggling with theirs.

“Hopefully, it inspires people to come out,” Leonel asserted. “Sometimes, all someone needs to come out is to see other people come out.”

We are still hopeful that LGBT communities will ease up on the struggles they still face every day. Today marks another day in history that a progress has been made to stop discriminating these communities.

Here are some facts you need to know:

1. NCOD founders

Robert Eichberg, a personal growth coach, and a psychologist coming from New Mexico, and Jean O’Leary, a politician and an ex-nun both founded NCOD on October 11, 1988. That’s 26 years from the past right from the National Gay Rights Advocates headquarters located in West Hollywood, California.

On its first year, there were 18 states who participated. After its headquarters moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, it already involved 21 states on its second year in 1989.

2. The reason for October 11

The founders, Eighberg and O’Leary, both chose October 11 as it is also in a parallel anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

A year back before its founding, on October 11, 1987, a marching of 500,000 people was made in Washington, DC to support gay rights. Afterward, this created a growth in the LGBT movement. Four months after that, lesbians, gays, transgender, and bisexuals all gathered together to decide on its next step, and thus NCOD was born.

3. This year marks a fight for Gay Marriage

Love conquered all the odds as five states recently won in the Gay Marriage campaign. This year has its own milestone for the LGBT communities.

Recently, Ireland said ‘Yes’ to same-sex marriage and now, more states are joining the movement. Currently these are the states currently facing a lawsuit to ban gay marriage or have already allowed gay marriage: Utah, Virginia, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana, Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wyoming, and West Virginia.

Sooner or later, the world will learn to recognize that love indeed chooses no gender.