One Direction singer Harry Styles shows support for gay NFL star ·

Always good to see support for the family from guys like Harry! Here’s the story from Gaz Jeffries of Pink News UK

One Direction singer Harry Styles has shown his support for out NFL star Michael Sam.

The band were performing in Missouri this week – the player’s home state and the base of his current team, the St Louis Rams.

Styles, 20, stepped out for the show in a Sam’s 96 Rams jersey, to cheers from the crowd.


At one point, he turned his back to the camera and gestured to Sam’s name on the jersey, in a show of solidarity.

After discovering the British singer’s gesture, the defensive player tweeted him to thank him for his support.

Michael Sam         @MichaelSamNFL


@Harry_Styles thank you for your support!!! #RamNation

It was revealed last month that Sam’s Rams jersey is currently the sixth most sold across the entire NFL, after just two months as a player.


Michael Sam made history when he was drafted by the St Louis Rams in May, a few months after publicly coming out.

Read this and other stories here at Pink News UK

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Prince Harry: I might experiment with gay men if my relationship doesn’t work out ·

Gotta love this royal ginger! Yet again he demonstrates how at ease he is around gay men. Here’s the story from Corrine Pinfold of Pink News UK


Prince Harry at the launch of Walking With The Wounded

Prince Harry has said he might try relationships with men if he “changes his mind” about women, while on a night out with his current girlfriend.

Harry and his girlfriend, Cressida Bonas, were taking a night out together at The Rum Kitchen in Notting Hill on Friday, when Harry was slipped the phone number of Vincenzo Ianniello.

He reportedly accepted the number happily, and promised to call Mr Ianniello if he changed his mind about dating women.

Mr Ianniello later tweeted about the exchange: “I gave Prince Harry my number tonight, he promised he’ll call me if he changes his mind about women. Or men. #epicwin”

Last week Conservative peer Lord True suggested the law needs to be changed to prepare for a married lesbian Queen who conceives using donor sperm.

Friends close to James Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge’s younger brother, dismissed rumours that he is gay but also say he’s not “bothered” by them.

In November 2012 Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, wrote a letter supporting the Terrence Higgins Trust in its campaign against HIV.

Earlier in 2012 Harry came under fire for using the word “queer”, but was defended by Peter Tatchell, who pointed out that Harry has made a video diary in which he kisses and licks the face of another male soldier.

Read this and more stories here at Pink News UK

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Gay teen beaten and disowned by family finds amazing support in crowdfunded campaign ·

I posted the video and story when this first broke and last night I rebloged a dad’s response to the story. Now here’s an update on what’s happened since from Joseph Patrick McCormick of Pink News UK


Daniel Pierce was kicked out of his home when he came out as gay (Image: Facebook)

A teenager who was beaten and kicked out of his home has found support in a crowdfunding campaign set up to help him keep going after being disowned by his family.

The incident was captured in a video by Daniel Pierce’s boyfriend David, and posted to Reddit. On coming out, he is hit, shouted at and told he must move out. He said he was called a “damned queer” and a “piece of shit”.

While some questioned the authenticity of the video, the Advocate reports that Pierce’s aunt has guaranteed that the incident really took place.

Pierce posted a message to Facebook saying: “What a day…. I thought that waking up at 9:48 and being 15 mins late to work was going to be the biggest problem today. But I didn’t know that my biggest problem was going to be getting disowned and kicked out of my home of almost twenty years. to add insult to injury my step mother punched me in the face repeatedly with my grandmother cheering her along. I am still in complete shock and disbelief. the video I posted a few hours ago will give you a small bit of what I went through. I am sure y’all can guess who is who. Thanks to Teri, Regina and my boyfriend david for coming to rescue me. and thanks to everyone else who is sending their support!”

A GoFundMe page was set up to help Pierce with living costs, and has so far raised almost $50,000 (£30,000).

Piece has since written on Facebook that he is “in a safe place”, and that he will be shutting his page down in order to find privacy.

Tony Kelly, media officer at LGBT youth homeless charity the Albert Kennedy Trust told PinkNews that the charity works hard towards helping young LGBT people avoid homelessness in the UK, and that the charity is also beginning to work with LGBT youth in the US.

“We are trying to prevent this kind of situation from happening to young people in the future,” said Kelly.

Read this and other stories here at Pink News UK

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A Gay Dad’s Open Letter to the Homophobic Parents Caught on Video Throwing Their Gay Son Away


A great response to a terrible event…

Originally posted on evoL =:


parents caught on vid

Another young person has been thrown out of his home for coming out as gay. I have written about this on a number of occasions covering such events in the United States, Nigeria and Uganda.

This time the event was recorded. Trying to imagine the evil some people can impart on their children is no longer necessary. Now we can hear them in their own self righteous voices

It started when the family called 20 year old Daniel Pierce to an “intervention.” He left his phone recorder going during the confrontation and was later posted online as “How not to react when your child tells you he is gay.” It has gone viral. In the video, Daniel , explains to what sounds like his mother, step-mother and father that he is gay. The choices this set of parents makes as a reaction are almost as bad…

View original 1,043 more words

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Must Read: The Transgender Crucible: How CeCe McDonald Became a Folk Hero | Rolling Stone

Unfortunately for nonsubscribers Rolling Stone holds back it’s articles online until the next issue of the magazine is released. This issue, which just appeared on my Kindle, has a heartwrenching story of youth left to fend for themselves after being rejected by their deeply religious parents. I recommend picking up the issue. The article is called, “The Forsaken.”

For now I’ll focus on this story from the previous Rolling Stone. It is important because it let’s readers inside the life of a trans woman who endured and survived only to be changed with murder. Here’s how the article begins…


A dozen eggs, bacon, maybe some biscuits: CeCe McDonald had a modest shopping list in mind, just a few things for breakfast the next day. It was midnight, the ideal time for a supermarket run. Wearing a lavender My Little Pony T-shirt and denim cutoffs, CeCe grabbed her purse for the short walk to the 24-hour Cub Foods. She preferred shopping at night, when the darkened streets provided some relief from the stares, whispers and insults she encountered daily as a transgender woman. CeCe, 23, had grown accustomed to snickers and double takes – and was practiced in talking back to strangers who’d announce, “That’s a man!” But such encounters were tiring; some days a lady just wanted to buy her groceries in peace.

And so it was that on a warm Saturday night in June 2011, CeCe and four friends, all African-Americans in their twenties, found themselves strolling the tree-lined streets of her quiet working-class Long­fellow neighborhood in Minneapolis, toward a commercial strip. Leading the way was CeCe’s roommate Latavia Taylor and two purse-carrying gay men – CeCe’s makeshift family, whom she called “cousin” and “brothers” – with CeCe, a fashion student at a local community college, and her lanky boyfriend trailing behind. They were passing the Schooner Tavern when they heard the jeering.


Gathered outside the dive bar were a handful of cigarette-smoking white people, looking like an aging biker gang in their T-shirts, jeans and bandannas, motorcycles parked nearby. Hurling the insults were 47-year-old Dean Schmitz, in a white button-down and thick silver chain, and his 40-year-old ex-girlfriend Molly Flaherty, clad in black, drink in hand. “Look at that boy dressed as a girl, tucking his dick in!” hooted Schmitz, clutching two beer bottles freshly fetched from his Blazer, as CeCe and her friends slowed to a stop. “You niggers need to go back to Africa!”

Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald stepped in front of her friends, a familiar auto­pilot kicking in, shunting fury and fear to a distant place while her mouth went into motion. “Excuse me. We are people, and you need to respect us,” CeCe began in her lisping delivery, one acrylic-nailed finger in the air, her curtain of orange micro­braids swaying. With her caramel skin, angled jaw and square chin, friends called her “CeCe” for her resemblance to the singer Ciara; even her antagonist Flaherty would later describe CeCe as “really pretty.” “We’re just trying to walk to the store,” CeCe continued, raising her voice over the blare of Schmitz and Flaherty’s free-associating invective: “bitches with dicks,” “faggot-lovers,” “niggers,” “rapists.” The commotion was drawing more patrons out of the bar – including a six-foot-eight, 310-pound biker in leather chaps – and CeCe’s boyfriend, Larry Thomas, nervously called to Schmitz, “Enjoy your night, man – just leave us alone.” CeCe and her friends turned to go. Then Flaherty glanced at Schmitz and laughed.

“I’ll take all of you bitches on!” Flaherty hollered, and smashed CeCe in the side of her face with a glass tumbler.

Just like that, a mundane walk to the store turned into a street brawl, in a near-farcical clash of stereotypes. Pandemonium erupted as CeCe and Flaherty seized each other by the hair; the bikers swung fists and hurled beer bottles, hollering “beat that faggot ass!”; and CeCe’s friends flailed purses and cracked their studded belts as whips. When the two sides separated, panting and disoriented, Flaherty was curled up amid the broken glass screaming, mistakenly, that she’d been knifed, and CeCe stood over her, her T-shirt drenched with her own blood. Touching her cheek, CeCe felt a shock of pain as her finger entered the open wound where Flaherty’s glass had punctured her salivary gland. Purse still over her shoulder, CeCe fast-walked from the scene. She’d made it more than a half-block away when she heard her friends calling, “Watch your back!”

Continue reading here: 

Another story of interest:
About a Girl: Coy Mathis’ Fight to Change Gender

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Recommended Reading: If Not D.A.R.E., Then What? – The Atlantic

Substance use and abuse have preoccupied Americans for decades. The LGBTQ community has been disproportionately affected by the issues associated with substance use, including alcohol. How to manage the problem has bedeviled those concerned with providing education and prevention to youth. A program that was a failure was D.A.R.E. which stressed abstinence only and used law enforcement to bolster the program. Now the question is what now? Here’s the opening paragraphs of a report by STEPHIE GROB PLANTE writing for the Atlantic

Moving away from “Just Say No” and towards a more nuanced understanding of drug education


tanjila ahmed/Flickr

I grew up in the 1990s, the era of mandatory D.A.R.E. and Just Say No. Local law enforcement stepped inside the classroom to instruct us kids, their message clear: “All drugs are bad.”

My dad, Dr. Charles Grob, one of the country’s leading clinical researchers studying the potential benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy, didn’t agree. As the director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and with the approval of the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration, he’s led several investigative studies of drugs branded by D.A.R.E. in my youth as “bad,” including MDMA (“Ecstasy” or “Molly”), psilocybin (“shrooms”), and ayahuasca.

His colleagues—many of whom I’ve known since I was very young—have added marijuana, ketamine, ibogaine, and even LSD to their impressive roster of studies as well. Investigation of these substances had previously been shuttered, thanks in large part to Timothy Leary’s Pied Piperism during the 1960s, but the 90s initiated a renaissance of government-sanctioned psychedelic research that continues to this day.

The results of recent studies have been positive. Take psilocybin, for instance. In studies positing that psilocybin can reduce anxiety for end-stage cancer patients,ease the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and treat alcohol abuse, the data is encouraging. Psilocybin, if used appropriately, could be a viable medicine. Or, consider MDMA. Dr. Michael Mithoefer’s study using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat individuals suffering from PTSD found reduced symptoms in 83 percent of subjects in the active treatment group, versus 25 percent of subjects in the control group. The pilot study’s success has led to approvals for a new follow-up study treating military veterans suffering from PTSD.

There are a variety of takeaways from these studies, but one is clear and consistent: Many of those “bad” drugs aren’t always bad…

Continue reading this important article here at the Atlantic

Related Story

Life With Legal Weed

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‘No Angel': Miley Cyrus And The Reality Of Homeless Youth | ThinkProgress

I completely agree that the media has really dropped the ball on this story. I was furious that the attention turned to a warrant for the young man who accompanied Miley to the VMAs. Who the hell cares? You are going to find many homeless youth face legal trouble. It is part of survival that you run afoul of the law. In any case the story should be about youth homelessness. Here’s the story from Jessica Goldstein writing for Think Progress ..



Miley Cyrus is mad at the media. And Miley Cyrus is right.

Cyrus brought Jesse Helt, a homeless 22-year-old, as her date to the MTV Video Music Awards. She’d met Helt at My Friend’s Place, an L.A. center that aids homeless youth in the city. When Cyrus won Video of the Year, she sent Helt up in her stead. He gave a speech about the plight of homeless youth and directed viewers to Cyrus’s Facebook page, where they could learn more about how to help those in need.

Helt had moved to L.A. from Oregon and was trying to pursue a modeling career without a place to live.

Last night, the Associated Press reported that there’s a warrant out for Helt’s arrest in Oregon: he’d been arrested on charges of criminal mischief, criminal trespass and burglary when he was 18 years old. From the AP story, which ran under the headline “Miley Cyrus’ Date Wanted By Oregon Police“:

“According to court records, he broke into the apartment of a man who had been selling what Helt believed to be bad marijuana.

Helt, who was 18 at the time, pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and criminal trespass, both misdemeanors, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and probation. The arrest warrant was issued in November 2011 after he violated probation…

Polk County Director of Community Corrections Martin Silbernagel said Tuesday officials are trying to locate Helt and arrest him. He said Helt repeatedly failed to meet with his probation officer.”

Since the story broke, media attention on Helt and his VMA appearance has focused almost entirely on his criminal record. His mugshots have been making the rounds, and the always-tasteful Daily Mirror accused him of looking “very different” in his mugshots “to his suited and booted appearance at the VMAs and it seems he didn’t tell the full story of his background.” Crushable’s headline dismissed Helt as “Fake Homeless” and put quotation marks around the word homeless whenever using it to refer to Helt throughout the story. Reading these stories, one gets the sense that Cyrus failed to properly vet her date, that she should have found a “better” homeless guy to make the speech.

Of course it’s fair for news organizations to report on the fact that there’s a warrant out for Helt’s arrest. But the idea that it is somehow a surprise that a homeless young person has a criminal record just doesn’t make any sense. As the National Health Care for the Council reported in a 2012 policy brief, “Homelessness contributes to the risk for incarceration, and incarceration contributes to higher risks of homelessness. Approximately 15-percent of jail inmates had been homeless in the year prior to their incarceration and 54-percent of homeless individuals report spending time in a correctional facility at some point in their lives.” That he has a criminal past, or even a criminal present, hardly makes Helt an exceptional case study of a homeless individual. The surprising story would be if Helt had somehow wound up homeless after spending the first two decades of his life having no problems or hardships whatsoever.

James Beck is the development director at Sasha Bruce Youthwork, which operates the only youth-specific shelter in Washington D.C. He provided some context for Helt’s criminal history via email. “Homelessness leaves unaccompanied youth in a desperate situation, leading some to become involved in criminal activity,” he wrote. “Many unaccompanied youth resort to illegal activity as part of their strategy for survival. For example, unaccompanied youth seeking shelter might break into an abandoned building, while youth seeking income to meet basic needs might sell drugs. However, while homeless youth often engage in criminal activity, research shows they are more likely to be the victims of crime rather than the perpetrators.”


The coverage of Helt is, in a way, an echo of stories on Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was shot multiple times and killed in Ferguson. I’m particularly reminded of the release of security footage of Brown stealing a box of cigars moments before his murder and the now-notorious New York Times story that referred to Brown as “no angel” who “dabbled in drugs and alcohol,” “had taken to rapping in recent months,” and “got into at least one scuffle with a neighbor.” As if he somehow deserved what he got because of these minor, even laughable (“taken to rapping”) infractions.

The most cynical take on Cyrus and Helt could turn out to be true — that Helt is just launching a modeling career, that Cyrus just wants to look like a good person and get positive press — and it wouldn’t actually change the most important part of the story. There are still more than one-and-a-half million homeless youths in the U.S.

See more, including Miley’s tweets, here at Think Progress

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