"It was just a normal day. I’d been out having sex with some girls, and then I saw Jesus."
Are People ‘Born Gay’? Who Gives a Shit?
It’s OK to be gay because I say so. Fuck science. If you want to bump uglies tonight with someone who has the same set of genitals as you, go for it. Seriously, this is on me, folks—as one of Britain’s leading slut bags, I now pronounce you free to go gay. Or not. Whatever. I really couldn’t give a shit.
You may’ve read some stories recently about researchers actually finding this mythical and vitally important “gay gene.” Others say they might now be able to tell if someone is gay by their earwax. A lot of this research isn’t peer reviewed, but who cares about dreary old details like that? And who cares that despite years of searching, scientists don’t even know which genes control height?
These quests to find the mythical “gay gene” have proven to be pretty controversial, to the point that the scientists involved have come out and defended their efforts. Qazi Rahman, a psychologist at King’s College London, recently insisted to the Guardian: “We need to do ‘gene finding’ studies… to have a better idea where potential genes for sexual orientation may lie.” Why? Why do we need to know? There are other areas of human sexuality that might be worth investigating. Is there, for example, a rapist gene? A pedophile gene? That knowledge could be useful. But what’s the point of finding a gay gene? So homophobic moms-and-dads-to-be can abort gay fetuses? If that’s not the reason, what is?
In the face of new homophobic legislation, it’s perhaps understandable that a number of Western politicians and celebrities, from Francois Hollande to Lady Gaga to Stephen Fry, are boycotting—or calling for a boycott of—the Sochi Olympics. But, as Young and Gay in Putin’s Russia shows, the vast majority of gay people and gay activists in Russia do not support an international boycott.
“We oppose the boycott of the Olympics because it would hurt the athletes, who then wouldn’t be able to participate, and also the Russian LGBT community, because they would blame us if anything goes wrong,” said activist Nikolay Alexeyev. Countless gay rights supporters in Russia echoed his views.
Russia’s homophobic legislation has led to a depressing rise in violence. Watch Part 3 of our new documentary Young & Gay in Putin’s Russia
When Russian President Vladimir Putin banned gay “propaganda” last June, Russia’s LGBT community went from being a stigmatized fringe group to full-blown enemies of the state. We traveled to Russia to investigate the effects of the country’s state-sanctioned homophobia.
Young and Gay in Putin’s Russia (Part 1/5)
(Source: Vice Magazine)
Young and Gay in Putin’s Russia - Part 1
When Russian President Vladimir Putin banned gay “propaganda” in June last year, Russia’s LGBT community went from being a stigmatized fringe group to full-blown enemies of the state. Homophobia becoming legislation means it’s now not only accepted in Russia but actively encouraged, which has led to a depressing rise in homophobic attacks and murders.
The main aim of the law, which essentially bans any public display of homosexuality, is to prevent minors from getting the impression that being gay is normal. Which means that, if you’re young and gay in Putin’s Russia, you’re ostracized and cut off from any kind of legal support network.
We traveled to Russia ahead of February’s Sochi Winter Olympics to investigate the effects of the country’s state-sanctioned homophobia. In the first part, we take a ride in Moscow’s gay taxi service, hear about the rise of homophobic vigilante groups, and meet Yulia, who runs LGBT self-defense classes.
Cry-Baby of the Week
The incident: Utah allowed gay couples to start getting married.
The appropriate response: Nothing.
The actual response: A man went on hunger strike, vowing not to eat again until gays were banned from marrying.
Last month, US District Judge Robert Shelby ruled that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the consitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples.
Predictably, applications for marriages skyrocketed in the state, with gay couples rushing to tie the knot.
This didn’t sit too well with a 35-year-old Mormon named Trestin Meacham, who announced that he was going to go on hunger strike until the state reversed the decision.
Like many bigots, Trestin attempted to hide his intolerance behind an excuse. In a post on his blog, he explained that his objection to the judge’s decision is actually a result of it being unconstitutional, rather than his own homophobia. He wrote, “Unfortunately, the Judicial Branch of the government is more concerned with activism than it is with actually following the Constitution.”
Young and Gay in Putin’s Russia
When Russian President Vladimir Putin banned gay “propaganda” in June last year, Russia’s LGBT community went from being a stigmatised fringe group to full-blown enemies of the state. Homophobia becoming legislation means it’s now not only accepted in Russia but actively encouraged, which has led to a depressing rise in homophobic attacks and murders.
The main aim of the law, which essentially bans any public display of homosexuality, is to prevent minors from getting the impression that being gay is normal. Which means that, if you’re young and gay in Putin’s Russia, you’re ostracised and cut off from any kind of legal support network.
We travelled to Russia ahead of February’s Sochi Winter Olympics to investigate the effects of the country’s state-sanctioned homophobia. There, we met everyone from young members of Moscow’s LGBT community and core gay rights activists, to one of Putin’s spin doctors and the lawmaker behind the repressive anti-gay propaganda law.
Young and Gay in Putin’s Russia will air in full on VICE.com next week.
Greece’s Kissing Gays Defied Neo-Nazis and Bigot Bishops Yesterday
I have always been ambivalent about January 6. It is the day before my birthday, which means I can get presents and get drunk. On the other hand, it is a great celebration of Orthodoxy. Greeks gather at various ports around the country and watch a rather theatrical religious tradition: priests throwing a crucifix into the sea while several young men dive into cold water and attempt to retrieve it for good luck. The day is called Theophany, or Epiphany, and it commemorates the revelation of God in human form through Jesus.
Since I’m an atheist, this whole ritual doesn’t mean much to me. However, this year January 6 got a lot more interesting. I got up early in the morning and joined a group of gay activists, members of Greece’s LGBT community, who gathered at the port of Piraeus to protest against Seraphim, the town’s ultra-conservative Bishop, who is notorious for his homophobic statements. By the time Seraphim tossed his cross into the sea, the assorted Ls, Gs, Bs and Ts were giving each other big gay kisses and handling out leaflets that read: “Love is not a sin.”
Last November, the European Court of Human Rights ordered Greece to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships like straight people can. The Strasbourg-based tribunal ruled that, in not doing so, Athens was in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Greece remains the only EU country other than Lithuania to refuse to extend this right to same-sex couples. Seraphim responded to the plans to make Greece join the rest of Europe in the 21st century by stating that “homosexuality is a unnatural aberration not even observed in animals.” A statement that discriminates against the sexual habits of manyalbatrosses, king penguins, dolphins, giraffes, and ancient Greeks.