Our top 5 best things about June 2011…
- In at number one we’ve got New York’s decision to legalise gay marriage. New York is now both the largest and latest US state to legalise gay marriage. Over the past few months campaigners, politicians and celebrities had been putting pressure on the New York Senate to pass the bill and when the announcement came music artists P!nk and Lady Gaga both tweeted in celebration.
- Next up are the King’s Cross Steelers. The Steelers, for those of you who don’t know, are a gay-friendly rugby union team, and boy have they been busy during June. At the start of the month the Steelers were in Amsterdam taking part in the Union Cup and held on to their title as European Champions by defeating the Manchester Village Spartans – but wait, there is more! As well as being European Champions, 12 of their members have recently taken part in a hike across the top of 15 mountains in Snowdonia to raise money for LGBT domestic violence charity Broken Rainbow. The Steelers will also be marching in Pride London – what legends!
- President Obama declared June to be National LGBT Pride Month in the US. He shared his vision for June in a White House press release in which he stated: ‘Each June, we commemorate the courageous individuals who have fought for LGBT Americans, and we rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity’. Hail to the chief!
- June saw Google bring its Chrome browser’s ‘It Gets Better’ advert campaign to the UK. We were impressed to see such a high-profile company sending a powerful message to LGBT youth on prime time UK television. The advert includes celebrities from Anne Hathaway to Woody from Toy Story, as well (of course) as Lady GaGa. You can view the advert in full here:
- Viewers of Coronation Street have had their first look at gay dads, Sean and Marcus, who were thrown in at the deep end when Sean’s son came to stay after his mum was taken ill. Charlie Condou, who plays Marcus in the soap, said ‘I think controversial storylines like this are important because, without realising it, people become used to it and it becomes normal, for want of a better word.’ We think that if this storyline can help to change hearts and minds then all the better.
…and now on to the worst…
- In at number one, pretending to be a lesbian blogger. During June two well-known ‘lesbian bloggers’ were unmasked as straight men. Their true identities came to light within days of each other after one of them, Tom MacMaster, who had been masquerading as ‘A Gay Girl in Damascus’, Amina Abdallah, revealed that he was in fact the true author of the blog. The world had become rife with rumours that Adballah had been abducted by three armed men thought to be members of the Syrian security services – which would have been difficult considering Adballah was in fact the forty year old MacMaster, and he was in Scotland. So So Gay’s Claire Connor was bemused and annoyed by the news.
- The Core Issues Trust has managed to gain a place in our top five after it held a ‘gay cure’ event in a Church of Ireland venue during June. The trust were hosting a speaker from the United States who claimed to be able to encourage homosexual people to practice heterosexuality. The Northern Ireland LGBT community and itss supporters were out in force to protest outside the event, with about 50 picketing to show their disgust at this shocking concept.
- Courtney Love hit out at Lady Gaga during June, accusing the beloved songstress of being a ‘weird, sexless Barbie doll’, and predicting that Gaga could end up becoming a ‘lonely drag queen’. We can’t help but think this smacks of jealousy rather than concern.
- It has been reported that the Nigerian Women’s Football Team has sacked a number of players for being lesbians. The Nigerian coach was reported as saying: ‘We have seen the result of our efforts and I can tell you that lesbianism is now a thing of the past in the camp of the Super Falcons.’ There has been widespread condemnation from LGBT sporting organisations, who have called on FIFA to be more vocal in the fight against homophobia in sport. As So So Gay reported back in December, however, FIFA boss Sepp Blatter certainly seems to be no friend to gay football fans; we’re still not holding our breath.
- The authorities in Russia have been at it again: fourteen activists were detained and held overnight by police for taking part in the second attempt at a gay pride march in St Petersburg. The march lasted only two minutes before being stopped by the police, who defied a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights stating that Russia could not ban pride marches. In an exclusive So So Gay interview in May, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told us there was a ‘very blatant connivance between the Moscow police and ultranationalists, neo-Nazis and Russian Orthodox fundamentalists’. If you’re marching in Pride London, spare a moment to think about what Pride really means, especially in countries that still oppress their gay people.
Think we’ve got it spot on or just plain wrong? Let us know in the comments.