Gay Swedish Footballer Bares all For Charity

AntonHysen01The bare buttocks of Anton Hysén, who last year came out as the first openly gay Swedish male footballer, have been put up for auction to raise money for a gay rights group in Russia.

“Anton Hysén is Sweden’s hottest homo right now,” QX editor Anders Öhrman told the Expressen newspaper.

Öhrman’s comments came in conjunction with the publication on Wednesday of QX’s 200th issue, for which Hysén bares all in a provocative cover photo shot by photographer Magnus Ragnvid. Hysén, the son of former Liverpool and Fiorentina legend Glenn Hysén, made headlines across the globe in March 2011 when he openly declared his homosexuality.

The Swedish footballer, who plays in the Swedish third division for Utsiktens BK, has since been voted Sweden’s “Gay of the Year” (Årets homo) by QX magazine.

More recently, he’s been thrust back into the spotlight as a contestant on the Swedish version of the Let’s Dance reality television show.

“He doesn’t just dance around in tight spandex, but he also does a lot to combat homophobia in the sports world, primarily in England and the United States,” said Öhrman.

AntonHysen03In addition to gracing the cover of QX, a picture of Hysén’s naked body is also at the centre of a charity auction organized by the magazine and the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (Riksförbundet för homosexuellas, bisexuellas och transpersoners rättigheter – RFSL).

The signed image, in which Hysén’s bare behind features prominently, has been put up for auction to help raise money for the St. Petersburg-based gay rights group Coming Out and its campaign against recently adopted Russian laws which criminalize homosexuality.

“Because there’s been so much discussion about his arse in “Let’s Dance”, we’ve taken a signed and framed photograph of the arse that we’re putting up for auction,” Öhrman told Expressen.

The auction, which is being run through Swedish auction site Tradera, runs through Sunday, and all the proceeds from the sale will go to Coming Out.

Anton3

Rainbow Flag History

A rainbow flag is a multi-colored flag consisting of stripes in the colors of the rainbow.  The actual colors shown differ, but many of the designs are based on the traditional scheme of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, or some more modern division of the rainbow spectrum (often excluding indigo, and sometimes including cyan instead).

The use of rainbow flags has a long tradition; they are displayed in many cultures around the world as a sign of diversity and inclusiveness, of hope and of yearning.

There are several independent rainbow flags in use today. The most widely known worldwide is the pride flag representing gay pride. The peace flag is especially popular in Italy and the cooperative flag symbolizes the international co-operative movement. It is also used by Andean people to represent the legacy of the Inca empire (Wiphala) and Andean movements.

The use of rainbow flags as a sign of diversity, inclusiveness, hope and yearning has a long history. This choice of the rainbow, in the form of a flag for convenience, harkens back to the rainbow as a symbol of biblical promise. God first created the rainbow as a sign to Noah that there would never again be a world-wide flood. The reformer Thomas Müntzer (1489–1525) connected socially revolutionary claims with his preaching of the gospel. He is often portrayed with a rainbow flag in his hand. The Thomas Müntzer statue in the German town of Stolberg also shows him holding a rainbow flag in his hand.

In the German Peasants’ War of the 16th century, the rainbow flag together with the peasants’ boot (“Bundschuh”) was used as the sign of a new era, of hope and of social change.

In 1961, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi designed the rainbow tallit (prayer shawl) as a symbol of the Kabalah for the members of the Jewish Bene Ohr (“The Children of Light”). It is a vertically presented rainbow, with each colour separated by black stripes of varying thicknesses. The colors represent aspects of God; the black stripes and white spaces represent aspects of creation and protection.

A seven-colour rainbow flag is a common symbol of the international cooperative movement. The rainbow flag has been the cooperative emblem since 1921 when the International Co-operative Congress of World Co-op Leaders met in Basel, Switzerland to identify and define the growing cooperative movement’s common values and ideals to help unite co-ops around the world.

In Essen, Germany in 1922, the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) designed an international co-op symbol and a flag for the first “Co-operators’ Day,” which was held in July 1923. After some experiments with different designs, a famous French cooperator, Professor Charles Gide, suggested using the seven colours of the rainbow for the flag. He pointed out that the rainbow symbolized unity in diversity and the power of light, enlightenment and progress. The first co-op rainbow flag was completed in 1924 and was adopted as an official symbol of the international cooperative movement in 1925.

In 2001, the ICA’s official flag was changed from a rainbow flag to a rainbow logo flag on a white field, to clearly promote and strengthen the cooperative image, but still use the rainbow image. Other organizations sometimes use the traditional rainbow flag as a symbol of cooperation.

Like the rainbow, this flag is a symbol of hope and peace. The seven colours from flags around the world fly in harmony. Each of the seven colours in the co-operative flag have been assigned the following meaning:

red: stands for courage;
orange: offers the vision of possibilities;
yellow: represents the challenge that GREEN has kindled;
green: indicates a challenge to co-operators to strive for growth of membership and of understanding of the aims and values of co-operation;
sky blue: suggests far horizons, the need to provide education and help less fortunate people and strive toward global unity.
dark blue: suggests pessimism: a reminder that less fortunate people have needs that may be met through the benefits of cooperation.
violet: is the colour of warmth, beauty, and friendship.

The ICA has been flying a flag with its official logo since April 2001, when its Board decided to replace the traditional rainbow flag. Its use by a number of non-cooperative groups led to confusion in several countries around the world.

Meher Baba designed a rainbow flag on April 23, 1924. It is flown each year near his samadhi (tomb-shrine) in Meherabad, India during the week of Amartithi (the anniversary of his death on January 31, 1969). Baba explained the symbolism, saying, “The colors in the flag signify man’s rise from the grossest of impressions of lust and anger – symbolized by red – to the culmination in the highest state of spirituality and oneness with God – symbolized by sky blue.

The world’s best-known version of the rainbow flag, sometimes called ‘the freedom flag’, was popularized as a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and diversity by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. The different colors symbolize diversity in the gay community, and the flag is used predominantly at gay pride events and in gay villages worldwide in various forms including banners, clothing and jewelry. For the 25th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots, held in 1994 in New York city, a mile-long rainbow flag was created and post-parade cut up in sections that have since been used around the world.

Originally created with eight colors, pink and turquoise were removed for production purposes and as of 1979, it consists of six colored stripes, which should always be displayed with red on top or to left. It is most commonly flown with the red stripe on top, as the colors appear in a natural rainbow. Aside from the obvious symbolism of a mixed LGBT community, the colors were designed to symbolize: red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), blue (harmony), and purple/violet (spirit).[citation needed] The removed colors stood for sex (pink) and art/magic (turquoise).

Norwich Pride Saturday 28th July 2012

Norwich Pride is a celebration from the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) community for everyone. The forth Norwich Pride will be on Saturday 28th July 2012 and includes a picnic in Chapelfield Gardens as well as stalls, speeches and entertainment at the Forum and a Parade through the City Centre. There are parties, comedy and live music at venues across the city as well as films, art exhibitions and family-friendly events.

Norwich Pride is organised by a Collective of friendly, creative, enthusiastic volunteers who want to ensure Norwich is a city where everyone can feel safe and proud to be themselves.

The central events that the Norwich Pride Collective are organising are free – this is a true community celebration. There are lots of workshops and events around the main celebrations and you will need to pay for some of these.

There are a number of ways to participate. If you would like to be involved on a personal level, For more information – please email  info@norwichpride.org.uk- we love to hear ideas.

LGBT – Don’t Suffer In Silence

Help Support GMFA Charity

Founded in 1992, GMFA is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to gay men’s health. There mission is to improve gay men’s health by increasing the control they have over their own lives.

They believe that the best health promotion for gay men comes from gay men themselves. For this reason, they use the knowledge and ideas of volunteers, most of them gay men, to design and plan there sexual health interventions.  These include a range of advertising campaigns, leaflets, postcards and booklets; FS, our health magazine, distributed nationally in gay venues and GU clinics; and national and London-based courses covering sex education, life skills and smoking cessation. In addition, they create targeted sexual health interventions for black gay men and HIV positive gay men.

Independent surveys have concluded that GMFA’s advertising campaigns reach up to 60% of the London gay population and hundreds of thousands of gay men access our online sexual health information each year, making GMFA the most reliable agency for reaching gay men.

Every year GMFA actively participates in World AIDS Day, Walk For Life and the London Pride parade. In addition, since 2007, GMFA and the RVT have jointly organised Gay Sports Day.

If you would like to get involved or help support GMFA at any of these events, please look at the information in this section and get in touch with them by emailing matthew.hodson@gmfa.org.uk or calling 020 7738 6872.

Stacey Solomon To Perform At 2012 Pride Ball

Organisers of the Pride Ball in Birmingham have confirmed that Stacey Solomon, the winner of ITV1’s I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! in 2010 and also an X Factor finalist, will be one of the headline performers at this year’s event on Friday 23 March.

The Dagenham-born singer, who appeared before a capacity crowd at the Nightingale Club last week, will be performing some of her favourite songs at the Ball, including Son Of A Preacher Man.

Pride Ball organiser Martin Monahan commented:

‘Stacey is a beautiful, geniune person inside and out, and I know our guests will be absolutely delighted that she’ll be supporting this special fundraising event for HIV/AIDS and LGBT charities. She is going to absolutely storm it.’

Eden Bar’s Garry Prentice, who is organising tables for his venue to attend the event, added:

‘I absolutely love Stacey Solomon, and was gutted not to be able to get to the Nightingale Club last week to see her. Like the Nightingale, Eden Bar was also so busy last Saturday, so I just couldn’t get away, so I’m completely made up that I will get the opportunity to see Stacey perform at the Pride Ball. It’s fantastic news.’

In addition to Stacey Solomon, other artists confirmed to appear are ’80s pop legend Sinitta (So Macho, Toyboy), award-winning tribute artist Vicky Jackson, and Luke Lucas – the 16-year-old X Factor contestant who made it to the judges’ houses last year.

More artists are set to be announced soon.

This year’s Pride Ball takes place on Friday 23 March at The International Convention Centre in Birmingham.

Early bird tickets start from just £65, which includes a three-course meal, if booked and paid for before the end of February. The tickets can be purchased online at www.prideball.co.uk or by contacting Jo Henning on 01743 281712.


 

Facebook Adds New Relationship Status Feature

Facebook has introduced two relationship status indicators that folks in the LGBT community might find more useful.Effective immediately, U.S. residents can choose between “In a domestic partnership” and “In a civil union,” along with the usual roster of relationship options, which currently include Single, In a relationship, Engaged, Married, It’s complicated, In an open relationship, Widowed, Separated and Divorced.

These two new options should be rolled out to residents of other countries soon. In countries where same-sex marriages are already legal, these options will not appear  Facebook and the site’s Network of Support have been instrumental in a few LGBT initiatives in recent months.

After last fall’s string of high-profile gay teen suicides, Facebook teamed up with GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) to put a stop to anti-gay bullying on the social network. A few days later, the site’s  Network if Support(NOS) was officially formed. At the time, we were told that more good news for LGBT Facebook users would be coming soon.

The new statuses are a double-edged sword, however; the civil union/domestic partnership distinction is one that many LGBT groups are currently trying to erase. In fact, marriage equality is one of the key campaigning points for many groups in the NOS, including the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD and PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).

And many couples in same-sex relationships who have already defined themselves on Facebook as “married” aren’t necessarily eager to adopt the new nomenclature. As one user wrote in a Facebook comment on the Trevor Project’s wall,

“I’ll just leave myself listed as ‘married’ after 14 years, that sums it up, even if it isn’t legal!”

Other commenters were more harsh in their statements, saying that Facebook was adopting the “separate and unequal” policies of the many states that do not allow gay marriage.

Still, it’s good that Facebook is finally recognizing the legal relationships that do currently exist between LGBT couples in the U.S. and in other countries. Whether those status distinctions will be needed in the future remains to be seen and that is a battleground in which Facebook remains decidedly neutral, although highlighting the lack of marriage equality could be seen as a subtle nod to marriage equality groups during a particularly critical time. 

GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said,“When millions of Facebook users see these relationship status options, they gain a greater understanding of the legal inequalities faced by loving and committed same-sex couples in so many states today. Being able to see same-sex couples in civil unions and domestic partnerships who celebrate their relationships no differently than married couples will serve as another reminder that these couples still lack the same legal recognition and protections associated with marriage. Facebook’s noteworthy move also highlights the vast majority of same-sex couples living in states where there are no legal protections whatsoever.”

Birmingham Gay Pride Festival 2011

May 2011,  Birmingham Pride (UK) Ltd will be organising the Birmingham Gay Pride Festival – a not-for-profit organisation.  Headed by Lawrence Barton, the 2011 event is set to be the most inclusive festivals ever staged for the LGBT community in Birmingham.

The Gay Pride Festival 2011 theme is ‘One World, One Love, One Community’ bringing together all the celebratory elements of the festival for all to enjoy.  The theme is all about the friendly welcome.  The LGBT community prides itself on no matter who or where you come from.

For more information write to: Birmingham Pride UK Ltd
Wynner House
Bromsgrove Street
Birmingham
B5 6RG.

Or visit The Pride Hub website.

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