To The Point - True stories from Pink Point, the gay and lesbian info kiosk at the Homomonument.
Weeks before a major event in the city I find myself dreading it. Whether it’s Queen’s Day, New Year’s Eve or Gay Pride. Weeks before the event I ask myself why I should take part this year and start looking around which holiday destination tickles my fancy.
On Sunday the 30th of May a female-to-male transgender in a wheelchair won the 32nd edition of the prestigious International Mister Leather contest: an impression of a historic weekend in Chicago.
It started in 1978 as an erotic pageant contest in a local bar, thirty-two years later the International Mr. Leather Contest is a mega event that attracts thousands of leather men to Chicago, and which generates seven to eight million dollar annually.
Bart and Luc are a couple, for a quarter of a century already. Bart is Bart Kaëll, a fifty-year old Flemish troubadour, who’s been performing for over twenty-five years at local fairs and functions. Luc is Luc Appermont, sixty years old, who’s been anchorman at the BRT for centuries, and at the end of his career at the Flemish commercial station VTM.
When you think of a book about the man and his body, you wouldn’t immediately expect Arie Boomsma (chucked out of the Evangelical broadcasting company EO for his almost-nude photo session in “L’Homo” and nowadays working for the Catholic KRO television) and Stephan Sanders (gay, vivant and writer-journalist) to have written it.
Every time somebody gets bashed, or chased out of his neighborhood, the call for tough measures gets louder and people think harder about what solutions would work best to counter homophobe behavior. Often people come to the conclusion that schools ought to do more with homosexuality.
Pride in Antwerp is a tribute to all its citizens but also to its own varied gay and lesbian community. This third edition wanted to build bridges between the different gay groups. Many foreign journalists were invited to experience the four-day festival from up close. Many call Antwerp the “Gay Harbor.”
The GroenLinks (Greens) faction filed parliamentary questions to Minister of Public Health Ab Klink about the exclusion of gay men from making blood donations. COC Netherlands had insisted that this would be addressed as also Europe now calls for an end to this discriminatory measure.
The Finnish ministry of Justice will research this fall how to introduce new gender-neutral marriage legislation in order to make it possible also for gay people to get married. The new legislation would then take effect in 2012.
Gender-neutral marriage legislation will lend all couples equal rights – also concerning adoption. At this moment same sex Finnish couples can only adopt children from their own families. The new legislation would also offer same sex couples to take on each other’s family name.
In Holland the number of complaints of discrimination has shown a significant increase compared to 2008 – including those based on sexual orientation. The anti-discrimination agencies and hotlines registered 5931 complaints over 2009. That’s 1123 more than a year earlier. This comes from Key Figures, the national overview of complaints of discrimination. The increase is largely due to the campaign the Ministry of Interior held together with Art.1 in 2009 to promote reporting discrimination.
Can you have kids when you’re gay or lesbian? Most certainly, there are at least 25,000 children being raised in gay families in Holland. Although their upbringing is not very different from kids in a straight family, Movisie, an organization aimed at knowledge and advice for social developments, published on the 4th of June in Dutch the “Handreiking homo-emancipatie: roze ouderschap” (Assistant Gay Emancipation: Gay Parenting), compiled by Hanneke Felten and Josee Rothuizen.