Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NEWS: Trump Protest; Toxic Masculinity; Australians Rally for Same-sex Marriage; Cheyenne Jackson; Physical Traits & Gay Men; Obama in Ottawa

Muslim, Gay Communities Join Together to Protest Trump Policies in Vancouver, B.C.
The presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee has been courting the LGBTQ vote last week following the Orlando, Fla., shooting at a gay nightclub that left 49 people dead and 53 injured. He has fashioned himself as a champion for the LGBTQ community, suggesting he is the only candidate who will stand up against terrorists and "radical Islam." Imtiaz Popat wasn't buying any of it. “Trump says he has queer support to ban Muslims, said Popat, co-ordinator of Salaam Canada, a support group for LGBTQ Muslims that organized the rally. "He's trying to divide us, two marginalized communities, so here we are standing here, united, saying we are not going to be divided." Popat, who identifies himself as a queer Muslim, said there is a danger Trump's message can spread outside of the U.S. and gain a following in Canada. "There's racist elements here in our own communities, and homophobic elements. We need to overcome that." In the shadow of the Trump International Hotel & Tower, the protesters — many of them strangers and of different ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientation — held hands in a show of solidarity. "If someone wants to use Orlando to beat the drums of war against Muslim people, I say, 'Not in my name,' no way, not in the name of queer people," said participant Kay Higgins. READ MORE

The Role Of Toxic Masculinity In Mass Shootings
The man who committed the deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in U.S. history had a history of domestic violence and disrespecting women, according to people who were close to him. The emerging details about Omar Mateen fit into a bigger and often overlooked pattern of violence in this country, in which crimes against female partners often escalate to crimes against greater numbers of people. his news is unsurprising to people who work on issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and gender roles. There's a lot of evidence that men who hurt their female family members often go on to hurt other people. Between 2009 and 2012, 40 percent of mass shootings started with a shooter targeting his girlfriend, wife, or ex-wife. Last year alone, nearly a third of mass shooting deaths were related in some way to domestic violence. And when you look beyond public shootings, the majority of mass shootings in this country actually take place inside the home, as men target the women and children they're intimately related to. Employing harassment, violence, and coercion against women has long been considered a normal way for men to behave in romantic relationships, as deeply ingrained gender norms teach men that they're entitled to women's bodies. This toxic approach to masculinity has been directly linked to the sense of entitlement that drives many mass shooters to commit their crimes.

Which Traits Are Gay Men Attracted to Most 
We all have different types, but when push comes to shove, is there an absolute type all gay guys find attractive? On a human level, people in general connect soul-to-soul, not penis-to-penis. Sexual attraction can be conniving. If we’re not careful, it will convince us we’re in love with someone even if we’re not. It stimulates our impulse — not our hearts. We’re human, and physical traits matter a lot when we’re sizing up a likely candidate. But my question is: What is “hot”? What does it mean? What makes my smile different from someone else’s? After doing a bit of research, I’ve found studies that show exactly what gay men find most attractive on each other. Hygiene is more than just manscaping or scrubbing ourselves with soap. Over all, it has to do with lifestyle and how we incorporate it into our daily routines. One study called Singles in America admitted to judging their dates on 3 factors: teeth, confidence and grammar. Teeth shows health and age, confidence shows psychological stability, and grammar shows background. If they’re all on point, we will always up our game.

Thousands Rally in Australia for Same-sex Marriage Ahead of National Election on July 2, 2016
Thousands of Australians marched at same-sex marriage rallies across the country on Saturday calling on whichever party wins a July 2 national election to quickly introduce same-sex marriage laws. Conservative Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull supports same-sex marriage and has pledged a public vote on the issue before the end of this year. The Labour opposition will skip a public vote and introduce a bill to parliament within 100 days if it wins the election. Opinion polls say Turnbull’s conservative coalition and Labour are neck-and-neck ahead of the election. Protesters in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth marched carrying rainbow flags and signs which read “Equality now”. Australia has been criticised by international human rights groups over its slowness to act on same-sex marriage. Several countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, United States, France, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa, have already amended their marriage laws to recognise same-sex unions.

'Gay Community Needs to Stop Tearing Each Other Down' says actor-singer, Cheyenne Jackson
Michael Musto: What do we need to do in the wake of Orlando? Cheyenne Jackson: "So many things. We need to start by not tearing each other down, even within our own community. Even in our community, somebody comes out of the closet and someone starts ripping how they came out. “It’s not good enough or strong enough…” It’s the negativity. We have to stop tearing each other down. Like everyone else, I wasn’t able to leave the house for four days [after Orlando]. You feel so impotent and powerless. What’s important is loving each other, banding together, lifting each other up, and of course tackling all the major issues we’re in the middle of tackling."

U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Obama Defends Progressive Values in Speech to Canadian Parliament and Says World Will Benefit From Justin Trudeau's Leadership
U.S. President Barack Obama handed the torch of progressive politics to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Wednesday in a warm, rousing speech to Parliament, in which he also bluntly urged Canada to spend more on defence to meet its international obligations. He praised the extraordinary alliance and deep friendship between Canada and the United States. "We see ourselves in each other and our lives are richer for it," Obama said. "The enduring partnership between Canada and the United States is as strong as it has ever been and we are more closely aligned than ever before." The American president reserved heartfelt mention for Trudeau, who he said has brought "new energy and hope" to the cross-border relationship. "My time in office may be nearing an end, but I know that Canada and the world will benefit from your leadership in the years to come." But he also included pointed comments on a perennial sore spot, one that has taken fresh urgency in the face of a resurgent Russia and rising Islamic extremism. "As your NATO ally and your friend, let me say, we'll be more secure when every NATO member, including Canada, contributes its full share to our common security," Obama said to sustained applause from both Liberals and Conservative MPs and senators, who returned from summer break for the historic event. READ MORE