Lush Cosmetics Releases Gay is OK Soap to Support Equality Florida

With the alarming ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law coming into effect in Florida, campaigning company, Lush Cosmetics jumped into action releasing a limited-edition Gay is OK Soap to support Equality Florida, the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.

Signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law limits or prohibits classroom instruction on LGBTQ issues in schools across the state. Lush’s twelve Florida shops from Miami to Destin will participate in the campaign standing in solidarity with LGBTQ youth, their families, and educators across the state who will be harmed by this outrageous law.

The gold and sparkly soap with an important message is now available in Florida stores and online and 100% of the purchase price of the soap (minus the taxes) aims to raise $50,000 for Equality Florida’s defense fund to support those impacted by the new legislation.

“Young LGBTQ people and their families are facing a political onslaught aimed at stigmatizing and erasing them. This toxic climate will make schools less safe for the youth that need our support most. It is vital that the businesses that uplift values of diversity and inclusion speak up at a time when their employees, customers and the broader community are under attack. Each of us is called to the fight to ensure every student is protected and every family is respected”, said Nadine Smith, Executive Director, Equality Florida.

At Lush, we believe the state has a responsibility to provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for all children and the Don’t Say Gay legislation does just the opposite. At a time when youth need our support the most, they and those that love them are being targeted. We are proud to stand with Equality Florida’s work to support the queer community at this critical and uncertain time. 

Carleen Pickard, Ethical Campaigner, Lush Cosmetics.

In addition to the financial support, Lush is encouraging customers to learn more about Equality Florida, which is part of a lawsuit against the State of Florida in opposition to the Don’t Say Gay law, and their Free To Say Gay campaign.

Lush has a long history of supporting the queer community, including hosting campaigns in support of marriage equality, transgender rights, The Equality Act and more. Through the sale of the Charity Pot Hand and Body Lotion, Lush North America has been able to donate $2.2M to 115 queer groups working on the frontlines of change. An additional $750,000 has been raised through in-store campaigns such as the one taking place across Florida this week, to 126 organizations fighting for equality and queer rights.

Come into the beautiful world of Lush and Lush USA.

35 Years of Love, San Francisco to host largest display of Aids Memorial Quilt in a decade

The National AIDS Memorial will mark the 35th anniversary of the AIDS Memorial Quilt with an historic outdoor display in Golden Gate Park that will feature nearly 3,000 hand-stitched panels of the Quilt.

The free public event will take place on June 11 & 12 from 10 am – 5 pm each day in Robin Williams Meadow and in the National AIDS Memorial Grove. Expected to draw thousands of people, the display will be the largest display of the Quilt in over a decade and the largest-ever in San Francisco history.

This year’s historic community display will be a beautiful celebration of life and a recognition of the power of the Quilt today as a teaching tool for health and social justice. The Quilt is an important reminder that the HIV/AIDS crisis is still not over and there is much work to be done, particularly in communities of color, where HIV is on the rise in many parts of the country.

John Cunningham, CEO National AIDS Memorial

The two-day 35th Anniversary event, presented by Gilead Sciences, will feature 350 12’x12′ blocks of the Quilt laid out on the ground, each consisting of eight 3’x 6′ individually sewn panels that honor and remember the names and stories of loved ones lost to AIDS. Visitors will be able to walk through the display to experience each panel, remember the names, and see first-hand the stories sewn into each of them. Featured Quilt blocks will include many of the original panels made during the darkest days of the pandemic and panels made in recent years, a solemn reminder that the AIDS crisis is still not over.

“The Quilt remains an important symbol of hope, activism and remembrance that reaches millions of people each year, opening hearts and minds”, said Alex Kalomparis, Senior Vice President, Gilead Sciences, a long-time partner of the Quilt and its programs. The company provided a $2.4 million grant to the National AIDS Memorial in 2019 to relocate the Quilt from Atlanta back to San Francisco. “Through community displays such as this, the Quilt is connecting the story of HIV/AIDS to the issues faced by many people today, touching their lives in a very personal, compelling way”.

An opening ceremony and traditional Quilt unfolding will start at 9:30 am on the 11th, followed by the continuous reading of names of lives lost to AIDS aloud by volunteers, dignitaries, and the public on both days. There will be panel-making workshops, community information booths, stories behind the Quilt, displays of memorabilia, and the ability for the public to share their personal Quilt stories. Volunteer opportunities and community/corporate partnerships are available. The public is also invited to bring new panels that can be displayed in a special area to become part of the Quilt.  

More than 100 new panels will be seen for the first time at the San Francisco display. Many of them were made through the Memorial’s Call My Name panel-making program, which helps raise greater awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS in communities of color, particularly in the South, where HIV rates are on the rise today. Panel-making workshops are organized around the country, working with church groups, quilting guilds and AIDS service organizations to continue the Quilt’s 35-year legacy of bringing people together and to serve as a catalyst for education and action by pulling the thread from then to now for justice. 

Jada Harris (2nd from left) National AIDS Memorial Call My Name Quilt Program Manager shares stories about two newly created panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt that will be displayed at an historic display of the Quilt on June 11 & 12 in Golden Gate Park, which will mark 35 years since the first panels of the Quilt were first created. From L to R: Alex Kalomparis, Senior Vice President, Gilead Sciences; Jada Harris; Cleve Jones, Co-Founder, AIDS Memorial Quilt; Duane Cramer, Quit Community Engagement Director, National AIDS Memorial; Marvin White, Minister of Celebration, Glide Memorial Church; John Cunningham, CEO, National AIDS Memorial; and Gert McMullin, Quilt Conservator, National AIDS Memorial. Photo Credit: National AIDS Memorial or Kevin Herglotz, National AIDS Memorial

“The AIDS Quilt has always been an important part of Glide Memorial Church and many Black churches around the country. Throughout the years, we have made panels and displayed them from the pulpit as a backdrop to worship, with parishioners calling, singing, and preaching their names,” said Marvin White, Minister of Celebration at Glide. “We are honored to be a community partner of this historic display, to celebrate their lives and to share their stories so future generations always remember”.

According to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, while new HIV infections in the U.S. fell about 8% from 2015 to 2019, Black and Latino communities — particularly gay and bisexual men within those groups — continue to be disproportionately affected. In 2019, 26% of new HIV infections were among Black gay and bisexual men, 23% among Latino gay and bisexual men, and 45% among gay and bisexual men under the age of 35. African American and Hispanics/Latinos account for the largest increases in new HIV diagnoses, 42% and 27% respectively. Disparities also persist among women. Black women’s HIV infection rate is 11 times that of white women and four times that of Latina women. Racism, HIV stigma, homophobia, poverty, and barriers to health care continue to drive these disparities.

The first panels of the Quilt were created in June of 1987 when a group of strangers, led by gay rights activist Cleve Jones, gathered in a San Francisco storefront to document the lives they feared history would forget. This meeting of devoted friends, lovers and activists would serve as the foundation for The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.  Each panel made was the size of a human grave and they saw the Quilt as an activist tool to push the government into taking action to end the epidemic.

What started as a protest to demand action turned into a national movement that served as a wake-up call to the nation that thousands upon thousands of people were dying. Today, the Quilt is just as relevant and even more important, particularly in the wake of Covid-19, and the fact that the struggles we face today that result from health and social inequities are the issues we will face again in the future if we don’t learn from the lessons of the past.

Cleve Jones, Gay Rights Activist

That year, the nearly 2,000 panels of the Quilt traveled to Washington, D.C. for its first display on the National Mall.  It then traveled to several cities, including a large display at the Moscone Center in San Francisco to raise funds for AIDS service organizations.

Today, the Quilt, considered the largest community arts project in the world, is under the stewardship of the National AIDS Memorial and has surpassed 50,000 individually sewn panels with more than 110,000 names stitched into its 54 tons of fabric. The Quilt continues to connect the history of the AIDS pandemic to the ongoing fight against stigma and prejudice through hundreds of community displays around the country and educational programs that reach millions of people each year. In 2021, an outdoor Quilt display system was constructed in the National AIDS Memorial Grove, located in Golden Gate Park, which allows for regular outdoor displays.

“Golden Gate Park has long been a place where history is made and where people come together for change, to heal and express themselves,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. “The National AIDS Memorial is an important part of that history, and we are honored to be part of this event that will bring thousands of people to our beloved park to honor a national treasure”.

A special web page at aidsmemorial.org has been created for the public to plan their visit to see the display that will be updated regularly with the latest details and information about this historic event.

Celebrating Pride & Leading with Love for All

Pride Month is a moment when we, those who identify as LGBTQ, stand proudly and celebrate the journey, the struggles, and the progress we’ve made as a community. I am proud to lead an organization that cares to make a difference by leading with love. I invite you to take a few moments and allow me to share a few thoughts about why it is Neiman Marcus Group’s duty to advocate for LGBTQ rights, both in and outside of the workplace, during and outside of Pride month.

Geoffroy van Raemdonck, Chief Executive Officer at Neiman Marcus Group

LOVE will always lead the way! This is why we love Neiman Marcus soo much! Come into the beautiful world of Neiman Marcus.

Its Global Pride Day

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It is Global Pride Day. Global Pride is the world’s biggest ever LGBTI+ celebration. They stream 24 hours of content from Pride organisations, activists, civil society groups, politicians and world leaders, and you could watch anywhere with Wifi and a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Through a number of video channels and via Facebook, you can watch performances by various artists throughout the day, including Thelma Houton, Olivia Newton John, Pabllo Vittar, and Ava Max. LGBTI activists, politicians and world leaders also have their say. Millions of viewers are expected worldwide.

Your safety is important to Global Pride

Some Global Pride viewers will be watching in a country where being LGBTI+ is not easy, or even criminalised. Or they might not be ‘out’ to their family or friends. They have put together this guidance to help you watch as safely as possible.

Watching Global Pride 2020

  • Use a safe browser such as Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla or Tor
  • Make sure your browser is updated
  • Make sure your browser plugins are updated
  • Use your browser in ‘Privacy Mode / Private Browsing’ or enable ‘do not track’ in your browser
  • Block pop-ups
  • Use an ad blocker
  • Use Disconnect to block advertisers and social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, from tracking which websites you visit
  • Use a VPN to hide your IP address such as Proton, Windscribe, HideMe or NordVPN
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi.
  • You don’t need to sign-in / log-in to watch Global Pride 2020 on their website or on Todrick Hall’s YouTube channel.

After watching Global Pride 2020

  • Clear your history
  • Clear your web browser cache and cookies

Engaging with Global Pride 2020 on social media

If you would like to use your social media profiles to engage with Global Pride 2020:

  • Use a strong and UNIQUE password for each one of your social media profiles
  • Use two-factor authentication when available
  • Make sure you still have access to the email/phone number you registered when signing up
  • Avoid password recovery questions such as “What city were you born in?” or “What is the name of your pet?”
  • If being outed is a concern for you, change your profile setting to private. You could also consider not using LGBTIQ+ mentions and visuals from your bio
  • Make sure your identity is concealed, and you are not using a username that refers to your legal name or to a nickname that may identify you
  • Don’t agree to friend requests from people you don’t know on social media networks – people are not always who they say they are

In case of a social media anti-LGBTIQ+ cyber attack

  • Do not engage with trolls; report them and invite others to report them
  • Do NOT click on uninvited or suspicious links you receive in comments or in your inbox (DM). Some links could download a virus or collect your information. Verify links with senders you know. Ignore and delete links from senders you don’t know, or who don’t respond to you. Delete suspicious links from comments to protect your followers from inadvertently clicking on them.
  • Ensure you have up-to-date antivirus and firewall protection.
  • If the trolling intensifies, change your profile setting to private. You could also consider deactivating comments on posts.
  • Remain calm and polite no matter what. Do not fall for provocation.
  • Screenshot and record the trolls’ actions and messages. Report them repeatedly if necessary.
  • Be responsible. Do not share information that you are not sure is correct. Imprecise information creates panic. Panic makes us more vulnerable to aggressions.
  • Keep in mind that love is always stronger than misunderstanding and hate.

Global Pride 2020 will never ask for your real/legal name and for your password.

All Global Pride 2020 social media accounts are verified to help you find the right content to share. The links to the channels are:

Thanks to Hadi Damien, Beirut Pride, for writing this advice.

Come into the beautiful world of Global Pride 2020.

 

 

 

 

You are not alone

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‘Mi hermano – My Brother’ tells the story of Alberto, a young Spanish gay man who lives in Berlin a very different life than the one he led in his Castilian town with his conservative family. But after a call, he must return there to face the tragedy and his own lies that he built to get away from his family.

I like to think that the book he wrote at the end for his brother is real, published and available to purchase. It would be a beautiful dedication to all those who experienced the same all over the world.

So so beautiful and touching and poignant and meaningful. A beautiful and much needed story about our youth! Brilliant….. he wrote an ending for his brother that the 15 year old should have had if it weren’t because of the horrible parents.

You are not alone!

A Parandroid Films & InOut Filmmakers productie
with Álvaro de Juan, Marta Belaustegui, Jeff Frey, Flora López en Fernando de Juan.

 

 

 

Yesu Toro by Joan Crisol for Zarpa Madrid

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Although all people are born free and equal in dignity and rights, there are still discriminatory laws, policies and practices in the world against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI +) people. In some countries, they are even re-emerging after being dormant for several years.

That is why we must take the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia as an opportunity to increase awareness of the human rights of LGBTI + people, without forgetting that it also represents a unique opportunity to celebrate our diversity.

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Model: Yesu Toro
Photographer: Joan Crisol
ZARPA MADRID

 

 

 

 

Rituals says Thank You!

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When we cannot actually be together, nothing beats the wonderful feeling of working together on something good for someone else, however small it may be.

Rituals

Rituals Cosmetics doneted 200.000 Rituals goodie bags with products as a small gesture of thanks to all the fabulous doctors, nurses and caretakers of all 80 of the hospitals in the Netherlands. Come into the beautiful world of Rituals.

 

 

 

I hope that you’ll all doing okey!

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To all my readers all over the world, I hope that you’ll all doing okey!

In the space of just a few weeks, our daily lives have changed drastically. It’s unbelievable what this Corona virus has done to all of us. As you all are probably too aware, the world is in the midst of a global pandemic, the Corona virus disease (COVID-19), affected everyone. We’re stuck at home, bombarded by videos of Instagram models working out in their apartments, teaching us how to use pots and pans to increase the effectiveness of push-ups.

We find ourselves in a situation that is both unreal, alien and frightening for all of us. We do not recognize our everyday life or the world around us. And yet we are only standing at the beginning of something we do not fully know the consequences of.

Uncertainty makes us vulnerable. The seriousness makes us anxious. The new everyday life can give us a feeling of powerlessness. Holland is affected along with the rest of the world. Now our most important task is to try to slow down the dramatic development – by following the orders given by the authorities.

We can be grateful that we have political leaders and professional authorities with the courage and knowledge to deal with the situation with honesty and realism. Holland is known as a trust society. Now there is a special need to show each other confidence. Both ensure that everyone takes responsibility for preventing the spread of infection. And for the country’s authorities to make good and wise decisions.

It’s quite a challenge for all of us. When people are uncertain or scared, they feel a great need for human contact. You want to share your story with someone. You want to have familiar faces around you. Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. Let’s make sure together that nobody feels abandoned. Thankfully, even when you can’t visit people anymore, we have many ways to communicate: online, by phone or by post.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all now. With you who are sick and with you who are relatives. With health professionals all over the world, day and night. With those who are experiencing financial loss and fear for the future. To all of you who hold important social functions so that our ‘world’ can function.

To all the children – who may be particularly anxious now – and whom we must take extra care of. And with those who feel the loneliness because our small and large communities are temporarily taken away from us.

Finally, I would like to remind you that everyone needs a little extra kindness during this time. Together we stand in this. And together we will be able to get through what lies ahead.

We urge you all to follow precautionary measures and hope you are all safe! Take care and stay positive.

Love you all, and with Yakymour and YakymourMen I hope to bring some joy in this difficult time!

 

Jean Amr

 

 

 

 

Love is Love, also in Hungary

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We believe that we are all equal, irrespective of our nationality, religion, gender, age, ethnic background, spoken language, hobbies and opinions. We believe that both hetero- and homosexuals have the right to love the person who is best for them.

A new advertising campaign from Coca-Cola Hungary is causing controversy for showing same-sex love. The ads show several couples lovingly sharing bottles of Coke. One of the ads shows a mixed-sex couple, another shows two women, and the other shows two men. The posters are part of a ‘Love Revolution’ campaign centered around Budapest’s Sziget music festival, which takes place this week.

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Boldog István, an MP from Hungary’s conservative, right-wing party Fidesz which has held majority power in the country since 2010, has said he is boycotting the brand and is encouraging others to do the same. He wrote on Facebook: “Until they remove their provocative posters from Hungary, I will not consume their products! I’m asking everyone!”

István Boldog, who earlier this year called for a ban of the Budapest Pride Parade, is spearheading a petition and boycott against the brand for the posters, calling for their removal.

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But Coke is standing by the ads. The soft drink company said in a press release: “The three different posters feature both hetero- and homosexual couples drinking Coca-Cola. With this we really want to convey a message: our belief that everyone has the right to affection and love; that the feeling of love is the same (#loveislove). Many advertisements – not just Coca-Colaʼs – divide peopleʼs opinions: some like them, some do not. Of course we respect the opinions of others that differ from our own. We believe that we are all equal, irrespective of our nationality, religion, gender, age, ethnic background, spoken language, hobbies and opinions. We believe that both hetero- and homosexuals have the right to love the person who is best for them”.

Like many boycots: it often works the opposite. The sales of Coca Cola increased after the call for boycot. Maybe not everyone dares to speak out, but drinking Coca Cola is a quiet protest. Coca Cola sells well, very well.