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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:28 am 
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Meet the 14 openly gay or bisexual soccer stars at the Women’s World Cup
9 June 2015

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Lianne Sanderson is one of England's brightest players

The world of sport may still be a hostile place for many LGBTI athletes.

With its long history of homophobia, there are precious few openly gay men in the entire football industry, despite efforts to encourage tolerance and equality in sport. But this year, there are at least 14 openly gay or bisexual women playing in the Canada World Cup – that’s exactly 14 more than the men’s World Cup last year.

Meet some of the footballers who are scoring a goal for LGBTI rights:

1. Nadine Angerer – Germany

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Nadine Angerer is a 36-year-old German player and captain of Germany’s national team. In January 2014 she won FIFA’s World Player of the Year award – making her the first goalkeeper, male or female, to do so. In 2010, she came out as bisexual. ‘I am very open about this, because I am of the opinion there are nice guys and nice women,’ she said. ‘Besides, I find it totally silly to have a general definition. I see no problem for me to come out of the closet. This is nothing new for me, so I can deal with the issue in a totally relaxed manner.’

2. Lisa Dahlkvist – Sweden

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Since making her debut with her national team in 2008, Swedish player Lisa Dahlkvist has accrued more than 80 caps. But she’s been surrounded by football all her life, as the daughter of accomplished professional footballer Sven Dhalkvist. The 28-year-old midfielder is an out lesbian, having come out publicly back in 2008.

3. Katie Duncan – New Zealand

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This New Zealand player recently moved to Switzerland to be closer to her wife, former Football Ferns player Priscilla Duncan. Her third FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign, she is taking the Football Ferns to Canada as vice-captain.

4. Nilla Fischer – Sweden

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Nilla Fischer is a Swedish player known for her strong competitive spirit. She has a passionate commitment to gender equality and gay rights, saying: ‘As an athlete, I wish to prevent all forms of discrimination within sport, such as sexism, homophobia and racism. But above all, I wholeheartedly support everyone’s right to practice sports. For me it’s a human right!’ The 30-year-old married her girlfriend Maria Micheala in 2013, and was named ‘LGBTQ Person of the Year’ in 2014 in Sweden.

5. Isabell Herlovsen – Norway

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Isabell is a 26-year-old Norweigan player, the daughter of famous international footballer Kai Erik Herlovsen. She came out as a lesbian publicly in July 2011, but was out to friends and family in her teens, saying it felt natural to her and she wanted to be true to herself. She thinks it’s important to be open publicly. At the age of 16 years and 348 days she became the youngest player at a UEFA European Women’s Championship in 2005, and became the youngest scorer only three days later.

6. Michelle Heyman – Australia

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26-year-old Michelle Heyman is a striker in the Australian W-League. She was the winner of the Golden Boot award for most goals, and winner of Player of the Year in the W-League 2009. Out and proud, she has said there was no big revelation of her sexuality – she has never been in the closet.

7. Hedvig Lindahl – Sweden

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Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl plays for Chelsea and was named Swedish women’s goalkeeper of the year in 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2014. With over 100 caps for the national team, her career shows no signs of slowing down. She married wife Sabine Willms in 2011, and the two have a son who was born in 2014.

8. Erin McLeod – Canada

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32-year-old Erin McLeod is a Canadian national player and Olympic bronze medalist. The goalkeeper’s relationship with girlfriend Ella Masar was openly announced on social media, and since then she had used the platform to spread a positive LGBTI message. She writes on her blog: ‘As I get older I realize how important it is to be true to exactly who you are – and to have the courage to be just that – so that all young people can grow up in a world that is accepting of all people – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or heterosexual.’

9. Megan Rapinoe

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Born in California, Megan is a Seattle midfielder and Olympic gold medalist best known for making history at the London 2012 games. When she scored an ultra-rare ‘Goal Olimpico’ by scoring directly from a corner, she became the first woman or man ever to do so at the Olympics. Megan came out as a lesbian in 2012, saying: ‘I just felt like I was leaving something out and omitting something and not being 100 percent truthful. Even though I never lied about anything. ‘The world is sort of presumably straight, so I think I wasn’t wanting to be assumed [to be straight] or have people believe that. I’m obviously very proud of who I am. I couldn’t be happier with who I am.’ Since then, she has been an advocate for a number of LGBTI organizations that support young people and aim to end homophobia in sport.

10. Trine Ronning – Norway

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This 32-year-old Norwegian player has won over 150 caps since making her debut for Norway’s women’s team in 1999. This year, she is leading the team out as captain for the first time, saying it is ‘an indescribable feeling’ for her childhood dream of being captain of her country to come true. She married fellow footballer Kristin Blystad Bjerke in 2009, shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in Norway.

11. Lianne Sanderson – England

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Born in Watford, Lianne joined Arsenal in 1997 as part of their youth program, and has since played for everyone from Espanyol to the Boston Breakers. There, she and fiancée Joanna Lohman became the first openly gay engaged couple competing on the same professional team. The relationship sparked huge publicity, as well as a great deal of public support. ‘At autograph alley at Harvard Stadium, the kids come up to me and say “congratulations on yours and Joanna’s engagement,”‘ Lianne has said. ‘They bring pictures of us from People Magazine and they want us to sign it. You would never have gotten this 10 years ago. Never would you have gotten people coming to the games saying “Congratulations on your engagement” when it’s the wedding for two females.’

12. Caroline Seger – Sweden

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Swedish midfielder Caroline Serger has won over a century of caps since making her debut for the Swedish national women’s team in 2005. Her career has taken her from Swedish captain to Philadelphia to Western New York Flash and then Paris Saint-Germain. An out lesbian, she has said she used to conceal her sexuality but decided to speak out to help other gay and lesbian young people who might be struggling with their identity.

13. Casey Stoney – England

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English player Casey Stoney has been capped for England over 100 times since making her debut in 2000. A defender for Arsenal Ladies, she also captained the Team GB squad at the 2012 London Olympics. She came out publicly in February 2014, and announced five months later that her partner, Megan Harris, was pregnant with twins. Megan gave birth to their twins, Teddy and Tilly, in November 2014. ‘I have struggled to accept myself for many years,’ she has said. ‘I have had no reason to feel that way but there is still a stigma, you still hear certain abuse thrown at other people and think, “We are still living in the dark ages sometimes. But actually what coming out has shown me is that society is changing for the better. I feel lucky to live in this country.’

14. Abby Wambach – USA

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Abby Wambach is an American player, coach and two-time Olympic gold medalist. She currently stands as the highest all-time goal scorer for her national team, which she has regularly played in since 2003. Not only was she named the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year, becoming the first American to gain the accolade in ten years, but she was included in Time Magazine’s May 2015 list of the top 100 most influential people in the world. In 2013 she married her longtime partner, Sarah Huffman, and said the marriage did not represent a coming out: ‘I can’t speak for other people, but for me, I feel like gone are the days that you need to come out of a closet. I never felt like I was in a closet. I never did. I always felt comfortable with who I am.’

Source: GayStarNews.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:19 pm 
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'I do, I do, I do:' Brazilian female trio get hitched
By Laura Bonilla
30 October 2015

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The arrangement is based on a Supreme Court ruling that in 2011 authorized notary publics to hold civil union ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples (AFP Photo/Paul Faith)

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Three's a crowd? Not in Brazil, where three women have defied deeply conservative trends in Congress and wider traditional mores by celebrating a polyamorous civil union.

The happy trio, who reportedly have shared a bed for years and say they want to raise a child, took an oath of love in early October in the presence of Rio de Janeiro notary public Fernanda de Freitas Leitao. "This union is not just symbolic," because it defines "how they intend to have children," attorney Leitao said.

The lovers -- a businesswomen and a dentist who are both 32 and a 34-year-old office manager -- have been together for three years and wish to remain anonymous. Despite salacious media speculation about their supposed love life, they are in fact shy, their lawyer said.

The union is not a formal marriage, because under Brazilian law that would be bigamy. Neither are they automatically allowed to declare joint income or join a healthcare plan for spouses. But the civil union is still a big step, according to the lawyer. "If they seek these rights before a court, they could obtain them -- and I think they will," Leitao said.

They also have a better chance now of making good on their plan to create a three-parent family, Leitao said. "Our union is the fruit of love," the unnamed businesswoman in the trio told the daily O Globo. "We are preparing for my pregnancy.... The legalization is a way for the baby and for us to not end up abandoned and penniless. We want to enjoy the same maternal rights that everyone else has."

While these are the first women to enter a three-way civil union, a similar ceremony was held in 2012 for a man and two women in Sao Paulo state. Both arrangements are based on a Supreme Court ruling that in 2011 authorized notary publics to hold civil union ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples. According to Leitao, "all the principles and fundamentals" of that ruling "can also be applied to polyamorous relationships."

Brazil, the world's most populous Catholic country with a growing Evangelical population, is full of contradictions, including a permissive view of sexual relations typified by the famous tiny Brazilian bikini. In Congress, one of the most socially conservative in Brazil's history, legislators are currently debating a measure that defines a "family" as the union between a man and a woman.

But at the same time, polyamorous relationships are common in popular culture, including in two poplar telenovelas and a TV documentary series. Fans of the topic will dip into a 1996 novel by Jorge Amado called "Dona Flor And Her Two Husbands."

Anthropologist Antonio Cerdeira Pilao, an expert on polyamory at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, says Brazil has had a lax attitude to rules about traditional couples since colonial times, when sexual relations between slave owners and slaves was common.

Not everyone is excited with the racy new model family, though. "We are on the path towards chaos," fumed Euder Faber Guedes, head of a major evangelical organization. He considers such relationships an "aberration... opposed to nature as established by God." "Men with men do not produce children," said lawmaker and evangelical pastor Hidekazu Takayama in a late September congressional debate. "Satan is laughing, shaking up family structures while arguing for the human rights of modern women," Takayama fulminated on his Facebook page ahead of the debate.

Source: Yahoo! AFP

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:24 pm 
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Code Words For Lesbianism In Classic Films
By Mallory Ortberg
February 24, 2015

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If you hear any of the following words or phrases used to describe a female character in a movie made before 1970, odds are good that they’re trying to tell you about a lesbian, a real shadows girl, someone who prefers the hour just after dusk, a gal with her own library card.

Improbable

Unlikely

Curious

Irregular

Oho

Fond of her health

Peculiar

Glasses

Inquisitive

“Pays her own way”

Well-read

Mysterious

Independent-minded

Scholarly

Incurable

“She keeps her hands in her pockets”

Resourceful

Standoffish

Uninvited

Companionable

“Carries plenty of spare change”

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A real pal

Unaccountable

A shirts-and-trousers female

Busy

“Carries her own purse”

Confidential

Marvelous

Uncanny

Contralto

Financially secure

Unfriendly

Remarkable

Solitary

Loyal

Singular

Artistic

Unsympathetic

Reluctant

“She kisses backwards”

Sturdy

Outdoorsy

“She’s an evening girl, fond of the twilight hours”

Tight-lipped

Devoted

Civic-minded

Energetic

Steady-handed

Alert

“Stands up on a night train”

Source: The Toast.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:50 am 
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There she is: Out of the closet, and ready for Miss America
By WAYNE PARRY
September 6, 2016

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- After competing in pageants for generations in the closet or working behind the scenes, gays and lesbians finally get to see one of their own take one of pageantry's biggest stages.

Miss Missouri, Erin O' Flaherty, will compete for the Miss America crown this weekend as the first openly lesbian contestant. "Behind the scenes, we've been well-represented, but I'm the first openly gay title holder, so I'm very excited," she told the Associated Press in a recent interview. "I knew going in that I had the opportunity to make history. Now I get to be more visible to the community and meet more people."

Rich Helfant, executive director of the Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance, helps run the Miss'd America pageant, a drag spoof of the Miss America pageant that has become popular in Atlantic City as an entertainment and fundraising event. He said he'll watch the Miss America pageant finals Sept. 11 with extra interest this year. Miss'd America took its name from the fact that many gay pageant workers toiled behind the scenes during Miss America and never got to see what was happening onstage. "They literally missed Miss America," Helfant said.

Robert Hitchen of Philadelphia appears regularly in the Miss'd America pageant under the stage name Sandy Beach and recalled decades of behind-the-scenes work on pageants, including designing floats, and later riding on them in Miss America parades. The "Show Us Your Shoes" parade that has become a fixture of Miss America, in which contestants ride in vehicles on the Boardwalk and show off their state-themed footwear, sprang from the interest of gay spectators, he said. "We would watch the parade from the deck of a hotel and we'd look down into the cars and see some of the women wearing slippers or being barefoot, and we started calling out, 'Show us your shoes!'" he recalled. "We sort of embarrassed them into wearing these big elaborate shoes, which are the highlight of the parade now."

Antwan Lee, who won the Miss Gay America 2016 pageant under the stage name Asia O'Hara, would excitedly watch Miss America every year as a child and a young man, imagining what it would be like onstage. "I would always gravitate toward celebrities and singers and actresses that had a high level of glam: beautiful, poised people who would live their life with a high degree of dignity," he said. "To see that on TV with 50 women, as a young gay boy, that's the first place you see such a concentration of that. I was like, 'Wow, look at all those beautiful women, all the class, all the glamor!' It's very alluring."

Lesbians have been more visible in pageants lately. Djuan Trent competed in the Miss America pageant as Miss Kentucky in 2011, when she finished in the top 10. She came out as a lesbian in 2014. Patricia Yurena, two-time winner of the Miss Spain contest and a runner up in the 2013 Miss Universe competition, announced in 2014 that she is a lesbian, posting a photo of her and her girlfriend cuddling, titling it "Romeo and Juliet."

In 2012, two openly lesbian contestants, Jenelle Hutcherson and Mollie Thomas, competed in the Miss California USA pageant but did not advance to the national Miss USA pageant competition. O'Flaherty is the first Miss America contestant to win a state title after coming out; Trent came out after competing.

Hitchen said the social activism of many Miss America contestants resonates with the gay community; the Miss'd America drag queen parody pageant raises $300,000 a year for local and national charities and has become the top social event of the year in Atlantic City's gay community. Josh Randle, chief operating officer of the Miss America Organization, said the pageant reflects an evolving America. "Through every major milestone of our nation's evolution, Miss America has provided a voice for women from all walks of life, and, this year, we welcome our first openly gay contestant," he said. "Miss America contestants continue to be the best and brightest in the country, and we proudly support each and every young woman who competes in our national program."

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 11:02 pm 
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'Yep, I'm Gay': Happy 20th out anniversary, Ellen DeGeneres
By LEANNE ITALIE
April 27, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) -- With a headline of "Yep, I'm Gay" on the cover of Time magazine and the same declaration on her sitcom, Ellen DeGeneres made history 20 years ago as the first prime-time lead on network TV to come out, capturing the hearts of supporters gay and straight amid a swirl of hate mail, death threats and, ultimately, dark times on and off the screen.

The code-named "The Puppy Episode" of "Ellen" that aired April 30, 1997, was more than just a hit. It was one of those huge cultural "where were you" moments for anybody remotely interested in TV, or the advancement of LGBTQ people working in TV, or who were itching to come out of their closets at home at a still-perilous time.

Variety summed it up this way: "Climaxing a season of swelling anticipation, Ellen Morgan (the bookstore-managing alter ego of Ellen DeGeneres) finally acknowledges her lesbianism tonight in an 'Ellen' hour that represents television's most-hyped coming out since Little Ricky came out of Lucy 44 years ago."

The hype was real, fed by DeGeneres' personal desire to end her secret-keeping at age 38 and to bring her TV character along for the ride. The off-screen act came first in Time by slightly more than two weeks, but "Puppy" was months in the making under lock and key, something that failed to matter when the script leaked and the world then waited.

Why risk it all? Because DeGeneres, one of America's sweethearts then and now, was done with the lying and the hiding. "It became more important to me than my career," she said in a recent interview with the Associated Press. "I suddenly said, 'Why am I being, you know, ashamed of who I am just to be successful and famous in society's eyes?'"

The hate was also real. There was pulpit-pounding from conservatives, including full-page newspaper ads (the late Rev. Jerry Falwell called her "Ellen DeGenerate"). There was nasty mail all around, including some for guest star Oprah Winfrey suggesting that she "go back to Africa." After "Puppy" wrapped, cast, crew and live audience were hustled out of the Burbank, California, studio because of a bomb threat.

Winfrey, who played Ellen's therapist, told the AP she had no clue that "I would get the worst hate mail of my career." She praised DeGeneres for having the courage to produce a "seminal moment for anybody who was hiding behind anything."

The episode was watched by an estimated 44 million viewers. It won an Emmy for writing, a Peabody as a landmark in broadcasting and numerous other accolades. The attention coincided with a new and very public relationship for DeGeneres with her girlfriend at the time, Anne Heche, herself new to the out life.

The following season, DeGeneres' fifth, was the last. It was a failure in terms of ratings. The network took to slapping "adult content" warnings on the show, something DeGeneres knew nothing about ahead of time. The season was bashed by some as unfunny and "too gay," as was the out-and-proud DeGeneres herself as she lived life big with Heche offscreen. Sponsors fled and the show was canceled.

DeGeneres went into a "hole," a deep depression, where she stayed without work for more than three years. Laura Dern, among the guest stars on "Puppy" and happy to be included, didn't work for a year after she played the out love interest to whom Ellen Morgan finally came out. (Both Dern and Winfrey join DeGeneres on Friday on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" to mark the anniversary).

Ellen Garcia in San Pedro, California, is a gay, 47-year-old office administrator for a mental health nonprofit. She was 27 and out to just close friends and co-workers when she watched. "How you feel about yourself, and how you feel about how society views you, plays a huge factor and that's why this show was so significant, because it brought all those things out," she said. "It made me feel normal."

So what made it the right time for DeGeneres? Well, nothing, she said. "There was every indication that I should not do it. My publicist at the time said, 'Don't do it.' The studio, the network, everyone said (it)," she recalled. "I said, 'You know, look, you may lose a show but you have thousands of other shows revolving through this door that come to you and you'll have another show. This is my career. If I'm willing to lose my career for this, you have to let me do this.'"

The doing wasn't easy. The first draft of "Puppy" was rejected by the show's Disney point person. It took forever for script approval, with "Puppy" finally hitting air as the fourth season's third-to-last show, a full hour as opposed to the usual half-hour. DeGeneres had thrown a bash at her California house for cast members and writers months earlier, at the top of the fourth, declaring then that she wanted to come out, but nobody was sure how it would all play out. "I remember these walks from our offices to the Disney offices to see the big guys," recalled Dava Savel, one of the executive producers and writers. "We walked with her and it was kind of like the Bataan Death March. We were like, 'Ohhh, here we go.' I remember Ellen crying on the way back when Disney finally gave her the OK."

History was made. Friends gathered around TVs. The gay rights advocacy group GLAAD organized watch parties after an ABC affiliate in Alabama declined to air "Puppy."

DeGeneres herself made a spectacular comeback, eventually, now the host of her own daytime talk show and still America's sweetheart at age 59. (President Barack Obama awarded her the nation's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, last year.) Numerous gay leads followed on TV, yet advocates hope for still more diversity and accuracy in story and character development.

None of that mattered the night of April 30, 1997. Eric Marcus, creator and host of the podcast "Making Gay History" and author of a 2002 collection of oral history of the same name, put it this way: "For everyday people, Ellen made gay OK."

Associated Press television writers Lynn Elber in Los Angeles and Frazier Moore in New York contributed to this report.
Source: AP

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