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EU: Polish regions at risk of lost funding over ‘LGBT-free’ zones

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

The European Commission has written to five Polish regional councils urging them to abandon declarations that they are “LGBT-free” in order to receive funding, one of the councils affected confirmed last week.

The European Union executive is currently at loggerheads with Poland and Hungary over issues ranging from LGBT rights to press freedoms. In July it launched legal action against both countries over measures it says discriminate against the gay community.

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OPINION: Invest in the LGBT+ movement and change will come

LGBTQ activists and supporters outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, October 8, 2019 – Image: REUTERS/Jonathan

LGBT+ activists on the ground are the most important tool for creating change for the community around the world, writes Jessica Stern

By the time I have my last day at the end of this week, I will have served as executive director of OutRight Action International for nine years and 358 days. My friend tells me that’s a decade. Almost. But I’ve always prized precision in the global fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer rights. I’m in awe of the global transformations I’ve witnessed, so I’m assessing what I’ve learned over years of activism.

The LGBT+ movement perpetually debates the most effective ways to create lasting change. We ask because we are motivated to invest precious time, money, programs, and relationships strategically. Some have alleged that international organizations are superfluous, but international organizations create precedents that have shaped some of the most significant legal cases advancing the rights of LGBT+ people of the past 10 years.

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USA: Sex Education Becomes Battlefield in Culture War over LGBT+ rights

The parental opt-out law passed in Tennessee may embolden more conservative states to follow in the run-up to 2022 midterms, LGBT+ activists say

Sex education is emerging as the next battleground in a U.S. culture war over LGBT+ rights, as some conservative state legislators seek to keep discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity out of the nation’s classrooms.

Lawmakers in three Republican-led states backed legislation this year to let parents take children out of classes covering LGBT+ identity – a step critics said will deprive gay and transgender youth of vital information and fuel discrimination.

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NI: Permanent rainbow crossing in Derry

“Our vision for a permanent rainbow crossing at a prominent position in Derry city centre has been realised. Contractors completed the work [on] Monday evening, Sep 6th, shortly before midnight”, said Jim Doherty, Chairperson of Foyle Pride Committee 2020.

“We would like to thank the Foyle Pride Committee 2020 for initiating this project, and Derry City and Strabane District Council and in particular former Mayor Brian Tierney for making it happen”.

The crossing, located at the dual carriageway between the Guildhall and the Peace Bridge, reflects a confident, diverse, and progressive city at peace with itself.

“It is the first crossing of its kind anywhere on the island and we are delighted to be sharing it with you”.

Shá Gillespie, founder of the first Pride Parade in 2010 said, “What a beautiful sight, I felt very emotional walking across it, 10 years after we had our first Pride parade in the city. Visibility like this can save lives of young LGBTQ+ people in our community. I am very proud to have been involved in making this happen alongside Jim, Catherine and Brian”.

“I am proud to call this city my home”, said Catherine Hemelryk.

“When I first moved here knowing no-one, I found the LGBTQ+ community instantly welcoming. This is such a special place, a place where you can make ideas a reality! Last year I was a member of the Foyle Pride committee, and in June 2020 I remember tentatively asking if everyone thought we could make a rainbow crossing happen in the heart of our city. Since then, I worked with Shá and Jim to make it happen! We couldn’t have done this without the dedicated support of Cllr Brian Tierney, the 2020/21 Mayor who supported our campaign from the start, and not only took the motion through DCSDC but also funded the Crossing as a way to mark ten years of the parade”

“Our city is for everybody and this crossing tells the world that everyone from any background is welcome!”

Jim Doherty
Catherine Hemelryk
Shá Gillespie

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NI: Iconic Europa Hotel celebrates 50th anniversary

Julie Hastings, Marketing Director of Hastings Hotels is joined by Kyle Greer, Europa Hotel’s Executive Head Chef and Martin Mulholland, Head Concierge – who started working at the hotel in September 1983 – PressEye, Belfast

One of Ireland’s most famous hotels is celebrating its 50th anniversary – and how it withstood the Troubles to emerge as an iconic beacon of hope for Belfast.

Whilst often referred to as ‘the world’s most bombed hotel’ – having been targeted 33 times due to its visibility as a landmark building – The Europa Hotel has been transformed into a powerful symbol of the city’s survival. Continue Reading »

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Spain: PM to act on hate crime after homophobic assault

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez – Image: bbc.com

(Reuters) – Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will chair on Friday an urgent meeting of Spain’s commission against hate crimes, amid an uproar over a suspected homophobic assault on a 20-year-old Spaniard in central Madrid.

The young man was returning home on Sunday afternoon, when eight people wearing hoods managed to surround him in his building’s hallway, and verbally abused him while threatening him with a knife, a police source said. Continue Reading »

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Velvet Code helps 2SLGBTQIA+ Musicians In Need

Velvet Code – Image: Soundcloud

Velvet Code, founder of So Fierce Music, the international 2SLGBTQIA+ entertainment company, has announced the creation of a non-profit organisation, YOU DO YOU Foundation, that will assist struggling 2SLGBTQIA+ / QBIPOC musicians in need.

The YOU DO YOU Foundation is a non-profit organisation with a simple mandate: Empowering struggling 2SLGBTQIA+/QBIPOC musicians, and youth, to prosper creatively beyond their current means or capabilities. Continue Reading »

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BeLonG To: Better Out Than In – Life Opens Up When You Do…

When worries and fears have nowhere to go, they bounce around inside your head, and get amplified more, until they become larger than life. It’s when you share these thoughts that you realise they are far Better Out Than In.

BeLonG To have recently seen a huge increase in the number of LGBTI+ young people reaching out for support about their mental health – with a 113% increase in demand for their support services in the past year. Continue Reading »

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The Everyman: Premiere of ‘Heart of a Dog’

John O’Brien, The Everyman and The Civic Present the premiere of

Heart of a Dog

Written by Éadaoin O’Donoghue 
Directed by John O’Brien

Preview Thursday 23 September

Friday 24 – Saturday 25 September, 8pm 


Heart of a Dog, a new play by Éadaoin O’Donoghue, will premiere at The Everyman on September 23rd, before touring to The Civic as part of Dublin Theatre Festival. It will be the first show in front of a live audience on The Everyman stage in more than 18 months.  Continue Reading »

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Irish Film: ‘Deadly Cuts’ in cinemas 8th Oct (See Trailer)

Wildcard Distribution have launched the official trailer for new Dublin-set comedy DEADLY CUTS. The film will hit cinemas nationwide on Friday 8th October.  

Starring Angeline Ball (The Commitments, Shameless), Ericka Roe (Herself, Dublin Murders), Lauren Larkin (Love/Hate), Shauna Higgins (Dating Amber, Red Rock) and Victoria Smurfit (Once Upon A Time, Marcella) with Aidan McArdle (Black 47, The Fall) and Pauline McLynn (Father Ted), DEADLY CUTS follows the stylists of a Dublin hair salon, who become accidental vigilantes, as they take on a local gang threatening their community. Continue Reading »