Monday, 26 January 2015

Independent: Free and confidential STD and HIV testing centre to be set up

Therese Bonnici Sunday, 25 January 2015, 10:00
A gay nightclub in Paceville has launched a wide-ranging campaign aimed at creating more health awareness and tackling issues faced by the LGBTI community in Malta. The campaign includes the setting up of a confidential test centre for sexually transmitted diseases.

AXM Malta was launched by Haydn Pope, owner of the internationally renowned brand. In comments to The Malta Independent on Sunday, Mr Pope said that the idea is to give something back to the community, and to the customers who have chosen to visit the club. "It's a way of saying thank you to the customers who have chosen our night club among others, and at the same time promoting well-being."

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Pink News: YouTube twins come out to their Dad and the tears flow
15th January 2015, 1:01 AM by Gaz Jeffries

34 reader comments

YouTube twins Austin and Aaron Rhodes have come out to their father and their fanbase in a video posted today.

“We think it is time to finally just be ourselves. We hope by our actions today you can finish watching this video feeling encouraged and inspired.,” they posted on their YouTube page, ahead of their video explaining that they are gay to their father by telephone.

The video speaks for itself.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

BBC News: Egypt court clears men accused of bathhouse 'debaucher
12 January 2015 Last updated at 16:07 GMT

The defendants attempted to cover their faces as they were brought into the courtroom

A court in Egypt has cleared 26 men arrested last month in a raid on a bathhouse in Cairo and charged with "inciting debauchery".

Their trial had been seen as part of a campaign by the Egyptian authorities against the country's homosexuals.

Footage broadcast by a local TV station of the men being pulled half-naked out of the bathhouse by police outraged activists and rights groups.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Times: Drag queen shrugs off abuse
Sunday, January 11, 2015, 00:01 by Ivan Martin

Moises Ismael (left) also known as the drag queen Lakesiss.

A Paceville drag queen is challenging homophobic sentiment in the island’s clubbing district despite regularly facing abuse from revellers.

Moises Ismael, 29, from Panama, works as an entertainer and host at a gay club, AXM, in the heart of Paceville.

Mr Ismael, or Lakesiss as he is known in drag, recounts how he regularly faces offensive taunts and at times the threat of physical violence from some Paceville patrons.

“I treat people the way they treat me. I mean, I don’t hit them or offend them of course – I’m the queen. I just smile... [This is a Times Premium article. Click here to continue reading the article].

Thursday, 8 January 2015

MNT: Why do experimental HIV vaccines backfire?
Last updated: 5 January 2015 at 7am PST by David McNamee

Several clinical trials have shown that HIV vaccines can "backfire" and lead to increased rates of infection. Now, a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests an explanation for this backfire effect.

"This study shows that if a vaccine induces high levels of activated CD4+ T cells in mucosal tissues, any potential protective effect of the vaccine may be hampered," senior author Guido Silvestri explains.

Senior author of the new study, Guido Silvestri, chief of microbiology and immunology at Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, says:

Sunday, 4 January 2015

BBC News: Gay US blood donor ban 'should end'
23 December 2014 Last updated at 19:26 GMT

Gay and bisexual men should no longer be banned from donating blood in the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended.

The ban has been in place since the HIV/Aids epidemic in the mid-1980s.

Men who have had sex with other men in the previous 12 months will still be banned, the FDA said in a statement.

Friday, 2 January 2015

YouTube: The Imitation Game [Dr Alan Turing]

Published on 21 Jul 2014

In THE IMITATION GAME, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal.

Official site:

The Imitation Game is based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma:

Monday, 29 December 2014

Times: MUT satisfied with Church explanations on engagement of school staff
Monday, December 29, 2014, 16:04

The Malta Union of Teachers said today that it had had a fruitful meeting with Bishop Charles Scicluna, administrator of the Maltese archdiocese, about a draft document on the engagement of staff in Church schools, and as a result directives of industrial action in Church schools have been suspended.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Pink News: ganda’s anti-gay President might not like this Christmas present
24th December 2014, 12:35 PM by Nick Duffy [Reader comments]

President Museveni might not be thrilled with his gift

A dating site has sent the Ugandan president a book on homosexuality in animals for Christmas.

German dating site Gleichklang gifted Yoweri Museveni – who signed off on Uganda’s harsh anti-gay law earlier this year before a court struck it down – a copy of ‘Biological Exuberance – Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity’.

Pink News: US: Lesbian couple marry after 72 years together
8th September 2014, 12:04 PM by Joseph Patrick McCormick [Reader comments]

The couple married on Saturday after 72 years together (image: Pinterest Marissa Mae Kidd)

A lesbian couple in the US state of Iowa have married, after being together for 72 years.

Vivian Boyack, 91, and Alice Dubes ,90, met in Yale, and then moved to Davenport in 1947.

They exchanged vows in the First Christian Church in Davenport on Saturday, accompanied by family and friends, reports the QCTimes.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

It Gets Better: There's just one story to be told: An interview with Maltese LGBT Activist Romina Tolu


Romina (or Mina) Tolu is one of the founding members of WE ARE, an LGBTQQI youth and student organization in Malta, a small island country in the Mediterranean Sea. She is currently serving as the communications officer on the executive board of the INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND QUEER YOUTH AND STUDENT ORGANIZATION (IGLYO), a European-based organization that aims to empower and enable the representation of LGBTQ youth and student issues around the world.

IGBP: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Romina Tolu: I’m 23 and I’ve been involved in LGBT activism since I was about 19, when I got involved at University. My sister’s girlfriend at the time and her friends were trying to start a group at University. It was going to be the first proper LGBT group at the University of Malta, which is the only university we have in Malta and it caters to over ten thousand students. They tried to rope me into it and at first I was quite shy and I was like, “No, no, no. I’ll support you but I’ll be distant”. But then my sister tried to convince me by buttering me up and saying, “You know we need your skills! Your face doesn’t need to be shown anywhere. We just need you to design a few posters, write a few blog posts and that’s it”. So I told her, “Ok in that case I’ll consider it”, and I went along to the first meeting. Then, once the group was officially set up and we had to do our statutes, we needed a certain amount of people on the board. That’s when I was roped into being communications officer for the organization because there was no one else to fill in that role. In the end my sister managed to convince me. So that’s how I got involved in LGBT activism. It was almost “sister coercion”, which is great actually. I am very grateful that it happened because it has brought me to where I am today.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

All Out: Urgent Olympic vote - we won!

We did it! The International Olympic Committee (IOC) just took the final step to protect all lesbian, bi and gay athletes and fans. Today they announced that they will be changing Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter to include 'sexual orientation.' And it happened because of you.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Independent UK: Doctor killed himself after mother asked him to seek 'gay cure'
FRIDAY 05 DECEMBER 2014 by Matt Watts

A Harley Street doctor killed himself by jumping from his luxury penthouse apartment after his mother asked him to seek “a cure” for being gay, an inquest heard.

Dr Nazim Mahmood, fell four storeys to his death from the balcony of his £700,000 flat in a mansion block in West Hampstead, London, in July.

An inquest at St Pancras Coroners’ Court heard Dr Mahmood had told his mother he was gay and was in a 13-year relationship with his fiancée, Matthew Ogston, just days before his death.

Times: Gender identity bill should be guided by ethical principles - Church
Saturday, December 6, 2014, 12:39

The Archbishop's Curia

While the bill on gender identity is a step in the right direction, it is important that it is guided by ethical principles, the Church said in a position paper.

It said that while the bill promoted “an inclusive culture of recognition between human beings” and sought “to address the needs of a category of people who very often find it socially hard and painful in trying to deal with a fundamental dimension of their own self-identity... it is important to recognise the complexity of the problem and be guided by a set of ethical principles”.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Times: LGBTI community awards ceremony
Sunday, December 7, 2014, 00:01

[Click on the image to enlarge.]

Mr and Mrs Licari (Parent Award), Darren Anthony Galea (Proposal Award), Winston J. Zahra (Radisson Hotels for Employer Award), Equal Opportunities Minister Helena Dalli (Politician Award), Neil Falzon (Humanitarian Award), Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (Politician Award), Ira Losco (Entertainer Award), Mina Tolu (Student Award), joint winner with her sister Louisa, Luke Dimech (Sports Person Award) and Mr and Mrs Sammut (Parent Award).

The inaugural National LGBTI Community Awards took place at The Xara Lodge.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Independent UK: World AIDS Day 2014: This is what HIV looks like

When Hunter Charlton was diagnosed with the virus aged 20, he was overcome with grief, believing he would be dead within 10 years. As he learnt more, the anguish turned to anger – at the ignorance that still causes fear and stigma for so many like him
Sunday 30 November 2014 by HUNTER CHARLTON

In a single moment, my life was irreversibly altered. The doctor’s reassurances washed over me in a haze: it was as if he was trying to communicate with me in a language I could not speak. There can be no single correct way to break this sort of news; in retrospect, I think his light-touch approach was misjudged.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Malta Today: 74% of Malta’s HIV cases are male

57% of the HIV cases recently registered in Malta were due to heterosexual contact, while 31% of them were due to homosexual contact.
30 November 2014, 7:45pm by a Staff Reporter

74% of the 300 new HIV cases that were registered in Malta in the last 10 years were male, statistics from the Health Department show. In 172 (57%) instances, the virus was transmitted through heterosexual contact, while in 92 (31%) instances the virus was transmitted through homosexual contact. 10 instances were due to drug instances while one was due to haemophilia.

47 of these infected people ended up suffering from AIDS.

“Everyone who is sexually active is in risk of HIV infection,” Gabi Calleja, President of the Malta Gay Rights Movement told Sunday newspaper Illum. “The stigma of HIV and AIDS is problematic because it can keep people back from seeking the help and care that they need.”

“We are exploring the possibility of setting up a support group for people suffering from HIV/AIDS as part of the services offered by the Rainbow Support Service, and we hope that the health services will collaborate with us in this initiative.”

Sunday, 30 November 2014

aditus: Our Director awarded for his LGBTI rights work!
30th November 2014

[Click on the image to enlarge.]

Last night Neil (Director) [Falzon] was honored with an award for his work in the area of promotion of the rights of LGBTI persons. The Malta Gay Rights Movement organized Malta’s first LGBTI Community Awards, recognizing the commitment of various personalities and professionals towards supporting LGBTI rights.

Neil was awarded the Human Rights award category, with mention of his work in protecting the most vulnerable members of society, including refugees.

Background news can be read here.

YouTube: Conchita Wurst in Malta at the Malta Song for Eurovision 2014-2015


PBS: 8 things you didn’t know about Alan Turing
BY REBECCA JACOBSON November 28, 2014 at 1:56 PM EST

Alan Turing and colleagues working on the Ferranti Mark I Computer, 1951. Photo by SSPL/Getty Images

An English mathematician, logician and cryptographer, Alan Turing was responsible for breaking the Nazi Enigma code during World War II. His work gave the Allies the edge they needed to win the war in Europe, and led to the creation of the computer. On the PBS NewsHour tonight, Jeffrey Brown interviews Benedict Cumberbatch about his role as Turing in “The Imitation Game.”

Turing took his own life in 1954, two years after being outed as gay. Homosexuality was still a crime in Great Britain at the time, and Turing was convicted of “indecency.” He died from eating an apple laced with cyanide. He was only 41 years old.