News & Opinions
This episode sees Stephen visit Brazil, home to the largest gay pride celebration in the world and a place that has some of the best legislation on the planet for gay equality. But it has come at a price. All of the advances have brought about a violent backlash against gay people; on average, one gay person is murdered every 36 hours in Brazil. Stephen sees how this is impacting on the lives of gay men and women there and also confronts the politician leading the fight against gay rights.
Stephen also visits Russia, where gays are now worse off than they have been for a long time. Their rights are being constantly eroded by a conservative government, backed by the disapproval of the Russian Orthodox Church. Stephen then travels to India, where the old British laws that criminalised homosexuality have just been overturned. Modern India is now looking to Hindu traditions as it forges a more positive way forward for its gay citizens, including its once celebrated transgender community.
In the first of this two-part series, Stephen Fry reflects back on just how much has changed for gay people during his lifetime. He meets Elton John and David Furnish, the couple who inspired Stephen to be open about his sexuality as well as many others.
This episode, Stephen travels to Uganda, where the government is considering a new law that would make homosexuality a capital crime -- putting gay people to death for their sexuality. Stephen meets the men and women targeted by this proposed law and finds out the impact it is already having on their lives.
Stephen also travels to the USA to explore ‘reparative therapy’, which claims to offer a ‘cure’ for being gay. Whilst in the states, he looks at how Hollywood deals with the gay issue by talking to Neil Patrick Harris, an openly gay man who continues to land leading roles.
Stephen Fry interviews Dr. Joseph Nicolosi of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality. Nicolosi’s beliefs are so flatly pseudoscientific and Victorian (Homosexuality caused by parental neglect and emotional trauma, etc) that it’d be easy to make a fool of him--Fry, however, being Fry, lets him make a fool of himself.
Stephen Fry’s documentary “Out There” aired on BBC this week
15-year-old Christian Adamek from the US-state of Alabama killed himself after facing expulsion and being put on the sex offender registry for a streaking prank at high school football game.
Just one week earlier, he had been arrested by cops after running naked across the field during a high school gridiron game on September 27. Under Alabama law, Christian faced being placed on the sex offenders register if found guilty of indecent exposure.
Video of his streaking was put on YouTube, attracting enthusiastic comments calling him a “legend” from his fellow students at Sparkman High, but has since been removed. School officials, who were furious over the incident, threatened the teen with expulsion and legal action for indecent exposure -- which under Alabama law would put him on the sex offender’s register.
Australia’s current Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told a pastor on TV that you don’t have to be a homophobic douchebag obsessed with oppressing minorities to be a Christian.
President Putin’s crusade against the queer community in Russia took a new turn. Right-wing youth in the country have been advised by a top-ranking nationalist to create fake profiles on VK.com (a popular Russian social network) and lure in gay male teens for torture.
Spectrum Human Rights Alliance writes:
Infamous Russian ultranationalist and former skin head, Maxim Martsinkevich spearheaded a country wide campaign against LGBT teens using a popular social network VK.com to lure unsuspected victims through personal ads. Mr. Martsinkevich’s numerous and enthusiastic followers started two projects: "Occupy Pedophilyaj" and "Occupy Gerontilyaj". Allegedly they are trying to identify and report pedophiles using these "movements".
In reality, over 500 online groups have been created inside [the] VK.com social network in order to organize illegal militant groups in every Russian city. Oddly enough their idea of fighting paedophiles targets exclusively male teenagers who respond to the same-sex personal ads and show up for a date. Captured victims are bullied and often tortured while being recorded on video.
These self-proclaimed "crime fighters" perform their actions under the broad day light, often outside and clearly visible to general public that indifferently passes by or even commend them. Video recordings of bullying and tortures are freely distributed on the Internet in order to out LGBT teens to their respective schools, parents and friends. Many victims were driven to suicides, the rest are deeply traumatized. So far Russian police took no action against these "movements" even though Russian criminal code was clearly violated and despite numerous complaints from parents, victims and LGBT activists. Social network VK.com intermittently shuts down selected groups and profiles only to allow them to be re-open on the next day. Currently, the founder of VK.com, Pavel Durov, resides in the US and so far has not released any comments.
Towleroad has more photos & videos
These schoolboys turned up for classes in skirts to beat a ban on shorts. The 17-strong group of boys raised eyebrows when they were seen in the morning striding around the school in skirts.
Protester Tyrone Evelyn, 15, said the group, from Whitchurch High School in Cardiff, would continue campaigning for a change. He said: “It’s just appropriate for the weather -- we don’t want to be hot and bothered. Over the last few days I’ve had a few headaches and skin irritations because I’ve been too hot. Girls can wear skirts, so I don’t see why we can’t wear shorts. It’s a reasonable protest.”
Tyrone and his friends wore trousers to school with skirts stowed in their bags after they suspected some teachers had got wind of their protest, which they planned on Facebook. They then nipped into the loos and changed, before taking to the school corridors chanting, “we want to wear shorts”.
Tyrone’s mum Andrea, said she would be happy to buy school shorts, adding: “It should be optional to wear three-quarter length shorts. It would cost exactly the same as if they wore trousers.”
The boys’ protest comes a month after train drivers in Sweden made international headlines by wearing skirts to work to protest against a policy that banned shorts. Train company Arriva has since capitulated and changed its policy to say all their drivers can wear trousers, shorts or skirts.
But it seems the protest was short-lived and came to an abrupt end when the boys were marched into the headmaster’s office. Despite rumours that the pupils had been sent home, headteacher Huw Jones-Williams said no-one had been punished. He said: “We had a conversation with some boys this morning and they have worn trousers.” Read more…
What’s a petty thing like our freedom worth? That’s right: Nothing! At least when we have to make sure that our kids grow up knowing that the naked human body is the most disturbing thing ever and that sexuality was made by the devil to corrupt our souls. That’s why the biggest wanker in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron, wants to make sure that no one ever wanks again.
He’s doing that by building what can only be called the “Great Wall of Cameron”, an internet filter that’s, by the way, made in China (because they know a thing or two about censorship) that can not only be used to block everything that doesn’t fit the Victorian world-view of the
King Porn Minister of the UK but, of course, also dating sites, file sharing, political satire, games, social networks etc.
A gay teen from the US state of New Mexico reportedly commit suicide after being subjected to intense bullying from his classmates. Seventeen-year-old Carlos posted a note to Twitter before he decided to take his own life. Carlos, who would have been a senior at Albuquerque’s Valley High School this fall, was taken off of life support at the University of New Mexico Hospital on July 16.
Meanwhile, Carlos’ mother Jacqueline told a local news channel that her son had been bullied since he was at least 8 years old. “He had this lunchbox, a smiley face lunchbox, and people thought it was the funniest lunchbox ever, and they made fun of him for it,” Jacqueline is quoted as saying. “They grabbed it on the school bus and just threw it on the floor and broke it. It’s just little things like that.”
Carlos’ father Ray echoed those sentiments, noting, "We found out three years ago that he was going through this stuff and we’ve been trying to help him every day since. We realize he’s been going through it every day since he was in the third grade, that’s a long time for a child to hold that within himself."