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Gay teenagers and suicide: does it get better?

Morris Chapdelaine
Jan 16th, 2012

Eric James Borges, 19, killed himself a month after making the "It Gets Better" video to support LGBT youth suffering suicidal thoughts.

People keep saying to suicidal gays, lesbians, transgendred and other sexual minorities that "it gets better" as time goes by.

Have people heard this message so many times over the last year that things must indeed be better for all the gay kids that make up the YouTube generation?

The answer in my opinion is a resounding no.

The truth is in the numbers. According to The Trevor Project, a U.S.-based organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT youth, gay-identifying kids attempt suicide up to four times more than their heterosexual peers. Four times.

That's four LGBT youth for every one straight kid who goes through life feeling like killing themselves.   

Thousands of gay marriages from Canada may not be legal

Jenny Uechi
Jan 12th, 2012

The Canadian government is arguing that thousands of same-sex couples who travelled to Canada to get married are not legally wed, according to The Globe and Mail.

The government is contending in a Toronto court case that non-Canadians gays and lesbians who have been married here since 2004 are only considered married under this country’s laws if gay marriage is also recognized in their home country or state. Countries that recognize gay marriage currently include The Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, South Africa and Canada.

The report is based on court documents filed in a Toronto test case by a lesbian couple seeking a divorce. The couple got married in Toronto, and are residing in England, where same-sex civil unions are recognized, but not marriage.

The Holiday Homo

Morris Chapdelaine
Dec 2nd, 2011

Look, it’s December and even if you’ve buried yourself in work, there is NO escaping the barrage of semi-obligatory ‘get-togethers’, gift exchanges and family (chosen and non) brunches, lunches and dinners. This series is about surviving this month of extremes and over indulgences.

Now I’m no expert in psychology, sociology, gift-wrapping or party throwing, but I’ve been around long enough to know how to have a gay old time no matter what the holiday season throws at me. And let’s face it, if you’re not having a good time, what’s the point?

To start with then, let’s take a look at hosting your own little soiree. Didn’t plan on doing that this year? If it’s been three years since the last holiday gathering at your place then believe me, it’s YOUR turn to host. Your friends and family will start to grumble a bit if you never have them over and this is as good a time as any.

There are a few simple rules to follow:

Queer Culture Awards Show tonight at the Cobalt

Morris Chapdelaine
Nov 3rd, 2011

Hosted by the always lovely and hilarious Morgan Brayton

Vancouver queer history before the first Pride Parade?

It's true...for over 60 years, Vancouver has been on the cutting edge of pink fantastic. Sad Magazine is releasing a special double issue with a huge chunk of history that many of our peers and readers have never even heard about.

Haven't heard about Sad Mag yet? It's a quarterly magazine that publishes up-and-coming Vancouver writers, primarily between the ages of 15 and 30. 

Vancouver's Queer Culture Awards

Queer Film Festival kicks off in Vancouver

Morris Chapdelaine
Aug 11th, 2011

One of this weekend's surefire hits, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister

Vancouver's second largest film festival kicks off tonight with a gala party and screening of the German film, 'To Fero'. Everything gets going at 5:15 p.m. at Granville 7 Cinemas with a special performance by our own super star, Symone.

A huge film fan myself, I wanted to give you this weekend's festival picks:

Do not miss Friday's screening of The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister. I saw this stunningly beautiful period piece last summer at Framline in San Francisco and even had a chance to sit down with the film's director, James Kent and the film's gorgeous star, Maxine Peake (Criminal Justice, Silk). The tangled story of unrequited lesbian love is sure to get your pulse going --never mind the hot love-making scenes.

Vancouver Pride Parade gears toward future

Jenny Uechi
Aug 4th, 2011

Photo by eych-you-bee-ee-ahr-tee from VO Flickr pool

"We haven't been able to keep an official count these past few years, but we know we broke the half-million mark," Vancouver Pride Society president Ken Coolen, said, reflecting on last week's Gay Pride March.

He said a wide range of people of different ages and cultural groops came to the event. In particular, a Muslim queer group, Salaam, drew loud applause from onlookers as they walked by. Coolen said that while many people still struggle with homosexuality, society on a whole has become more accepting of them. 

"For some people, due to religious or cultural beliefs, sexual orientaiton is always going to be a challenge for them, but socially, things are definitely becoming better for them," Coolen said. "Whether people realize it or not, being gay, lesbian, bi, is not limited to any one ethnicity."

Coolen said that the while the gay, lesbian and transgendered community has gained more legal rights than ever, it still faces staggering obstacles around the world. 

Gay Pride Week gets colourful kick-off at City Hall

Anja Konjicanin
Jul 25th, 2011

Photos by Anja Konjicanin

Pride Week and 2011 North American Outgames launched at City Hall at noon, celebrating Pride Parade's 33rd anniversary. In support of the event, Mayor Gregor Robertson, Councillors, VIP guests, flag runners, and a number of proud participants gathered to show their support.

"It's a great opportunity for us to host the games here in bring the fantastic community together and welcome people from all over the world to celebrate with us," said Mayor Gregor Robertson, before reading out the Pride Proclamation.

"Vancouver has shown that it is a diversity in every sense of the word, and I think it's important that it's happening here in City Hall," said Vancouver Centre Liberal MP Hedy Fry.

"This is what pride is all about, and what the Outgames is all about. It's being out there, proud and loud and celebrating. I think it's wonderful, I really do."

Dr. Hedy Fry (left) and Jennifer Breakspear, Executive Director of QMUNITY (right)

How to get the most out of Pride Week in Vancouver

Morris Chapdelaine
Jul 25th, 2011

Where the heck have I been for the last eight weeks? On a North American Gay Pride Tour if you must know.

I often get asked how I end up getting to go to all these colorful events around the world and it's not a simple answer. As a documentary film maker and now figurehead of sorts for a brand new Gay male APP called GuySpy,  I have been tasked with sharing my film with the celebrating masses and sharing the love for finding new love via some of the snappiest new technology around. 

From the super multi-cultural streets of downtown Toronto to the raucous outdoor party scene in Denver and the pretty-boy circuit in Los Angeles, I have shared buckets of beers and exchanged 'happy pride's!' to more people then most may ever in their Gay adult lifetime.

I'm certainly not complaining. In fact I usually enjoy every last minute of it, but in reality, too much of a good thing can become a bit taxing. With this in mind, I'm giving you Big Gay Blog's selection of must do events over the coming week and weekend.

Qmunity presents International Day Against Homophobia in Vancouver

Morris Chapdelaine
May 16th, 2011

May 17th marks the official International Day Against Homophobia. The event, conceived in Canada, is set to become a vital day of importance for many nations including Russia, France, the UK, the US and Brazil. 

In Vancouver, the event is being organized by Qmunity, B.C.'s queer resource centre. The organization's 7th annual awareness event is happening at The Floata Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown (400-180 Keefer Street) from 8 - 10am.

Tickets are still available to purchase until 9 p.m. on May 16th and is a great chance to meet all the movers and shakers in Vancouver's queer community. 

A play about a gay hate crime and murder to debut in Vancouver

Morris Chapdelaine
Apr 12th, 2011

What happens to a community after experiencing a horrific hate crime and murder?

Locally produced play, My Funny Valentine, examines the tragic murder of gay teen. 

Do you happen to remember the murder of a young 15 year old boy by the name of Lawrence King? It is a story that resonated with many. And a murder that hasn't been resolved.

In a computer lab at a small town middle school in Oxnard, California,  14 year old Brandon McInerney took out a gun and shot Lawrence King point blank in the head in front of all the other students. Two days later Lawrence died.

What was the reason you ask?

Well, by all accounts Lawrence was different from the other kids in school. He sometimes liked to wear make-up, usually sported nail polish, and had fully admited to being gay.

He had also reportendly asked Brandon in the days before his execution style murder to be his Valentine.

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