Category: Gay Columns

Gay Bears Groups and Organizations

Like your men on the beefy, furry side? We got you covered. Check here for local bear clubs and see what upcoming events they are hosting.  It’s a great way to meet your fellow bears.

Bear Clubs A-E | Bear Clubs F-Z

Seasons of Pride provides the bear and leather communities this calendar of leather/BDSM and bear events for your twisted travels.  Join us at Haus of BDSM for all your twisted needs…

Gay Bears Groups and Organizations
Viking Bears of Stockholm, Sweden

Jan–Mar | Apr-Jun | Jul–Sept | Oct-Dec

Bear Resources | Calendar | Gay Leather Fetish History | Haus of BDSM Kink Friendly Professionals  

Leather Associations | Titleholders

Bear Clubs and Organization

Forest City Bears

Front Range Bears

Gator Bears, Gainesville, FL

Golden State Bears of Fresno, Fresno, CA

Gøteborg Bears – We are a social bear association for gay and bisexual men who welcome powerful, hairy or bearded men and their admirers. Our perception of what defines a bear is that the inner qualities are at least as important as the outer ones. The association, therefore, leaves to the individual member to define himself. Gothenburg, Sweden

Great Lakes Bears, Chicago

Gulf Coast Bears, Mobile, AL

Harbour City Bears

Heart of Texas Bears, Austin, TX

Hirsute Pursuit, Wichita, KS

Inland Empire Bears Group – Welcome my fellow bears, cubs, and admirers. This group is dedicated to all of you who want to have a place to meet new people, advertise your events, post your charity events and maybe rekindle some old friendships. This group is an attitude free group and will be welcoming for all. Sub bear groups also welcome, for example; pups, leather, chubby, sisters, drag etc. San Bernardino, California

Jax Bears, Jacksonville, FL

Junction City Teddy Bears, Kansas

Last Frontier Men’s Club, Alaska

Liberty Bears

Lone Star Bears

LOOKOUT BEARS

MAGNUM CLUB ITALIA

Mass Bay Bears, Provincetown, MA

Metro Bears, NYC, NY

Midwest Bearpack Indianapolis, IN

Moscow Bears – the initiator of the following bearish events in Moscow: Bear Wednesdays in the VODA SPA sauna (weekly every Wednesday) and The Moscow Bath Medecessor in the VODA SPA sauna is a great event every last Saturday of the month. Moscow, Russia – www.facebook.com/moscowbears

Motor City Bears, Detroit, MI

Mountain State Bears, West Virginia

NetherBears

NEW ORLEANS BEARS

Nordic Bears – Norway Bears (Den Norske Bamseklubben) seeks to provide a setting in which gay men of all ages can meet, establish social networks, enjoy each other’s company, and have fun together. Oslo, Norway.

North Country Bears, Minneapolis, MN

Northeast Ursamen

Northwest Bears Seattle, WA

OREGON BEARS

Palm Springs Bears, Palm Springs, Ca

Provincetown Bears, P-Town, MA

Renegade Bears of San Antonio – Renegade Bears of San Antonio is a non -profit, social organization. We are interested in friendship and communication. The goal is to create a light-hearted social atmosphere based on friendship, loyalty, and mutual respect. We want to create a circle of friends interested in movies, dinner, social events near and far, and giving back to our diverse community. Fundraising and mutual cooperation with all of the various clubs in the area is also something we are very much looking forward to. San Antonio, TX

River Bears, Cincinnati, OH

Rocket City Bears, Alabama

Sacramento Valley Bears

Sandia Bears

Show Me Bears

South Bay Bears

Southern Bears, Atlanta, GA

Spreebären Berlin

Tampa Bay Bears

Utah Bears

WICHITA BEARS

Viking Bears – We are an association for powerful, slender, trained, hairy, smooth, bearded and crazy guys and men of all ages seeking equality. Our goal is to warmly welcome you. Stockholm, Sweden

Virginia Mountain Bears, Virginia

Gay Bears Groups and Organizations

Bear Clubs A-E | Bear Clubs F-Z

The post Gay Bears Groups and Organizations appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Gay Bears Groups and Organizations

Like your men on the beefy, furry side? We got you covered. Check here for local bear clubs and see what upcoming events they are hosting.  It’s a great way to meet your fellow bears.

Bear Clubs A-E | Bear Clubs F-Z

Seasons of Pride provides the bear and leather communities this calendar of leather/BDSM and bear events for your twisted travels.  Join us at Haus of BDSM for all your twisted needs…

Gay Bears Groups and Organizations
Viking Bears of Stockholm, Sweden

Jan–Mar | Apr-Jun | Jul–Sept | Oct-Dec

Bear Resources | Calendar | Gay Leather Fetish History | Haus of BDSM Kink Friendly Professionals  

Leather Associations | Titleholders

Bear Clubs and Organization

Forest City Bears

Front Range Bears

Gator Bears, Gainesville, FL

Golden State Bears of Fresno, Fresno, CA

Gøteborg Bears – We are a social bear association for gay and bisexual men who welcome powerful, hairy or bearded men and their admirers. Our perception of what defines a bear is that the inner qualities are at least as important as the outer ones. The association, therefore, leaves to the individual member to define himself. Gothenburg, Sweden

Great Lakes Bears, Chicago

Gulf Coast Bears, Mobile, AL

Harbour City Bears

Heart of Texas Bears, Austin, TX

Hirsute Pursuit, Wichita, KS

Inland Empire Bears Group – Welcome my fellow bears, cubs, and admirers. This group is dedicated to all of you who want to have a place to meet new people, advertise your events, post your charity events and maybe rekindle some old friendships. This group is an attitude free group and will be welcoming for all. Sub bear groups also welcome, for example; pups, leather, chubby, sisters, drag etc. San Bernardino, California

Jax Bears, Jacksonville, FL

Junction City Teddy Bears, Kansas

Last Frontier Men’s Club, Alaska

Liberty Bears

Lone Star Bears

LOOKOUT BEARS

MAGNUM CLUB ITALIA

Mass Bay Bears, Provincetown, MA

Metro Bears, NYC, NY

Midwest Bearpack Indianapolis, IN

Moscow Bears – the initiator of the following bearish events in Moscow: Bear Wednesdays in the VODA SPA sauna (weekly every Wednesday) and The Moscow Bath Medecessor in the VODA SPA sauna is a great event every last Saturday of the month. Moscow, Russia – www.facebook.com/moscowbears

Motor City Bears, Detroit, MI

Mountain State Bears, West Virginia

NetherBears

NEW ORLEANS BEARS

Nordic Bears – Norway Bears (Den Norske Bamseklubben) seeks to provide a setting in which gay men of all ages can meet, establish social networks, enjoy each other’s company, and have fun together. Oslo, Norway.

North Country Bears, Minneapolis, MN

Northeast Ursamen

Northwest Bears Seattle, WA

OREGON BEARS

Palm Springs Bears, Palm Springs, Ca

Provincetown Bears, P-Town, MA

Renegade Bears of San Antonio – Renegade Bears of San Antonio is a non -profit, social organization. We are interested in friendship and communication. The goal is to create a light-hearted social atmosphere based on friendship, loyalty, and mutual respect. We want to create a circle of friends interested in movies, dinner, social events near and far, and giving back to our diverse community. Fundraising and mutual cooperation with all of the various clubs in the area is also something we are very much looking forward to. San Antonio, TX

River Bears, Cincinnati, OH

Rocket City Bears, Alabama

Sacramento Valley Bears

Sandia Bears

Show Me Bears

South Bay Bears

Southern Bears, Atlanta, GA

Spreebären Berlin

Tampa Bay Bears

Utah Bears

WICHITA BEARS

Viking Bears – We are an association for powerful, slender, trained, hairy, smooth, bearded and crazy guys and men of all ages seeking equality. Our goal is to warmly welcome you. Stockholm, Sweden

Virginia Mountain Bears, Virginia

Gay Bears Groups and Organizations

Bear Clubs A-E | Bear Clubs F-Z

The post Gay Bears Groups and Organizations appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Same-Sex Marriage Around the World

We’re all aware of the wonderful news that came out of Australia just recently in relation to the “yes” result in their postal vote for same-sex marriage. The hope is that the Australian politicians will now enact the will of the people into legislation and the talk is that it might even happen before Christmas. What a fantastic Christmas gift for the people of all orientations in Australia!

Achieving the same marriage rights as straight couples is a journey that has been hard fought and not without its conflicts for many countries all over the world. People have gone out and canvassed, marched, protested in their droves in order for this issue to even be brought to the polls in many countries around the globe. Being legally allowed to marry in a country gives couples of the same sex equality in relation to many important issues like inheritance, tax and lots more and it’s just more of a point of principle too of course.

The people at Carvaka have put together this extensive video which details the timeline of these same-sex marriage votes around the globe. Watch the video and marvel at the joy and the struggle that it has taken to achieve this result in all of those countries.

Same-Sex Marriage Around the World

The post Same-Sex Marriage Around the World appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Bear Clubs and Organizations

Before visiting another city, check here for a club and see what upcoming events they are hosting.  It’s a great way to meet your fellow bears.

Seasons of Pride provides the bear and leather communities this calendar of leather/BDSM and bear events for your twisted travels.  Join us at Haus of BDSM for all your twisted needs…

Jan–Mar | Apr-Jun | Jul–Sept | Oct-Dec

Bear Resources | Calendar | Gay Leather Fetish History | Haus of BDSM Kink Friendly Professionals  

Leather Associations | Titleholders

Bear Clubs and Organizations

Bear Clubs and Organizations

 

Aloha Bears – Our organization is based in Honolulu — established in June 1999. What defines us as a group is our welcoming spirit and a genuine sense of Aloha – the kind one finds in a gentle bear hug. We have a strong bond with our community, our land, and our sea. We believe we are all equal and pledge to fight for equal rights for all. Our “ohana” (family) is open to everyone and we look forward to introducing you to our organization and beautiful state.  Our annual LeiBear Day event is Hawaii’s premier bear festival attracting visitors to Honolulu from the mainland and overseas to celebrate Bear culture.

BACKWOODS BEARS – The Backwoods Bears is a non-profit organization with charitable intent. The BBC provides social and other events to raise funds for charity.  These events are directed especially at bears, bear friends, and bear admirers. Our members come from all around the state and the world. The home of the BBC is the famous Sawmill Camping Resort in Dade City, Florida.

BEAR ALBANY – Bear Albany is dedicated to giving back to our community through charity events and great parties! While our focus remains on the Bear Community, our goal is to help unify all areas of the gay community in the Albany’s Capital District and beyond. Albany, NY

BEARCELONA  BEARcelona is the biggest event for the Bear community in Barcelona. Don’t miss out on all those Catalan, Spanish and international bears who belong to Barcelona, they’re FURRLICIOUS. The site hasn’t been updated since Feb 2017.

Bear Club of Japan – Site hasn’t been updated since Nov 2016.

Bear Naked – BNC is a social, sexual, nudist group for hairy men and their admirers. That means bears (big hairy men), otters (thinner hairy men) and the men who love bears and otters get together to get naked, to socialize, and yes, sex happens! Chicago, IL

Bears LA – We are Bears LA serving the Los Angeles Bear community and the greater community for more than 20 years. Los Angeles, CA

Bears of San Diego – Frisky, Friendly and Attitude Free! Bears San Diego is a club for bears and bear fanciers. We are based in San Diego, California but we have members throughout the United States and even a few from overseas. Bears San Diego was established in San Diego in October 1994 when a need was recognized for a group who did not fit in with the mainstream gays, Within the first year, the club grew to 100 members. In 2003 Bears San Diego took the next step and began our journey to become a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We finalized the process in the summer of 2006 when Bears San Diego got its final approval from the Internal Revenue Service to do business as a Non-Profit Organization. Bears San Diego is bound by a strict set of Bylaws and operates under Roberts Rules of Order. Bears San Diego is both a fundraising organization AND a social club, balancing the needs of the community and the needs of the membership. Club members consist of all types– bears, cubs, and otters and those who have little or no body hair but enjoy the company of hirsute men. We do not discriminate–we have non-gay people and women in our club as well! Bears San Diego’s purpose is to bring together men of like minds on a social basis, providing events at a local bar, den night at members homes, outings to movies, restaurants, the zoo and parties with other Bear Clubs. These gatherings give participants the opportunity to actually meet other bears and admirers to create new friendships.

BEARS OF SAN FRANCISCO – The Bears of San Francisco is an all-inclusive community-based association that benefits the greater Bay Area through fundraising, service, and socializing. San Francisco, CA

Bears of South Florida – The mission of The Bears of South Florida is to generate funds for IRS 501(c)(3) charities while offering opportunities for social and fraternal interaction between its members. The club will strive for diversity and acceptance of any person who wishes to join. Membership within the club will consist of bears, cubs and those who wish to socialize with such persons. There is no political agenda for the group. Equal acceptance within the group regardless of any physical characteristic will be the goal. The club will strive to encourage friendship, a positive attitude, and camaraderie both within the group and in the community as a whole. Miami, FL

Bears of the Old Pueblo – BOTOP is a social organization in Tucson for bearish, gay and bi men, and admirers. Tucson, AZ

Bears of the West  Bears of the West is a community based, a non-profit organization, that is committed to benevolent and charitable services, fundraisers and support for other non-profit organizations in the Greater Phoenix Area. As a membership organization, we strengthen our bond and resources by promoting social activities for our members. Our social activities are open to all men that share in our common goal of serving our community, having fun, and participating in nurturing and lasting friendships. Pheonix, AZ

Bears Perth – Bears Perth aims to provide a comfortable environment for socializing and meeting new men and making friends.  You don’t have to be big, hairy or bearded to be welcome!  We are not a sex club like Bath houses/Saunas etc. We meet for Den Nights on the 2nd Saturday and the 4th Friday of the month at Loton Park Tennis Club, corner of Bulwer and Lord St,  Highgate but, check website for details. As well as events on a 2nd  Sunday of month  arvo (see events). Perth, Australia

  • Bearserk – BEARSERK IS A ORGANIZATION FOR THE BEAR COMMUNITY. Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Bear With Us – Bear with Us is a group of adult gay men living in Finland. We will celebrate our existence during the Helsinki Pride week on the last week of June. Bear with Us means exactly what it means. Some of us are bears, some not, some young, some old, some hairy, some not, some tall, some small, some big, some not, some muscular, some lean, some fat, some stocky, some normal, some just what they are. Some like fetishes, some don’t, some like dancing, some not. Some like sweaty parties, some like talking. Most of us like our drinks. We don’t judge, we want to have a good time. So do not judge yourself either, just join the party! Helsinki, Finland

Buffalo Bears – The Buffalo Bears Club, a non-profit organization, was founded in the summer of 1999. We are a social club for self-described bears and their admirers. We meet together every second Saturday in Buffalo at 10 pm at Preservation Pub, located at 948 Main St. With monitored Parking conveniently located across from the bar. Guests are more than welcomed to attend our meetings and immediately following, we host our monthly Bear Bar Night. Buffalo, NY

Burgh Bears

Carolina Bears

Capital City Bears, Harrisburg, PA

Clearwater Bears, Clearwater, FL

Cleveland Bears, Cleveland OH

Columbus Bears

Comstockgrizzlies, Reno NV

DALLAS BEARS

Diamond State Bears, Little Rock, AR

District of Columbia Bears

Empire Bears, Rochester, NY

Forest City Bears

Front Range Bears

Gator Bears, Gainesville, FL

Golden State Bears of Fresno, Fresno, CA

  • Gøteborg Bears – We are a social bear association for gay and bisexual men who welcome powerful, hairy or bearded men and their admirers. Our perception of what defines a bear is that the inner qualities are at least as important as the outer ones. The association, therefore, leaves to the individual member to define himself. Gothenburg, Sweden

Great Lakes Bears, Chicago

Gulf Coast Bears, Mobile, AL

Harbour City Bears

Heart of Texas Bears, Austin, TX

Hirsute Pursuit, Wichita, KS

Jax Bears, Jacksonville, FL

Junction City Teddy Bears, Kansas

Last Frontier Men’s Club, Alaska

Liberty Bears

Lone Star Bears

LOOKOUT BEARS

MAGNUM CLUB ITALIA

Mass Bay Bears, Provincetown, MA

Metro Bears, NYC, NY

Midwest Bearpack Indianapolis, IN

  • Moscow Bears – the initiator of the following bearish events in Moscow: Bear Wednesdays in the VODA SPA sauna (weekly every Wednesday) and The Moscow Bath Medecessor in the VODA SPA sauna is a great event every last Saturday of the month. Moscow, Russia – www.facebook.com/moscowbears

Motor City Bears, Detroit, MI

Mountain State Bears, West Virginia

NetherBears

NEW ORLEANS BEARS

Nordic Bears – Norway Bears (Den Norske Bamseklubben) seeks to provide a setting in which gay men of all ages can meet, establish social networks, enjoy each other’s company, and have fun together. Oslo, Norway.

North Country Bears, Minneapolis, MN

Northeast Ursamen

Northwest Bears Seattle, WA

OREGON BEARS

Palm Springs Bears, Palm Springs, Ca

Provincetown Bears, P-Town, MA

Renegade Bears of San Antonio – Renegade Bears of San Antonio is a non -profit, social organization. We are interested in friendship and communication. The goal is to create a light-hearted social atmosphere based on friendship, loyalty,and mutual respect. We want to create a circle of friends interested in movies, dinner, social events near and far, and giving back to our diverse community . Fundraising, and mutual cooperation with all of the various clubs in the area is also something we are very much looking forward to. San Antonio, TX

River Bears, Cincinnati, OH

Rocket City Bears, Alabama

Sacramento Valley Bears

Sandia Bears

Show Me Bears

South Bay Bears

Southern Bears, Atlanta, GA

Spreebären Berlin

Tampa Bay Bears

Utah Bears

WICHITA BEARS

  • Viking Bears – We are an association for powerful, slender, trained, hairy, smooth, bearded and crazy guys and men of all ages seeking equality. Do you feel fit here, so are you warmly welcome. Stockholm, Sweden

Virginia Mountain Bears, Virginia

 

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5 Things To Know Before Getting Serious With A Trans Guy

According to the survey, conducted by the Williams Institute in 2016, 0.6% of U.S. adults identify themselves as transgender. Transgender persons are the part of the LGBT community and in their life, they overcome numerous obstacles.

Dating a trans guy is both a challenging and exhilarating experience. It is full of new discoveries, happy moments, and tough struggles.

So, before starting the transgender relationship, you should know some myths about it and there are some things you should be prepared for.

Myths About The Transgender Relationship

Trans relationships are mysterious and enigmatic. They are special as you share them with the special person.

Despite the variety of prejudices about the trans relationships, in most cases, they are filled with love, mutual respect, and understanding. If you start dating a trans guy, be aware of the myths about this relationship.

  • Transgender women are attracted only to women and trans guys are attracted only to guys. This is the myth because transgender persons have different sexualities: straight, gay, bi, pan.
  • If you date a transgender person, it makes you a gay or lesbian. This is a misconception as if you are attracted to the trans guy, it is because he is a guy and your orientation is straight. The same concerns trans women.
  • Not all relationships survive the transition. This period puts a huge stress on the individuals separately and on your relationship in general. Unfortunately, even a rock-solid relationship cannot survive the transition.
  • All trans people are sexual. It is a myth as sometimes they may be asexual.
  • The statement that all trans people are bottoms is untrue. Some of them are tops or versatile.
  • Some people think that trans people are all gay. It is untrue as the orientation depends on the person.
  • Not all trans guys like masculine activities (including penetration) in sex.

5 Things To Know Before Getting Serious With A Trans Guy5 Things To Know Before Getting Serious With A Trans Guy

All men are different and like all men, trans men are also individual as they have a various social background. And they have different emotional, spiritual, romantic and sexual needs. So, before getting serious with a trans guy, you should know the following things.

 

  • People Can Be Intolerant

 

People perceive you and your relationship differently. They may have prejudices about your relationship and you must be prepared for it. They can make assumptions as to your identity and sexual orientation taking into account the partner’s identity. Thus, they may think that you are either a gay or straight and it affects your relationship.

Transgender people may experience problems and go under stress because many of them can’t understand how to disclose the transgender status to their relatives, friends, and other people. Coming out may be health-hazardous as in today’s world, there is the prevalence of discrimination and violence as transgender people are 28% more likely to be victims of violence.

But many people don’t know the difference between gender and sexuality. They may invade the partner’s privacy by asking intrusive questions. They may think that the partner knows everything about the trans things. Besides, they may be too curious and ask tactless questions, e.g. about the surgery or the sex life. It can let your partner down as not every transgender has surgery done, not everyone uses the hormones and nobody will expose information about the sex life to others.

So, you should be ready for the judgment from the side of your friends, mates, and relatives and perceive all things soberly.

Tip:

Be supportive when the trans guy faces the struggles related to rejection and discrimination. Also, build trust with the partner and understand all challenges and needs he has.

 

  • Transition Is Difficult

 

When you date a transgender, the coming out may be really difficult because the man may lose contact with the family and friends. The trans man was assigned a woman at birth and that is why the emotional aspect of the transition is extremely important. The woman becomes a part of the same society in the male body and this is a challenge, so being supportive and understanding is the key there. Besides, the issue of the medical correction of sex becomes relevant and you should be supportive, compassionate, sympathetic, and encouraging. Your man needs it most of all during the transition. It’s vital as transition causes stress, which affects people in different ways, but the recent study found that 46% of transgender men attempt suicide.

Tip:

Aside from being supportive and understanding, create commitment, so that your partner can achieve all goals and overcome all troubles, connected with this tough period.

 

  • Self-confidence Is Important

 

During the transition, there is the shift in his identity and he needs the identity acceptance and validation from you and the society. Show him that you accept his new representation of himself, express it through endearment. Besides, you may use not only the body language but words as well. Be supportive, encouraging and be ready for being expressive, but restrained at the same time.

Tip:

The body language is crucial in building self-confidence. Show through gestures and caresses how much you like him and that you accept him the way he is.

 

  • Pronouns And Names Mean A Lot

 

Becoming a transgender is a conscious choice and your loved one needs support. The use of right pronouns is a symbol of your acceptance and support. It may seem that this small detail is irrelevant when it comes to a sex change, but in fact, a person is experiencing a colossal stress, and expressing your support by using the right pronouns will help your beloved person to believe in himself and feel better.

On top of that, using the appropriate name is also important. Even if you tell the story, which has happened in the past (before coming out), you should use the real name. The thing is that the trans man may feel confused and upset if you call him by the name, given at birth.

Tip:

Respect the partner and show your respect by using the correct pronouns and names.

 

  • Sex Life Is Important

 

When your partner becomes a transgender and when it comes to sex, you should be honest and understand that all people are different and of course, you should be patient. When you prepare for the sex with a trans man, keep in mind several things:

  • Understand what the notion sexuality implies to your man. Talk with him and find out what turns him on, his erogenous zones, things, which he finds inappropriate in sex. Communication is important as it helps you to make things clear before you go to the next stage in your intimate relationship.
  • Outline the sexual comfort zone. Some trans guys don’t like to be touched in their “female” areas, whereas others may enjoy sensual caresses. This parameter is individual, so you should talk about it.
  • Ask the partner about the words you should use or shouldn’t use during the intercourse.
  • Be prepared for super-sensitivity. If your partner goes under hormonal therapy, then there may be some peculiarities. The body part, known as the clitoris, becomes larger and super sensitive, so you should take it into account.
  • Accommodate his body issues. If your partner has the pre-surgery in the breast or genital area, take it into account as your partner may prefer wearing the T-shirt during sex or he doesn’t want special attention to his genitalia.
  • The body changes during the transition phase and your partner’s libido may increase significantly. So, be ready for it and talk before you get to it.

On top of that, be prepared for the fact that things may change daily as the person is only searching himself, so be patient.

Tip:

Always be open, talk honestly and discuss all preferences and desires, it will help you to build intimacy you need.

Conclusion

Thus, dating a trans guy may be challenging as the person is discovering new aspects of the gender identity. So, be supportive and respect each other’s bodies and minds and then you’ll have a committed and flourishing relationship.


Andrew Guerra is an editor of http://sweetytextmessages.com/. He likes to share his thoughts with the people around. His writing on motivation, love has appeared to make our life better. Andrew believes in fairness and human wisdom.

5 Things To Know Before Getting Serious With A Trans Guy

The post 5 Things To Know Before Getting Serious With A Trans Guy appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Out in the Past LGBT History Month

Out in the Past – The introduction and promotion of LGBT History Month (UK) by Schools OUT UK in 2005 has significantly enhanced and further validated awareness of and interest in LGBT and Human Rights Campaigns of the second half of the 20th century. The associated and growing interest in ‘LGBT History’ has created a growing public demand for readings of that past, that has, in turn, encouraged popular and academic research into that past. However, despite the increasing popular demand for such history, it still an area of study that in the UK is very much in its infancy compared to the remarkable advances made elsewhere. Feb 3 – Various, UK; Mar 18, 2018

Out in the Past LGBT History Month


Seasons of Pride is pleased to present the Gay Pride or LGBTQ Pride Calendar for 2018.  You will find Gay Pride events, LGBT Film Festivals, and the Gay Travel Events like Gay Ski Weeks. We do our best to try and keep up with all the events, but sometimes we miss one or two.

If your event is not listed, just drop us an email to info@seasonsofpride.com

Bear | Business | CareerConferences | Europe | Film | Leather | Lesbian | Trans | Youth

2018 Pride Calendar

Jan – Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov – Dec

Out in the Past LGBT History Month

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Calling Queer Artists Queertech.io 2018

Queertech.io 2018: Artist Call Out

Queertech.io and Midsumma Festival are calling for digital and new media works from queer identifying artists. Be part of the ongoing conversation about #QueerTech.

Curated by the Queertech.io artist collective and Midsumma Festival works selected will be premiered online and offline across multiple sites at Midsumma Festival 2018, including RMIT SPARE ROOM & LIGHTSCAPES.

Calling Queer Artists Queertech.io 2018

Now more than ever, queer voices are vital to a continued socio-political discourse surrounding representation in a digital landscape. Queertech.io showcases a broad cross-section of the innovative, poignant and queer-as-hell works emerging from diverse queer communities.

Queertech.io 2017 included works from artists in ten countries and spanned video works, games, gifs, 3D models, animations and interactive works. After premiering at Midsumma Festival 2017, the Queertech.io collection toured nationally and internationally.

Artists at all stages of their careers are encouraged to apply. Submissions close on Sunday 12 November.

Questions? Email Curator, Alison Bennett at alison@alisonbennett.net.

QueerTechIO 2018 call for works from Virtual Drag on Vimeo.


QueerTech.io 2018 presented in partnership with MIDSUMMA and supported by RMIT: ART: INTERSECT

A collection of digital artworks by queer artists from around the globe exhibited online at http://QueerTech.io/ and embedded in three Australian queer arts festivals and screened on the Federation Square big screen:

QueerTech.io has been organised by Alison Bennett, Travis Cox, Xanthe Dobbie & Mark Payne.

“There is a growing conversation about #queertech art practices internationally” explains Alison Bennett, one of the artists organising QueerTech.io. “We wanted to be a part of that conversation and find out more about how artists are thinking about #queertech as a creative space and an artistic strategy.”

Feel welcome to let us know about more queertech artists and projects

Calling Queer Artists Queertech.io 2018

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Anti-LGBT Schools Should See Financial Consequences

It’s 2017. The fact that equality is still debated and the fact that it’s still an issue is unfortunate, to say the least. The secretary of education seemed to imply in May that she would leave the issue of discrimination up to the decision of the states. She didn’t improve much on her response when the issue was brought up again in June.

Current federal laws protect students from discrimination of various types, though they’re slightly murky when it comes to LGBT protections. However, based on the other protections it provides, it’s a no-brainer that LGBT students should be included. The courts haven’t made it official, but the fact that LGBT marriage is legal across the country and, well, the fact that your sexual orientation/gender identity isn’t something you choose, should be enough.

In the May hearing, a school in Indiana was brought up because they receive state voucher money yet deny admission for students “practicing alternate gender identity” or for any students that come from a family where there’s “homosexual or bisexual activity.” Not only could the child be punished for who they are, they could be punished because of their parents as well.

The Harm Of Discrimination

LGBT youth are already at high-risk for compromised mental health without having to deal with discrimination from their school. They have to face bullying, dealing with the pressure of coming out and the fact that they could be facing a family that doesn’t approve. It’s not an easy process and it isn’t an easy life to lead. Transgender students struggle even more, with the notion that they aren’t in the body they’re supposed to be in.

Banning a student from a school because of who they are attracted to is repulsive. As is banning students because of their gender identity not lining up with the parts they had. These are not things that people choose and they aren’t things that people can control. They’re people just like everyone else. And these children have just as much right to learn as anyone else.

Consequences Should Be Enforced

In 1970, the IRS proclaimed they wouldn’t offer tax-exempt status to any educational institution that participated in racial discrimination. When Bob Jones University tried to challenge this, the US Supreme Court rejected and said: “racial discrimination in education is contrary to public policy.” The same thing should be said now for LGBT discrimination.

Both federal and state governments offer all sorts of vouchers, grants and other funding to institutions of education. This funding should not extend to schools that participate in discrimination. If these institutions want federal money, they shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate against any group of people.

America is supposed to be a land of freedoms, though it doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to discrimination. However, we should be learning from our past and growing instead of backtracking to times when you were allowed to refuse a student because of their skin color. Students can’t change their sexuality, who they truly are, any more than they can change the color of their skin.

And just because discrimination is based on religion, doesn’t mean it’s okay. Freedom of religion means you have the right to practice whatever religion you choose. It doesn’t mean that you can use that religion as an excuse to discriminate against people and impose those beliefs on others.

Opposition to discrimination isn’t based on violating religious liberties or rights. It’s about making sure that American citizens are free from discrimination and able to live their lives without being persecuted because of who they are.

This is about being decent human beings and respecting that others may not be the same as you are. Schools shouldn’t be financially rewarded for refusing perfectly qualified applicants due to baseless ignorance.

Anti-LGBT Schools Should See Financial Consequences

The post Anti-LGBT Schools Should See Financial Consequences appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

From Canada With Love: An Interview on Gay Marriage & Life

On April 4th, 2009, Mary Heid tied the knot with her now-wife Karen Mapstone at a Victorian bed and breakfast in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada – right across the border from New York, where they resided at the time. Five years before gay marriage was made legal across the U.S. (and before most states too for that matter), they made the leap into blissful matrimony. It took a literal leap across the border to make it happen.

 

Mary and Karen currently live in Reno, Nevada, where they enjoy the comforts of a dry climate and a strong network of family and friends. Life hasn’t always been smooth sailing though. I recently had the chance to sit down with Mary, who is a close family friend and personal confidant of mine, and talk with her about her travails and experiences throughout life.

We began by discussing her wedding day – everything from the various styles of wedding dresses they considered, to the love and energy poured into their wedding vows. Over time, our conversation gradually drifted toward the current social climate in the U.S., and how things have changed for gay couples during her lifetime (and unfortunately in some cases, haven’t changed).

Sophie: Describe your wedding day – what was it like?

Mary: “I remember that the weather was cold – it was a chilly, windy spring day. The atmosphere was intimate, with 30 guests squeezed into the bed & breakfast, which we had rented for the weekend. Our parents, the minister, our best men & their families all stayed at the venue with us. We got married in the grand foyer next to a big fireplace, and there was a pianist playing as we stood around in the living room. Karen’s dad read a poem by Khalil Gibran, and overall it was pretty quiet and intimate. All of our siblings and their kids were there too, which was really nice.

We also had a professional photographer following us around, plus a close friend who also took pictures for us. She ended up making us a lovely wedding scrapbook, and it’s my favorite piece of memorabilia from that day.”

S: Did the atmosphere feel any different than at other weddings you’ve attended? Or was it pretty traditional?

Pictured: Jay Mapstone (Mary’s father-in-law), Karen Mapstone on the left, Mary Heid on the right

M: “It was different, but it was intentionally different. I was married twice before – a big Italian Catholic wedding and a country-themed pig roast, and we wanted this ceremony to reflect our personalities (which are both pretty laid back). We were paying for it ourselves, so we specifically had vegetarian food because we are vegetarian, and we had a limited amount of alcohol (although it was at a winery so we did have some wine).

A lot of thought went into the event, it was a very ‘thoughtful’ ceremony. We didn’t want to make anybody uncomfortable, but we still wanted to share our love for each other publicly. A lot of this revolved around our maturity, when you’re younger you’re like ‘we’re gay, we want to party,’ but we just wanted to take it easy.”

S: You mentioned earlier that most of your family attended, including your parents. How did your parents or in-laws feel when you first told them you were getting married to a woman?

Pictured: Family members, including Iris Mapstone – Karen’s mother

M: “The story leading up to the wedding is kind of cute. When I told Karen’s dad we were getting married, we were all at her parent’s house. We were really nervous – we’re gay, her parents are religious, and her father was an evangelical Protestant minister for a long time. We were scared.

Karen had never really overtly came out, she had never even said ‘hey I’m gay’ or anything, although it was understood and unspoken. We were really psyched when [her] father was happy for us, and glad do a reading; just in general, glad we asked him to be a part of our wedding. However, we didn’t ask him to marry us, because our best friend in Rochester is a minister in a Unitarian church, and she and her wife are our best friends.”

S: What’s something that jumps out at you when you think about that day?

M: “Reading the vows. Figuring out how to write great wedding vows was really hard, but it was worth the effort in the end. Since I knew we were going to do this interview earlier I prepared them in case you were curious – I’ll read them to you, they’re brief:

‘I promise to give you my unending love, trust, and devotion. To be true to you and to cherish you through hardships and happiness. To share my thoughts, hopes, fears, and dreams with you, to listen to you with compassion and speak to you with encouragement, to believe we will continue to grow as individuals and together. To live a life that will honor the vows we’ve spoken, and make you glad you have married me this day.’

We spent a lot of time with each other’s weaknesses, and we tried to overcome them.”

S: Those vows are very sweet, and it sounds like your wedding day turned out to be a really positive experience. Do you think that the US has progressed a lot in terms of gay marriage acceptance since your wedding? What about acceptance of gay couples in general?  

M: “I think it has improved in both areas. We’ve been together twenty years, since 1997. it took us 11 years to get married because we didn’t want to merely have a commitment ceremony. We felt like that was not the equivalent of marriage. We were not going to acquiesce to what we thought was going to make other people comfortable. We didn’t want ‘different.’ That’s part of why it took so long.

Plus, there’s the fear and closeting of gay people that I sure hope is different now. I think that it is, I think that the younger generation is a little more comfortable and we as the older generation are more comfortable, with both gay and interracial couples. We’re not in Kansas anymore.”

S: Great point. However, there’s still a long way to go it seems. Has your marriage had any lasting effect on your relationships with friends or family members?

Pictured: Mary Heid’s sister, daughter & niece

M: “Yeah, it has actually had a big positive effect on everybody. The marriage, not the wedding itself. It has forced people to acknowledge that homosexuality is in their present life and that it’s not just some abstract concept anymore. They actually had to confront their feelings about it, and even though it’s all been internal (it’s not like we have family discussions about it), you can’t do that anymore – saying things like ‘marriage is only between a man and a woman.’ Hopefully, people have grown by that.

We’re super fortunate. So many friends have lost family – parents won’t speak to them, siblings won’t talk to them, one friend has a family member who mails them Christian ‘repent your sin’ cards at Christmas every year, many friends have friends as their chosen family now. A ton of gay people my age… there’s an awful lot of them in recovery. We drank a lot early on because we thought we were bad because society told us we didn’t fit. Drugs and alcohol were coping mechanisms.

There’s a lot of self-abusive behavior in our community due to family, and we were scared to death to come out to our family even though our families have been great and accepted us. We were still scared something bad was going to happen when we got married. Originally it was about hoping for acceptance rather than looking for joy, that was all we felt we could hope for.”

S: Did you think you’d ever get legally married when you first were together?

M: “Hmmm, no. In the beginning, marriage wasn’t on the radar – it was a bit of a pipe dream. Even as our relationship grew, when people started getting married, we thought ‘wow, we could do that. Would you want to do that? I think we should’ then we started having discussions.

First, there were civil unions, right away we said ‘no, we don’t want to do that, it’s half-assed,’ but then when it started to change to marriage, we thought ‘yes, we can have that.’ So no, originally it wasn’t even on the radar. When I was a young kid it wasn’t even on the radar that I could be a lesbian. I couldn’t entertain it, it wasn’t even in my vocabulary, which is probably why I got married twice to men.”

S: Do you have any advice for other gay couples looking to get married?

M: “Be brave, be true to yourself, be confident, be true to who you are. Go for what you want, don’t shortchange yourself, don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t think that you can’t have something. If a bakery doesn’t want to make you a cake, find one that will so you can celebrate your joy. Some bakeries still do this, when they find out it’s for a gay wedding. Surround yourself with people that love you, and let the haters hate somewhere else. Your wedding isn’t the time to change the world.”

S: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

M: “I’m 53 years old now, so hopefully now is a different time. I’ll be interested if this article even feels relevant now. It’ll be interesting to see what a 20-year-old couple says in response to questions like this.”

Conclusion

Mary has experienced a lot during her life. To be fair we all have, but not many of us have had to leave our country of birth just to legally marry the person we love. While things have improved drastically for gay couples even during our own lifetimes, the fight for total equality is still not over. More education, as well as open conversations with the people in our lives, will help though, and hopefully, stories like Mary’s will continue to encourage other families to accept and love their relatives regardless of their sexual orientation.


Bio

Sophie Darling is a wedding expert and community manager at WeddingDresses.com. Sophie is known in the industry as a professional who knows how to create the perfect wedding day without breaking the bank. When she’s not blogging about weddings & pinning wedding inspirations, she enjoys meeting her girlfriends over margaritas to discuss nonsense and unfulfilled romances.

From Canada With Love: An Interview on Gay Marriage & Life

The post From Canada With Love: An Interview on Gay Marriage & Life appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Coming Out Pink Season Hong Kong

Hosted by Pink Season 粉紅天

Pink Season is collaborating with The Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong and Queer Straight Alliance with support from Goldman Sachs to discuss what it means to come out as LGBT+ in Hong Kong. Spoken in Cantonese we have got a panel full of experience from coming out at home, in education, and at work.

粉紅天與香港小童群益會及同直聯盟合作,並獲得高盛支持,與參加者一起探討同志在香港出櫃的意義。本活動以粵語進行,多位講者分享其在家庭、校園和工作場所出櫃的經驗

Coming Out Pink Season Hong Kong

Asia’s premier LGBTI festival, celebrating self-­acceptance, inclusion, and awareness through an exciting programme of arts, education, entertainment, sports, and adventure.

We are non-profit making and the organizing team consists of all volunteers.

Pink Season is brought to you by Hong Kong-registered charity Pink Alliance (pinkalliance.hk).

亞洲首屈一指的同志節,提倡對不同性傾向及性別身份人士的接受、容納及認知,活動性質包括藝術、教育、娛樂,以及體育和挑戰。
我們這個活動是非牟利性質,所有製作隊員都是義工。

「粉紅天」由香港政府認可慈善團體「粉紅同盟」(pinkalliance.hk) 舉辦。

Coming Out Pink Season Hong Kong

The post Coming Out Pink Season Hong Kong appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

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