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Melvin and his sister: A gay Kenyan's struggle to survive

As discrimination against homosexuals in Africa reaches a new murderous peak, Guardian Films travels to Mombasa, Kenya, to hear from a male prostitute who risks his life to support his younger sister.

This video is one of a series of investigative documentaries about poverty, commissioned and editorially controlled by Guardian Films, produced in association with Christian Aid. Go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/poverty-over for more details

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Colouring outside the lines

Which path do you intend to take, Nell?' said the Constable, sounding very interested. 'Conformity or rebellion?'

'Neither one. Both ways are simple-minded. They are only for people who cannot cope with contradiction and ambiguity.'

---Neal Stephenson, "The Diamond Age"

Recently I have found myself looking back on the pain I have suffered throughout my life and this year in particular, when I had a miscarriage, got the measles, lost my job and relapsed into a Bipolar depression.

In retrospect, I realise that somehow I have walked away profoundly grateful, no matter the sadness I have had to deal with. Things could have been a hell of a lot worse. I could be dead.

When your tightly controlled little universe comes crashing down around you, you have to confront who you are deep down in your heart. I did not truly know who I was until this year. I did not know what I had in me.

Had it not been for the trials of this year, I may have lacked the deep confidence in myself needed to pluck up the nerve to face society on my own terms. All of us should be able to do that at some point in our lives.

I know now what I have to do with my life, and to do that there is a matter I must address that I have been neglecting for some time.

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The Science of Orgasms

Everything you wanted to know about orgasms, but were too afraid to ask. Who knew science could be so sexy?

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My first crush

Telling and listening to “coming out” stories are always fun.  Lesbian 101 tells me it’s one of the most important stories I own. Yet there is one story that beats my out-of-closet experience hands down. My first proper “straight-girl” crush. It, or rather the thought of her, still move my lips into a self-indulgent side smirk.

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How to deal with homophobia

We are all likely to face homophobia in some form during our lives, and we need to be able to deal with it. There a number of types of homophobia from various sources.

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Oh, The Shame

I feel a loud-lipped lesbian rant coming on, and seeing as though my usual channels (nicotine, alcohol and food) through which I normally air my anger are no longer available to me, a good old blog vent is in order.

So what's the problem?

A couple of weeks ago, when I went to my first therapy session, I was faced with the predicament of admitting to a male psychiatrist that I have a female partner. Anxiety gripped my insides, and fear churned in my veins at the thought of this confession. You see, normally, I don't declare my sexuality outright unless I've measured the atmosphere and have tactfully and subtly raised questions or concerns which reflect my (obviously) pro-gay stance.

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Ex-gay undercover

This beautiful video profile about Truth Wins Out was just released.

It focuses on TWO's work fighting the dangerous "ex-gay" industry, using John Becker's personal journey and experiences last year going undercover for TWO in the Bachmann clinic as a springboard from which to tell the story.

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Out With Dad: A heartwarming coming-out and coming-of-age web series

This is the most deeply touching thing that I have come across lately. Out with Dad is a sweet, genuinely heartfelt, heartwarmingly real web series about the coming of age and coming out of a 15 year old girl named Rose. Watch it. And share this with anyone that might be struggling with embracing their own sexuality.

Here's the first episode. But you can find the rest on their channel.

To find out more about the series, visit outwithdad.com

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Donating “gay blood”

In many countries, there is either an outright ban on gay men donating blood, or there is a deferral period, where a man cannot donate blood if he has had sex with another man in the preceding 6 or 12 months. The reason for the ban, is that many studies have shown that gay men have a much higher prevalence of HIV and hepatitis than straight men. I was wondering if this policy is fair.

 

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Understanding Hate Crime...

It is hard to comprehend the full impact that hate crime has on society as a whole, and also particularly on those that are directly affected by it. Some don’t even fully understand exactly when they have experienced a hate crime, or if they do, some choose to turn a blind eye – this is often out of fear of further discrimination. Many even feel that reporting it is a waste of time, given inefficiency and lack of education of our police force regarding this matter. However, it is vital that these crimes are reported – not only because you have the right to law enforcement, but also because records of these incidents help towards hate crimes being recognized and stopped.

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What Does Queer Mean?

Queer is an umbrella term for sexual minorities that are not heterosexual, heteronormative, or gender-binary.In the context of Western identity politics the term also acts as a label setting queer-identifying people apart from discourse, ideologies, and lifestyles that typify mainstream LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual) communities as being oppressive or assimilationist.

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