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2015-pink-shirt-day-psa

Pink Shirt Day was founded in 2007 to put an end to bullying. Since then, the initiative has raised and donated over $830,000 to anti-bullying and violence prevention programs. Last year’s campaign alone, organized by the CKNW Orphans’ Fund, generated $200,000

“We’re hoping that by addressing the issues that cause people to bully, we can start changing the behaviour,” says Jen Schaeffers Executive Director at CKNW Orphans’ Fund. “Most importantly we want to remind people that bullying is bad, but bullies aren’t.”

A powerful new PSA from the non-profit group crafted by Rethink shifts the focus from the victims to the bullies and what motivates them. Set in a high school hallway, the non-profit group’s PSA tells a story about the root cause of why bullies victimize others and provides a powerful reminder that this behaviour needs to stop.

Wear a pink shirt today to stand up against bullying. Here’s how you can also show your support online. Every time the hashtag #PinkItForward is used, Coast Capital Savings will donate $1, up to $45,000.

  • 1) Go on Instagram or Twitter and post a photo of someone special.
  • 2) Then, add the caption below and fill in the blanks.
    For #PinkShirtDay, I’m helping to stop bullying by turning the Internet into a positive place. I #PinkItForward to [name of friend] for [why they’re so awesome]. Your turn!
  • 3) Remember to tag that person so they can also #PinkItForward.

watch the PSA after the jump

advocate-magazine-pope-francis

Pope Francis is quite popular these days. The Supreme Pontiff landed on Barbara Walters’ final “Most Fascinating People of the Year” list and scored “Person of the Year” honors from TIME magazine. He’s notched another “Person of the Year” title and this time, it’s from a glossy gay magazine.

In a controversial move, The Advocate chose the Holy Father, as the “single most influential person of 2013 on the lives of LGBT people.” They even stamped the NOH8 logo on his cheek. The publication’s editors explain, “Pope Francis’s stark change in rhetoric from his two predecessors – both who were at one time or another among The Advocate’s annual Phobie Awards – makes what he’s done in 2013 all the more daring.”

Not surprisingly, this selection has divided the magazine’s readers. Some praise them for their bold choice, while others are aghast that the publication is ignoring the Catholic Church’s centuries of gay persecution. Where do you weigh in?

As someone raised Catholic, I choose to view the positive in this situation. Any step forward about being compassionate to the gay community by the reigning leader of the Catholic Church, albeit small, is a good thing. After all, his statements have a huge impact on his followers. Check out the other finalists The Advocate considered for their “Person of the Year” title. I’m certain none of them would’ve created nearly as much buzz. Controversy sells, right?

find out who the other nine finalists were after the jump

swedish-hiv-testing-psa

Typically I save anything remotely NSFW for the weekend. But since this is for a good cause, I figured I’d make an exception. RFSL Göteborg (The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, Gothenburg branch) produced this video to promote HIV testing for men who have sex with men.

Eight wrestlers strip down to nothing with only different flavors of jellies rubbed over their bodies. Watch the NSFW clip below to find out which flavor wins in the end. Be forewarned, visuals of bare butts and flopping penises pop up, but since it’s not sexual, it’s technically not porn, not even soft-core ;)

watch the NSFW clip after the jump

the-gay-man-project

The Gay Man Project is the brainchild of photographer Kevin Troung. It’s an ambitious attempt to catalog the stories of gay men around the world. Spanning from Brazil to Vietnam and numerous locations in between, Troung photographs and interviews self-identified homosexuals in their own environment.

I’ve checked out a few of the featured subjects, and absolutely love the project. Reading the experiences of the diverse group of individuals, along with the accompanying intimate portraits was truly fascinating. If you want to get involved with the project, head over to the official website for more info. Check out a video below.

“This project is simple. Basically I’m trying to photograph as many gay men as I can. My goal is to create a platform, a visibility on some level, and a resource for others who may not be as openly gay. A visual catalog of gay men and their stories. When I think of my own experience, and all the time I spent in the closet and hiding the fact that I was gay–to be at a place now where I feel completely comfortable being on the blog and telling the world “Hey, I’m a gay man,” I think there’s a power in that, for me and for a lot of the men on the blog. So it’s kind of a numbers game, I think the more men I photograph, the more impact the project has.

My dream is to take the project to as many different cities as I can across the world.” – Kevin Troung

watch a video after the jump

jordan-bach-new-age-interview

You may have never heard of Jordan Bach before but I will tell you now he’s a man you should pay attention to. Between his inspirational tweets, topless YouTube’s and adorable Instagrams with his niece a gay man might go into dreamboat overload following him. But Jordan isn’t just another pretty face, he’s a man on a mission.

Jordan Bach is a Life Coach based out of New York who is building a life from inspiring gay men to live authentic and genuine lives. Called ”one of the LGBT architects of the next decade” by The Advocate, he created TheBachBook.com as an online home for gay men who want to make the most of their lives.

check out my interview after the jump

(We Are) #GayPropaganda PSA

In: Donovan, Politics & Issues, Totally GAY!
gaypropaganda-psa

“Be the antidote to hate. Join the movement. Use the hashtag & raise your voice in support of LGBT people facing prejudice and violence. #GayPropaganda

The Scream” is the first of three media pieces in an effort to humanize and more clearly illustrate the escalating violence against LGBT people in Russia. It’s the brainchild of Kevin Dolan and Joe Babarsky who teamed up with a group of LGBT activists to raise awareness for Russia’s controversial anti-gay legislation. Their ultimate goal is to reclaim the term “gay propaganda.” Check out the PSA below.

check out the video after the jump

Zulu-Love-Letters

World AIDS Day will be here in less than a month on December 1st and I’ve just discovered an awesome way you can do your part and raise awareness. As I’ve been traveling and volunteering across North America I’ve met some amazing people doing great work to help those in need. From digging out houses affected by the floods in Boulder to helping with the AIDS Walk in Oklahoma City, I’ve been there. Now that I’m in New York City I’ve decided to plant myself for a little while. I’m always still looking for ways to help so it was perfect when a friend told me about Zulu Love Letters.

Zulu Love letters are made using a safety pin and beads to convey a message. When a womans husband or lover would go away to work the women often had no way of communicating because they didn’t know how to write. Being creative they developed these love letters, using symbols and colours to convey a message to their loved one. They would make a Love Letter and send it off to wherever the loved one was working so that he could pin it to his shirt and keep it close to his heart.

Read the rest of this entry »

A group of Russian activists announced today that they had nominated , Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize. According to the New York Times, the letter read: “Being the leader of one of the leading nations of the world, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin makes efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity not only on the territory of his own country but also actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet.” With all that has gone on in their country (anti-gay laws and arrests) and outside of their country (selling weapons to Syria), that’s a pretty bold statement.

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.

As shocked as you may be to see him nominated for this award, you’ll be relieved to know that it’s easier to be “nominated” for this award than you think. Winning is another story.

The basic criteria for nominations after the jump…

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