‘m sitting in a room in Northern Ireland opposite a man who says he offers “talking therapy” to people who don’t want to be gay. And I cannot help feeling worried – despite all the evidence I’ve read to the contrary, a tiny part of me believes that he may actually convince me that I can choose to stop being gay.
The man in front of me is Mike Davidson, he’s originally from New Zealand and he’s invited me into his home, about 30 minutes outside Belfast. It’s in a very quiet close of small houses tucked away off a side road, the type of place where everyone knows your business. Do his neighbours know what happens here? I start to feel a little uneasy. It reminds me of my home town Eastbourne and of being in the closet, hiding my secrets.
That doesn’t mean the fight is won though, and Icelandic women continue the battle for true equality – not just for women, but for the LGBT community too. Despite a reputation for being one of the most progressive nations towards LGBT people, Iceland has in fact not always gone as far as it could. A recent bill – a form of self-identification for trans people – has moved the country further along. The prime minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, was the driving force. For her, it was a way to ensure that Iceland was again setting an example for the world. “Well, you could say that we have been running a little bit behind, but now with this legislation we’re actually again at the front. So it took some time I think for this small group of people to actually get heard.”
We may like to think we’re quite sexually free and equal these days, but an End Violence Against Women Coalition/YouGov survey of nearly 4,000 adults finds that two-fifths of people think men want sex more than women do. And between a third of and half of us think it is more likely that in heterosexual couples men will initiate and orgasm during sex, and decide when sex is finished, than women. In contrast, women are believed to be much more likely to refuse sex and to “go along with sex to keep their partner happy”.
A former student says she’s suing the University of Cambridge over the way it dealt with her harassment complaint.
Dani Bradford, 21, says she’s taken the action because she “wants things to change for other students”.
The university upheld a complaint she made about being sent “sexualised” text messages – but Dani isn’t happy with the way it handled her case.
Cambridge University says it “takes the personal safety of its students very seriously”.
Inequities in access to health care put breastfeeding out of reach for many Black people (iStock)
The fight to protect individual choices about reproductive care, including breastfeeding, is an ongoing battle. The central lesson of the reproductive justice movement is that choice means little without access. That lesson applies equally to breastfeeding.
Though laws, in the workplace and other contexts, are in place to protect the right to breastfeed, many low-income women and women of color face entrenched structural barriers that hinder their ability to breastfeed before they can even consider if it is the right choice for them. This problem is particularly acute for Black women, who have the lowest breastfeeding initiation rate of all racial groups at 69.4 percent, compared with 85.9 percent of white women, and 83.2 percent of women overall. They also have the shortest breastfeeding duration, with 44.7 percent of black women breastfeeding at 6 months compared with 62 percent of white women and 57.6 percent of women overall.
In a federal lawsuit filed yesterday, a group of LGBTQ+ video creators claims YouTube discriminates against their content. The group alleges that YouTube suppresses their videos, restricts their ability to monetize their channels and enforces its policies unevenly, giving more leeway to producers with large audiences. According to The Washington Post, the suit argues that YouTube deploys “unlawful content regulation, distribution, and monetization practices that stigmatize, restrict, block, demonetize, and financially harm the LGBT Plaintiffs and the greater LGBT Community.”
Former top porn actress Mia Khalifa has called out pornography companies that “prey on callow young women”.
The 26-year-old says the corporations “trap women legally in to contracts when they’re vulnerable”.
Mia spent just three months working in the porn industry before leaving in 2015 but she remains a highly ranked star on site Pornhub.
Speaking in an interview with her friend Megan Abbott, Mia says she “hasn’t yet accepted [her] past”.
The Conservatives have been accused of failing to deal with allegations that a senior party organiser sexually harassed a string of young women at a public event.
Elena Bunbury, a prominent young Conservative, said she had submitted a complaint a year ago alleging that the organiser was “pleasuring himself” at a panel event and making her feel “continually objectified” with his comments. She said it had recently emerged that “numerous other young females within the party” were alleging that they “have been continually harassed and made to feel uncomfortable by the accused”.
Republicans across the country, now bolstered by the Trump administration, have been working very hard to enable healthcare providers, adoption agencies, and other organizations to deny services to LGBTQ people in the name of religious freedom. A disturbing new report by USA Today, the Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity has traced hundreds of so-called “religious freedom” bills back to a non-profit Christian organization that has created an influential playbook which Republicans are copying into bills across the country. So far, more than 60 have been signed into law.
The playbook is called “Project Blitz,” and it was created in 2017 by the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, a Christian non-profit organization whose membership includes “hundreds” of lawmakers nationwide, including from Congress.
When is the last time you asked a casual acquaintance—or better yet, a stranger!—the details about how their baby was conceived? You probably wouldn’t go up to the random heterosexual couple ahead of you in the grocery store checkout line and request a full conception play-by-play. But same-sex parents find themselves barraged with inappropriate questions about something incredibly private to them all the time. People somehow feel it’s okay to quench their curiosity about how they built their family.
Just because a kid has two moms or two dads does not mean you can pile on the invasive questions. Even if you think you mean well, here’s what you should not be asking.