ILGA Europe - Rainbow Europe Map, May 2014

Rainbow Europe Map reflecting the 49 European countries’ legislation and policies that have a direct impact on the enjoyment of human rights by LGBTI people. The Rainbow Map reflects each country’s situation and provides overall score on how far this country is on a scale between 0% and 100%.

ILGA Europe has also released their annual review of the human rights situation of LGBTQ* people in Europe, which you can find here: Click for PDF

On top of the list, UK has 88% followed by Belgium with 78%, while Russia remains at bottom with 6%, 1% down from last year’s report.

Malta has the highest improvement over last year, increasing its score from 35% to 57%, by 22%. 

You can find overview and ranking differences of countries here.
For more about the scoring, click here.


4 months ago · 77 notes · Source

Anonymous asked: “Heyy!! So, I'm gay and I'm having a really hard time with accepting myself. I kind of hate myself for it. I know that there's nothing wrong with being gay and even though I know that my friends would be supportive I can't bring myself to talk to them about it. I don't know why and I'm feeling really trapped and lonely. Do you have any tips on how I could learn to accept such a huge part of me? Thanks!! :)”

Hello anon,

I do know that feeling, as I had gone through the same in past. It is normal to be unable to talk about it with your friends where you are already feeling that way, but think about how encouraging it would be for yourself as well.

Let’s think in a different way about the whole acceptance deal. Acceptance is kind of a weird word for this purpose, I believe, as it feels like as if being gay is something bad, but we are still “accepting” it, agreeing to go with it although we are not fond of it or liking it, so instead EMBRACE yourself. The interesting thing about the deal is that, I believe it is not ourselves thinking being gay is wrong but rather what we have mostly taught about it, at least that was the case for me. I mean, we do not look to our eyes and say “oh, well, my eyes are hazel, shucks, but I will accept it” or if we are to have a more emotional approach, we do not say “I am a friendly person, it sucks but I will try to accept it but I hate myself for being friendly”, but why this becomes possible when the word is gay? So embrace it, do not just accept it. It is not completely who you are but rather a part of yours, one of the million things that can be used to tell about who you are, but not only it. Why would you hate yourself for being attracted to that instead of this? Why would you hate yourself for falling in love? Would you? You should not, as love is a huge part of us, and an amazing magnificent thing that is to live, so there is nothing to hate about it. Love yourself, because you are unique, amazing and capable of love.

I hope this helps.

5 months ago · 9 notes

Some Heartwarming Pictures from the First Day of Marriage Equality in U.K.

Couples featured here (top to bottom, left to right):

  1. Sean Adl-Tabatabai and Sinclair Treadway
  2. Kate Barber and Melanie Elvins
  3. Andrew Wale and Neil Allard
  4. Sarah Keith and Emma Powell
  5. Kyle Emerson & Richie Wood
  6. Phil Robathan and James Preston

Click for more on BuzzFeed here.

All rights of pictures are reserved to respective owners.

5 months ago · 291 notes · Source

Anonymous asked: “Hi just want to say something really random and irony that has been bothering me nowadays. I feel really bad of myself for being gay . Why? Because how people have shaped the word gay and propagandism taking over changing my mindset of how I view myself . I sometimes hate myself for being gay”

Hello anon,

You should never do that. There will be words that will be shaped into some ways by some people, there will be usages in languages that will be bothering, but this should never make you hate yourself. You define the word gay, you define who you are, not someone else, not what others say. There is no strict definition of being gay, although there are lots of stereotypes ongoing, it never means you have to be one of them to call yourself gay. Some might put meanings on it you do not like, some may use it in the way you disagree with, some may use it for a purpose you are against, but this should never make you hate yourself. 

You define who you are, you define the words you use for who you are, and a definition of someone else should not negatively alter your view on your self. 

You have the power to change the way words have been shaped, to let it be redefined in the ways it bothers you, rather than accepting it as it is and letting it bother you anon.

Best wishes.

6 months ago · 4 notes

Nate Berkus & Fiancé Jeremiah Brent for Banana Republic SS2014

Read more here.

6 months ago · 2,238 notes · Source

7 months ago · 23 notes

Anonymous asked: “After oppressing my feelings for years, I've finally realized that I am gay. I am not out to anyone because I want to make sure that when I come out I am fully ready. I'm just wondering, do you have any advice for reaching the point of truly accepting yourself? I know I'm gay but I still have these feelings of shame. I want to be proud of who I am.”

Hello anon,

First of all, I am truly sorry it took long for me to answer this, as I have been busy with some personal stuff, and I just hope you will just see this being answered.

I know exactly what you mean, as I have been there, too. I remember the times looking into the mirror and just crying for hours. I do not know if it was shame, I do not know what it was actually but all I know is that I was just not proud of who I was, but at the same time, I did not want to change that either.

The thing is, if there was not any homophobia around, if it was not treated this badly, we would have never been feeling that way, would we? Why wouldn’t I be proud of myself, just because I am gay? No way, I told myself. Yes there was so much hatred and bigotry out there, yes it might have changed some people’s opinions about me, but hey, I had to be me, I gotta be me, regardless what some might think, I thought. I should just be me, and it is my right to be me, my desire to be my true-self, and who disagrees with that can just get out of my life.

Those were what I was thinking.

Anon, it is not that easy, I know, and I can assure you it was not that easy, like just one realization time above either. I had my ups and downs on my way to embrace myself, but at the end, I realized, there was no reason to be ashamed of myself. I was not living to satisfy anyone’s assumptions about me, and I was not asking for a privilege or too much: I wanted to be happy, I wanted to be me. I did not know I could have them both, until I realized that would be the only way; I realized I can never be happy if I was not true to myself, proud of who I am.

I hope this helps, and feel free to contact again whenever you need to.

Don’t be afraid to show off your true colors.

Best wishes.

7 months ago · 2 notes

Personal Post: Coming Out to My Mother

Note: As I announced here before that I would be coming out to my mother, I did not have time to publish an update on how it went. Before sharing that experience of mine, I want to say thank you, to all of you, but especially to those who replied to post in such a beautiful way. I really appreciate your kind words, and I literally have no words to fully express how grateful I am. Thank you so much, for joining me in this journey and letting me share it with you. As again, this is a personal story I am sharing as it is related to coming out, and I hope you don’t mind that.

I must admit, as time got closer to me coming out to my mother, it felt harder to breathe. It was for sure not the first time I was coming out, but this was probably one of the most important ones to date, and regardless of its outcomes, it was to be a major milestone in my life.

After my mother called me to meet earlier than we planned, I got more and more nervous, and all my friends were feeling the same. I was prepared for the worst, even thought about packing some stuff, just in case. I was still getting messages from my friends who were worried and concerned, when I was with my mother and talking to her. She knew I wanted to tell her something, and she directly asked me.

I started talking with saying “It will answer a question you have been asking for a while, and to be honest, I have been thinking about how to say this to you, for quite a while, and I have never expected I’d be telling you this early”

She was looking at me, without saying a word, sometimes slightly nodding. Then I continued:

“Well, the thing is, I am gay”

She did not show any surprise or reaction, but I found myself rather surprised that I was that calm, and did not really have any trouble to speak; then I added:

“I have known this for a long time, since I was in 4th grade actually, but by the time it was not possible to understand or accept it, due to the homophobic society and obviously what you and my father was telling about it. All I knew back in time was that it was something to avoid being”

She just kept listening, and I took this chance to tell it all, from how I embraced it to what I felt about them:

“At first I thought it would go away, I was praying it away, but heck it did not work, I am glad it did not work, but back in time, I did not realize I was praying away my true self, just because of fear. As time moved on, I realized it was not temporary, and my feelings were getting more and more clear, yet neither yours nor society’s opinion had shown any progress. It wasn’t until then, just three and an half years ago to realize I was not happy, at all, and I couldn’t ignore my feelings anymore. They were not going anywhere. During the whole period, from the first realization to the first acceptance attempt, I have seen nothing helpful from you. I was all alone, and there wasn’t anyone who could help me. I thought about committing a suicide even, but it lasted just for a minute, because then I realized I have not tried anything yet and I was not going to give up, especially this soon, telling myself there’s gotta be more to do and live. Then I started to accept it, but I needed to embrace it, not just to accept it. I saw there was nothing wrong with me, and I realized my dreams of finding my soulmate and having a family was still possible, not just in this country, but no one could take my dreams away as long as I was alive. I cried a lot, at first, and I waited you and my father to sleep first, thus you would not see me crying, then I started telling my close friends. I got stronger by time, I have seen people supporting me. And now here I am, telling this to you, that I am gay.”

She kind of started crying, and told me that she had no idea what I had to go through and that she was unable to be a good parent, especially when I needed that the most. She told me she was ok with me being gay, but upset about what kind of a parent she was, and how I was feeling about her. I told her that although I appreciate her apology, my aim was to re-start our relationship with her, not to cry after the past.

It was rather interesting talk we had actually, as she told me she thought she was saving me from what society would think about me by behaving so, especially when talking about homosexuality, but sure she was not totally sure what it was herself either. She also asked if I was gay because they were not good parents, which I have asked a question that involved a personal detail from her childhood that can be summarized as her father not being nice to her, and her still being straight; as otherwise, she would have to be lesbian, with such logic, too. There were some other questions she has asked, including who knew I was gay and what I was planning for my future. After that, she told me that she was supporting me to the fullest and do her best to help me out, whenever I needed. She also asked some other questions, including if I had a boyfriend and etc., while saying that she did not know anything thus already sorry if she was to say something wrong. It was nice to see such attitude to be honest.

Our conversation turned into more of our relationship then me coming out to her, but it was nice to finally be completely honest to each other, and start a whole new chapter in our relationship.

For the whole time I was afraid about this, coming out to her, and I finally did tell her. I can totally say it gets better, and believe me I mean it, and every single time I come out, it happens to prove itself in a stronger way.

I also saw a great level of support from my friends, both near and abroad ones, and I feel truly blessed to have such people in my life.

Here is to a better for future for all of us, and remember, it does get better.

Thank you for taking your time and reading my story; it means a lot to me.

7 months ago · 37 notes

Hello everyone,
This is what I have just posted on facebook…
I have been feeling really nervous lately due to this decision of mine, and personally, regardless all the advice I give here, I am feeling nervous, a lot. I cannot really predict its outcomes but at least I am sure it will not affect my safety negatively, thus I am taking such step.
Normally I avoid sharing personal things with you, but this one, being related to coming out, I wanted to share because I want to show I have been going through the same as most of you, and I thought sharing this experience of mine might be a good idea, and I hope you will think same way.
I will answer questions in the inbox after this, as you can imagine it is all I can focus right now.
I hope you will not see me sharing this with you as inappropriate.
Fingers crossed…

Hello everyone,

This is what I have just posted on facebook…

I have been feeling really nervous lately due to this decision of mine, and personally, regardless all the advice I give here, I am feeling nervous, a lot. I cannot really predict its outcomes but at least I am sure it will not affect my safety negatively, thus I am taking such step.

Normally I avoid sharing personal things with you, but this one, being related to coming out, I wanted to share because I want to show I have been going through the same as most of you, and I thought sharing this experience of mine might be a good idea, and I hope you will think same way.

I will answer questions in the inbox after this, as you can imagine it is all I can focus right now.

I hope you will not see me sharing this with you as inappropriate.

Fingers crossed…

8 months ago · 33 notes

8 months ago · 11 notes