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In an age of television that is still blatantly anti-LGBTQ+, one reality show rises above the rest. Love Island, in our view, didn't get enough criticism for it's heteronormativity among other flaws.

Representation of queer people remains massively lacking, especially on reality TV where most people involved are of the same weight, race, age and sexual orientation. They look filtered, pretty much.

MTV's latest series of Are You The One? is back for season eight, but with a beautiful twist: every one of the cast members are sexually fluid. Thank the good Lord, it's what we've been waiting for.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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This glittery MTV show will fill the empty void of your life now that Love Island has ended. 16 singles from all over the US have flown to Hawaii for the summer to try and find love, without gender limits.

“Welcome to the most ambitious matchmaking experiment ever attempted,” said host Ryan Devlin. The cash prize is a little more than the ITV dating show…try $1 million. 

The contestants have 10 weeks, and 10 match-up (recoupling) ceremonies to try and find out who their perfect match is. All 16 contestants are fair game, so it's far more challenging this time around.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Topics surrounding gender identity and sexuality will be approached, and progressive narratives that the LGBTQ community wholeheartedly deserve.

Competitions, dates and truth booths will be part and parcel of the experience every week, but drama, fights, heartbreak, sex and juicy content ensues as a result.

The 2019 cast's perfect matches are discovered through a dating algorithm, based on a vigorous process involving comprehensive interviews, IQ and personality tests, interviews with family, friends and exes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“The matchmakers got pretty deep into all of the contestants’ past relationship history, so they would do these interviews with the contestants and their family, friends, and exes. All that information was combined and analysed,” executive producer Tiffany Williams revealed to Entertainment Weekly.

The discourse surrounding gender identity still needs to be opened up further, and queer representation is a great place to start. Awareness and education about sexuality can be provided through the medium of reality TV (Drag Race changed the damn GAME).

“It’s still a fun, drama-filled salacious ridiculous reality show but it’s now got a social message underneath it,” Executive producer Rob LaPlante stated in an interview with Variety.

MTV have provided a relationship expert, Dr Frankie, who specialises in working with the LGBTQ community. Proper mental health support is 100 percent needed throughout the process and afterward.

Seeing as much of the drama is usually constructed, many fans have expressed concerns for queer people being exploited for entertainment. MTV appear to be deconstructing heteronormative conversations in a positive way, however. We adore the inclusive cast.

Are You The One? season eight airs on MTV at 10pm every Monday. Grab that queer content by the rainbow. 

Feature image: MTV/Instagram/@areuthe1

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Former Blue bandmember Duncan James has said he's "proud to be gay" after posting an adorable picture of himself cosying up to his Brazilian boyfriend Rodrigo Reis.

The singer explained that he has hidden his sexuality for decades after confirming his new relationship, saying; "Finally, I'm happy in my skin."

The 41-year-old emotionally showed gratitude to his fans for "amazing" support and "love" since he came out.

Writing to his Twitter followers, he scribed the caption;

"I posted this pic on my Insta yesterday and couldn't get over the amazing response, comments and love from people.

"I didn’t identify as a gay man for many years because of my own issues with coming out, but finally im happy in my skin & this guy next to me makes me proud to be gay."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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He mentioned in 2009 that he was bisexual, and came out as gay to his Blue bandmate Simon Webbe in 2012.

"When I told Simon, he encouraged me to speak to my mum, who was in LA with me in a hotel at the time.

"I raided my mini bar, drank a load of drinks, then knocked on her door," he continued.

"I was sobbing and I sat her down and said: 'Remember my friend Pete? I’ve been in love with him. He’s been my secret boyfriend.'"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"She said: 'You’re gay? I thought you were going to say you had cancer.'"

He recently told the Loose Women panel that coming out as gay was the "best thing he ever did" after years of "living a lie."

Duncan has a 14-year-old daughter Tiane from a previous relationship, and only began showing pictures of Rodrigo a month ago.

Feature image: Instagram/@mrduncanjames

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June is Pride month, in case you haven't noticed the onslaught of rainbows on every corporation's logo over the last two weeks, but we've got another matter in mind to address: Dating apps.

Most of us haven't yet realised that the most popular dating apps around are heavily tailored towards heterosexual, cisgender people.

Why not spread the love around, eh? Give queer people, gender non-binary folk, trans people, gay men and lesbians a shot at swiping right.

respect yourself lisa kudrow GIF

We've gathered our top five best dating apps for queer people, so grab your Pride and get on the Swipe Slide. 

1. Her

Her is, without a doubt, one of the best dating apps for lesbian, bisexual and queer women.

Why? It's simple: It was made BY queer women FOR queer women, rather than just creating a heteronormative app and then tailoring it for lesbians.

We absolutely love Her's unapologetic approach to love, and their respect for intersectional inclusion for those of all races, sexes and gender-identities. 

Don't let the name fool you: The site is one of the most popular dating apps for both cisgender and non-binary people looking to meet other queer women or non-binary people.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The app allows users to create a social media-like presence through profiles and queer event suggestions, allowing you to meet people in the flesh. Love is in the air, for everyone this time.

2. Lesly

Dating apps created specifically for lesbians and bisexual+ women seem like few and far between; enter Lesly.

The site works similarly to Tinder, and uses photo-based profiles that you can swipe left or right for.

On this app, however, you'll only find queer women and no straight men looking to creep on lesbian women…Thank the Lord.

Image: Lesly

3. Fem

Fem is a dating app geared towards lesbians and those interested in meeting lesbians. Despite the language, which appears to exclude trans people and gender-non binary folk, the app isn't only for lesbians.

Queer women of any and all sexual orientations and gender presentations use it successfully, and the app encourages users to make video profiles. There's also a group chat setting.

Making a video profile isn't compulsory, so don't worry if being in front of the camera isn't your thing. Just upload a killer selfie, and get swiping.

Image: FEM

4. OkCupid

While OkCupid began by focusing almost exclusively on straight people, it has now developed to become far more welcome towards the queer community.

The site have added a rake of new gender identity and sexual orientation option, and has more extensive user profiles so it's great for finding a real, romantic connection for a long-term, relationship/

They ask a huge amount of questions when you download the app, but the detailed profiles definitely pay off.

5. Hinge

Hinge sets up potential partners through their mutual friends on Facebook.

It only matches you with friends of friends, so you're never meet with someone too far outside of your social circle, rather than basing matches on location.

The site allows you to answer questions about yourself in your profile, meaning it's more in-depth than Tinder or BumbleHinge also sends you daily ‘batches’ of matches, so it's pretty good for progress.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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That sums up our top five dating apps for queer folk, but don't forget that Bumble and Tinder still work for the LGBT+ community, they just weren't initially made for them.

Grindr and Chappy are also KEY for gay men, with Grindr working incredibly successfully for hook-ups and Chappy supporting long-term gay relationships. All we can say is…YAS.

Happy Pride, folks. Find some romance, even if it's just self-love. If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anyone else?"

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Legendary talk show hosts Graham Norton and Alan Carr have signed on to be celebrity judges on RuPaul's Drag Race UK this year, and we're GAGGING with excitement.

The pair will appear as rotating resident judges every week, and will join RuPaul, Michelle Visage and a celebrity guest judge.

Both iconic hosts are major fans of the iconic show, which has been a global worldwide hit since it first aired back in 2009.

Let's not forget that Norton actually appeared on the original version of All Stars season two back in 2016.

He said he has been a fan of the show forever; "Becoming part of the Drag Race family makes me ridiculously happy! I can't wait to see what the UK drag queens bring to the party, but they better werk!" 

In the video announcement on Twitter today, Graham joked "maybe this is what the UK's good at."

For the Drag Race UK grand finale, both Norton and Carr will appear on the judging panel.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Alan Carr met Ru-Paul when he appeared on his chat show Alan Carr's Chatty Man but has been a fan for years of the pop culture phenomenon.

"Wow! To be sat next to Michelle Visage and Mama Ru as a guest judge on possibly one of my all-time favourite shows EVER is a dream come true," he said.

"I can't wait to see what the UK Queens have got in store – it's going to be sickening! *does death drop*"

The Emmy award-winning show will be coming to BBC Three this year, it was announced in December.

Feature image: Gay Times

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Activists are gathering in Chechnya following reports of mass arrests, torture and murder of LGBT people in the Russian republic.

A complaint has been filed by activists in the gay and trans communities who are demanding that Russian authorities open a criminal investigation into the reported homophobic campaign by security forces.

The LGBT Network, a St Petersburg-based organisation, stated that it submitted the complaint to the Investigative Committee, which is the equivalent of MI5 or the FBI.

As a result, LGBT+ activists are gathering this Monday, February 4 at 6:30pm outside the Russian Embassy to show their solidarity with the Chechen gay community.

The The LGBT Network are demanding that the alleged detention or at least 14 people and death of one person be investigated, as well as probing claims of torture.

The group are attempting to compel Russian authorities to act on the reported new wave of persecution targeting Chechnya's gay community, Chechnya is predominantly Muslin, and is ruled by the dictatorial leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

In 2017, the campaign of hatred saw dozens of gay men rounded up and tragically tortured. Chechen authorities shockingly asserted that homosexuality doesn't exist in Chechnya, thereby denying the claims.

Director of the LGBT Network, Igor Kochetkov, told ABC News that the 14 cases in the complaint only applies to one police station in the capital, but there are others being detained all over the country.

The director said; "We believe several dozen people are detained, no lower than 40." His organisation helped dozens of gay men escape the country in 2017, and aided them in their search for asylum abroad.

Police are reportedly seizing the victims' passports when they are detained in order to stop them from fleeing, according to Kochetkov. Unlike two years ago, this time women are also being detained.

The Investigative Committee have declined to open a criminal case and rejected any appeals against the decision. 

In response, Irish groups such as; Amnesty International, BeLonG to Youth Services, Dublin Bears Events, Dublin LGBTQ Pride, FLAC, GCN, Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, Outhouse, ShoutOut, The Rainbow Project, USI, This is Me, the National LGBT Foundation and NUI Maynooth have pledged solidarity with the LGBT+ community in Chechnya.

Image; Facebook 

Groups and activists will gather this coming Monday in protest of the alleged treatment of gay Chechan people.

They wrote on their event page; "Since December, violence and persecution against those perceived as being members of the LGBT+ community in Chechnya has escalated. The Russian LGBT+ Network has reported that up to 40 people have been illegally detained, while a further two have died as a result of torture."

"We are calling on the Irish government to officially respond to the human rights violations being perpetrated in the region," it continues. They are also making a list of requests for the Irish government and the United Nations.

"We condemn the escalating violence against LGBT+ people and urge An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, to publicly condemn the anti-LGBT+ crackdown. The Irish Government must raise this issue at the highest possible level with Russian leaders and call for an immediate end to this harrowing persecution."

They also make demands for asylum seekers to receive protection;

"The Irish government needs to live up to its international protection obligations to recognise and protect Chechen refugees who reach Ireland, as well as using its full consular influence, facilities and resources to support The Russian LGBT+ Network in its vital work in Russia and the region at this time in affording safe options to those at risk."

"We call for the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the human rights situation in the Chechen Republic."

They concluded with a rousing statement; "The Irish LGBT+ community will not let this matter rest or fall out of the news cycle. We will continue to stand with the LGBT+ community in Chechnya and demand that the Russian authorities put an end to the violence and bring those responsible to justice."

The protest takes place this Monday February 4 at 6:30pm in Rathgar, outside the Russian Embassy. We'll see you there.

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In a post which has amassed considerable controversy this morning, House of Cards star, Kevin Spacey, has made the decision to come out as gay, but it's in response to allegations of misconduct against a child.

The actor began his post with an apology to Star Trek actor, Anthony Rapp, who recently alleged Spacey made sexual advances towards him when he was just 14-years-old.

Recalling being invited to Spacey's apartment as a teen, Anthony told BuzzFeed: "My impression when he came in the room was that he was drunk."

"He picked me up like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold. But I don’t, like, squirm away initially, because I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then he lays down on top of me."

The American Beauty star expressed regret over the incident which he claims he cannot remember, and communicates remorse that Anthony has had to deal with the implications of the exchange for over three decades.

"I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I'm beyond horrified to hear his story," Spacey wrote. "I honestly do no remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago."

"But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years."

The 58-year-old actor went on to explain that Anthony's candour has ultimately compelled him to address some other aspects of life which have been at the centre of the rumour mill for decades.

"This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life," he continued.

"I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fuelled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy."

"As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own "behaviour," he finished.

Unsurprisingly, Twitter is far from impressed with the correlation Spacey has drawn between the allegations levelled at him by Rapp and his current sexual orientation.

Indeed, many of the Hollywood's stars fans and followers have been quick to remind him that his sexual orientation does not justify an inappropriate exchange with a youngster.

"While I applaud you being true to who you are, I'm afraid readers will confuse homosexuality and a desire for underage teens. They are not the same thing. By combining them, you've fed the fire of the religious right," reasoned one.

"Nobody cares if you're gay, what we care about is that you allegedly sexually assaulted a young boy, you imbecile," responded one.

"Kevin: I maybe a child predator but only when I drink. Oh I'm also gay so none of that child stuff matters. There fixed your statement, Kevin," critiqued another.

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A writer from Hackney in London recently took to Twitter to reveal that he had been forbidden from adopting a cat due to his sexual orientation.

On Tuesday, Alex Andreou explained that he had travelled two hours through the city in an effort to re-home a cat only to be told that the person he was adopting the cat from 'strongly disagreed' with his lifestyle.

In a text exchange he uploaded to Twitter, Alex was grilled on his orientation, and was ultimately forced to ask whether being gay would be an issue.

"I am religious so I strongly disagree with the lifestyle. I am sorry if I hurt your feelings," replied the other person.

Appearing to take it on the chin, Alex responded: "Darling, I've been beaten and called a 'faggot' since I was 8. My feelings are quite robust. And, yes, sorry is precisely what you are."

Despite his succinct retort, Alex understandably felt deeply hurt by the person's attitude, telling Twitter, "So now I'm on the bus and I'm sobbing and people are staring at me because the truth is it hurts as much as when I was 8 years old."

Thankfully, the good people of London refused to let this incident pass without a happy ending, and set about contacting Alex in order to provide him with leads for other cats desperately in need of re-homing.

And as of yesterday morning, Alex is now the proud owner of two cats named George Meowchael-Andreou and Freddie Purrcury-Andreou.

"Hello Twitter. Here is your happy ending," Alex wrote in a post alongside two photos of his beautiful new pets.

"George and Freddie are part of a rescue litter. They're being neutered next Friday and will be in their new home with me shortly thereafter," Alex told his followers.

"Screw bigotry. Kindness wins. Over and out, Freddie, George, and Alex," he signed off.

We could not love this ending more.

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Now this is something we're totally on board with!

JK Rowling has hinted that Dumbledore will be openly gay in the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

During the week, director David Yates confirmed that the mighty wizard will be in the upcoming movie, and fans have been going mental to find out who will portray him.

Image result for dumbledore

However, JK has implied that young Albus will have a relationship with the dark wizard Gellet Grindelwald, who will be played by Johnny Depp.

In a press conference yesterday, the author said: "I can't tell you everything I would like to say because this is obviously a five-part story so there’s lots to unpack in that relationship.

Image result for dumbledore

"You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man — he wasn't always the sage. We’ll see him at that formative period of his life.

"And as far as his sexuality is concerned … Watch this space."

Yaaas! Slay Dumbledore, slaaay.

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He’s spoken candidly about depression, defended himself against body shaming and now Wentworth Miller has delivered an inspirational message to the LGBT community.

Speaking to Attitude magazine as he’s named its Man of the Year, the 44-year-old actor reassured those struggling with their sexuality that it gets easier with time.

The star – who will make his television comeback as part of next year’s Prison Break reboot – said: “I would say what others have said: it gets better one day, you’ll find your tribe.”  

“You just have to trust that people are out there waiting to love you and celebrate you for who you are,” he continued.

Acknowledging that coming to terms with one’s sexuality can be an isolating experience, Wentworth encouraged members of the LGBT community to focus on self-love first.

“In the meantime, the reality is you might have to be your own tribe.  You might have to be your own best friend.  That’s not something they’re going to teach you in school.  So start the work of loving yourself.”

The Golden Globe nominee publicly came out as gay in 2013 after challenging Russia’s treatment of LGBT individuals.

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Made In Chelsea star Ollie Locke has officially come out as gay in a new interview with The Sun.

The 28-year-old TV personality – who has previously admitted to being bisexual – revealed that after his split with Catherine Louise Radford in December he realised he wanted to live his life as a gay man.

While speaking about the upcoming Summer special of the hit reality show, Ollie said: "It's the first time the viewers have seen me as gay instead of bi. I do say the words 'I am a gay man'."

 

 

I suppose I need to wake up and get ready for dinner! #monaco X

A photo posted by Ollie Locke (@ollielockeworld) on

 

"I lived with a woman last year when I was off camera and we had two dogs together.”

"Then when we broke up in December, I thought, 'That's it now, I think I'm now gay'."

Ollie – who has previously dated Gabrielle Ellis, Chloe Green and Ashley James on Made In Chelsea – also shared that he is now ready to begin a relationship with a man.

 

 

Me and @toffgeorgia drinking rose whist she is pretending to do exercise!! X

A photo posted by Ollie Locke (@ollielockeworld) on

He said: "I want to experience my first gay relationship whether that's on or off camera. I don't mind. But I want to have one. I'm ready."

We’re delighted to see Ollie happy and can’t wait to see what the new series has in store for him.

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Even though it's a cartoon, it was always known that Smithers is gay.

The cartoon character has been trying to hide his unrequited love for Mr. Burns for far too long, and in a brand new episode, he finally opens up.

But rather than make it a huge deal, writer Rob LaZebnik told The New York Post that they wanted to keep it subtle and laid back:

"We didn't really want to have that big moment of 'I'm out'… Instead, just have it be a big embrace — like everyone knows it."

But it was for a very sweet reason Rob decided now was the right time for Smithers to come out. The writer added that the episode was made to show his son, who is gay, that he supports him.

“I am a Midwestern guy, so I don’t tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I thought, ‘What better way to tell my son I love him than to write a cartoon about it?’ ”

Aw, we just love this too much.

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George Shelly has come out in a very emotional Youtube video.

The singer decided to come out to his fans to clear up speculation that has been surrounding the media lately. 

"I don't feel that I should hide anything. I've been reading a lot of speculation online as to whether i'm straight or gay or bi," he said.

The 22-year-old revealed that he has dated both women and men in the past, and said that he doesn't want to be judged for who he dates in the future.  

"I've been on a personal journey and I want you to be part of that journey from now on. I want to start 2016 with a clean slate.

"I've had girlfriends that I've loved. But I've also had boyfriends. I want you to know that whether I decide to be with a girl next or be with a guy next it's because I love them. It shouldn't be a big deal."

Watch the video here: 

 

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