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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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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.

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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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Ellen Page is known for being an absolutely unreal actress, and all-round lesbian ledgebag.

Literally, she's queen of the gays. Did you SEE her speech on the Stephen Colbert US chat show about Vice-President Mike Pence's homophobia? We had chillz. They're multiplying.

The Juno actress has now called on Guardians Of The Galaxy star Chris Pratt to address his church Hillsong’s attitude towards LGBTQ people.

The newly engaged Chris Pratt spoke about his ‘spiritual side’ on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, ironically the show that Ellen made her badass speech on, and she had some words to say about it.

The 39-year old Jurassic World actor is admittedly very religious and identifies as a non-denominational Christian, attending services at the Zoe Church and Hillsong, also attended by Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin.

Replying to Pratt's comments, Ellen wrote to Twitter; "Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti-LGBT+ so maybe address that too?"

Page has just celebrated her one-year-anniversary with her wife Emma Portner last month, and famously speaks out against homophobic attacks like the recent horrible incident involving Empire actor Jussie Smollett.

In 2015 Brian Houston, leader of Hillsong, has said that while gay people are welcome to worship there, and that he loves all people, Hillsong doesn’t ‘affirm’ the gay ‘lifestyle’. Whatever the heck that means.

"Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"Can you take an active leadership role? No. ‘This won’t make everyone happy and to some, this stance may even be seen as hypocritical. We are a gay welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms a gay lifestyle." Alright then…

Famous pastor of Justin Bieber, Carl Lentz, said he admits he doesn’t know what Jesus would think about homosexuality, saying:

"Jesus was in the thick of an era where homosexuality, just like it is today, was widely prevalent. And I’m still waiting for someone to show me the quote where Jesus addressed it on the record in front of people. You won’t find it because he never did." 

Pratt spoke on the show about how his church helps him to deal with fame, and has yet to respond to Ellen's tweet.

Feature image: Marie Claire

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Regina Doherty, Social Protection Minister, has confirmed Government approval for the preparation of the Civil Registration Bill 2019, which introduces vital new changes for LGBT+ parents in Ireland.

Parental rights of same-sex couples on birth certificates of children born through donor-assisted births have now been officially affirmed.

According to the Department of Social Protection, the Civil Registration Bill will; “resolve a number of difficulties in the registration of donor-assisted births and will be brought forward as a priority”.

“This bill will extend the required particulars for registration of a birth to include ‘parent’ on a birth certificate,” the Department continued.

“At present, birth certificates issued in respect of donor-assisted children born to same-sex couples only allow for the recording of the mother’s details," it said, highlighting issues for lesbian parents.

“These changes will facilitate the registration and re-registration of births of children of same-sex female couples, and this will affirm their parental rights.”

Parents of non-donor assisted children may also utilise the label “parent”, if they so desire.

Regina Doherty expressed her happiness surrounding the crucial changes;

“While the changes proposed will affect a relatively small number of people, they touch on matters that are very sensitive and of great importance to those families affected."

She continued; "I have met with and spoken to many affected by this issue and I am now very pleased to be able to bring these changes forward as a priority to ensure that they can be introduced as soon as possible."

The bill will be published and brought before the Houses of the Oireachtas hopefully early in early spring.

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