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LGBT

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Nicholas Sparks has issued an apology after emails he sent in 2013 were seen as ''anti-gay''.

The Notebook author appeared to be banning an LGTBQ club at Christian school Epiphany School of Global Studies, which he founded in 2006.

The 53-year-old took to Twitter to say sorry for his words, which he said were taken out of context.

He said, ''When in one of my emails I used language such as “there will never be an LGBT club” at Epiphany, l was responding heatedly to how the headmaster had gone about initiating this club.''

He continued, ''Like most schools, Epiphany has procedures and policies for establishing any student club. My concern was that if a club were to be founded, it be done in a thoughtful, transparent manner with the knowledge of faculty, students and parents – not in secret, and not in a way that felt exceptional. I only wish I had used those exact words.''

He added, ''Similarly, when I referred to a prior headmaster addressing the presence of gay students “quietly and wonderfully,” I meant that he supported them in a straightforward, unambiguous way – NOT that he in any way encouraged students to be silent about their gender identity or sexual orientation.''

Nicholas says he now sees how his choice of phrase could have hurt members of the LGBT community.

He said, ''As someone who has spent the better part of my life as a writer who understands the power of words, I regret and apologise that mine have potentially hurt young people and members of the LGBTQ community, including my friends and colleagues in that community.''

The emails were first published by The Daily Beast and were released as part of an ongoing lawsuit with the former headmaster, Saul Benjamin, over an alleged pattern of ‘harassment, racism, and homophobia.'

Nicholas denies the claims. 

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Every since June began, we've been waiting in the shadows for the explosion of rainbows and glitter during Pride Month.

Mainly, we've been anticipating PrettyLittleThing's brand new Pride campaign, which pays homage to the LGBTQ+ community with a gorgeous line of clothes.

They're hoping to fly all colours of the rainbow this year, representing equality, love and acceptance through some epic threads.

The latest PrettyLittleThing campaign collaborates with some badass babes in fashion and social media: Jade Laurice, Mitchell, Julia Ofelia, Gothy, Alexander Ko, Leslie Sidora & Chloe Scantlebury.

The online retailer has gathered the ultimate gang of pride advocates, who each have their own #MyPride story to tell. Despite their race, sexuality and gender, they're loud and proud and we love them for it.

100 percent of the profits of the stylish campaign is going towards various registered Pride charities across the UK, which makes buying every gorgeous item of clothing even better.

Some of the PLT Pride advocates have opened up about why Pride is so special to them, from self-love and positivity to making bold political statements.

Down-to-earth make-up artist Mitch has a sunny personality that glows as bright as the glamour he creates; 

“No matter where you come from, what you are, what you identify as, what you look like, we can all share the same love. For me, that’s what Pride is all about.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by mitchell (@mmmmitchell) on

Jade Laurice infuses style with substance, as an influencer and all-round badass babe. Her goal is to smash expectations of queer women and challenge your misconceptions;

“Pride is important to me because it is an event where my visibility and equality as a queer woman is prioritised and celebrated.

"Pride makes me feel empowered as an individual but also gives the LGBTQ community a platform where we can help the next generation.” YAS kween.

Julia Ofelia is a vibrant pansexual babe, with a Scorpio sting and zero time for intolerance in our heteronormative society;

“Pride reminds me that there is a huge community of beautiful and diverse people who do accept me for who I am.”

Left: Black FREEDOM Crop Tee, €14.00
Right: UNISEX Pink EQUAL Oversized T-shirt, €14.00

UK-based drag queen Gothy Kendoll from #hausofkendall spins serious tunes as a DJ and serves serious looks on his Instagram too, so the level of fierce is always sky-high.

Rumour has it the queen is appearing on the UK series of Drag Race, and we desperately hope the gossip is true. We'd love to see Gothy working the runway and winning lip sync battles.

“Working throughout the year within the gay community, I recognise that pride season is a time when we can truly celebrate who we are and how far we’ve come in recent years.”

The Pride collection is live as of this week on the PrettyLittleThing website, so wear your rainbow colours and don't let anyone hold you back.

Stand proud to support the LGBTQ+ community, and refuse to hide your pride. Equality is the greatest look of all.

lady gaga pride GIF by MTV Movie & TV Awards

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News that Ariana Grande is headlining Manchester Pride has caused quite a stir already, with many arguing that the ticket prices have become extortionate as a result of the big name booking.

However, Grande is once again under the spotlight as reports are claiming that she's getting paid €116,000 MORE than Kylie Minogue to perform.

Sources close to the pop star are claiming that the Thank U, Next singer is getting a HUGE €291,000 for her Pride show, which hasn't impressed ticket buyers.

This tweet caught the attention of Grande the other day, who responded to the criticism with an eloquent note defending her performance;

"Hi my love, I have nothing to do with ticket pricing- Manchester Pride sets those rates, and they’re mostly out of my control," she tweeted. "The LGBTQ community has been so special to me and supportive throughout my entire career."

"The relationships I have with my LGBTQ fans, friends, and family make me so, so happy,’ she continued. "I want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me. And also I wanna visit a city that means so much to me."

"LGBTQ representation is incredibly important, and I’m always proud to share the stage with LGBTQ artists! Over the years, pride events have been headlined by performers and artists of all sexual orientations and genders, including straight allies like Cher and Kylie Minogue," she said.

"I’m not claiming to be the hero of the community or the face of the LGBTQ rights movement – I just wanna put on a show that makes my LGBTQ fans feel special and celebrated and supported. That’s all I wanna do," she concluded.

People aren't impressed that Ariana Grande is getting over €116,000 more than Kylie to perform, with a source at The Sun writing;

"Obviously they’re both massive stars but Ariana is like gold dust at the moment, so the organisers offered her top whack to take part."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The 25-year-old has paid attention to the criticism, but claims that ticket pricing was out of her hands. Kylie Minogue herself has yet to comment on the whole debacle, but the pay difference is most likely due to Ariana's demand.

As a recent Grammy winner, as well as releasing two albums over the last six months which have both reached number one, she's one of the world's most popular pop stars.

7 Rings, Thank U, Next and Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored show no sign of leaving the charts anytime soon, and we definitely can't get them out of our heads. They're bangers.

What do you think of the debate on Manchester Pride? Is it acceptable for allies to get paid that much?

Olly Alexander from Years & Years recently pointed out that Pride will support more LGBT+ artists when people LISTEN to those artists' music, to hike up demand for them at festivals and concerts.

It's a two-way street; support can't just be shown one day of the year at Pride for LGBT+ musicians; it has to be 365 days a year for it to make an impact.

Feature image: Instagram/@arianagrande

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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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Guardians of the Galaxy actor Chris Pratt has hit back at Ellen Page after the actress called him out for attending an alleged "infamous anti-LGBTQ" church.

The Juno star criticised Pratt on February 8 after his appearance on The Stephen Colbert Show, questioning why he didn't address Hillsong's 'infamous' views.

She later elaborated on her frustration, writing on Twitter;

“If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organisation that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed. Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes is severe. Full stop."

She continued her emotional statement;

“If LGBTQ+ people are expressing their pain, their trauma, their experiences… maybe just try and listen? Open your heart, stop being defensive and have compassion. It’s a beautiful and life changing feeling, empathy.”

The 31-year-old is married to Emma Portner since last January, and made an impassioned speech on The Stephen Colbert Show accusing Donald Trump and Mike Pence of continued dangerous discrimination against the LGBT+ community.

“I am fired up tonight, it feels impossible not to feel this way right now, with the president and Vice President Mike Pence, who wishes I couldn’t be married. Let’s just be clear. The Vice President of America wishes I didn’t have the love with my wife.”

Now Chris Pratt has responded to her claims about Hillsong, a celebrity-infused church in Los Angeles which has faced controversy over it's views.

Pastor Carl Lentz, who leads its New York branch, in 2015 said that he believes homosexuality is a sin and that a gay member of the church could never hold a leadership position. He claims that the church opens its doors, but doesn't encourage the 'gay lifestyle'.

Pratt took to Instagram writing: “It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church which ‘hates a certain group of people’ and is "infamously anti-LGBTQ." Nothing could be further from the truth."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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He continued; “I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone.” He elaborated on how the Hillsong community helped him through his divorce with actor Anna Faris.

“Despite what the Bible says about divorce my church community was there for me every step of the way, never judging, just gracefully accompanying me on my walk,” Pratt said.

“They helped me tremendously offering love and support. It is what I have seen them do for others on countless occasions regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender.”

We'll have to wait and see if Ellen Page answers his statement. 

Feature image: USA Today's FTW

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It seems like every celebrity has been getting themselves into a spot of bother lately, even heartthrob singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes.

The 20-year-old Canadian artist has let his guitar-strumming fingers 'accidentally' like a transphobic tweet, and Twitter went OFF.

The tweet is hella offensive for trans people, so bear in mind it could be triggering to see. In essence, it makes a joke about testicular cancer for trans women, and Shawn liked it either by mistake or on purpose.

His fans were quick to point it out to him, telling him to unlike the tweet immediately and apologise for any unintentional harm caused. His fans definitely have some good sense..

The Stitches singer replied pretty promptly, explaining that he had accidentally liked the tweet while scrolling through his feed (hmm).

"Must of accidentally liked it scrolling down a feed, you know me and I'd never. Sorry," he tweeted to his 20 million followers.

He tweeted a simple, 'Love you' afterwards, most likely thanking his devoted fans for spotting a mistake which could have landed him in even more trouble had he not explained and apologised.

Why did a transphobic tweet pop up in his feed, though? He does follow over 50,000 accounts so it is probably difficult to keep track of all the comments coming his way.

He has also been very supportive of the LGBT+ community in the past. 

When producer Teddy Geiger transitioned last year, Shawn urged others to "just open your eyes and open your mind, because, for me, going through one of my closest friends going through a very big transition period in her life, was incredible to watch."

Feature image credit: esmondstation.com

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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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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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With the current charged political climate of #MeToo, which is bringing issues of consent, sexual violence, abuse and harassment to light on a daily basis, it's the PERFECT time for a show like Sex Education.

Netflix' new series is already critically acclaimed with it's standout teenage characters, incredible acting talents and refreshing humour, but what's just as important is the need to face sexuality and it's trials and tribulations at a young age.

The show is tackling imperative issues and somehow manages to be laugh-out-loud funny at the same time, how does it achieve this unique, charming quality?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sex Education (@sexeducation) on

Sex Education follows Otis Milburn, a socially awkward but sweet-natured sixteen-year-old (Asa Butterfield) and his sex therapist mother, played by the amazing Gillian Anderson.

Otis' school life is filled with iconic characters like Eric Effiong (Ncuti Gatwa), the most GAS LGBT+ character of all time, and misunderstood punk and resident badass Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey).

Middle finger Maeve= our 2019 mood. You heard it here first:

fuck you high school GIF by NETFLIX

After discovering his penchant for giving responsible and understanding sex advice, Maeve 'complex female characters' Wiley encourages Otis to set up his own teen sex clinic for some quick cash, and the results are HILARIOUS.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Among the vital topics faced with beautiful skill are abortion, transphobia, homophobia, mental health, consent, contaception, racism, sexism and toxic masculinity; we're in awe of episode three and the emotional rollercoaster of teenage life, told with humour and care.

Here are the best memes and reactions online to our new favourite binge-worthy show, PRAY FOR SEASON TWO IMMEDIATELY.

1. How pure Eric and Otis' friendship is:

2. Complex LGBT character of colour GOALS

3. If you know, you know *wink*

4. The confusing time setting which seems like a 1980s/1990s/2019 mash-up:

5. Is it USA or UK though?! They have Letterman jackets with British accents?! Help?!

6. It's MY VAGINA: that iconic episode four scene has become a meme…

7. How HAWT Gillian Anderson is in the show as Otis' sex savvy mum:

8. Gillian's LEWKS were 2DIE4:

9. Eric and Adam's weird bully vs hilarious victim sexual tension 

10. Maeve Wiley's distinctive Margot Robbie resemblance is HAUNTing:

11. COMPLEX FEMALE CHARACTERS. Need we say more?

12. The script is spit-out-your-tea levels of hilarity:

13. THAT video of 1980s Gillian Anderson teaching a workshop:

14. How damn WOKE it is:

 15. THE PLUMBER's SCROTE:

16. If anyone harmed Eric the internet would defend him til the death:

17. I repeat: TIL THE DEATH

 18. Lily is top 5 strangest characters ever, but she deserves points for her bravery:

19. Aimee. Just…Aimee. Not to mention disturbingly honest portrayals of female masturbation:

20. We choked at this scene, and arguably the funniest line of the script:

21. Eric and Adam's pinky scene. The feels.

 22. GIVE US SEASON TWO AND NO ONE WILL BE HURT:

We gasped at that ending. Our hearts gave out, from pure weakness.

sex ed wtf GIF by NETFLIX

We're currently tweeting Netflix incessantly until they announce a season two.

MAEVE DESERVES HAPPINESS, OKAY? 

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Tasmanian comedienne Hannah Gadsby has called out "good men" during her acceptance speech at the The Hollywood Reporter’s 2018 Women in Entertainment Gala.

She voiced her opposition to the way in which certain men discuss their 'bad' male counterparts, and essentially still have the power over women.

"All men believe they are good", she stated, explaining the unbalanced narrative surrounding misogynistic behaviour.

She elaborated on the issue of good men speaking on behalf of all women, therefore having the power to draw boundaries;

“I want to speak about the very big problem I have with the good men, especially the good men who take it upon themselves to talk about the bad men,” she said.

“I find good men talking about bad men incredibly irritating, and this is something the good men are doing a lot of at the moment.”

A line which especially caught the media's attention was regarding the "Jimmy's and the David's and the other Jimmy's" of the world.

Her references to infamous talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, are in relation to their previous comments surrounding the #MeToo era.

Gadsby believes the duo can only regard bad men in two ways: either as extreme perpetrators of sexual violence such as Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, or as friends who have taken a misstep but are well-meaning, such as Aziz Ansari.

“We need to talk about how men will draw a different line for a different occasion,” she said.

“They have a line for the locker room; a line for when their wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters are watching; another line for when they’re drunk and fratting; another line for nondisclosure; a line for friends; and a line for foes.

“You know why we need to talk about this line between good men and bad men? Because it’s only good men who get to draw that line.

“And guess what? All men believe they are good.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The comedienne's candour has been applauded by numerous people, who appreciate her honesty in the face of such a difficult audience.

Her Netflix stand-up show Nanette was released earlier in the year to widespread critical acclaim, and faced tough issues such as rape, sexual assault and homophobia.

We have SO much respect for this badass lady, what a woman.

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What does it mean to be an ‘empowered woman’ in 2019?

The phrase ‘empowered woman’ is intrinsically loaded with underlying meaning and misunderstood perceptions. When many of us hear the phrase, most people envision a sexually-promiscuous woman who refuses to have children and most likely drinks scotch.

Arguably, its meaning has dramatically changed in the last year, ever since actress Alyssa Milano’s ‘Me Too’ tweet went viral.

2018 has not been the easiest of times for Irish women.

Watching the news everyday has been a tortuous experience, with violence against women splashed across every publication, the media raining debilitating double standards upon anyone remotely famous and the paparazzi splashing unflattering female body images across the internet.

Two massively painful rape trials have illuminated the imperative need for changes in the Irish law regarding sexual violence and assault, and the horrific way in which women are treated and cross-examined in the courtroom.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Leah Beecham (@leahbeecham) on

The Repeal movement was draining for everyone involved, the right to bodily autonomy is still undeniably under threat.

It’s worth noting that standards are changing all around us, lines are being drawn, boundaries are being set. Finally, I might add.

Women are always hyper-aware of the need for self-protection, especially when it comes to sex and dating.

We’ve all held our keys in between our knuckles as we walk down a dimly-lit road at night, we’ve all experienced unwanted attention on nights out, and we’ve all worried about what we wear, and the negative consequences our clothes could potentially bring.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Guardian (@guardian) on

Standards of relationships are changing in conjunction, as women entering the dating world have new questions which they are asking of potential lovers.

This also stands for workplace relationships, women are fighting back against pay inequality and sexism which are prevalent even in first-world countries such as Ireland and the UK.

Watching Little Mix and Ariana Grande fight back against Piers Morgan's recent sexist comments has been such a breath of fresh air.

The #MeToo and TimesUp movements have been eye-opening experiences for men, women and intersex people worldwide, with every facet of society examining its own behaviour with a new lens.

Unlike most men, women are expected to be looking for love around every corner.

During our teens and 20s, being single is depicted as a hugely empowering, freeing experience, yet a shadow dawns on the eve of our 30th birthdays: the misogynistic view that our biological clocks are ticking, and where on earth is our husband?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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I have learnt many things from relationships, mainly that learning who you are can often only become a reality when you face tough aspects of life alone.

This is not true for everyone, of course, but many women in this day and age have to shrug off countless societal pressures and notions which are veiled in misogyny and shame.

Female empowerment in this article can only be relevant to my personal experiences, women are extremely complex beings and each feels empowered in totally different ways.

For women with disabilities, of different ages, gender binaries, classes and ethnicities, feeling good about ourselves comes in all shapes and forms.

Sex is power, #MeToo has taught me that. I cannot speak for other women, especially those in the LGBT+ community, but as a heterosexual woman, I have also learned many other hard lessons about the need to empower myself and have control over my body and mind.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Women are not therapists, we cannot be expected to handle the emotional baggage of other people.

We have enough of our own. Watching Ariana get blamed for Mac Miller's death is a primary example of the degradation placed on people for leaving toxic relationships.

 Ariana Grande has entered ultimate female empowerment mode, sporting a friendship ring instead of her recent engagement rock, and regularly posting images of classic film stars and female icon moments on her Instagram account.

Her new music video will be a tribute to classic movies with female leads such as 13 Going On 30, Mean Girls, Bring It On and Legally Blonde.

Thank u, next; Ari’s latest phenomenally successful single, pays homage to her past loves before declaring that her relationship with herself is now a priority.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ArianaGrande-5H-CamilaCabello (@ag_5h_cc) on

Reports claim that her ex-fiancé, Pete Davidson, did not support her sufficiently following the death of Mac Miller, her former love.

Ariana explained how toxic her relationship with Miller was; she endured the pain of watching someone they love struggle through addiction but realised that it was expected of her to ‘fix’ his pain, to mother him through his issues.

Her realisation that she could not carry out this burden was imperative.

When Davidson joked about swapping Grande’s birth control pills on Saturday Night Live, the reaction was mixed.

Many wondered why controversy erupted over the comment, yet many reflected on the notion of literally trapping a woman into staying with you through pregnancy, a huge emotional and physical ordeal for women.

Realise that we are not defined by our relationship status, and to have a relationship with yourself can be an incredibly growth experience.

Letting go of the pressure to always have an ‘other half’ can be freeing in itself. Don’t underestimate the value of your friendships, especially female ones.

rihanna rogue man GIF

SEX is empowering:

Learning what you like (this applies to anyone with a sexual partner- in a relationship or not) is CRUCIAL.

Women have always been expected to satisfy men in terms of sex, the language was never granted to us regarding how to communicate our desires, and how to find pleasure.

Consent in this country has always been a murky topic, hidden under the surface.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

I never heard the word mentioned until I went to college, and by the time I learnt the word’s true meaning, I had already had unconsensual experiences without truly understanding them at all.

Educating ourselves about consent, and only having relationships with those who truly respect us and our bodies can be incredibly empowering.

Learn how to say no, be selfish.

Women cannot be expected to please everyone, all the time. Often we have to work incredibly hard, in our employment or relationships, to get the achievements we deserve.

Learning to put yourself first can be a massive way of respecting our own mental health and practicing self-love and acceptance.

Ask yourself, what do YOU want, instead of what does everyone else want of you.

bossy beyonce GIF

Learning new skills

Self -defence classes, a new language, a skill such as website building, graphic design, even calligraphy. Why not?

If you have valuable assets such as the ability to drive, and even do nitpicky jobs such as online banking or tax can be empowering in terms of releasing yourself from co-dependence.

why do you need to do this sandra bullock GIF by Ocean's 8

Don’t let opportunities pass you by.

Go with your instincts. Do what you’ve always wanted to do, but always found an excuse never to do it. You miss 100% of the chances you let pass by, and you never know how much you can gain from letting your fears dissipate and challenging yourself.

Mental health

The importance of having a health mind can never be underestimated. Take personal time whenever you know that you need it, don't succumb to pressure. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Body confidence

Society makes it so damn hard to allow you to feel secure in your own skin. In a world with such fascination with image and beauty, loving yourself is a completely rebellious act.

Beyonce Satisfying GIF

Everyone is unique, so don’t try to fit a beauty mould which will undoubtedly change in the next five to ten years.

In the 90s it was bone glamour with malnourished models such as Kate Moss on the runway looking like all they needed most was a McDonalds, and now the Kardashians have transformed cosmetic beauty into plastic surgery-induced curves, glossy brunette hair and big lips and bums.

Who knows what the next big trend will be, but why force yourself to look like someone else? You are worth so much more than what you weigh or what you see in the mirror.

Taking control of your love life

The laws of dating have transformed recently, with apps such as Bumble finally realising that women don’t always want to wait around for the right person to ask them on a date.

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Try asking someone out, the worst that can happen is that they say no.

Food and health

I lived in San Francisco for four months and had the most atrocious diet, and when I came home I vowed to learn at least ten easy home-cook meals that are quick to make, and have health benefits. Having independence in terms of your body and health can be crucial to an empowering mindset, especially for women with chronic health problems.

Career

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Finding career success can be a huge morale boost, especially for women. Success shouldn’t be based on how much you earn, but how much you love your job and how you contribute to bringing a positive energy to the world around you.

Fight to be heard at the table, realise how intelligent you are and how you should be valued in your workplace. Don’t let anyone invalidate you.

You have the key to your own happiness, no one else.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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To be totally independent, ‘empowered’ single gal has countless benefits. Find your own definition of ‘empowerment’, some women are empowered by their style, their job, their relationship, their sex life, and others are empowered simply by being happy in their own skin.

Whether you're feeling great and powerful totally covered up or completely naked, do whatever makes you happy.

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As Ru Paul the Great regularly claims, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

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St John of God Research Study Day are currently presenting findings from their studies, which show a rapid increase of people presenting with gender dysphoria.

Today is the 28th Annual St John of God Research Study day, and features researchers and academics from the medical field displaying the results of their analysis.

Consultant Endocrinologist at St. Columcille's Hospital Loughlinstown, Professor Donal O'Shea, has stated from his own exploration in the field that 210 people presented with the condition last year, increasing from 10 in 2007.

This represents a 2100% increase over the entire decade. Dr. Paul Moran, Consultant Psychiatrist at St John of God Community Services, has joined Professor O’Shea to discuss the imperative needs of transgender people.

This vital talk comes just ahead of the launch of the National Gender Service, which hopes to make a difference in the difficulties which numerous members of the transgender community face daily.

According to Professor O’Shea:

“We see the most positive outcomes for patients experiencing gender dysphoria when a holistic and better paced transition journey is taken, with family support. I have observed patients who transitioned hastily, ultimately regretting the decision after irreversible treatment has taken place."

"The new national gender service has been established to address the rising prevalence of gender dysphoria and to ensure that those individuals who require this service receive the best possible holistic care."

St John of God Research Foundation Study are aiming to further examine the theme of 'an evidence based path to service provision; as well as interim results on the gap in mental health care for teenagers and young adults.

Another disturbing fact raised today stated that 50% of the general population who are experiencing mental illness are not being referred for child and adolescent mental health services after the age of 18.

The adult mental health services could intervene at this crucial time in the lives of those experiencing mental illness such as suicidal ideation, eating disorders, depression and ADHD.

The St John of God Research Foundation is presently being funded by the European Commission, and the landmark MILESTONE study is being conducted across 8 European counties, Ireland included.

Professor Fiona McNicholas, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at St John of God Hospitaller Services and Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin is leading the Irish research on the MILESTONE study. She stated that:

“Mental health disorders are established early in childhood and for many persist into adulthood. The interim results of the MILESTONE study highlight that by not transitioning adolescents with established mental illness to an appropriate mental health service, we are leaving vulnerable teenagers without the support and medical care required."

"Without treatment, progress and recovery is hampered. Many will present only at times of crisis to emergency services, such as following suicide attempts or self-harm."

"They are prevented from receiving appropriate treatment that would help them live healthier lives, instead the huge percentage of young people not transitioning are more likely to be marginalised and experience homelessness, drug abuse and unemployment.”

Ireland's failure to effectively transition it's youth is not unusual for Europe. Broad European findings of the MILESTONE study which are being presented by Dr Helena Toumainen, from the University of Warwick supports this argument. 

Vanessa Lacey from the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) will be speaking today regarding loss from a transgender family's perspective.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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For more information. please visit the St. John of God website.

Other support services include the national LGBT helpline, BeLonGTo, and advice for parents and a guide for terminology.

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