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It’s time to build the LGBTQ+ Community’s Future

Pride Month is a time to reflect on the history of the LGBTQ+ community, a term we use to include a wide and diverse range of individuals, including those who are non-binary and gender non-conforming. Apart from all the celebrations happening this June all around the world, it’s very important not to forget the specific needs of the community and to consider addressing them for building a better future.


Pride gatherings are rooted in the arduous history of minority groups who have struggled for decades to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are. The original organizers chose this month to pay homage to the Stonewall uprising in June 1969 in New York City, which helped spark the modern gay rights movement. Most Pride events take place each year in June, although some cities hold their celebrations at other times of the year.


Who celebrates it?
Pride events welcome anyone who feels like their sexual identity falls outside the mainstream, although many straight people join in, too. LGBTQ is an acronym meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.
The term sometimes is extended to LGBTQIA, to include intersex and asexual groups. Queer is an umbrella term for non-straight people; intersex refers to those whose sex is not clearly defined because of genetic, hormonal or biological differences; and asexual describes those who don’t experience sexual attraction. These terms may also include gender-fluid people, or those whose gender identity shifts over time or depending on the situation.

How did it start?
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, and began hauling customers outside. Tensions quickly escalated as patrons resisted arrest and a growing crowd of bystanders threw bottles and coins at the officers. New York’s gay community, fed up after years of harassment by authorities, broke out in neighbourhood riots that went on for three days.
The uprising became a catalyst for an emerging gay rights movement as organizations such as the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance were formed, modelled after the civil rights movement and the women’s rights movement. Members held protests, met with political leaders and interrupted public meetings to hold those leaders accountable. A year after the Stonewall riots, the nation’s first Gay Pride marches were held.

The criminalization of sex work and the LGBTQ+
The LGBTQ+ community still faces many challenges, including their disproportionate likelihood to face violence, harassment, and abuse. Here are the facts:

  • Members of the LGBTQ+ community often face hate crimes, and sexual assault was one of the most commonly reported hate crimes by LGBTQ+ individuals, according to studies collected by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
  • Almost half of all transgender people have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, and these rates are even higher for trans people of color and those who have done sex work, been homeless, or have (or had) a disability.
  • Black trans women in particular face violence at disproportionate rates due to intersecting racial prejudice, sexism, and transphobia, according to the Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review.
    Sex workers aren’t always a part of the conversation about police brutality, but they should be. Police regularly target, harass, and assault sex workers or people they think are sex workers, such as trans women of colour. The police usually get away with the abuse because sex workers fear being arrested if they report. If we lived in a world that didn’t criminalize sex work, sex workers could better protect themselves and seek justice when they are harmed.

Protecting sex workers from police violence is just one of the reasons we need to decriminalize sex work. It would also help sex workers access health care, lower the risk of violence from clients, reduce mass incarceration, and advance equality in the LGBTQ community, especially for trans women of colour, who are often profiled and harassed whether or not we are actually sex workers. In 2020 the call for decriminalization has made progress, but there are still widespread misconceptions about sex work and sex workers that are holding us back. Some even think that decriminalization would harm sex workers.
Sex workers deserve the same legal protections as any other people. They should be able to maintain their livelihood without fear of violence or arrest, and with access to health care to protect themselves. We can bring sex workers out of the dangerous margins and into the light where people are protected and not targeted by the law.

Internet technologies have also enhanced sex workers’ safety by shifting work indoors and providing them with tools to screen their clients through background checks and consultations with other sex workers. Of course, internet technologies are not accessible to everyone and they also come with risks. Internet access is costly, and thus affluent sex workers are more able to access and benefit from online technologies than their less affluent peers. Alongside and linked to class disadvantages, there is growing evidence of racial stratification in online sex work, as those with white bodies are often more privileged and profitable, particularly in emerging sub-sectors of the industry like webcam modelling.

Arab nations go rainbow hunting
This June, several Arab nations launch campaigns specifically seeking to find and quash any support for the LGBTQ community. Lebanon was the latest nation to join the crackdown, with Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi issuing a letter a week ago to Lebanese security forces ordering them to break up any events that “promote” homosexuality.
Kuwait’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry put out the message on social media last week that citizens should inform the government about any products adorned with a rainbow flag, so that officials could remove the offending products.

To avoid confusion, the ministry issued a guideline to differentiate between a “normal rainbow” and the LGBTQ rainbow. The “normal” rainbow has seven colors, it said, while the one that “violates public morals” has six colors, it said in its post, which carried a “participate in censorship” hashtag.
Saudi Arabian officials launched a nearly identical campaign earlier in June.
The Ministry of Commerce posted a video (below) on social media showing officials seizing rainbow-colored products, including toys, handbags and accessories, which they said carried “symbols and connotations that encourage homosexuality and contradict nature.”

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association’s 2020 report on “State Sponsored Homophobia” around the world noted that Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon were among 69 nations that have laws banning homosexual acts.
Saudi Arabia, the report noted, was among six United Nations member states where “the death penalty is the legally prescribed punishment for consensual same-sex sexual acts.”
Helem (Arabic for Dream), an NGO that works in support of LGBTQ people across North Africa and Southwest Asia, said in a statement that it was “perplexing why, in a country whose citizens have no electricity, no medication, no access to clean water, and no social security, and 30% unemployment the minister thought to prioritize LGBTQ events as the biggest threat to national security.”
“The deliberate act of inciting moral sexual panic and targeting LGBTQ individuals is a very old, superficial, and commonly used tactic by failed regimes to draw attention away from economic and political disasters,” the organization said.

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Have you ever ‘sexted’ someone?

Sexting, or the sending and receiving of sexually explicit photos, messages or videos on mobile devices, is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going away. Compared with Adam & Eve’s survey results from 10 years ago, adults seem to have embraced the virtual habit.

When asked if they engaged in sexting, 42% of the respondents admitted they had, compared to only 17% in 2011. While 46% of those polled said they did not sext, that is significantly lower than the 56% polled in 2011 who said they did not. Additionally, 12% of recent respondents preferred not to answer, versus only 2% in 2011.
“Sexting can be a fun, flirty way to let your significant other know you are thinking of them during the day or when you are separated by distance,” says Dr. Jenni Skyler, resident sexologist at Adam & Eve. “As a method of foreplay, sexting can set the mood and let your partner know exactly what’s on your mind. I encourage sexting participants to remember that naughty photos and fantasies don’t take the place of consent or communication.”
They also found that the prevalence of sexting increases with age among adolescents, but not among adults, and that people who are in a relationship are more likely to engage in sexting. These results suggest that, contrary to popular belief, young adults are more likely to engage in sexting than teenagers, and sexting may be a common behavior in established young adult relationships.

Sexting and other factors
The research found that:
· Females were more likely than males to feel pressured to send sexts;
· People who send and receive sexts are more likely to be sexually active; People who send and receive sexts are more likely to engage in sexual risk-taking behaviour (e.g., unprotected sex, alcohol and drugs); and
· People who had sent or received sexts regarded sexting more positively than those who hadn’t.
Some of the study’s reviewed looked at demographic factors such as race, sexual orientation, education or employment status but results were mixed and no clear associations between these factors and sexting were able to be determined.
The web-based survey, conducted by an independent third party survey company, of over 1,000 American adults age 18 and up, was sponsored by Adam & Eve to study sexual preferences and practices.

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New Dating Trend Prioridating

You don’t need to hold your sex, dating, love, or relationship life hostage for a perfect someone. Newsflash! No one is perfect. The quest for the best one has left many suitable people blue-ticked.

How Prioridating Works?
Everywhere you turn online, there are relationship goals and new dating standards. If you follow them, no one will ever be good enough for you. And if you’re a perfectionist, you’ll be too fantastic for everyone else. What is the middle ground? Prioridating!

The term was coined by dating coach Laurel House, a relationship expert at eHarmony, and it’s all about prioritizing yourself and your primary needs in order to find and build a healthy, lasting relationship. “Prioridating is dating on purpose, the purpose being to find someone who fulfills the one most important thing you need in a relationship,” House explains. “Historically, many people have dated based on a list of wants. Many of those wants are being superficial or not thoroughly thought through, as opposed to core values and relationship-sustaining needs that will impact your future.”

“What’s your number one most important priority when it comes to finding a partner? Determine that, and you WILL find and fulfill your need. Your one most important thing might be Safe- physical, emotional, financial safety. It might be feeling Cared For, or Romance, or a Partner, or Fun, or Friendship, or Adventure, or Family. Whatever your one priority is, you must align with it. Your conversations, associations, thoughts, actions, attitude must all align with the Priority of being, feeling, experiencing, living that Priority.​”

“PrioriDating is about you- your life, your experience of life, based on your perspective, created by your past experiences, that shaped who you are and what you need moving forward. It’s time to own and show up as the Priority and with your Priority in mind and in action. Once you define and align with your priority, you have a better chance at discovering and fulfilling your needs — first (and most importantly) within yourself and then within a partner. Win-win-win.” — Laurel House.

Before you think everyone’s just going to be like “I want someone hot,” that’s actually proven to no longer be the case. According to Match’s 2021 Singles in America study, 22 percent of people don’t really care about “physical attractiveness” in a partner, which is a 12 percent increase from 2020. On the flip side, 84 percent of singles want someone they can confide in and 83 percent want to be with someone “emotionally mature.”
If the years the study took place made you double-take, that’s because the pandemic had a clear impact on what people are now looking for when it comes to love. While that era seemed like an endless hell of Zoom dates and Skype calls, in reality, it prompted the majority of singles to re-evaluate their concept of relationships. With so much time spent chatting and connecting in isolation, people realized the value in qualities like humour, open-mindedness, and effective communication over more superficial traits like physical attractiveness and lifestyle, says Lozano. You know, things that really stand out during a global crisis!

Prioridating is not settling.
You deny your deepest desires. You don’t have to be this person who resents others for getting what they deserve. Someone’s looks, height, or bank account won’t matter when you need emotional support. It’s true.
I had a friend who said she could carry her baby’s looks. Why would she say this? We were being picky about how her man looked. But she knew he was a supportive guy. And would not question her decision because of something frivolous.

It is not settling. Why?
You aren’t expecting the world of your partner. Because you have removed society’s checklist to use for comparisons. So, choosing them doesn’t feel like settling. And you can always self-confirm your choice when external people criticize your decision.

How can prioridating work for you?
Pick someone who meets your current priority. But this person is also self-developing. By then, they should have grown to meet your new needs.
For example, you require support. You picked a supportive partner, but they don’t have it together financially. It’s okay, for now, because they are building their startup or returning to school. Years later, you can evaluate your needs and your partner’s ability to meet them.
On paper, that sounds terrible. But in a relationship, you will do this evaluation, anyway. That’s why people regret who they married or their age at first marriage or child. Prioridating allows for planning to reduce regrets.

Your partner complements you. They do not complete you.
If you want to align with a partner, aim to be that person for yourself first. If you have trauma and this isn’t possible, give yourself the grace to grow emotionally.

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Will genetics progress make sex bygone?

According to Hank Greely, the director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Law and Biosciences, human reproduction may become automated faster than you realize.
Greely believes that within three decades, people will no longer have sex as a way to reproduce, and instead rely on genetically edited embryos grown from skin-derived stem cells, not the combination of an egg or sperm, The Independent reported.

According to Greely, this process ensures that the embryo is free from any devastating genetic diseases, and would also be cheaper in the long run because of the money it would save in healthcare over the years. What’s more, Greely predicts that couples would be able to choose other genetic traits in their children, such as physical features and intelligence.

“I don’t think we’re going to be able to say this embryo will get a 1550 on its two-part SAT,” Greely said this week at Aspen Ideas Festival, Quartz reported, “But, this embryo has a 60% chance of being in the top half, this embryo has a 13% chance of being in the top 10%—I think that’s really possible.”

This may sound far-fetched, but the gap between sex and procreation has been widening for the past 50 years thanks to the rise of fertility drugs, embroynic genetic testing, artificial insemination and in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Over the last ten years in the UK, egg freezing has increased tenfold, from just under 230 cycles in 2009 to almost 2,400 cycles in 2019. IVF birth rates in 2019 were three times higher than in 1991, and the use of egg and sperm donors has risen, too. “Now, maybe three or four per cent of the babies born in the developed world are conceived in some manner other than sexual intercourse, and I think in the future that percentage will go up,” Greely adds.

When scientists figure out how to make this work for humans, infertile and queer couples could have biological babies without needing to go through costly and risky procedures like IVF, donors or surrogates. Single people, meanwhile, could produce ‘uni babies’, using both eggs and sperm grown from their cells.

The idea may sound far-out, but according to Quartz, it already happens on a much smaller and limited scale as a way to prevent certain diseases. Although extremely expensive at the moment, advances in stem cell technology will help to drive down the cost. In addition, the amount that the government would save on not having to take care of sick babies would also make this more cost-efficient.
As many of you may worry, this is not the end of sex because recreational sex will always be with us, but it’s the end of sex as a way of procreating.
It will not be the complete end. People will still get pregnant the old-fashioned way, maybe for religious reasons, for philosophical reasons, for romantic reasons or maybe because they are teenagers and the back seat of the car is there.

“Eugenics is a slippery word; it means many things to different people. To some, it’s state-enforced reproductive control. To some, what we had was state-enforced sterilization. To some, it’s any kind of reproductive choice, but those are different things. For me, I think coercion is much more important than the issues of selection. The concern about the state or the insurance company or someone else, forcing you to pick particular babies, worries me a lot more than having parents make choices, though that raises its own set of questions.” Greely said.

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