Things That Matter

LGBTQ+ Community And Allies Stage Kiss-A-Thon For Equal Rights At High-End Mall In Colombia

A young gay couple was holding hands and acting like most couples when they were at the Centro Comercial Andino in Bogotá, Colombia. However, a heterosexual couple with a young child verbally assaulted the loving couple calling them pedophiles. The heterosexual couple claimed that their love would corrupt their child and make him gay. The couple was cited for indecent exposure for their loving affection so the LGBTQ+ community came out in full support with a kiss-a-thon.

Colombians staged a large-scale kiss-a-thon in response to a homophobic verbal assault.

A gay couple in Centro Comercial Andino was harassed by a heterosexual couple for showing affection in public. Rather than hide in fear, the LGBTQ+ community in Bogotá came out with strength staging a kiss-a-thon to show that expressions of love are normal. After all, why is it okay for a heterosexual couple to kiss and snuggle in public but LGBTQ+ people are made to feel unsafe for doing the same thing?

“We want people to stop satanising and discriminating against the LGBT community,” Esteban Miranda, one of the men harassed, told Euro News. “We are not sick, we are not an aberration, we are citizens who are here to build a better country.”

Miranda and Nicolas Tellez were at the shopping mall when they were confronted by parents claiming they were being inappropriate.

Credit: _ian_miranda / Instagram

The couple denied that they were doing anything inappropriate. They claim that the heterosexual couples were uncomfortable with the two men holding hands and hugging like all other couples in the mall.

The couple called the police hoping to receive protection from the irate couple. Instead, when police arrived, the couple was fined for indecent exposure. However, bystanders recorded the couple hurling hateful, homophobic language at the couple and the videos have gone viral internationally.

The LGBTQ+ community and their allies showed Andino shoppers just what love looks like with their kiss-a-thon.

Credit: yosoycamiladiaz / Instagram

Colombia has long been regarded as a Latin American country that is quite liberal when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. While they do not allow for same-sex marriage, a same-sex couple can join in civil unions (not marriage) and adopt children. However, a recent report shows that Colombia has made no progress in stemming the number of LGBTQ+ murders in the country.

Protesters want Colombian society to embrace the LGBTQ+ community and stop demonizing normal expressions of love.

Credit: itamaria83 / Instagram

“Kissing someone is no crime,” protester Paola Gutierrez told The Washington Post. “All we want is for there to be less divisions in this society, and no discrimination against people over their sexual preferences.”

Some experts claim that the Colombian population is still hostile towards the LGBTQ+ community.

Credit: professor.sebas / Instagram

According to The Washington Post, homosexuality is still viewed rather negatively by the Colombian population. This negative sentiment to the LGBTQ+ community has led to several instances of hate and discrimination targeting the community. In the case of the mall harassment, the police immediately sided with the heterosexual couple issuing the gay couple a citation for indecent exposure.

It is 2019 and LGBTQ+ communities across the globe are pushing back on these instances of intolerance.

Credit: @krak_media / Instagram

“Mr. Pedro Costa: Love is not a bad example for our children. Your ignorance and your discrimination against human rights is. #YesToLove #FuriousGays”

The LGBTQ+ community in Bogotá sent a clear message to the bullies in the City of Gold. The message is one of love, strength, and a determination to stand up against all forms of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.

READ: Here’s How Brazil’s New President Went After LGBTQ People And Minorities His First Week In Office

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The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Entertainment

The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Photo via Getty

On Thursday, the cast of “Glee” paid tribute to Naya Rivera at the GLAAD Media Awards. Rivera was a once-in-a-lifetime talent the touched so many lives personally and through the screen while she was alive. But perhaps none of Naya’s roles were as impactful as Santana Lopez was.

This year, GLAAD decided to take time to honor the impact Naya Rivera had on LGBTQ representation onscreen.

During a time when LGBTQ represenation onscreen was rare, Santana Lopez was groundbreaking for being both queer and Latina. Santana went from a shut-off closeted cheerleader to an out-and-proud lesbian woman. This was a story arc many queer kids had never seen before.

Demi Lovato introduced the cast of “Glee” with a touching speech. She described how honored she was (and still is) to have played Santana’s girlfriend, Dani, on the show.

“I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tough, tough year,” Lovato said. “A particular moment of heartbreak stands out for me: losing my friend Naya Rivera. I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend, Dani, on ‘Glee.’”

“The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls — like I was at the time,” she went on. “And her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.”

Then, dozens of former “Glee” cast members gathered via Zoom to pay tribute to Naya Rivera.

The tribute featured former “Glee” actors like Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, and Kevin McHale. There were also many others.

“Naya would be honored to receive this recognition,” read the statement. “When Naya was told that Santana would be a lesbian she called me to let me know and I asked her how did she feel about that and she said ‘I feel great about it!'”

“This year marks the tenth anniversary that Naya’s character, Santana Lopez, came out on ‘Glee’,” said Dot-Marie Jones, who played Coach Beast on the Fox series.

“Santana basically got disowned by her family. And as alot of us know, that’s a feeling too many LGBTQ kids know too well,” continued Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel.

The loving tribute then ended with a written statement from Naya Rivera’s mother Yolanda Previtire, who couldn’t make it to the call.

“Little did we know that she would impact so many people in the LGBTQ community. Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice.

“She continued: “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

“Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice,” the message read, in part. “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

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Selena Gomez Tells Senate to Pass Equality Act, Credits Gay Community with Launching Her Music Career

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Tells Senate to Pass Equality Act, Credits Gay Community with Launching Her Music Career

After the Equality Act was recently passed in the House, Selena Gomez is now telling the Senate to pass the bill that would give added federal protections to the LGBTQ+ community. The Mexican-American pop star also talked about her history with the gay community and how they helped support her music career.

The Equality Act would extend protections from the Civil Rights Act to the LGBTQ+ community.

The Equality Act was first introduced in 2015. The bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity when it came to employment, housing, education, and other public and federal accommodations. In 2019, the Senate under President Donald Trump refused to vote on the bill.

The Equality Act recently passed through the House and now Gomez wants the Senate to pass it as well.

In February, the Equality Act was reintroduced to the House of Representatives. The bill passed through the House for a second time on Feb. 25. In a recent interview with the Recording Academy, the institution that hosts the Grammy Awards, Gomez is telling the Senate to vote on the bill this time and pass it through.

“We’ve come a long way in the last 10 years, but we have so much further to go,” Gomez said about the progress of LGBTQ+ rights in the country. “The Senate must pass the Equality Act. It’s absurd that this is even being debated in 2021.”

Gomez says the gay community helped support her 2009 breakthrough hit “Naturally.”

While Gomez was promoting her Latin music EP Revelación, she also revisited a few of her past hits. In 2009, she launched her music career with her band The Scene. Later that year, Gomez got her first top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her breakthrough smash “Naturally.” While talking about her relationship with the gay community, she says they were the first ones to show that song love.

“Earlier you mentioned my song ‘Naturally’ and I remember when it was released, it truly started getting played in the gay bars before anywhere else,” she said. “I would hear from older friends that they heard when they went out. I was so jealous that I was too young to be out and dancing to it with everyone. The LGBTQ+ community has been there for me and I don’t take them for granted.”

The Equality Act is waiting to be debated by the Senate. This is Gomez’s first time speaking in support of the bill. Last year, she launched the Black Equality Fund to support groups like the Movement for Black Lives.  In March, she also asked for the Senate to pass the People Act.

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Read: Selena Gomez and Myke Towers’ “Dámelo To’” is Everything: Listen to the ‘Revelación’ Standout

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