Bio: Alan Cumming

​By @pridematters1 

Alan Cumming is an actor who is open about being bisexual. 

He was born in Scotland in 1965 but now mainly lives in America. 

Cummings has been in many productions, film TV and stage. Not only he has won himself many awards for his performance in all fields he has also won a GLADD award and an OBE in 2009.
Alan Cummings is a legend.

Over the years Cummings has been vocal about being bisexual. 

I still define myself as a bisexual even though I have chosen to be with Grant.  

I’m sexually attracted to the female form even though I am with a man and I just feel that bisexuals have a bad rap.



Alan Cummings married Grant Shaffer in 2012, after five years of a civil partnership. He is still open about his sexuality and is seen by many as a good advocate of what visibility for bisexuals should be like.

Be open, be seen, be proud! 

Interesting articles:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2084168/Alan-Cumming-ties-knot-New-York-Grant-Shaffer-years-London-civil-partnership.html

Alan Cumming talks about his abusive father, bisexuality, monogamy, and why he doesn’t want children http://fourtwonine.com/2014/10/08/5261-alan-cumming-talks-about-his-abusive-father-bisexuality-monogamy-and-why-he-doesn-t-want-children/

Ellen DeGeneres 

By @eulaly_2


In this series we look at various heroes and advocates of the LGBTQIA family.

In this article we focus on a iconic woman who identifies as a lesbian. 

Ellen DeGeneres “Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.”

 

Ellen DeGeneres was born 26 January 1958 in Metairie, LA. She hoped to become a veterinarian, however decided not to pursue this idea when she realized “what it required”. To make a living, DeGeneres sold vacuum cleaners, painted houses and performed legal secretarial work. Humor helped her get through a difficult public speaking experience. In 1981, she began receiving offers to do stand up comedy and performing in local coffee houses. Her ‘big break’ came in 1986 when she appeared on The Tonight Show and became the only female comic Johnny Carson had ever invited to sit on his couch, during her initial visit. DeGeneres has appeared in many other talk shows such as The TonightShow with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Good Morning America. She was spotlighted and received acclaim on ABC’s Primetime Live.

“I learned compassion from being discriminated against. Everything bad that’s ever happened to me has taught me compassion.”

DeGeneres became a well-loved comic. She was offered her own television show, Ellen in 1994. In 1997, the DeGeneres’ character openly acknowledged she was a lesbian. This was the very first time a character had done so. Criticism ensued and sponsors withdrew advertisements. Nonetheless, the show also received praise from supportive activists, and an Emmy Award for this episode, yet it was soon cancelled.

DeGeneres appeared in several movies in the late 90s and returned to television in her daytime talk show, which has since won many Daytime Emmy and People’s Choice AwardsShe also voiced the animated character Dory in the film Finding Nemo and its sequel, Finding Dory. At various times between the late 90s and recent years she has also hosted the Grammy Awards, the Academy Awards, and the Primetime Emmys. She is a successful author of many books, and an executive producer for several television shows. 

The Oscars Promo 2014

 

“I’m not an activist; I don’t look for controversy. I’m not a political person, but I’m a person with compassion. I care passionately about equal rights. I care about human rights. I care about animal rights.”

 

DeGeneres is a financial contributor and supporter of many organizations involving education, animal rights, children’s health, AIDS research, and cancer.

 

DeGeneres was in a relationship with actress Anne Heche for three years, and with Alexandra Hedison also three years. She met actress wife Portia De Rossi in 2004. De Rossi has been quoted as saying that “meeting DeGeneres for the first time made her weak in the knees”, but was not openly gay at that time and has said she was in denial about her sexuality. The couple married 16 August 2008 in California after the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

Ellen and Portia Wedding, pictured with Ellen’s mother Betty.

Ellen DeGeneres “I would love to have the same rights as everybody else. I would love; I don’t care if it’s called marriage. I don’t care if it’s called, you know, domestic partnership. I don’t care what it’s called.”

 DeGeneres has said she is not an activist. What has made her so loved by not only the LGBTQIA community, but by everyone is her courage, kindness and her outspokennes against discrimination. Her self confidence and self assurance in that she has always been proud of who she is. DeGeneres chose to come out as a lesbian in 1997, while taking the huge risk with her career. Her decision was vital in opening the door to television shows and characters that were to come. DeGeneres is said to have done more to impact Americans’ views about gay rights than any other celebrity or notable person. In 2016 President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor to DeGeneres for “helping push America in the direction of justice.” 

Interesting Reading:

https://longevity.media/most- inspirational-ellen-degeneres- accomplishments

https://www.biography.com/ people/ellen-degeneres-9542420

http://www.thefamouspeople. com/profiles/ellen-degeneres- 1329.php

http://www.whosdatedwho.com/ dating/ellen-degeneres

http://people.com/pets/ exclusive-ellen-degeneres- chats-about-her-pets/

Billie Haynes: Early Hollywood star. 

By @pridematters1 

In this series we look at various heroes and advocates of the LGBTQIA family.
In this article we focus on a man who identifies as gay male. 

First star I could find  to come out was Hollywood star, Billie Haines.
Haines was a silent movie star back in the 1920’s when he met his life long partner Jimmy Shields and they moved to Los Angeles.

Even though most people who worked in the industry was aware of their relationship, the public was not. Haines was arrested in 1933 after a ‘situation’ with a sailor in a YMCA. 

Haines was sacked  by his studio MGM, after a big fight with studio legend Louis.B.Mayer. He insisted on him finding a ‘wife’ and when he refused his contract was terminated. 


He never worked as an actor again.

He stayed in Los Angeles and became an interior decorator to the stars. Haines had a lot of Hollywood friends from his early days that helped him cement a career as a  interior designer to the stars.

His clients included Orry-Kerry, Carry Grant, Joan Crawford and Marion Davies.  Haines and Shields remained together for over 50 years. Joan Crawford described them as ‘the happiest married couple in Hollywood.’ 

Jodie Foster. 

By @bartolomeo_lisa 

In this series we look at various heroes and advocates of the LGBTQIA family.
In this article we focus on a woman who identifies as gay female. 



Iconic Actress, Jodie Foster may be the most quietly celebrated famous Lesbian. 


Anyone who grew up in the 1970s 80s or 90s will remember Jodie Foster as the Girl Next Door, the best friend we wish we had, the sister we always long for or the woman we wanted to be.


Born Alicia Christian “Jodie” Foster on November 19th 1962 in Los Angeles, California Jodie Foster has continued to astound audiences – from her shocking and groundbreaking performance in 1976 ‘s Taxi Driver, which was her first Oscar nomination – to her poignant role as rape victim in 1988’s The Accused – her first Oscar win, and 1992 Oscar winning role as edgy FBI agent Clarice Starling, Foster has captivated audiences – sometimes at a great peril to herself.



In 1980 while she was a freshman at Yale University – Foster majored in literature there – John Hinckley jr., A mentally disturbed and misguided fan of her role in Taxi Driver began stalking her – until on March 31st 1981, in an attempt to gain her attention and approval, Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan and three others; Hinckley claimed, “he did it for Jodie” , and while this would have thrown a person of lesser strength off of their path,  this did not deter Foster – she continued her studies at Yale, graduating Magna cumme laude and becoming valedictorian. However, for a  very long time, Jodie was plagued by the tragedy, often times being bombarded with questions and interviews. Ever classy, Foster refused to comment  – one time even walking off of the set of a popular talk show when she discovered they planned on  bringing up Hinckley in the interview. Then, in 1999, during an interview with Charlie Rose, Foster herself addressed the subject.  Stating “I never wanted to be the actress remembered for that” and although people remember it, that is certainly not all she is remembered for. She is celebrated as so much more.



Foster remained quiet publicly about her sexual orientation.  Probably because, in her 48-year career Jodie had seen Hollywood and the Showbiz industry hush homosexuality – even to this day; arranging fake marriages and relationships. It is no wonder Foster was tentative to publicly announce anything about her private life.  However, the media (true to form), brought up her sexuality for public debate during the 1991 release of Silence of the Lambs, a film which was alleged at the time to be a homophobic statement. Foster was accused of being a closeted lesbian by The Village Voice and  OutWeek Magazine.


In 1993 during the filming of the movie sommersby Foster met and fell for Cydni Bernard. & nbsp;The two were together until 2008 and had two children, Kit Bernard Foster and Charles Bernard Foster.


Foster first publicly acknowledged her sexuality at the 2007 Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Breakfast, but it wasn’t until 2013 at the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards, where she was given the Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award, that she declared her sexuality openly. Even then it was done with the sort of nod and wink Foster has been known for. Stating “I hope that you will not be disappointed – there won’t be a big coming-out speech I have already done that” she further went on to say “I’m just going to put it out there right, loud and proud” “I did my coming out back in the Stone Age those quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to fr iends and family and then gradually and proudly to everyone she ever met” Foster’s Declaration was met with an outpouring of support and applause from her peers.


Not long after this public declaration and affirmation at the Golden Globes, Foster met and became involved with photographer Alexandra Hedison. (Hedison had previously dated Ellen DeGeneres in 2004).


In April 2014 the two married.  Foster and Hedison tried to keep the ceremony as private as possible, which has been Jodie Foster’s classic nature. She has been quoted as saying “I’m aware now that celebrities are ex pected to share the details of their private lives with everyone and have a show about it and create a fragrance but that’s not me”


Jodie’s two sons, Kit – 15 and Charles – 18 have been raised in an open loving and intellectual atmosphere. Although Jodie has stated she is an atheist, she has raised the boys in all religious faiths – celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa and the Jewish sabbats – saying she wants them to learn about everything and choose as they will for themselves.


I personally have loved Jodie since I first laid eyes on her in an old movie called Bugsy Malone where she pl ayed a character named Tallulah.  I further fell in love with her, or perhaps just wanted to be her, when I met Clarice Starling in that oh so professional pantsuit in Silence of the Lambs. But more so, I’ve respected her; an actress, scholar, director – a producer a mom a survivor and one hell of a woman! One of my favorite Jodie Foster quotes is “normal is not something to aspire to it’s something to get away from”. Life lesson. Thanks Jodie, you truly are, a Star!


Interesting Reading:


https://www.autostraddle.com/10-old-hollywood-stars-who-enjoyed-scissoring-343227/



 http://variety.com/2015/film/news/gay-lgbt-movie-stars-staying-locked-in-the-closet-1201529581/

Frida Kahlo

In this series we look at various heroes and advocates of the LGBTQIA family.
In this article we focus on a woman who identifies as bisexual. 


Frida Kahlo  “They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”

Frida Kahlo was born in 1907, in Coyoacan Mexico. As a child, she suffered from Polio and at the age of 18, was severely injured in a traffic accident, which caused her relentless pain and medical problems during the rest of her life. She was an excellent student and prior to the accident, had planned to attend medical school. Miss Kahlo abandoned her studies due to her medical troubles.

Art, at first, was a hobby for her. Because the accident displaced three vertebrae, among many other injuries, part of her recovery was wearing a body cast, which kept her bedridden for several months. This is when Miss Kahlo decided to pursue a career as a medical illustrator. She began painting using an easel that would allow her to paint in bed, and a mirror above the easel which would allow her to create self-portraits. 

Self -Portrait 1940

“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”

Miss Kahlo was inspired by European artists such as Renaissance Masters Sandro Botticelli and Bronzino and avant-garde movements such as Neue Sachlichkeit and Cubism. She is not only remembered for her self-portraits, but also for how passionate she was about the female experience, her political beliefs and activism, and attention to Mexican culture.

 

Miss Kahlo was an openly bisexual woman who, although married to Diego Rivera, was known to have been in relationships with Jacqueline Lamba, Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as Dolores del Rio and Paulette Goddard. Although she mostly dressed in traditional Tehuana garments, she was also known to dress in men’s clothing. Miss Kahlo, an admirable, strong-willed woman, who besides becoming an accomplished artist also fought against social conventions. She did not conform to typical beauty norms and unlike the majority of other women, was educated in a co-educational school which was almost unheard of at the time. In her paintings she depicted women’s challenges such as miscarriage and pregnancy which was then considered a private matter. Miss Kahlo was an atheist, involved in politics and a proud communist. She was a true original. 

Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.”

 

Self-portrait 1940

This self-portrait expressed her desire to be independent and not rely on men. She painted this portrait after her separation from Diego Rivera. 

Writen by @Eulalie260 

Interesting reading:


https://www.biography.com/ people/frida-kahlo-9359496

http://www.fridakahlo.org/


http://www.collectorsweekly. com/articles/uncovering-clues- in-frida-kahlos-private- wardrobe/


http://www.fridakahlo.org/ frida-kahlo-biography.jsp



 

Kye Allums. 

@pridematters1

In this series we look at various heroes and advocates of the LGBTQIA family.

In this article we focus on a Transgender male. 

Kye Allums. 

Kye Allums was the first openly transgender to play in NCAA division basketball in America.

Kye Allums was born in 1989 as Kyler Kelican Allums  and was a college basket ball player for George Washington University. In 2010 Allums became the first openly transgender to play NCAA division.

He is quoted in saying something all members of the LGBTQIA community can understand. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I had to come out because it was too hard not being myself.”

 

Kye has openly spoke about his own attempts of suicide from the pressures of the story breaking about his transition and how much more needs to be done to highlight the dangers of suicide in transgenders.

Kye has written a book about his experiences. The book is called ‘Who am I’.

Kye is an inspiration for any lgbtqia activist, when asked what he wished to do with the rest of his life he replied…

“I’ll just be trying to make some kind of difference in the world and look forward to my life”


Other reading material:

Meet the first openly transgender NCAA athlete http://ti.me/1FShwv2

http://www.advocate.com/news/daily-news/2011/05/19/kye-allums-leaving-basketball

A link to Kye’s book reviewed:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25204403-who-am-i

Jeremy Bentham 

By @pridematters1

In this series we look at various heroes and advocates of the LGBTQIA family.

In this article we focus on Ally, Jeremy Bentham.

By today’s standards Jeremy Bentham would be seen as an ally for most certainly the gay and bisexual community. 
​In a time when hangings or time in stocks for the smallest of ‘crimes’ there was man, a true humanitarian who stood out.

Jeremy Bentham (1747(48)- 1832) was a social reformer. It is thought that Bentham was the first person to first argue for any form of rights for ‘sodomites’, although his main piece that he wrote wasn’t published until the nineteen seventies it certainly proves his mind set. He believed that buggery was a victimless crime and it didn’t deserve the sentence it stood for.

He saw the popular negative attitudes against homosexual acts as irrational and full of prejudice fuelled by religion. Most probably the reason why it went unpublished at the time was fear of reprisal.  He was one of the main voices in the fight to debunk the practice of hangings for buggery and time in the pillory. He also campaigned for women’s rights and the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. 

Christine Jorgensen

By @pridematters1

In this series we look at various heroes and advocates of the LGBTQIA family.

In this article we focus of Transgender female, Christine Jorgensen. 

Christine Jorgensen was one of the first American trans women to be open and widely known in America for having sex reassignment surgery. She grew up in New York and shortly after high school was drafted in the U.S army for World War II. After the war and attending several schools, learning about transitioning surgery she travelled to Copenhagen to undergo a series of operations beginning in 1951.

On her return to America Christine became front page news in New York Daily news.  

She felt overwhelmed with headlines such as “Bronx boy becomes a girl” and “Ex – GI becomes blond beauty”, as you can imagine.

However she became a big hit in America, becoming an advocate for transgender persons, being visible working as an actress and recording several songs.

Born: May 30th 1926

Died: May 3rd 1989

George Cecile Ives 


By @pridematters1 

In this series we look at various heroes and advocates of the LGBTQIA family.

In this article we focus on a gay male, George Cecile Ives. 

1 October 1867– 4 June 1950
Place of birth: Germany. 

George Cecile Ives was one of Britain’s first gay activists, living in a time were he was in danger of imprisonment for up to two years hard labour for his sexuality. 

Ives formed a secret society for gay men called The Order of Chaeronea, named after the battle site were a army of gay lovers were slaughted.

He was educated in his younger days at home, then later at Cambridge. Roughly at the time he began Cambridge he also began collecting scrap books full of newspaper cutting, on a range of subjects that fascinated him the most,  from cricket through to murder, punishments, theories of crime, the psychology of gender and sexuality. He also showed an avid interest in male transvestism. This was the beginning of a lifetime of fascistion with sexual and gender psychology. 

Ives believed that homosexuality would never be accepted by soiecity, of course at the time he was right. He went on to set up the ‘secret society’ in order to communicate with like minded people. He believed The Order of Chaeronea should cultivate a moral, ethical, cultural and spiritual ethos. What is important to understand is that Ives set this up only eight years after the Sexual Offences Act 1885. 

Oscar Wilde is said to have declined an invite to join the ’cause’.  He also had a brief affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, known best for his realationship with Wilde. Douglas introduced Ives to many poets who he tried to recruit also. 

Slowly Ives recruited many up and coming Victorian gents. 
In 1914 Ives confounded The British Society for the study of Sex Psychology. The society studied birth control, abortion, sterilisation, venereal diseases and all aspects of prostitution, by 1931 the organisation became known as The British serological Society.

George went on not only to fight for gay rights but prison reform, which incidentally many gay men of this time and up to decriminalising homosexuality in 1967 supported in the UK due to their own or their aquantances experiences. 

Considering the times that Ives lived in he was a true pioneer in what would pave the pathway to what we celebrate and take for granted today. 

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