Lesbian News

Queer couples marry before Amy Coney Barrett takes Supreme Court seat

queer couples marry before Amy Coney Barrett confirmation

16 queer couples got married at St Louis City Hall before Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation. (FOX2now)

Queer couples in America are racing to get married before before far-right nominee Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the US Supreme Court, fearing she could roll back marriage equality.

Anti-LGBT+ Catholic judge Amy Coney Barrett is expected to be confirmed to the Supreme Court on Monday (October 26), with the Republican controlled Senate rushing through the appointment of the Trump nominee just one week before the presidential election on November 3.

Barrett’s anti-LGBT+ record, including her membership of the Catholic group People of Praise which kicks members out for having gay sex and her ties to listed anti-LGBT+ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, has sparked fears that she could roll back marriage equality when she is appointed to the Supreme Court.

In response, Tori Jameson, a non-binary, queer, sex-positive pastor who serves the LGBT+ community in St Louis, Missouri, decided to do something while there was still time.

They said: “She has made statements against Roe, against immigration. I worry about our rights being rolled back if she gets in. But I don’t have a lot of political power. I’m just a community pastor.”

According to them., Jameson offered “pop-up elopements” to the local queer community at St Louis City Hall, allowing couples to tie the knot “while [they] still have the chance”.

The four days of free wedding ceremonies saw 16 queer couples get married, while florists, bakers, photographers and other vendors offered their services for free.

Jameson added: “We are going to take care of our own. You can be hateful, but there is an opportunity here to celebrate love and be joyful.”

Fears are mounting among the queer community that the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett could undo marriage equality.

On October 4, a week after Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, two conservative Supreme Court justices launched a chilling attack on the 2015 equal marriage ruling.

Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito wrote in a statement that Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that legalised same-sex marriage in all 50 states, had “ruinous consequences for religious liberty”.

“Due to Obergefell, those with sincerely held religious beliefs concerning marriage will find it increasingly difficult to participate in society without running afoul of Obergefell and its effect on other anti-discrimination laws,” the pair wrote.

“It would be one thing if recognition for same-sex marriage had been debated and adopted through the democratic process, with the people deciding not to provide statutory protections for religious liberty under state law.

“But it is quite another when the court forces that choice upon society through its creation of atextual constitutional rights and its ungenerous interpretation of the free exercise clause, leaving those with religious objections in the lurch.”

Chase Strangio of the ACLU explained that the statement suggests the justices “are eager to overturn Obergefell already — even though it is only five years old”.

He added: “The brazenness of the rightward direction of the court is a threat to even the most basic expectation of legal protection. What we can expect is the continued erosion of legal protections gained over the past century.”

Gay Penang – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Penang - The Nomadic Boys

Gay Penang - The Nomadic Boys

Penang is one big fat foodie paradise in Southeast Asia. Honestly, we were blown away by the many culinary prizes available here…Asam Laksa, Wanton Noodles, Hokkien Prawn Noodles, Char Koay Teow…Penang is one place we’d definitely rush back to just for the food!

Penang is also famous for its street art murals, particularly in the UNESCO listed cutesy colonial-era capital, George Town. And the biggest surprise of all, despite being a small island of less than 2 million, in a country where homosexuality is a crime(!), there is even a gay scene!

We visited Penang as part of our big trip around Malaysia and totally fell in love. We were told by both Malaysians and fellow travellers that Penang is a not-to-miss highlight of the country and oh boy were they right! We ended up extending our trip in Penang from a few days to two full weeks. Based on our firsthand experience, we’ve put together our gay guide to Penang setting out the best gay friendly hotels, hangouts, foodie tips, and more.

Is Penang safe for gay travellers?

For the most part, yes…as long as you’re careful and avoid any PDAsIt’s not as bad as the Middle East here, but it certainly ain’t no Barcelona, Bangkok or gay Berlin!!

There is a large LGBTQ community in Penang, both locals and foreigners, living and working quite openly. Penang is after all a touristic hub with a large international population, so people are more likely to be diverse, tolerant and open-minded here compared to other parts of the country.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Malaysia Gay Travel Resources

Cher pays powerful musical tribute to Joe Biden / Queerty

Cher pays powerful musical tribute to Joe Biden / Queerty

Continuing to lead the legion of stars and celebrities hoping to unseat Donald Trump next Tuesday, Cher performed a special tribute to Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden.

Cher dusted off the Oscar-nominated tune Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe from the 1943 film Cabin in the Sky, part of a concert aimed at increasing turnout. The I Will Vote Concert also featured performances by John Legend, P!nk, Ben Platt, Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Porter, and Darren Criss. Comedian George Lopez and Ana Navarro hosted the event.

Related: Joe Biden unveils latest secret weapon: Cher

The Fab Five of the Netflix show Queer Eye (really, who better?) introduced Cher, who performed the song with retooled lyrics aimed at Biden’s experience and ability to confront the ongoing crisis facing the nation.

Have a listen, and remember to vote on November 3.

For more information about voting–including registration deadlines and polling locations–refer to the voting center on our sister website LGBTQ Nation.

More Beautiful for Having Been Broken – Lesbian.com

More beautiful for having been broken

More beautiful for having been broken

Nicole Conn, director and writer of classic romances including A PERFECT ENDING, ELENA UNDONE and CLAIRE OF THE MOON presents her most personal new film MORE BEAUTIFUL FOR HAVING BEEN BROKEN. McKenzie (Zoë Ventoura), a broken FBI agent who’s been suspended from her job and is struggling with the loss of her mother, travels to Lake Mervielle, the small mountain town she used to visit as a child. Upon arrival, she is befriended by Freddie (Cale Ferrin), a young boy with special needs who possesses the extraordinary gift of healing others through his unbroken spirit and unique outlook on life. Though McKenzie is hurting, she begins to see through Freddie’s eyes as the puzzle pieces fall into place when she meets Samantha (Kayla Radomski), Freddie’s mother. McKenzie and Samantha develop an unexpected relationship that turns fiercely passionate and intimate. When Vivienne (Harley Jane Kozak), a former Congresswoman with roots established in Mervielle, threatens to expose McKenzie’s past, will Freddie and Samantha be able to keep the family they always dreamed of? MORE BEAUTIFUL FOR HAVING BEEN BROKEN also stars Bruce Davison (Academy Award Nominee- Longtime Companion), French Stewart (3rd Rock From The Sun) and Brooke Elliott (Drop Dead Diva).

Bonus Material on the DVD will include four behind-the-scenes featurettes and deleted scenes. Order today!

Tags: Brooke Elliott, Bruce Davison, Cale Ferrin, French Stewart, Harley jane kozak, Indie film, Kayla Radomski, lesbian, lesbian movies, Lesbian.com, LGBT, LGBT film, Nicole Conn, Wolfe Video, Zoe ventura

Posted & filed under Movies.

MORE FROM WolfeOnDemand.com

Adam – Lesbian.com

Adam – Lesbian.com

*ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES*

Awkward, self-conscious Adam Freeman (Nicholas Alexander) has just finished his junior year of high school in 2006. When his cool older sister Casey (Margaret Qualley) suggests he visit her in New York for the Summer, Adam has visions of meeting a girl and finally gaining some actual life experience. The fantasy doesn’t materialize exactly as expected. Casey has enthusiastically embraced life amidst Brooklyn’s young LGBTQ community and invites Adam to tag along with her to queer bars, marriage equality rallies and other happenings. When Adam falls at first sight for Gillian (Bobbi Salvör Menuez), a smart, beautiful young woman in this new crowd, she mistakenly assumes he is trans. Flummoxed and enamored, he haplessly goes along with her assumption, resulting in an increasingly complex comedy – and tragedy – of errors he’s ill-equipped to navigate.

“A step forward in representation.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Spirited turns by numerous trans performers who lay it all out.” – Variety

“A charming, timely rom-com.” – The Playlist

“A learning lesson and a conversation starter for transgender issues” – Out Magazine

“Bobbi Salvör Menuez’s meatiest film role to date.” – Vanity Fair

Tags: Adam, Bobbi Salvör Menuez, Chloë Levine, Leo Sheng, lesbian movies, Lesbian.com, LGBT, LGBT film, Margaret Qualley, Mj Rodriguez, Nicholas Alexander, Rhys ernst, Trans, trans film, transgender, Wolfe Video

Posted & filed under Movies.

MORE FROM WolfeOnDemand.com

Lost letters reveal JM Barrie said ‘I love you’ to Robert Louis Stevenson

Lost letters reveal JM Barrie said 'I love you' to Robert Louis Stevenson

J.M. Barrie writing letters to his great friend Robert Louis Stevenson at his desk in Adelphi Terrace House. (Sotheby’s via Getty Images)

Never-seen-before letters reveal JM Barrie telling Robert Louis Stevenson “I have discovered that I love you” – and the only possible explanation is that they were “the greatest of friends”.

It’s the first time that the letters from Peter Pan author Barrie to Stevenson have been read, after they were discovered in a dusty box of letters in an archive at Yale University.

The pair started writing to each other in 1892; they were both Scottish, but Stevenson, who was older and had already published Treasure Island when they began talking, lived on the island of Samoa to improve his health.

A year into their friendship, Barrie wrote to him: “To be blunt I have discovered (have suspected it for some time) that I love you, and if you had been a woman…” The rest of the sentence is unfinished.

After Stevenson died in 1894, his letters to JM Barrie were published. But Barrie’s side of the correspondence has been lost for more than a century. His letters, some of which run to 3,000 words long, include a declaration of love, wishing that he would meet Stevenson (the two never did meet), and fantasising that the pair were actually distantly related in order to open up to Stevenson about his close relationship with his mother.

Sounds to us exactly like the letters two heterosexual men would write to each other. Dr Michael Shaw, the University of Stirling lecturer who discovered the new letters and will soon publish a book about them called A Friendship in Letters, told the Observer that the friendship between Barrie and Stevenson had inspired Peter Pan.

“What’s revealed in these letters – and it took me a while to discover the full extent of this – is the influence that both Stevenson and the correspondence have on Barrie,” said Shaw. “In reading over Barrie’s works, I started to see allusions to the letters and to Stevenson that I hadn’t noticed before.

“He’s incorporating aspects of the correspondence into his own works, into his poetry and novels, and their friendship is also inspiring his works.

“I think what JM Barrie is saying is: if I can never meet Stevenson, because he has unfortunately died, then I want to create the opportunity for our characters to meet.

“I think he liked that idea that they could occupy the same world, and could potentially bump into each other.”

While we will never know what Barrie’s intentions were, with the declarations of love and everything, gay Twitter did not hesitate to recognise the queer yearning nor claim the literary pair as a historical gay romance.

“Victorian male author writer to Victoria male author ‘I want to fuck you’ (in Victorian),” one Twitter user wrote. “‘Deep respect’ is one way of putting it, I suppose.”

“Let people be queer,” another added.

It is not the first time that LGBT+ history has been erased from under our noses.

Last year, two ancient Roman skeletons that had been buried holding hands and were nicknamed the “Lovers of Modena’” were downgraded to “siblings or cousins or soldiers who died together in battle” once archaeologists discovered that both the skeletons were men.

And scientists were baffled again last year, when they realised there was a “female” skeleton in a historically all-male monastic republic in Greece.

Researchers were stumped. How could a “female” have gotten into the byzantine chapel?

Yet again, it took a number of Twitter users to point out that trans people have existed throughout history and the possibility that the person was trans should not be crossed out.

You can tell a gay man with a love of bathhouses wrote this movie. We’re ok with that. / Queerty

You can tell a gay man with a love of

Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.

The Steamer: Nightbreed

Clive Barker may have scored a hit with Hellraiser. He made have made his best movie in Lord of Illusions (also one of our pics for Screen Gems). For his most imaginative cinematic experience, however, look no further than Nightbreed, Barker’s horror-fantasy epic with a very troubled production history.

Nightbreed follows the adventure of uber hunk Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer), a man plagued by visions of a lost city called Midian. He appeals to his psychiatrist Dr. Decker (David Cronenberg, best known as the director of Scanners and The Fly), who suggests Aaron has fallen into psychosis, and that his visions mask his moonlight activities as a masked serial killer. In reality, though, Dr. Decker is the real killer, using Aaron to take the fall for his crimes.

Aaron seeks out Midian, and discovers a real underground city populated by Nightbreed–a society of magical monsters. Like vampires, should a Nightbreed bite a human, the human will become Nightbreed as well…which is exactly what happens to Aaron. From there, Aaron’s girlfriend Lori (Anne Bobby) races Dr. Decker and a monster-hunting priest (Malcolm Smith) to find Aaron and protect Midian from destruction at the hands of religious zealots and sadistic cops.

Like all of Barker’s work, Nightbreed teems with sexuality and thinly-veiled queer characters. The most horrific moment in the film–and actually, the most moving–concerns an obviously gay Nightbreed and his pet terrier. Moreover, the winding, dim and occasionally steamy corridors of Midian feel like a Steamworks maze (Barker has some experience with bathhouses…we’re guessing), while the tribal community of the Breed–complete with physical transformations and overt eroticism–is also an obvious analog for the LGBTQ community. Given that the monsters are the real heroes of the movie, we take that as a compliment.

Nightbreed underwent massive and stupid cuts when it debuted back in 1990. Fortunately, the film has had a proper Director’s Cut restoration on Blu-Ray, which reinserts 40 minutes of deleted footage including an alternate ending. Queer (in every sense of the word), flawed, but always inspired, Nightbreed makes for perfect Halloween viewing.

Streams on Amazon, Peacock, Shudder & iTunes.

Come Vibe With Me: Singing Our Own Praises

Come Vibe With Me: Singing Our Own Praises

When was the last time you were proud of yourself?

The last time you truly paused, took yourself in and sang your own praises at the top of your lungs.

This weekend, I saw my parents for the first time in nearly a year. When I last saw them they were moving me into an empty apartment with not a vibe in sight. It’s now filled with plants, love, and energy for days. When they walked in the door I felt excitement and nerves, I wanted them to be proud of this place I had made completely my own. My daddy told me how impressed he was with me for always doing my own thing and my mother (after we got into it one good time, of course) was happy that I was still living my life on my terms.

Shelli in a mirror surrounded by books, plants and coffee
Celebrating myself looks good on me

I love those moments. Although their praises warm my heart, I realized I need to congratulate myself for my accomplishments even more than I already do. Some days I let my failures get the best of me, I allow my shortcomings to overshadow my achievements. I get stuck. I pull myself up and out, but it still takes work.

Trauma stalks QPOC like Dan Humphrey in that one Netflix show that I didn’t really like, and this generation is doing the laborious work of truly healing from it. I don’t think we are celebrating ourselves enough for taking on such a difficult task. I’ve read many an article saying that millennials demand applause for every little thing; maybe they are talking about white people because the Black and brown queer folks I know are too busy suffering from imposter syndrome and burnout to expect praise.

It’s hard for many of us to feel deserving and even harder for us to take a pause — but I dare you to try both. Celebrate things big and small and when you can’t do it on your own, ask for help. Call on your friends, call on your partner(s), call on your community to celebrate you, and then when the time comes return the favor.

So while you’re waiting for your tea to steep, or in my case, waiting for the lavender simple syrup you made to cool off… go hype yourself up.

You Deserve.

Happy Sunday bbs,

Shelli Nicole


 

Y’all Come Look at This

 

Jenna Wortham chats about curating beautiful scented profiles in the home and shares some current favorites

Katori Hall’s P-Valley has been one of my favorite new shows of the season — Jourdain Seales beautifully explains it’s portrayal on blackness, motherhood, sex work and more over on BITCH

Autostraddles’ own Carmen Phillips gets us excited for Viola Davis’ upcoming portrayal of queer icon, Ma Rainey, in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

An in depth read and conversation with Angela Davis over on The New York Times. We learn more about her activism roots and her hopes for the next generation. (This also got a shot out in Tuesday’s “Also.Also.Also”! But it’s worth your time to read again if you missed it.)

In the latest episode of Back Issue podcast, Tracy Clayton and Josh Gwynn (and special guest Hannah Giorgis) make me want to flat iron my hair and put 70 bracelets on my arms when they chat with black alt kid legend, Fefe Dobson

I fell in love with rapper, Flo Milli this summer while scrolling through TikTok — Niki Mcgloster writes up why the Gen-Z rapper isn’t going anywhere anytime soon

One of my favorite Bollywood movies, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, turned 25 this year. This thread over on Twitter by Maham Hasan is a sweet love letter to the film

The kids are so fucking alright, Producer & Actress Marsai Martin graces the first cover of Girls United from Essence Magazine


 

 

The Forty-Year-Old Version

This movie was so incredible. Shot on 35 mm black and white film, it’s a movie about discovering what it means to you to make it. Radha Blank wrote and directed the film that is a bit based on her own experiences as a Black playwright in New York City.

I loved it because sometimes I have moments where I look at my life and question if I am behind. The Forty-Year-Old Version serves as a reminder that we make our own rules, and we determine if where we are is where we are supposed to be.

There is also a bit of a queer element in one of the supporting storylines that made my heart so happy!

Watch the trailer here!


 

This week on the bulletin board we have a donation request for a makeup room supporting QTGNCPOC Sex Workers and others, a virtual teach-in discussing the #EndSars protests in Nigeria, a Mutual Aid request to donate public transit cards to NYC Trans & Queer folks, and much more. Links and social media handles are on images to visit and learn more.

Click images to enlarge.


I saw my mama this weekend so this playlist is inspired by her. When I was younger, if I caught an attitude in the car she would embarrass me and sing loudly to the old school station while at the red light. She would put on whole performances, waving her hands and grabbing my face; singing to me until my attitude was gone and I was smiling and singing with her. These songs remind me of those moments — also, there’s no way you can get through this playlist without turning a nearby object into a microphone.

It’s okay, we are still here for you, and we will still love you : actuallesbians

It’s okay, we are still here for you, and we

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

River House Inn – Gay Owned Bed & Breakfast in Snow Hill, Maryland

River House Inn - Gay Owned Bed & Breakfast in Snow Hill, Maryland

River House Inn - Gay Owned Bed & Breakfast in Snow Hill, Maryland

NATIONAL REGISTERED VICTORIAN B&B

Enjoy a casual, elegant getaway at the River House Inn Bed and Breakfast, a spacious National Register Victorian home on the beautiful Pocomoke River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Our Maryland bed and breakfast is located in the village of Snow Hill, where you can be as active or relaxed as you choose – thee are so many possibilities. The area is rich in history and natural beauty, with antiquing, kayaking, boating, beautiful beaches, nature preserves, cycling, swimming, fishing and golf al outside your front door.

We’re just 45 minutes from the Assateague National Seashore and Ocean City, Maryland. Snow Hill, Maryland, was incorporated in 1686 – a picturebook of architectural treasures. Take a walking tour of the village along old brick sidewalks, down picturesque streets, past more than a hundred homes that have passed the 100 year mark.

The Eastern Shore towns of Chincoteague, Assateague, Ocean City and Crisfield, with its boats to Smith and Tangier Island, are only about 30 minutes away.

You can even rent a canoe or kayak just one block from the Inn to explore on the wild, scenic Pocomoke River. And the Chesapeake Bay is close by, too – perfect for sailing and motor cruising.

See the River House Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Maryland Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Treat Your Gorgeous Ass to a Spa Day

Treat Your Gorgeous Ass to a Spa Day

Welcome to Butt Week, friends! An entire week dedicated to butts and butt-adjacent stuff: how-tos, thoughtful essays, original art, pop culture critiques, music and more! You are absolutely not ready for this and yet it is happening to you, right now. As we wrap up our week, let Shelli treat you to a full spa day for your beautiful ass.

 

When I read “Take care of yourself!” it usually is talking about exercising and some form of diet, and when I read “Self-care is important!” it’s followed by a “but” and a list of stipulations. Both are imposing limitations on how to care for my body or how to love on it, and that’s not something I care to subscribe to — instead I opt to indulge.

Going above and beyond in caring for and loving my body has been the key to being comfortable in it. Confidence and comfort are not the same, for the most part, confidence in my body has been steady but the latter was what I had to work for. Being extra with it was what helped,  adorning my body with lingerie that made me feel gorgeous, wearing oils whose smells trigger sweet thoughts, eating foods that fill my stomach with happiness, touching myself, and feeling sensations and thrills go throughout me from top to toe.

I take myself in and say yes to allowing myself both sumptuous and simple pleasures.

The simplest of ways for me is a slow, hot shower. You know the type — where you close your eyes and just feel the water hit your back while the steam fills the bathroom? Where instead of rapidly drying yourself off when you get out, you wipe down the mirror and look at your body and smile?

The type of shower where you use the special stuff. This time my something special was a scrub and mask, not for my face – but my ass.


I like my ass. I’m not gonna lie and say that I haven’t looked in the mirror and wished for Megan Thee Stallion to give me just a dollop of extra booty, but I like it. Butt Week has made me want to give a little extra TLC to my ass, to prepare it to be extra soft, plump, and ready to bite when I’m pushing it up against a girl under the covers in the near future. So I went for Anese.co and their Booty Duo! You’ve probably seen it splashed across your Instagram Feed and well, it got me!

Think of this photo as a sapphic Where’s Waldo – but with my bum.

Both products — a scrub called That booty tho and a mask named Down with the thickness — tout claims to calm stretch marks and help get rid of asscne. Everyone is always so focused on self-care when it comes to the face and the skin (it’s me, I’m everyone) but they forget the ass. Not me, I made my bathroom into a social media-worthy spa and got started making my ass even more grabbable than it already is.

That booty tho, Booty Scrub $30

I already have perfectly curated lighting in most rooms of my apartment, and that includes the bathroom. I bought in a few plants, opened the window slightly to get a breeze, and even brought in another mirror so I could fully take in my ass when I got going with the duo. I turned the shower on and let the room warm up, I sat on the edge of the tub in my pink silky robe with a glass of wine. I could hear Chloe x Halles’ Ungodly Hour playing at the sweetest volume from the other room.

After the bathroom was the perfect temperature and my skin was softened by the steam, I peeled off my robe. I could see myself in the mirror and I was all about it. It was fogged but not enough as some of the steam was sneaking out of the window. I stepped into the shower and brought That Booty Tho in with me. I untwisted the top, which was now a bit wet, and put two fingers in, and slowly scooped out enough to cover my ass. The scrub isn’t harsh; the granules are fine and the smell isn’t overwhelming at all. For some reason I closed my eyes, I spread the product between my palms, and placed my hands on my ass. Moving in circular motions, grabbing, and even doing a few light smacks. Feeling my own skin, my body, palm to ass — felt euphoric.

When I rinsed off I could feel how much smoother my butt felt. Sometimes when you rinse off body scrub or even a face scrub you feel greasy after, not this tho. It was smooth, my ass felt moisturized and it’s a shame I had no one to call out to and invite them in to feel it and agree. I finished my shower and then stepped out, wrapped myself in my robe to dry.

Down with the thickness, Booty Mask $37

Again, I sat on the edge of the tub and drank a bit more wine while scrolling through my phone. My skin felt dry enough so now it was time for the mask. Again, two fingers inside the pink and fluffy cream that smelled sweet like taffy candy. I put a foot upon the tub’s edge and lifted my robe up to my waist to expose my ass in front of the mirror. Put my palms together and spread the mask over my ass. Glancing in the mirror and seeing the pink cream that matched my robe was beautiful. Again, how sad that no one was around to bask in it with me.

I snapped my photos for the eyes of you lucky readers and then rinsed off.


Afterward, I went to my bedroom where the music was playing and laid down while the cool air from outside caused goosebumps on my skin. I smiled because again I was extra, I’d indulged in something completely unnecessary solely because It made me feel good and I wanted to. As a result, my body that many want me to be unkind to or have hate for was happy and my heart that the world can make heavy was light yet so full.

Having confidence and comfort in your body, especially a marginalized one, is a long and often curvy road. But I truly believe that over indulgent self-care is helpful on that path. Finding simple pleasures that make you feel good and letting the feeling overtake you, holding on to it, and allowing it to bounce around in the corners of your mind to pop back up when you least expect it.

So from my plump and soft ass to yours, Happy Butt Week, Autostraddlers.

Trans woman launches Scottish parliament bid

Mridul Wadhwa: Trans woman of colour launches Scottish parliament bid

Mridul Wadhwa would be the first trans woman and first woman of colour to serve in the Scottish parliament. (Twitter)

Mridul Wadhwa, a women’s rights activist and the manager of a rape crisis centre, has launched her bid to become a member of the Scottish parliament in the 2021 election.

Wadhwa is seeking selection as the Scottish National Party candidate in two constituencies – Stirling and Edinburgh Central. If she makes it through the selection process and wins in the election, she will be both the first trans person to serve in any of Britain’s parliaments and assemblies, and the first woman of colour to serve in the Scottish parliament.

An activist, Wadhwa is outspoken about women’s rights, trans rights and migrant rights, and she was a key proponent for #Vote100 in 2018.

Currently working as the manager of Forth Valley Rape Crisis Centre, Wadhwa told Brig News, the University of Stirling’s student newspaper, that if elected she will fight to make sure “all of our communities had the voice in Holyrood that they deserve”.

“As a violence against women sector worker, I have dealt with the injustices of homelessness, poverty and trauma every working day of my life in Scotland,” Wadhwa said. “Working on the frontline has given me an insight into what needs to be done to alleviate these.”

“Equality is not achieved when our Black and minority ethnic, disabled and LGBTQ+ residents are excluded,” she continued.

“As a candidate of a diverse background who has worked within these communities, I can reach within Stirling’s diverse community to ensure that structural inequality that continues to exclude minorities is reduced.”

In Stirling, Wadhwa is up against Ellen Forson, Moraig Henderson, Rosemary Hunter, Susan McGill, Sameeha Rehman and Evelyn Tweed to be selected as the SNP candidate.

Her inclusion on the all-women shortlist has offended SNP members who are opposed to trans rights.

On National Coming Out day, Wadhwa described in a Twitter thread how she came to Scotland from India a few years after transitioning.

“In 2005, I started working at Shakti women’s aid and my life changed forever. I came out to some of my colleagues in the first few weeks of working there and never looked back. Those colleagues are now my closest friends,” Wadhwa wrote on October 11.

She added: “I was denied the opportunity to be inspired by the trans women who came before me. Therefore, it is my responsibility to tell my story so that those who come after me, know that a lot more is more possible for them.”

In Edinburgh Central – the seat currently held by Ruth Davidson, the Conservative leader in the Scottish parliament, by a majority of just 310 votes – Mridul Wadhwa and another activist, Lee-Anne Menzies, are up against Marco Biagi and the former SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson.

Like the rest of the UK, Scotland has never had an openly trans or non-binary member of parliament.