I like your designs but you don’t have my size (xs, i can make a small work in women’s sizes sometimes but a unisex s is way too big for me) in anything but crop tops (which just aren’t my style) and at your price point I would want a good fit so I probably wouldn’t buy anything. Idk how many tiny people there are in search of these clothes though and what access you have to sizing through your supplier/printer so manufacturing them might not be profitable.
ETA: if you ungender the categories make sure to make it clear what sizing metric each shirt uses since women’s, men’s, and unisex are not the same so people might buy a different size based on what sizing is being used. Also upon further looking you do have xs in just a couple t shirts but if i’m being real i probably would have assumed that you didn’t and not clicked on more after the first 3 i clicked if i weren’t trying to give feedback. So a way to search based on size availability would be nice
A male couple have been found guilty of murdering and dismembering a lesbian in their flat filled with horror merchandise.
Boyfriends Nathan Maynard-Ellis and David Leesley, 30 and 25, have been convicted of the 2019 killing of Julia Rawson in Dudley, West Midlands.
The two men, who had already admitted perverting the course of justice and concealing a body, were found guilty of murder in a trial at Coventry Crown Court on Monday (November 9).
Couple lured woman to their flat, murdered and dismembered her
Rawson, 42, met Maynard-Ellis at a pub in May 2019, and was captured on CCTV entering a taxi with him, never to be seen again.
After her disappearance was linked to Maynard-Ellis, detectives visited the flat he shared with Leesley, discovering blood matching Rawson’s DNA under a newly-purchased carpet.
An extensive search later uncovered dismembered human body parts in plastic bags that had been disposed of near a canal and in a wasteland area.
Prosecutors told the court that Maynard-Ellis had a fascination with murder and was addicted to fantasies about the “sexualised killing of women.”
The pair’s flat “was the making of horror stories”, the BBC reports, filled with swords, spiders, Freddy Krueger figures and Chucky dolls.
Prosecutor Karim Khalil QC told the court that Maynard-Ellis had gone out with the aim of finding a victim.
Rawson identified as a lesbian, the court heard, but a former partner said she was sometimes “flirtatious” with men while drunk.
After reaching their flat, the is thought to have been struck on the head before being dismembered by the couple.
In addition to the murder charge, Maynard-Ellis was also found guilty of rape, and threats to kill, in relation to another woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Actions of murderers ‘despicable and incomprehensible’
Detective Inspector Jim Colclough of West Midlands Police said in a release: “This is simply a tragic case. The actions of Maynard-Ellis and Leesley are incomprehensible. Julia did nothing wrong that evening. The way in which she was murdered and treated in death are despicable.
“Julia’s family, friends and the wider community in which this horrific killing has occurred are left devastated by the cruel actions of the pair.
“Fortunately depraved crimes like this are rare, but their actions were sickening and it’s been a complex and emotionally difficult case for us as officers to investigate.
“However we were determined to seek justice for Julia and I hope their guilty verdicts provide some solace for her loved ones. My thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.”
In a statement, Rawson’s family said: “Her death has had a devastating impact on us, the mutilation of her body and the callous way in which her remains were scattered has revolted us. We can only pray Julia knew nothing about these abhorrent acts.
“We are a close and loving family, clinging to each other in an attempt to support each other through this harrowing ordeal, but shall remain deeply affected and troubled by these events for the rest of our lives because Julia’s loss is felt as keenly today as when we heard she had first gone missing.”
Following the appointment of conservative Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Jason Melcher and Johnnie Wonders worried that their right to marry as a gay couple could be revoked. An historic election day that could further impact their fate was just around the corner, so the pair rushed to the altar, planning their special event in just under two days. The couple lives in the swing state of Pennsylvania in an area that Jason refers to as Trump territory. Multiple neighbors flaunt yard signs that promote the incumbent, and even larger, more prominent displays can be seen a few miles down the road. Johnnie says, “I wish they could realize how their unwavering faith in this president affects us,” adding that Trump’s bigotry and problematic perspectives impact the lives and mental health of marginalized people in ways that his supporters don’t seem to understand. Johnnie says, “We might do things they wouldn’t do with their own lives, but it doesn’t mean that we’re not like them when it comes to our relationships and how we love one another.” Jason explains that one reason to get married so quickly was to guarantee protections the couple could otherwise be denied. He cites the importance of hospital visitation, sharing health insurance, the right to make decisions for each other in an emergency, and other rights that could be important during a pandemic. He adds, “It’s literally just a piece of paper but it means so much more in the political sense. It’s a giant middle finger to the current president and Amy Coney Barrett or anyone else who isn’t sure we should be married.”
It was difficult to find time for the ceremony because both men are working two jobs, but they ultimately invited guests to a late-night affair in the early hours of Halloween. The wedding day was also a work day for Jason, who went straight from his full-time job at a local, queer-centered nonprofit to an evening shift at McDonald’s. Jason didn’t return home until after midnight, leaving just enough time to shower and change clothes before walking down the stairs of the couple’s home with his groom at 1 a.m. The pair was joined in person by Jason’s parents and twin as well as two of their close friends in addition to Jason’s older brother who connected via live-stream. They gathered in front of their fireplace mantle which Johnnie decorated with sparkling lights and festive garlands hours before the event. A Progress Pride flag hung on a nearby wall in the living room as they exchanged vows in matching Renaissance garb.
Both men wore black harem pants and matching boots paired with similarly styled vests that had pointed shoulders and chain details. A gold collar, lapel and cuffs accented Jason’s burgundy, leather vest, which he paired with a black, long-sleeved v-neck. Wonders donned similar attire, but his vest was black with purple embellishments, and he carried a decorative knife. Guests dressed in the theme with outfits they’d typically sport at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.
Their original wedding date was scheduled for a Renaissance Faire weekend, an event both men feel deeply connected to after growing up visiting the destination and eventually developing a strong community there. Jason isn’t too disappointed that his original wedding plans didn’t come to fruition because the pair hopes to renew their vows in a ceremony that will match his dreams. The new date of October 31 is significant for Johnnie who is Wiccan, and the couple incorporated a Pagan handfasting ritual into the ceremony. The couple didn’t exchange rings, but they tied a braided embroidery thread into a knot around their shared clasp to signify their union.
At 6-foot-6, Jason was the tallest person present—standing just inches below the ceiling and 14 inches higher than Johnnie who is only 5-foot-4. “Every aspect of our relationship is opposites attract,” Jason says as he begins to list their differences. He describes himself as a lap dog who needs a lot of cuddling and Johnnie as someone who prefers more space. He notes that they approach finances and the perceptions of the world from a different lens because of the ways they grew up. Johnnie, 43, was raised by his grandfather in rural Pennsylvania, going to high school across the parking lot from a cow field, and developing his sense of self in a space where being gay isn’t always affirmed. In contrast, Jason, 26, grew up in suburbs that border Philadelphia, immersed in a younger generation of queer people and is around those who embody more diverse aspects of identity, such as nonbinary and agender descriptors.
Johnnie is a homebody whereas Jason likes to go out—but Jason notes, “He gives me a valid reason to stay home and relax—to spend time with him rather than go, go, go. I do the opposite for him, so we offer balance to each other—where he reminds me to rest and I remind him to live a little more.” Johnnie underlines that each of their differences is a positive attribute in their relationship that helps them grow and feel grounded together.
The pair met four years ago at a leather and fetish event and proudly embraces a dominant-submissive dynamic, but most people make the wrong assumptions about who’s who. Johnnie explains, “Everyone thinks Jason is the more dominant one because he’s so much bigger, but we defy stereotypes.” Johnnie says that he’s learned there just isn’t a specific concept for norms regarding relationships anymore. He underlined, “And in that way, our relationship is no different than anyone else’s.” Johnnie mailed his ballot the day of their wedding and both men are trying to practice self-care, enjoy virtual time with friends, and pour themselves into work while awaiting results—which experts say might take until Friday to finalize in Pennsylvania. When explaining how he hopes those in leadership will view queer and marginalized people over the next four years, Johnnie says, “I want the world to realize that there’s only one thing that should matter. It’s just love. Plain and simple. Just love.”
Online market Etsy waded into the holiday season this week with a new ad featuring a Black gay couple as the central characters.
Etsy plays host to thousands of online “shops,” which allow craftspeople and artisans to turn their artistic outlets into businesses by offering specially made wares. The new ad campaign “Gift Like You Mean It,” welcomes the holiday season by stressing love and acceptance.
Related:WATCH: Mariah Carey spreads holiday joy with Billy Eichner on NYC streets
In the video, the handsome couple named Brandon & David, attend a holiday celebration with family. “Don’t worry, they’re going to love you,” one says to the other as they stand outside. Later, as the family unwraps gifts, an elderly relative welcomes the couple “to the family,” and presents them with a needlepoint tree ornament with their names written on it.
It’s a tender moment of joy, and an uplifting one we need in our current season. The new Etsy commercial also comes as various outlets and businesses have begun to court more diversity–including LGBTQ representation–as part of holiday advertising. Both the Lifetime and Hallmark networks, two purveyors of schmaltzy holiday films, have announced queer-themed films this year. Netflix, meanwhile, has announced the holiday-themed series Dash and Lily, which features a prominent gay character in the show.
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!
A queer couple were left shaken after a cab driver told them not to be affectionate to one another. (Screen captures via Twitter)
A taxi driver cancelled a gay couple’s ride midway on Thursday (1 October) after they placed their hands on one another’s knees in Perth, Australia.
Anthony Price and his partner, Jordan Hitch, were booted out of an Ola Cabs by a driver who has since been banned from not only Ola, but ridesharing apps DiDi and Uber as well.
The couple told OutInPerth that were stunned to hear the driver say “stop, this is my rule” when they were being affectionate to one another.
“I’ll drop you off here,” the driver said according to video footage seen by the outlet, “I can’t take you.”
Price and Hitch grabbed their bags and stormed out of the vehicle as the driver forced them off at a car park. They shared the footage of the incident to show “why we march at Pride”.
Many ride-hailing services have been dogged by similar incidents, while studies suggest that drivers at companies such as Uber and Lyft cancel on LGBT+ users almost twice as frequently as straight passengers.
Gay couple forced to flee from taxi after driver is homophobic.
The couple had returned from a romantic getaway to Broome when they flagged down a taxi.
“We’d been in the car for about five minutes,” Hitch told the outlet, “Anthony had his hand on my knee and I was resting my head on his shoulder, when the driver turned around and said: ‘None of that in this car, stop what you’re doing’.
“We just looked at each other trying to work out what was going on.”
Hitch hastily pulled out his mobile phone and began to record what was unfolding, with the footage showing the driver saying: “I’ll drop you off here… I can’t take you.”
“He told us to stop doing this behaviour,” Price said in the video, “because I have my hand on my partner’s leg.”
A representative of Ola said: “We do not in any way condone this behaviour from our drivers.
“This does not fall in line with our practices and guidelines.”
“Further action will be taken against the driver for his misconduct as per the Ola policy.”
“I get into rideshare cars three times a week in full drag but never have a problem,” Price reflected.
“So this is an isolated incident for us, but once we put the video up on Facebook we heard from lots of people who have had similar incidents.”
Mark and Patricia McCloskey once waggled guns outside their sprawling mansion as peaceful people protests racial inequality and police brutality. (Screen capture via Twitter)
The “anti-gay” white couple who stood outside their mansion and pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters will “definitely” speak at the Republican Party convention this month.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who are both personal injury lawyers, made headlines around the world after they were filmed pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters from the steps of their palatial mansion in Portland Place, Missouri.
On Monday, August 17, the McCloskey’s lawyer told the New York Times that the couple would “definitely be speaking” at the Republican National Convention (RNC).
Albert Watkins said in an interview that Mark McCloskey, who threatened Black Lives Matter protesters with an AR-15, would speak at the Republican convention with his handgun-toting wife, Patricia, by his side.
However, Watkins added that Patricia was not expected to speak as “she is not built for this”.
The lawyer said that the couple would take part in a video presentation at the RNC, and added: “They, like many Americans, are horrified, if not mortified, at the prospect of their constitutional rights being compromised by the constitutional rights of others.
“My clients will fight to their death and they have professionally done so for 30 years each.”
An official from the Trump campaign confirmed the couple’s involvement.
After the video of the McCloskeys brandishing guns outside their mansion went viral, the couple were also discovered to have an anti-LGBT+ history.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, they once sued their neighbourhood’s trustees to demand they enforce a document called the Trust Agreement, which prohibited unmarried people from living together.
Neighbours said it was because the McCloskeys “didn’t want gay couples living on the block”.
As the McCloskeys unsuccessfully appealed the case all the way to the state Supreme Court, trustees voted to impeach Patricia, accusing her of being anti-gay in 1992.
However, during a deposition in 2002 Mark refuted the claims, and said: “Certain people on Portland Place, for political reasons, wanted to make it a gay issue.”
East Africa is for the experienced LGBT traveler. It’s a region of the world that has been impacted heavily by evangelical colonialism, poverty, and political strife. Any of those three issues would dramatically impact a traveler’s experience but the three of them combined makes for a particularly advanced travel experience. When you toss into the mix legal issues for gay Tanzania travel you’re really diving headfirst into the advanced travel territory.
Every time I discuss traveling to anti-LGBT countries, folks make the argument that we shouldn’t support countries that don’t support our people. The simple, obvious solution is to avoid traveling to these countries. But if you did that, you’d be missing out on Jamaica, Russia, India, Indonesia, and the Maldives just to name a few. And where do you draw the line on this? What about large countries where the policies vary in different regions? Areas like Texas and Kazakhstan don’t officially have bans on LGBT people, but they do have laws that look very similar to the Russian anti-propaganda laws the world erupted over during the Sochi Olympics.
Limiting yourself to countries that have anti-discrimination laws in place and are supportive of LGBT identity can be a safer solution while traveling, but this solution results in LGBT people missing out on almost 43% of the world. And that’s not right, these regions are rich in culture. Everyone should be able to learn from and enjoy them.
We’ve written at length about why we choose to travel to anti-LGBT destinations, but I’ll briefly summarize our feelings by saying this if local people have the first-hand experience with LGBT people they’re more likely to think favorably of our community. In many situations, the government of a particular destination is not always representative of the people. People cannot be expected to accept that which they have no positive experiences. That being said, not every traveler wants to be an activist and you shouldn’t have to be. This guide is a starting point for your research. I’m not trying to persuade anyone to make choices they’re uncomfortable with, but I would like to empower and equip LGBT travelers with the information we need to be able to make the best choices for each of us individually.
Understand Local LGBT policies
Both Kenya and Tanzania are anti-LGBT countries. There’s no other way to put it. It’s illegal to be gay there and there are policies in place that can land people in jail if they were discovered to be a member of the LGBT community. That being said, the vast majority of the arrests that are made are of local people. I don’t say this as an endorsement but rather a statement of fact. Tourists are rarely arrested in these situations because even anti-LGBT countries are familiar with the acceptance of LGBT people in western countries around the world. Unfortunately, both Kenya and Tanzania have a lot of work to do in terms of women’s rights and LGBT equality. Society is still extremely gendered. This table shows the LGBT policies in Kenya and Tanzania the only difference is that being LGBT is punishable by life in prison in Tanzania and 14 years in Kenya. This is accurate as of the Fall of 2019 but will hopefully be changing in the near future.
Do you pass as straight/cis?
It’s shitty that I even have to go here, but passing as straight and cisgender can be a huge privilege when you’re traveling through one of the 70+ countries that have anti-LGBT laws. When you pass, you can fly under the radar and don’t have to worry about being identified as a member of the community. Unfortunately, the majority of our community doesn’t have that option. We can’t just turn off our queer identifiers. Have you ever seen a man in a suit and known immediately that he was gay? How’d you know? Sometimes it’s not about the clothing we’re wearing or the length of our hair but about deeper held mannerism, our voices, height, and other attributes we have no control over. Being self-aware and knowing if you can pass or not will help inform your travel choices.
Consider Group Travel
We decided to travel on an organized group tour with Contiki because they specialize in travel for 18-35-year-olds. We figured that demographic of traveler would be the most accepting and inclusive of us as a couple and we’d be able to blend into a group of other people around our age. The other travelers in our group were very accepting of us as a couple. In fact, ¼ of the travelers identified within the LGBT community. Some of them were very open about it and others disclosed their identity quietly away from the group. It was interesting to see how people felt about disclosing in an area where our identity is criminalized. LGBT issues and our identities were openly discussed without hesitation or fear amongst some of us while others decided to avoid the conversation altogether.
Be Cautious with Bureaucracy
There were a few times where we were nervous and those all involved bureaucracy or extremely gendered spaces. Before we landed in Nairobi, Linds put on eyeliner, mascara, and I asked her to put on lipstick to up her “imma girl factor.” We thought if she was solidly identifiable as a female we’d have fewer issues going through immigration and securing our visas. We’d heard stories of people being turned away at the borders before. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work in the way we thought it would. We were the last people in line at immigration and the immigration officer asked if Linds was my husband despite the hot pink lipstick. How very progressive🤣We got through immigration just fine. One of the officers laughed at Lindsay while gesturing to her and chatting with another officer. But other than that there was nothing unsafe or unusual about the border crossing. For transgender and gender nonconforming travelers, I would not recommend going to Kenya and Tanzania with a passport that doesn’t match your gender expression.
Consider your digital footprint
Right before we left for Kenya, we had read several reports of people having their tech devices were taken and their social media channels went through at immigration. For us, it would be painfully obvious that we’re LGBT and a couple which would have caused some major issues at immigration. While we knew there was a low probability of this happening we took a “better safe than sorry” approach and wiped our phones and laptops before the trip. It was actually a lot easier than expected. We backed them up to the cloud before we left. Did a factory reset and then when we returned we logged back into our ICloud using apple ID and everything returned just as it had been. While this is extra and probably not necessary for most people, it gave Lindsay peace of mind as we were going through immigration.
This one seems obvious.
Pay Attention to Local Gender Norms
In both Kenya and Tanzania society is extremely gendered. Many daily jobs, chores, and daily routines are assigned by gender. There were several awkward conversations that we experienced that were rooted in the gendered aspects of their society. One time, Lindsay said she wanted to see a lion hunt and one of the guides told her that he wasn’t sure if she could handle it because most women cry when they see a lion take down another animal. Another situation was on a farm tour where the guide said a plant was an aphrodisiac but only for women and gay men because they’re basically like women. We opted to avoid that conversation rather than unpack all the levels of problematic.
Avoid Gendered Spaces When Possible
Bathrooms, one of the struggles Lindsay usually has wasn’t as much of a problem as we initially thought it would be. All of the accommodations had private bathrooms and a surprising number of bathrooms during game drives had a single-use bathroom available. The only time we ran into an issue was when we visited the Maasai Village and they separated us by gender for our controversial conversations portions of the trip. We had the option to opt-out of the visit to the village, but at the last minute decided not to and I’m really glad we didn’t because it ended up being one of the best parts of the trip. Read more about our trip to Maasai Village.
This post was made possible through a collaboration with Contiki. As always, all opinions are my own.