Tag: international

LGBTQ Parenting Roundup: International Edition

LGBTQ Parenting Roundup: Post-Election Edition

Even as the year winds down, there’s still plenty of news about LGBTQ parents and our families. Here’s a roundup of some recent stories from around the world that I haven’t yet covered.

LGBTQ Parenting Roundup

Politics and Law

  • A nonbiological mother in Latvia is the first in the country to take “paternity leave,” which had in the past been granted only to fathers, reports the Baltic Times.
  • The Swedish government is working to make the nation’s legislation, including its Parental Code, gender neutral, says Sputnik News.
  • Ron and Fabian Eckstrom-French, a two-dad couple who had become legal parents through surrogacy in the U.S., still had to go through an adoption process for those same children when they moved to New Zealand, explains Stuff. Last week, New Zealand’s Law Commission started a review of the country’s surrogacy laws, and the Eckstrom-French’s situation shows why change is needed.
  • An Israeli legislative committee will soon consider a draft bill that would allow same-sex couples in Israel to be equally eligible to adopt children. Currently, same-sex couples can be approved for adoption, “but in practice only a handful of such couples have adopted children in the past decade,” reports the Times of Israel, noting that same-sex couples have been treated unequally by only being offered older children and those with special needs.
  • Freddy McConnell, a transgender man in the U.K., has lost his final legal appeal to be named the father, rather than the mother, of his child. (Here’s more on McConnell and the film about his journey to become a parent.)

Family Creation

Parents in Power

  • Julia Hoggett has become not only the first-ever out gay chief executive of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), but the first gay parent, PinkNews notes. She has two children with her ex-wife, and splits her time between London, where she lives with her current partner, and Dublin, where the children live with her ex. Among her many career achievements, she has “campaigned to reduce barriers for women returning to work after childbirth.”

Penguins

Pablo Alborán says he’s just a normal guy who happens to be gay and an international superstar / Queerty

Pablo Alborán says he’s just a normal guy who happens

This profile is part nine of Queerty’s 2020 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year, in celebration of National Coming Out Day on October 11.

Name: Pablo Alborán, 31

Bio: The Spanish crooner first burst onto the music scene in 2011 with his self-tiled album, which was certified six-time platinum and earned him three Latin Grammy Awards nominations. His follow-up album Tanto was released a year later and certified platinum ten times over. To date, he has released four studio albums, two live albums, and an EP, all of which have topped the charts.

Coming out: To commemorate Pride month this year, Alborán posted a short video to Instagram announcing to his 5 million followers that he’s gay.

“We need to reconsider our lives, careers, what does and doesn’t make us happy,” he said in the video. “I think that we often forget about the love that unites us and makes us stronger.”

“I’m here to tell you that I am homosexual and it’s okay. Life goes on, everything will remain the same, but I’m going to be a little happier than I already am.”

Finding my flock: After coming out, Alborán not only made international headlines, he attracted new fans and followers from all over the world. Speaking to GQ Spain in September, he said he never expected his three-minute video, which he recorded on the fly, to garner the kind of attention it did.

“I have received a flood of love and stories that I swear I did not imagine,” he said, adding that he’s heard from mothers who used his coming out video to teach their children about LGBTQ people, and fans were inspired by it to share their own truths.

“I’m a normal guy, who laughs at everything, who wants to have fun,” he added. “And now, in addition, I can look at people and say: this is me.”

But that’s only half the story. By coming out, people can look at Alborán and say “He came out. I can too.” That, folks, is finding a flock.

International dance star Dosu on the power of breakin’, and heading to the Olympics / Queerty

International dance star Dosu on the power of breakin’, and

This post is part of a series of Queerty conversations with models, trainers, dancers, and, well, people who inspire us to stay in shape–or just sit on the couch ogling them instead.

Name: Dosu, 27

City: Philadelphia, PA. I’m originally from Lima, Peru. I’ve been in the US for six years now.

Occupation: Professional dancer and licensed massage therapist

Favorite Gym: I don’t have a favorite gym. I go with my friends from New Jersey to Crunch, but to be honest, I usually just use parks.

Do you have a favorite exercise playlist? It depends on the day and how I feel. I usually go with hip-hop because it’s just great for break dancing. Sometimes I go with music from the 80s or 90s, pop music from those days. It just depends.

What’s the best food to eat prior to a workout? For me, anyway, I don’t eat much before working out, especially before dancing. I feel that it gets really heavy in my body, and I feel like I don’t have that much energy. So before a work out I will eat some fruit or vegetables before working out. After working out I will eat a very balanced meal.

What’s the best outfit for working out? Sweatpants and a t-shirt.

How do you balance staying in shape and having fun? With COVID it’s kind of hard since there’s not much to do. But usually, I prep 2 days of meals for me and I make sure I stay busy so I don’t think about food. I try not to watch commercials that are food-related because my appetite kicks in. I don’t have sweets in my place. I don’t keep things that are not good for me. When I go shopping, I don’t go hungry.

What’s a basic, if useful, work out tip you can offer? Jogging. That gets you going and makes your lungs stronger. It works for me.

Obviously, dance is a great way to stay prepared. What is it about dance for you that is so satisfying?

What isn’t? It’s everything. I love to dance. I’m Latino; it’s in my veins. As a kid, I would walk by the kitchen and my sister would pull me and just start dancing with me. So I grew up with that. With breakin’ [break dancing], it’s just the feeling of creating. It’s not just about the spins and everything, which are great, and which I love to do. But also, the creativity that comes out of creating new steps. It’s like painting—it’s everything.

Related: Stage star and trainer Sam Leicht, on how sports can build a bridge to queer acceptance

You’re trained in ballet, classical dance, jazz dance. What is it about break dancing that you find so wonderful?

In Peru, I was in the dance corps. I took five years of dance. But when I was there, I saw a group of guys doing spins on their heads. And I fell in love with it. I asked if they could teach me, and they taught me a couple moves. I took it from there. To me, breakin’ took me in. I don’t know exactly why; it just looked so cool. I just wanted to be like them so I went for it.

You’ve spoken quite frankly about the difficulty of coming out within the typically macho, hetero male break dancing world. What was that coming out like?

It wasn’t easy at all. When I was in Peru, most of my friends who were gay were going to ballet. Though I like doing it, I didn’t feel identified with it. So I didn’t come out in Peru at all. It was hard to come out there and not be judged, especially for the breakdancing community. I was already doing great in Peru and getting known as a dancer there. When I moved to the States, I actually came out. I started meeting other dancers and had good friendships with them. I let them know that I’m gay. It was really hard, especially for people that I looked up to. They were celebrities to me. I didn’t know how they’d react when they found out. But people in my group, when I told them, were very supportive. Some other people stopped talking to me. Because I was gay and I was in break dancing—they said “That’s not hip hop.” But I got positive reactions from most people. It was hard, but it was worth it.

When you go through a coming out like that, how does that change your outlook? How does it prepare you for day to day life?

Art in general is therapeutic. When I’m sad, I dance. I mix breakin’ with contemporary styles. I just feel myself and let myself go. If I feel happy, I’ll dance with any type of music. It takes me out of it—whatever I’m going through. When I finish dancing I feel happier. I feel great; it’s like starting my day again.

We hear about how dancers can eat almost anything and still remain in shape. We also hear that often times dancers become enormously overweight later in life. One of those sounds enormously beneficial. How do you avoid the other if you have to stop dancing?

I will never will stop dancing. I will always have time for dancing—that’s one of my priorities in life. But, it’s easier for me now to gain weight than it was before, so I need to be extra careful with what I eat, or control how many calories I eat.

You’re a big advocate of including dancing—specifically, break dancing—as a sport. Why should we think of it as a sport?

It’s very controversial. A lot of people think breaking is dance, that it could never be called a sport. Other people say it is a sport because it’s very gymnastic. It’s dance-sport. It’s going to be part of the Olympics. So I’m really happy—dance is moving forward and people are paying more attention to it. The attention is deserved. I’m all for it. But it’s not just a sport.

How do you work to be prepared for the Olympics physically, emotionally and psychologically?

It’s an everyday thing. I try not to think that far ahead because I’ll get in my head and go crazy. I want to compete in the Olympics. I’ll do that with everyday goals—daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals. I achieve those, and I know it’s going to give me good training. I’ll achieve it. When I get to the Olympics, I’ll be ready.

What do you keep on your nightstand? My mom’s picture and a picture of my two cats. And water.

Bonus pics: 

How to plan an international trip in 10 easy steps

How to plan an international trip in 10 easy steps

Okay, this is the less interesting part. But if you are planning an international trip, you need to take care of these important things. So just get it over with!

A. Do you have a valid passport?

If you don’t have one, make sure you get one in time.

Check if your passport is valid until at least 6 months after your return home.

B. Do you need a visa for your travel destination?

Many countries require you to have a visa before you can enter the country. Visa requirements vary from country to country.

Check if your destination requires a visa, and what the conditions are to get approved. What you need to do to get one.

Get your visa in time! It might be quite a hassle, so start your application soon.

C. Do you need to get vaccinations before you leave?

For some destinations, they encourage it to get certain vaccinations and for other countries certain vaccinations are compulsory.

This website has an overview of all countries and the vaccinations you need.

D. Will your debit/credit card work while abroad?

Check your banking app or dashboard to see if your debit and credit card work abroad. Check how much commission you have to pay for transactions and ATM withdrawals abroad.

We noticed our bank wanted a big extra for each ATM withdrawal and store transaction abroad, so we got some travel cards, which ended up to save us a lot of money! Plus, it is always good to have an option B if option A fails. (Which happened to us multiple times)

E. Will there be extra costs for your using your smartphone?

You need to check how expensive calls become if you use your phone abroad. Don’t forget to check the price of your data.

We used to turn roaming off to avoid extra costs.

When staying in a country for a lengthy period you might consider getting a local sim card. So if your phone is a dual sim, this is probably the best option.

Most accommodations offer free wifi so you can use Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype or something else to keep in touch with home base.

F. Contact the right people and agencies of your international trip

Do you have any pets? Ensure that someone takes care of them.

Apart from family and friends, there may still be a few agencies that should know your departure, certainly if you leave for a longer period. For example, think of your bank, your insurance, your healthcare, etc.