Bleats

The Photos Of The First LGBTQ Weddings In Asia Will Brighten Your Day

Taiwan just made history by becoming the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage today.

Taiwan just became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage after passing the necessary legislation 66-27 last week. Now, the photos of the first couples to tie the knot following legalisation are here, and they’re guaranteed to make even the coldest hearts melt.

Shane Lin and Marc Yuan and Cynical Chick and Li Ying-Chien were some of the first couples to be legally wed earlier today, registering their marriages at the Household Registration Office in Shinyi District, Taipei.

Shane and Marc’s marriage was witnessed by activist Chi Chia-Wei, who was one of the first people in Taiwan to publicly come out as gay, and who has been campaigning for LGBTQ rights since the 1980s.

Chi told CNN:

“I have been preparing for this day to come, although it took a long while to happen … But I knew it would eventually come.”

Jennifer Lu, chief coordinator of Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, told the ABC that Australian Yes campaigners “significantly strengthened the island’s fight for marriage equality”, adding that the Coalition’s social media campaign ‘What Love Has Taught Us’ was modelled on Australia’s Yes campaign.

Activists and members of the LGBTQ community across Asia are hoping this marks a turning point – that legalisation of same-sex marriage in Taiwan could encourage other governments to follow suit. Then again, it took Australia four years to legalise same-sex marriage after our closest neighbour and ally, New Zealand, did so in 2013.

Either way, this is a hard-won victory for Taiwan’s LGBTQ community, and they should feel proud of their tremendous and historic success.

If You're Staying In This Mardi Gras, These LGBT Shows Will Make You Feel Like You're There

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If parties and large crowds aren’t your thing and you’re planning on staying in for tonight’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. With these delightfully gay movies and TV shows, you’ll have all the fun of Mardi Gras with none of the hangover or glitter in unpleasant places.

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Guess who’s back in the house for yet another season? All Stars only just ended, but Ru is already back with a brand new season and fourteen new queens (and one familiar face).

Episode one premiered on Stan yesterday, complete with an accompanying Untucked episode, and it’s a good ‘un. I won’t give too much away, but everyone’s favourite meme is back for round two, and the guest judge knows a thing or two about getting the Best of Both Worlds.

Pose

If reality shows aren’t your thing, check out Pose instead. Created by Ryan Murphy, it’s set in New York in the 80s and focuses on the city’s famous ball scene, where predominantly black and Latino gay men, drag queens and trans women laid the groundwork for things like RuPaul’s Drag Race. The amazing cast includes Billy Porter, who you may remember from his show-stopping red carpet moment at last week’s Oscars.

Kickin’ it old school

If you’re after something friendly and familiar, why not put on Will & Grace or The L Word? All seasons of both shows are available on Stan, including the Will & Grace reboot.

Netflix Originals

Netflix has been delivering some brilliant original shows with LGBT characters and storylines lately, including Sex Educationseason 3 of One Day At A Time, and season 5 of Grace & Frankie. 

If you’re in the mood for a show that reminds you of Skins, give Sex Education a go. Or, if you want something that’s heartwarming and family-friendly, try One Day At A Time. And if you want to watch gay icons Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin try and navigate life after their husbands divorced them to marry each other, watch Grace & Frankie. Any of these shows will keep you entertained for hours, and their representation of LGBT characters and narratives is some of the best on TV right now.

Keeping it real

If you’re in the mood for a documentary, check out Paris is Burningon Netflix, which is the documentary to watch if you want to learn about New York’s ball culture.

Or you can sit back and enjoy seasons one and two of Queer Eye ahead of season three’s release later this year.

Whatever you watch, make sure it’s as fabulous as you are, darlings. xoxo

9 LGBT History Facts You Should Know Before Mardi Gras, Just In Case There's A Pop Quiz

It's time to get schooled.

How good are you with LGBT+ history? What if a drag queen offers you $50 if you can name 5 important historical LGBT+ figures, but you can only think of RuPaul and Elton John?

Don’t stress, we got you, with some help from Twitter user @selfishfeminist.

#1

Pride in the US is a little different to Mardi Gras in Australia, but both have their roots in the Stonewall riots of 1969. The riots were a response to a police raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York, and activists like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Stormé DeLarverie became iconic figures in the LGBT rights movement as a result of their involvement in the events at Stonewall.

#2

While the 78ers can be credited with establishing Mardi Gras in Australia, Brenda Howard was one of the organisers of the first Pride in New York, the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, which commemorated the first anniversary of Stonewall.

#3

South Australia was the first Australian state to decriminalise male homosexuality in 1975, and Tasmania was the last to do so, holding out until 1997.

#4

Gilbert Baker created the first rainbow flag in 1978, and it was first debuted at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade.

#5

Denmark became the first country to legally recognise relationships between gay couples in 1989, and in 2001, the Netherlands became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage. Australia, as pretty much everyone knows, didn’t do so until after a non-binding plebiscite was held in 2017. Twenty-six countries around the world have now legalised same-sex marriage.

#6

In October 1973, the Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry Federal Council became the first body in the world to declare that homosexuality was not an illness, and in December of that year, the American Psychiatric Association removed it from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

#7

The first gay political group in Australia was the Australian offshoot of the US-based Daughters of Bilitis, which eventually became known as the Australasian Lesbian Movement.

#8

Lilli Elbe is known as the first woman to undergo gender confirmation surgery in 1930 in Germany (Germany, particularly Berlin, before the Nazis rose to power was pretty progressive when it came to LGBT+ people). The movie The Danish Girl was made about her life, but many trans people had concerns with the film’s portrayal.

#9

While @selfishfeminist suggests that drag is an acronym, standing for ‘Dressed Like A Girl’, there’s no legitimate source for this claim. Drag dates back centuries, so it’s likely we’ll never know the origins of the word. Some have suggested that it comes from theatre slang for long skirts dragging on the floor.

This means that yes, drag does pre-date RuPaul, although he can be credited with introducing it to the mainstream.

For more LGBT+ history, check out the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives. You can also listen to the podcast Making Gay History for interviews with important LGBT+ figures about the historical events they lived through and contributed to.

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