Connect with us

Lifestyle & Culture

Best LGBT TV shows you have to see in 2020

Here, we’ve selected some titles will be essential viewing over the months ahead.

Published

on

Image from "AJ and the Queen", courtesy of Netflix

2019 was something of a watershed year for LGBTQ representation on the small screen. GLAAD’s latest Where Are We on TV report indicated that there were more non-straight characters on TV last year than ever before, and that some of the best shows with mainstream appeal had an LGBTQ focus. These included titles like Pose, Fleabag and Watchmen. 

So it looks like 2020 has a hard act to follow. Here, we’ve selected some titles will be essential viewing over the months ahead. 

Love Island
Let’s start with the elephant in the room. Love Island has become something of an institution among all ages, sexes and sexualities, to the extent that you can even bet on the Love Island winner using online bookmakers. However, the show has come under fire for failing to reflect the real world with its blinkered focus on heterosexual dating. Of course, this is a show that has been franchised across the world, and you can rely on Australia to take any challenge by the horns. Love Island Australia has been the first to introduce same-sex couples, and the rest of the franchise will surely have to follow suit. 

Boys
It’s not all fluff and fun in the sun. This drama series is from the pen of Russel T Davies, the man who brought BBC classic Doctor Who back to our screens and then broke down the boundaries with the amazing series Queer as Folk. In Boys, he tackles the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s through the eyes of three young gay men living in the UK. The production values are everything you would expect from a Channel 4 production, and the cast includes Keeley Hawes, Stephen Fry and Neil Patrick Harris. 

Hollywood
Ryan Murphy has done more to bring LGBT into the Tinseltown mainstream than anyone He’s the man behind Glee, Scream Queens, Pose and lots more. His 2020 project is set in Hollywood’s golden age, and while full most of the details are still under wraps, we know that it will feature Jake Picking in the role of Rock Hudson, a Hollywood legend forced to spend most of his career in the closet. 

I am Not Okay with This
Graphic novels are turning into a rich source of material for TV in the Netflix and Amazon era. First we had The Walking Dead, but there are no zombies here. Directed by Jonathan Entwhistle, he of The End of the F****** World fame, I Am Not Okay With This is a parable for our times. It features Syd, a teen struggling to come to terms with her sexuality, her relationship with her best friend and an irritating outbreak of superpowers. 

The Barking Murders
True crime more your thing? If so, this compelling BBC docu-drama surrounding the crimes of Stephen Port is something you mustn’t miss. In case you missed the original story, Port was a serial killer and rapist who caused panic in London’s gay community about five years ago, selecting his victims on Grindr before meeting them under a false name and committing grisly crimes in his East London apartment. The more sensational aspects of Port’s crimes have already been discussed at length in other series. This one focuses on the effects he had on those additional victims who so often go unnoticed, the families of those that he murdered.  

Katy Keene
True crime stories make for compelling TV, but sometimes you want to watch something that lets you just kick back, switch your brain off and be entertained. If you loved Glee back in the days when it was all about the fun and high jinks, then Katy Keene could be just what you’ve been waiting for. The series follows the eponymous Katy, an aspiring graphic designer, along with her three best friends, including Ginger, a would-be drag queen played by Jonny Beauchamp. The show also features Shangela from Drag Race as Ginger’s nemesis.

The Stand
Stephen King adaptations haven’t traditionally set the world on fire with their representation of LGBT characters. However, the forthcoming adaptation of his apocalyptic epic might just change that, with a crucial update to one of the book’s core characters. Danya Jurgens is set to play a young bisexual who is one of a handful of survivors in an earth decimated by plague. Look out for it on CBS later this year. 

Love, Simon
Disney has taken an interesting journey of its own, from being something of a conservative bastion of mid-20th century attitudes to taking positive steps in featuring LGBT characters in its most recent original series. Love, Simon is a TV spin-off of the 2018 movie of the same name, and will again feature Nick Robinson as Simon. Watch out for Michael Cimino playing the role of Victor, a newcomer at Simon’s school who is struggling to understand his own sexuality. Who better to reach out to for some help and advice than Simon? 

Y: The Last Man
Here’s another comic book adaptation that has been in the pipeline for so long, we wondered if it would ever see the light of day. The story revolves around a world in which there is only one man left alive on the planet. The original comic came out around 20 years ago, and prompted some accusations of being transphobic. Interestingly, transgender author Charlie Jane Anders has been hired to write for the series. It will be fabulous to find out what they have done with this incredible source material when it is released later this year. 

AJ and the Queen
If you loved RuPaul on Drag Race then you’ll have the time of your life with the LGBT legend’s latest production. She plays a drag queen who’s down on her luck and touring the less salubrious corners of the USA, accompanied by her worldly-wise 11-year-old traveling companion, AJ. Josh Segarra plays Mama Ru’s love interest, and the series has just been released on Netflix, so you can start bingeing right now.

Travel

Montenegro legalizes same-sex civil partnerships

Montenegro legalized same-sex civil partnerships, in a 42-5 vote among the country’s lawmakers. With this move, it becomes the first European country outside of Western Europe and the European Union to legally recognize same-sex couples.

Published

on

Photo by roemi62 at Pixabay.com

Montenegro legalized same-sex civil partnerships, in a 42-5 vote among the country’s lawmakers. With this move, it becomes the first European country outside of Western Europe and the European Union to legally recognize same-sex couples.

This is not a complete win, by any means.

While the new law will give same-sex couples the same legal rights as mixed-sex couples, same-sex couples will not have the right to adopt.

The country’s president, Milo Đukanović, tweeted that they were now “one step closer to joining the most developed world democracies.”

The law will come into effect next year, with details yet to be finalized, as well as government clerks needing to undergo training.

Montenegro’s pro-LGBTQIA move is only one of the country’s moves largely driven by its attempt to join the European Union. Another move includes anti-discrimination training for police services and health workers.

Photo by falco at Pixabay.com

Still in the Balkans, parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina are also set to start a consultation that could mean the government starts recognizing same-sex relationships. Now this is worth highlighting: The country is divided into two self-governing entities, and only the Federation is considering the move. The conservative Republika Srpska, which covers less than the Federation, is not considering it.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle & Culture

Discover who you are and how best to live with ancient technologies

Regardless of where you’re at on your life journey there’s never a better time to cut the noise and practice an ancient technology that has worked for generations.

Published

on

The world is a confusing place, which isn’t helped by the bombardment of information we are expected to process on a daily basis. We get conflicting messages all the time about who we are, who we are supposed to be, and what’s essential in life. It can be we know ourselves pretty well, the data deluge can easily throw it all into doubt.

Regardless of where you’re at on your life journey there’s never a better time to cut the noise and practice an ancient technology that has worked for generations. 

Meditation 

Meditation is perhaps older than time, it’s certainly older than recorded history. The first evidence of humans meditating are carvings and wall art in ancient India that depicts people sitting in lotus positions. Fast-forward 5000 years and there are seven billion people on the planet, most of whom are plugged into the internet. Practising meditation might take a lifetime to master but accessing these ancient technologies has never been easier. There are many types of mediation to choose from, including: mindfulness, movement, and transcendental. Not all meditation types will work for everyone. The key is to try out some different ones to see what you like best or what meets your goals.

Enneagram 

For those unfamiliar with the Enneagram, it’s an ancient mathematical model for determining your personality type. Some think it came from the Sufi tradition, others that it’s from ancient Christianity, or related to Pythagoras. The Enneagram is a nine-sided shape each of which represents an archetype of worldview of the way people think and what they value. It is much more than a simple personality test.

IMAGE SOURCE

Using questions the Enneagram can dig deep into the core traits, motivations, defence mechanisms and fears that live in the unconscious layers of our personalities. Find out what your Enneagram number is and it will empower you to be a more conscious human being, someone happier, and able to understand others much better. 

Yoga

Yoga is another ancient human technology that has come into fashion in a big way. When you think of yoga you might think of the cobra pose, the downward facing dog, of the child’s pose. You might also think of people striking impressive poses on rocky vistas. This is how yoga is presented to us in the 21st century, but in reality, it is more than that – and much simpler also. Yoga is an appreciation of the natural world and our place within it. It is simply bringing awareness to our breath and controlling it in a skillful way. Yoga is also lifestyle – how we eat, how we choose to exercise. All of these practices will bring you closer to who you are and improve your life.

Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a much lesser known life science that is starting to gain popularity among those interested in tailoring their lifestyle to their specific mental, physical, and emotional characteristics. It is an ancient Indian science of medicine that promotes health through prevention using lifestyle choices and a selection of herbs. The theory is that everyone has a particular energy pattern which comprises their own constitution. This constitution is determined by a number of factors and remains fairly constant throughout a lifetime. By analyzing this energy pattern, best practice choices can be made about what foods to eat, when to eat, among other things.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle & Culture

Three crucial steps for a thriving business

If your business is surviving, but not thriving, take these three crucial steps to get the most out of your company.

Published

on

If you’re a business owner, you may think that simply surviving the COVID-19 crisis, and the financial impacts it has had, is enough. Think again.

If your business is surviving, but not thriving, take these three crucial steps to get the most out of your company. 

IMAGE SOURCE: PEXELS.COM

Provide excellent customer service

While you likely set out to solve a problem that a customer was facing or provide a product that someone was in search of, it may have been lost somewhere along the road. It’s time to remember that. So, instead of just offering middling service at best, make sure your customer service is optimal.

Go the extra mile when you can; if a customer has a question that you don’t have the direct answer to, point them to an expert that might. Is your customer asking for an upgrade, a product, or something that you don’t offer yet but might? Don’t forget to reach out directly to them as soon as you do have it available, whether that means salted chocolate chip cookies if you own a bakery, or a new way to track receipts if you offer a SaaS solution to finances.

Offer the type of customer service that you want when you frequent a business. Each customer you interact with has their own unique customer experience, so remember that when providing them your solution or product. 

Do not cut prices even during a crisis

Don’t underestimate your company’s worth. Many start-up businesses under value their product, solution, or service. When this happens, they don’t charge enough. And do you know what happens? People don’t think they’re getting a great deal when they work with you. They just expect that you are providing them the price that you see necessary to charge them.  Investigate your pricing strategy and make sure it aligns with your product. 

There is evidence that shows when two identical services are offered at different prices, people will often go with the higher price. Why? They simply assume it’s better. If your product is good, do not cut prices, offer coupons, or boast that you’re the cheapest in the area. Not only are you attracting the wrong customers by doing this, but you’re also likely to lose customers when you raise prices that weer previously unsustainable. 

IMAGE SOURCE: PEXELS.COM

Stop overpromising and under-delivering

If a car mechanic tells you that they can fix your car by that evening, you expect it to be finished by the end of the day, right? When you go to pick it up, only to find that it actually won’t be done for three more days, you’re probably more than a little miffed. What would happen though if the mechanic initially told you they’d let you know a timeframe, but expected it to be finished in about three days, and actually had it done in two? You’d think, “Wow, that was fast!”

Instead of overpromising and under-delivering, be honest with your customers. If you are planning to have an update for your app by the end of the month, be realistic. Don’t promise them more than you can actually deliver on in the allotted amount of time, and your customers will learn to trust you. 

Growing your business takes work

Growing a business isn’t all rainbows and cupcakes. It takes years of hard work and dedication, but if you want your company to thrive, not just survive, it’s time to kick it up a notch. 

Continue Reading

Lifestyle & Culture

Surviving COVID-19: 5 Strategies hotels should implement ASAP

Even when the pandemic ends, the practice of social distancing, fear of large crowds, and quarantining may continue to linger for months or even years. This means that business owners need to keep up with this drastic shift in consumer behavior.

Published

on

The coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, China has spread like wildfire throughout the world. With the world on hold, global travel has been put to a stop, causing a huge blow to the hospitality industry, particularly hotels. Travel bans mean less tourists, and less tourists mean lesser hotel guests.  

Even when it ends, the practice of social distancing, fear of large crowds, and quarantining may continue to linger for months or even years. This means that business owners need to keep up with this drastic shift in consumer behavior. Keep in mind that many of your potential guests may develop a lasting stigma against crowded places, including hotel lobbies, busy restaurants, schools, offices, and more. 

According to the STR and Tourism Economics, the hotel industry is projected to suffer a 50.6% decline in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in 2020 due to COVID-19. In another research from CBRE, since the outbreak began in January 2020, it will take approximately 6-10 months for hotel demand to increase and 12 to 16 months for average daily rate (ADR) and RevPAR to gain footing. 

With that said, hoteliers need to take proactive measures to prepare for recovery once this dies down. Here are five strategies hotels should implement to survive the effects of COVID-19. 

1. Inform Your Customers of Critical COVID-19 Information

Be sure your customers know of the changes in hotel operations due to COVID-19. Inform them whether your hotel is open, as well as cancellation policies for reservations made before the outbreak. Also, don’t forget to let them know that you have a prevention plan in place. 

You can connect with your customers via website, social media, emails, and local listings. Your website and social media platforms should contain the following necessary information in which to put your customers at ease:

  • Cancellation Policy – the best route is to waive cancellation fees or allow guests to rebook.
  • Address Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19
  • Comprehensive Prevention Plan
  • How Your Hotel is Helping the Community
  • Contact Information

2. Recognize the Efforts of Front liners

Doctors, nurses, hospital staff, security guards, cashiers, garbage collectors, medical technicians – these are just some of the people who work in the frontlines to fight the war against COVID-19. Recognizing their efforts is the least we can do to repay their service. 

For hoteliers, you might consider offering discounted rates for front-liners and first responders. Some hotels are now offering complimentary rooms for healthcare professionals with the help of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Hospitality for Hope. 

If you want to give a little something to the first responders, you can donate food from your restaurant to local hospitals, offer more affordable rates, offer complimentary rooms, or donate to relief and recovery funds. 

3. Connect with Existing and Potential Guests on Social Media

Since everyone is quarantining, the use of social media has drastically increased over the past few weeks. It’s a great opportunity for business owners, especially hoteliers, to stay connected with your guests and engage with them through posting travel and destination content. 

You can ask previous hotel guests to share a picture from their past stay, share photos of your hotels, post pictures of your area, share virtual tours of tourist spots, or ask your clients to share their favorite touristy activity in your city. 

If your hotel has a gym, you can post at-home workout videos. You can create videos or instructional guides to keep your guests fit while they’re confined to their home. These are just some of the ways to stay connected amid a global pandemic. 

4. Try Upselling

As travel and dine-in demands are being put on hold, every hotelier’s strategy should include looking for strategies to build additional revenue. For it to be effective, you need to figure out what your customers need and want. 

You can encourage guests to book in advance by offering them premium rooms at a discount. You can also offer longer stays for a lower price. For example, book a four-night stay and get the fifth at 50% off. 

This inspires business travelers to extend their stay and encourages potential guests to enjoy a relaxing stay post-pandemic. If your hotel has a dining area or a wellness spa, you can maximize your revenue by offering gift cards. For your restaurant, you can offer delivery or pickup orders. 

5. Personalize Your Marketing Campaigns

Pandemic or no pandemic, personalizing your marketing campaigns is vital to your success. By doing this, your customers will feel important. Whether you want to reach out to business travelers or encourage advance bookings, it always helps to send personalized messages to potential guests. 

With so much on your plate, it can be tempting to generate an automated marketing message. However, you can use this time to get to know your audience and connect with them. You can also try using campaign management software to schedule posts in advance, which will keep your messages aligned. 

Combat the Effects of COVID-19 with These Hotel Financing Options

The effects of COVID-19 in the hotel industry are inevitable. However, as the saying goes: “Those who fail to plan – plan to fail.” 

If you need financial assistance, there are different hotel financing options you can choose from. Taking out a loan may seem counterintuitive, but fortunately there are lending companies that offer flexible repayment terms. 

Continue Reading

Technology

Know thy history; revisit the first 10 years of San Francisco’s Pride

Even Pride gatherings are getting confused nowadays – e.g. Is it still to protest, or (even if the organizers claim it’s a “protest”) is it really just one big party? A revisit to Pride’s history – at least of San Francisco’s, in the US – has opened to help every-all see how everything was in the early days.

Published

on

Third World Gay Caucus contingent, San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade, 1977; photograph by Marie Ueda, Marie Ueda Collection (2006-12), GLBT Historical Society.

Even Pride gatherings are getting confused nowadays – e.g. Is it still to protest, or (even if the organizers claim it’s a “protest”) is it really just one big party? Should events highlight the not-that-pretty/sexy yet still ongoing struggles, or just focus on the glamour (and while at it, earn organizers big bucks)? And part of this confusion stems from the lack of awareness, if not appreciation of Pride’s history.

A revisit to Pride’s history – at least of San Francisco’s, in the US – has opened to help every-all see how everything was in the early days.

Organized by the GLBT Historical Society, with the support of San Francisco Pride, “Labor of Love: The Birth of San Francisco Pride, 1970–1980” showcases how San Francisco’s LGBTQIA community in the 1970s forged the annual celebration that would come to be known as the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade.

On June 27, 1970, a small group marched down Polk Street, and the following day staged a “gay-in” picnic in Golden Gate Park. Over the course of the decade, Pride became an annual San Francisco event, growing by leaps and bounds. Initially referred to as Christopher Street West — to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riot on that street in New York City — and then as Gay Freedom Day, Pride drew some 250,000 participants and spectators in 1980. 

“Labor of Love” revisits the first 10 years of San Francisco Pride using historic photographs, ephemera, artifacts, and film and sound recordings from the archives of the GLBT Historical Society and from community members. The exhibition explores the goals, the controversies, the hard work, the desires and the sometimes-competing spirits of struggle and celebration that laid the foundation for one of the city’s best-known public festivals. 

The exhibition is co-curated by Gerard Koskovich, a public historian and rare book dealer; Don Romesburg, professor of gender and women’s studies at Sonoma State University; and Amy Sueyoshi, dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. They emphasize that Pride has traditionally deployed both frivolity and protest to promote a positive cultural shift in how society views LGBTQ people. 

The exhibition is organized around four themes.

“Why Pride?” considers how organizers and community members explained the purpose of the annual gathering.

“The Work of Pride” explores the ever-increasing commitment to planning, fundraising, volunteer support and governance that the event required.

“Pride Fights” grapples with the debates over what Pride should be, who should be included, who should make the decisions and how they should be made.

Finally, “Big Gay Family” highlights how the creation of San Francisco Pride brought diverse people into a collective, yet often contested kinship. 

POSTER 1: “Christopher Street Liberation Day Gay-In,” offset flyer, 1970; Charles Thorpe Papers (1987-02), GLBT Historical Society.
POSTER 2: San Francisco Gay Pride program, 1972; Ephemera Collection, GLBT Historical Society.

The interactive final section of the show, “Pride: From Past to Future,” invites visitors to reflect on the history, then look ahead by submitting their responses to two questions: “How will the future of Pride be shaped? How should it be shaped?” The answers will be posted in the online gallery to spark an ongoing dialog about the heritage of Pride.

“Labor of Love” will also be installed as a physical exhibition at the GLBT Historical Society Museum at 4127 18th Street in San Francisco’s Castro district at a future date.

For more information, visit the GLBT Historical Society website at www.glbthistory.org.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle & Culture

Skin pigmentations: Types and treatment options

You should seek medical advice from experts to manage hyperpigmentation conditions. It is advisable to seek skin protective measures for a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Published

on

Skin pigmentation is a health disorder that affects the normal appearance of your skin. It is easily noticeable because of the change in color in the area with the disorder. The melanin gives your skin its color. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the color pigment cells of the melanin get damaged or when the cells are unhealthy.

In this article, we take a quick review of some of the hyperpigmentation conditions, treatment options, among other related issues.

Let’s begin…

Types of skin pigmentation

Some skin pigmentation like birthmarks act as beauty spots for some people, while for others it affects their self-esteem or poses health risks.

Birthmarks

Birthmarks are abnormal skin colorations that appear at birth or a few days after birth. Most of the birthmarks are normal while others are cancerous and may pose serious health risks for individuals.

Pigmented birthmarks

Nevus of Ota

They are gray or blue discolorations on the skin which appear on the face or in the eyes. They result from excessive production of melanin on the skin causing discoloration. Many people with the disorder are prone to conditions of skin cancer such as melanoma cancer of the eye, cancer of the central nervous system, and others. They may also cause glaucoma on the individuals.

Treatment:

You can use prescribed bleaching agents for this kind of discoloration, such as laser, hydroquinone, and others.

Hemangiomas

They are birthmarks that appear as growths on the face, arms, trunk, and legs. They are a bunch of tiny blood vessels concentrated on one spot. Some hemangiomas are easily visible on the skin, while others appear bluish since they are deep in the body. The level of severity of this condition depends on if it reduces as your child grows up. Treatment is recommendable to avoid consequential health issues such as bleeding, ulcers, and others.

Treatment:

Use of corticosteroid medication, laser treatment, surgery, use of topical or oral beta-blocker medications. You should first consult an expert on the treatment required to avoid various serious side effects of these treatment methods.

Other pigmented birthmarks include Macular stains, Port-wine stains, and others.

Skin pigmentation disorders

Albinism

Albinism results from a lack of melanin in the skin, hair, or eyes. The condition is inheritable because of the presence of a gene that prevents the production of the pigment melanin.

Treatment:

The condition has no cure. The people with the condition should use sunscreen to prevent them from skin cancer. A visit to an ophthalmologist is recommendable to avoid eye problems.

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a condition caused by pigment loss. The body’s immune system attacks color pigment cells which cause white patches on the skin. It can cause other health issues such as anemia, diabetes, and others.

Treatment:

There is no cure, but you can get treatments such as the use of topical steroid preparations, topical immunomodulators, excimer laser, and others.

Other pigmentation disorders include; Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, Ashy dermatosis, Melasma, Lentigo Solaris, among others.

You should seek medical advice from experts to manage hyperpigmentation conditions. It is advisable to seek skin protective measures for a healthy and happy lifestyle. Hyperpigmentation may bring about other health issues, hence it is crucial to ensure that your condition gets checked by a health expert.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

Most Popular