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Tips for Gay College Students

Gay college students.

Off to college—gay? College can be a time to explore and break free from home and high school in your quest to be who you really are. But, before you dive in dorm-first, follow these tips for a better gay college experience.

Gay Life Spotlight10

Malta's Prime Minister Celebrates New Gay Marriage Law

Wednesday April 16, 2014
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat joined an estimated 1,000 people celebrating a new law that gives same-sex couples in Malta the same rights as marriage and the right to adopt.

Although Malta's legal system follows closely with the United Kingdom, the former British colony gained its independence on September 21, 1964 and officially became the Republic of Malta in 1974. Although acts between same-sex parters have been legal since 1973, the new bill approved by the Labour government does not call the new legal unions "marriage" but extends the same rights.

Finland Launches New Gay Tom of Finland Bondage Stamps

Wednesday April 16, 2014
This September, Finland mail users will have the option of a special edition Tom of Finland stamp that features gay bondage porn.

In September-October 2014, Itella Posti will release seven new sets of stamps, containing a total of 33 new designs in honor of the artist behind Tom of Finland, Touko Laaksonen (1920-1991). The stamp sheets represent "strong and confident male figures typical of their designer."

Timo Berry, the graphic artist who designed the stamps with Susanna Luoto, the Finnish representative of the foundation named after Tom of Finland, says the stamp sheets represent "a sensual life force and being proud of oneself. There is never too much of that in this northern country."

The autumn's stamp series begins September 8 with Tom of Finland, who is considered one of the most well-known Finnish artists around the world.

Turkey Plans Gay-Only Prisons

Wednesday April 16, 2014
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag announced at the weekend that plans are in process to build separate gay-only prisons in Turkey to "protect" inmates who identify as gay.

"Convicts who stated that they are gay will not mix with other convicts in the communal area or during social activities in the new prison facilities," Bozdag wrote in a response to parliament.

While homosexuality isn't illegal in Turkey, gay activists worry that the segregating gay prisoners will only deepen existing homophobia. Murat Koylu, a gay rights activist with the Ankara-based gay rights group Kaos GL, tells Huffington Post that this form of segregation is the government's latest attempt at ostracizing gays. Koylu and others are concerned that gay-only prison will single out openly gay convicts and their families as well as provide less protections for gay men and women who are not out.

Officials estimate that there are 79 LGBT identified prisoners currently in the system, but activists say the number is much higher and does not account for the prisoners who hide their sexuality.

Brendan Eich and the Myth of the Gay Mafia

Wednesday April 9, 2014
Part of the myth that a gay mafia looms in the corners of all aspects of our lives is fueled by media's need to "track" the progress of gay rights as if it's a planned strategy. This is of course heightened by the latest "attack" on Mozilla that forced CEO Brendan Eich to resign.

Take Slate's article on the dangers of the "gay mafia" and this quote from USNews:

"For the last decade, debates over the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual Americans have been waged in courtrooms, congressional halls and at the ballot box. Now the boardroom is becoming the next battleground as two major - but very different - private institutions."

It would seem that Eich's Godzilla-like fall was a planned attack in a natural progression of gay activists to rid the ranks of Capital Hill, our suburban and city hills and now the peak of corporate offices of homophobia and discrimination. But the fact is, Eich's self-dismissal was not a planned attack. If it were strategic, it was only in the sense that our every day lives as LGBT has always been strategic. We have always demanded and fought for equality in our lives. This has been an organic progression in the way that every human rights movement evolves into an increased intolerance for discrimination and disadvantage.

What Eich-gate demonstrated (and perhaps this is what scares the rainbow out of the conservative right) is that gay rights movements today are adventitious. They appear spontaneously in response to any form of anti-gay sentiment, whether they be in the political, social or corporate office. Increased acceptance and support for LGBT causes from allies has emerged into a collective voice of response against actions, like Eich's, that would have otherwise been treated without penalty.

What this signals is the fundamental right we have all adopted in this country, the right to freedom and a right to respond. In most instances, this far outreaches a formal plan.

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