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Heart & Soul: Creating boundaries, taking responsibility

Like many of us, I grew up in traditional Christianity, with the idea that it was somehow wrong or bad to be anything except heterosexual. I figured out that I couldn’t do anything about my sexual orientation, so I made up for it by being “the best little boy in the world.” I was charming, gracious and helpful, and I made myself responsible for everyone’s health and happiness. If something was amiss, it was my fault.

I would do anything, say anything, buy anything, “as long as you loved me.” Remember that song from the Back Street Boys?

Millennials are the gayest generation

The Americans who fought in World War II might have been the “greatest generation,” but millennials are by far the gayest.

Included in a new report from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) on the sexual attitudes of millennials is the finding that “seven percent of millennials identify either as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.” The report is based on a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 35.

Gay love on a Montana ranch captured by photographer Brian Powers

In case you needed a reminder, love between lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people exists everywhere.

While stories surrounding the struggle for LGBT visibility and rights tends to focus on more urban areas or metropolises, gay people are everywhere. This stunning photo series from photographer Brian Powers is a reminder of that, elevating the lives and love of a gay couple named Benjamin and Brandon.

San Diego Pride launches youth marching band program

SAN DIEGO, California – One of the new features of this year’s San Diego Pride Parade, scheduled for Saturday, July 18, will be the first ever Pride Youth Marching Band.

Youth who are enrolled in a marching band are encouraged to sign-up to participate in the band, with the opportunity to perform at the San Diego Pride Parade, which is one of the city's largest civic events.

Leather Foundation launches sex-positive community space

SAN DIEGO, California -- On March 7, The Leather Foundation, a local 501(c)(3), launched the Stomping Ground San Diego (TSGSD), a safe, legal, membership-based, BDSM sex-positive space to be used for educational workshops and alternative sexuality play.

Led by interim board president Tina Maravilla, aka “Sarge,” who is also Ms. San Diego Leather 2015-16, TSGSD is supported by a dedicated group of proponents from the leather, kinky and sex-positive communities who have worked together to establish a space with the shared philosophy of having a safe and welcoming space for all.

The plight of gays in paradise

MIAMI, Florida -- “Boom bye-bye ina batty bwoy head. Rude boy naw promote di nasty man. Dem haffi dead.” The year was 1992. Dancehalls and nightclubs worldwide were packed with men and women winding and grinding to reggae superstar Buju Banton’s homophobic hit that loosely translates to: Shoot the homosexual men. Rude (or Gangster) boys won’t promote their behavior, so homosexual men have to die. Twenty-three years later, Jamaica’s boom bye bye mantra still threatens its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (or LGBT) community.

GSDBA seeks nominations for annual awards

SAN DIEGO, California -- The Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) is requesting nominations from the community to recognize business and community leaders at its annual business awards dinner and silent auction, which will take place in June.

Submissions, which are due by April 5, are requested in the following categories: business of the year; nonprofit of the year; community leadership award; emerging business of the year; and corporate partner of the year.

Gays & lesbians in American religion: Data surprises

One of the most contentious issues in American religion is the question of sexuality and LGBT rights. It divides denominations. It causes churches to split. For many, the issue is a litmus test for orthodoxy.

But how many people in churches are gay, lesbian, or bisexual? Way more than many would think. Even among conservative religious groups, more than five percent of religious people have had a homosexual relationship.

Transgender activist Blake Brockington, 18, mourned

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Friends and community members are mourning the passing of a local transgender youth activist, Blake Brockington, who died as the result of suicide on Monday night.

Brockington, 18, was a 2014 graduate of East Mecklenburg High School where, last year, he was nominated and later crowned homecoming king as an openly transgender student after winning a fundraising competition and drawing in $2,335.55 for a charity chosen by the school. Brockington’s homecoming win is believed to be the first for an openly transgender student in Charlotte.

Major gamer convention could leave Indiana over religious freedom bill

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana -- A major gaming convention, Gen Con, threatened on Tuesday to move its annual event out of Indiana if Gov. Mike Pence signs into law a controversial bill that would allow private businesses to deny service to homosexuals on religious grounds.

Pence has signaled he will sign the bill, possibly this week, after the Republican-controlled Indiana Senate overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday a lower-house version of the bill and moved it to the Republican governor's desk.

Opponents say the legislation is discriminatory.