Saturday 2nd June
A CAFÉ set up to support the LGBT community has become the latest addition to Newcastle’s pink triangle.
The Pride Café, at Scotswood Road, which is open seven days a week for light meals, snacks and hot and cold drinks, has pledged to donate a percentage of its profits to a charity supporting gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people on Tyneside.
In addition, the venue, which is licensed to sell alcoholic drinks, is operating an outside catering service for nearby office workers and corporate customers and boasts a large, first-floor function room for the use of local groups and organisations.
Surplus profits from the café will be donated to The Newcastle and Gateshead Scene (NGS) Trust, a charity to co-ordinate support for LGBT community activities, and customers who join the NGS Trust will receive discounts in the café and invitations to a number of forthcoming events.
Owner John Harrison said: “We were keen to create somewhere people could enjoy contemporary, home-made food in relaxed and stylish surroundings and where they wouldn’t have to shout over background music to be heard.
“The Pride Café is at the heart of the Newcastle gay scene and we hope LGBT customers will view it as a one-stop shop, where they can receive information about community activities and services such as advice and support sessions.
“We are confident it will also be the focal point for fund-raising among Tyneside’s LGBT community and will attract customers not just locally but, given its proximity to Central station and the National Express depot, from further afield.”
The Pride Café is open from 11am to midnight and also offers free Wi-Fi and mobile phone charging facilities. For further information ring 0191 232 9444 or visit www.pridecafe.co.uk
Tuesday 29th May
One of the stars of Sex and the City, Cynthia Nixon, has married her partner of eight years in a quiet ceremony in New York, US media organisations report.
Ms Nixon, who played the cynical character Miranda in the series, met her partner, Christine Marinoni, in 2004, and have been engaged since 2009. Since announcing their engagement, the couple have been vocal in the campaign for equal marriage in New York.
The Tony-award winning actress was previously married to the photographer Danny Mozes, with whom she had two children. Last year, Ms Marinoni gave birth to a son, their first child together.
Ms Nixon caused some controversy earlier this year, when she claimed her homosexuality was a choice. She later clarified her statement by saying that while her bisexuality was a fact and by no means a choice, what she did ‘choose’ was to be in a gay relationship. She spoke strictly of herself, not about the LGBT community at large, she said.
Tuesday 29th May
Critics, who include high-profile stars such as Madonna, say the law - already active in St Petersburg - discriminates against gays.
For the seventh year in a row the gay pride parade has been banned in Moscow but activists challenge the authorities by taking to the streets anyway.
The inevitable arrests have become almost routine. Many are detained for wearing badges bearing pink triangles.
One woman was arrested for holding a packet of coloured felt tip pens, a replacement for the banned rainbow symbol of gay pride.
In Russia's second city of St Petersburg it is now illegal to "make public actions among minors for the propaganda of homosexuality".
Gay rights activists like former teacher, Grigory Zaritovsky, have called for a veto of the law.
He lost his teaching job when his employers discovered he was gay. They said it was inappropriate for him to work with children.
"Most people in Russia are sane and don't equal homosexuality with paedophilia," he said.
"But there is a part of society that is radically minded, they protest against the gay community - promoting the idea that a gay person is always a paedophile. In their minds it is intrinsically linked."
Some people who hold that view also hold positions of power and influence.
United Russia member Vitaly Milonov introduced the law in St Petersburg - he says to protect the city's children.
"They should not kiss in kindergartens," he says. "They should not come close to a school and kiss each other."
Asked if he thinks gay people would really be interested in doing that, he replies he says: "They are doing this. An activist from one of the Russian homosexual organisations tried to show his posters only near schools, children's libraries or kindergartens."
Madonna, whose upcoming concert in St Petersburg is promoted with posters around the city, has promised to speak out against the law, which she calls a "ridiculous atrocity".
So far it has been used against activists carrying banners that read things like "Homosexuality is not a Perversion".
The interpretation seems to be that promotion of gay rights equals propaganda.
St Petersburg's gay community has expressed its outrage, with many feeling they are simply victims of a crackdown on gays.
Now, any expression of homosexuality has to be confined to gay clubs.
Being homosexual in Russia has never been easy - the future looks set to be even more of a challenge.