Category Archives: Events

Spotlight On: The Gay Agenda

Not many small time radio shows have achieved more than they dreamt possible from their humble beginnings and reached out beyond their country of origin but The Gay Agenda, on Fab Radio International, is currently Europe’s number one online radio show, with listeners in 46 countries across the globe. Since its launch in 2014, The Gay Agenda, which actually started out as a little challenge and a jest amongst a group of friends, has grown from strength to strength to get where it is today. Gay Homestays spoke to creator and host, Rylan Cavell about the show:

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GH: Hi Rylan, can you tell us a bit more about the beginnings of The Gay Agenda?

RC: The Gay Agenda began life as a jest. I was discussing the launch of a new online radio station with the chaps putting it together. After a few pints they jokingly suggested that I should do a show and call it ‘the gay agenda’. Never one to back down from a challenge, I agreed. And so the show was born. I found a few friend who equally had a passion for equality and media, and launched as one of the original shows in November 2014 at the same time as Fab Radio International. The Gay Agenda is actually one of only a small number of original shows that is still on the station.

GH: And what kind of topics on the “agenda” of The Gay Agenda?

RC: Being in a privileged position has enabled me, via the show, to shine a light on issues faced by many in the queer community who are often marginalised and ignored by mainstream media. Ignored often even by mainstream LGBT media.

Recent topics have included Transgender discrimination, the destructive nature of ‘masculinity’, LGBT University Societies, Asylum Seekers, Sexual Health and much much more! The show is light-hearted, but covers important topics. We hope that we are an entertaining platform where sometimes inaccessible and hard-to-understand topics and issues are opened up for debate in an interesting and amusing way.

GH: How does it feel to know you’ve got listeners in so many countries worldwide?

RC: Being on a station that reaches 46 countries around the world, and that is the number 1 online radio station in Europe shows that Fab Radio is doing something right! The station’s tag line is ‘Embrace The Alternative’, and the figures demonstrate that the grass-roots nature of station and the shows is what people want! It is flattering and humbling to know that so many people are listening, and I hope what we do spreads a little more awareness and understanding of the LGBT people of the worlds.

GH: And finally, are there any celebrities you would love to feature on your show?

RC: I would love to be able to get Sir Ian McKellan and Sandi Toksvig on the show, to name just two.

Sandi Toksvig

The Gay Agenda will be taking its show on the road on Sunday 26th February when Ryan hosts a frank and open discussion on modern queer life at the renowned Frog & Bucket Comedy Club in Manchester. He will be joined by drag king comedian Lydia Bernsmeier-Rullow, trans activist, broadcaster and musician Ashleigh Talbot and campaigner Junior Maxwell. Also featuring are compere Laini Johnson and guest speakers Steph Pike and Sali Owen.

The show will start at 4.30pm and tickets are currently available on The Gay Agenda website.

In the meantime, you can tune into The Gay Agenda every Friday evening from 7-9pm and also catch Rylan hosting That’s Pride TV channel every Monday evening from 7.30pm.

 

Manchester Pride Preview: Who we’re looking forward to seeing

Manchester Pride is just around the corner once again and there are some great artists who will be gracing either the main stage, Sackville Boutique stage or Gaydio Dance Arena. Here’s a few of our must-sees!

10. Kelly Wilde

Kelly is no stranger to Manchester Pride, having performed several times before and is a very popular act on the gay circuit. As well as some of her songs like “Gloria” and “Maria”, she is known for including covers of classics such as “Holding Out For A Hero” and “(I’ve Had The) Time Of My Life” in her live sets, which you can watch from when she was at Manchester Pride in 2012 below:

9.Jade Ellis

Jade was a finalist on the 9th series of The X Factor in 2012 and was mentored by Tulisa (who will also be performing at Manchester Pride). She has a daughter who she raises with her girlfriend and received a lot of positive reactions when she was very open and candid about her sexuality. Here is one of her best performances from the show:

8. Katy B

Katy has spawned a handful of top 20 hits on the UK singles chart and her debut and sophomore albums reached No.2 and No.1 respectively on the album charts. Over a few short years she has already got to collaborate with some big names, including Miss Dynamite, Craig David, Tinie Tempah and Mark Ronson.

7. Jordan Gray

Jordan certainly made a big impression when she enchanted coaches and the public on series 5 of The Voice earlier this year as the show’s first transgender contestant. We are very interested to see how she progresses as an artist in the future.

6. Sophie Ellis-Bextor

A veteran to the pop-dance and nu-disco music scene, Sophie is probably the biggest global name on this year’s bill with 3 top 10 albums and 6 top 10 singles on the UK music charts and several entries on Australia and many European countries’ charts too. She has a new album out in September called “Familia” but here is her most famous hit, “Murder On The Dancefloor”:

5. Frankmusik

Vincent James Turner – a.k.a. Frankmusik – is one of Britain’s top synth pop artists who has been an ally of the LGBT community for many years and will be performing at Manchester Pride this year.

4. Will Young

One of the biggest names to come from any of the UK’s reality TV competitions and one of the UK’s biggest gay celebrities, Will Young has come a long from when he won Pop Idol in 2002. All six of his albums have reached No.1 or 2 on the UK albums chart and 11 of singles charted in the top 10 – four of which went to No.1. This will be his first time performing at Manchester Pride. Below is our favourite song of his. “Switch It On”, in which he channeled Top Gun in the video:

3. Groove Armada

Arguably one of the UK’s best dance acts of all time, Groove Armada will be rocking the Gaydio Dance Arena on the Saturday. Here is one of their most famous worldwide hits, “I See You Baby”:

2. MNEK

MNEK may only be 21 years old but the openly gay singer-songwriter and producer has already been nominated for a Grammy and worked with some huge names, including Beyonce, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Naughty Boy, Bastille, Little Mix and JoJo. This will be his debut performance at Manchester Pride. Listen below to “Never Forget You”, which was a top 5 hit:

1. Heather Small

Heather Small is THE voice of dance act M People. It’s been almost a decade since she last performed at Manchester Pride and we’re glad to see this gay icon return to the city where M People originated. With one of the most distinctively soulful voices the UK has ever heard, Heather is a legendary force to be reckoned with.

Check out the full list so far of who is set to perform here. Who are you looking forward to seeing most this weekend? Let us know!

A breath of ‘FreshAir’: the world’s first “gay airline”.

A couple of weeks ago it was announced that Lufthansa had launched the world’s first ‘gay airline’ or ‘gayline’ called FreshAir – which would “fill the gap left by traditional, boring airlines and to satisfy the increasing demand by all sorts of consumers – sporting a rainbow of tastes and sexual orientations – for services provided in a gay atmosphere.”

The service will operate from 27 June to 1 July to coincide with the EuroGames, a usually annual LGBT sporting event that is not to be confused with the Gay Games, which will take place in Budapest, Hungary this year. The airline’s motto is: “We all play the same, no matter which team we belong to” and they say they have “strong grip or rather, a gentle, but firm massage” on participants and spectators’ travel options from 32 countries around Europe. To see what separates FreshAir from other airline services, take a look at their official advert below, where they “shake things differently”:

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The five-day sporting event will be host to 18 sports, 3800 athletes, 2200 supporters, and 4000 visitors, as well as help promote tourism and culture and also five days of conferences that will talk about human rights, minority issues, equal representation and business opportunities.

While Budapest does have a well-known and growing gay community, Budapest Pride has not always been rosy; in past years, the event and the parade has been dogged by protesters and police and political opposition… Perhaps this year, when Pride takes place on 7 July, things will be different and more positive?

Are you planning on going to Budapest for the EuroGames or for Pride? If so, why not book a place at one of our numerous hosts in the city? We have seven great accommodations to choose from!

Shanghai Pride set for June

China is usually always a difficult place to have oneself heard, especially when it comes to something as controversial as LGBT rights. Such topics surrounding this are normally unspoken of by the government and media and are seen as a taboo by the general public, but in recent years some encouraging progress has been made. Shanghai Pride, the first LGBT pride event of its kind in the People’s Republic of China is now entering its fourth consecutive year and is set to be held in June, the same as its first year. During the past two years it was in October.

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Due to law forbidding any public gathering of more than 50 people without state approval in China, there will not be a parade, but instead activities such as picnics, parties in some of Shanghai’s few but vibrant gay bars and clubs, film nights, talks, discussions and many more, will take place from 15-23 June. Profits raised from Shanghai Pride will go towards setting up an LGBT centre in the city.

One must remember that Shanghai Pride is run by expats and it is predominantly other expats who have participated, although every year has seen more local people and companies getting involved in organising it and its events, even at the risk of getting into trouble. Even though being gay is not illegal in China, Shanghai Pride has hit various obstacles with authorities in the past, such as some events being cancelled or postponed or its website being shut down.

 

While a gay-friendly and open attitude in China is still a long way off compared to other countries, you may find the indifference a lot of people have will not hinder you at all. Gay China may be a small and very much underground world, but it’s gradually growing and certainly has the potential to be big enough to make an even more positive impact there.

Have you ever been to China or would you go to Shanghai Pride in the future? To read more about LGBT issues in China, click here.