If you have, or someone you know has, ever wanted to curl but have been unable to due to budgetary concerns or problems, you now have the chance to get financial assistance that will enable you to get your broom on.

The LGBT–based Pacific Rim Curling League and Queer Active, which seeks to empower queer youth through sports and fitness, have joined forces to offer a bursary for first-time curlers (aged 16 to 25 years old).

Recipients will only have to pay $68 for six months of curling. If interested, email Queer Active treasurer Aaron Thompson.

The following information is required:

• full name

Yes, the multi-titled celebrity—former Star Trek star, activist, LGBT icon, internet sensation, self-effacing goofball—otherwise known as George Takei is beaming up to our Canadian metropolis to share his words of wisdom, inspiration, and humour.

Takei publicly came out as gay in 2005 in response to then California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's rejection of a same-sex marriage bill. Since that time, he has gone on to enjoy a new and unexpected career as an online celebrity, combining activism and humour for LGBT causes and also raising awareness about the Japanese American internment experience.

Takei himself was an internee during the Second World War, and he went from living with his family on skid row to becoming a Hollywood star.

Dear gentlemen of a certain disposition:

No, lesbian does not mean she is doing it to tease and titillate you.

No, it does not mean she just needs to meet the right guy.

No, it is not the same thing as being bisexual.

In fact, there is such a gaping chasm in comprehension about what lesbians are (and aren't) that web developers have had to figure out ways how to screen out male online users who use catfishing techniques and set up fake female profiles on dating sites to hit on lesbian women.

For this year's Georgia Straight Pride issue, we highlighted LGBT parents and kids.

Due to the Vancouver school board hearings about its revisions to its sexual orientation and gender identity policy, we saw some powerful and remarkable examples of people who advocated for family members, such as Fiona Chen who spoke out for her transgender child.

Early this afternoon, I was in New Westminster in advance of the Pride celebration along Columbia Street.

One of the first groups I encountered was a trio from the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

These queer nuns offer community service to the homeless and people with HIV.

It's incorporated in B.C. as the Abbey of the Long Cedar Canoe Society and is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency.

I also bumped into New Westminster NDP MLA Judy Darcy, who was at the Hospital Employees' Union booth.

Darcy, the NDP health critic, worked for the HEU before jumping into provincial politics before the last election.

This year's Vancouver Queer Film Festival boasts a program with over 50 percent of the films directed by women. It's a significant percentage, considering how Hollywood is still facing a severe gender imbalance when it comes to directors.

New Frontiers in Film: The Gender Equality Revolution will address gender issues in the film industry with a panel discussion of directors.

If you thought Pride season is over in the Lower Mainland just because Vancouver had its Pride parade, well, don't pack away your Pride just yet.

New Westminster's fifth anniversary Pride Celebration kicked off on August 8 and continues until Saturday (August 16). It has expanded to a nine-day festival that has moved to Columbia Street.

Note: This past weekend was a crazy one that included the Squamish Valley Music Festival and a Lady Gaga headlining show at Rogers Arena. On Monday morning, various Straight scribes jumped on an email thread to swap stories and talk about highlights of the past three days. Vivian Pencz won with the following too-cool-for-school encounter with a true-blue superstar. It's not every day that Lady Gaga stops curbside to make sure that you're doing okay. Here's her recollection of what happened on Saturday night, in her own words:

Vision Vancouver has released a new rapid-fire video reflecting its support for the LGBT community.

I was amused by the use of newspaper headlines to reinforce its message.

Five publications appeared in the one-minute video, including the Georgia Straight.

But none of Glacier Media's three local newspapers made the cut.

It's probably a coincidence that Glacier's head of B.C. operations is on the board of the rival NPA.

Vision couldn't be that mean-spirited, could it?

The 2014 Vancouver Pride Parade took place on Sunday (August 3).

Here's some more photos of the parade by Andrew Chin.

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