Saturday, April 30, 2011

Olympic Gymnast Comes Out

Dutch Olympic Gymnast Jeffrey Wammes has come out and asserted that he is gay in a special edition of Linda magazine dedicated to gay sports stars.

Wammes said:“There was already a lot of speculation about whether or not I fell for boys or girls. To me it has nothing to do with sport or how I perform. But when I was asked to do this, I made it clear straight away how things were and that’s that.”

Read the full story, here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pride Solidarity Supports Day of Silence in St Petersburg

Around 50 people - members and friends of the Russian LGBT organization “Coming Out” (Vychod) - joined the international LGBT Youth initiative, the Day of Silence, to protest against the silence created by discrimination, humiliation and violence faced by LGBT people during their education. They were joined by Clare B Dimyon MBE of PRIDE Solidarity, a experienced teacher who is all too familiar with homophobia in British schools.

Russia has participated in the Day of Silence since 2008.

This ground-breaking enterprise in Russia was undertaken in three parts:

1) Day of Silence posters were placed on notice boards where students would see them

2) On 15 April (yesterday) leaflets were sent by fax to the city administration, the courts and prosecutor's office, dean's offices of universities and major media of the city. In total 120 faxes were sent.

3) On Sat 16 April, at 14:00 around 50 people gathered on the world famous Nevsky Prospekt and sealed their mouths with red tape. For over an hour they walked over 2km handing out leaflets explaining the “Day of Silence” as a protest against the harassment and discrimination faced by young LGBT people.

1200 leaflets were produced and none remained at the end of the action creating the most successful outreach action to ordinary people and officials ever seen in Russia.

Igor Kochetkov, director of Vychod (“Coming Out”) said: "We were silent and we were heard. What we, as LGBTactivists, see on the streets of St Petersburg, is more and more understanding of the unacceptability of violence and humiliation of human dignity."

Clare Dimyon MBE said: “It was a great privilege to take part in this action and while it was clear that participants were apprehensive, I certainly was, it was amazing to see that the reaction of the St Petersburg public was interested, even positive and a few even joined the flash mob. I was impressed by the thoughtful and efficient organisation of this action but especially by the young LGBT people who were taking part in an open action for the very first time. I was so very PROUD of them. It was also great that these LGBT History Makers were wearing the LGBT History Month badges that I brought from the UK.”

Facebook Photos


Monday, April 18, 2011

Amaechi talks about Kobe Bryant case

Former US basketball star and LGBT History Month patron John Amaechi has made a detailed response to the Kobe Bryant case. Bryant was fined $100,000 dollars after he called a referee a "f**king f*gg*t" in a game. He has apologised, claiming he never meant to cause offence, and his appealing the penalty.

Amaechi is now a psychologist, counsellor and equalities and diversity trainer.

Read the full article in the New York Times, here.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Same-sex kiss-in protest in Soho

The John Snow pub in Soho was almost the scene of a same sex kiss in protest yesterday. The Sam Smiths hostelry caused outrage among the gay community when two men were allegedly ejected for kissing whilst sitting at a table.

But when the well organised protesters - who numbered about a thousand - turned up to kiss inside the pub, they found the doors were locked. The protesters carried out their kiss-in outside and the pub lost a day's takings.

The Guardian has a report and a video, here. Pictures are available on flickr, here.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Boy George claims queer-bashing is back after brutal attack on Phillip Sallon

Boy George claims homophobic violence is on the increase after his friend Phillip Sallon was found badly beaten and kicked in central London. Claiming these things come in cycles, George said that attacks of this kind were becoming as common as they were in the 1980s. Sallon, a long time friend of Boy George, wore flamboyant clothes and stood out in a crowd. According to George, his appearance is the most likely reason for the attack. He added that his friend would not cause a fight and that there was no other logical explanation. But more to the point, he added, there is a movement towards 'assimilation' in the gay community, where gay men try to fit in rather than be different or 'individual'. This, in turn, makes people who stand out more vulnerable to attack.

Meanwhile the police say they have no evidence that the attack, which took place in the early hours of Sunday morning on the 3rd of April in Shaftesbury Avenue, was motivated by homophobia and no witnesses have come forward. Read the full story in the Guardian, here.

Meanwhile, Mark Healey, who organises the Trafalgar Square Vigils in memory of Ian Baynham, has called for an assembly at the Eros statue in Piccadilly Circus as a protest and a call for witnesses tonight. Facebook event.

Leeds Comprehensive used Sport to Stamp out Homophobia

A Leeds Secondary schools claims to have Stamped out Homophobia with the help of Pride Sports. Prince Henry's in Otley ran an anti-homophobia campaign that eradicated homophobic language as a part of 'tackling all forms of discrimination and promoting equality for all'.

According to assistant head Chris Lillington it was the students who wanted to take on homophobia and the PE Department were the first to take up the gudgel. Chris, who spoke of his school with pride at the LGBT History Month Pre-Launch at Twickenham last November, also said that Pride Sport's Lou Englefield and LGBT History Month patron Sir Ian McKellen visited the school to support their work.

Read the full article, which comes from the newsletter of the National Children's Football Alliance, here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Anger at "plans to 'scrap the Equality Act'"

Equalities and human rights activists went into red alert yesterday at alleged plans to “scrap the Equality Act”.

The panic was caused by a Cabinet Office consultation site inviting comments on the Equality Act, citing a range of questions from whether it should be “scrapped” to whether it should be kept as it is.

LGBT History Month co-chair Tony Fenwick said:

“Some reactions have been premature. The Government would look very silly indeed it if it tried to scrap an act it introduced late last year and updated only a week ago.

“That said; there are those who would like to water down parts of the Act. The requirement for public sector organisations to publish details of what they are doing to challenge discrimination and promote equality could be in jeopardy. We need to defend this requirement because it moves the equalities agenda forward and gives the Act the power to bring about change.

“I therefore invite everyone to access the site (address above) and say “Keep the Act as it is”.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Government wants to hear from trans community

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has set up a monthly Trans bulletin and a survey. The initiative seeks to find out the needs of trans people and what progress they are making in "progressing the agenda".

You can download a pdf version of the bulletin by clicking here

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bulletin No 84

The latest edition of the LGBT History Month bulletin is now available, as usual packed-full of news, information, notices of upcoming events and quotations.

To access the latest bulletin please click on one of the links below:
word document
pdf file
(you can also right click on the links and "save target as")

You can view all previous bulletins here or register to our mailing list here.

Sir Simon Milton Dies

Simon Milton

The London's Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning, Sir Simon Milton, has died after a short illness, aged 49.

Simon Milton on wikipedia

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Public Sector Duty Launched

The Equality Act public Sector Duty came into operation on Tuesday April 5th. This will protect all the strands against discrimination and demand that all areas of the public sector promote equality on the grounds of:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage/civil partnership
  • pregnancy/maternity
  • race
  • religion/belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) will oversee the implementation of the Duty.

For more information on the new laws, click here.