Showing posts with label England. Show all posts
Showing posts with label England. Show all posts

March 12, 2020

BBC Investigation Of LGBT Homeless Teens Across England


by Hannah Price

A BBC Three investigation has found that some local councils across England are asking young LGBT people who have been forced to leave home to obtain letters from their parents as "proof" that they're homeless.
Saskia* was 15 when she perched on the edge of her parents' bed and told her mum, who was suffering from terminal cancer, that she wanted a sex change. She didn't yet know the word "transgender".
"I needed to tell her before she went," Saskia recalls.
Through the haze of illness, her mum hugged her. She died a few days later.
A year later, she told her dad, and his reaction couldn't have been more different.
He shouted a homophobic slur at her, she says, and put his hands around her throat.
When he wasn't being violent, Saskia says her dad would emotionally abuse her by talking angrily about how her transition would tear the family apart. Saskia's sibling messaged her, saying: "I wish you died instead of mum."
Eventually, after an explosive argument with her dad, where she was told she was no longer welcome at home, Saskia left the house to stay with a friend's family. 
"It was a very strange, scary night. I kept waking up not knowing where I was or what was going to happen to me," she says.
It didn't hit Saskia that she was homeless until a few days later. The items she had quickly scooped up into a bag were all she had now.
LGBT homeless sleepBBC THREE

'I couldn't get a letter so I was left homeless'

The Albert Kennedy Trust, an LGBT youth homeless charity, estimates that one quarter of all homeless people under the age of 25 are LGBT and found that 69% of them have experienced familial rejection, abuse and violence.
When Saskia contacted Cornwall Council for help, she says they asked her to obtain a letter from her dad to prove she had been kicked out.
"Obviously I couldn't message my dad to ask for it, I was just terrified of being in the same place as him.
"I was trying to contact my family to try and get it [but] they just weren't cooperating.
"The council basically said without evidence there was nothing they could do." 
As a result Saskia says she was left sofa surfing for months, at 16.
"It was really terrifying to be waking up in a different place and finding out at school who I'm sleeping with that night, when I’d next be moving my stuff and not knowing if I was going to eat that day."
BBC Three contacted all 343 local councils in England and found that Saskia is not alone in her experience — 55 are asking young LGBT people who have been told to leave home for letters from their parents as “proof" of homelessness, unless there are claims of abuse.
The BBC has spoken to several people under the age of 25 that had to leave home because of their sexuality or gender identity and who say they are unable to obtain a letter from their parents or guardians. They say their local council is not supporting them as a result - because the council either does not believe that they are homeless or is labelling them as "intentionally homeless".
Some have been asked for letters even after they told the council they are victims of domestic abuse by their parents.
Of the 175 councils that responded to our questions only four said they never contact LGBT people's parents for proof that they've asked their child to leave home. 
Leading charities say the system is putting homeless LGBT young people at risk.
The Local Government Association said that because of "unprecedented funding pressures", they are becoming "increasingly limited in what they can do". They also said that more than two thirds of council homelessness services are now being "forced" to spend more than they budgeted for on homelessness.
LGBT homelessnessBBC THREE
Leigh Fontaine, services manager at The Albert Kennedy Trust, sees "proof" letter requests all the time.
"A lot of the time parents will say one thing to the local authority — 'Oh, no. I've not kicked my son or my daughter out' — but in the same instance they are telling the child they can't return home. I don't think that local authorities always take homophobic abuse in the home seriously." 
Nic Nichol, a housing barrister who has represented homeless clients for over 30 years, said: "There is a general societal problem of straight people — council officers — not understanding the degree to which being LGBT renders a person vulnerable."
After being contacted about Saskia's experience, a spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: "The experience of the young person highlighted in your report is not one we would want or expect for any homeless young person coming to us for help. 
"We're committed to treating everyone who approaches us for help and advice with respect and in line with our homelessness protocols. Any 16 or 17 year old coming to us for help with housing will, if homeless, automatically be considered to be in priority need. 
"In situations involving young people and where there has not been an allegation of abuse, we will contact the parents to establish the home situation and offer mediation if appropriate. Our aim is to keep families together, but in situations where this is not possible we will arrange alternative temporary accommodation."
The spokesperson denied that Cornwall Council asks for letters to prove if a young person is homeless but confirmed they do contact parents directly if there has not been an allegation of abuse.
LGBT homeless doorwayBBC THREE

'I felt like the council was against me'

Like Saskia, Reggie* found himself homeless at a young age. 
When he was 13, Reggie wrote a love note to the boy he fancied and sometimes sat next to on the school bus. No-one was ever supposed to read it but after accidentally leaving it at home, his mum found it.
"The breakdown of our entire relationship happened over one afternoon," he says. "The next three years were like living in hell, it was really bad."
Reggie says that his mum kicked him out when he turned 16 because he was gay and she was no longer receiving child benefit for him. 
When he approached his local council he says he was asked to provide a letter from his mum as proof he was homeless.
"I felt that the council were against me, as much against me as my own family, and I felt like I didn't have anywhere to turn."
He says he resorted to rough sleeping and other ways of surviving: "I've used apps and dating websites to be able to find somewhere to stay for the night if I'm desperate. I've felt like I had to have sex with the person I was staying with to be able to stay there."
He eventually sought shelter at a youth hostel, where he made the decision to go back into the closet, for his own safety.
"Being in a space like that was toxic for me because I felt like I couldn't be out — I felt like, if anyone did find out I was gay, something terrible would happen to me," Reggie remembers.
He describes the hostel as full of "casual homophobia, and casual racism… there was no other black person there, I'd overhear many racist jokes or jokes about gay people."

What support is there?

In 2017, homelessness activist Carla Ecola founded The Outside Project — the UK's first ever LGBT homeless shelter exclusively for the community. Carla experienced being homeless, and found there was no specific provision for LGBT people: "You don't really feel you belong in [existing] services or that they would really understand your needs, or that it's actually safe for you.
"Genuine solidarity would be an actual service delivery, funding bed spaces, making reforms in your councils to be able to support our community properly."
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: "This Government recognises that homelessness amongst LGBT people is an important issue and is determined to understand it better. That's why we are currently undertaking research drawing on people's experience.
"We are also funding bespoke training for frontline staff to support those identifying as LGBT and our findings from this and the research will help us to ensure we are meeting the needs of these individuals."
The BBC understands the training was voluntary and is due to finish this month - only nine, of the 175 local councils that responded, confirmed they have had specialist LGBT homelessness training.
The spokesperson added that in 2020/2021 they are providing £437 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping and that councils have used this funding to create an estimated 2,600 more bed spaces and 750 additional specialist support staff this year.
But Helen Hayes, Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, says: "These findings are shocking and point to a basic failure to understand the needs of LGBT people facing homelessness and to offer appropriate support and protection. The government should take these findings very seriously and introduce mandatory training for all frontline staff working in homelessness, with the funding to ensure that councils can implement it."
Saskia is living in university accommodation now, but says she's still fearful for her future: "If I don't get a job straight out of uni, I know I'm going to be homeless again. 
"I feel like if I ended up on the streets — I couldn’t go out there another time, I don’t think I’d be able to survive it again. I barely survived it the first time."
*Names have been changed to protect anonymity.

August 31, 2019

The Rejection of Gay Asylum Seekers Claims Shows The Anti Gay Attitudes in England

                                       Image result for homophobic england

An immigration judge in the United Kingdom has caused a storm amongst LGBT rights activists after he rejected an asylum seeker’s claims that he was gay. Whilst full details of the case have not been revealed, the asylum seeker, according to reporting from the Guardian newspaper, claimed he was fleeing his country due to fears for his own safety. The judge denied the application for asylum in the first-tier immigration tribunal in London because the man did not have a gay “demeanor.” The claimant’s barrister compared the ruling to “something from the 16th century,” with LGBT activists voicing their disapproval. But what does this case tell us of the treatment of LGBT asylum seekers, and is it indicative of the Brexit-torn country’s future immigration stance?
The stereotyping of gay men during the 1980s and 1990s, fuelled by homophobic government legislation and media coverage, resulted in a societal fear of gay men and the broader LGBT community.

Hadley Stewart 
Writer, broadcaster, and journalist
Gay men face the death penalty in 14 countries across the world. The European Union is comparatively accepting of LGBT people on the global stage, yet lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-Europeans continue to face other forms of prejudice and discrimination in their daily lives. According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, the UK is ranked eighth in the EU in terms of LGBT rights. The country remains a popular place for LGBT people to settle from continental Europe and further afield. So it is perhaps unsurprising that such an outdated view of LGBT people being expressed in a court of law has caused a stir amongst activists and human rights defenders. 
The judge exemplified why he thought the claimant was lying about his sexuality. The claimant’s witness - also a gay man - wore lipstick to court. The judge commented on this, suggesting that claimant’s appearance did not mirror that of other gay men. Moreover, the judge said that the witness had an “effeminate way of looking around the room” and that he was able to demonstrate his sexuality by his membership of an LGBT organization.
It is baffling that a judge would make such comments, which are deep-rooted in stigma towards gay men. These comments have no place in a court of law, nor in our society, and suggesting that somebody should “prove” their sexuality is nonsensical. In fact, I would argue that it mirrors practices in countries where homosexuality is illegal. Only a few years have passed since the United Nations called on the government of Tunisia to ban doctors practicing forced anal examinations of men who were “suspected” of being gay; practices that were deemed by the intergovernmental organization as a human rights infringement. There is no medical evidence to support claims that such examinations enable authorities to determine somebody’s sexuality.
Whilst the judge’s comments do not equate to these kinds of barbaric practices in countries where it is illegal to be gay, they do set the UK down a slippery slope. The stereotyping of gay men during the 1980s and 1990s, fuelled by homophobic government legislation and media coverage, resulting in a societal fear of gay men and the broader LGBT community. The discourse surrounding the HIV crisis, and the insinuation from Margaret Thatcher that gay men threatened the values of her country, caused the isolation of this group within society. Poor mental health amongst LGBT people is often cited alongside discrimination and societal stigma, demonstrating the negative consequences such comments can have on those who hear them. These views belong in the past and have no place in today’s society.
What’s more, the judge’s comments also raise questions about the attitudes of authorities towards LGBT people. If a judge felt so at ease by making such offensive remarks, it begs the question of the extent to which homophobia can creep into immigration rulings and other Home Office matters. Arguably Prime Minster Johnson calling gay men “tank-topped bumboys” has the potential to give the green light to senior officials to make future comments of this nature, or use offensive views towards minorities to defend everything from court rulings to immigration policies.
The UK is currently going through a challenging time in its history as it attempts to divorce the EU. Whilst I am not suggesting that everybody who voted for Brexit is prejudiced, Brexit certainly caused a seismic shift of the political landscape, with offensive comments oozing through the fault lines. Racist and xenophobic comments seem to have found a rebirth amongst the general public, elected representatives and the media. Global politics, namely the throw-away comments made by President Donald Trump about immigrants, have further galvanized a once quiet minority within British society.
Such discriminatory views about immigration have also spilled across all aspects of society, perhaps in part demonstrated by the number of homophobic hate crimes doubling since 2014, with transphobic hate crimes trebling. This immigration case might be indicative of the need for reform, such as building bridges between courts and LGBT organizations, to ensure LGBT people are being treated fairly by the Home Office.
It is clear that the judge, in this case, lost all objectivity and prioritized his own archaic homophobic views when passing a judgment, which has the potential for devastating consequences for the claimant. Whilst the comments he made raises further questions about the influence of outmoded stigma creeping its way into future rulings, I would argue that they are symptomatic of broader societal unrest. At a time when the UK has never been more divided and lacking in empathy for minority groups, the country is in need of a unifying force to carry it through the next chapter of its history. I fear that the views expressed by the country’s current leadership are only validating such stigmatizing comments.
Hadley Stewart is a London-based writer, broadcaster and journalist.

January 5, 2019

Chelsea Homophobic Supporter Banned to Attending Games For Using Anti Gay Slurs During Premier Game


A Chelsea supporter who pleaded guilty to shouting anti-gay abuse during a Premier League game against Brighton has been banned from attending football matches for three years.

George Bradley, a 20-year-old Blues fan, admitted a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment during the match at the Amex Stadium on Dec. 16.

He was also fined £965 after appearing at Brighton Magistrates' Court on Thursday. It is not yet clear whether Chelsea will take their own action. 

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A Brighton spokesperson said: "We would like to thank Sussex Police for their assistance in dealing with this unsavoury incident, and we are very pleased with the outcome.

"It underlines both their and our commitment to a zero tolerance policy on any form of abuse from those attending matches at the Amex.

"We would remind all fans that we will not tolerate any form of abusive behaviour at the stadium and will always take the strongest possible action."

Darren Balkham, Sussex Police's football policing officer, added: "Mr Bradley pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and accepted his behaviour was not acceptable and this was recognised by the court.

"I would urge any supporter attending the Amex to report these incidents to either a steward or police officer to allow us to take action at the time."

Chelsea have pledged to take the strongest possible action against any racist or discriminatory words or actions from their own supporters after a series of damaging incidents in recent weeks.

Last month the Blues announced they had banned four supporters from attending games at Stamford Bridge "pending further investigations" into alleged racist abuse directed at Manchester City star Raheem Sterling during a Premier League match in December.

UEFA are also investigating alleged antisemitic chanting from a minority of travelling Chelsea supporters during a Europa League group game against Vidi -- an incident that a Blues spokesperson said had "shamed the club" -- with a decision on possible punishment expected in mid-January.


December 29, 2017

UK Bishop Criticizes Conservative Evangelicals For Uncritical Support of Trump Vs. Poor

Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool, accuses some religious leaders of ‘colluding with a system that marginalizes the poor’

 Church of England, York


A senior Church of England bishop has lambasted conservative evangelical Christians in the US for their “uncritical support” of Donald Trump, urging them to reflect on how their endorsement of the president relates to their faith.

Paul Bayes, the bishop of Liverpool, said “self-styled evangelicals” risked bringing the word evangelical into disrepute, and added there was no justification for Christians contradicting God’s teaching to protect the poor and the weak.

Bayes told the Guardian: “Some of the things that have been said by religious leaders seem to collude with a system that marginalises the poor, a system which builds walls instead of bridges, a system which says people on the margins of society should be excluded, a system which says we’re not welcoming people any more into our country. 

 Paul Bayes: ‘If people want to support rightwing populism … how are they going to relate that to their Christian faith?’ Photograph: Rebecca Lupton for the Guardian
“Whenever people say those kinds of things, they need to be able to justify that they’re saying those things as Christians, and I do not believe it’s justifiable.”

He said he regretted that “people who call themselves evangelical in the US seem to be uncritically accepting” positions taken by Trump and his allies.

“Some quite significant so-called evangelical leaders are uncritically supporting people in ways that imply they are colluding or playing down the seriousness of things which in other parts of their lives [they] would see as really important,” Bayes added.

He stressed that not all evangelicals were Trump supporters, saying there were “many, many Christians who are trying to proclaim the gospel as we’ve received it, even if that means political leaders have to be challenged”.

Last month, Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said he could not comprehend the strength of support for Trump among conservative evangelicals in the US. “I really genuinely do not understand where that is coming from,” he told ITV’s Peston on Sunday programme.

In his Christmas Day sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, Welby criticised “populist leaders that deceive” their people, in comments interpreted as being aimed at Trump. 

According to the Washington-based Pew Research Center, 80% of self-identified white evangelical Christians said they voted for Trump in the 2016 election, and three-quarters have since said they approve of his presidency.

Bayes, who has been bishop of Liverpool since 2014, said: “If people want to support rightwing populism anywhere in the world, they are free to do so. The question is, how are they going to relate that to their Christian faith?

“And if what I believe are the clear teachings of the gospel about love for all, the desire for justice and for making sure marginalized and defenseless people are protected, if it looks as though those teachings are being contradicted, then I think there is a need to say so.”

Bayes was speaking to mark the launch of a new Christian charity, which he is chairing, aimed at eliminating discrimination based on sexuality or gender.

The Ozanne Foundation will work with religious organizations around the world on LGBTI, gender and sexuality issues, as well as conflict resolution and education. It will be led by Jayne Ozanne, a prominent campaigner for equality within the C of E. Along with Bayes, the charity’s trustees and advisers include David Ison, the dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Jeffrey John, the dean of St Albans, and Martyn Percy, the dean of Christ Church, Oxford. 

Bayes has previously called for the far-reaching change in C of E attitudes to LGBTI people, saying he had been “profoundly changed” by encounters with lesbian and gay Christians, including within his own family. “I have come to believe that we need to change the church,” he said last year.

The Ozanne Foundation would provide “strong and clear advocacy, not only for LGBTI inclusion but against other forms of discrimination and hurt in the church”, he said. “There is room in the church for people who strongly and clearly advocate for change, and I want to support them.”

The church’s “institutional inertia” needed to be countered, Bayes added. “There is no doubt that the church at the moment is on a journey, and that journey needs to arrive at a place of inclusion further on than we are at the moment.

“What matters to me in terms of my own responsibility and my own advocacy is that we don’t settle for second best, that we keep trying to move the organization forward.”

Religion correspondent

November 20, 2017

Ryan Atkin is Now The Fist Out-Gay Athlete in Professional English Soccer

Ryan Atkin Becomes First Openly Gay Professional In English Soccer

“Role models are important—to show that being gay and being interested in football are by no means mutually exclusive," says Ryan Atkin. 

Ryan Atkin, a 32-year-old referee, made history this week as the first openly gay professional in English soccer.
On Tuesday, Atkin oversaw his first game, a National League matchup between Eastbourne Borough and Welling United. The arena only held 4,150 fans, and Eastbourne is five tiers below teams like Manchester United, but his presence was still a milestone. 
“Ryan’s declaration marks an important moment in the game and reinforces the fact that refereeing really is open to everyone,” said Neale Barry, head of senior referee development for the English Football Association (FA).
The FA has expressed concerned about the lack of out role models in football, a billion-dollar industry in the UK, and has partnered with Stonewall UK to combat homophobia with initiatives like the Rainbow Laces campaign
“It is slightly behind other sports,” Atkin told ITV, “but [men’s soccer] is getting there and organizations are making big strides.”
In the U.S., women’s soccer stars include Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach. And, in 2013, Robbie Rogers became the first out male player on the professional level when he signed on with the L.A. Galaxy.

Atkins says the FA could create a safer atmosphere for gay pros by treating homophobic remarks the same way it does racist ones. “People should be removed from grounds and they should receive bans because it’s exactly the same,” he said. “Why it’s not dealt with the same we don’t know yet, but we will get there eventually.”
In the meantime, he believes the sport is heading in the right direction.
Victor Decolongon/Getty
“Role models are important to show that being gay and being interested in football are by no means mutually exclusive,” he told Sky Sports. “Homophobia is still a problem but things are improving all the time. You can change the game and culture by changing your mind. Referees get a lot of stick for a number of reasons, but their sexual orientation cannot be one of them.”
Atkins says he’s been humbled by all the messages of support he’s received from fans and players so far.
“As we evolve as a society and more people create an environment where they can be themselves,” he said, “[Soccer] will change.”
Published first in LOGO  
I believe that true, well-told stories have the power to change the world for good. I also love a good listicle.

August 17, 2017

Ryan Atkin 32, First Gay Referee in Professional Soccer

 A small league soccer pitch in a British coastal town seems an unlikely setting for a giant step forward in soccer equality. 
But when Ryan Atkin steps onto the field at Eastbourne Borough Tuesday, he will become the first openly gay man in English professional soccer — a sign of how far the sport lags behind others in overcoming homophobia despite its vast wealth and corporate support.  
The 32-year-old referee will take charge of the club’s home game against Welling United. It is a National League game, five tiers below the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, and the venue only holds 4,150 fans — but English soccer’s ruling body knows it marks a significant milestone. 
“Ryan's declaration marks an important moment in the game and reinforces the fact that refereeing really is open to everyone,” said Neale Barry, head of senior referee development at The FA. 
There are thousands of gay male soccer players and fans worldwide, many of them playing for the 100-plus amateur or semi-professional teams registered with the International Gay & Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA)
In the U.S, the MLS recorded its first openly gay male professional soccer player in 2013 when Robbie Rogers returned to L.A. Galaxy. 
However, the glitzy top tiers of the English sport — dominated by billions of dollars in TV revenues, corporate sponsorship and global merchandising — have remained stubbornly free of openly gay players or officials. Even the number of retired players disclosing their sexuality remains tiny. 
The lack of LGBT role models has been a concern The FA, which along with some major clubs has joined forces with Stonewall for initiatives including the Rainbow Laces campaign to stamp out casual homophobia at games. 
It is a stark contrast to women’s soccer, where the U.S. has been represented by prominent out stars such as midfielder Megan Rapinoe and striker Abby Wambach. The latter is not only the highest all-time U.S. scorer — chalking up 184 goals — but also holds the world international goal record for both female and male soccer players.  
It also lags behind other sports such as NFL, to which Michael Sam was drafted in 2014, and NBA where Jason Collins made history in 2013 as the first openly gay player in the four major U.S. sports leagues. 
“It is slightly behind other sports but [men’s soccer] is getting there and organizations are making big strides,” Atkin told Britain’s ITV ahead of Tuesday’s game. “Counties bidding for major tournaments must have LGBT policies in place and is it’s sad that Russia and others don’t have that.” 
He added: “[Soccer] … will change gradually over time. As we evolve as a society and more people create an environment where they can be themselves, [soccer] will change.” 
Image: Ryan Atkin
Ryan Atkin Sky Sports
Part of the problem has been attributed to the sport’s global appeal, including in many countries were homosexuality is still taboo or even illegal. 
One step forward, Atkin said, would be to treat homophobia as seriously as racism — especially when it comes to crowds of fans. 
“If people are making homophobic marks it should be the same as racist remarks, they should be removed from the ground and receive bans,” he said. 
Nevertheless Atkin was looking forward to Tuesday’s landmark game. 
“I want to be judged as a referee not as a gay referee, I want to be respected on the pitch,” he said, adding that he was “humbled” and “overwhelmed” by worldwide messages of support from fans and players. 
“When you are yourself, you perform better,” he said. 
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August 2, 2017

Gay Men Still Get Persecuted and Abused in England and Wales

James and Dain after the attack 

Fifty years ago, gay sex between men in private was decriminalised in England and Wales. Despite this, hate crimes against gay people have persisted, and the number of attacks recorded by police has been rising. There were 7,194 in England and Wales in the year to April 2016. Campaigners say this isn't the full picture, though, as many victims still don't report assaults. Six people affected by hate crimes share their stories. 
Warning: This story contains details of violence and images which some readers might find upsetting.
James and Dain were enjoying a night out together in Brighton in May 2016 when they were followed out of a nightclub and attacked on the seafront. The assault has left physical and emotional scars.
James: We were at the bar and we got this look from a couple of guys from across the dance floor. It takes a lot to make me feel uncomfortable but it was just such a weird look they gave us. Dain had his arm around me. I don't think they liked that. Then they started shouting at us. I told Dain we needed to get out of the club into a taxi the quickest way possible. 
Dain: We left the bar. No-one was about. All of a sudden I heard running behind us. There was no way we were going to outrun them. They grabbed us from behind and chucked us to the floor. I was lying on the pavement and all I could see was James but the next thing I saw was a shoe coming towards my face. That knocked me completely unconscious. 
James: One of the boys started kicking Dain's face really rapidly. There was a lot of aggression and shouting of "gay boys". Every time I tried to crawl closer to Dain, I was dragged along the pavement. At that point, a taxi drove past and called the police. I remember standing up for the first time and Dain looked at me and said, "I can't see." 
Dain's facial injuries after the attackDain: My eye socket was completely shattered. I had haemorrhages in both my eyes and fractures on my cheeks. My tooth was chipped and my nose was broken as well. I remember being in hospital and kept asking, "Am I going to be able to see again?" They said, "We can't tell you because everything is so swollen." They couldn't even open my eyes. 

Image copyrightDain in hospital after the attack

James and I were very close anyway but spending that much time with each other really proved to me how strong our relationship is. I'm a very resilient person and I'm not going to live my life how someone else wants me to. I'm not going to let anyone change that. If anything, this has made me want to be who I am even more. 
James: It's made him stronger and it's made him not care about what other people think and to go out there and be himself even more, whereas it's done the opposite to me. It's changed me. I've changed my thought process and mindset, how I think, how I look, how I speak, who I'm with, where we go and it's sad because I remember how we were before it happened and I look at us now and it's upsetting because it's them who made this happen. That's what's hard to accept. 
It's a year since it happened and I thought things would probably get easier but they haven't. When we're out and about he wants us to look like we're together obviously but I'm scared of something similar happening again. It wasn't like that a year ago. We didn't go down the street holding hands but I wasn't fully aware of us making sure that we weren't seen as a couple. 
I couldn't ever forgive the people who attacked us or forget what happened. It will stay with me and I'm sure it will stay with them for the rest of their lives.


  • From the section Magazine

  • Both attackers, Gage Vye-Parminter and Matthew Howes, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and assault and were sentenced to seven years in prison.

    July 27, 2017

    Theresa May, On The End of 50 yrs of Gay Persecution and Celebrates the Decriminalization on England, Wales

    On the right there is a scientist and mathematician, modern father of the computer and military codes was forced to be castrated and at the end not able to see others like him committed suicide. On the left a famous gay movie star on his first break, His career was impacted by talks and suspicions about being gay. You could be gay in the studios as long as no one found out. Lives' negatively impacted by England's archaic gay laws. The United States and most of the West was no different.

    The Conservative Party has been "wrong" on gay rights in the past - but can be proud of the role it has played in recent years, Theresa May has said.
    Marking 50 years since the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales, the PM said she and the party had both "come a long way".
    Mrs. May said there will "justifiably be skepticism" about the way she voted on some LGBT issues.
    PinkNews also carries comments from the Labour leader and three ex-PMs.
    The Sexual Offences Act was introduced on 27 July 1967 under Harold Wilson's Labour government.
    It decriminalized homosexual acts in private between men aged 21 and over.
    Mrs. May said: "I am proud of the role my party has played in recent years in advocating a Britain which seeks to end discrimination on the grounds of sexuality or gender identity, but I acknowledge where we have been wrong on these issues in the past." 
    As an MP in 1998, Mrs. May voted against reducing the age of consent for homosexual acts from 18 to 16 and four years later opposed allowing gay couples to adopt. 
    She was also absent for several votes affecting LGBT rights - but in 2004 backed civil partnerships, and as a member of the coalition government supported a succession of measures including same sex-marriages.
    She told PinkNews: "There will justifiably be skepticism about the positions taken and votes cast down through the years by the Conservative Party, and by me, compared to where we are now.
    "But like the country we serve, my party and I have come a long way."

    'Long journey'

    Mrs. May's predecessor David Cameron told PinkNews the Same Sex Marriage Act, which legalized gay weddings in England and Wales in 2013, was one of his "proudest achievements".
    "Marriage is a great institution and I have long believed that it should be there for everybody; it now is and Britain led the way," he said.
    Tony Blair said: "We have come a long way over the last 50 years and it's right to celebrate, but while there are still challenges, such as pupils subject to homophobic and transphobic bullying... there is still further to go." Sir John Major said the act was "the start of a long journey that would have been inconceivable in 1967". 
    He said: "We are what fate made us. And, whatever that may be, we are entitled to give and receive affection."
    In a separate article, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the anniversary was a time to "recognize the great strides towards equality that have been made".
    He said: "I am proud of the role the Labour Party played in these advances... but this progress is not down to MPs in Parliament... these achievements belong first and foremost to the LGBT community who have persevered against prejudice for many years."
    Mr. Corbyn also urged the prime minister to stand up "in the strongest terms" to US President Donald Trump on LGBT issues, saying he had "incited hatred and discrimination".
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    Coronavirus Makes The Rich and Well-off Disappear From 5th Ave.

      An empty street in Manhattan on Thursday.   Photographer: Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images By  Amanda L Gordon Bloomberg        ...