Showing posts with label International Coming Out. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International Coming Out. Show all posts

December 7, 2019

Premiership Referee Craig Maxwell-Keys Comes Out Gay



                     Image result for Craig Maxwell Keys



Professional rugby has continually embraced modern technology - so it's no surprise that Premiership referee Craig Maxwell-Keys took a similar approach towards coming out as gay.
Maxwell-Keys, who has also taken charge of European games, eventually decided the time was right to reveal his sexuality to colleagues at Twickenham as well as his local club, Lichfield RFC.
"You could say it's modern-day," said the 29-year-old, speaking to the BBC's LGBT Sports Podcast. "I sent a WhatsApp message at 6am before I was due to go on a family holiday to Greece.
"I then turned the phone off and didn't turn it on again for a good couple of hours. Then after a few too many wines in Greece, I read the messages back.
"It shouldn't have been a surprise, but all the messages were really positive and supportive.
"When I got a contract offer from Twickenham, I hadn't fully accepted my sexuality myself. It was another two years working in rugby that opened my eyes to the fact that everyone is really supportive.
"It's just an extension of my family and my support network, and the guys at Twickenham made it really simple for me to come out. The limiting factor was me and whether I was ready." Gunning overcomes prejudice to chase the Olympic dream 


Maxwell-Keys drifted towards becoming a match official by chance - he broke his wrist playing for Lichfield as a youngster and while recovering from the injury, he enrolled on a refereeing course.

Well and truly bitten by the refereeing bug, he took charge at the Staffordshire Under-12 Festival at the age of 17 and worked his way up the ladder to become a full-time referee in 2014.
Of course, Maxwell-Keys is not the only openly gay rugby referee - Nigel Owens, who came out in 2007, is one of the sport's highest-profile officials and has featured at three World Cups.
"I can't sing as well as Nigel can, I certainly can't dance as well as Nigel can and I'm definitely not as funny as Nigel is, so there are a lot of differences!" says Maxwell-Keys.
"When I did come out to our boss at Twickenham, he put me in touch with Nigel and we had a chat, which was really helpful.
"Nigel had some good words of advice and support, which I was really grateful for at the time and still am.
"They made it really clear that you could be a part of pro sport, that you can be true to who you are and still have that life in sport."

As well as joining the Premiership's 16-man pool of referees, Maxwell-Keys has also run the line at the Six Nations and took charge of his first international - Romania against the USA - last season.
Now based in Cheltenham, he aims to continue moving up the referees' pecking order - and his experiences since coming out have indicated that sexuality will be no barrier to that.
"From everyone who has taken an interest, they've said "cheers for sharing it" and on we go, and I think that's the liberating thing - rugby is more interested in how good you are," said Maxwell-Keys.
"If you're good enough, you'll get to whatever level you aspire to. That's what matters and not necessarily who you love or your gender or anything like that, it's purely at the top end about 'are you good enough'.
"It's a very competitive group of referees at Twickenham, vying for a limited pool of games. From my perspective, I'm refereeing in Europe, and the priority is to get some higher profile European Cup games.
"From there, the world is my oyster, as they say."

November 10, 2019

24 Yr Old Turkmenistanian Doctor Who Disappeared After Coming Out Gay is Back



        



A 24-year-old doctor from Turkmenistan who admitted he was gay and went missing on October 24 after obeying a police summons has reappeared at his home and has recanted his comments.
Kasymberdy Garayev -- whose mother and father and siblings had also disappeared -- on November 6 denied ever having previously contacted RFE/RL about his plight during a video call on a messenger application.

He furthermore said that everything that was reported on him -- he spoke to RFE/RL last month about the problems he faced as a homosexual in his country, where being gay is a crime -- was false.
WATCH: The missing Turkmen man recorded a farewell video message for his family.
Garayev said a farewell video message that he sent to RFE/RL in which he apologized to his family for any problems he may have caused them for publicly announcing his homosexuality was recorded for a different purpose.

The recording, he said, was sent to RFE/RL by mistake.
After detailing his tormented life being gay in the conservative country on October 21, Garayev three days later was called into a police station, which is the last time he and his family were heard from. 
Gays face prison sentences of up to 2 years in Turkmenistan.

The prestigious clinic in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, where Garayev worked told RFE/RL that the trained cardiologist “no longer works here.”

Attempts to find Garayev’s family also failed after discovering that the family was no longer living in their home in Ashgabat and the neighbors didn’t know what had happened to them.

Then on November 6, a man claiming to be Garayev’s father, Maksat Garayev, called RFE/RL asking it to inform all the organizations that we're concerned about his son’s fate that he and his family members are doing fine.

Kasymberdy Garayev later told RFE/RL the same evening that he is at home and had never spoken to RFE/RL, adding that everything that was published about him earlier was not true.

The father also said that the reports about his son were wrong. He did not specify what exactly was inaccurate in the reports.

Earlier, on November 6, an Italian Senator Monica Cirinna issued a statement, calling on the Italian government to challenge Turkmenistan’s official delegation, led by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, which was expected to visit Rome, regarding the disappearance of Garayev.

Several LGBT rights groups have started a campaign to protect Garayev.

Human Rights Watch, on November 1, urged Ashgabat to give detailed information about the whereabouts of Garayev and members of his family.

September 17, 2019

A Gospel Singer in Rwandan Comes Out As Gay





In this photo taken Friday Sept. 6, 2019, Albert Nabonibo, a well-known gospel singer in Rwanda, walks out from the Church of Zion temple celebration centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Nabonibo shocked many last month when he revealed he is a gay man in a country where such a public assertion of homosexuality is unheard of. (AP Photo/Olivier Muhizi)
           
 
KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Friends of Albert Nabonibo, a well-known gospel singer in Rwanda who recently came out as a gay man, do not want their names revealed. It is too shameful, one says. Another says he is anguished because his family knows he often used to socialize with Nabonibo.
Nabonibo shocked many Rwandans in August when he revealed in an interview with a Christian YouTube channel that he is gay in a country where such a public assertion of homosexuality is unheard of. Although the central African nation has been relatively free of the anti-gay rhetoric commonly heard in some other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, homosexuality is still widely despised, and LGBT people keep a low profile. 
Nabonibo told The Associated Press that he came out in order to live normally. Yet the reaction he has received, from family and friends to strangers, has been mostly “horrible,” he said, underscoring the intolerance faced by LGBT people in many parts of Africa.
“But there is no going back, because I have to live my real life,” Nabonibo said in an interview in the capital, Kigali. “It’s so sad to see people you know abusing you.”
Nabonibo, who is 35 and a qualified accountant, said he had become an outcast at his workplace as friends isolate him. He is worried he could lose his job. Even at home, news of his homosexuality shocked many relatives, although some have been acting tolerant, he said.
Although Rwanda’s penal code does not explicitly proscribe gay sex, same-sex marriage is banned. This means that many homosexuals are forced to live underground lifestyles in order to avoid the harsh judgment of society. Nabonibo said he was compelled to come out because he could no longer “live in denial.”
“There is a long list of them (gays) in your midst and they include pastors or churchgoers,” he said. “This pretense encouraged me to speak out.”
William Ntwali, a Rwandan human rights activist, said society in the country still stigmatizes gay people even when they are safe under the law.
“If you are gay, members of your community ostracize you,” he said. “People think you are not normal, and they look at it as an abomination.”
Some of Nabonibo’s best friends who spoke to the AP said they were too embarrassed even to talk about him. They requested anonymity for their own privacy.
“This is crazy. I don’t understand why he thinks this is normal,” said one friend, shaking his head.
Another friend, a man who attends the same church as Nabonibo, said he was in a state of “agony” since the rest of his family knows he used to hang out with Nabonibo. Now he has blocked Nabonibo from all phone contact, saying he wants to “keep safe.” 
There has been a similar reaction on social media, with many Rwandans questioning Nabonibo’s intentions and others condemning him. One wondered on Twitter: “How can a gospel singer be gay?”
A senior government official, however, expressed support for Nabonibo, saying he is protected under the law and urging the singer to continue his worship ministry.
“All Rwandans are born and remain equal in rights and freedoms,” Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda’s state minister for foreign affairs, said on Twitter.
According to Human Rights Watch, 32 African nations have varying laws criminalizing homosexuality. In many cases most of the anti-gay laws are left over from the colonial era, one reason gay rights activists have fought vigorously to have the laws jettisoned.
In June, the gay rights movement in Africa scored a victory when a court in Botswana, upholding the rights of LGBT people, overturned laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relations.
But there have been some setbacks.
In 2017, Chad enacted legislation criminalizing same-sex relations for the first time in the country’s history.
In May, a court in Kenya ruled against overturning a colonial-era law criminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults. Activists there who had challenged the law in court said they faced discrimination and threats to their dignity.
In neighboring Uganda, a government minister in charge of ethics is threatening to introduce another version of an anti-gay law passed in 2014, and subsequently voided by the country’s constitutional court, that provided for jail terms of up to life for those convicted of engaging in gay sex. The original version of that bill, first introduced in 2009, had included the death penalty for what it called aggravated acts of homosexuality.
In Rwanda, the way ahead can be challenging, Nabonibo said.
Some neighborhoods in Kigali are filled with gossip about how a certain gay man might spoil other citizens, he said.
“Criticism and sadness. What does it matter? What’s important is that I have taken my choice,” he said softly. 
 by AP news

January 18, 2019

He is 31, A Volunteer Soldier in The Ukraine Under Fire From Russia, Decides To End His Isolation and Come Out Gay




The LGBT community in Ukraine is often under attack but one volunteer soldier has gone public about his sexuality.
Viktor Pylypenko, 31, decided to come out after hearing how the LGBT community was being talked about. 
The BBC's Zhanna Bezpiatchuk went to meet him.
Image result for Viktor Pylypenko, 31
VIKTOR PYLYPENKO, WHO SERVED IN THE DONBAS BATTALION UNDER THE NOM DE GUERRE “FRENCHMAN,” IS A LITTLE TIRED OF COMMENTING TO JOURNALISTS. HE IS THE ONLY PROJECT PARTICIPANT WHO DARED TO COME OUT. HE CONFESSES THAT IT IS EASIER TO LIVE NOW THAT HE DOES NOT HAVE TO HIDE / Photo by Mykola TYMCHENKO, The Day
The man confesses that it is easier for him to live after he came out. Viktor is pleased that he does not need to hide. “In reality, comings-out should be done almost daily, for far from everybody reads the internet, where all this is published,” Pylypenko adds. “Someone may be telling a joke about gays, and I have to do a coming-out in front of these people to make them aware of being wrong, so to speak.”
Viktor was in fact a rifleman in the “Donbas,” but he had to perform various functions. “We were short of personnel. When all kinds of far rightists chased gays and lesbians in Kyiv, we lacked soldiers,” he says. “I had to use a heavy antitank grenade launcher, and this robbed me of normal hearing – I hear badly now. I also did a combat medic course and used to give first aid on the battlefield. My comrades and I would carry off the wounded under gunfire. My platoon was also an assault unit, and we mopped up such places as Shyrokine.”
“COMING OUT OF ISOLATION”
The exhibit “We Were Here” was put on as part of the project “Coming out of Isolation: through Art to Visibility.” It is a long-term interdisciplinary project of the Isolation foundation and NGO Kyiv Pride. Its aim is to spotlight the problem of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in Ukraine through the prism of art.
In addition to Shebetko, the project involves Tetiana Kornieieva and Oleksii Salmanov. They studied the theme in March at the residency under the general guidance of the Polish artist Karol Radziszewski and tutors from Ukraine and the UK. Following this, the artists began to work on their own projects.
Besides, Kornieieva performed “Come In/Out” at the Kyiv Pride opening ceremony in June and then prepared, together with the online publication The Village Ukraine, a special project, “Alphabet of Equality,” in which LGBT people tell about themselves. Salmanov is going to present his project in the fall.
Isolation foundation curator Kateryna FILIUK says: “Handling the LGBT topic, I understood a banal thing which many people pass over. Whenever we say that what is going on in the bedroom is ‘their’ own business, we often forget that heterosexual couples can formalize their relationship, get married, acquire property, and legally divide, sell, or inherit the latter. They have children. All these moments present difficulties for the LGBT community who are in fact deprived of these basic rights. This is why openness is important – in order not to flash your identity around but to have the same rights as other citizens have.”
The exhibit “We Were Here” will remain open until October 7. There will be debates and film showings – you can follow announcements on IZONE’s Facebook page https://www. facebook.com/izone.ua.
By Mariia PROKOPENKO, photos by Mykola TYMCHENKO, The Day



November 26, 2018

Brave Teenager Comes Out in Sydney Catholic School Assembly




When Finn Stannard stood up in front of more than 1,500 students and teachers at his Sydney school, it was to say something he’d been weighing up for a long time.
“I have been working towards this speech for four years,” the then 17-year-old revealed to a packed assembly hall at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, earlier this year.
Then he told them all he was gay.  
Finn Stannard
Finn Stannard making his keynote address. 
St Ignatius’ / SBS News
“Announcing yourself to the world is pretty terrifying,” he said in a video of the speech released exclusively through SBS News. “What if the world doesn’t like you?”
Announcing yourself to the world is pretty terrifying.
- FINN STANNARD
“Life was easier living as the straight eldest son. I had spent so long behind the faΓ§ade of a confident, heterosexual man that I wasn’t sure if I knew how to be me.” 
Finn, who has just finished his HSC, now hopes to share his keynote address - written to a younger version of himself - might help “all those people who are lost”, just as he was.
“I think that’s really the biggest reason I made sure I got up onto that stage and gave the speech,” he told SBS News. “I don’t think anybody should have to go through the feeling of loss that I felt like I’d gone through.”
Finn Stannard
Finn has just finished his HSC. 
SBS News
Finn’s speech in June was bookended by at times fierce national debates about sexual orientation, most recently whether religious schools should have the right to discriminate against gay staff and students.
Two of St Ignatius’ most prominent alumni, former prime minister Tony Abbott and his former deputy Barnaby Joyce, were high-profile opponents of same-sex marriage in the lead up to last year’s plebiscite.  
For Finn - who will next year begin university studies to become a secondary school teacher - it was the resounding victory of the Yes vote that gave him the confidence to press ahead with his idea of doing the assembly.
“When the results of the plebiscite came out, that’s when I knew that I could do the speech and it would be alright in the end,” he said.
Finn Stannard
Finn's speech received a standing ovation. 
St Ignatius' principal Paul Hines described Finn’s speech as a “watershed” moment for the college, which wanted to support his decision to publicly share his story and its message of acceptance.
“I'm not sure anyone chooses their sexuality, that's who they are and therefore we need to be open to that and to accept it and to make sure we live in communities of inclusion - and with that will come diversity,” Dr. Hines told SBS News.
We need to make sure we live in communities of inclusion - and with that will come diversity.
- PAUL HINES, ST IGNATIUS' PRINCIPAL 
“Certainly that's the case in the world beyond so in my view that should be the case in schools.”
Finn, who is quick to acknowledge the support he received from the school, his family and friends, said there was no example of an openly gay student to look to when he was struggling to come to terms with his sexuality as a 13-year-old.
Instead, his speech detailed the toll of “countless rumors and unpleasant jokes”, as well as depression and anxiety compounded by the word “gay” being used as a throwaway playground jibe.
“It was these, seemingly small, yet cumulative experiences that made me feel like I would never be accepted,” he told the room. Finn told the assembly that his own experience demonstrated the importance of asking for help, as well as stepping up to help those in need - a message he hoped would resonate with those coming to terms with any aspect of their identity.
“Being different, whether it’s being gay or being part of another minority group, can be challenging but it does not have to be scary and isolating,” he told the room.
“Every single one of you can help, in your own way, by accepting others for exactly who they are.”
His speech was not the first time the school’s annual ‘friends listen’ assembly has sought to break down taboos. In a 2015 speech that later went viral, school captain Xavier Eales opened up about his battle with depression.
Finn’s mother Megan Stannard, who admits to being concerned about a potential backlash, said the family was instead overwhelmed by the standing ovation the speech received.
“The fact that Finn was supported, the fact that his message was heard - I was in tears,” she said. “I was just so proud of him.”
Finn Stannard
Finn, center, with his boyfriend Tom Moiso, left, and a friend at his school formal. 
Finn Stannard / SBS News
The benefits have continued to flow since. Mrs. Stannard said she has seen a new confidence in her son, as well as a recognition that he can make a difference to others.
“I think that’s any parent’s dream - to see them flourish,” she said. Finn has since been approached by other students at the school who were struggling with their sexuality. And earlier this month he took his boyfriend Tom Moiso, 18, to his school formal.
“I think the best part was seeing all these other people with their dates and not feeling any different,” Finn said.
Anyone needing support can contact Kids helpline: kidshelpline.com.au / 1800 55 1800, NSW counseling service twenty10.org.au, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14. 

November 15, 2018

Shedding The Closet, Straight Feathers and Talk About Non Existent Girl Friends Gay India Awakens to Freedom


 
On September 6, a historic victory left India bathed in rainbows when the country's Supreme Court finally overturned an archaic British-era law that pronounced gay sex illegal. While even same sex marriage has been recognized in the United Kingdom for a number of years at this point, homosexuality remained illegal and a crime in India where the colonial era law still stood. 
Following the verdict, Indian stylist Kshitij Kankaria and photographer Ashish Shah decided to shoot a series of brave members of the Indian LGBTQIA community.
In a country where nudity is neither commonplace nor commodity, the act of stripping publicly is often a political one — the same way the act of kissing, of hand holding, of laying in bed together has been political for the community we see here. Their nakedness, one needn't really point out, is a triumph — a dare, and a declaration of freedom. 
The shoot marks their bodies as proudly part of the country, rather than of just one community. Here they stand strong, and look to the future, face their fears even in the wake of this judgement, question, and begin to dream bigger. India might have been hiding her LGBTQIA community, but the queer Indian community has not been bothered about hiding. Even if in the shadows, it has thrived — and here, they celebrate with pride. 
Below, meet eight queer Indians, who reflect on what their country's gay decriminalization means to them. 

Rohan Agnani

"I wonder if this judgement passed by a panel of privileged and aware individuals will actually filter down into society. It will be a true victory the day we are accepted by the masses. A high school boy in rural India probably doesn't know the law is now on his side, so I think acceptance from one's own people, from your own family — that's the battle." – Rohan Agnani 


Photography: Ashish Shah
Styling: Kshitij Kankaria
Hair & Makeup: Saher Ahmed Gandhi
Photography Assistant: Shubham Lodha
Fashion Assistants: Ruhani Singh & Nayanika Kapoor

October 10, 2018

People Left In Tears with Cameron Emotional Coming Out




YouTube

Big Brother’s Cameron Cole has been praised by viewers after coming out on the show.

In scenes that aired last Friday, the 18-year-old contestant came out as gay during an emotional conversation with housemate Lewis, despite claiming to have only told his mother days before entering the show.
On Monday night’s episode, Cameron made the brave decision to come out to the rest of the house, admitting that he was feeling “awkward and uncomfortable” about opening up about his sexuality for the first time.
“I’ve come in here and I’ve tried to be as open and honest as I can be, but there’s been one part I’ve really been struggling with. I did naively think I could get through the whole process without talking about it,” he said.
“But because I’ve got such a great connection with you, I want to be honest with you. I did have a chat with Lewis on Thursday, so the likelihood now is that everyone on the outside knows about it so I think it’s only right that you guys know about it.
“I do have an issue for whatever reason with saying the word, but I understand when I say what I’m about to say your reactions are all gonna be a little bit different, there’s no right or wrong reaction and I don’t mind, because it’s a difficult situation.”
He added: “I can’t actually say the word, I don’t know why. I just hope you all think of me in the same way.”
With a little help from Lewis, Cameron was able to tell the rest of his housemates about his sexuality, and thankfully they all reacted with support and praise for him, offering hugs and a round of applause for his openness.
“I’m sorry for making a scene,” he joked after the big moment.
Viewers were just as supportive as the housemates, with many admitting they were left “in tears” over the scenes.
“Everyone on the outside knows about it, so it’s only right that you guys know about it.” Cameron shares his big announcement with the House ❤️ pic.twitter.com/sJxq6tU4p2
This was such a lovely moment. I disagree with the people saying that Cameron coming out is his game, you can see how hard that was for him. πŸ˜’πŸ‘ And well done to Lewis for being an amazing friend and to the rest of the housemates for being so lovely when he came out. πŸŒˆπŸ’ž

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