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

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
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.”
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.
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.
“Life was easier living as the straight eldest son. I had spent so long behind the façade 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.
“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: / 1800 55 1800, NSW counseling service, 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


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 ❤️
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. 😢👏 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. 🌈💞

September 27, 2018

Sounds Like The A-Bomb Exploded in Zimbabwe After A Teacher Comes Out Gay

Image result for Zimbabwean high school teacher has triggered a furore after coming out

Harare - A Zimbabwean high school teacher has triggered a furore after coming out to students and parents as gay to pre-empt a newspaper story that would have outed him. Neal Hovelmeier, a teacher at the private St John's College in Harare, and headmaster Cavaliere Corrado Trinci wrote a letter revealing his homosexuality to parents after announcing it during assembly at the boys only school.

Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe. St John's College made the disclosure after the independent Daily News sent in media questions about the teacher. 

Hovelmeier said he made the decision in the hope it would curb homophobic behaviour after some former pupils who had gained confidence after school to pursue their sexual orientation told him how they had “intolerance, intimidation and homophobia" while at St John's.
The 6th form teacher’s admission sparked heated debate countrywide and on social media, which some critics saying the school should not have assembled pupils to make the disclosure.

{The tweets were so full of ignorance based homophobia and discredited Anti gay ideas.

In a Twitter polls asking participants if they would be happy with Hovelmeier teaching their sons, over 6 500 or 52 percent voted ‘no’, compared to 36 percent who said ‘yes’ and 12 percent who were ‘undecided’.

"I don’t have a problem with him being gay. I just think that he didn’t have to assemble children and announce that he is gay," Twitter user Kudzai Mutisi posted on the network. "Parents will take this as an attempt to influence their kids. After all, these kids look up to him.”
During a meeting at the school on Monday, angry parents demanded that all officials involved in the debacle quit – including headmaster Trinci, Hovelmeier, second deputy headmaster Andrew Sakala and Charles Msipa, chairman of the school’s board of governors. 

As tempers flared, fistfights broke out among some parents, while others had to be restrained from assaulting school officials.

In a statement, Msipa took full responsibility over the matter, saying he had taken legal advise after the Daily News enquiry and had been advised to run ahead of the story.  
Msipha said he had approved the release of the communication without board approval because the publication of the story appeared imminent. 

"On a personal level, it is my respectful view that the college should continue to strive to provide a safe, caring, inclusive, diverse and tolerant environment and space for all persons regardless of race, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, abilities or disabilities," Msipa added.

Zimbabwe is a deeply conservative country, with Christianity the dominant religion, and homosexuality is generally frowned u

His successor Emmerson Mnangagwa -- who has been careful not to upset Western countries as he struggles with a legitimacy question over his rule after a disputed July 30 election -- has avoided expressing a personal opinion, only saying he is guided by the Constitution whenever the question arises.

African News Agency/ANA 

September 26, 2018

While Some Are Being Fired A Deputy Headmaster is Praised For Coming Out in Zimbabwe

 Lesbian‚ gay‚ bisexual‚ and transgender activists in Zimbabwe

Lesbian‚ gay‚ bisexual‚ and transgender activists in Zimbabwe have commended the bravery of a top private school deputy headmaster for openly declaring his sexual orientation during assembly.
Dr. Neal Hovelmeier teaches at St John's College‚ one of the country's elite schools. He made the announcement to pupils at the school last week.
Hovelmeier said in a statement that he had decided to lead by example because of some of his former students' experiences. 
"I have become increasingly aware that a number of former students who gain the confidence after school to pursue their chosen orientation‚ have reported back to me experiencing an environment of intolerance‚ intimidation and homophobia while they were at school‚," he said.
The headmaster‚ Cav Trinci‚ said in solidarity that the school was open to diversity‚ be it religious‚ sexual‚ racial or disability.
Activist Ricky Nathanson from Transgender Research‚ Education‚ Advocacy and Training said the bold move by Hovelmeier was a major victory for minorities and the marginalized in Zimbabwe 
"It is encouraging to witness the bravery and honesty of Dr. Hovelmeier on his announcement of who he truly is. That takes absolute bravery‚ introspection‚ and demonstration that one needs to be true to who one really is‚" he said.
The US$2‚900 per term school is attended by the children of wealthy parents and diplomats. One notable alumnus is Robert Junior‚ the son of former president Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe once described LGBT people as "worse than dogs and pigs". During Mugabe's rule, many left the country‚ fearing persecution for their sexual orientation because homosexuality is outlawed in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe's bodyguards assaulted gay rights activist Peter Tatchell in 2001 after he tried to effect a citizen's arrest on the former president during an official visit to Brussels in Belgium. In 2013 Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu was lambasted by Mugabe for supporting same-sex relationships.
Since President Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power‚ there has been a decline in the persecution of people with different sexual orientations. In an interview on CNN with Richard Quest at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January‚ Mnangagwa said it was up to LGBT activists to push for their inclusion but‚, for now, ‚ the law stands.
"Those people who want it are the people who should canvass for it‚ but it's not my duty to campaign for this‚," he said.
LGBT activists feel that they enjoy greater freedom under Mnangagwa.
"But post-Mugabe we see that the current president‚ Mnangagwa‚ has tried to speak to issues towards creating spaces where people enjoy their freedoms‚ particularly that of expression and assembly‚," said Chesterfield Sambo‚ the director of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe.
HIV and sexual health issues have in recent years forced the government of Zimbabwe to give medical care to gays and lesbians. Former health minister Dr. David Parirenyatwa once said Zimbabwe should not ignore the existence of homosexuality and hide behind cultural expectations.

August 15, 2018

Japanese Scholar Robert Campbell Comes Out Gay While Decrying Anti Gay Politicians

Japanese literature scholar and TV personality Robert Campbell publicly came out as gay Tuesday and denounced a recent string of anti-LGBT comments by ruling party lawmakers. 
The frequent commentator on morning talk shows and radio said in an interview with Kyodo News that he felt "disillusioned" and "alarmed" by the comments and felt the need to ensure they did not lead to misconceptions among the public regarding sexual minorities.

Campbell was reacting to Mio Sugita, a junior member of the House of Representatives belonging to the Liberal Democratic Party, who wrote in a magazine article published last month that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples are "unproductive," suggesting that taxpayers' money should not be spent on them.

Tomu Tanigawa, another lower house LDP lawmaker, later drew fire for saying on an internet show that same-sex relationships are "something like a hobby."

Campbell said the two appeared to mistake sexuality as "a matter of preference" and the argument that it is something that can be "fixed" is harmful.

"I thought, if it's not a preference for me, then what is it? After some reflection, I came to the conclusion that it's a fundamental part of my core being," the 60-year old New York native said in Japanese.

Campbell, the director general of the National Institute of Japanese Literature in Tokyo, said he knew he was gay at the age of 12 or 13 and had no problem accepting it. He had already come out to friends and co-workers and last year got married in the United States to his Japanese partner of nearly 20 years, but he had not seen a need to make the matter public until now.

LGBT people are kept at arm's length in Japanese society and are not yet widely accepted, he said. "I've found there is something that keeps (LGBT) people from realizing their potential." 
The country has been moving toward acceptance of LGBT couples, with a small but growing number of municipalities and companies giving them similar treatment to heterosexual married couples. Ochanomizu University, a prominent women's school in Tokyo, recently made headlines by announcing it will begin accepting transgender students.

Campbell said that while Sugita and Tanigawa's comments are unfortunate, "I hope, along with my own words, they will lead us to think about the issue together."


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