With the Olympics in full swing, it’s been a busy week for sporting news, but it’s been equally busy on the LGBT news front. Missed it all? Never fear, pop your feet up with your Sunday morning cuppa and catch up here.
Monday 30 July 2012 - Peter Tatchell ‘honoured’ to be announced as Sunderland Pride patron
Peter Tatchell was announced as the new patron of Sunderland Pride. The human rights campaigner and OutRage! co-founder has joined the team behind the celebration of LGBT community and culture in Wearside. Chairman Arnie Tylor said; ‘It is fantastic that we have been able to attract such a high figure within the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered community as Peter.’ We previously reported how Tatchell was allegedly threatened with a ban on speaking at London’s WorldPride 2012 earlier in the month by the Mayor’s Office.
Oxford University has rewritten the laws governing its strict academic dress code, so that women may wear trousers and men may wear skirts. The ground-breaking changes have been ushered in after a motion put forward by the university’s LGBTQ society was passed by the student union. An Oxford University spokesman added: ‘The regulations have been amended to remove any reference to gender, in response to concerns raised by Oxford University Student Union that the existing regulations did not serve the interests of transgender students.’ Oxford’s rival Cambridge University relaxed its rules some time ago.
Rugby star Ben Cohen, who is well-known for his stance against homophobia appeared in the latest issue of GT magazine, which sees him stripped down to his (rather tight-fitting) pants, and talking about how well his foundation the Stand Up Foundation has been doing in the past twelve months. Cohen explains the importance of standing up against bullying, homophobia in particular, and about his own underwear collection. After retiring from rugby in May 2011, the hunk set up the foundation which is the first of its kind, ‘dedicated to raising awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying, and funding those doing real-world work to stop it’.
Tuesday 31 July 2012 - Welsh footballer denies sending Tom Daley anti-gay tweet
After competing in the men’s synchronised 10m platform diving event at the Olympics, Daley received the following tweet which attracted national uproar on the micro-blogging platform; ‘You let your Dad down, I hope you know that’. Daley responded by tweeting: ‘After giving it my all…you get idiots sending me this…’. Hours later, Daley received a second abusive message, this time allegedly from Port Talbot Town Football Club midfielder Daniel Thomas. The Tweet read; ‘If there is any consolation for finishing fourth at least Daley and Waterfield can go and bum each other #teamHIV’. The footballer claims that, whilst the tweet came from his account, it did not come from him personally and that he was the victim of a prank whilst his phone was left unattended.
Wednesday 1 August 2012- Director of ‘The Matrix’ comes out as transgender
In a video released to publicise her new movie Cloud Atlas, Larry Wachowski, the director of The Matrix has revealed she is now Lana Wachowski, after undergoing full gender reassignment. Although this transformation has been a gradual process over the last few years, the trailer is Lana’s first public appearance as a trans woman.
The popularity of civil partnerships has far exceeded official expectations with five times as many couples making the commitment than forecast. Figures published on Tuesday by the ONS show a 6% increase in civil partnerships in 2011 in England and Wales. The total number of civil partnerships now stands at 106,834, outstripping the estimates that between 11,000 and 22,000 would commit in the first five years. A Home Office spokesperson has welcomed the ONS figures and the government’s decision: ‘We now want to make it possible for all couples, regardless of their gender, to get married. We will announce the results of our consultation by the end of the year.’
Thursday 2 August 2012- Obituary: Gore Vidal
The last of a generation of great American writers, Gore Vidal, died on Tuesday 31 July 2012, at the age of 86. The author, historian, essayist, political activist, educator, playwright, screenwriter, gay icon, friend to movie stars and politicians alike and an unwavering voice in the fight for equality, is a huge loss to the LGBT community. You can read our full obituary by clicking on the link title above.
Saturday 4 August 2012- Popstar Mika comes out as gay
After years of speculation, the previously bisexual popstar confirmed that he’s gay. In a recent interview with Instinct magazine, due to be released in September, he came clean saying, ‘If you ask me am I gay, I say yeah. Are these songs about my relationship with a man? I say yeah.’ Welcome to the fold, Mika, it’s good to have you.
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