Susanna Reid And Piers Morgan Discuss Behind-The-Scenes Tension At Good Morning Britain

Susanna Reid And Piers Morgan Discuss Behind-The-Scenes Tension At Good Morning Britain

Susanna Reid has revealed that tension between herself and Good Morning Britain co-host Piers Morgan almost brought their working relationship to an early end.

When Susanna first joined Good Morning Britain in 2014, the show was met with a lukewarm response at best, with many questioning whether the show would last.

A year later, Piers joined as a permanent co-host, and soon began making headlines with his abrupt interview technique and controversial opinion.

Whether for better or worse, this helped put GMB on the map, but things didn’t get off to a smooth start between the two presenters. Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on the set of Good Morning Britain “She was the queen bee and I was the alpha male,” Piers told Event magazine . “I felt I needed to shake her up a bit. But then I realised it went a bit too far.”

Susanna continued: “He is the most irritating man in the world, but I’m a professional. I can work with anyone, but it was a shock to the system, and I did find it difficult to sit there trying to be neutral in my opinions while Piers spouted forth about whatever he thought, and then I would be attacked for it.”

On how she was treated online for her co-host’s opinions, she stated: “People were saying horrific things about me, saying I wasn’t a feminist. Of course I am a feminist. And since when is it a feminist policy to blame the woman? I found the whole thing deeply upsetting.”

Eventually, she suggested going for a drink with Piers to “discuss things”, with Piers recalling: “Basically we got drunk in The Groucho Club and behaved appallingly. Then we went off to a load of gay bars in Soho and got even more drunk. And everything got sorted out.”

Susanna did eventually end up casting the neutrality that she’d held throughout her career, though, noting: “From that point I decided to put over my point of view. If I disagree with Piers, I will say so. If I disagree with a guest, I express my opinions on social media.

“I’m always conscious of how things can come back on me but I don’t hold back. That has been liberating.”

Last year, Susanna said she feels that being on Good Morning Britain has allowed he to be herself compared to her tenure at the BBC .

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Was The Prequel To Today’s Fan Culture

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Was The Prequel To Today's Fan Culture

It was 1:30 a.m. in Santa Monica, California, on May 3, 1999. Most people would be in bed at that point. But not Dan Callister, a photographer working for Online USA/Getty Images. He was on call that night when a tip came across the desk:

Leonardo DiCaprio is at a Toys R Us right now buying Star Wars merch.

“I literally couldn’t believe it,” Callister recalled. “I thought it was a hoax, to be honest.”

Despite his doubts, Callister rushed out to the Santa Monica toy store, making it in time to snap the internet-famous photos of DiCaprio’s toy-buying binge .

“Over the years, I’ve had crazy calls, but generally they’ve been serious news stories,” Callister told HuffPost. “I didn’t really expect that call and that early in the morning to basically see an A-list celebrity buying Star Wars toys. I didn’t even know Toys R Us stayed open that late.” This was Phantom Menace mania, and not even Jack Dawson from Titanic was immune to Midnight Madness , when Toys R Us stores were allowed to start selling the new Star Wars action figures.

It had been 16 years since the previous Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi. Suddenly, fans were set to be treated to three new movies chronicling the rise and descent of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader, and they were thirstier than the desert planet of Tatooine.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace would go on to become the highest-grossing movie of 1999. It was predicted that 2.2 million full-time employees would skip work on opening day, leading to a $293 million loss in productivity, according to The Wall Street Journal . At the time, the movie was the second highest-grossing film ever, after Titanic, reportedly earning $924 million that year and more than $1 billion after rereleases .

After the first three films, franchise creator George Lucas had talked about doing other movies in the Star Wars universe , but unlike today, where the slightest hint of nostalgia is furiously mined in the search for box office gold, additional movies were never guaranteed. It’s telling that the working title for The Phantom Menace, the retroactive start of Lucas’ Star Wars saga, was The Beginning .

The movie was in many ways a harbinger of fan culture as we know it now: expanded worlds, Easter eggs, canon tie-ins, post-credit teases , reboots and, yes, even backlash. The Star Wars prequels may not have done it all first, but they made it a part of our everyday lives.

Just look at the recent response to the final season of Game Of Thrones . (Perhaps it was telling that Lucas visited the set .) Fans had speculated about the ending for years, hanging on every detail, only to be given a story they weren’t quite expecting. They didn’t think it matched the storytelling already laid out. All those passionate reactions mirrored what had happened two decades earlier with the Star Wars franchise, even down to the fan petition to change the writers . (Never mind the later fan petitions for Lucas to return ).

In 1999, it took a while for all the hype to reach Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California, the pastoral home of Lucasfilm. The Phantom Menace was financed by Lucas outside the Hollywood system, so there were no shareholders or studio heads to answer to. For supervising sound editor Matthew Wood, the experience was like making an independent film, albeit “perhaps the biggest and most expensive indie film ever made,” as CNN noted in 1999.

Wood got his first real taste of hype toward the end of production, and it tasted a lot like Pizza Hut.

“They came out [to Skywalker Ranch] with a big pizza truck,” Wood told HuffPost. “They were giving out free pizza to everybody and the big cups had all the Star Wars characters.”

The sound supervisor recalls that the crew members at Skywalker Ranch were treated to Star Wars cup toppers, including characters such as Mace Windu and Darth Maul. All the characters they had been working on were suddenly “plastered on everything,” according to Wood. Thanks to a licensing deal with Tricon Global Restaurants (now Yum Brands), the trio of KFC’s Colonel Sanders, the Taco Bell dog and “Pizza Hut Girl” ( Pizza the Hutt was already taken) joined forces to “ defeat the dark side ” of consumer spending. After the Pizza Hut cups, Wood started noticing more and more promotions all around Marin County. Other major licensing deals included Pepsi, Hasbro and Lego .

“Every single something had a licensing deal for it. And that was just that little version right out here in the county where it’s being made. Of course, it was happening worldwide,” he said. “It’s like dropping a rock in the center of a lake and watching the waves expand out to the whole rest of the world.”

Those waves were so big, they’d even reach galaxies (and future generations) far, far away.

Internet standom was still in its young Anakin form back then, not yet reaching the Darth Vader status of today. Early fan sites such as TheForce.Net were places to share pertinent updates, false “insiders” like the infamous SuperShadow trolled the fandom with fake news , and fans figured out upcoming character names by discovering the domains Lucasfilm had registered .

There were fewer resources but people weren’t any less fervent. Some reportedly bought full-price tickets to movies such as Meet Joe Black, only to walk out right after the Phantom Menace trailer. Fans waited in line for tickets for weeks , in some cases for charity . There was the first Star Wars Celebration fan convention to celebrate the upcoming release of the movie, the aforementioned Toys R Us Midnight Madness, books, collectibles, Pepsi cans, even an ill-conceived Jar Jar Binks “tongue sucker,” which is somehow more disturbing than it sounds.

Media outlets were jumping into the fray, too. With all the product tie-ins, The Hollywood Reporter called it “the first film that will make money even if nobody buys a ticket to see it.” Variety said it was “the most widely anticipated and heavily hyped film of modern times.” CNN wrote, “Unless you’re an especially sheltered zygote in the early stages of conception, I know as sure as I’m sitting here that you’ve heard about The Phantom Menace.”

But all this constant buildup also brought with it a disturbance in the Force: overhype.

“Nothing can live up to the expectations set by an industry with billion-dollar-lust in its eye,” Ty Burr wrote at Entertainment Weekly . “I repeat: nothing.”

The backlash began even before the movie was out.

For every Roger Ebert review giving it 3.5 out of 4 stars and praising its technological achievements, others like The Guardian called it a “star bore.” Variety said that with all the hype it could hardly help being a letdown on some levels, “but it’s too bad that it disappoints on so many.”

News footage from the initial screenings shows effusive fans and critics. Shaq even showed up and said it was wonderful, Leonard Maltin didn’t mince words: “I don’t think anybody’s going to walk away disappointed from this movie.”

Spoiler alert: That comment didn’t age well.

It wasn’t long before everything was being picked over by Force-sensitive fans and critics: The movie was too kid-focused, there was too much CGI, Jar Jar was “ a combination pimp and Barney .” Worse, Jar Jar’s broken speech and clumsy mannerisms were even judged to be a racist caricature by some, which actor Ahmed Best and Lucas both vehemently denied .

The Star Wars prequels weren’t the start of the trolling or the toxic online fan culture of today, but they did boost those elements into hyperdrive. The pushback against the movie and the characters manifested itself in everything from bullying of the cast to websites such as www.JarJarMustDie.com .

In 2018, Best revealed that he had considered suicide due to the abuse.

“It came right for me. I was called every racial stereotype you can imagine,” Best said in a video interview . “There was this criticism of being this Jamaican broken dialect, which was offensive because I’m of West Indian descent — I’m not Jamaican. It was debilitating. I didn’t know how to respond.”

Perhaps the most poignant review when looking back on The Phantom Menace came from The New York Times , which said if you took away the unreasonable expectations, it was “up to snuff.”

A more measured take was offered at Skywalker Ranch, where Wood found himself in a position that any Star Wars fan in 1999 would have gladly been frozen in carbonite for. He was the first person ever to see the entirety of Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

According to Wood, editors Ben Burtt and Paul Martin Smith were each cutting half of the movie, and it was his job to go through the whole thing and find all the moments where digital characters needed to be recorded. But the significance of the task didn’t hit him until Lucas made a casual comment.

“I remember I had this big stack of three-quarter-inch videotapes when I was leaving the office, and [George] was just like, ‘You know, Matt, you’re the first person that’s gonna watch the whole thing together.’”

Wood immediately went into the cutting room and locked the door, jamming it closed for good measure. He also called his mom.

“I was like, ‘Mom! Mom! I’m the first person in the world to watch this movie!’” he said. “It was a very, very exciting moment.”

So what was his initial review?

“I remember thinking, ‘Wow. It looks visually different. And it was just telling a different type of story,’” Wood said. “But it was still such a world that you were being transported to, and everything felt like it had a history to it, and I just believed it.”

The sound supervisor deplores the personal attacks on Lucas and the cast, saying they don’t serve anyone. But he recognises that when it comes to Star Wars, everyone has an opinion and for some people it’s like a “religion.”

Wood said that at the time, he didn’t think about the hype surrounding the film. He just wanted Lucas to be able to make the movie he wanted to make, and he believes Lucas achieved that.

“When you see Star Wars being different than what I remember it being, that’s an adjustment. But then I put my focus and I made it into ‘I want to make the movie that George wants to make,’” Wood said. “Because I believe in his filmmaking and I feel fortunate to be part of it.”

While the prequels may have been criticised by the older generation of fans, who were busy putting phrases like “ ruined my childhood ” into the lexicon, for the younger ones, this was their Star Wars.

It’s easy to find stories from younger fans praising the prequels . These were the people now […]

Michigan Approves Charter For First LGBT Credit Union

Michigan Approves Charter For First LGBT Credit Union

Michigan has approved a charter for a new financial institution designed for LGBT customers. Superbia Credit Union will offer products such as loans for transgender people in the process of transitioning, said Myles Meyers, founder of New York-based Superbia Services Inc., which created the credit union. The charter means that online service could launch in early 2020.

Now that it has a charter, Superbia will work on forming a board and hiring executives. There are also plans to offer products such as insurance, health care and wealth management specifically designed for LGBT customers.

While many American corporations advertise their support for LGBT rights — and a majority of Americans say they are for gay marriage — it’s still legal to discriminate against LGBT consumers in most U.S. states. In fact, research shows members of the LGBT community have difficulty securing banking services regardless of where they are located, with same-sex couples less likely to be approved for a loan. And when they do secure financing, they usually pay more for it.

“I can walk into a bank or credit union and apply for a loan or credit card or savings accounts and frankly, no problem,” said Meyers, according to Bloomberg . “If I walked in to the same institution with my husband, we can come across different responses and welcome. And this is where it all starts to change for the community.”

“The LGBTQ community is strong and persistent,” he added. “We’ve been working with, and will continue to work with, the community to improve economic equality by removing the risks of intolerance and discrimination in banking services that continue to plague the community in different forms … We are extremely appreciative to the Michigan DIFS for its efforts on our application and the signing of the executive order to form Superbia Credit Union.”

And Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) told The Oakland Press that “state law doesn’t protect Michigan’s LGBTQ community from discrimination in the workplace and public accommodations … It’s burdensome that gay and trans Michiganders must depend on private businesses to take it upon themselves to provide equal treatment to employees and consumers.”

——————————– Latest Insights: Facebook is a giant in the ad game, with 2.3 billion active monthly users and $16.6 billion in quarterly advertising revenue. However, its omnipresence makes it a honeypot for fraudsters. In this month’s Digital Fraud Report , PYMNTS talks with Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management , on how the site deploys automated systems and thorough advertiser vetting to close the lid on fraudster attempts.

Millennials boldly preach freedom from LGBT lives at Orlando march 3 years after Pulse mass shooting

Millennials boldly preach freedom from LGBT lives at Orlando march 3 years after Pulse mass shooting

Freedom March held at Lake Eola Park in Orlando, Florida, on Sept. 14, 2019. ORLANDO — Neither rain nor intense heat could stop hundreds of people from gathering Saturday to proclaim their freedom from homosexuality. A group of passionate millennials who call themselves “overcomers” brought the Freedom March to Florida to share how Jesus delivered them from the LGBT lifestyle.

Despite the threat of a tropical storm and counter protesters, hundreds of people arrived at Lake Eola Park to march with the group of overcomers. Several local and national ministries set up tents around the park and local churches also came out to support the march, including: C Life Orlando , Church in the Son , First Baptist , King Jesus Orlando , and Redeemed by God , among others.

The event kicked off just before noon with fervent prayer for the city, for the LGBT community, and for other groups of people.

A security detail and police officers secured the perimeter during the event because the Freedom March had received several threats, even one threat from an LGBT-affirming Christian group . No protesters arrived, however.

Angel Colon and Luis Javier Ruiz led worship and the sharing of testimonies of salvation at a bandshell before the group marched around the park. Both men are survivors of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in 2016 and have since left homosexuality and started a ministry called Fearless Identity to help churches effectively share the love of Jesus with the LGBT community.

“It’s not a gay to straight thing, it’s a lost to saved thing,” Ruiz declared. Freedom March Orlando, Sept 14, 2019 Worship was led by Edward Byrd who used to identify as androgynous before finding freedom in Christ and accepting his identity as a son of God.

Hundreds lifted their hands in praise and adoration, declaring in lyrics, “Jesus you make the darkness tremble” and “there is power in the name of Jesus.” Several overcomers shared their testimonies. The Freedom March’s founder, Jeffrey Mccall , shared how God brought him out of a life living as a transgender prostitute. A woman named Laura Perry shared that she battled with gender identity so much so that she surgically removed her body parts to become a man only to find that nothing changed on the inside. Instead, it was her heart that was missing a savior.

A powerful moment was when the young group of overcomers took to the stage and had a moment of silence for the 49 people who were killed on June 12, 2016, at the Pulse nightclub.

The group proclaimed to the crowd that God “loves gay people” and it’s important that people come to know Jesus as their Savior before trying to change their lifestyle. They preached that it is God who transforms and it has nothing to do with conversation therapy or anything else of the sort.

As the worshipers sang, Ruiz and MJ Nixon, a former lesbian and founder of Uprooted Heart Inc. , performed spontaneous baptisms for several people in a pool they set up side stage. Freedom March Orlando, Sept 14, 2019 Many in attendance wore T-shirts declaring such messages as, “Changed,” “FM (Freedom March),” “Fearless Identity,” and “Taking back the rainbow.”

A tent set up for “fearless” moms and dads was filled with parents who are trusting God for their children’s salvation. The parents hugged people as they walked by and found support in one another.

In the last hour of the event, the overcomers asked everyone in attendance to turn toward the city with their hands raised and pray. People were also led to Christ. All of those who found freedom in Christ took a group photo and then everyone mobilized to march around the park. There were over 400 people marching around Lake Eola Park shouting phrases such as, “freedom in Christ, it’s so nice,” “Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom,” and the call and response, “when I say Jesus, you say freedom.” Freedom March Orlando, Sept 14, 2019 The first Freedom March was held in Washington, D.C., on May 5, 2018, and the group of millennials intends to continue to take the march nationwide, and will be heading to Georgia in October and back to Washington in May 2020.

Each march is meant to share their transformation in Christ, equip the Body of Christ on how to reach out to the LGBT community and offer a safe place for those in the LGBT community to come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

For more information on the Freedom March visit their page .

Ukraine’s Second Largest City Kharkiv Holds First LGBT Pride March

Ukraine's Second Largest City Kharkiv Holds First LGBT Pride March

A Pride march in June in Kyiv attracted thousands. KHARKIV, Ukraine — Thousands of gay and lesbian activists and supporters paraded in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, marking the city’s first “pride” march.

The September 15 march was one of the larger such events to be held in Ukraine in recent years, as LGBT campaigners have stepped up efforts to gain recognition, support, and protection.

The Kharkiv Pride march went forward despite efforts of Mayor Hennadiy Kernes, who had threatened legal action against organizers, to try to block them from marching. Conservative activists had also threatened violence if the effort went forward.

International rights groups including Amnesty International had called on Ukrainian authorities to allow the march and provide adequate security.

In the end, however, the march was limited to a square outside a downtown subway station, leaving participants to march back and forth for about two hours. Many marchers waved rainbow flags and chanted “Kharkiv For All, Security For All!” and “We Are All Equal, We Are All Different” as they paraded.

There were no reports of violence and there was a heavy police presence, including helmeted riot police carrying crowd-control shields, who monitored the event.

News reports said that several opponents sought to block the march by laying down on the street in front of the procession, but marchers simply walked around them.

In June, LGBT activists organized the country’s largest pride march in Kyiv, drawing around 8,000 people, according to organizers.

The Kyiv parade has been held since 2016 despite regular protests by opponents and threats by right-wing activists and religious groups.

Rugby star Gareth Thomas has been forced to come out as HIV positive

Rugby star Gareth Thomas has been forced to come out as HIV positive

Gareth Thomas stands at the side of the pitch during a Premier League match in Cardiff, 2018. (Athena Pictures/Getty Images) Former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas has revealed he is living with HIV in a moving video, but said he had been “forced” to share the information.

Thomas, 45, also said he wants to “break the stigma” around people living with HIV and show how people who are HIV positive are misrepresented as “walking around with walking sticks who are close to dying”.

He spoke about the “shame” and “fear” of keeping his condition secret.

“I want to share my secret with you,” Thomas said in the video , which has had over a million views since he shared it on Twitter on September 14. “Because it’s mine to tell you.”

“Not the evils that make my life hell, threatening to tell you before I do. And because I believe in you, and I trust you.

“I am living with HIV.

“Now you have that information, that makes me extremely vulnerable – but it does not make me weak.

“No, even though I’ve been forced to tell you this, I choose to fight and educate to break the stigma around this subject. And that begins today, when I take on the toughest IronMan in the world in Tenby and I push myself physically to the limits.”

Responses on Twitter have been sympathetic to Thomas being forced to come out – with many positing that a British tabloid had threatened to out him. I’m disgusted that a tabloid wanted to tell your parents just so they could get a reaction to sell their shitty paper. Total invasion of privacy and not their secret to tell. You’re very brave

— M1LL@R (@M1LLR1) September 14, 2019 Are we still doing this? How long ago did Freddie Mercury die? Or Princess Diana?

Gareth, I am sorry that in 2019 some R Sole of a newspaper is STILL trying to make money off your suffering. Most of us really aren’t interested, it is your life to manage

— Andrew Brown (@OnlyMeWaffling) September 14, 2019 The ex-British and Irish Lions captain will talk about his diagnosis in a BBC Wales documentary on Wednesday.

Ian Green, the chief executive of British HIV and sexual health charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, said, “I’m very proud to call Gareth Thomas a friend. Gareth is proof that an HIV diagnosis shouldn’t stop you from doing anything you want to do – whatever that is. I hope that by speaking publicly about this Gareth will transform attitudes towards HIV that are all too often stuck in the 1980s.

“We’ve made huge medical advances in the fight against HIV that means that people living with HIV like Gareth now live long healthy lives. We can also say without doubt that those and on effective HIV treatment can’t pass on the virus. This is exactly the kind of information Gareth wants to get out there to challenge the stigma that still surrounds this virus.

“Gareth blazed a trail by being the first rugby player to come out as gay and has done so much to encourage inclusion and diversity within the sport. Now he is doing that once again with HIV and taking on the challenge of a lifetime in Ironman Wales to show that this virus doesn’t need to be a barrier when you’re diagnosed and accessing treatment.”

Gareth Thomas came out as gay in 2009.

RuPaul says his comments on trans people were taken ‘so out of context’

RuPaul says his comments on trans people were taken ‘so out of context’

RuPaul poses with his award for outstanding host at the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 2019. (JC Olivera/WireImage) RuPaul has said that his controversial remarks – in which he compared transgender drag queens to doping athletes and said they wouldn’t be allowed to compete on Drag Race – were taken “so out of context”.

Asked by the Sunday Times whether he still holds the view that drag cannot be done by women, cis or trans, RuPaul replied, “Why are people obsessed with that question?” and complained that his quote was taken “so out of context”.

“There seems to be this obsession with trying to create this ‘us against them’ storyline,” RuPaul said.

“We share a history. The two worlds [of drag and trans people] intersect, but also maintain their own unique qualities… One of our contestants, Monica Beverly Hillz, said it best when she said, ‘Drag is what I do, trans is who I am.’” ‘Drag loses it’s sense of irony when it’s not men doing it’

In a March 2018 interview with The Guardian , RuPaul said he would “probably not” allow a transgender drag queen to compete on the show, drawing a distinction between trans women who have undergone some form of medical transition and those who are yet to do so or choose not to.

“Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it, because at its core it’s a social statement and a big f-you to male-dominated culture,” RuPaul said .

Drag Race featured it’s first openly trans contestant in 2017, when Peppermint came out on the show.

“Peppermint didn’t get breast implants until after she left our show; she was identifying as a woman, but she hadn’t really transitioned,” RuPaul said in 2018.

“You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body. It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing. We’ve had some girls who’ve had some injections in the face and maybe a little bit in the butt here and there, but they haven’t transitioned,” he said. RuPaul compared transition to doping. (Twitter) RuPaul tweeted wrong flag in trans apology

After online backlash against his comments, RuPaul took to Twitter to apologise on 5 March 2018.

“Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience. I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.”

Immediately following that was another post : In the 10 years we’ve been casting Drag Race, the only thing we’ve ever screened for is charisma uniqueness nerve and talent. And that will never change. pic.twitter.com/0jsyt6MRvO

— RuPaul (@RuPaul) March 5, 2018 However, people on Twitter were quick to point out that the flag he tweeted was not the pink, white and blue trans flag, but a flag that represents trains . .Wait. Do you…do you think this is the trans flag?! Are you seriously really that ignorant? ‘Apology’ mockingly rejected.

— Dr. Rachel McKinnon (@rachelvmckinnon) March 9, 2018 Drag Race is coming to the UK in October .

London’s first ever Trans+ Pride march – in pictures

London’s first ever Trans+ Pride march – in pictures

Thousands of transgender people and their allies take to the streets for London’s first ever Trans+ Pride march on 14 September, 2019. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) On September 14, thousands of transgender people and their allies took to the streets of London in a historic first – the UK capital’s first-ever Trans+ Pride march.

Founded by performers Lucia Blake and Finn Love , London Trans Pride was born partly as a response to the hijacking of the front of the Pride in London parade in 2018 by a group of anti-trans campaigners.

“Last year’s transphobic protests and the all too familiar centring of cis-white gay-male narratives at Pride in London certainly informed our decision,” the collective behind the event told PinkNews in April 2019 .

“We realised collectively that it’s time for us to own our stories, to celebrate them and to take up the space we deserve outside and in broad daylight.” Thousands of transgender people and their supporters take part in London’s first ever Trans Pride march through the streets of British capital on 14 September, 2019 in London, England. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) More than 1,500 people took part in London’s first Trans+ Pride march, which began at Hyde Park Corner and ended in Soho Square. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Speakers at Soho Square included model Munroe Bergdorf, drag performer Chiyo Gomes and activist Jamie Windust. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Before the march, organisers told the Evening Standard the event was more than just a celebration of trans people’s lives.

They said: ‘We’re wanting to raise urgent conversations about the lack of healthcare for trans+ people in the UK, the fact that we’re deporting trans+ people back to countries where they will be killed immediately, needs for social housing, LGBTQIA+ education, better media representation.” (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) “We are not finished here, there is still a long way to go for our entire community to feel safe and equal.”

Organiser Lucia Blayke told the Metro the day had been “absolutely incredible and overwhelming”.

She added: “The sun’s out and the sky’s blue, if you look at everyone’s faces it’s just big smiles.” (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) “For trans people it’s a lot different being out in public. Usually we’re scared, we’re having things shouted at us, we’re humiliated and just really embarrassed.

“Social interactions aren’t usually that relaxing so today is all about being together in public and keeping each other safe and uplifted. It’s the one day we’re not outcasts.” (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Hate crimes against transgender people in the UK rose by 81 percent between 2016/17 and 2017/18.

Increases of hate-crime reports are frequently rationalised as being due to improved reporting practices, however, the surge in anti-trans crimes is well above the increase for reports based on every single other protected characteristic

Gareth Thomas Reveals HIV Status After Being ‘Blackmailed’ By ‘Evil’ People

Gareth Thomas Reveals HIV Status After Being 'Blackmailed' By 'Evil' People

Former rugby star Gareth Thomas has revealed he is living with HIV , saying he hopes that going public with his condition will help “break the stigma” around it “once and for all”.

Gareth spoke about his HIV status for the first time in a video he posted on his Twitter page, revealing “evil” people had “made his life hell” by threatening to go public with his condition without his consent. Gareth Thomas He explained: “I want to share my secret with you. Why? Because it is mine to tell you. Not the evils that make my life hell by threatening to tell you before I do. And because I believe in you and I trust you. I’m living with HIV.

“Now you have that information, that makes me extremely vulnerable but it does not make me weak.”

He added: “Even though I have been forced to tell you this, I choose to fight to educate and break the stigma around this subject.”

Gareth has also given his first interview about being HIV-positive to the Sunday Mirror , telling them he’s been “living with this secret for years” and even felt “suicidal” as a result of the “shame” he felt about not telling anyone about his condition.

“I was being blackmailed and in my mind I thought you only get blackmailed for something really bad, which compounded the feeling of shame,” he told the newspaper.

Now at a point where medication means his HIV is “undetectable” and can’t be passed on, Gareth says he now feels “empowered” and hopes he can use his platform to educate others and destigmatise the condition for other people who are HIV-positive.

Gareth came out as gay in 2009, retiring from professional rugby two years later.

Since then, he’s made multiple appearances on reality TV shows including Dancing On Ice, Celebrity Big Brother and The Jump.

He will discuss his condition further in a BBC documentary, Gareth Thomas: HIV In Me, set to air on BBC One Wales later this week.

Former Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst was put in a similar position to Gareth last year, publicly sharing her own HIV diagnosis after an ex threatened to do so without her consent .

LGBT hate crimes lowest in Hawaii, study finds

LGBT hate crimes lowest in Hawaii, study finds

News HONOLULU – A new study shows hate crimes against the LGBT community have increased by more than one-third since 1996, but Hawaii ranks No. 51 for attacks in any state. In Hawaii, the Security.org study found there were no anti-LGBT incidents per 100,000 people between 2013 and 2019.

It used the most recent data from the FBI. The study says the LGBT community is the most targeted group for hate crimes, followed by Jews, Muslims, Native Americans, and African-Americans.

Within the LGBT community, the study says gay men are victims more than 50% of the time (55.8%), followed by lesbians (10.4%), transgender (8.7%), bisexuals (1.9%) and gender non-conforming (1.1%).