Professional referee Ryan Atkin says LGBT inclusion should become ‘everyday life’

Professional referee Ryan Atkin says LGBT inclusion should become 'everyday life'

Ryan Atkin says the Rainbow Laces campaign is about ‘everyone’ Referee Ryan Atkin says LGBT inclusion in sport should not be focused on players, but off the pitch in order for it to become "everyday life".

Atkin decided to come out publicly in August 2017 – making him football’s first publicly ‘out’ professional official in the UK – in order to help create an "inclusive environment" for other LGBT players, officials and supporters.

Rainbow Laces ‘ mission is to ‘make sport everyone’s game’, ensuring that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people can enjoy and be a part of sport.

Atkin says while the successful Rainbow Laces campaign has helped promote inclusion and diversity within sport, further awareness and acceptance off the pitch could make it easier for anyone in the game to publicly identify as LGBT.

"For me, it really shouldn’t focus on players and I think Rainbow Laces really does touch on that quite a lot," said Atkin, speaking at the Rainbow Laces Summit at Wembley Stadium.

"While it is great that I’m active in the sport, and it’s great we’ve got racing car drivers and Nigel Owens and Gareth Thomas, for me it’s about everybody. It’s a story from the stands, it’s a story from a manager, it’s a story from a ball boy, it’s a story from the club doctor.

"It really is that broad and I think the more people identify, if they choose to, and are happy to discuss with their colleagues or fans their story. What we want it to become is the norm, we want it to become everyday life so actually these interviews, the Rainbow summit won’t need to take place.

"And that’s for me where this Rainbow Laces campaign has done so well, to promote diversity and inclusion not just on the pitch, but off the pitch.

"I think what is does is by taking a lot of pressure off the people who are feeling the pressure at the moment from the media, potentially, to come out and to sell their story or to give their story across the nation – actually it takes away a lot of that pressure.

"Once the stands and off the white lines are accepting and everybody is comfortable, I think it makes it a lot easier for anybody else within the game who everybody idolises to then have their story."

The Rainbow Laces Summit sees sports leaders gather to learn more about creating an inclusive environment for the LGBT community.

This winter, Premier League players will wear rainbow laces in their boots to show their support.

Sky Sports is also attending the Rainbow Laces Summit at Wembley on 14 September, presenting our campaign work on LGBT inclusion to leaders from across the world of sport.

As a member of TeamPride, the coalition of businesses, brands and organisations that supports Rainbow Laces, Sky Sports activates the Stonewall campaign on screen, on social and on digital all year round, but particularly during November and December. We speak to people at elite and grassroots levels who help to ‘make sport everyone’s game’ in their sports and their communities, bringing the message of inclusion to a wider audience.

Turkish TV channel fined for Pink music video featuring gay dancers

Turkish TV channel fined for Pink music video featuring gay dancers

Pink’s video for Secrets Turkey has fined a TV channel for airing a “homosexual” music video from Pink.

The country’s media watchdog, the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK), took action after broadcaster AS TV aired the popular American singer’s music video for track “Secrets.”

The track’s music video features both opposite-sex and same-sex pairings sensually dancing together – with a male couple shown shirtless and grinding together, while two women are seen kissing. The video for Pink track “Secrets” The video is not rated as explicit, but Reuters reports that RTUK deemed the content inappropriate and punished the channel for airing it.

RTUK ruled that children could be “negatively influenced” by the “erotic dance figures of a homosexual nature.” The channel was fined ₺17,000 Turkish Lira (£2,100) for the alleged standards breach.

Pink has not commented on the row, but fans and LGBT activists have hit out at the decision. The video for Pink track “Secrets” The country has taken a tough Russia-style stance against depictions of homosexuality in media. Turkish officials recently ruled out a return to the Eurovision Song Contest , citing the show’s history of visible LGBT+ contestants.

Broadcast chief Ibrahim Eren had said of that decision: “As a public broadcaster we cannot broadcast live at 9pm, when children are watching, an Austrian with a beard and a skirt, who claims not to have a gender and says ‘I am a man and a woman at the same time’.

“There is some kind of confusion of mentality here… once this is corrected we will return to Eurovision.”

In June, a screening of the film “Pride” organised by the LGBT committee of the Turkish Communist Party in the capital Ankara was banned by the city’s authorities , citing concerns for public safety.

It is legal to be gay in Turkey but the LGBT community faces high levels of public stigma and oppression that has worsened under President Erdoğan.

Police in Istanbul have used tear gas and rubber bullets to forcibly disperse attempts to hold LGBT+ events in the city, while the capital city of Ankara has enforced an outright ban on LGBT+ events.

In July, police arrested 11 people at the Pride parade in Istanbul, after LGBT+ activists defied the ban and threats from authorities.

Sinister passport changes mark latest trans erasure by Trump administration

Sinister passport changes mark latest trans erasure by Trump administration

US president Donald Trump. (Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty) Trans rights groups have condemned the Trump administration for abruptly removing a page—called “Gender Designation Change”—from a government website.

The Department of State reportedly took down the page, which had been online since 2010 , earlier this week.

It replaced it with a page called “Change of Sex Marker,” in a move which has been criticised by trans campaigners. Trans rights campaigners have criticised the Trump administration for the latest changes. (Mark Wilson/Getty ) In a FAQ on the new webpage, which asked travel documents can have a non-binary identification marker, a response states: “No, the only sex markers available for a U.S. passport are male and female. “

However, there is no change to the current passport gender marker policy.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, condemned the changes by the state department.

“While ultimately pointless, this move seems designed to frighten, confuse, and keep transgender people from exercising their full rights under the current policy—the same policy we fought for and won in 2010,” Keisling said.

“Transgender people can and absolutely should continue to update and renew their passports. That is our right and that should always be our right.”

In a statement to the National Center for Transgender Equality, a state department official said: “We want to state unequivocally that there has been no change in policy or in the way we adjudicate passports for transgender applicants. The Department of State is committed to treating all passport applicants with dignity and respect.

“With regard to the web update, we added language to make our use of terms consistent and accurate and to eliminate any confusion customers may have related to the passport application process. We apologize for inadvertently including some language which may be considered offensive and are updating the website to remove it.” Trump is trying to ban transgender people from serving in the military. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) Trump is currently embroiled in a battle to stop trans people from serving in the army – but two US courts have so far blocked his proposals.

In July, the Trump administration stoked fear among gay rights activists after it removed LGBT+ information from a government website with no explanation.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deleted several sections explaining that the Affordable Care Act—also known as Obamacare—protects people from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sex stereotyping.

Earlier this year, the Health Department removed all mention of lesbian and bisexual women from WomensHealth.gov, which attracts around 700,000 visits per month.

India’s gay sex ban, now ruled illegal, was a British colonial legacy

India’s gay sex ban, now ruled illegal, was a British colonial legacy

A protest against Section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), a British era law which deems sex between adults of the same sex a criminal offense (Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty) This article was originally published in The Conversation .

The Indian Supreme Court has legalized homosexuality, overturning a 157-year ban on consensual gay sex.

In a nearly 500-page unanimous decision issued on Sept. 6, India’s highest court affirmed that “whenever the constitutional courts come across a situation of transgression or dereliction in the sphere of fundamental rights which are also the basic human rights of a section, howsoever small part of the society, then it is for the constitutional courts to ensure that constitutional morality prevails over social morality.”

Gay rights advocates worldwide celebrated the legal victory, which came after nearly a decade of contentious court battles against a British colonial law criminalizing homosexual acts.

“Our court, our justice system, really believes in the rights of the people,” said Kalyani Subramanyam, program director for the Naz Foundation, the primary petitioner in the court case, which could open the door to gay marriage. No compatible source was found for this media.

And the ruling is more than a human rights win. It is also a restoration of ancient Indian sexual norms. India, homosexuality and the ‘third gender’

In that way, India’s ruling differs from recent court decisions legalizing gay marriage in Colombia, Taiwan and Germany – though for LGBTQ Indians, the impacts may be similarly life-changing.

Sexual and gender minorities in India are regularly harassed, assaulted and jailed.

Yet many gender researchers who study India – myself included – argue that India’s religious and cultural heritage has long been more accommodating to multiple gender and sexual expressions than Western societies. Section 377 has been used to crack down on LGBT+ people (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty) According to scholars Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai’s groundbreaking 2000 essay collection on same-sex love in India, Hindus embraced a range of thinking on gender and sexuality as far back as the Vedic period, around 4000 B.C.

Hinduism’s first sacred texts tell stories of same-sex love and gender-morphing figures. The Hindu deity Shiva is sometimes worshipped as a multi-gendered figure composed of Shiva and his wife Parvati together, in what’s known as his Ardhanarishvara form.

Hindu texts from around 1500 B.C. likewise show that the “third gender” – individuals sometimes called “hijras,” who do not fit into the categories of man or woman – were integrated into India’s political and social life.

In the Kama Sutra, India’s famed erotic guidebook, the character Svairini is described as as a liberated woman who lives either alone or in union with another woman.

“Male-male attraction” is also “one of the themes of pre-colonial Urdu poetry” writes Vanita in her book about Indian Islamic literature from the 18th and 19th centuries.

India’s Khajuraho temples, built in Madhaya Pradesh state between 950 and 1050, even include depictions of homosexual orgies and fellatio, among other erotic sculptures and scenes. The law banned sexual activity “against the order of nature” (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty) Some scholars of Islam, India’s second-largest religion, also find acceptance of gender fluidity in the Koran, which says that Allah “shapes you in the wombs as He pleases.”

Indeed, in India’s 16th-century Mughal courts, hijras and eunuchs often held positions of high esteem as advisers or emissaries between men and women. The British preferred the binary

India’s fluid gender and sexual norms did not fit into Britain’s strict Victorian conceptions of appropriate sexual behavior.

As the British empire grew more powerful in the Indian subcontinent in the early 19th century, so did their ideas about culture, society and law. Viewing local notions of sexuality as barbaric, British officials imposed Western, Judeo-Christian sexual norms on colonial subjects.

Before the British, homosexuality was not illegal in India. The law originated in colonial times (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty) But by 1861 the British had consolidated their rule over India and were enforcing Section 377 of their penal code, which could punish those who committed sodomy or other homosexual acts with life in prison.

When India gained its independence in 1947, this statute remained, becoming Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Britain’s anti-gay colonial legacy

India was not the only British colony where formerly acceptable sexual behaviors and identities became criminalized.

Section 377, or a similar statute, was imposed in 42 former colonies, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Nepal, which was never formally colonized by Great Britain, also adopted anti-sodomy laws based on India’s British-influenced penal code.

In 2007, the Nepali government became the first in South Asia to re-recognize a third gender category. Today, Nepal’s Constitution specifically protects LGBTQ people from discrimination and abuse. “Indian Coming out Day” celebration marks the anniversary of Delhi High Court’s verdict amending section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), in Chennai on July 2, 2018 (Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty) Neighboring Pakistan, like former British colonies Bhutan, Uganda and Singapore, still criminalizes homosexuality under Section 377. This “unnatural offense” is punishable with up to 10 years in prison.

But in 2018, Pakistan, a Muslim-majority country, passed the historic Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, allowing Pakistanis to choose their gender on government documents and prohibits discrimination in employment and public accommodations on the basis of gender identity. The future of gay rights in India

Despite India’s legalization of gay sex, the path toward full acceptance of LGBTQ rights is complicated.

For more than a decade, India’s right-wing Hindu nationalists – who espouse a fundamentalist interpretation of Hinduism called Hindutva – have worked to portray homosexuality as a reprehensible Western import.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist elected in 2014, is himself a follower of Hindutva. In July, as India’s Supreme Court was preparing to hear arguments on the gay sex ban, Subramanian Swamy, a high-ranking member of Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, retorted that homosexuality “is not a normal thing.” Indian activists demonstrate against the Supreme Court’s reinstatement of Section 377 in 2014 (Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty) It’s “against Hindutva,” he said.

After the ruling against Section 377, an armed Hindu nationalist group called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh declared that “same-sex marriages and relations are not in consonance with nature.”

Traditionally,“ read the Sept. 8 public statement, “Indian society has not supported such relations.”

Historic evidence says otherwise.

“India’s pre-colonial sexual history is important,” Chaitanya Lakkimsetti, a Texas A&M professor who was involved in the fight to end Section 377, told me.

Yet, she reflects, “This is not just about hearkening back in time.”

For Lakkimsetti, the legal victory shows that “the Indian constitution is a living document that protects minorities.” In legalizing gay sex, then, the Supreme Court is not just recognizing India’s rich past – it’s also “looking forward.”

Amy Bhatt is an Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Is football ready for an openly gay player? Arsenal’s Héctor Bellerín says no, but fans can change that

Is football ready for an openly gay player? Arsenal’s Héctor Bellerín says no, but fans can change that

Héctor Bellerín of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at Emirates Stadium on April 1, 2018 in London, England. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) Arsenal FC’s right back Héctor Bellerín recently said that football is “not ready” for an openly gay player. But, writing for PinkNews, Dave Raval, chair of Arsenal’s GayGooners—the UK’s first LGBT+ supporters club—says it’s up to fans to change that.

I was sorry to hear about the horrific homophobic abuse received by Arsenal right back Héctor Bellerín. In an interview with The Times , the defender discussed anti-gay insults he’s received—including being called a “lesbian” for growing his hair long–which he said happens mostly online, but also comes from spectators when he’s playing. In fact, the star went as far as to say that football is “not ready” for an openly gay player.

It’s well known that football has a problem with discrimination, whether that be on the basis of sexuality or gender. There are no out male elite players (although there are plenty of openly lesbian top footballers).

People always ask when a player is going to come out. But a better question is: “When are the fans going to come out?” You can’t expect a player to do so if they are the first person to out themselves in a whole stadium.

But things are getting better. Dave Raval (far right) with other members of GayGooners, and Arsenal legend Pat Rice. (Stuart MacFarlane/Getty) When we formed the GayGooners —Arsenal’s official LGBT+ Supporters Club—in 2013, we were the first such group to do so, and had just a dozen members. Now we have more than 700. And, I’m pleased to say that around half of the professional clubs in England now have LGBT+ fan groups, providing a mix of social events and campaigning.

The leagues and clubs have played a role, whether that be through supporting LGBT History Month and the Football v Homophobia month of action every February, players wearing rainbow laces, grounds displaying the banners of their LGBT+ fan groups, flying the rainbow flag from stadia or on corner flags around the pitch, or the FA lighting up the Wembley arch in rainbow colours. All the football laws and ground grading rules now treat homophobia and transphobia in the same way as racism.

But what still needs to change are hearts and minds. This is already happening, but takes time. As Bellerín says, a lot of the abuse is online. This is true. People all over the world can use social media to push bigotry.

When we first started GayGooners, the abuse was terrible. But nowadays when Arsenal tweets about us, lots and lots of straight allies pitch in to the debate, saying how proud they are that our club supports LGBT+ fans.

The problem certainly hasn’t gone away, but far more people are prepared to call it out and to shame the homophobes. GayGooners at Pride in London in 2017. (GayGooners) In stadiums, there is no excuse for discrimination—against players or fans—and there are concrete steps clubs can make to help prevent this from happening. At Arsenal’s home matches, stewards are trained to look out for homophobia—and we’e working with them to raise awareness of transphobia, too. Fans are encouraged to report abuse that they hear via their phones, and stadium management will use CCTV to review any incidents and eject transgressors.

The UK is one of the countries that has taken a lead on homophobia in football, but there is clearly still a way to go. However, the work of anti-racism campaigners in football shows that it can be done. It’s down to all of us to get involved.

If you’re an Arsenal fan, or want to get into football for the first time, you can join GayGooners. Or, if you support another club, you can find them at Pride in Football’s website . If your club doesn’t have an LGBT+ fan group yet, form one! Let us know, and we can support you in that process.

Together, we can normalise the presence of LGBT+ fans in football. We’re people, we’re football fans, we exist, and there are lots of us.

With more and more LGBT+ fans publicly entering football, hearts and minds will change, and abuse will diminish.

Once it’s been tackled in the stadiums and online, the sport will be a whole lot better for fans and players alike.

Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons developing new gay TV comedy

Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons developing new gay TV comedy

Actor Jim Parsons (Vivien Killilea/Getty for Palm Springs International Film Festival) The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons is developing a new gay TV comedy.

Parsons is set to imminently bow out of his role on The Big Bang Theory after 12 years, as the long-running show finally comes to a close.

The out actor, who is TV’s highest-paid star due to his lucrative contract on the sitcom, is already planning new projects. im Parsons (Dia Dipasupil/Getty for Vulture Festival) Deadline reports that Parsons is developing a new gay-themed comedy series.

Parsons’ production company That’s Wonderful Productions is behind planned new show The Inn Crowd , a new show that will centre on a gay couple who open a new inn in a small rural town.

The show is in development at NBC, with Parsons and husband Todd Spiewak signed on as executive producers. The show, penned by David Holden, is based on the true story of the Inn at Little Washington, in Rappahannock County, Virginia, which was operated by gay couple Patrick O’Connell and Reinhardt Lynch. Actor Jim Parsons attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards (Christopher Polk/Getty) Opening up about their wedding earlier this year , Parson said: “The big deal, which really took me by surprise was how… and this goes to me being a bit of a traditionalist or maybe just human, was how meaningful the day was.

“We did it because it was meaningful, but to actually go through the wedding; to be there in front of all of your loved ones, and your family. It gave such meaning to doing this so people could bear witness to it.

“It meant so much more to me than I was prepared for. Especially having grown up where it wasn’t a possibility, and so it wasn’t a dream.

“I’m thrilled we did it, and it feels so traditional to me, it feels so ‘mom and dad’… but not, obviously!” Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak got married last year (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty) He added: “To be in love, to find love in that way, is as close as anything else I’ve found in life that gives me the feeling of being close to God.

“I remember when we first got together – I can’t believe i’m going to go into this – when we first got together I can remember lying in bed, closing my eyes but not being asleep and that sensation of light! Light! Light!

“And I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know what’s going on exactly, but it feels close to something important, eternal.’”

Teddy Geiger is dating Schitt’s Creek star Emily Hampshire

Teddy Geiger is dating Schitt’s Creek star Emily Hampshire

Teddy Geiger (left) and Emily Hampshire are now officially girlfriend and girlfriend. (emilyhampshire/Instagram) US songwriter and producer Teddy Geiger has revealed she’s in a relationship with Schitt’s Creek actor Emily Hampshire.

Geiger, who publicly came out as trans in October 2017, praised her girlfriend on Instagram on August 30.

Posting a photo of Hampshire, Geiger added the caption: “I am so happy this woman is alive… with the sound of music. She is a song I will sing for a thousand years.

“She fills my heart with the sound of music. My heart wants to sing every song it hears.” Geiger posted about her girlfriend Emily Hampshire on Instagram. (teddygeiger/Instagram) Hampshire, who plays Stevie Budd in Canadian TV sitcom Schitt’s Creek , has shared a number of loved-up photos of the couple. No compatible source was found for this media.

In one snap, she said: “Just me & my girlfriend. @teddygeiger.”

And, in another, she gushed: “God I miss this sweet little minx.”

On Wednesday, Hampshire tagged Geiger in a photo of her holding a placard of actor Elle Fanning at the Toronto International Film Festival. Emily Hampshire and Teddy Geiger at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2018. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images) “My fave pic of the fest: my gorgeous gf @teddygeiger with @ellefanning (both in florals #tiff18,” she said.

She also shared a photo of the pair in a photo-booth in Tuscany.

In July, Geiger opened up about coming out as trans.

She told the New York Times : “I can remember back to being 5 and looking in the mirror, feeling like a girl and wanting that.

“But growing up in Rochester, there were limited resources. I’d never met a trans person before.”

In May, singer Shawn Mendes has voiced support for his long-term collaborator and songwriter Geiger, who came out as transgender last year, saying people should “live how they want to live.”

Mendes, who is working with Geiger on his upcoming self-titled LP, was speaking to Billboard about how straight men can support the LGBTQ+ community.

“Just open your eyes and open your mind,” he said, “because, for me, going through one of my closest friends [Geiger] going through a very big transition period in her life, was incredible to watch.”

Russia really wants to convince you the Salisbury spies are gay lovers

Russia really wants to convince you the Salisbury spies are gay lovers

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov Russia state propaganda outlets are inferring that the alleged spies responsible for the Skripal poisoning are actually just gay tourists.

The UK named two Russian suspects, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, as suspects in a plot to poison former Russian officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter at their home in Salisbury, England. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov entering the UK Despite an extensive CCTV trail of the pair’s abrupt trip to Salisbury on the day of the poisoning, Russian state propaganda outlet Russia Today carried an interview in which the men insisted they were actually just “tourists.”

In the bizarre 25-minute interview, the pair denied all knowledge of the plot and insisted they were just two men going on holiday to see the 123m steeple at Salisbury Cathedral.

Russia Today attempted to make inferences about their sexuality, asking: “All the footage features you two together. You spend time together, you live together, you walk together.. what do you have in common that you spend so much time together?’”

Boshirov replied: “Let’s not pry into our private lives.”

The alleged spies also went to lengths to challenge allegations that they carried the Novichok nerve agent in a perfume bottle. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov on CCTV Boshirov insisted: “Isn’t it silly for a normal man to carry women’s perfume? Even just passing through customs.

“When you pass through customs they check all your things, or just any police officer can look through them, I think if we would have had something, they would have had questions. Why does a man in his luggage have women’s perfume?”

Petrov added: “That would raise questions even among simple people, why a man has women’s perfume. We didn’t have it.”

Some people appear to have bought the story.

Craig Murray, a former official who has faced criticism for pushing debunked conspiracy theories related to the poisoning, claimed on Twitter after the interview that the “most likely interpretation is that they are a gay couple… [who] enjoy looking at architecture and history together.” The UK government has dismissed claims in the RT interview as “blatant lies.”

The Prime Minister’s spokesperson accused the Russian state of manufacturing “lies and blatant fabrications” that “are an insult to the public’s intelligence.”

The Downing Street official added: “More importantly, they are deeply offensive to the victims and loved ones of this horrific attack.”

The spokesman added: “An illegal chemical weapon has been used on the streets of this country.

“We have seen four people left seriously ill in hospital and an innocent woman has died. Russia has responded with contempt.”

It would hardly be the first time Russian propaganda outlets have weaponised sexuality for disinformation campaigns.

Ahead of the French Presidential election in 2017, another Russian state outlet, Sputnik News, published a smear story inferring that frontrunner Emmanuel Macron was secretly gay.

Macron later banned RT and Sputnik from covering his events , accusing them of perpetuating homophobia and lies to interfere in the election.

In 2017, Russian government-run content farms were confirmed to be running popular Facebook pages targeted at LGBT people in the US.

A Discovery of Witches: Lesbian witch show air date, cast, what to expect

A Discovery of Witches: Lesbian witch show air date, cast, what to expect

Emily Mather (Valarie Pettiford) Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) and Sarah Bishop (Alex Kingston) (Sky) People are getting hyped for a new TV show that features Doctor Who star Alex Kingston as a lesbian witch.

It’s been 16 years, 4 months and 7 days since Buffy the Vampire Slayer dramatically parted iconic lesbian witch duo Willow and Tara, and there’s finally a new game in town.

TV drama A Discovery of Witches, which debuts in the UK this evening, introduces a new lesbian witch couple we just can’t wait to meet. What is it about?

Based on the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches follows witch and historian Diana Bishop as she seeks to unravel the secrets of the magical world, crossing paths by mysterious vampire Matthew Clairmont.

The “reluctant witch” was raised by her aunt Sarah Bishop, a witch who lives with her long-time partner and fellow witch Emily Mather. The pair taught Diana how to use her powers to fight in a centuries-old struggle between supernatural beings. A synopsis explains: “A Discovery of Witches is a contemporary love story set in our world, but one which humans share with the declining species of witches, vampires and daemons – creatures existing and working amongst us, but hiding, unknown to most humans, in plain sight.

“The discovery of a manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library throws Diana into the heart of a dangerous mystery – and into the path of enigmatic geneticist Matthew Clairmont, an ancient vampire hiding dark family secrets.

“As Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the significance of the mysterious manuscript and as their relationship develops and their heritage comes in to play, events threaten to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between humans, witches, vampires and daemons.” Who is in the cast?

The show is headed up by Warm Bodies star Teresa Palmer, who plays Diana Bishop, and Matthew Goode of The Crown fame as Matthew Clairmont. Alex Kingston as Sarah Bishop (Sky) Doctor Who, Arrow and ER star Alex Kingston is set to play Sarah Bishop, while Valarie Pettiford will play Emily Mather.

The cast also includes Lindsay Duncan as Ysabeau de Clermont, Tanya Moodie as Agatha Wilson, Louise Brealey as Gillian Chamberlain, Owen Teale as Peter Knox, and Trevor Eve as Gerbert D’Aurillac. When is it on?

The first episode is set to premiere in the UK on Sky One. It airs at 9 PM on 14 September 2018. Valarie Pettiford as Emily Mather (Sky) Episodes will air weekly on Friday until November 2. The show will also be available on NOW TV. The international distribution rights for A Discovery of Witches will are being handled by Sky Vision. Is there a trailer?

Yes! Check it out here: Tell me about the lesbians!

The show’s website explains: “Diana’s aunt, Sarah Bishop is descended from the first witch executed at Salem. Sarah is proud to be a Bishop and enjoys a respected place among witches because of her name and blood lineage. “She has a temperamental nature, a famously short fuse, is intensely loyal and has a long-standing addiction to coffee. Her prize possession is the Bishop grimoire, the family’s ancient spell book. Where her partner Emily is thoughtful and measured, Sarah is a firecracker who says exactly what’s on her mind, consequences be damned. (Sky) “Sarah’s long-term partner, Emily Mather is maternal, nurturing and deeply insightful.

“A witch with a talent for scrying and visions, Em is often the peace broker in the house, her honesty and compassion encouraging Sarah and Diana to face difficult truths. Em has a family secret she has kept since the death of Rebecca, her best friend. She uses that knowledge to understand Diana’s unlikely relationship with Matthew and to guide her. But when the secret comes out – and it must – there are explosive repercussions with Sarah, and their relationship is tested to its limits.” What do some people say about it?

Things.

Anne Mensah, Sky’s head of drama, said: “A Discovery of Witches is a proper love story for grown-ups.

“However, the fact that it also examines science, magic and being ‘other’ in the modern world makes it a must watch. Kate Brooke and Deborah Harkness have given us a drama that packs both an emotional and thought-provoking punch.

“With the breathtaking vision of director Juan Carlos Medina and the Bad Wolf team, I feel very confident we are offering our customers something truly magical.”

Screenwriter Kate Brooke added: “The show is a relationship drama, grounded in emotional truth. Diana and Matthew, like all couples who meet and fall in love, at times struggle to understand each other and come to terms with their differences. And if you’re a vampire and a witch – those differences are huge.”

Jane Tranter, Executive Producer, Bad Wolf added: “A Discovery of Witches is a bold contemporary love story beautifully adapted by Kate Brooke from the books by Deborah Harkness. We can’t wait to introduce fans of the novels to our cast and to bring in a whole new audience to these extraordinary stories.”

Gay student, threatened with death, wins homecoming king following wave of support

Gay student, threatened with death, wins homecoming king following wave of support

2018 Homecoming King Josh Sarabia and Homecoming Queen Faith Scullion (Josh Sarabia/Twitter) A high school senior in Iowa was crowned homecoming king after being the target of homophobic abuse and threats in a Snapchat group chat.

The ceremony, held on Thursday at the Anamosa High School gym, saw Josh Sarabia receiving support from the student community, who voted to pick the homecoming king and queen out of a total 12 candidates.

The school shared the news via its social media accounts , and Sarabia was beaming in the picture next to homecoming queen Faith Scullion.

“Great honor to represent AHS!! Thank you for all the support! It’s been a crazy week but soo blessed with everyones support!” he wrote on Twitter.

Sarabia is open about his sexuality, with his Twitter description reading: “gay af.” The cross country runner and show choir performer has also openly—and fiercely—discussed the attitudes he sometimes encounters.

“It’s funny how people point me out at the joco fair as the ‘gay kid’ and laugh. Like Hi my name is Josh. if you have something to say to me please say it to me my face instead of whispering about me,” he wrote in a Twitter post on July 20, followed by another one a few days later: “I’m soo f***ing gay and I Iove it!” Josh Sarabia enjoyed his first Pride this year (Josh Sarabia/Twitter) The threats and homophobic slurs against Sarabia were shared in a Snapchat group viewed by news channel KCRG-TV9 . The group chat, titled “Varsity Football,” contained the phrase “We could just kill him,” the TV station reported.

Sarabia’s sister Tresha spoke to the local news channel about the bullying. “I didn’t think anyone would do this. I thought everyone was on the same page with equality and all that stuff but I guess not.”

The family alerted the school authorities about the Snapchat messages and the students responsible were not allowed to be present at the homecoming ceremony—three of the male candidates to the crown did not attend the event.

Anamosa Schools Superintendent Larry Hunt did not confirm to the local news outlet whether the students involved in the group chat had been suspended, but said the district followed policy and legal advice in this investigation.

The high school student however did not want his family to pursue legal actions against his peers because, his sister said, he believes in second chances.

“We have to express our love and our compassion to others and forgiveness because growing up in Christian household that’s what we were taught,” Tresha said—the siblings’ mother is a pastor.