US Embassy office in Tel Aviv celebrates Pride despite Trump Administration ban on Pride flags A RuPaul inspired loaf of sourdough for Pride Month from the MarieBette Bakery in Charlottesville, VA ( A gay-owned bakery business is paying awesome tribute to LGBTI icons for Pride Month. Bakers at MarieBette Café and Bakery , based in Charlottesville, VA, create flour stencilled designs on bread to highlight some of the owners’ most inspiring queer icons and allies.
The first icon they selected was Ellen DeGeneres. Posting on Instagram last weekend, the bakery included a quote from DeGeneres herself alongside a photo of the loaf: ‘I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated, and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.’ MarieBette Café and Bakery
Underneath, they posted their reasoning for deciding to honor Ellen and the others who have followed.
‘June is LGBTQ Pride Month and as a gay-family-owned business, we would like to do our part to recognize and celebrate LGBTQ individuals and allies who have been instrumental in the fight for equality in our community.
‘Some of these persons may be well known while others may be less well known, some may identify as LGBTQ while others may not but are in the fight nonetheless. All are important and worthy of recognition.’
Since then, bread and flour designs of RuPaul, Oscar Wilde, Laverne Cox, Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli, Harvey Milk, Elton John and Frida Kahlo , among others, have appeared on their Instagram feed . Who is creating this bread?
MarieBette Café and Bakery is run by husbands Patrick Evans and Jason Becton. They named the business after their two young daughters, Marie and Bette. They have been running for bakery for the past four and a half years.
‘My husband Patrick Evans handles the bakery side of our business and makes all the stencils by hand,’ Becton told Gay Star News.
The men bake the stencils on to the bakery’s distinctive Virginia Sourdough.
‘Before working in the culinary field we both had lives in different careers,’ Becton continues. ‘Patrick is an artist and worked in the art world in New York City.
‘The stenciled breads are a kind of temporal art and has become his main creative outlet. One of our employees, Daniel Chen ( @syllabusbakeshop ) also got on board and has added to our stencil collection.’
‘Patrick finds or creates a picture or drawing and, using a plastic quart container lid, sharpie and x-acto knife, creates the stencil by hand.
Tan France from Queer Eye is among those to be featured (Photo: @mariebettecafe on Instagram)
Becton says his husband comes from a family home minutes south of Charlottesville, while he heralds from Jersey City, NJ. The men met in New York City.
At least one of the icons depicted has already praised the designs. New York cabaret artist Justin Vivian Bond was delighter to see themselves included. They posted to their Facebook yesterday, ‘Isn’t this the most fantastic tribute ever?’ See also
Protests against teaching LGBT awareness in classrooms in Birmingham have reawakened painful memories for Nia Griffiths.
The Llanelli MP was in a same-sex relationship while teaching during the 1980s when the promotion of homosexuality in schools was banned.
Now the Welsh Government is considering whether to make sex and relationship lessons compulsory.
"It’s far better that questions are talked about and answered professionally in school than on the street," she said.
A consultation on the issue has concluded but has not yet been discussed by the cabinet.
Hate crimes against LGBT people were at their highest ever level in the year to 31st March 2019, bucking the trend of an overall drop in other areas of hate charges.
1,216 anti-LGBT hate crimes were recorded in the year 2018-19, up 5% on the previous year, a near-consistent trend since hate crime legislation was introduced almost 10 years ago.
In figures released by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service , the statistics show crimes which were ‘aggravated’ by sexual orientation or transgender identity as a significant element in the crime. Court proceedings were brought against 91% of those charged, with only 2% of charges dropped, one of the lowest levels since hate crime laws were introduced. Overall, there were 1,176 hate crimes with a sexual orientation element in the past 12 months. There were 40 categorised with a transgender identity element to the crime, a reduction of 20% on the previous year of 52.
The stats show hate crime charges have soared in Dundee and Edinburgh, with increases also seen in the Highlands, the Borders and West Scotland.
LGBT hate crime in the capital city is up by more than a third since 2015, with 221 offences reported in the last year. A number of incidents were publicly reported leading to calls from some for more action to keep people safer in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh resident, Michael Richardson, said he felt everyone needs to be vigilant and do more to tackle discrimination where we witness it:
“We need to keep increasing visibility of ourselves everywhere, at all times. Companies and businesses need to step up too, not just in this Pride month, in showing support. I do think there’s more chance of a bystander stepping in or getting involved than was the case maybe 10 years ago.”
“I do see more same sex couples holding hands here than ever before, which is great, but I always feel a little protective or worried for the couple incase something happens.” Meanwhile, in Dundee, hate crime charges have increased from 29 to 49 in just twelve months. The city held its first major LGBT event when Dundee Pride launched in September 2018.
Co-Chair of Dundee Pride, Tim Kelly, said he felt the current political climate might be partly to blame for the 69% increase in the city:
“Perhaps the climate that seems to celebrate misogyny, racism, homophobia and transphobia has given permission to people holding such prejudices to act on them. Or perhaps such public support for LGBT people, demonstrated at the first Dundee Pride, has empowered people to report these crimes, rather than suffering in shame or silence.”
“Regardless of the reason, even one hate crime is too many. The statistics demonstrate that though LGBT equality has advanced greatly in the 50 years since the Stonewall riots, we still have a long way to go.”
“Given political events around the globe, these numbers remind us that the advances made in equality for women, BAME people, disabled people, religious minorities and the LGBT communities are precarious and could be quickly reversed.”
“The Pride movement continues to be needed today. We at Dundee Pride stand in solidarity with all our sisters, brothers and siblings from all backgrounds to push back against hate and work for equality – it’s about time!”
The hate crime statistics, which are published annually in Scotland and can be broken down by local court offices, show a positive reduction in several areas, including Perth, Livingston, Paisley, Forfar, Kilmarnock, Aberdeen and Dumfries.
Hate crime in Scotland is recorded across several areas, including race, disability, sexual orientation, transgender identity and religion.
The total number of hate crimes across all themes dropped to it’s lowest level since the legislation was introduced, at 4,616 charges.
The Equality Network provided training to Police Scotland which introduced LGBT-trained officers across the country. Speaking in 2016, the force said LGBT hate crime was “a priority” and that it was hoped more LGBT people would come forward to report incidents.
The Scottish Government have not yet commented on the figures released.
Langer’s Deli in Los Angeles ejected a lesbian couple on a date (Creative Commons/Josh Lim) A deli owner who ejected a lesbian couple on a date for sharing a kiss has claimed that both gay and straight kisses are banned.
Two women claim they were thrown out of Langer’s Deli in Los Angeles on June 8, during the weekend of the city’s Pride celebrations. Lesbian couple were told to leave for kissing
In a Facebook post, Rachel Curry alleged: “My date and I had finished eating and we shared a kiss in our booth. Suddenly a man with a walkie-talkie was standing at our table.
“He introduced himself as Norm Langer and told us that he ‘can’t have this in his restaurant because some of the customers don’t understand.’” Langer’s Deli in Los Angeles ejected a lesbian couple on a date She added: “He told me I was being selfish and inconsiderate of how other people felt as he stood there with his walkie-talkie waiting for us to pay our bill and leave.
“I was in shock, this experience felt violent and wrong and was traumatic for both of us. “I just want to raise awareness that this space is unsafe for LBGTQ+ people in an effort to prevent future harm to others.” Deli owner: I’d do the same to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
In a statement, deli owner Norm Langer hit back at the allegations, claiming that the “family restaurant” has a long-standing no kissing policy.
He claimed: “We treat all customers equally and never discriminate.
“We have a long-standing policy against anyone from ‘making out’ whether straight or same-sex couples, it does not matter.
“I have stopped heterosexual couples from making out, and I would do the same if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were making out.
“We are a family restaurant, and I apologise if some people do not like our policy.”
However, Curry questioned his version of events, and said that Langer never mentioned a ‘no kissing’ policy during the incident.
She told the LA Blade : “It was perfectly clear to both of us that when he approached our table in an authoritative manner and told us that he ‘Can’t have this behaviour in his restaurant’ because his ‘customers don’t understand’—he was saying that his customers and/or himself did not want us being visibly queer in that space and that we weren’t welcome there because of it.”
Earlier this month, a restaurant in New Jersey agreed to pay a $20,000 settlement after allegations of homophobic discrimination against an employee.
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A transmasculine person checking his watch in a park (Creative Commons/Broadly Gender Spectrum Collection) The American Medical Association has warned that violence against transgender people is rising in the US.
The medical body issued a warning about an “epidemic of violence against the transgender community, especially the amplified physical dangers faced by transgender people of colour.” American Medical Association: Anti-trans violence has public health impact
American Medical Association board member Dr. S. Bobby Mukkamala said: “According to available tracking, fatal anti-transgender violence in the U.S. is on the rise and most victims were black transgender women.
“The number of victims could be even higher due to under reporting, and better data collection by law enforcement is needed to create strategies that will prevent anti-transgender violence.” Transgender people take part in a candle light vigil on the Transgender Day of Remembrance in Bangalore on November 20, 2015. (MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty) The body warns that “the physical risks faced by transgender individuals can have long and short-term negative impacts on the physical and mental health of these individuals, survivors, their communities, and the nation as a whole.”
A resolution was backed at the AMA’s annual House of Delegates meeting earlier in June raising concerns about a spate of anti-trans violence. Trans women of colour are most likely to face violence
The resolution notes: “Since 2013, at least 128 transgender women, transgender men, and non-binary people (people whose gender is not male or female) have been killed across 32 states and 87 cities in the US.
“In 2017, there were 29 homicides of transgender people in the US reported in the media, the highest number ever recorded, in addition to many more that were not publicly known
“In 2018, advocates tracked at least 226 deaths of transgender people in the US due to fatal violence, 82 percent of whom were transgender women of colour and 73 percent of whom were Black transgender women.”
The body has backed calls for a central law enforcement database to collect data on reported hate crimes, and has also called for stronger law enforcement policies regarding interactions with transgender individuals in order to prevent bias and mistreatment.
Police in Dallas this month arrested a suspected serial killer who has been charged with the murder of black transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker and two other victims.
Kendrell Lavar Lyles is also a person of interest in the death of another black trans woman, Chynal Lindsey .
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Israel Gutierrez on ESPN’s Around the Horn Gay ESPN reporter Israel Gutierrez has opened up about dealing with the attention lavished on anti-LGBT boxing champion Tyson Fury.
Gutierrez, an ESPN sports reporter who came out as gay in 2015, spoke out ahead of Tyson Fury’s much-publicised boxing match against Tom Schwarz.
During an appearance on sports panel show Around The Horn , Gutierrez referenced Fury’s previous claim that homosexuality and paedophilia will bring about the apocalypse. ESPN’s Israel Gutierrez: Watching Tyson Fury makes me feel like I don’t matter
The reporter said: “I just wanted to let you guys know what it feels like to watch Tyson Fury, a man who has been very open about his beliefs, including the fact that homosexuality and the acceptance of it is a sign the world is ending.
“It makes me feel like I don’t matter. It makes me feel like my friends don’t matter. It makes me feel like my partner doesn’t matter. Israel Gutierrez on ESPN’s Around the Horn “It takes me right back to my teenage years and childhood, when I looked around and thought that everybody was looking down on me, thinking that I’m lesser-than, just because of this way I was born.”
He added: “But I’m still going to watch, and I hope that it strengthens me. ICYMI: In the midst of #PrideMonth , @IzGutierrez used his FaceTime today to deliver a powerful message about how watching Tyson Fury makes him feel… pic.twitter.com/1R81ThKZJY — Around The Horn (@AroundtheHorn) June 14, 2019 “It’s because of guys like that, that I have to fight every single day. Happy Pride, everyone.” Tyson Fury hasn’t distanced himself from anti-LGBT rhetoric
Although he has never directly apologised for his history of anti-LGBT comments, Fury has been welcomed back into the boxing world.
In 2018, Fury stormed out of an interview after he was asked directly about his views.
The boxer spoke to ITV reporter Nick Wallis for just 30 seconds before storming away when asked to address his comments.
The boxer has previously claimed that sex with children was legalised by a fictional “Gay Rights Act 1977.”
He claimed: “There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the devil comes home.
“One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other one’s paedophilia.
“Who would have thought in the 50s and 60s that those first two would be legalised?
“When I say paedophiles can be made legal, that sounds like crazy talk doesn’t it?
“But back in the 50s and early 60s, for them first two to be made legal would have been looked on as a crazy man again.”
He added: “I have newspaper evidence that suggest that the Gay Rights Act of 1977 backed in favour of paedophilia being legalised in the UK. So how dare I say that, but how dare it be on the national paper…. These are the people, these are now politicians or whatever in the country.”
A charity supporting transgender children and young people has issued an apology after thousands of emails were made public online.
Mermaids UK said it was "deeply sorry" for what it called a "historical data breach" after it was first reported by the Sunday Times .
The paper claims the correspondence included "intimate details", names and addresses, but the charity denies this.
Mermaids said it had taken immediate action and reported the breach.
In an official statement on the Mermaids UK website, the charity claimed that the emails were from 2016 and 2017, and that they were searchable only "if certain precise search-terms were used".
It maintained there was "no evidence" the information had been retrieved by anyone other than the Sunday Times, or those contacted by their journalist.
A Mermaids spokesperson told the BBC the emails were shared to a private group on a private messaging platform.
They insisted that the 1,100 emails were between executives and trustees of the charity, discussing matters relating to their work.
"To be clear this is absolutely not Mermaids service users emailing each other, and their emails and private correspondence being available to an outside audience," the spokesperson said.
The Times, however, reported that the emails contained "intimate details of the vulnerable youngsters it seeks to help".
It said the emails could be found simply by typing in the charity name and its charity number. NSPCC explains Munroe Bergdorf decision
Police investigation over ‘misgendering’
Mermaids UK stated it had notified the Information Commissioner’s Office, the data protection watchdog, and contacted those affected.
The Charity Commission had also been notified, it said, and an independent investigation into the breach would be launched.
"We’re going to be employing a third party to oversee processes and advise on how we can improve internal practice," the spokesperson told the BBC.
"I think it’s important to note that this dates back some two years when Mermaids was a smaller charity dealing with the first aggressive onslaught from those who are opposed to giving vulnerable transgender children and young people the safe spaces they need."
Mermaids UK was formed in 1995, and is the country’s leading charity in services offering support around gender and identity to children and young people up to 20 years old.
It recently received £500,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund.
I had a really great childhood.
I grew up in a wonderful home with both of my parents, and they gave me every single thing I could ever imagine. There were elaborate holidays, and just about anything else they could do to expose me to the world. They had me out there riding horses when I was ten-years-old (I was the only brother at the stable out there riding a horse.)
Basically, they wanted to make sure that I knew the world was my oyster and that I could be or do anything I wanted. It was a really, really nice – a perfect upbringing. And they had a plan in mind when they gave me this upbringing. That plan was for me to attend college, then law school, and then go off and get a really good job.
A really good job in my parents’ minds was for me to be President of the United States. That’s right. The guy who was Barack Obama before he was Barack Obama. I was supposed to be the first black president of the United States. That was the plan, and I bought into this plan. It was a good plan, right? Who doesn’t want to be president?
I went to college where I majored in international affairs, and then I attended law school. After I graduated, I was offered the opportunity to run an inner city school in Chicago. While being an educator or taking that role wasn’t exactly part of the plan, I realised that it could really help me when I started pursuing my political career. Who isn’t going to vote for the guy who stands there in the ad with his hands on his hips, looking like Superman in front of the classroom of kids? ‘Vote Tim King. He changes the world. He educates kids.’
So I figured, okay, I’ll take this job and maybe it’ll lead me to some other things that follow along with the plan. One day, I was walking into the school, it was pretty early, around 7:30 in the morning. I unlocked the door and there was a kid sitting outside waiting to get in. His name was Keith.
I said, “What are you doing?”
He said, “Oh, I’m working here painting during the summer.”
“Okay, so come on in.”
He would stay really late, then the next day, show up very early, and then stay really late again. The summer eventually melted into the school year, and Keith was still coming to school really, really early and staying at school until really, really late.
And I just figured, okay, this guy just likes school – although I didn’t understand how anyone could like school that much. But I started kind of keeping an eye on him because there was something up with this young man. Eventually, he started talking to me throughout the course of the day, stopping by my office to say ‘what’s up’. Then he started doing things like asking me if he could borrow a couple bucks and I’d give him the money. I really didn’t pay much attention to the reasons he needed the money. In fact, I really wasn’t all that interested in knowing because I didn’t really want to know that much ― you stay in your world, it’s cool. I’m in mine. You go right ahead with your business.
Step by step though, he started asking for more money, more frequently. He started hanging out in my office a bit more. He started talking to me more, coming out of his shell and I was coming out of my shell a bit with him.
One day, I asked him what he needed this money for, and he said, “Oh, I’ve got to go do my laundry.” And I thought, “This kid’s lying.” I mean, what 15-year-old has to go and do his laundry? But I gave him the money anyway and just said, “Okay, you know, go do what you have to do.”
One night, I got a call from Keith and he was hysterical. He asked me if I would help him ― if I’d come get him from his house. I said, “Sure, what’s going on, what’s wrong?” And he said, “My mom just died.” So, I go over to his house and it’s not a house, it’s an apartment over a liquor store. I walk in, and it’s pitch black in the apartment. Just the light from the street lamps coming in through the window. From that light, I see garbage bags ― some bags with garbage in them and other bags with his stuff in them. No lights. Not because he had turned off the lights, but because the electricity was off. There was no power and it was cold. And he was in hysterics because his mother had just died. She had been battling, unbeknownst to me, drug addiction and she lost that battle. The drugs won and she died.
So, we grabbed Keith’s stuff in the garbage bags, put them in my car. And then I was faced with, well, where do we go? So I said to him, “You got a friend you can stay with?” And he says, “Sure.” And we drop him off at a friend’s house. And I went back home to my house. The next day, Keith was at school. And we talked and tried to work through where he was going to live. We found another place for him to stay temporarily.
I started getting closer to Keith. We started talking more, obviously this kind of experience brings people together.
We would go out. I’d take him to eat after school; we would go to the movies, a basketball game, or something like that. Every time after we’d go to dinner or go to the game, I would drop him off at someone else’s house and I would go home to mine.
One day, Keith and I were sitting in the car after we had gone out, and we were trying to work through where he was going to stay. And he just looked at me and he said, “Why can’t I just live with you? Why can’t you be my dad?” And in that moment I thought, “Are you crazy? Of course you can’t live with me. Of course I can’t be your dad. You don’t fit into this plan. I’m going to be the first black President of the United States. You can’t move in with me.”
I had put Keith in this box, this box that said ‘poor black boy inside, handle with care’. And, I put that box far away from me. I didn’t allow myself to get close to that box, to get close to Keith. All of that went through my head and a matter of seconds, quite literally.
When I came out of this kind of fog, he was still sitting there in the car looking at me, asking if he could live with me, asking if I could be his dad. And I looked at him and I said, “Yes. Yes, you can live with me. Yes I will be your dad.” And at that moment, I changed. I felt right. I just felt right.
What I should’ve felt was terrified, because when Keith moved into my house, it wasn’t like one elephant coming through. It was a herd of elephants. He took over! When I met Keith and he moved in, I had a full head of hair ― We’re talking giant Afro from the 60s, 70s Afro. You know what I’m saying? The stress from living with him changed that! It was really, really, really hard living with him. He had been used to living by himself, living on his own. I had been used to living by myself, living on my own. He had been living the life of an adult, but he was just a child. Now, all of a sudden, he had an opportunity to be a kid again. I lived this life like a kid with a bank account, and now, all of a sudden, I had to be an adult.
Keith and I managed to make it through our time living together. He calls me Dad. I refer to him as my son. He graduated from high school and he went on to Georgetown University, my Alma Mater. He graduated from Georgetown, moved back home to Chicago, and right now, this very moment, he works with me in a network of charter public high schools that I started called Urban Prep. He’s a teacher.
I started Urban Prep because I wanted to make sure that all the Keiths in the world were taken care of; He works at Urban Prep because he wants to be a part of changing lives, just like his life was changed. When Keith and I lived together, to this very day, what I wanted to do was make sure that he had a life that was filled with love, like the life I had when I was growing up. People always say to me, “Tim, you changed Keith’s life.” And I say to them, “He changed mine.” As we walked down that road of him going from being a boy to becoming a man, he was also helping me grow. He was helping me become a better man.
A little while ago, I got a text message from Keith and the text message read, “Our family is at the basketball game. Where are you? You should be here.” And I smiled, because Keith was berating me. And then I got a little teary because as I looked down at that text message, I realised that Keith had written “our family.”
This story is cross-posted from The Moth. Their latest book, Occasional Magic, is available now.
Life Less Ordinary is a weekly blog series from HuffPost UK that showcases weird, wonderful and transformational life experiences. If you’ve got something extraordinary to share please email email@example.com with LLO in the subject line. To read more from the series, visit our dedicated page.
More than 30 Oxford academics have blasted Stonewall for pushing ‘tendentious and antiscientific claims’ in the trans awareness training it gives to universities.
The group have taken issue with compulsory training that includes statements such as ‘gender is how people interpret and view themselves’ and expressed this in a letter, reports the Sunday Times .
It calls for universities to sever links with the LGBT charity unless it says it ‘fully supports academic freedom of thought’.
Academics are also being told to not invite transphobic speakers who do not accept ‘that trans people are the gender they say they are’.
They fear the new rules could see staff lose their jobs, and that they overrule freedom of speech. More than 30 leading Oxford academics have blasted the LGBT charity Stonewall for pushing ‘tendentious and antiscientific claims’ in the trans awareness training it gives to universities. Pictured: Oxford University More than 30 leading Oxford academics have blasted the LGBT charity Stonewall for pushing ‘tendentious and antiscientific claims’ in the trans awareness training it gives to universities. Pictured: Oxford University
Modern history professor Selina Todd told the Sunday Times: ‘[This] is really pushing an agenda which is dogmatic and completely overruling freedom of speech… I am very scared that academics will start to lose their jobs.
‘I feel uncomfortable. I’ve told my employer that I feel vulnerable and I’ve had students say they feel intimidated by what’s going on at this campus.’
Oxford and Cambridge spent £55,000 between them on LGBT training so staff are better equipped to help students who may be struggling.
According to a NUS LGBTQ+ report from 2014, just 20 per cent of trans students feel completely safe on campus.
One in three trans students said they had experienced bullying or harassment – while 51 per cent have seriously considered dropping out of their course.
Transitioning can also disrupt trans students’ time at university, with one in seven having to take time out.
To make this period easier, some colleges at Oxford have a gender expression fund for students who need to buy items such as ‘chest binders, concealing underwear and breast forms’. The group have taken issue with compulsory training that includes statements such as ‘gender is how people interpret and view themselves’ and expressed this in a letter. Pictured: Oxford university The group have taken issue with compulsory training that includes statements such as ‘gender is how people interpret and view themselves’ and expressed this in a letter. Pictured: Oxford university
A spokesperson for Oxford University told the Sunday Times: ‘The university is committed to fostering an inclusive, diverse environment where students, staff and visitors, of all backgrounds feel protected, valued and respected.
‘The university also prioritises protecting academic freedom.’
A Stonewall spokesperson said: ‘Through our Diversity Champions programme we work with a network of organisations across the UK and around the world who are committed to equality, supporting them to create inclusive and accepting environments for their staff and service users.
‘Our work with universities is absolutely vital because we know LGBT staff and students still experience discrimination on a daily basis, almost one in five LGBT staff (18 per cent) have been the target of negative comments from colleagues because they’re LGBT, while two in five LGBT students (42 per cent) have hidden their identity at university for fear of discrimination.
‘Stonewall also works with schools to help them tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and deliver an LGBT-inclusive curriculum. It’s vital we work together to build a world where all LGBT people are accepted without exception.’
Yahoo Vida y Estilo Families are calling for a popular painkiller in Spain to be completely banned in the country following numerous deaths and severe reactions in British people who had taken the drug.
The painkiller metamizole, commonly known in Spain under the brand name Nolotil, has a known adverse reaction as a possible side effect called agranulocytosis, which affects a small percentage of people and causes a rapid drop in white blood cells and sepsis (blood poisoning).
Available data confirms there is an increased risk in elderly people – although it also shows an increase in the use of the painkiller among elderly patients.
Metamizole, which is widely used in Spain as a painkiller for different situations for moderate to severe acute pain, has been marketed in Spain for more than 50 years and is available under different trade names including Nolotil.
The painkiller is not available in the UK and is banned in many countries, including the US, due to its potential for adverse effects. In the US, approval was withdrawn in 1977. But the painkiller remains widely prescribed in Spain, with data showing its use has doubled in the last 10 years.
In October, the Spanish Health Ministry issued a warning against its use on those visiting the country for a short time, following reports to Spanish authorities of multiple people from the UK and Ireland dying after taking the painkiller. The guidance states: “Do not use metamizole in patients where controls are not possible – eg floating population.”
However, a campaigner whose investigations prompted the new guidelines claims they are not being taken seriously enough by doctors and pharmacists.
Cristina Garcia del Campo, a medical and legal translator who lives in Spain, told HuffPost UK she is now fighting for a complete ban of Nolotil in Spain as she fears more British people may suffer.
She first began investigating the potential adverse effects of Nolotil about 18 months ago, and has revealed to HuffPost UK she has now collated more than 200 cases of British people who she says have been severely affected by Nolotil, including more than 20 deaths linked to patients who had taken the painkiller. Yahoo Magazines PYC Her findings resulted in the new guidance being issued after she took the cases to Spain’s Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS).
Garcia del Campo, who is from Madrid, told HuffPost UK she first began investigating Nolotil in December 2017 after becoming suspicious about the number of cases of sepsis among Britons.
She said: “In my job as medical translator, I go into hospitals a lot with British patients. In December 2017, I had a particular client who had sepsis, and I remember thinking it wasn’t the first time I had heard of someone having sepsis.
“This set the alarm bells ringing so I started to investigate and got out all my reports of patients affected by sepsis. I realised what they all had in common was that they were British and they had all taken Nolotil.”
She added: “I was shocked and I knew of about five cases at this point. Little did I realise I would end up with hundreds of cases when I began this investigation.”
As well as being a medical translator for British patients and their families, Garcia de Campo acts as the patient liaison, organising appointments and admissions people on behalf of her clients. People began telling Garcia del Campo about their experiences after she posted on social media. Garcia del Campo has now travelled all over Spain talking to experts and gathering information.
She explained: “Metamizole – the generic name for Nolotil – has been banned in the US, Japan, Australia and other countries and it is not licensed in the UK.
“One of the side effects of Nolotil is agranulocytosis, where the bone marrow does not produce enough white cells and they often go down to zero.
“This makes the patient extremely susceptible to infections they cannot fight and they can end up dying or with amputations or suffering other life long consequences.
“I put a post on social media asking if anyone had had an adverse reaction to the drug and people began contacting me telling me about their terrible experiences.”
Although there are no conclusive studies, many health specialists suspect people from Northern Europe are more at risk to metamizole than people from Spain.
A study was carried out by health professionals at Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella in 2009 looking into their cases of agranulocytosis analysing the connection with metamizole. This study discovered the rate was almost three times higher among foreigners than in Spanish people.
Although the vast majority of the cases Garcia del Campo has collated involve British patients, her findings have also unearthed Spanish cases. “I have collated more than 40 cases of Spanish people being affected by Nolotil, and between five and 10 deaths. There was a death of a Spanish person who had taken Nolotil only a few weeks ago.” Garcia del Campo believes hospitals and pharmacies are not abiding by the updated recommendations Garcia del Campo took her findings to Spain’s Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices on July 6 2018 and shared her information with them.
Following this, she was invited to a summit with experts, which resulted in the new guidance being issued on October 30 2018 – with the warning stating Nolotil should not be given to people who can’t be monitored, such as tourists.
However, Garcia del Campo believes hospitals and pharmacies are not abiding by the updated recommendations.
She says that since the updated guidance, she has been contacted by a number of people of British origin telling her that they were either given Nolotil in hospital or were about to be given it and refused it. She claims she is aware of at least six cases of serious adverse reactions to Nolotil since October 30 2018 when the updated guidance was issued.
Garcia del Campo said: “It is good that they took notice and issued this warning. But hospitals and pharmacies in Spain are not taking it seriously enough.”
British victims and families of those who have died after taking the painkiller told HuffPost UK they want to see Nolotil banned outright in Spain. ‘It’s Too Late For Our Dad But We Want To Prevent Further Deaths From This Painkiller’
This family photograph showing Stuart Holgate with his wife Sallie, and their daughters Jane Wheildon and Frances Holgate, was taken in Spain on the day he went to the chemist and made the decision to buy Nolotil for pain relief. After working hard all his life as an engineer and then a university teacher, Stuart Holgate and wife Sallie of Shipley, Bradford, decided to move to Spain. The couple were living in Almeria and enjoying their retirement – until Stuart, 73, died in July last year after suffering a severe reaction to Nolotil.
His daughter, Jane Wheildon, 43, who lives in Bradford, recalls how treatment for a chest infection uncovered an abscess on her father’s lung caused by undiagnosed kidney cancer.
In May 2018, Holgate had an operation in Almeria, Spain, to remove his kidney. Wheildon said: “My dad had a huge scar but was recovering well. Me and my sister went out to Spain and as my dad had a bit of pain after the surgery, I took him to the pharmacy in the village to get some pain relief.
“He recognised the Nolotil as he had had it in hospital so they gave him some tablets.” Stuart and Sallie Holgate Holgate became unwell, had difficulty breathing and was in pain. He was admitted to hospital where doctors told the family he had suffered a reaction to something.
“When we said he had taken Nolotil, the doctors said: ‘That will be why.’ The painkiller had caused a reaction which had wiped out my dad’s white blood cells and he got sepsis as he could not fight any infection.”
He died a few weeks later.
Wheildon said: “We were totally devastated. My dad had got through the cancer and was recovering well and then a simple painkiller he bought over the counter caused this horrendous reaction.” ‘I’ve Had The Majority Of My Feet And Some Of My Fingers Amputated – But I Just Feel Lucky To Be Alive’
Warning: This story contains some images which readers may find distressing Joan Judge says she almost died after she took the painkiller for relief from a UTI Joan Judge, originally from Scotland, has lived in Spain for 42 years. The 63-year-old, who was working as a teacher in international schools in Spain, almost died after being prescribed Nolotil as pain relief for a severe urinary infection.
Judge told HuffPost UK: “I had this severe urinary infection and went to A&E and was given Nolotil for the pain.
“Unfortunately, I had the reaction which wipes out all your white blood cells, but at the time, we didn’t know what had happened.
“Within a few days of taking the Nolotil, I was barely conscious and my husband rang an ambulance and I was taken to a local hospital.
“Doctors seemed to think I had leukaemia because of my low white blood count.”
Judge was transferred to the University Hospital in Malaga. As soon as a doctor was told she had taken Nolotil, he realised what had happened. “At that point, the reaction some people have to it was not widely known.”
Judge regained consciousness but needed dialysis for a week as her kidneys had stopped working. She also had gangrene affecting her hands, feet, the tip of her nose and ears. This led to her having most of both her feet amputated, as well as some of her fingers. Most of Joan Judge’s feet have been amputated after she suffered a severe reaction to Nolotil, which led to gangrene Joan Judge had fingers amputated Joan Judge wants to see the drug banned in Spain Judge told HuffPost UK: “It is awful what happened to me, but I just feel lucky I survived and am still here.
“It took me a year to get to what is now my normality. I went back to work for a while, but only part-time.
“I can still walk and most people don’t realise anything is amiss. But because of the amount of feet I am missing, my balance is not great.”
Judge wants to see Nolotil banned completely in Spain and claims that even after the new directive, British people are still being given the painkiller.
She said: “The British husband of one of my friends was in hospital in Malaga a few weeks ago and he was prescribed Nolotil. It is frightening.
“I do not blame the doctor who gave me Nolotil as he had no idea of the effect it would have on me and was trying to help me.
“But it seems incredible that even after a directive from the medical world in Spain, people from British origin are still being prescribed Nolotil.“It is banned […]