Football transfer news: How announcements got extravagant

Football transfer news: How announcements got extravagant

Has the football transfer announcement got out of hand?

With clubs becoming more and more desperate to make an impact on social media, gone are the days where a player forced a smile, held up a shirt and shook the manager’s hand.

Now, we’re getting elaborate videos – akin to film trailers – before the signing is finally revealed.

Take Aston Villa’s recent loan signing of goalkeeper Andre Moreira, for example.

Coming a couple of days after the final of Love Island, the club couldn’t resist a pun (and who are we to judge?) about a player "entering the Villa".

Report Villa have form in the elaborate signing announcement too – remember when they announced John Terry’s signing on WhatsApp last year?

Report It wasn’t always like this

Let’s go back to 30 July 1996.

Football had very nearly come home with the European Championships being hosted in England, before the national side were knocked out in a penalty shootout – obviously.

But the tournament’s top scorer Alan Shearer was still hot property, and had just sealed a £15m transfer from Blackburn to Newcastle.

It was the most expensive signing in the world at the time – so the Newcastle media team were surely working hard to come up with ideas on how to announce it.

Their idea? Have Alan do a few keepy-uppies in front of a giant bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale – the team’s shirt sponsor at the time. Alan Shearer’s £15m move from Blackburn to Newcastle was the most expensive football transfer in the world in 1996 A bold white suit

Jump forward to 2002 when the Premier League was 10 years old.

Manchester United made Rio Ferdinand the most expensive English footballer ever and world’s most expensive defender.

He turned up to his signing announcement in an ostentatious pinstriped white suit, which we guess looked cool in the early noughties.

Rio went for the usual "player holds up shirt for cameras" shot.

But for some reason he had a long-sleeve football shirt and held it up at a weird angle – all making for a slightly bizarre photoshoot. Whatever you do, say the right club

In the decade that Manchester City have been owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group, they’ve won the Premier League title three times.

But it didn’t start out so well.

In 2008, the new owners broke the English transfer record with the £32.5m singing of Brazilian striker Robinho from Real Madrid.

His time at the club turned out to be pretty disappointing, and the omens seemed to be there from the start.

Firstly, he told reporters: "Chelsea made a great proposal and I accepted" – at his Man City unveiling.

Plus, the photo released by Manchester City genuinely looks like it was taken on a slightly shaky mid-2000s camera phone. Mark Hughes doesn’t look thrilled with the signing – maybe he knew what was to come An ‘accidental’ announcement

This one may not have been the first elaborate transfer signing, but it did seem to kick off the latest trend.

There had been months of rumours that Paul Pogba was going to rejoin Manchester United from Juventus in a world-record deal.

But the club was pipped to the announcement – when Pogba’s mate Stormzy "accidentally" posted a video on Facebook.

Produced by sponsors Adidas, it showed the pair dancing and dabbing, with Stormzy in a Man Utd shirt with Pogba on the back.

The video was quickly removed – but not before it had done the rounds online.

And it only took a few hours for Manchester United to officially announce what everyone already knew. Stormzy 1, Manchester United 0: The grime artist beat the Red Devils to their own announcement about Paul Pogba How times have changed

Since that Pogba episode, transfer announcements have only got more extravagant.

We’ve had signing videos based on Tinder, Fifa and the Pope.

Then came Alexis Sanchez’s piano recital for Manchester United in January.

Report His move from Arsenal did take a long time. Perhaps the Chilean needed extra time to learn Glory, Glory Man United on the piano?

By contrast, when he joined Arsenal from Barcelona in July 2014, all we got was a photo of the attacker and a few stats about his international career.

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Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra – if you miss us you can listen back here .

LDP lawmaker says LGBT relations are ‘like a hobby’

LDP lawmaker says LGBT relations are ‘like a hobby’

OSAKA – A junior Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker is under fire for suggesting that same-sex relations are a kind of “hobby” and that legal measures to allow same-sex marriage are unnecessary.

“It’s not that I don’t approve of diversity and it’s fine if women like women and men like men. But it’s not necessary to legalize same-sex marriage. It’s like a hobby,” LDP Lower House member Tom Tanigawa, 42, said on an internet television program on July 29.

Tanigawa, a two-term member based in Osaka Prefecture, could not be reached for comment Thursday by The Japan Times. The Asahi Shimbun reported Wednesday evening that, in a written reply to the paper earlier that day, Tanigawa said he did not intend to discriminate against the LGBT community, and that recognizing same-sex marriages under Article 24 of the Constitution was difficult.

Article 24 says: “Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis.”

Tanigawa’s remarks come just before a two-day meeting in Osaka, beginning Friday, of representatives from a nationwide group of over 200 local LGBT lawmakers that was formed last year. Taiga Ishikawa, a municipal assembly member from Tokyo’s Toshima Ward and a spokesman for the group, said Tanigawa’s comments invited misunderstanding and prejudice against the LGBT community and ran counter to the LDP’s own policy.

“Tanigawa’s comments are not something we can tolerate, as this kind of prejudice will spread, making things worse. Despite the fact the LDP has a leaflet that says there are people who mistakenly call LGBT lifestyle a ‘hobby’, we have comments like Tanigawa’s,” Ishikawa said.

The comments were made just days after fellow junior LDP lawmaker Mio Sugita was heavily criticized for calling Japan’s LGBT community “unproductive” in terms of childbirth and writing in the latest issue of the Shincho 45 magazine that tax money should not be used to support LGBT couples for this reason.

Her comments immediately drew criticism from senior LDP officials, including former secretary-general Shigeru Ishiba, who is challenging Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the party leadership. Thousands of people gathered outside LDP headquarters in Tokyo to protest Sugita’s remarks on July 27.

On Wednesday, the party released a formal statement, saying that she was expressing her individual opinion but had been instructed to be careful.

“It’s a fact her remarks showed a lack of understanding of the problem and failed to take into consideration the involved parties,” the LDP said on its website.

Like Sugita, Tanigawa is part of a younger generation of politicians with conservative views. He has suggested that “traditional” families are marriages between men and women that produce children, thus preventing Japan from going to ruin.

Tanigawa, a former actor whose real name is Tomohide, opposes Japan having a female emperor. He has also suggested that the Constitution be revised and indicated he is in favor of discussions about the possibility of the country arming itself with nuclear weapons.

LGBTQ youth targeted with ‘gay cure’ videos on social media

LGBTQ youth targeted with ‘gay cure’ videos on social media

An evangelical group in the US has revealed that it used Facebook and YouTube to target 18-to-35-year-olds with adverts promoting so-called ‘gay cure’ therapy.

Anchored North strategically used advertising capabilities on the platforms to target young people who they considered having “secular world views”.

The organisation – which creates highly-produced films about ‘ex-gay’ people and their stories – says that it uses “media and evangelism to reach the lost”.

One of their most popular videos features a woman called Emily who used to identify as a lesbian, before finding “redemption” through Bible study.

The visual is titled Love is Love and has been viewed over 6 million times on Facebook, reports 50.50 .

“People say to me all the time, ‘I was born this way,’ and I say, ‘Okay, me too. You’re not born with right affections – that’s why Jesus had to come. You feeling a desire for sin proves you need grace just like me,’” Emily says in the clip.

Anchored North was founded by three conservative Christian executives with backgrounds in digital media and marketing. Founder Greg Sukert has gone on record praising the efficiency of targeted advertising online, calling it “amazing”.

“Like when you go to Amazon and you see a spatula and then that spatula starts following you across Facebook ads, across Google display ads, and everywhere you go, you’re seeing that spatula,” said Sukert.

“That’s what we’re doing – we really relentlessly follow people with the Gospel, with stories of hope and redemption.”

He added: “It really allows us to be missionaries – not just in the United States but all over the world – so that’s what we do, we hone into people’s interests.”

When contacted about the advertisements, YouTube said that it has removed Anchored North ads that violate its policies.

Facebook, meanwhile, have limited their targeting options, and people who ‘like’ Pride for instance can no longer be targeted on that variable.

“To specifically target queer and trans individuals and women seeking abortions is the lowest blow imaginable,” said OutRight Action International’s Rashima Kwatra.

“It’s truly appalling for an organisation to purposefully send dehumanising messages to individuals who are already targets of so much abuse.”

As well targeting LGBTQ youth, Anchored North have also released anti-abortion adverts, and plan to target trans people and drug users in future campaigns.

Christian group targeted LGBTI millennials with ‘gay cure’ videos

Christian group targeted LGBTI millennials with 'gay cure' videos

This year’s Prague Pride to be family-themed Northern Ireland Comes Out For Change at this year’s Belfast Pride parade One of Anchored North’s videos features a woman who claims she was ‘cured’ of her homosexuality by Christianity A US evangelical group has used Facebook and YouTube’s advertising tools to target LGBTI millennials with ‘dehumanising’ video ads which feature ‘cures for homosexuality’.

Christian group Anchored North utilised sophisticated advertising capabilities on Facebook and YouTube to target youths they describe as having ‘secular world views’, Open Democracy 50.50 reported.

The group made headlines earlier this year for their videos which targeted LGBTI people with a ‘gay cure’ .

By utilising social media advertising capabilities group was able to ‘ pay to reach secular world views ,’ Anchored North founder Greg Sukert said.

Facebook and YouTube said some of Anchored North’s ads contravened their rules against targeted content that disparages or discriminates against users.

Both companies removed some of the videos which violated their policies, though these videos had already been viewed and shared millions of times.

Anchored North says its target audience are 18-to-35-year-olds ‘being torn apart by darkness, by sin, by evil’ who are ‘leaving the church at an alarming rate’. Slick and professional-looking video productions

The group’s videos are slick and professional-looking productions, and often profile people who consider themselves ‘cured’ of homosexuality.

One video called Love is Love profiles a young woman called Emily Thomes, who claims to be an ‘ex-lesbian’ and says Christianity helped her to ‘renounce’ the lesbian ‘lifestyle’.

‘It’s not gay to straight. It’s lost to saved,’ Thomes says in the video.

Emily Thomes says she is an ‘ex-lesbian’

‘Emily’s story lovingly addresses the heart of the matter: that homosexuality is only one sin among many that manifests itself within a sinful heart. Only by the grace and mercy of God can we be transformed,’ it says in the description box below the video, which is still available on YouTube .

Anchored North are self-descrbid ‘next-generation evangelists’ who use ‘media and evangelism to reach the lost in a way that has never been done before’, according to the group’s website .

The group are registered as a tax-exempt charity, and have been described as ‘ cult-like’ in some media sources .

Vietnamese LGBT activist: Sports is the avenue to equality

Vietnamese LGBT activist: Sports is the avenue to equality

Amazin LêThi, founder of the Amazin LêThi Foundation, spoke in San Francisco last week. Photo: Heather Cassell Sports is the avenue to equality, believes Amazin LêThi, a Vietnamese sports and LGBT human rights advocate.

The award-winning activist, who is the founder and chief of smiles at Amazin LêThi Foundation, a Vietnamese-American sports organization, was in San Francisco last week for the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance Conference.

LêThi spoke about LGBT rights in Vietnam and Asia overall and how sports can serve as a catalyst to LGBT equality throughout Asia at a NQAPIA news conference with international LGBTs.

"Sport is the language that everyone understands," said LêThi, who declined to state her age and simply identifies as a rainbow person. "It’s a catalyst to highlight the injustices that API LGBT people face within the community."

Sports served as her own salvation as a self-described "transracial adoptee." LêThi was born in Saigon, Vietnam, but was placed in an orphanage by her mother and adopted by a family who raised her in Australia, Europe, and the United States.

Growing up in a mostly white environment she suffered bullying in school because she was different. It caused many personal problems for her, including homelessness at one point, but she found solace in sports as a bodybuilder.

"Sport has always been such a huge part of my life," said LêThi, who uses sports as a platform to promote equality for LGBT people in Vietnam and queer Vietnamese in the United Kingdom and the United States. "When I was bullied as a child, sport was where I found my solace. It gave me the confidence to be standing in my own truth, in my authentic self.

"I use sport as a platform to share my own story and in the hope that will inspire other API people to come out within the community and within the ethnic community," she added, noting that she’s often the only Vietnamese and queer person in a room filled with sports professionals.

LêThi believes that LGBT people can use sports, either individual or team, to show people who they are.

This is why she uses "sports as a platform for equality" through her foundation, she said.

The foundation is a United States-based organization that also operates in the United Kingdom and Vietnam. She also serves as an ambassador for Athlete Ally.

Currently, she’s doing a lot of work in the Deep South on behalf of Asian-Americans and LGBT people in the U.S. The work easily translates to her work in Vietnam.

"We’re, at the moment, working in Georgia, because if we change the South, you change America," she said. "In Vietnam, it’s a very similar climate."

"In terms of homeless LGBT youth, they’re all coming from the South," she said. "So, for me, it’s, ‘Why wait for them in New York when I should go to the heart of the problem there?’"

In Vietnam, the foundation was the first organization in the country and Asia to give out educational scholarships to homeless LGBT Vietnamese youth last year. It also launched the first leadership sports in education and business program in Asia and Vietnam that brought together LGBT homeless youth and kids living with HIV.

The foundation’s program is supported by foreign governments, international corporations, and some celebrities, she said.

Financial information about the foundation was not immediately available on GuideStar.

Vietnam’s LGBT movement
Vietnam’s government was the first in Asia to discuss marriage equality and, in 2015, it lifted the ban on same-sex marriage. However, the law was never formally legalized by the government, LêThi said.

Currently, LGBT Vietnamese people can get married, but it’s not legally recognized, she said. Furthermore, there are no laws criminalizing or protecting LGBT people in Vietnam.

"Unlike in some of Asian countries, being LGBTQ in our country isn’t illegal but isn’t protected by the law," she said.

"Vietnam is still a conservative country," said LêThi. "There is family and social pressure to conform, get married, and have children. Rainbow people, LGBTQ people, still face many challenges in my country."

She noted that up to half of LGBT employees reported discrimination or anti-gay comments from their co-workers at all levels in the workplace. Transgender people are the most vulnerable, she said. Transgender individuals have difficulty finding employment and health care services on top of facing "vast amounts of violence and discrimination in the community," she noted.

The situation is just as dire in the schools, she said.

"It’s very common for a rainbow youth in the school system to experience high levels of discrimination, bullying, and violence," LêThi told reporters at the news conference. "Many youth [are] made homeless because of their sexuality or their gender identity."

However, since the first Viet Pride was held in 2012, there have been 35 Pride events hosted in cities throughout the country’s provinces as of 2017, she said.

Some of the Viet Pride events are "very small, but, at least it has something there for the youth. Even if it’s just 20 people, it’s showing a presence within the community that rainbow people exist," LêThi said.

Why sports are important
"Sport is king," LêThi said, "because it’s such a slice of life."

"Sport is something that brings people together," she continued. "So, you may not understand fully about being a rainbow person, but you may be a massive sports fan. Through the language of sport, I can bring you into my conversation about social issues."

LêThi pointed to how athletes, like former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, influenced the conversation about racial injustice in the U.S. by kneeling during the national anthem before games a couple of years ago. Kaepernick went unsigned after he left the 49ers.

They are celebrities who amass huge followings to the point that anything they say or do has a broad effect, she said. It’s not just athletes who can change the dialogue for equality; LêThi pointed to the economic and social effects sports teams had withdrawing from North Carolina and other states that passed anti-gay laws. It sent a message that had a positive effect on the LGBT community, she said.

"We have an important moment in history where we can use sport as a human civil rights movement," she added.

For more information, visit http://www.amazinlethifoundation.org.

WeHo councilman runs to support global LGBT rights at Gay Games X
Gay West Hollywood City Councilmember John Heilman will run a half-marathon at the Gay Games in Paris to raise money to establish a new Global Emergency Fund at OutRight Action International.

Heilman, who will run August 11, hopes to raise $20,000 to launch the fund.

As of August 1, he had raised $12,529 toward his goal.

Heilman, 61, joined OutRight’s board in October 2017. However, he has worked with the organization for many years prior to joining the board, he wrote in an email to the Bay Area Reporter from Stockholm.

He was traveling in Sweden prior to heading to Paris.

"OutRight does important work with regional and global LGBTQI activists," he wrote. "It seems like every month our community is under attack, and those who are fighting for equality are most vulnerable to losing their housing or their jobs or their lives.

"The Global Emergency Fund will give OutRight more resources to respond to these crises," he wrote.

OutRight deputy executive director Maria Sjodin said the fund is important.

"The safety and security of LGBTQI people are being jeopardized as crackdowns against our community worsen around the world," she wrote in an email statement to the B.A.R. "A Global Emergency Fund allows OutRight to respond to situations where LGBTQI people are at risk. This fund will help us to save lives."

For nearly two decades, Heilman has been running marathons to support various causes, according to a July 26 news release from his office.

"I wanted to use my participation as an opportunity to help others who live in places where it is dangerous for LGBTQI people to even exist, let alone fight for equality," Heilman wrote.

"I’m running so we don’t forget all the LGBTQI people who are not able to participate," Heilman continued. "Gay Games has always been a leader in making sure LGBTQI rights are discussed prominently as part of the games."
He said that with significant progress advancing LGBTQI rights in the U.S., the community needs to "support people in other parts of the world who are struggling in very challenging circumstances."The Gay Games will take place in Paris August 4-12.To learn more or make a donation, visit http://www.gofundme.com/JohnHeilman or http://www.outrightinternational.org. Grenell marches at Berlin Pride Gay United States Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell braved bad weather to march in Berlin’s 25th Pride parade July 28.Grenell tweeted photos of himself and embassy staff marching in the parade, officially known as Christopher Street Day Berlin Pride.It was the seventh time embassy staff marched in Berlin Pride. Previously, as the Washington Blade reported in 2015, U.S. Ambassador to Germany John Emerson, along with other foreign diplomats, opened Berlin’s Christopher Street Parade."Proud to attend Berlin Pride with the Embassy team. #USA #Germany #Tolerance," Grenell tweeted."Ambassador @richardgrenell and Embassy Berlin are proud to be a part of #CSDBerlin! Let’s get this party started!" he tweeted.Grenell reiterated his pride in participating in the event on behalf of the U.S. embassy to the Morgen Post, a German newspaper that published Grenell’s tweets on its live blog of the event."I’m proud to be with the embassy team at the Berlin Parade," said Grenell.The B.A.R. translated the article using Google Translate.The ambassador and embassy staff also hosted an after-party at the U.S. Embassy Saturday evening as thunderstorms sent the Pride festivities indoors in the evening. Got international LGBT news tips? Call or send them to Heather Cassell at Skype: heather.cassell or oitwnews@gmail.com .

‘We want to bring LGBT stories to the mainstream’

‘We want to bring LGBT stories to the mainstream’

‘Disobedience’ with Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams headlines Gaze film festival

Disobedience stars Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams Roisín Geraghty, film programmer for the Gaze LGBT Film Festival, is musing on the event’s long and largely happy history.

“We’ve been going since 1992,” she says. “At that time it was a very radical event: hosting a gay film festival when homosexuality was still illegal. There are a lot of people who are still attending [from that time] and it means so much to them. It is still the only dedicated LGBT festival in Ireland. I think it’s incredibly special.”

Formerly the Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Gaze has indeed become very much a part of the cultural calendar. Attending the gala screening of God’s Own Country last year, I was aware of how many people had peen pencilling off the August bank holiday for decades. It was like cinema Christmas. This is hugely sensitive material. McAdams and Weisz come together within a community that outsiders see, rightly or wrongly, as socially conservative This year, we find an impressive selection of mainstream features, shoestring documentaries, radical shorts and oddities that admit no easy categorisation.

Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience stars Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams in an already critically acclaimed tale of romance between two women in London’s Orthodox Jewish community. Winner of the top prize at Sundance, Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post features Chloë Grace Moretz as a young woman forced to undergo “gay conversion” therapy.

Claudia Priscilla and Kiko Goifman’s Tranny Fag profiles the Brazilian transgender musician Linn da Quebrada.

The Yestergaze programme in the festival features free verse, slam poetry and personal reflection, marking the 25th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality and 100 years since women got the vote in Ireland.

The event has long been this busy. But some things have changed.

“Gaze is all about celebrating LGBT stories,” Geraghty says. “Our main remit for our festival is inclusivity and diversity. But I keep stressing this. These are stories that reflect LGBT life. But they are also universal stories. Anybody can relate to them. Everybody attends Gaze. We want to bring LGBT stories to the mainstream.”

There’s no question that such stories are now more visible than they once were. But the “mainstream” is a tricky thing. There was much controversy surrounded the commercialisation of this year’s Pride parade. All that banking merchandise, all the rainbow wigs in Tesco. The word “dequeering” was in the air.

“Obviously, it’s an amazing thing when gay stories become popular in the mainstream,” Geraghty says. “But it does put LGBT stories in an interesting position. Yes, we want to celebrate radical queer stories. But we want mainstream stories as well. Programming is interesting because you are trying to satisfy that balance.”

At any rate, this year’s event – centred on the Light House Cinema in Dublin – is in no danger of sinking into any such vulgar morass. It remains an event curated by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.

The screening of Disobedience is a coup for this year’s Gaze. A hit at Toronto and the Galway Film Fleadh, the picture sees Lelio, the Chilean director of this year’s Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman , moving into the English language with marked success. Based on a novel by Naomi Alderman, the film has Dublin’s Element Pictures as one of its producers. Ed Guiney, Oscar-nominated for Room , was comfortable with staging the Dublin premiere at Gaze.

“It’s a film about a love affair between two women,” he says. “In America it has really thrived with this audience. It felt self-evident that Gaze was a good place to screen it for Irish audiences.”

This is hugely sensitive material. McAdams and Weisz come together within a community that outsiders see, rightly or wrongly, as socially conservative. I am interested if Guiney and his team encountered any negative feedback from Jewish groups.

“We worked very closely with advisors,” Guiney says. “It is set in an orthodox Jewish community in London. A lot of them don’t go to the cinema. So they are unlikely to see the film. Outside of that, we worked with people who know that world well. Sebastian isn’t Jewish. Rachel is and is from down the road from where it is set. Naomi Alderman wrote the book and it is partly inspired by her background. That translates very firmly into the film. It is truthful to all that.”

For all the big-name flash of films such as Disobedience and The Miseducation of Cameron Post , Geraghty retains particular affection for the independent short films that the event will again be championing. She also acknowledges the festival’s importance as a social hub. Cameron Post will be screened simultaneously at Pálás in Galway. Golly, there’s a lot going on.

“You are finding a diverse balance between gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender stories,” she says. “Getting the balance right is hard. It’s such a spectrum. We strive for as many stories as possible.”

Disobedience
Sebastián Lelio, director of A Fantastic Woman and Gloria , breaks new ground with his study of a lesbian relationship among London’s Orthodox Jewish community. Friday, August 3rd, 8.30pm

The Killing of Sister George
It’s always a treat to wallow in Robert Aldrich’s gloomy 1969 tale of soap opera actress facing the axe. The immortal Beryl Reid has never been better. Friday, August 3rd, 10.30pm

The Miseducation of Cameron Post
If you saw and loved Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behaviour you’ll want to catch her much-admired adaptation of Emily M Danforth’s novel on the gay conversion hoax. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.

Irish shorts
If you’re anywhere in the area on Sunday make sure to support work by developing Irish film-makers such as Eleanor Rogers, Kate Dolan and Paul Rowley. The next wave is here. Sunday, August 2nd, 6 pm

Love, Scott
Scott Jones, a young gay musician who was paralysed following an attack, will be in attendance for a closing screening of this documentary telling his story. Monday, August 6th, 8 pm

Watch: Bi men share the first time they experienced biphobia

Watch: Bi men share the first time they experienced biphobia

From the first time holding hands in public, to the first time realising you were LGBTQ, we all have a first time story.

First Times is a new PinkNews series, with each episode dedicated to a different identity under the LGBTQ umbrella.

In the first episode, bisexual women shared their first times.

Now the series returns with episode five, with six bisexual men sharing their first time experiences.

From the moment they realised they were into men, to the first time they experienced biphobia, these six people share their stories on camera.

In this episode, Lewis, Ben, Leng, Will, Spud and Martin open up about the first time they realised they were were bisexual. For Leng Montgomery, a trans man, the realisation that he was bisexual came after taking testosterone.

He said: “I started having conversations with some other trans men that I met and they said ‘has testosterone made you gay yet?’

“I was a bit like: ‘Gay? What do you mean?’ But then after they said that I went to the gym and I just started crotch watching, and I was like oh, maybe this testosterone is working,” he laughed. Leng and Will (PinkNews) Martin Willis realised he was attracted to men from a young age but bullying he experienced at school for being bisexual prevented him from “owning” his identity for several years.

“When I was a teenager I experienced vary levels of abuse, being attacked, bullying, because I’m bisexual.

“It took me about eight years to process that enough to just own it.” Lewis and Ben (PinkNews) Bisexual activist Lewis Oakley said it took a while for him to realise how he felt towards men was actually attraction.

He explained: “I know that at school there were boys I was attracted to but at the time I was just like I think they’re really cool, I want to be like them.

Watch more episodes of First Times, including on lesbian and non-binary identities, on PinkNews’ YouTube channel .

Teenage lesbian stripped and beaten by gang who called her ‘dyke’ and ‘stud’

Teenage lesbian stripped and beaten by gang who called her ‘dyke’ and ‘stud’

Amari Graves was walking to the store when she was attacked (nbc 5) A 15-year-old lesbian has been brutally attacked by a group who beat her and tore her clothes off while hurling anti-gay slurs.

Amari Graves was walking to the store in Austin, Chicago on Tuesday when she was jumped by a gang including a girl from her school and several adults, who used mace and a baseball bat to terrorise her.

Attacks on queer youth are still all too common, with teenagers in Arizona , California and London targeted by groups of attackers over the past year. They used mace and a baseball bat on Amari (nbc 5) Through her tears, Amari said told NBC 5 : “They all got out and walked up to me.

Speaking about one of her assailants, she said: “When I was walking she tried to pull a bat out and swing it at me.

“They were calling me ‘a dyke’ and ‘a stud’ and stuff.”

The adults and student then proceeded to stomp and kick Amari, she said, spraying her with mace while also attempting to strip her of her clothes. The mother of one of the attackers allegedly filmed the vicious attack (nbc 5) The teenager said that the mother of one of the attackers filmed the vicious attack.

Amari’s mother, Catina Parks-Dorsey, said that the group should be arrested and charged with a hate crime and sexual assault.

“Absolutely nothing was done,” she said.

“No one was taken into custody; they told me I had to swear out my own warrant to have them arrested.” Catina Parks-Dorsey said the group should face hate crime and sexual assault charges (nbc 5) Parks-Dorsey added that it was “devastating to know you weren’t there to protect your child. “I want them locked up.”

Chicago police officers are investigating the case.

A study published earlier this year found that gay, lesbian and bisexual people are more likely to suffer from physical and mental health issues.

It is expected that the added emotional strain is caused by “frequent experiences with prejudice and discrimination.” Gay, lesbian and bisexual people are more likely to suffer from physical and mental health issues (Pexels) According to the research, poor overall health is common among LGB adults and the chances that certain individuals within the community could develop cancer, diabetes and other chronic conditions are heightened.

It goes on to say that many of the physical health problems LGB people face are frequently born from stress, and in turn, the absence of a good night’s sleep – which was backed up by other research published in December.

Serious lack of sleep also increases the risk of someone developing high blood pressure and difficulties relating to sex.

On the plus side, a lesbian couple won the internet earlier this year when they rearranged the letters in their new baby’s room to read “Son boy allowed” instead of “No boys allowed.”

The post attracted more than 84,000 retweets and likes – and every one of them was fully deserved.

Indian animal rights and LGBTI activists clash over 377

Indian animal rights and LGBTI activists clash over 377

This year’s Prague Pride to be family-themed Northern Ireland Comes Out For Change at this year’s Belfast Pride parade Protestors in Mumbai call for the end of the criminalization of homosexuality. | Photo: File Animal rights activists in India have clashed with LGBTI activists over the possible repeal of Section 377.

While LGBTI activists argue that Section 377 marginalises gay people, animal rights groups say that the statute is one of the only laws in India to prohibit sexual abuse of animals, The Times of India reported.

The possible repeal of Section 377, which has been referred to as India’s ‘anti-gay law’ , prohibits ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal.’

The law essentially criminalises homosexuality in India, and a constitutional challenge is currently before India’s supreme court.

Animal rights activists were quick to point out that they were not trying to impede LGBTI rights, and argued that Section 377 needs to be modified rather than overturned. Repeal or modify?

It was reported last week that eight men in the northern state of Haryana had been arrested for raping a pregnant goat , which later died of its injuries. The men were charged under Section 377 for unnatural offences, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Anjali Gopalan, executive director of the HIV/AIDS and sexual health NGO the Naz Foundation said: ‘Bestiality is an issue, and even I run an animal shelter. Whenever an animal is rescued the first thing we check is if it was sexually abused as it is highly common. We want the government to ensure that consenting adults are removed from the ambit of this section.

‘Apart from animals, even male-on-male rape is an issue which doesn’t have any other law other than Section 377. So, we do not want it scrapped. We want it modified.’

India’s supreme court has been ruling on the possible repeal of the law since July.

The law was introduced in 1861, and is a remnant of India’s rule under British colonial law.

Numerous activists and public figures have rallied in their support for repealing Section 377 , which some have referred to as ‘archaic’.

Smaller firms should publish gender pay gap, say MPs

Smaller firms should publish gender pay gap, say MPs

All organisations with more than 50 employees should publish details of what they pay the men and women who work for them, MPs have said.

A report by the Business Committee called for the net to be widened to include smaller firms, saying there was evidence of wider pay gaps among them.

Currently, only firms of more than 250 staff must state the average pay difference between men and women.

Committee chair Rachel Reeves said some of the biggest gaps were "obscene".

The report said recently published gender pay figures had "shone a spotlight" on the issue of a gender pay gap and helped women raise any disparities.

However, only half of the UK’s workforce is covered by the present reporting requirements.

The report said the new reporting regime was a "step forward", but called for the government to be more ambitious.

Key findings from the data published in April included: Gender pay gaps of more than 40% were not uncommon in some sectors

Almost four in five (78%) organisations reported gender pay gaps in favour of men

Labour’s Rachel Reeves, chair of the committee, said the biggest gender pay gaps of more than 40% were "obscene and entirely unacceptable".

"Transparency on gender pay can only be the first step.

"A persistent gender pay gap shows that companies are failing to harness fully the talents of half the population. The penalties of working part-time, both financial and in terms of career progression, are a major cause." What is the gender pay gap at your company?

Gender pay gap: Six things we’ve learnt

She said companies needed to "take a lead", suggesting they could offer flexible working at senior levels.

The report calls for firms to publish annual progress reports, including action plans for tackling any wage gaps.

The government said the UK was one of the few countries in the world to require employers to publish comprehensive gender pay gap data.

The Government Equalities Office said it was publishing new guidance for firms on recruitment and the progression of women, and ways to close their gender pay gap.

Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt said it was "appalling" that in the 21st Century there was still a big difference between men and women’s average earnings.

"We need to take action to ensure businesses know how they can make best use of their best talent and make their gender pay gaps a thing of the past," she said. Gender pay gap: What do women think? Sam Smethers, chief executive of women’s rights group the Fawcett Society, said: "We have to move on from simply reporting the pay gap, to taking action to close it."

The CBI, the UK business group, said companies with a diverse workforce and leadership perform better than those without.

Matthew Percival, from the group, said: "The gender pay gap is a societal challenge with a complex mix of causes.

"Businesses need to work in partnership with the government on improving careers advice in schools and offering affordable childcare for working parents."

Although there was no requirement to report, 238 businesses with fewer than 250 employees voluntarily filed their pay gap figures by April.