Pride in London: Up to a million watch parade

Pride in London: Up to a million watch parade

The parade started off from Portland Place, central London Streets in central London are filled with thousands of people celebrating this year’s Pride in London parade.

The parade itself, which coincides with England’s quarter-final match with Sweden, features about 30,000 people from 472 organisations.

But up to one million other people are thought to be lining the streets to watch the event.

It started out from Portland Place at 12:00 BST and is due to finish in Whitehall at about 17:00. Organisers said they hoped "all the rainbows… will work their magic and send good vibes over to Russia." "It’s quite poetic with Russia being so problematic as far as LGBT rights are concerned, there’s a beautiful synergy there," co-chairwoman Alison Camps said. LGBT+ hate crime on the rise in London Ms Camps said the event was taking place at a time LGBT rights issues were more important than ever as the UK is "falling down the rankings in terms of the best place to be LGBT."

"There’s a real danger in this country that people assume that the battle is over and that the job is done," she said.

A recent survey by Pride in London found Britons care more about animal rights than LGBT rights. People sport colourful costumes during the parade Why we need to celebrate being black and gay

In pictures: Pride through the years

Up to one million people are expected to line the streets for this year’s parade Among the organisations taking part are the Met Police, London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade.

Some 150 Met officers were expected to join the parade, which Scotland Yard said was their biggest ever representation.

Ch Supt Helen Millichap said people should enjoy the festivities, but remain vigilant because the "current threat level remains at severe".

Brexit: Theresa May seeks to sell plan to Tory sceptics

Brexit: Theresa May seeks to sell plan to Tory sceptics

Theresa May speaks after meeting her cabinet at Chequers

Theresa May speaks after 12-hour cabinet meeting Theresa May is seeking Conservative MPs’ backing for the cabinet’s proposal for UK-EU relations after Brexit.

The plan was agreed by the prime minister’s senior ministers at a 12-hour cabinet awayday on Friday.

Mrs May said the plan "will be good for the UK and good for the EU".

But there has been unhappiness among Tory Brexiteers, with Jacob Rees-Mogg telling the BBC that when the detail emerged, it could yet be worse than leaving the EU without a deal.

Mr Rees-Mogg, leader of the European Research Group of Tory MPs, said that so far only the three page summary of the deal had been published, and he would have to wait and see the full 100-plus page document to see whether it was in line with the Conservative election manifesto, or amounted to a "punishment Brexit".

All Conservative backbench MPs were invited to a briefing with the party’s chief whip Julian Smith in Downing Street on Saturday. About 40 are thought to be attending.

On Friday ministers signed up to a plan to create a free trade area for industrial and agricultural goods with the bloc, based on a "common rule book".

They also supported what could amount to a "combined customs territory". Laura Kuenssberg analysis: The deal is done

Brexit: All you need to know

Brexit jargon explained

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the prime minister had "picked a side" by opting for a closer relationship with the EU than many colleagues desired – and she now had to sell it to her party and the other European leaders.

No 10, she added, hoped the new commitments would unlock the next phase of talks with the rest of the EU but it was not yet clear how many, or what kind, of objections had been raised within the cabinet.

Downing Street said the proposals marked a "substantial evolution" in the UK’s position and would resolve outstanding concerns about the future of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

"This is a proposal that I believe will be good for the UK and good for the EU, and I look forward to it being received positively," Mrs May told the BBC.

One pro-Brexit cabinet minister told the BBC there was "no point" pushing for a vote as "we were well and truly outnumbered by 20 to seven".

The UK said it now wanted to accelerate the negotiations in an effort to secure an agreement by October, but also warned it will step up preparations for leaving on 29 March 2019 without a deal.

EU negotiator Michel Barnier, who earlier suggested the EU would be willing to shift its position if the UK relaxed some of its "red lines", tweeted to say the plans would be assessed to see if they were "workable and realistic".

Report What was agreed at cabinet meeting

The marathon cabinet meeting at Chequers lasted nearly 12 hours The prime minister had gathered her 26 cabinet ministers together at her country residence to try to resolve differences over the shape of the UK’s relations with the EU and break the current deadlock with the EU.

The main details of the Chequers statement are as follows: The UK would accept continuing "harmonisation" with EU rules on the trade in goods, covering only those necessary to ensure frictionless trade

Parliament would have the final say over how these rules are incorporated into UK law, retaining the right to refuse to do so

There will be different arrangements for trade in services, including financial products, with greater "regulatory flexibility" and "strong reciprocal arrangements"

Freedom of movement as it stands will come to an end but a "mobility framework" will ensure UK and EU citizens can continue to travel to each other’s territories and apply for study and work

A new customs arrangement will be phased in, with the goal of "a combined customs territory"

The UK will be able to control its own tariffs and develop an independent trade policy

The jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will end but the UK will pay regard to its decisions in areas where common rules are in force

Mrs May said this was an "important step" in the process of negotiating the UK’s smooth exit from the EU.

"Of course we still have work to do with the EU in ensuring that we get to that end point in October. But this is good we have come today, following our detailed discussions, to a positive future for the UK," she said.

She said the proposals, to be formally published in a white paper next week, would give the UK the freedom to strike trade deals with other countries while maintaining regulatory, environmental and consumer standards. Brexit: How will remainers and leavers react to cabinet customs agreement? In a letter sent to all Conservative MPs, she said she had allowed colleagues to express their views while policy was developed but "agreement on this proposal marks the point where this is no longer the case and collective responsibility is fully restored".

There is no mention in the document of either the single market or the customs union , which the UK has committed to leave after the end of a transition period in December 2020.

Under plans for a free trade zone, the UK would be committed legally to following EU law for a large part of the economy, including manufacturing and farming.

While Parliament would retain the right to diverge from EU regulations in these areas, the document makes clear that "choosing not to pass the relevant legislation would have consequences for market access, security co-operation or the frictionless border". Michael Gove, Penny Mordaunt and David Davis among those listening to Theresa May The document also commits the government to step up preparedness for a no-deal scenario, as one of a range of possible outcomes, "given the short period remaining before the necessary conclusion of negotiations". Reaction to the deal

The CBI employers group welcomed the proposals for a free trade area in goods which it said would provide a "confidence boost" to business.

Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said there was "a danger that this is a lowest common denominator plan" designed to hold the cabinet together, rather than "secure the strong negotiating position that we need with the EU".

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: "Once upon a time we were told ‘Brexit means Brexit’, now we are told it means maintaining a common rulebook for all goods, a joint institutional framework for interpreting the agreement and the UK and EU forming this combined customs territory.

"That looks very much like regulatory alignment, the ECJ (European Court of Justice) and half a customs union to me."

The SNP’s leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford, called the agreement "a fudge", adding: "There might be agreement, for now, in the cabinet. The EU will not buy this."

Nigel Dodds, for the Democratic Unionist Party, said: "The government’s commitment at Chequers to the political and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom with no borders between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom is a welcome reaffirmation of what is an absolute priority for us."

Sir Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said it could be the case that "Brexiteers have signed up to it knowing perfectly well that it is not going to pass the European Union and they’ll then be able to blame Europe for the fact that it won’t work".

Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards said: "This latest proposal continues to cherry pick certain aspects of EU membership in a way that the EU’s negotiators have made perfectly clear is unacceptable. More fudge means yet more uncertainty and yet more damage to our economy." Mixed views from Brexiteers

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, who backed Brexit in the referendum, said the deal would end free movement of people and would end the remit of the European Court of Justice in the UK – saying that UK judges always pay regards to other countries’ courts, such as Canada or Hong Kong.

He added, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, that the cabinet had agreed to step up preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a Brexit deal.

Fellow cabinet Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom also tweeted her backing for the deal.


Pro-Brexit campaign group Leave Means Leave said it would represent a "bad deal for the UK" which would "only slide further as the EU takes more and more".Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the plan amounted to a "sell-out to global corporates" and would do nothing for the 90% of British firms which do not export to Europe.Veteran Eurosceptic Tory MP Sir Bill Cash said he was "deeply disappointed to say the least" about the plans, which he suggested could contradict the terms of the EU Withdrawal Act passed by MPs last month.

All Tea, All Shade – Why Today’s World Needs RuPaul’s Drag Race

All Tea, All Shade – Why Today's World Needs RuPaul’s Drag Race

It’s finally happened. After almost seven months straight of Drag Race gracing TV screens across the world, it has finally concluded for 2018. RuPaul, Michelle, VH1, you took us on quite some journey, and you DELIVERED. Season 10 was easily, in my opinion, the most impressive so far – and for that, we can only thank you. Now, a brilliant production of media does three things. First and foremost, it has to tell a story, and secondly, it has to represent and reflect the world’s political climate. Finally, it has to entertain. And RuPaul’s Drag Race does that and then some, honey! And at no point this season were those three points confirmed clearer, than at the season 10 finale which aired last week.

The lip-syncs had fireworks, confetti, butterflies (let’s not even go there…), and the usual – splits, cartwheels and knee kicks. The show was full of unexpected surprises too, from special messages from Oprah and Dame Judi Dench, to a season 1 Vs season 10 reunion extravaganza performing a ‘RuMix’ of the best RuPaul songs over the years. Needless to say, it was a jaw-dropping hour from start to finish. Snatched, gagged, etc.

This season has been the most-viewed of all time and has arguably given us some of the most iconic queens yet (I know my favourites…). The show has clearly enjoyed tremendous amounts of money and effort thrown at it from the production company, World of Wonder, and channel host VH1, and social media alone has shown just how successful the show has been with the millions of followers engaging in the weekly episodes. RuPaul’s Drag Race is now truly a worldwide phenomenon. With that success, however, does come the pitfalls.

Along with being the most successful series yet, it’s also been one of the most controversial and thought-provoking. The Queens regularly discussed the issues America (and the world) face in 2018 – namely race, homophobia and acceptance of the drag and LGBT community. As fan favourite Monique Heart shared in one episode: “You don’t get to be a black, gay, drag queen in today’s America. You just can’t.” And although that may be true for some, these girls clearly showed that you can.

Issues of race and LGBT ‘norms’ seemed to boil away under the surface throughout the entirety of this series, despite the queens generally bonding well and the odd explosion from self-proclaimed ‘fighter’ of the season, The Vixen. It wasn’t until the turbulent Reunion episode which aired some weeks ago now, where these issues truly came to light. In a stand-off between The Vixen, Asia O’Hara and RuPaul, the cast passionately pulled apart the struggles they have individually and collectively faced in getting to their position now, and even during the show. Many fans were left feeling agitated, upset and distressed by this particular episode, namely because it highlighted incredibly real issues. That homophobia, racism, sexism, are absolutely present in 2018, and there’s still a humongous fight ahead.

I personally am an incredibly keen fan of Drag Race , and drag itself. It is a beautiful means of self-expression, storytelling and entertainment, and the fact that the show (and drag as a concept) now reaches audiences in the millions all across the globe truly warms my heart. The growing success of the show however, obviously brings the responsibility to acknowledge the pressures of the world we face currently. With certain political leaders around the world seeming as if they are on a determined mission to drive their countries into the ground, I cannot stress enough the importance of shows like Drag Race , and opportunities to showcase the strains and the successes of LGBT folk across the world.

Sure, not all fans watching may truly understand and appreciate the history of drag, and more just watch it for the entertainment. But how can we complain about that? As long as the voices of LGBT+ people and drag artists around the world are getting heard, who really cares?! Yes, we as the LGBT community have achieved wonderful things in recent years. Our very being isn’t illegal in many countries anymore – win! We can marry the people we love now – double win! (You can sense the sarcasm in my tone…) But honey, the fight isn’t over yet. As Pride season concludes in America and continues in the UK and Europe in July and August, we can only be thankful for shows like Drag Race and the individuals and groups that stand for our community and our people. As RuPaul herself would say… “Everybody say love!”.

What’s it like to be LGBT and Conservative?

What's it like to be LGBT and Conservative?

Four members of the LGBT community have said how their sexuality and their political affiliation to the Conservative party is often seen as contradictory. More of the latest breaking news, live streams and analysis from Telegraph Video…

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Week in pictures: 30 June – 6 July 2018

Week in pictures: 30 June - 6 July 2018

Our selection of some of the most striking news photographs taken around the world this week. People enjoy the Independence Day celebrations in New York, USA. The annual holiday marks the day in 1776 when the United States declared independence as a sovereign nation. Revellers take part in a Gay Pride parade in Marikina, Philippines. Officials carry oxygen tanks during efforts to rescue a youth football team trapped in a flooded cave complex in Chiang Rai province, Thailand. Rescuers are attempting to pump water out of the caves to rescue the 12 boys and their coach who have been trapped since 23 June. Firefighters continue to battle a fire near Bolton, UK, a week after it began. Fire chiefs declared a major incident after two large-scale blazes either side of Winter Hill merged because of increased wind speed. Billy Caldwell and his mother Charlotte arrive at a news conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Billy returned home after the Department of Health issued an emergency licence allowing doctors in Belfast to treat his epilepsy with medicinal cannabis oil. The oil, which contains Tetrahydrocannabinol, is illegal in the UK and had previously been confiscated from Billy’s mother at customs. A model presents a wedding dress by designer Elie Saab as part of his Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2018/2019 fashion show in Paris, France. The sun sets behind a cloud as people cool off with a walk along an ocean pier in Oceanside, California, US. Humanitarian aid for Syria is prepared in the town of Ramtha, Jordan. A re-enactor looks at a BE2c World War One bomber biplane on show in London, UK, as part of the National Aircraft Tour to mark 100 years of the Royal Air Force. Employees sort footballs at a company manufacturing sports equipment in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, China. All photographs belong to the copyright holders as marked.

Is Pride a safe space for all?

Is Pride a safe space for all?

This is the lineup at UK Black Pride 2018 Bear alert: Bear Week Provincetown starts now and is going to be amazing Jamie Windust (Photo: Poppy Marriott) Pride. An event that began as a protest and a fight for human rights, in recent years, has seen its original ethos and message manipulated for corporate gain in favour of the illusive ‘pink pound’.

Despite this mass corporate pinkwashing of one of the biggest LGBTQIA+ events in the world, Pride In London continues to be one of the biggest celebrations of our community to date.

The intersectionality that flows through our community is one of the biggest sources of inspiration for many people. It allows us to tie our struggles and our joys together to really come together as a united force. Stonewall quits Pride in London’s main parade

However, Pride In London over the past few years has come under fire for its representation of non-white people within the parade. Its denial of these issues, and the inability for organizers to discuss this with organisations such as Stonewall UK, has led to the UK’s biggest LGBT+ charity to not walk with the main London parade this year.

This statement of solidarity from Stonewall for LGBT+ people of color has been a signal of empowerment for many, and I for one support their decision to walk and support UK Black Pride , which occurs the day after. The World Cup

Aside from this, there are other concerns for LGBT+ people attending on the day. The World Cup is in full swing, and England are back on the pitch on Saturday 7 July – the same day as our Pride celebrations.

This is something that is worrying a lot of LGBT+ people due to the strong, nationalistic and potentially ‘phobic views that come with traditionally cis-het white male football supporters. Obviously, this in itself is a generalization of people who support England and enjoy the football.

However, it is not an opinion plucked out of thin air. Harassment and LGBT+ discrimination last year was on the rise, and the new 75-point plan and statistics from the UK Government are showing that life for LGBT+ people in the UK currently is a struggle, and a fight. The challenges of being non-binary and femme-presenting

As a non-binary, white, femme-presenting person, I understand the stress and the potential dread that can come with attending large scale events such as Pride. Although our intentions are good, we can’t always be within our LGBT+ inclusive bubble.

Public transport is always a struggle at the best of times, but when we are potentially going to be nose-to-nose with drunk, white, straight, cis-men, it’s a danger that we all feel and all are aware of.

But what can we do about this? Logistically speaking, nothing. The football will be on, and we may feel unsafe. Sadly, as an LGBT+ person within the UK, that is a fact of life for us. However, we need to remember that we have an opportunity to enter all scenarios in public with an open mind and a mild sense of optimism.

Football supporters, despite their bad press, aren’t all cis-het men who drink all day and leer at femmes in the streets. In reality, that is where cis-gay men at pride and football supporters fall into a similar category. Stay vigilant, strong and proud

What we actively can do is remain vigilant, remain strong, remain proud and remain authentic to our lives.

We are celebrating our lives, our journeys, and all the other people’s experiences within one amazing day of celebration. If we see abuse, or potentially unsafe situations, our community spirit and sense of solidarity should kick in, and we need to be able to help our family out.

Let’s use pride as a way to show potential oppressors that our community will not be battered down or pigeonholed yet again by a mainstream organisation and group that continually see us as ‘other’.

This week I have been able to celebrate pride at many events across the capital that have been wildly inclusive, loving, celebratory, diverse and powerful. The ways in which intersectionality, and all types of bodies, abilities, ages, races have to come together to unapologetically tell their stories is something that London should be proud of.

We are a city that is capable of love, strength and pride. Let’s make sure we show that as best we can on Saturday.

Jamie Windust is Editor In Chief of Fruitcake Magazine .

Bill Nighy and other actors condemn Turkey’s ban of Pride movie screening

Bill Nighy and other actors condemn Turkey's ban of Pride movie screening

Get your Sparkle on to celebrate gender identity this weekend This is the lineup at UK Black Pride 2018 Bear alert: Bear Week Provincetown starts now and is going to be amazing A shot from the movie Pride | Photo: IMDB/Pathé Bill Nighy and other actors from the 2014 film Pride penned an open letter to Turkey after they banned a screening of the film.

Ankara, Turkey’s capital and second-largest city, recently shut down the screening.

According to the Hurriyet Daily News , a communist LGBT group announced a screening of Pride on 28 June at the Nazım Hikmet Cultural Center.

Authorities said such events can ‘incite hatred and enmity’ and provoke danger. These are the same reasons authorities gave for canceling a gay film festival in Ankara last November.

22 people in all signed the letter, including director Matthew Warchus. Nighy and fellow actors who appeared in the movie, such as Imelda Staunton and Dominic West, also signed it. Finally, the real-life activists who inspired the film also added their signatures. ‘Disturbed by reports of growing repression’

Pride is based on the true story of the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners movement (LGSM) during British miners’ long-lasting strike in the 1980s. It brought two communities together, leading to lifelong support for one another.

The film won the Queer Palm at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. It also won Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer at the BAFTAs.

Nighy called it one of the best projects he’s ever worked on.

‘As members of the creative team which produced the 2014 film Pride, and activists portrayed in that film, we are disturbed by reports of the growing repression of the LGBT+ community in Turkey culminating in the recent ban of the annual Pride parade and police violence against those who courageously defied the ban,’ the letter reads.

‘Reports that the Ankara authorities also banned a screening of the film Pride are a chilling reminder that political authoritarianism regards artistic expression as its enemy.’

The letter further describes the decision as ‘Orwellian’. The movie screened before in Turkey at the 2015 Istanbul Film Festival. Growing concerns in the country

The decision to ban the movie comes not longer after Istanbul Pride faced its own troubles.

Pride was canceled, but groups decided to ignore the ban and hold it anyway .

When they did, police stormed the event and arrested dozens of people after releasing rubber bullets and tear gas.

Second person pleads guilty in gruesome murder of transgender teen

Second person pleads guilty in gruesome murder of transgender teen

Get your Sparkle on to celebrate gender identity this weekend Steinfeld loved taking photos with Snapchat filters | Photo: Instagram @allyleesteinfeld Warning: This article contains descriptions of grizzly violence.

A second person charged in the murder of a Texas transgender teen last year has pleaded guilty.

James Thomas Grigsby, 25, pled guilty on Tuesday (3 July) to abandonment of a corpse. A judge sentenced him to four years in prison.

Ally Lee Steinfeld, 17, was from Houston, Texas and died last year. Her death marked the 21st transgender killing in the US last year.

Grigsby faced accusatios of helping three other people dispose of the body.

Steinfeld’s murder was gruesome and violent. Her attackers stabbed her repeatedly, including in the genitals, and gouged her eyes out.

Authorites found her body burned, presumably in an attempt to conceal the crime. They also found some of her bones in a garbage bag discarded in a nearby chicken coop. They discovered her remains in September in Cabool, Texas.

She was one of the known 325 transgender people killed in 2017.

Another person involved, Isis Schauer, pled guilty in December. The judge sentenced them to 20 years in prison.

The two other accused are still waiting on their trials.

Authorities insist the attack was not a hate crime.

H/t: NYT

Maine Governor vetoes bill banning conversion therapy

Maine Governor vetoes bill banning conversion therapy

Get your Sparkle on to celebrate gender identity this weekend This is the lineup at UK Black Pride 2018 Bear alert: Bear Week Provincetown starts now and is going to be amazing LePage has been Governor since 2011 | Photo: Facebook/Paul LePage, Maine’s Governor Maine’s Republican Governor Paul LePage vetoed a bill today that would have protected LGBTI youth from conversion therapy. He is the first governor in the nation to do so.

The bill, which prohibited people from practicing conversion therapy on youth, first passed the state’s House and Senate before going to the governor’s desk.

LePage, however, did not sign it into law.

‘This is so broad that licensed professionals would be prohibited from counseling an individual even at the individual’s own request,’ he said in a statement according to a local news outlet .

He also expressed concerns over its perceived threat to religious liberty and concluded there’s no evidence of the practice in the state.

Conversion therapy is the practice, typically involving psychotherapy and spiritual means, to change someone’s sexual orientation.

Numerous medical associations condemn the practice. They say that it doesn’t work and, in many case, can have detrimental effects, such as depression and more. ‘Nothing less than child abuse’

Marty Rouse, National Field Director of the Human Rights Campaign, called LePage’s decision ‘shameful’. He further added that conversion therapy is ‘nothing less than child abuse’.

‘These crucial protections are supported by a bipartisan majority, and have been signed into law in a growing number of other states by both Democratic and Republican governors — including by the Republican governor in neighboring New Hampshire mere weeks ago .’

Now HRC is calling on Maine’s legislature to override the veto.

14 states plus the District of Columbia have laws and regulations banning the practice for minors. Delaware’s Governor is also currently looking at signing a bill into law to do this.

It is becoming something that most states are enacting legislation against .

Colombia’s murder rate falls, except for LGBTI people

Colombia's murder rate falls, except for LGBTI people

Get your Sparkle on to celebrate gender identity this weekend This is the lineup at UK Black Pride 2018 Bear alert: Bear Week Provincetown starts now and is going to be amazing Colombia Pride parade in 2013 | Photo: Flickr/Diego Cambiaso Colombia has seen the lowest murder rate in the country in four decades, according to government figures. However, this decrease in violence does not apply to LGBTI people.

A report from Reuters reveals there were 109 known LGBTI murders in 2017. In 2016, there were 108 killings.

In 2016, Colombia’s murder rate was 24.4 per 100,000 people. That’s the lowest rate they’ve seen sine 1974.

A majority of the LGBTI murders were of gay men and transgender women.

Colombia decriminalized homosexual activity in 1980. Since then, the country has made numerous advancements for LGBTI rights.

Over the course of a year, the Constitutional Court granted same-sex couples the same pension, social security and property rights as heterosexual couples.

In 2011, Congress passed a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Finally, in 2016, they also legalized same-sex marriage .

These steps forward make Colombia one of the most progressive countries in Latin America for LGBTI rights. So why haven’t murders gone down?

‘The murders of LGBTI people pain us,’ said Paula Gaviria, the presidential adviser on human rights.

‘We need that violence stops being what defines us as a country. Nothing can and should be above the respect for life.’

Colombia Diversa released the initial report about LGBTI murders.

The head of the group, Marcela Sanchez, said most of these crimes still go unpunished, despite LGBTI rights training.

‘This hasn’t translated into better investigations and sentencing.’

President-elect Ivan Duque assumes office in August. He says he has ‘great respect’ for the LGBTI community, but is backed by largely conservative and evangelical supporters.

When Colombia held Pride march last weekend, many people held signs reading ‘Not a step backwards’.