‘Murdered’ transgender woman from Droitwich was LGBT hero

SELFLESS: Amy Griffiths’ body was discovered at her home in Droitwich on Monday A TRANSGENDER woman who died in a suspected murder has been described as a hero of the LGBT community.

Amy Griffiths was discovered dead at her flat in Chalverton Court, Droitwich, on Monday.

Police said she had suffered head and throat injuries.

Martin Saberi, aged 53, was charged with murdering Amy, whose name was also given in court as Michael Griffiths.

Saberi is due to appear at Worcester Crown Court today.

Connor Turner, one of Amy’s friends, said the 51-year-old was a ‘hero’ in the local LGBT community.

He added: "She didn’t have a selfish bone in her body. She helped me through some difficult times when I was younger.

"I knew her from when I was 15-years-old. I ended up on the streets for a bit. She found me outside a local shopping market and offered to cook me tea.

"Our friendship blossomed, she taught me how to love myself and care for myself. At the time I was coming out as bisexual.

"I was absolutely devastated when I heard about her death. I’m heartbroken."

Mr Turner was told by a friend that Amy used to be in the military and had also been married.

The 21-year-old barman said Amy helped people with their drag acts and loved cats, reptiles and air rifles.

A carer who works at Chalverton Court said that they saw police tape at the property on Tuesday morning.

They added that a forensic tent was set up in the evening.

The carer said: "It’s only old people that live here. This is the first time we have seen something like this in Droitwich."

Police said Amy suffered head and throat injuries and was declared dead at the scene on Monday.

Officers were searching the area around her home yesterday.

Saberi, of Brackley Close, Wallington, Surrey, was held in custody yesterday but failed to appear at a hearing in Kidderminster Magistrates Court.

The hearing went ahead in his absence and he will appear in Worcester Crown Court today.

A spokesman for West Mercia Homes, which owns Chalverton Court, said: “We are shocked and saddened by this incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Miss Griffiths at this time.

“We continue to assist West Mercia Police with their enquiries and we are providing support for our residents at Chalverton Court.”

West Mercia Homes confirmed that Saberi was not one of its tenants.

US bisexual veterans more likely to be at risk for depression and PTSD

Bisexual veterans have lamented a lack of support that might result in a higher risk of depression. Recent research shed a light on the alarming reality of bisexual service members and veterans .

According to MedicalXPress , US service members and veterans who identify as bisexual may be at higher risk for mental health issues than their gay, lesbian or straight peers.

Bisexual individuals represent the largest segment of the LGBTI community. Interestingly, both bi men and women are overrepresented among those who have served in the military, MedicalXPress further reports. A lack in research on bisexual veterans

The research is led by Katie McNamara, a US Air Force captain and third-year doctoral student at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.

McNamara has identified a lack in research covering bisexual vets.

‘There’s quite a bit of research on military and veteran mental health and LGBTI health, but very little that combines the two. And before this project, there was absolutely nothing specifically focusing on the sexual minority subgroup of bisexual military-affiliated individuals,’ she explained.

McNamara teamed up with professors Jeremy Goldbach, Sara Kintzle and Carl Castro of the USC Military and Veterans Programs, as well as Air Force clinical social worker Carrie Lucas, PhD. Bisexuals are less likely to be out than their gay and lesbian peers

In terms of active duty service members, 2% of men identify as gay and 2% identify as bisexual. As for women, 7% identify as lesbian and 9% identify as bisexual.

Research also shows bisexuals (28%) are less likely to be out than gay (71%) and lesbian (77%) soldiers. This means they are less likely to have a community of like-minded individuals and allies to rely upon. Bis are at a higher risk for depression than gay, lesbian and straight people

McNamara believes there’s a connection between this lack of support and the mental health of bi vets.

Bisexual veterans, in fact, are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from severe depression. They are also 2.3 times more likely to suffer from PTSD than their straight peers.

Furthermore, bisexuals are also three times more likely to suffer from depression than their gay and lesbian peers. Research highlighted they’re nearly twice as likely to experience PTSD than gay and lesbian vets.

McNamara set out to conduct a thorough statistical analysis using a multi-city sample.

‘Even when I controlled for a wide range of specific demographic and military-related variables that might put some populations at higher risk for certain mental health issues, the results still indicated that bisexual veterans fare more poorly in terms of mental health outcomes,’ she said. Read also:

Feminist punk band Bikini Kill announced a reunion tour — too bad people can’t afford it

Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna performing in 1991 Bikini Kill, the Riot Grrrl-era band, recently announced a small reunion tour with shows in New York and Los Angeles. Bikini Kill & Me

As someone born in 1993, the era where grunge music and Riot Grrrl bands came to be, I obviously couldn’t appreciate it at the time. But when I first learned about Riot Grrrl, particularly Bikini Kill, in college, I was hooked. I sure wished there were cool all-female bands like that in the mid-2000s, when I was a teen.

Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna is a feminist icon (and the girl crush of Keira Knightley). Her lyrics in Bikini Kill’s songs definitely have queer undertones. For instance, these lines from their hit song Rebel Girl:

‘When she talks, I hear the revolution
In her hips, there’s revolutions
When she walks, the revolution’s coming
In her kiss, I taste the revolution!’

When I was just becoming aware of my own bisexuality, it’s songs like these that became my personal soundtrack. So of course I was super excited to get the chance to see Bikini Kill live and in person!

But alas, I won’t be seeing the show after all. Ticketing Fiasco

I was on the designated ticket website at exactly noon, when they went on sale. But to my surprise, there were no tickets left. I wasn’t the only one experiencing this issue, either. Countless of comments on Bikini Kill’s Facebook page showed that very few people actually scored a ticket. In fact, some people were in the process of checking out when the tickets disappeared from their carts.

However, plenty of tickets were already up for resale on StubHub, with a jacked-up price roughly 4x the original price.

Despite the ticket website, AXS, claiming to prevent bots from buying out tickets by using captchas and making a limit of 4 per customer, it seems those efforts have massively failed. This was not my first time facing this issue. Back in early 2016, I attempted to buy tickets for the Jack’s Mannequin 10 year anniversary tour. I had the same exact dilemma — despite being ready to purchase the tickets the minute they went on sale, they were already sold out.

Other people I know have experienced similar things. A friend of mine, Grace Abrahms, wanted to see Elton John’s final tour . ‘Interviews all said tickets would be $45-225 (€39.57-197.85), maxing out there,’ she told me.

‘But folks bought out all of the tickets and are selling them for $500+ (€439.66+). No cheap tickets at all. So like, this big moment that can never be experienced again in history is reserved only for people with tons of expendable income. Sad.’ Disappointment of Fans

What struck me the most about the whole ordeal with the Bikini Kill tickets is how decidedly un-punk and un-feminist the whole thing was. The point of the 90s Riot Grrrl movement was to make punk shows accessible to young women. But now, a new generation of young women won’t be able to have those experiences.

Today, 20 January, Bikini Kill posted a note to their Facebook page addressing the ticketing issues. ‘We wanted to apologize to everyone who had a bad experience trying to get tickets to our upcoming shows,’ the band wrote.

‘We weren’t aware of the pre-sale for people with a certain credit card in NY until it was too late and that will not happen in the future,’ they continue, referencing AXS’ pre-sale for those with American Express cards.

‘Also as soon as we realized there were problems, we tried to put as many obstacles in front of scalpers as we could and are trying to figure out a better solution going forward.’ The Banned Bots

These virtual ticket scalping bots are a huge issue, and continue to harm fans despite bans on them .

‘Sophisticated internet software known as bots race through ticket sellers’ online ordering forms and buy hundreds of tickets well before human eyes even reach a captcha. Those tickets then get resold with a serious markup,’ Pew reports.

‘One broker used bots to buy 30,000 “Hamilton” tickets over 20 months — vacuuming up as much as 40 percent of available seats for some performances — according to a lawsuit by Ticketmaster. During Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway run, tickets with a $75 face value were selling for $1,400 on StubHub.’ Moving Forward

As a fan of concerts and shows, I really hope bands like Bikini Kill will figure out other ways of selling tickets in the future. Ideally, it would be great to be able to buy them from the artist’s website directly and avoid big companies like Ticketmaster altogether. See Also:

California’s Thriving LGBT Caucus: Because Sometimes, Lawmaking Is Personal

Robbie Short / CALmatters State Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco and Assemblyman Evan Low of Campbell argue for a bill banning the advertising or sale of "gay conversion therapy" in 2018. By Elizabeth Castillo, CALmatters

When Sheila Kuehl of Santa Monica became California’s first openly gay or lesbian legislator in 1994, a cartoonist depicted the occasion.

The drawing’s first panel was “The gay and lesbian caucus goes to lunch.”

The second was “Kuehl, party of one.”

Two years later Carole Migden of San Francisco became the state’s second lesbian legislator, followed by Christine Kehoe of San Diego and Jackie Goldberg of Los Angeles. The four had dinner at least once a month at Goldberg’s house. And after the 2002 addition of legislators Mark Leno of San Francisco and John Laird of Santa Cruz, the group formed an official LGBT caucus .

A quarter-century after Kuehl’s election made history, the caucus numbers seven and has chalked up hard-fought legislative victories—and a to-do list for the future. All its members are Democrats; no openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans Republican has ever won a seat in the Legislature.

“You don’t get any respect unless you’re in the room where it happens,” Kuehl said. “And that is symbolic sometimes but it is noticed by society—because you’re making policy for your community as well as for everybody else.”

California’s Legislature has become more diverse over the years, although as CALmatters’ Legislators: Just Like You? interactive demonstrates, it still falls well short of being an accurate demographic reflection of California. Latinos, Asian-Americans and particularly women are under-represented compared to their share of the state adult population.

But the LGBT caucus closely mirrors the state: Nearly 5 percent of Californians are LGBT, according to UCLA Law’s Williams Institute, while just under 6 percent of California legislators are openly lesbian, gay or bisexual. The Senate president pro tem, Democrat Toni Atkins of San Diego, is the first lesbian to lead the chamber. And although the caucus dropped by one this year, it’s because former state Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Democrat from Bell Gardens, became the first gay statewide office-holder when he was elected insurance commissioner.

Critics of a deliberate emphasis on diversity often contend that lawmakers’ personal traits don’t, or shouldn’t, affect what issues they carry or how they vote—in short, that legislating shouldn’t be personal.

“How can they say it’s not personal?”

It’s an argument that LGBT legislators have confronted repeatedly. Case in point: the bitter fight in 2001 over passage of a bill creating domestic partners status for the state’s same-sex couples. Majority Floor Leader Kevin Shelley addressed the Assembly about Migden, its sponsor and his San Francisco colleague.

“We all know how tough she is. She’s real tough. You don’t wanna mess with her,” he began. “I went outside with Ms. Migden and she was doubled over in pain—emotional pain—and in tears, and said to me and to others nearby ‘How can they say it’s not about me? How can they say it’s not personal?’

“And so I say to all of you on behalf of my friend Carole, who I know will not say it for herself because she doesn’t want it to be personal in how she articulates the debate. It is personal….And the vote today should be personal for all of us.”

Arguing in favor of the same bill, Goldberg spoke through tears about her partner and their son: “We are a family. There is nothing any of you can say or do that makes us any less a family. But what you can do is make it harder for my family to survive.”

Since passage of that bill, the California LGBT caucus has successfully sponsored: A 2003 act expanding to same-sex couples most of the rights and responsibilities that heterosexual spouses already had, such as parental status for a child born during a relationship and access to divorce courts.

Leno’s 2003 act protecting transgender people and those perceived as transgender against discrimination when renting an apartment or looking for a job.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria’s 2018 law giving foster children access to health care that affirms their gender with medical interventions such as hormone treatment. The healthcare must be available by 2020.

A new law co-sponsored by Atkins that allows non-binary people applying for a driver’s license or ID card to mark “X” in addition to “M” for male or “F” for female. (One Californian has already shared the experience of changing their driver’s license.)

So what’s still on the caucus wish list?

Members and advocacy groups plan to advance bills that would provide “cultural competency” training to help teachers build safer and more inclusive learning environments for LGBT students in public schools. Former Gov. Jerry Brown previously vetoed a version of that bill , although a similar one to train law enforcement officers was signed into law .

The caucus also wants another crack at limiting the practice of conversion therapy , the practice of attempting to alter an individual’s sexual orientation through methods such as counseling and prayer.

And it’s still personal. Arguing for his bill to regard conversion therapy as consumer fraud in last year’s session, former Campbell mayor-turned-Assemblyman Evan Low said “You’ve heard testimony about suicidal thoughts, I have also had that. As mayor (in 2010) I could officiate a wedding but couldn’t get married myself.”

But questions were raised about whether the bill would violate the First Amendment rights of therapists. Although proponents insisted it was neutral on religion because it impacted all consumer transactions, Low pulled the bill in what he described as a gesture of good faith to seek common ground.

“The evangelical community is not monolithic, they’re not one in the same,” he said. “So are there certain people who you could change their hearts and mind? Yeah, absolutely. And that’s where I’m working, that’s where I’m spending my energy.”

His approach won Low points with some opponents.

“To his credit, he actually went around and listened to a lot of various pastors who told him ‘why are you attacking us?’” said Greg Burt of the California Family Council. “So I think he realized it would be better to try and persuade a chunk of them to come his way than to simply outlaw what they were doing.”

Opponents of the caucus’ agenda insist there should be room in California politics for people or religious organizations that take a different view—and that the LGBT caucus too often advocates ideas that impede on religious freedom.

They cite a bill that would have allowed transgender and gay students to more easily sue private religious universities who violated the school’s sexual conduct rules and faced reprisals up to and including expulsion. The bill was enacted only after that specific provision was removed following tremendous pushback from religious universities. Another law barred employees at long-term healthcare facilities from purposefully not calling patients by their preferred gender pronouns.

“They are seeking to go after organizations that disagree,” Burt said. “That’s what tolerance is all about. We tolerate those who disagree.” The missing voices: Trans and bisexual Californians—and Republicans

Unlike Virginia and Colorado , California has never had an openly bisexual or trans legislator.

“Until there are at least a couple of transgender folks in the Legislature, I don’t know that we’re going to understand the experience well enough to know what’s missing in the law,” Kuehl said. “I do know that there’s a lot of violence against transgender women, and I don’t know if there’s enough protection.”

As for the absence of an openly gay Republican in the Legislature, former GOP Sen. Roy Ashburn said he’s not surprised, but he expects that will change. “There’s still a lot of people in hiding,” he said, “and I’m hopeful that people will be more accepting and loving and it won’t be necessary for people to do what I did in the future.”

No longer a Republican, Ashburn said he regrets votes he cast against ensuring more rights for LGBT individuals. After his arrest for driving under the influence in 2010, he acknowledged in an interview with a radio station in his Bakersfield district that he was gay—saying he felt compelled to address rumors that he had visited a gay nightclub that evening. “I did not live an authentic life,” he said. “ I hurt people who were adversely affected by the votes that I cast.”

Sometimes differences can be forged. Low and Biola University President Barry H. Corey were at odds over a 2016 bill that sought to prohibit any school participating in the Cal Grant Program from discriminating against a student or employee on the basis of a protected class like sexual orientation.

The bill didn’t pass, but the two foes became friends, so much so that they published what they learned in a joint Washington Post piece .

“It’s amazing how quickly biases can be overcome,” they wrote, “…when you realize the person you once thought an adversary is in many ways like you, with a story and passions and fears, and a hope that we can make the world a better place.”

To Low, that’s also why the LGBT Caucus is still needed. He said after working with the caucus, people can gain a new perspective—recognizing that LGBT individuals are not “mythical creatures on TV” but are just like everyone else.

“So that’s where I think it changes people,” he said. “If we’re not there, then people won’t understand.”

CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.

LGBT hub for 18 to 25-year-olds to launch in Thanet

Just Like Us will launch the Thanet hub this month Just Like Us,the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) charity for young people, is launching a new initiative in Thanet.

The hub is funded by The People’s Postcode Trust and is for LGBT young people aged 18-25. It will be a safe and fun space for LGBT young people to socialise twice a month. The format and venue of each session will vary, whether drop-in sessions to make new friends, workshops on coming out or planning this year’s Pride parade.

Those attending will also benefit from employability training and mentoring in London from the charity’s corporate partners, alongside volunteering opportunities to work with local schools to tackle prejudice.

One new member from Thanet said: “From what I know, there is no support for young adults in Thanet. I moved away from Thanet to study at university where I joined the LGBT+ society and I’ve made lifelong friends from it. “Coming back home has been hard, but this group will hopefully help lift the weight off, even if only for an hour. We deserve a place to be ourselves, share our stories, figure out who we are and just be, with others like us”

The Hub will also help to address the potentially life-long consequences a lack of support can have on young people’s well-being and achievement. LGBT young people are four times more likely to commit suicide than their straight peers, and more than half say homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying has a negative impact on their future education plans.

Margate Pride organiser Amy Redmond said: “ We were very excited to hear Just Like Us are bringing their ace work to Thanet. The community, social, sharing and togetherness of groups like this are essential for Thanet’s next generation to grow up comfortable and proud of who they are. We are over the moon with pride that this is happening in town.” Photo Frank Leppard Just Like Us CEO, Tim Ramsey added:“We’re incredibly excited to launch our Just Like Us Hub in Thanet. I know the transformational impact a group like this would have had on me growing up; it would have given me hope that being gay would not be the worst part of my life, but something to celebrate. We’re excited to meet this new group of young people and support and empower them to be confident in their identity.”

The Hub will be launching on Thursday, January 31, at The Tom Thumb Theatre in Cliftonville with a free pizza night and screening of Love Simon, the acclaimed coming out movie of 2018.

LGBT young people in Thanet can find out more about getting involved by visiting www.justlikeus.org/events .

Ask the Aunties: Are you ever too young to realise you’re LGBT?

Can you ever be too young to realise you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender? Is there a right time to come out as LGBT?

In a new episode of PinkNews series Ask the Aunties , our fabulous queer agony aunts answer your LGBT-related dilemmas.

Queer agony aunts Lee Gray and Karnage Kills respond to a dilemma sent in anonymously by a reader worried about whether there is ever a good time to come out as transgender or non-binary. When do most people realise they’re LGBT and is there such a thing as being too young or too old? Is there a right age to come out as LGBT? How old should you be?

The anonymous dilemma to the Aunties said: “Do you think you can ever be too young to realise you are trans or non-binary?” Ask the Aunties: Their response

Lee said: “I would probably say no–obviously I’m a cisgender man so I’ve never had that experience but speaking to people who are trans and non-binary and are friends of mine, I would say the answer is no.

“Everybody has their own journey. Some people might identify as trans and non-binary at a very early age and some might identify very late. “You’re never too young or too old to have a self-realisation moment.”

“But I don’t think you can ever be too young.”

Karnage agreed, adding that parents should allow children to express their gender in whatever ways they feel comfortable.

He said: “I was always thankful of that, my mum never did that to me.

“I don’t think we should suppress anybody. Children should be able to express themselves, I just think it makes for a happier individual.

“You’re never too young or too old to have a self-realisation moment and think: ‘This is who I am.’” Watch the video above to see all of the Aunties’ stories and advice

Ask the Aunties is an original PinkNews series. From dating to telling your pals your pronouns , no dilemma is left unanswered.

The previous episode answered a dilemma from a young person considering coming out .

Subscribe to PinkNews on YouTube so you never miss an episode.

Alcona County votes to oppose Whitmer order on LGBT protections

HARRISVILLE — The Alcona County Board of Commissioners has unanimously passed a resolution opposing one of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent executive orders.

Earlier this month, Whitmer signed an executive order designed to prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in state services or by state contractors or grant recipients. Her executive order replaces a narrower order that former Gov. Rick Snyder issued days before he left office last month.

The Alcona County board’s resolution asserts that, in signing the executive order, the governor “circumvented the legislative process” and that her actions undermined legislators in the state House of Representatives and state Senate, who work to represent the people.

The resolution also says that the Legislature has not expanded the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include the “re-definition of sex.” Elliott-Larsen, a 1976 state law, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, age or gender. Democrats and others have for years pushed to have the law expanded to explicitly include protections for LGBT individuals, but those efforts have failed.

Last year, however, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, the state agency which investigates complaints of discrimination, issued a new interpretation of the law, saying the word “sex” in the law means not only gender but also sexual orientation and gender identity.

Whitmer’s order, like the one signed by Snyder, says state contracts, grants and loans must include a requirement that the contractor or recipients not discriminate against workers or job applicants based on “sex.” Unlike Snyder’s order, Whitmer’s order does not include an exemption for religious organizations that receive state money.

The Alcona County board requested Whitmer rescind her order, so the issue can be “allowed to go through the legislative process which is accountable to the people.”

Alcona County board Chairman Craig Johnston spoke about the uproar that was caused when former President Barack Obama signed a similar executive order, banning discrimination in the workplace against employees who identify as LGBT and work in the federal government or as federal contractors.

“What it seems to be is the governor has an executive order that seems to follow along the same avenue,” he said.

Copies of the resolution will be sent to state Rep. Sue Allor, R-Wolverine, state Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, Whitmer, and the other 82 counties in the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.

In other business

The Alcona County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday also:

∫ decided to adjust its 2019 meeting schedule to have a workshop session from 9 to 9:45 a.m. before its regularly scheduled meetings. The board meets at 10 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of each month in the boardroom at the county building, 106 N. 5th St. in Harrisville. Local News

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The L Word turns 15 and cast and fans shared sweet anniversary messages

The original cast of Showtime series The L Word. | Photo: The L Word/Showtime Showtime series The L Word premiered on 18 January 2004, fifteen years ago.

The show focused on the everyday life of a group of bisexual and lesbian women in Los Angeles. Flashdance actress Jennifer Beals starred alongside Katherine Moennig, Mia Kirshner, and Leisha Haley.

Despite its occasional transphobia and biphobia, the 71-episode show is still one of the best examples of television by and for queer women. The show was created by lesbian executive producer Ilene Chaiken, who would go on to executive produce hit series Empire. Is the sequel happening?

A sequel to the original series, which ended abruptly in 2009, is in the works. According to IMDb, the new series is a follow-up ‘to the Showtime drama ‘The L Word’ looking at how the character’s relationships and lives have changed’.

Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig, and Leisha Hailey will executive-produce as well as appear on the series. Other characters from the original series may also guest star and will be paired with a whole new cast.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in May 2017, Chaiken said they were considering a sequel.

‘We talk about it all the time. When we went off the air in 2009, I think a lot of people thought, Okay, the baton is passed now, and there will be lots of shows that portray lesbian life. There’s really nothing. It feels like maybe it should come back,’ she said. Happy birthday, The L Word

Some of the original cast members have shared cute messages to mark the anniversary.

Beals, who played Bette on the show, was shocked at the passing of time and called for a sequel. FIFTEEN years ago??
Time to take that show back on the road. #TLW https://t.co/7NQN2eib6x — Jennifer Beals (@jenniferbeals) January 18, 2019 ‘FIFTEEN years ago?? Time to take that show back on the road. #TLW’

Kate Moennig aka womanizer Shane also tweeted about the show. 15 years have come and gone already? https://t.co/RuFxI7eFVU — kate moennig (@katemoennig) January 18, 2019 ’15 years have come and gone already?’ she wrote. Fans are tweeting about it

Fans of the show also shared the reasons why The L Word had been such a game changer for queer female representation. My gf showed introduced me to it, and oh my how I fell in love with it! TLW was and still is one of my favourite shows of all time pic.twitter.com/CkI94GKo1f — Livi (@L1v17) January 19, 2019 ‘My gf showed introduced me to it, and oh my how I fell in love with it! TLW was and still is one of my favourite shows of all time,’ one said. 15 years since the L Word started, and with the exception of Lip Service, there have been no other lesbian focused shows on mainstream TV in the UK that I’m aware of. Why? Are they not being written, not being commissioned or something else? https://t.co/cmBao2pi5B — Sarah (@stweets13) January 19, 2019 ’15 years since the L Word started, and with the exception of Lip Service, there have been no other lesbian-focused shows on mainstream TV in the UK that I’m aware of,’ one fan tweeted.

‘Why? Are they not being written, not being commissioned or something else?’ they also wrote. it has really been 15 years since the l word aired and no show has come to close to resemble it in terms of lesbian representation huh — len (@vanessakrby) January 18, 2019 ‘it has really been 15 years since the l word aired and no show has come to close to resemble it in terms of lesbian representation huh,’ another also added. 1.
The L Word is the first real lesbian show I’ve ever seen, even 15 years later it’s still good, relevant and probably the only long running show for lesbian ever made.
I still want to be Bette when I grow up.
Goes upstairs, takes the dvd’s and starts watching — Jessica J. Ostyn (@ostyn_jessica) January 19, 2019 ‘The L Word is the first real lesbian show I’ve ever seen, even 15 years later it’s still good, relevant and probably the only long-running show for lesbian ever made,’ another weighed in on the conversation.

‘I still want to be Bette when I grow up,’ she furthermore added.

Some fans are thrilled at the idea of a revival. I’m really down for a revival of The L Word. It was such an important show and has so many ways it could be made better and more diverse — Lizzip (@LizzipFish) January 18, 2019 ‘I’m really down for a revival of The L Word. It was such an important show and has so many ways it could be made better and more diverse,’ one Twitter user said. I would die if a reboot of #theLword was made! The show that I binged at age 16/17 on my own, in my room, and in the closet. The L word helped me come out and accept who I am. #Lesbian #LGBT ‘I would die if a reboot of #theLword was made! The show that I binged at age 16/17 on my own, in my room, and in the closet. The L word helped me come out and accept who I am.’ Read also:

Brexit might be the end of LGBTI protection, human rights lawyer warns

Photo: sasastro/flickr The Brexit process is threatening the rights of the LGBTI community, British lawyer Helena Kennedy warns.

After Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal was defeated by a historic margin in parliament, her government survived the no-confidence vote. However, the situation still feels uncertain ahead of the official Brexit date, 29 March 2019. Will Brexit be the end of the ECHR?

In an interview with Reuters, Kennedy explained the lack of a government commitment to the Human Rights Act might be a sign the law will be replaced or repealed after Brexit.

The Human Rights Act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into the British statute book. It protects citizens on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity.

‘If you’re a gay man or woman, a person who’s bisexual, a person who’s transsexual, just beware, this is what they have in mind,’ said Kennedy.

The human rights lawyer is also an opposition Labour member of the House of Lords. Moreover, she has always championed LGBTI rights. In 1996, she won a landmark ruling that made it illegal to discriminate against transgender people at work. DUP poses a threat to LGBTI rights

Human rights are also at risk thanks to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a Northern Irish party that supports the government in key votes. The DUP also opposes marriage equality and legalizing abortion in Northern Ireland.

‘Take your signal from the fact that the DUP has been able to exercise so much power in this government.’

Kennedy furthermore added: ‘Look at this small group of people, who are deeply reactionary, homophobic, misogynistic.’ Read also:

‘Mary Queen Of Scots’ Film: How Much Truth Is There In The Gay Affair Storyline?

Bringing historical events to life on screen is not an easy task, and naturally, viewers will often leave the cinema wondering how much of what they’ve just watched play out on screen really happened.

‘Mary Queen Of Scots’ – a new biopic about the Scottish monarch and her English counterpart – Elizabeth I, is no different but in this case, there’s one scene in particular which will leave cinema-goers questioning how much artistic licence has been used. Ismael Cruz Cordova as Rizzio After getting married to Lord Darnley (played by Jack Lowden), Saoirse Ronan ’s Queen Mary is just as shocked as audiences will be when she finds her husband in bed with her close male courtier, David Rizzio, the day after the wedding.

Their tryst (and Mary’s discovery of it) becomes the catalyst for numerous big events, ultimately resulting in Darnley being blackmailed into murdering his one-time lover. But how much truth is there in this scene? Let’s take a closer look at the history books…

The film is based on John Guy’s biography about the monarch, ‘My Heart Is My Own: The Life Of Mary Queen Of Scots’. And as far as Guy is concerned, the gay affair definitely happened.

The historian has taken part in a number of interviews ahead of the film’s release, and recently told Out magazine : “A brief sexual relationship between Darnley and Rizzio is real history, not speculation.

“Darnley, who spent adolescent years in France, was effeminate and bisexual as was the vogue of young hedonistic courtiers in France.”

He’s also noted that “the idea of men and sexuality then was very different from what it is now”. Jack Lowden (centre left) as Lord Darnley, with Saoirse Ronan as Queen Mary “Straight and gay were not so clearly defined in those days,” he told Vanity Fair . “It was not frowned on as much… and Mary was also a very tolerant person.”

Guy’s fellow historian Anna Whitelock backs up this claim in ‘Elizabeth’s Bedfellows: An Intimate History of the Queen’s Court’, in which she writes that the two men would lie sometime in one bed together”. So that’s that then?

Nope, not quite. Did you really think there wouldn’t be any debate about this?

Professor Retha M. Warnicke says , in her own book on Queen Mary, that Darnley was jealous of Rizzio, infuriated by his closeness to his wife and rumours she had been unfaithful.

Warnicke claims Darnley was concerned about the influence Rizzio – an Italian outsider – was having on the Queen’s decisions, and it’s been claimed elsewhere that he was behind her decision to refuse Darnley the right to become her successor to the throne.

When Mary became pregnant, rumours of her infidelity intensified and some claim Darnley’s resentment and anger at this spurred him on to take part in the courtesan’s brutal murder – which took place in front of Mary, who was six months pregnant at the time. Ok… What have other filmmakers done?

The gay affair storyline has become commonplace in artistic retellings of Queen Mary’s life, featuring in the 1971 film (starring Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Dalton) and the more recent TV series, ‘Reign’.

The 1971 film goes for a “best of both” approach though, with its version of Darnley both being unfaithful and wildly jealous of Mary’s closeness to Rizzio.

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