Trans Jesus play sparks death threats in Brazil

Trans Jesus play sparks death threats in Brazil

The one-woman play, which stars a trans Jesus, has prompted protests and joy in Brazil (The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven) The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven , a play which stars a trans Jesus, has been targeted with “horrible death threats” while being performed in Brazil.

The one-woman play , which was created by trans playwright Jo Clifford and features Jesus returning to Earth as a trans woman, has also been met with ultimately unsuccessful attempts from the church to block it in court, according to Jezebel .

Clifford, who first performed the production in 2009, told BBC Scotland that everyone working on the show had “really suffered,” adding that “they’ve all received horrible death threats.”

The 68-year-old Scot continued: “The last festival they did it at armed police turned up and started to dismantle the theatre while the show was still going on and someone threw a smoke bomb into the auditorium.” Trans Jesus play attracts passionate following

Clifford said that despite the backlash, the trans Jesus play —which has been performed 140 times to audiences all over Brazil—also inspired many in the country’s trans community. 2017 was the deadliest year on record for trans people in Brazil.

“Every time I go to Brazil I meet people, particularly trans people, who tell me with tears in their eyes that this show has really changed their lives,” said Clifford. “The play is an act of homage to Jesus.”

“It has changed the way they think about themselves.”

She said that the play about trans Jesus, which has been met with protesters in Britain and Brazil and was criticised by Church of England bishops when it was put on in Manchester in 2016, produced “extraordinary violence and hatred but at the same time very intense love” wherever it went. Jo Clifford explains why she wrote a play about trans Jesus

The playwright said she created the production as “an act of homage” to Jesus, not to offend or make fun of Christians.

Clifford explained that the play’s message—that “we need to learn to try to love each other and not to judge or condemn”—was born out of her experiences as a trans woman in late-2000s Scotland.

“I had just started to live as a woman,” she explained, “and every time I went out in the street people yelled abuse at me or laughed in my face or threatened me with violence or in many ways were just horrible to me. “I could not understand why and I thought: ‘Where does all this hostility come from?’”

After being turned away by local churches, she sought out reasons for this discrimination in religious texts, but found none. Jo Clifford explained that she wrote a play as “an act of homage” to Jesus (The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven) “When I read the Gospels there was no justification for this kind of behaviour,” she recalled.

“It was absolutely clear to me that Jesus was someone who welcomed everybody, particularly those who were suffering from prejudice or rejection from the society around them.

“I was deeply moved by what I read. I was very surprised.” Jo Clifford praises Scottish progress on trans rights

Fortunately, Clifford said that Scotland has moved on in the past decade.

“In those years I think I was the only ‘out’ trans performer there was,” she said.

“There are loads of us now doing wonderful work. That’s a big difference.

“Scotland is very much in the lead in respect for trans rights. It makes me very proud to be [Scottish] and be performing this play in Scotland.”

South Western Railway strikes planned for Christmas week

South Western Railway strikes planned for Christmas week

Strikes over guard roles on South Western Railway began in November 2017 Staff at South Western Railway (SWR) are to hold two more strikes in Christmas week on 27 and 31 December.

The 24-hour walkouts are part of the long-running dispute about the future role of guards. A strike has already been announced for 22 December.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said its action was "a result of the company’s intransigence" over the issue.

SWR said the strikes were "totally unnecessary". Guard dispute continues

In a statement, the firm said it had already offered to meet the union for talks before the latest strikes were announced.

"By announcing further strike dates, the RMT has shown it has no intention of finding a solution and is only interested in inflicting more misery on passengers as they try to enjoy the festive season," it said.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said SWR had "stubbornly refused" to ensure that trains would not run without guards.

He said: "South Western Railway are looking for a green light to throw the guard off their trains as and when they see fit in the name of profit." RMT members on South Western Railway are holding three strikes over the festive period The company has previously said guards would be rostered but trains could still operate without them.

A series of strikes about driver-only trains began on Southern railway in April 2016.

RMT members on Arriva Rail North are striking on every Saturday for the rest of the year in the same dispute.

The union previously said it had negotiated "guard guarantees" in Wales and Scotland as well as on a number of English franchises.

SWR has previously run about half of its normal services on strike days.

Luca Campanaro: Mother ‘in awe’ of football death son

Luca Campanaro: Mother 'in awe' of football death son

The mother of a 14-year-old boy who died while playing football has said she is "in awe" of her son.

Luca Campanaro died after colliding with another player while in goal for Bedgrove Dynamos in Hillingdon, west London, on Sunday.

Weeks before his death, Luca had decided he wanted to donate his organs after watching Channel 5 transplant programme Gift of Life.

His mum, Jo Camapanaro, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, said she knew it was a serious injury "from the minute he went down and didn’t get back up".

Trump: ‘I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law’

Trump: 'I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law'

Cohen walked free from court – but will have to report to jail in March US President Donald Trump has said he never directed his former private lawyer to break the law, a day after he was was sentenced to prison.

"He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law." Mr Trump tweeted of Michael Cohen, adding that he pleaded guilty "to embarrass the president".

His comments came a day after Cohen received a three-year jail sentence for campaign finance and fraud crimes.

Cohen had blamed Mr Trump’s influence and "dirty deeds" at his sentencing.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Mr Trump also insisted that he "did nothing wrong" in regards to campaign finance laws.

He said Cohen "probably was not guilty" of those campaign violations but pleaded guilty to benefit himself.

"As a lawyer, Michael has great liability to me!" I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called “advice of counsel,” and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made. That is why they get paid. Despite that many campaign finance lawyers have strongly…… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018 Report ….stated that I did nothing wrong with respect to campaign finance laws, if they even apply, because this was not campaign finance. Cohen was guilty on many charges unrelated to me, but he plead to two campaign charges which were not criminal and of which he probably was not… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018 Report ….guilty even on a civil basis. Those charges were just agreed to by him in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence, which he did-including the fact that his family was temporarily let off the hook. As a lawyer, Michael has great liability to me! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018 Report Cohen, 52, was sentenced on Wednesday and must report to prison by 6 March.

He had admitted to lying to Congress, campaign finance violations and tax evasion. In addition to the jail term, he was also ordered to forfeit nearly $2m (£1.6m).

He is the first of Mr Trump’s inner circle to be jailed over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The attorney, who once said he would take a bullet for the president, told Judge William Pauley that Mr Trump had caused him to "follow a path of darkness rather than light".

Cohen said it was his "blind loyalty" to the president that led him to ignore his own "moral compass" and "cover up [Mr Trump’s] dirty deeds". Memo reveals Cohen’s help on Russia probe

Michael Cohen: Trump’s personal lawyer

What does the special counsel do?

Mr Trump, who calls Mr Mueller’s inquiry a "witch hunt", has repeatedly criticised his former ally since he began co-operating with investigators. Donald Trump dismissed Michael Cohen as a "weak person" and a liar He told reporters last month that Cohen was "weak" and "not a very smart person". What are Cohen’s crimes?

The sentencing was related to two separate cases brought by the Southern District of New York and Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Mr Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations for his role in making hush money payments to women who alleged affairs with Mr Trump.

One of those payments was made by American Media Inc (AMI), the parent company of the National Enquirer, to suppress a woman’s allegations of an affair with Mr Trump.

The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday it had reached a deal with AMI to forego prosecution as long as the company admitted it made the $150,000 payment "in concert with a candidate’s presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicise damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 election".

The tabloid publisher has agreed to continue co-operating with investigators.

The president has acknowledged the payments despite denying the affairs, and called them a private transaction unrelated to his campaign.

Cohen’s other convictions for tax evasion and bank fraud charges are unrelated to the president.

The special counsel had charged Cohen on one count of lying to Congress after a plea deal given his co-operation with the Russia inquiry.

The ex-Trump ally admitted to making false statements to Congress about a Trump property deal in Moscow during the 2016 election. All you need to know about Trump Russia story

The Trump-Russia saga in 250 words

Michael Cohen arrived for his sentencing with members of his family Who else has been implicated?

In other Russia investigation developments, former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted to lying to the FBI about his talks with the Russian ambassador, has asked for leniency.

Flynn’s attorneys requested he serve no prison time as he has co-operated with the special counsel’s investigation from the start.

Last week, the special counsel’s team announced that they would not be pursuing jail time for Flynn as he provided "substantial" details regarding the Trump campaign team and Russian officials.

Cohen, Flynn and ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort are among a number of the president’s aides being investigated by Mr Mueller’s team.

Mr Manafort – who has been convicted of fraud – had been co-operating with the special counsel’s inquiry.

But last Friday, Mr Mueller’s team released a memo alleging he had breached a plea agreement by lying to investigators.

Homeless Man Hurt After His Tent Was Deliberately Set On Fire

Homeless Man Hurt After His Tent Was Deliberately Set On Fire

The man’s tent was set on fire in a busy shopping district (file picture) A homeless man has been left with burns after his tent was set on fire in a busy shopping district.

The man – who has not been named – was hurt in Cardiff on Monday and was taken to hospital for treatment for a hand injury.

South Wales Police are investigating the incident in Queen Street as criminal damage and are making inquiries.

A spokeswoman said: “At around 1.30pm on Monday, officers on patrol in Cardiff city centre received information about criminal damage to a tent in Queen Street.

“One man suffered a minor hand injury, which required hospital treatment, and inquiries are being made to identify the person responsible.”

A spokesman for the Welsh Ambulance Service confirmed its staff responded to the incident and took the man to the University Hospital of Wales.

Matt Downie, director of policy and external affairs at homelessness charity Crisis, said: “For anyone sleeping on the street, life can be a struggle just to survive. Rough sleepers are 17 times more likely to be victims of violence and 15 times more likely to suffer abuse.

“Perhaps equally troubling, our research shows 53% of abuse and violence against rough sleepers goes unreported to the police, mainly due to the expectation that nothing will be done.

“With at least 9,000 people across Britain sleeping rough this winter, and thousands more hidden in cars, tents and on public transport, significant action can’t come soon enough.”

Downie said victims of such abuse should feel able to report attacks to authorities and ask for support.

“But ultimately, they must also be given the dedicated help they need to leave the streets behind for good,” he added.

Cardiff Council said members of its homelessness outreach team had accompanied the man to hospital for treatment, and would continue to encourage homeless people to use shelter and hostel accommodation available in the city.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “We’re appealing to all those who sleep out at night to come into the wide range of accommodation in the city and begin using the services that can help move them away from life on the streets.”

Netflix Christmas 2018: 17 Films And TV Specials To Get You In The Festive Spirit

Netflix Christmas 2018: 17 Films And TV Specials To Get You In The Festive Spirit

Whether it’s original shows and films or festive classics we come back to year after year, Netflix has a wide array of Christmas offerings streaming this year.

However, we all know that scrolling through the streaming service to find something everyone can agree on can sometimes take forever, so to help you make a decision by the time New Year’s Day rolls around, we’ve rounded up the good, the bad and, frankly, the very odd to make things a bit easier.

Here are our top Christmas picks streaming on Netflix this year… ‘A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding’

Netflix Did you enjoy the Netflix original ‘A Christmas Prince’ last year? No, us neither, but we did get a few good laughs out of it, so we’re pleased to see that 2018 has dealt us with a sequel and, in keeping with the theme of the last 12 months, it’s all about the royal wedding too. We’re praying for a cameo from Bishop Michael Curry. ‘Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina’

Netflix While ‘Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina’ was one of our favourite Netflix originals of the year, we’ll admit that it wouldn’t have been our top pick for a Christmas special. But thinking about it, we loved the way the show put a dark spin on a character we’ve loved since childhood, so we’re actually rather excited to see their slant on the festive season. ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race Holi-Slay Spectacular’

Netflix It quickly emerged that this supposed holiday special was essentially little more than a naff 40-minute advert for RuPaul’s Christmas album, complete with impromptu musical numbers and a completely ridiculous “lip sync” between Michelle Visage and RuPaul.

Still, we loved it, and if the sillier and more irreverent moments of ‘Drag Race’ appeal to you, then you will too. Every ‘Friends’ Christmas special

NBC via Getty Images One big change to Netflix since this time last year is the presence of ‘Friends’ , meaning we can get a big dose of 90s nostalgia this Christmas. ‘The One With The Inappropriate Sister’ sees Phoebe becoming slowly more jaded while she collects for charity, while series 3’s ‘The One Where Rachel Quits’ sees that same character try to rehouse some unappealing brown trees after seeing them going into a chipper.

Still, the definitive Christmas special is unquestionably ‘The One With The Holiday Armadillo’, an episode with everything you want from a ‘Friends’ episode: Ross embarrassing himself, some lovely scenes with Joey and Rachel, plus Monica’s apparent Santa fetish revelation. What’s not to love? ‘Bojack Horseman Christmas Special: Sabrina’s Christmas Wish’

Netflix Or, if 90s sitcom Christmas episodes aren’t your thing, how about a parody of 90s sitcom Christmas episodes?

This stand-alone episode of ‘Bojack Horseman’ actually focuses mostly on the titular character’s former sitcom ‘Horsin’ Around’, with Bojack and Todd sitting down to watch the show’s festive special.

As a result ‘Sabrina’s Christmas Wish’ is part parody of the many family-based sitcoms of the 1990s, but also woven throughout is the dark element that has made ‘Bojack Horseman’ such a hit over the last five years. Probably not one to watch if you’re looking for a bit of thoughtless festive cheer, but definitely worth checking out if you’re a ‘Bojack’ fan curious about how the show handled something like a Christmas special. ‘The Christmas Chronicles’

Netflix Netflix’s big festive offering for 2018, ‘The Christmas Chronicles’ sees Kurt Russell following in the footsteps of Tim Allen, Christopher Plummer, Richard Attenborough and John Goodman by taking on the lead role of Santa.

The festive family comedy tells the story of a brother and sister who are forced to (you guessed it!) save Christmas after accidentally crashing Santa’s sleigh. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet swap homes and end up finding Transatlantic romance around the Yuletide period. Don’t get us wrong, of course, this film is utter rubbish, and yet essential Christmas viewing. Even we aren’t too cynical to sit back with a snowball and enjoy Jude Law with a napkin on his head. ‘White Christmas’ (‘Black Mirror’)

Channel 4 The dystopian anthology show’s final outing on Channel 4 was this feature-length Christmas special, featuring not one but three tales that’ll make you think twice before asking Santa for any new technology this year.

This episode tackles online voyeurism, social media blocking and artificial intelligence, while also boasting an appearance from Jon Hamm, and ending on a surprisingly chilling rendition of Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ that will ensure you never hear that song in the same way again. ‘Christmas Inheritance’

Netflix What do you get when you take a spoilt heiress and send her on a mission to the hometown she never knew to deliver a card to her dad’s old business partner around the festive season? Why, an important lesson for her, and all of us, in the true meaning of Christmas, of course. ‘Mariah Carey’s Merriest Christmas’

Hallmark Who better to spend the festive season with than the Queen Of Christmas herself? As well as the obligatory ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ performance, the special features a dramatic reading from Kelsey Grammer (??) and interviews with the cast of ‘A Christmas Melody’, the TV movie directed by and starring Mariah.

Oh, and Santa stops by, because why not? ‘A Very Murray Christmas’

Netflix Even more off-the-wall than Mariah’s offering, ‘A Very Murray Christmas’ debuted on Netflix in 2015, set around Bill Murray spending Christmas Eve in a hotel, where a snowstorm has led most of his A-list guests to cancel.

An offbeat and quirky way to spend an hour of your time, ‘A Very Murray Christmas’ culminates in a festive dream sequence where Bill sings classic Christmas tunes with George Clooney and Miley Cyrus. Odd, but enjoyable all the same. ‘Nailed It! Holiday!’

Netflix What could be better than watching a load of hapless-but-loveable amateur bakers competing in a contest to replicate impressive baked treats in a bid to win $10,000? Well, watching them do it all with a festive twist, obviously.

One of our fave shows of 2018 is back with seven brand new episodes for the holiday series, and with titles like ‘Jingle Fails’, ‘You Mitzvah Spot!’ and ‘Winter Blunderland’, we can’t wait to get stuck in. ‘The Holiday Calendar’

Netflix Another of Netflix’s new festive offerings for this year, this film tells a rather odd story about a jaded photographer who inherits an Advent calendar that begins predicting the future and, naturally, leading her towards her one true love. Netflix A more modern Christmas offering that might have passed you by when it was released in 2011. This animated story is one for all the family, and while younger viewers can lose themselves in the festive cheer, there’s enough substance to actually entertain adults too.

With a rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, ‘Arthur Christmas’ looks set to stand the test of time as a modern festive classic. ‘The Princess Switch’

Netflix At the other end of the scale, meanwhile, is ‘The Princess Switch’, a film that mixes ‘The Princess Diaries’ and ‘The Parent Trap’, sticks Vanessa Hudgens in a dual lead role as a pair of twins and sets the whole thing around Christmas time.

It’s not one we anticipate sweeping up when awards season rolls around in 2019, but we’ll concede that it’s good for a couple of giggles, and doesn’t that sound appealing at the end of a rather tumultuous year? ‘Love Actually’

Universal/Dna/Working Title/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock With its persistent body-shaming jokes, problematic relationships and a near-complete absence of LGBT+ characters, it’s fair to say that ‘Love Actually’ isn’t a film that has aged particularly well.

To many, though, it’s a Christmas staple, and if you’re one of them, you’ll no doubt be thrilled to see it returning to the streaming service just in time for the holiday period. ‘Gavin And Stacey’: Christmas special

How has it been 10 years since the ‘Gavin And Stacey’ Christmas special first aired?

It’s hard for us to pick a favourite moment from this modern festive staple, whether it’s Nessa forcing Gavin to sit on her lap in Santa’s grotto, Smithy introducing the world to ‘Carpool Karaoke’, Dawn and Pete’s questionable turkey impression or that melancholic moment when Bryn and Gwen sip their mint Baileys, it’s basically non-stop brilliance from start to finish. Forget What You Might Have Heard, ‘Friends’ Is Not Leaving Netflix (For Now, Anyway)

The Most Frightening Thing on Netflix? The Wisconsin Legal System

You Might Not Be Able To Watch Netflix In The EU After Brexit

We’ve Crunched The Numbers On Which MPs Had The Most To Say About Brexit

We've Crunched The Numbers On Which MPs Had The Most To Say About Brexit

Parliament TV Brexit has certainly offered a dramatic few weeks in the House of Commons.

From a downtrodden Theresa May admitting that she was in fact shelving the vote on her Brexit deal just hours after numerous promises it was *definitely* going ahead, to Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle picking up Parliament’s ceremonial mace in a bizarre Brexit protest , there’s been a veritable buffet of attention-grabbing moments.

Oh, and Tory MPs triggering a vote of no confidence in their leader just months before the UK is set to leave the EU, of course.

Theresa May fought off the attack , meaning her leadership can’t be challenged for another year (via those methods anyway) and leaving her free to continue plugging away at securing an exit deal.

But away from the main headlines, who has really dominated the debate in Westminster?

HuffPost UK trawled through hundreds of pages of the Hansard to reveal the MPs who have been most vocal on the UK’s imminent EU exit – and the parties punching above their weight on the topic. Who Spoke Most Often?

Father of the House Ken Clarke speaking in the House of Commons while Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne appears to nap Across the three days of scheduled debate last week (which would have been five if not for the delay to the vote) and the Commons’ highly-charged reaction to May’s unexpected can-kicking on Monday – 286 MPs took to their feet to have their say on exactly how the UK should leave the European Union.

But it was Tory Remainer and Father of the House Ken Clarke who had the most to say, speaking on all three debate days, as well as during an emergency debate tabled after the PM announced her plan to postpone the crunch vote on her deal.

Meanwhile, 20 other members of the House – including DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds and former transport minister Jo Johnson, who quit over May’s proposed Brexit deal – addressed their colleagues on three different days. Most vocal MPs: Parliamentarians from each party who spoke on three of the four days of the debate Which Party Dominated The Debate?

MPs from across the House made 403 individual appearances in the Commons during the three days on which the Brexit debate was scheduled, with some taking to their feet to speak on more than one day.

However, it was the anti-Brexit Scottish National Party who proved themselves parliament’s heaviest hitters, accounting for almost 12% of the appearances, despite holding just 5% of seats in the Commons. Infographic by Statista. A breakdown of the appearances made by each party’s MPs versus each party’s share of seats in Parliament While Labour’s share of speaking time and its presence on the Commons benches were found to be very similar – 38.9% and 39.5% respectively – the same could not be said for May’s party.

Despite having the biggest share of the seats in Parliament, with 48% – and its various factions being arguably the most vocal on the subject publicly – Tory MPs made up just two-fifths of the appearances in the debate itself. What About The Gender Divide?

Labour MP Yvette Cooper was one of the most vocal MPs in the Brexit debate, appearing three times over three days HuffPost UK revealed in October that men had dominated earlier Brexit debate sessions, accounting for almost 90% of the discussions.

A study by Women for a People’s Vote found that while male MPs spoke for a total of 12.5 hours across three sessions centred on leaving the bloc, women took up just 2.4 hours.

But analysis of the number of appearances made by MPs in the recent round of debates shows that women held their own.

Out of the 403 appearances in December, female parliamentarians made up 122 – around 30%. Women currently hold 32% of seats in the Commons.

As such, men – who account for 68% of the House – made up 70% of appearances. So What’s Happening Now?

It seems that May’s decision to pull the meaningful vote – rather than preventing a career-ending defeat in Parliament – threw her into the path of a different kind of trouble.

Sir Graham Brady – who oversees backbench Tory MPs – revealed on Wednesday morning that at least 48 parliamentarians on the Conservative benches had submitted letters of no confidence in the PM, thereby triggering a ballot on whether she should continue as leader.

She saw off that threat, winning the vote with the backing of 200 of her MPs (although 117 of them moved against her).

But whether the incident has left her authority fatally wounded remains to be seen.

In a last-ditch attempt to stay in No 10, she signalled to Tory MPs ahead of the vote on Wednesday evening that she wouldn’t fight the next general election – before confirming the position publicly the next day.

“This vote isn’t about who leads the party into the next election, it’s about whether it makes sense to change leader at this point in the Brexit negotiations,” a Downing Street spokesman said.

And she still faces a mountainous battle to eventually get her draft withdrawal agreement through parliament – and getting the numbers she needs to support it will be her next big struggle.

Infographic by Statista . Exclusive: ‘Mansplaining’ MPs Spoke For 90% Of The Debate On Brexit In Parliament

Theresa May Vows To Fight Off Any Tory Leadership Challenge

WTF Happens Now Theresa May Has Won A Vote Of No Confidence In Her Leadership

Republican lawmaker in Kansas defects to Democrats over trans issues

Republican lawmaker in Kansas defects to Democrats over trans issues

She has a history of rebelling against the Republicans | Photo: Barbara Bollier, Facebook A Kansas lawmaker has defected from the Republican party to the Democrats over the GOP’s anti-trans efforts.

Senator Barbara Bollier, who represents Mission Hills in Kansas City, also stated Trump as a major factor in her decision to defect.

Talking about her defection, the lawmaker told the Shawnee Mission Post : ‘Morally, the party is not going where my compass resides.

‘I’m looking forward to being in a party that represents the ideals that I do, including Medicaid expansion and funding our K-12 schools.’

However, her decision came after the state party adopted a heavily-criticized resolution in February 2018 that would attempt to eliminate trans identities. It read: ‘We believe God created two genders, male and female.”

Bollier said this motivated her decision: ‘That was my final, last straw. I support the people of Kansas. I do not condemn whoever they are.’ A history of rebellions

The defection still keeps the Republicans in control of the state government. There are now 10 Democrat seats to 40 GOP. The state senate is the upper house in the USA’s individual states’ legislature.

Bollier has been at odds with Republican leadership for awhile now. In the 2018 Midterms, she backed Democrat Laura Kelly for Governor of Kansas. Kelly won the election, including a majority in the district Bollier represents.

That same district also overwhelming voted for Sharice Davids, who is a lesbian woman and native American, for Congress in the midterms. More from Gay Star News:

Detroit pastor charged with first-degree murder of transgender woman

Detroit pastor charged with first-degree murder of transgender woman

RIP Kelly Stough | Photos: Facebook, Detroit Police Department A Detroit pastor was charged with the murder of a transgender woman this week.

Albert Weathers, 46, of Steling Heights, faces first-degree murder charges.

He is accused of killing Keanna Mattel, a 36-year-old, who was found dead on a street last week. Pastor accused of murdering trans woman

Mattel’s murder was motivated by transphobia, prosecutors argue.

‘After a police investigation, prosecutors arraigned Weathers on charges of open murder and use of a firearm in comission of a felony, the prosecutor’s office said.

Police have said Weathers’ bond at $1 million.

It is alleged the pastor originally called police to report a robbery and claimed he shot someone in self-defense. Friends and family pay tribute

Friends and family have paid tribute to Mattel.

Her mother, Jessica Chantae Stough, told NBC News: ‘She has a family who cared about her, who loved her.

‘I want them to know that transgender ladies — expressly those of color — they’re just not throwaways; people care about them.’

‘She was educated, she was God-filled, she loved church, she loved others,’ her mother said. As a human being in the United States of America, you have the right to be who you want to be, and you shouldn’t be shamed or bullied or persecuted for the choice you make

Mattel also worked on the cabaret circuit and the drag scene.

She was also a spokesperson calling for an end to violence against transgender people.

Eliel Cruz, spokesperson for the Anti-Violence Project, called Mattel’s death part of a ‘national epidemic’.

He said: ‘We will work to honor her by uplifting the whole of her life as a vibrant member of the Detroit community and ballroom scene, and not erase her as a number or statistic.’

UPDATE: The original version of the article described Mattel using a name referenced by family members. The name was not masculine so we have no reason to believe this was her name assigned at birth. However, we now understand she was better known to friends as Keanna Mattel and self-identified using that name. We have edited the article to reflect this change.

Here are 5 mental health tips for any LGBTI person during the holiday season

Here are 5 mental health tips for any LGBTI person during the holiday season

The holiday blues can hit everyone, but here’s how to beat them. | Photo: Pixabay It doesn’t matter how hard you try to avoid gross oversimplifications: there are only two categories of people at Christmas time . Those who tick people off their present list on 1 December and those who would like to spend the entire holiday season under a rock to reemerge once the festive frenzy is over.

Whatever category you belong to, Christmas can be an especially tough time when it comes to your mental health .

If you’re part of the LGBTI community, things might get worse. Several reports have shed a light on the prevalence of depression and anxiety experienced by LGBTIs.

Casual homophobia and transphobia by family members can play a part in killing the Christmas spirit. Moreover, not being out to or accepted by your loved ones might make the holidays trying even for the most staunch Christmas enthusiasts.

What can we do? GSN talked to Dr. Sheri Jacobson, founder and CEO of Harley Therapy , a counseling clinic dealing also with issues concerning LGBTI identities. She gave us some valuable pieces of advice both LGBTIs and straight allies can benefit from. Learn to say no

‘Christmas, for most people, means getting together with family. Which is already stressful. Of all times of the year, it’s the time that old arguments and traumas seem to surface most,’ Dr. Jacobson told GSN.

‘And if we like the festive season but are estranged or rejected by our family for being different, then it can be a very tough time indeed.’

She explained self-care is key to get through and enjoy the holidays.

‘Turning to things like alcohol and partying might seem easy but it’s just going to make you feel worse. Choose instead things that make you feel secure, cared for, and happy. See friends you feel good around, spend time in nature, book off a night to yourself for a long bath and some relaxing.’

‘And then set boundaries. Saying no might be your best weapon here. Say no to parties you don’t want to go to, people you don’t want to see, traditions you don’t feel good about. It’s not being rude or anti-social. It’s taking care of yourself.’ Better not to break any big news at Christmas time

Want to come out or introduce your new partner on Christmas Day? Dr. Jacobson believes it might not be such a great idea.

‘It’s already a stressful period. People are tired, tempers flare, and there is often too much alcohol use. It’s not fair to expect others to be available for an important conversation during this time,’ she said.

‘Would you want a partner to announce an affair the day you are navigating a promotion at work? Your friend to barge in right when you are cooking dinner for twelve to let you know they are having a baby?

‘And it’s absolutely not fair on yourself, either, to announce something so important at the holidays. Don’t you deserve better? To share important news with people who are sober and able to give you their full attention, not five Baileys in and distracted by hosting duties or shouting children?’ she also said.

She added it is crucial not to bring uninvited guests, and if you made clear you are bringing someone over, it is worth asking yourself if this is actually the best time for your family. But if you do, use neutral language

Nonetheless, for those living abroad or only seeing their family during the holidays, Christmas might be the one occasion to be open.

‘If Christmas is the only time you see your family each year, and you are determined to do this now, then we’d just say aim for a moment before the alcohol has started flowing and the family feuding has begun,’ Dr. Jacobson said.

‘Be calm. Use neutral, factual language over language geared to provoke.’

An example? Say ‘I would like to tell you that’ as opposed to, ‘I know you might have a problem with this, but I would like to tell you that…’.

‘Give people time to respond. Don’t assume you know how they will react,’ Dr. Jacobson continued. Do what makes you feel good

If you already know that going back home will make you feel anxious or depressed, then simply don’t go.

‘Don’t let guilt drive your decision, but self-care,’ Dr. Jacobson said.

‘Make another plan for yourself. Spend the festive season with friends, start building your own traditions, or treat yourself to a mini vacation. The other great idea is to volunteer. It’s shown by research to lift our moods.’

‘In summary, there is no one way to celebrate the festive season. Find what works for you. If what really makes you feel great is Christmas spent in bed with a box of chocolates as you internet shop and beat everyone else to the Boxing Day sales, then so be it.’ Ask for help

Sometimes, however, taking care of ourselves and saying no isn’t enough. That’s when we need to reach out for help.

‘This might be a friend, but could equally be calling a helpline, support group, or booking a session with a counselor. In fact, the best thing you can do, if you know that the holiday season is a challenge for you, is get that support lined up in advance,’ Dr. Jacobson said.

‘Ask a friend if they can be on standby, or book some sessions with a counselor now, as opposed to when you are in the thick of your anxiety and depression when simple things like picking up the phone can be a challenge.’

If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US) or Samaritans (UK). You might also like: