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 .

Florida agriculture commissioner orders LGBT protections

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is adding sexual orientation and gender identity to her department’s list of workplace protections against discrimination.

Friday’s announcement means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will include LGBT employment protections along with those based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age and disability.

It is the first agency to extend protections to transgender employees and applicants.

Fried was sworn in earlier this month and is the only Democrat to hold a statewide office in Florida.

She said she’s encouraging the state’s other two Cabinet members to enact similar policies.

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NBA player Reggie Bullock speaks about the murder of his trans sister

Reggie Bullock #25 of the Detroit Pistons reacts during the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 11, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty) NBA player Reggie Bullock has spoken about the murder of his transgender sister.

Bullock, who plays for the Detroit Pistons, has become one of the most vocal voices for LGBT+ equality in the NBA in the wake of his sister Mia Henderson’s 2014 murder .

Speaking to Vice , he said: “I lost a sister that was a part of the LGBT+ community.

“I didn’t know how many lives get taken within that community until my sister’s life was taken. Looking at the numbers for what goes on with the transgender community, and particularly African-Americans, it’s a super high [murder] rate.

“When she passed, it was a slow process for me, trying to recognise her death and understand what exactly went on.” Reggie Bullock is educating himself about LGBT+ issues

Bullock continued: “When I was a kid, I really didn’t know too much about it. The beginning of my high school is when she started dressing in female clothes.

“I didn’t know, I just knew she was trying to be something else. That’s all I thought in my head, she was just trying to be something else. “I would still call my sister the name she was born with, because I wasn’t knowledgeable of it. Once I became knowledgeable, I started addressing her in a different way – as Mia Henderson, the name she wanted to go by.” Reggie Bullock #25 of the Detroit Pistons poses for a portrait during Media Day at Little Caesars Arena on September 24, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Gregory Shamus/Getty) The player now regularly appears at events promoting LGBT+ equality within sport.

He added: “I’m still not all the way there yet, but I’m trying to get educated on it and use my platform to do whatever I can do to save lives and bring equality.”

Gay former NBA player Jason Collins praised Bullock’s engagement on the issue, adding: “It’s credit to him that he’s using that pain and the platform he has to speak up on these issues. We need more athletes to speak up to change the culture of sport.” Mia Henderson’s killer still remains unknown

No-one has ever been convicted for Mia Henderson’s violent murder in Baltimore in 2014.

A man was charged with the crime in 2015, but was acquitted on all counts. Mia Henderson was killed in 2014 The Detroit Pistons player previously said he wants to play in a rainbow-coloured jersey.

“Just woke up out a dream and thought about playing in a [rainbow] colored jersey to incorporate #LGBTQ into sports,” he tweeted.

Bullock then tagged the National Basketball Association directly, urging the league to “make it happen in [his] lifetime.”

Australian politician Mark Latham pledges to gut transgender rights

Mark Latham talks during the launch of his book on October 5, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.(Cameron Spencer/Getty) Australian One Nation politician Mark Latham has unveiled a series of new anti-transgender policy pledges.

Latham was once the leader of Australia’s centre-left Labor Party, but is now a member of the nationalist One Nation party, which he leads in New South Wales.

Ahead of state elections in March, Latham has focused on transgender children, pledging to support a ban on them transitioning at school without permission from a doctor. Mark Latham attacks ‘attention-seeking’ transgender children

In a January 20 policy announcement , Latham claimed: “One of the problems with gender fluidity in schools is that students can participate in it simply by ‘identifying’ as transgender.

“This leaves the system open to abuse, with some students milking transgender identification for special treatment or attention-seeking reasons.”

The politician added: “This problem is increasingly common in NSW high schools, urged on by Left-wing political activists.

“Schools made a big mistake when they stopped being places of learning and ventured into the world of mental health assessment and radical gender theory.” Mark Latham poses for a portrait on October 5, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.(Cameron Spencer/Getty) He continued: “One Nation supports teachers who want a stable, productive learning environment in their school, avoiding the Mad Hatter situation and the powerlessness of staff.”

“Any student wanting to change their gender should have to present specialist medical advice and support to the school.

“This takes the matter out of the hands of students and gives teachers the State Government support they need to deal effectively with disingenuous and disruptive behaviour concerning gender.

“It also addresses the real mental health issue: bringing confusion and harm to young people by telling them gender is ‘socially constructed’ and ‘fluid’.” One Nation’s Mark Latham wants to gut gender recognition laws

Latham also vowed to gut laws that allow transgender people to gain legal recognition in their chosen gender, and end easy legal recognition on all government forms.

Mirroring the policy stance taken by US President Donald Trump , he said: “In reality, with very few exceptions, people are born either male or female. To move away from this biological truth later in life is a serious matter requiring specialist medical evidence. It should not happen because of Leftist ideology, individual whims or novelty factors.

“One Nation does not believe that gender changes should be self-identified on NSW Government forms, permits and licences, such as those processed by Service NSW: agencies including Roads and Maritime Services, Department of Fair Trading and Births Deaths and Marriages.” He added: “One Nation supports the introduction of a government rule across-the-board prohibiting individual self-identification.”

The politician claims he would allow some limited forms of gender recognition, provided trans people could provide “specialist medical evidence.”

As the current system of gender recognition requires medical evidence, it is unclear what exactly Latham is proposing.

NSW Labor politician Graham Perrett told the Mail : “He has nothing constructive to say about about Australian society.

“This is simply a shock tactic to extract more votes. I’m one of the parliamentary convenors for LGBTI and we take matters like these very seriously.”

Latham was a strong opponent of same-sex marriage during the country’s 2017 postal vote on the issue, claiming he was worried the law would allow transgender people to get married to people of the opposite sex.

The politician was sacked as a Sky News pundit in 2017 after he refused to apologise for describing a school child as “gay” on-air.

Once a fringe party, One Nation has seen a national growth in support in recent years.

The party’s national leader Pauline Hanson claimed in 2017 that same-sex marriage could lead to people marrying children.

Why did these two women turn up to the Australian Open in wedding dresses?

Two brides attended a tennis match at the Australian Open. | Photo: Twitter Twitter lost its collective mind when two brides holding bouquets just casually showed up at an Australian Open match.

The tennis tournament takes place in Australia during the last fortnight of January every year.

While Danielle Collins was playing Caroline Garcia at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne on 18 January, two brides sat side by side. The episode caused quite a stir, with the crowd wondering what it was really about. Two women in wedding dresses sitting together in Margaret Court Arena, which bears the name of one of the loudest and most vitriolic voices on the losing side of Australia’s gay marriage debate. #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/i7oPQy9MAe — Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 18, 2019 ‘Two women in wedding dresses sitting together in Margaret Court Arena, which bears the name of one of the loudest and most vitriolic voices on the losing side of Australia’s gay marriage debate,’ tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg tweeted. This is iconic! Margaret Court has been vocally homophobic and anti gay marriage. Two women in wedding dresses in this stadium is such a clapback ! #AusOpen https://t.co/QUOUwcer53 — Asmita (@asmitaghosh18) January 18, 2019 ‘This is iconic! Margaret Court has been vocally homophobic and anti-gay marriage. Two women in wedding dresses in this stadium is such a clapback!’ another tweeted. Who is Margaret Court?

The arena bears the name of Margaret Court, a player who came under fire for her views on marriage equality.

When Australia was on its way to grant same-sex couples the right to legally marry in 2017, Court actively campaigned against the vote.

She claimed that a gay lobby was trying to get into the minds of children, and also that transgender identity was ‘the work of the devil’.

Her comments triggered a fierce backlash from a number of leading figures in the game, such as Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova. King also called for the arena to be renamed . The brides were promoting a reality show

Despite the understandable LGBTI excitement, however, the two brides seem to be part of a publicity stunt.

Channel 9’s reality show Married At First Sight, in fact, claimed responsibility for the incident. MAFS follows four – straight – Australian couples who get to know each other on their wedding day.

A Channel 9 spokesman released a statement to confirm the channel wasn’t trying to make a political statement.

‘To promote the upcoming series of Married at First Sight we had two promotional models dressed as brides at tonight’s Australian Open, who were moved to various parts of the Melbourne Park precinct,’ a Channel 9 spokesman said in a statement.

‘Their seating at Margaret Court Arena was in no way meant to be interpreted as a political statement.’ Read also:

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.

Fans get a first look at Supergirl’s trans superhero, Dreamer

Nicole Maines as Dreamer/Nai Nal | Photo: Instagram After a six-month wait, the first trans superhero is finally ready to dive into action.

The first images of comic book character Nia Nal, also known as Dreamer, have been released by series CW.

The landmark role will be played by 21-year-old trans woman, Nicole Maines .

Dreamer will make her first appearance on the Supergirl episode due to air on 27 January.

The episode will see the young reporter and soon-to-be superhero traveling to her home town for a local festival, delving into the character’s backstory. ‘Beyond thrilled’

Maines, who is also a trans rights activist, was confirmed for the role in July .

The announcement of the role and casting was praised by many in the LGBTI community.

Producers described the character as a ‘soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others’.

Maines said she was ‘beyond thrilled’ at being chosen for the role, adding that, ‘[it] seems only fitting that we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to.’

The actress came to public attention in 2014 after a state court’s ruling on a dispute with her elementary school.

The state’s highest court found in favor of Maines, ruling that school officials had violated state anti-discrimination laws by banning her from using the girls’ bathroom. In good company

Maines’ character will exist in the same universe as DC superheroes, The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl.

Last year also saw CW introducing another first: gay superhero Batwoman, played by lesbian and genderfluid actress Ruby Rose.

Rose made her debut as Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, in December 2018 in CW’s three-part superhero crossover ‘Elseworlds’.

Rose hailed her role as a win for the LGBTI community .

‘I can’t speak on behalf of everyone in the LGBTIQ community, but I know any win for anyone in our community is a win for all,’ Rose said earlier last year.

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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School official withdraws after protests over LGBT stance

People in support of the LBTQ+ community laugh and cheer on people speaking against Leslie Ellison, vice president of the Orleans Parish School Board before the vote for the Orleans Parish School Board president at the Orleans Parish School Board in New Orleans, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Ellison, a New Orleans school board member, withdrew from consideration for the board presidency Thursday night amid a flurry of criticism over her record of resistance to protections for LGBT students, but that didn’t stop a torrent of vehement criticism that nearly led to her losing her current post as the board’s vice president. (Sophia Germer/The Advocate via AP) less People in support of the LBTQ+ community laugh and cheer on people speaking against Leslie Ellison, vice president of the Orleans Parish School Board before the vote for the Orleans Parish School Board … more Photo: Sophia Germer, AP

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A New Orleans school board member withdrew from consideration for the board presidency Thursday night amid a flurry of criticism over her record of resistance to protections for LGBT students, but that didn’t stop a torrent of vehement criticism that nearly led to her losing her current post as the board’s vice president.

When the debate was over, Leslie Ellison remained the board’s vice president — elected in an unexpectedly narrow 4-3 vote after close to two dozen speakers, including gay and transgender students and adults, voiced their displeasure. Recommended Video

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Immediately prior to the debate, the seven-member board made an apparent attempt to defuse the expected rancor by unanimously voting to suspend its rules and allow the current president, John Brown, and vice president, Ellison, to remain in their current posts for another year.

But Ellison’s critics didn’t relent, saying she should be ousted as vice-president as well.

"There are countless numbers of LGBTQ students who yearn for the day that will allow them to walk fearlessly into their truth and be their best selves," said Gary Briggs, a former teacher and a gay man. "Because how can we expect our students to perform at their highest levels when they cannot live authentically?"

A handful of speakers supported Ellison, none mentioning gay or sexual identity issues as they praised her dedication and competence.

After sometimes blistering criticism from a majority of speakers, the board stuck with its decision to keep Brown as president for another year with a unanimous vote. But members re-opened nominations for vice president. Member Sarah Usdin nominated colleague Nolan Marshal Jr. to replace Ellison. But Ellison won another year as vice president by a 4-3 vote. She did not immediately address the criticism before the board moved on to other issues.

Ellison’s record on LGBT issues goes back several years but only recently had been drawing greater scrutiny.

Opponents cite a 2012 legislative committee hearing in which she opposed language in state charter school contracts explicitly forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation. News reports from 2013 indicate she also opposed language including protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity in a board anti-bullying policy that year.

Ellison didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment.

The 2012 bill, which did not become law, said the non-discrimination language in state contracts must include non-discrimination language protecting people on the bases of race, religion, national ancestry, age, sex or disability, but prohibited any other factor — thereby excluding protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

At the time, according to news accounts and an archived video of the committee hearing, Ellison said she could not sign a renewal application for a state-chartered public school she was leading because it contained "sexual orientation" protections. Ellison, an administrator at Gideon Christian Fellowship International in New Orleans, said at the time that she is "strongly opposed to discrimination at every level." But, she said, the state Department of Education’s insistence on sexual orientation language constituted "unjust demands on individuals and education leaders who for religious purposes and religious freedom will not sign off on such a policy."

LGBT rights groups said in statements this week that Ellison has not backed away from her earlier position.

"Just this week, after the Forum and many other leaders from our community engaged with Ms. Ellison, she pointedly declined to retract or even reflect upon here past statements," the New Orleans-based Forum for Equality said on its website.

Florida agriculture commissioner orders LGBT protections

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is adding sexual orientation and gender identity to her department’s list of workplace protections against discrimination.

Friday’s announcement means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will include LGBT employment protections along with those based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age and disability.

It is the first agency to extend protections to transgender employees and applicants.

Fried was sworn in earlier this month and is the only Democrat to hold a statewide office in Florida.

She said she’s encouraging the state’s other two Cabinet members to enact similar policies.