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How Drag Race’s Ginny Lemon shattered huge LGBTQ+ boundaries in Commonwealth opening ceremony: ‘This is a huge deal for queer people everywhere‘
Drag Race legend Ginny Lemon has spoken out about the ‘honour’ of representing their community at this year’s Commonwealth Games.The drag queen thrilled crowds at Birmingham as they opened the ceremony in a lemon-shaped hot air balloon, kicking off the global event in their unique, brilliant way.It was an absolutely massive moment for Ginny’s career – but more than that, the star felt the ‘momentous’ honour of representing both their homeland of the West Midlands and the LGBTQ+ community.The opening of the Games was broadcast to an audience of up to one billion people, across Commonwealth countries – the vast majority of which criminalises being gay.Ginny, who is non-binary, spoke to about the importance of representation, describing it as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for them.‘I’m feeling on top of the world, I feel absolutely amazing,’ they said.‘I cannot believe how momentous it was… It was once-in-a-lifetime for me and to be part of that, to be representing the west Midlands, I feel so honoured.They said it was ‘amazing to be watched by over 1 billion people, 30,000 people in the stadium, from all around the world. ‘For me, the most humbling experience is that in a lot of these countries it’s illegal to be part of the LGBTQ+ community.
I Would Be Illegal in Half Of Commonwealth Countries: Tom Daley’s Film On Gay Athletes
Out gay British Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley is receiving praise for his new documentary film ‘Illegal To Be Me‘ that explores the lives of gay athletes, many living in countries where homosexuality is illegal. Daley said the shooting the film exposed him to the fact that the laws against homosexuality in Commonwealth countries were a legacy of British colonialism. Tom DaleyIn a social media post, Daley revealed that he had been travelling around the world meeting other gay athletes for the film. “This year I have been travelling around the Commonwealth, visiting countries where same sex relationships are a crime,” said Daley. “I have spoken to athletes, advocates and activists to try and find out how they think sporting federations can better support and protect LGBTQIA+ athletes. The people in the documentary highlight the importance of visibility for queer people and it taught me an incredible amount about how we can continue the fight for equality,” said Daley. Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Daley had in October 2021 said that he was on a “mission” to get the Olympics to ban countries where homosexuality is punishable by death.Tom Daley (centre) with LGBTQI advocates and athletes at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham.Last month, at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Daley along with six other LGBTQI athletes carried the Queen’s baton into the stadium. “In over half of the Commonwealth countries, homosexuality is still a crime and in three of those countries the maximum penalty is the death sentence.
Tom Daley Champions LGBT Rights and Protests Homophobia at Commonwealth Games
British diver Tom Daley delivered a powerful statement on the eve of the Commonwealth Games night, advocating for LGBTQI+ rights while protesting against the 35 countries under the Commonwealth where being part of the queer community is currently illegal. The Olympic champion played a key role in the ceremony, as the first athlete to carry the Queen’s Baton and was met with other athletes and activists who waved Pride Progress flags, raising awareness of the member states under the Commonwealth which criminalise same-sex relations. Pride House Birmingham (PHB) co-founder Lou Englefield spoke to ABC sport stating that there are currently “more countries in the Commonwealth that criminalise homosexuality than don’t.” Though Daley had decided not to compete at Birmingham 2022, he has been a strong advocate for LGBTQI+ rights in the past, drawing attention to the persecution of queer individuals after winning his 10 metres synchro event at the Gold Coast in 2018. These laws are a legacy of colonialism. This opening ceremony for us is about showing LGBTQ+ visibility to the billion people watching.” The opening of Pride House Birmingham has been projected to have the biggest presence to date by a Pride House at a Commonwealth Games. Pride Houses are venues dedicated to diversity, culture and LGBTQI+ inclusion at major sporting events where visitors are encouraged to enjoy performances, talks and activities in addition to opportunities to view live sports.
School facing closure for letting homophobic bullying get out of control
Birmingham after a recent Ofsted inspection found that secondary pupils did not feel safe.The school, which teaches pupils aged three to 16, is part of one of the country’s leading academy chains.But inspectors deemed it inadequate after coming across numerous issues including commonplace ‘bullying, derogatory language and homophobic behaviours’.Pupils had ‘no confidence that staff will support them when they raise concerns’, and ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils experience repeated discriminatory behaviour against them’, Ofsted found.The DfE said the school’s leaders had not recognised the issues so they could not take the ‘right steps’ to prevent them.Pupils quoted in the school’s Ofsted report said there were ‘high levels of bullying and prejudiced behaviour’ which went unrecorded.They also reported having to ‘tolerate frequent sexual harassment towards them’.‘Some pupils, particularly those who identify as LGBT, experience repeated name-calling and prejudiced behaviour. This means that pupils do not feel safe in the school,’ the report said.Ofsted noted that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities were also more likely to receive sanctions than their peers, with a ‘high and increasing’ number of suspensions.Inspectors also found problems with attendance and said the academy’s leaders did not make ‘adequate checks’ on pupil absences, while ‘too many pupils are truant from lessons’.An Ark spokesperson said: ‘Whilst very disappointed with the inspection judgment, we fully accept the findings of the inspection report.‘We had identified many of the issues prior to the inspection and had taken action to begin to address these ahead of the inspection.
Pride of Birmingham Awards 2022 set for emotional night as it unveils new heroes
BirminghamLive's inspiring award ceremony, in partnership with TSB, will take place at Birmingham University's Great Hall on Monday (March 7), and it's sure to be a night to remember.The star-studded Pride of Britain event will be hosted by former Coronation Street star Kym Marsh, and it aims to give thanks to the region's "unsung heroes.It gives Birmingham the chance to pay tribute to the most inspiring and courageous locals who have risked their lives or battled against the odds to make a difference.This year's incredible winners include a terminally-ill schoolboy who has inspired everyone around him as he battles his devastating Batten Disease.Another winner is a teenager who has raised thousands of pounds for the hospital which gave her life-saving brain surgery - after starring in a series of moving TikTok videos.The event will also feature a mother who has been campaigning for life-saving bleed kits to be made mroe accessible to the public - following the tragic stabbing of her son.There will also be a young man who risked his life to climb into a smoking car in order to pull a driver to safety after a terrifying road accident.The glam red-carpet event will be bustling with showbiz stars, including Tipping Point host Ben Shepherd, Strictly stars Amy Dowden and Rhys Stephenson, Dancing on Ice's Connor Ball, and musician Ruby Turner.Speaking about the winners, host Kym said: "I'm so excited about Pride of Birmingham. It's been two years since we have been able to get together properly for these awards, so I know it's going to be a fantastic night.