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Puppy play has boosted my confidence – it’s the happiest I’ve been since coming out as gay

How to navigate dating after the death of a partner - according to expertsMcDonald's axes two breakfast menu items for good - and fans are not pleasedThe furry bucket hat is having a moment - these are our top picksFor me, puppy play has allowed me to be the person I’ve always wanted to be. The mask and my new name, Wheely, allows me to build my own character from the ground up rather than let it be dictated by my environment.

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Love Island ‘accepting applications from non-binary contestants’ in push for diverse 2022 cast
Love Island 2022 could wind up with the most diverse cast yet amid reports that non-binary applications are being accepted. The ITV2 dating series, which aired its most recent season last summer with Millie Court and Liam Reardon winning the £50,000 prize money, has long received criticism over its lack of LGBTQ+ representation. However, TV insiders claim bosses are hoping to make a change this year and are encouraging those who do not identify as either male or female to apply. A source told The Sun: ‘Producers are under more pressure than ever to make this series as woke as possible after it has previously come under criticism for its lack of diversity.‘The move could make the basic rules of the show complicated, as each coupling ceremony separates boys and girls, but they are keen to have a non-binary contestant this year. It’s all about inclusivity and breaking down boundaries.’ In response to the claims, a Love Island spokesperson told ‘The only stipulations are that applicants are over 18, single and looking for love.’ Last year, an ITV boss addressed the ongoing diversity issue and said that including gay islanders could present ‘logistical difficulties’. Speaking to in June, Amada Stavri said: ‘In terms of gay Islanders, I think the main challenge is regarding the format of Love Island. ‘There’s a sort of logistical difficulty, because although Islanders don’t have to be 100% straight, the format must sort of give [the] Islanders an equal choice when coupling up.‘With our dating shows, such as The Cabins, there is much more sexual diversity.
Man charged after victim ‘hit with bottle and wooden pole’ in Gay Village
Birmingham. Usman Murtza is accused of carrying out the unprovoked assault on John-Paul Kesseler and another man as they held hands together in the city’s Gay Village. Pictures showed Mr Kesseler’s bloodied face following the incident in the early hours of October 10.Mr Kesseler, 38, was hit in the face with a glass bottle, leaving him with a nasty gash above his eye, before both men were struck with a wooden pole. Murtza, 29, has been charged with two counts of assault and possessing an offensive weapon.He is due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on January 12.Jealous mum smashed love rival's head on ground for looking at her boyfriendPensioner claims botched surgery has left him unable to shut eyes for nearly three yearsFour-day working week pilot launched in UKA West Midlands Police spokesperson said: ‘No one should have to tolerate hate abuse or hate crimes.‘If you’ve been a victim then we’d urge you to contact us or a support agency so you can get help and we can investigate.’Galop is a national LGBT+ anti-abuse charity who support people who have suffered homophobia, transphobia and other forms of abuse.You can find more about the support available here.If you don’t feel comfortable reporting to police, you can report it to True Vision online here.Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at more stories like this, check our news page.Not convinced? Find out more »
Past gay sex convictions to be wiped from records as pardon scheme widened
Priti Patel is hoping to ‘right the wrongs of the past’ with a new scheme to be announced soon.Welcoming the move, Nancy Kelley, Stonewall’s CEO, said: ‘It is wonderful to wake up this morning to see pardons extended for historic convictions of gay and bi men – criminalised for being who they are and loving who they love.’Currently, just nine former offences are included on a specified list, which the Home Office said ‘largely focused on the repealed offences of buggery and gross indecency between men’.It means that anyone convicted or cautioned for consensual same-sex activity can apply to have them ‘disregarded’, with an automatic pardon given.But the government now aims to use an amendment to the controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to broaden the criteria.In the future, it will include any repealed or abolished civilian or military offence that was imposed on someone for consensual same-sex sexual activity.Since 2012, people in England and Wales have been able to apply to have such historical convictions disregarded.Under the existing scheme – known as ‘Alan Turing’s Law’ – thousands of gay and bisexual men were granted automatic posthumous pardons over sexual acts that are no longer deemed criminal.However, campaigners have long argued it does not go far enough and that there is ‘so much more to be done’.Lord Cashman, who worked on the campaign alongside Tory peer Lord Lexden, said on Monday: ‘The UK did so much wrong – reputations and lives can finally be uplifted.’And I promise we will build consensus across political parties reinforcing the principle of equality. Equality reinforces the rights of each of us.
‘Difference makes our world interesting’: The teachers helping make schools safe for LGBT children
independent research by Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity, that found queer school pupils are twice as likely to be bullied and experience suicidal thoughts.The study further found that schools having positive messaging about being LGBT+ is linked to school pupils having better mental health and wellbeing – regardless of whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender or not.Nicola Collins, who currently teaches Year 1 at St Stephen’s CE Primary School in west London, marks an annual LGBT+ diversity week among other things.She told ‘As part of this week, we teach the children about how different families are made up including those with same-sex parents, and that everyone has an identity and this includes people who identify as gay, lesbian, transgender, non-binary and so on.’The 37-year-old has been awarded the charity’s Inclusive Teacher of the Year Award for her outstanding work raising awareness of the LGBT+ community.To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video‘Many of the children have fed back that they have learnt so much about how people can be different and that difference makes our world interesting,’ Nicola added.‘They also say that they feel more confident to stand up to those who may have prejudiced views as they have a better understanding of the LGBT+ community.’Also married to her wife with two children, Nicola’s work has a personal connection for her.‘As a gay teacher with children, I talk about my family as a workshop for each year group and share my own experiences of growing up gay and the challenges it brought,’ she added.‘Also how they, as the next generation, have the ability to change our world for