Category Archives: England

>Blind Dates

>Blind dates. Ugh. I went on a blind date once and.It.Was.A.Nightmare.

My date was a woman. Oy! Of course, I was in high school at the time, and not at all out, so naturally I would get set up with a woman. And we went to a drive-in movie. Oy!  

Again. Me. A homo. On a blind date. With a woman. At a drive-in.


Sarah and George

 But my sad little one-time shot at blind dating doesn’t even compare with Sarah Kemp and George Bentley’s blind date. Their date would definitely fall into the worst category, and, well, yes, the best category.

Sarah Kemp and George Bentley met through an Internet dating service. She was a cleaner living in Edinburgh, Scotland, and he was a London-based builder. After their initial “meet” on last fall, they began writing back and forth, finally deciding to “bite the bullet” and meet in person.

Sarah Kemp says she would never have agreed to a blind date, but she and George “hit it off from the beginning, and our relationship blossomed as we emailed each other more and more often.”

Sounds lovely, but wait.

As they met over drinks in a pub, and began to talk they both soon realized that this blind date was not going to lead to any kind of romance. They weren’t suited as lovers because they are, and here you have it, brother and sister.

I know!

After about an hour of that awful first date chat, at Bentley’s favorite pub, the White Horse, Bentley’s favorite the two realized they were actually siblings.

Sarah Kemp: “To meet your long-lost brother, in a bar, after over 30 years would be something by itself, [b]ut to meet him in those circumstances — on a date, for crying out loud — really is something else. We obviously had far more in common than first thought.”

Sarah Kemp and George Bentley grew up together until their parents, Felicity and David Bentley, divorced in 1975. Kemp moved with her mother to Edinburgh, while Bentley stayed with his father. Sarah Bentley married in 1989, only to divorce a year later, but kept the name Kemp, making George’s search for his sister all the more difficult.

George Bentley: “I had absolutely no idea where she was. I was also searching for Sarah Bentleys, rather than Sarah Kemps, as I obviously didn’t know she married. After a while, I think both Sarah and I gave up looking.”

Until a blind dating Internet site hooked them up.


But, in the end, quite, satisfying.




Filed under England, George bentley, Siblings

>Steve Davies Comes Out


Thanks to Will for giving me
a link to the correct Steve Davies!
The first picture was wrong.

Steve Davies, an English wicketkeeper–and I have no idea what that means, though it sounds mildly erotic–has come out as a gay man, the country’s first top cricketer to do so–oh, so wicketkeeper has to do with cricket, which is a sport, I think.

Steve Davies: “I’m comfortable with who I am and happy to say who I am in public. To speak out is a massive relief for me, but if I can just help one person to deal with their sexuality then that’s all I care about. Gareth Thomas’s story helped me. It showed me it can be done. He was brave enough to stand up and say who he was. If I can help anyone else like he helped me, that would be great.” 

Davies said he came out to close friends and family when he was nineteen, but decided only to come out to his teammates recently; he told coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss who then passed on the news to the squad.

Now twenty-four, Davies said he was nervous about coming out to his team, but Andy Flower’s reaction–he said he is 100% supportive–showed him that it was the right thing to do as “I felt I couldn’t live like this any more. I didn’t enjoy going on tour too much because of the secret…[m]y sexuality is an essential part of who I am, so I wanted the boys to know.”

He also said he hopes cricket supporters will back his decision, because at “the end of my career I want to be remembered as a good cricketer, not just as a gay cricketer.”

Welcome out, Steve.

Your copy of the Gay Agenda, as well as a Toaster Oven, are on the way.



Filed under Athlete, Coming Out, England, Steve Davies

>Ryanair Wants You To Stand Up For Air Travel

>I’ve heard of standing-room only, and I’ve heard of flying stand-by, but flying standing up?
English cheapie airline, Ryanair, plans to sell £5 tickets–roughly $7.50 American–for standing-room only flights.

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, also announced new proposals that will include charging customers to use the loo. He said that charging customers £1 to use the facilities will encourage travellers on one hour flights to use airport bathrooms instead of airplane bathrooms.
In addition to the coin-operated bathrooms, O’Leary added: “The other change we’ve been looking at is taking out the last 10 rows of seats so we will have 15 rows of seats and the equivalent of 10 rows of standing area.”
This “standing” area with “vertical seats” will be introduced at the back of its fleet of 250 planes, and a Ryanair spokesman has said that Boeing has already been consulted over refitting the fleet with “vertical seats” which would allow passengers to be strapped in while standing up, which would cost between £4 and £8 per person.
However, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority–the English FAA–has said the plans would struggle to meet safety requirements: “It’s aviation law that people have to have a seat-belt on from take-off and landing so they would have to be in a seat. I don’t know how Mr O’Leary would get around that one. During turbulence passengers also have to have a seat-belt on.”

I think I’ll pass on the standing up and flying.


Filed under Airplane, England, Funny, Michael O'Leary, Ryanair

>Oscar Gets New Feet

>This just in, from Round-The-Way-Gay, and ISBL correspondent, Neal:

A cat named Oscar, whose back feet were severed by a combine harvester–I know……..YEEOW!–has been given two prosthetic limbs in a pioneering operation by Noel Fitzpatrick, a British veterinarian. The new feet are custom-made implants that “peg” the ankle to the foot, and are bioengineered to mimic the way deer antler bone grows through the skin.
Oscar was referred to Fitzpatrick by his local vet in Jersey, following the accident last October when Oscar was struck by the combine harvester whilst dozing in the sun.
The prosthetic pegs, called intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics [ITAPS] were developed by a team from University College London led by Professor Gordon Blunn and his team, who worked in partnership with Fitzpatrick to develop these weight-bearing implants.

Mr Fitzpatrick explained: “The real revolution with Oscar is [that] we have put a piece of metal and a flange into which skin grows into an extremely tight bone…[and]…We have managed to get the bone and skin to grow into the implant and we have developed an ‘exoprosthesis’ that allows this implant to work as a see-saw on the bottom of an animal’s limbs to give him effectively normal gait.”
You go Oscar!
And watch him go!
But stay away from naps in the fields and combines.


Filed under England, Veterinarians

>Is He Import-able?


In November we elected a man who called himself our “fierce advocate,” an ally for the LGBT community, although he hasn’t really proven himself to be quite so fierce in his first year-plus in office. I will cut him some slack because of the economy and health care and the environment, but a part of me still harbors some resentment over his failed promises to our community.

And, I get a tad more annoyed when I read about British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who, with his decidedly pro-LGBT stance, both in the UK and around the world, seems, by a wide margin, to truly be a fierce ally to lesbians and gays. Not to mention his wife, Sarah’s, support of our issues.

Brown was one of the first world leaders to, not only acknowledge, but speak out against, the Ugandan “Kill The Gays” bills; he even took his case directly to President Obama. And his missus regularly walks in Britain’s LGBT Pride parade. We don’t see that kind of out front support of the gay community by our politicians, and their spouses, in this country.

And the Browns continue their support this month with their second annual reception, held at Number 10 Downing Street, their official residence, to celebrate LGBT History Month. It was during that reception that Brown spoke directly to several people and groups about his stance on LGBT rights; to gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, serving openly in the British military, he said:

“You are the pride of our country and we thank you very much. We know this debate continues in America today. I would say to people who still favour ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’, look at our experience in Britain.”

Prime Minister Brown also spoke about hate crimes, and talked to James Parks, who was gay-bashed in Liverpool last year, saying:

“We all went into shock and morning as a spate of homophobic and transphobic attacks happened and as James Parks was hospitalised our thoughts were with him.”

And then he introduced James Parks to the crowd, along with Parks’ newly-wed civil partner, Tom.

At the end of his speech, Brown closed, by saying:

“I will not give up on the fight for justice until justice is achieved.”

We’ve heard that from some of our leaders. Heard it, but never seen action, never seen much recognition, never seen a decided stance on DADT. It would be nice if our politicians would take a page from Brown’s book.

Failing that, I wonder if we could import Gordon Brown and have him run for president.


Filed under DADT, England, Gordon Brown, Hate Crime, LGBT, LGBT Rights, Uncategorized

>End It…….It’ll Be Okay


Across the pond they are far more enlightened, more open-minded, more positive-thinking that we are, here in the New World.

Soldier magazine, the British Army’s official publication, has Trooper James Wharton–-an openly gay member of the British military–on its cover. He’s wearing his dress uniform, complete with Iraq medal, next to the headline “Pride”. It’s a first for the magazine, and it’s been some years in the making.

Pride, indeed.

It’s been ten years since the UK lifted it’s own ban on gays in the military, and they are finally comfortable with the “new” soldiers. British servicemen and women now march openly at Gay Pride in uniform, all three services have become Stonewall diversity champions and a few months ago the head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt made history when he became the first army chief to address an LGBT conference.

“Respect for others is not an optional extra,” he said. Indeed.

More interesting to note, is that, according to the article, senior members of the British military are quietly advising senior American officers on how America can change, should change, DADT.

Learn from their example. It can be done. It should be done. it will be done.


Filed under DADT, Discrimination, England

>It’s A Panic

>A gay panic. It’s all the, well, for lack of a better word, rage these days. Men kill other men because of a pat on the ass. But what about the panic that arises in a man when he finds out his wife has left him for another woman? What does he do with his rage?

A London man has been sentenced to nine years in prison, after which he will be deported, after an “enraged” and “frenzied” attack on his ex-wife, after she told him she thought she was a lesbian.

Adel Hdili, originally from Tunisia, left his estranged wife, Gail Hdili, blind in one eye and scarred after attacking her repeatedly with a knife at a bus stop last January. Mrs Hdili had recently left her husband after confessing that she thought she was a lesbian and had moved in with a woman she had befriended online.

The attack took place at a bus stop outside the woman’s home after Hdili traced his estranged wife there using the address she had listed on her eBay account. He waited for her outside the house and followed her to the bus stop before attacking her, even though their five-year-old son was present. The boy screamed at his father to stop the attack, and Hdili was eventually restrained by witnesses.

Hdili pleaded guilty to wounding with intent after originally being charged with attempted murder. His lesser plea was accepted by the court.

Wounding with intent? His rage suggests something far more sinister.


Filed under England, Gay Panic, Hate Crime, Homophobia