Thousands expected for Brighton's 25th Annual Pride Event 1st August 15

August 1, 2015 11:49 by PrideAngelAdmin
Some 160,000 people are expected to line the streets of Brighton and Hove for the 25th annual Pride event later, the organisers have said.

The parade, including dance troupes, drag queens and campaigning groups and other organisations such as Sussex Police, will start at Hove Lawns.

The colourful procession, starting at about 11:00 BST, will arrive in Preston Park a couple of hours later. Road closures will affect bus routes and other traffic in the area. In previous years, the parade has set off from Madeira Drive.

The LGBT parade, on the theme of Carnival of Diversity, will make its way from Hove Lawns, along King's Road before joining the previous route of West Street, North Street and London Road. Paul Kemp, the director of Pride Brighton, said: "It's a celebration and it brings in a lot of people from all over the world.

"Economically, it's very good for the city and brings in £3.5m. "Behind the celebrations it highlights LGBT campaigns all over the world. There's a long way to go globally to bring about equality." On Thursday, six people were injured in a stabbing at the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem.

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove and Portslade said: "Pride is many things to many people. There are people who are straight who have got families who go along to celebrate the diversity of our city."

Brighton DJ Fatboy Slim will be playing in the Wild Fruit dance tent in Preston Park, and the cabaret tent will be hosted by Lola Lasagne.

Other acts appearing include The Human League, Ruby Rose and Ella Henderson.

Article: 1st August 2015 www.bbc.co.uk

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Testimonial from a new Dad 'Thank you Pride Angel'

July 29, 2015 21:21 by PrideAngelAdmin
Dear Pride Angel,

I have been wanting to write for a long time but finally I have taken the time to do it. Thanks to this website I am now a dad. Ethan was born 17 July 2014. He lives with his two amazing mums Jane and Sarah. I can't believe how lucky we are. We feel so blessed! Legally they are the parents and Ethan is very lucky having the two best mums in the world! Ethan will always know that I am the dad and will call me dad. I think it's important for all children to know where they come from. That was what I wanted from the day I posted my initial profile here on Pride Angel and I was lucky to find Jane and Sarah who wanted the same as me.

I did find another couple on Pride Angel before Jane and Sarah and we tried 11 times to get pregnant but it didn't work out. It was a hard decision to tell them I didn't think it would work. I almost gave up becoming a dad but my paternal instincts were so strong so I tried to find another lesbian couple through Pride Angel. I couldn't believe my luck when I heard from Sarah and Jane- that lived just 10 minutes walk away! We met up many times, we had to build a lot of trust and shared our values and lives. After a while Jane and Sarah trusted me, and I trusted them that they wouldn't cut me off after Ethan was born. I think we tried the artificial insemination at their home 4 times before Ethan was conceived. The following 9 months felt like 9 years, we were so excited.

Realizing I was gay at 15 years old, I never thought I was going to be a dad. So to see Sarah pregnant knowing that another human being was inside her, with half of my DNA felt both amazing and surreal. Towards the end I truly realized the magnitude of what Jane, Sarah and I had done- creating a child! Many thoughts went through my head, were we selfish putting this child into a world that wasn't 'normal'? Was our child going to be bullied? Were we playing God creating babies artificially? Now looking back all those questions seem silly but right there and then, that was what I thought about. When I saw the photo of a new born Ethan and the happy face of his two mums, I felt a sense of piece, my life felt so accomplished. This was what I wanted for such a long time; to help a lesbian couple having a family and somehow passing on my own legacy. It's hard to explain with words how happy I was. Ethan is the most amazing little kid I have ever met, he's so sociable and confident. It shows what an amazing job Jane and Sarah are doing, they give him so much love. Ethan is also surrounded by their amazing family and friends making him feel even more loved.

I see Ethan about every two to three weeks, sometimes more, sometimes less. But only when it feels natural for all of us. There's no pressure. Jane and Sarah have become my two soul mates, they know everything about me. I sometimes come and tell them all my love or family problems and they always listen, they are amazing people. I'm so lucky. And I guess they are lucky too but foremost, Ethan is lucky to come in to this world with so much love. And if it wasn't for your website, he wouldn't be here today. So a huge thank you from Jane, Sarah, Ethan and I.

Kind regards, Andrew

PS. The first couple that I met through Pride Angel was in the end also lucky to have a baby called Jude. They had to do it a bit more complicated with the help of a clinic, they took an egg from one of the mums and planted it into the other mum that didn't have any eggs. A friend of theirs is the donor. So they also had a happy ending and we are all so grateful for each other. maybe one day Ethan and Jake can play together.

Article: 26th July 2015 by Andrew - excited new dad Read more about finding a sperm donor or co-parent at www.prideangel.com

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Donor conceived man wants to change his birth certificate

July 26, 2015 22:46 by PrideAngelAdmin
An Adelaide man, who was conceived with anonymous donor sperm, believes the "donor-conceived community is perhaps the last group of disenfranchised people" after a court ruled he cannot change his birth certificate.

Damien Adams, 40, who wanted to have his father's name changed to "unknown" on his birth certificate, said the laws preventing the change were discriminatory and should be reviewed.

Mr Adams does not know who his biological father is and wants his birth certificate to be as honest as possible.

"So it wasn't just for me, it was also for my children and my descendants. So if anybody ever conducted genealogy in the future, that they wouldn't be led down the wrong path," Mr Adams said.

"So it's not about anything untoward, my dad who raised me who I love very much; it's just a matter of having something that is truthful and accurate."

Earlier this year a magistrate ruled she did not have the authority to make the change.

"I don't obviously hold anything against the magistrate; she can only do what she's entitled to do by law, but I find that it's highly discriminatory that everybody else in South Australian society is allowed to rebut paternity except donor conceived people."

The problem is a law in South Australia deems the husband of a woman who received the treatment as the legal father.

Mr Adams has conceded he has limited options left open to pursue the case.

"One is that I can try and appeal and take my case to a higher court, to see if they have the power to do what I am seeking. Although that is obviously going to be very cost prohibitive. Or the only other option is to try and seek a change in the legislation.

"I think that law is very anachronistic; it's part of the bygone era.

"When it was originally set up so that the man who was the husband of the wife or the partner couldn't shirk any responsibilities later on if he decided he didn't want anything to do with the child.

"But particularly as an adult myself of 40 years of age, there is none of that sort of welfare issue to be dealt with.

"It's a matter of not hiding or concealing the truth, because at the moment we basically enshrined deception into the law."

Mr Adams said governments needed to be doing more to address the problem.

Read more...

'This begs the question whether there should be a change in the law, to allow the ability to add the sperm donor or egg donor details as well as legal parents details. Or in the case of co-parenting, the ability to add three legal parents to the birth certificate, for example the two mums along with the biological father?' Pride Angel

Article: 20th July 2015 www.mobile.abc.net.au

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Co-parenting journey: Our beautiful baby arrives

July 20, 2015 22:19 by PrideAngelAdmin
co-parenting baby Parenthood is… an all-consuming love-filled black hole of the life you once had

So I’ve crawled out from under my eventual baby for five minutes. And I’ve managed to do it without leaving my boob in her mouth so the respite won’t last long. I sit here with tense hunched shoulders waiting for her hunger cry as my partner stands guard over our sleeping babe. The less said about my labour the better. Suffice to say it did involve most of the interventions that modern medicine has to offer as my little sweatheart’s hands were up by her head making passage into this world a little challenging. We all got through it in one piece and she is a very healthy little girl, still with her hands stubbornly up by her head most of the time and boy is she strong.

I have formed many views about the treatment of pregnant and post-natal women and believe me, they are extreme. In a nutshell it is all rather barbaric at times and I can’t believe that any other group of people requiring medical attention due to a known condition would be expected to put up with so much pain, a smattering of avoidable mistakes and then be sent home still anaemic, mildly incontinent, unable to sit down or go to the toilet and with the scantest set of instructions. Follow up midwife visits have proved a lifeline but at one out of the three home visits I was meant to get, I am one of the lucky ones in my area. After that I was asked to travel two miles to a children’s centre and I’m sure it was that bus that gave my poor baby her first cold at a delicate two weeks old.

On the plus side the dedication, knowledge, experience and support of the midwives has been really touching. And guess what, they even seem to CARE!!?? Every midwife we had contact with throughout the entire journey came to visit once she was born. The Maternity Day Unit was a godsend and haven during our days of post-due date waiting. It was the one place we could turn whilst drifting on paper between the GP you rarely see and the nameless consultant in charge of your pregnancy that you’ve never even seen. The super-gentle cervical sweeps administered by those amazing midwives made it possible to avoid induction and I’ll be eternally grateful for that. They never made me feel like I shouldn’t be there asking for help and they went above and beyond the call of duty to care for me and for the baby in the way that I wanted. Even the Birthcentre midwife that sent us away with no pain relief and then made us ‘wait another hour’ throughout my night of contractions came to say hi and I realised, in a strange way, that she was trying to do us a favour.

Now our daughter is four weeks old she is really blossoming into an alert, thoughtful and determined mini-me. We’re starting to get something back after the initial weeks of feeding anxiety, general anxiety, endless nappies and loss of our former lives – oh, to go to the pub on a warm summer’s day for a care free pint – those were the days! To any would-be or expectant parents: do make the most of your remaining independence I’ve been stuck in the same armchair watching more Come Dine with Me and Homes Under the Hammer then I’d ever care for even in my wildest ‘duvet day’ fantasies of my former working life.

She listens when we sing to her; she spends periods of the day awake and looking round entertaining herself but NOT CRYING (OMG!); she looks up and smiles at us from the apocalyptic and multi-coloured scene of her changing station; she notices changes in light from room to room and from inside to out; she pulls through for us at the eleventh hour and does that poo/feed/sleep just at the right moment to enable us to get to an appointment or occasional social engagement; and she gives off an air of superiority and intelligence in the company of the legions of baby boys born at the same time as her (8/2 in our antenatal class alone – a pattern repeated across the south east from what I’ve heard!).* *Heh heh, not so unusual, women have been doing this since time immemorial I think it is the feminine ‘je ne sais quoi’ that we all know and love – I knew I wanted a girl!

The post-natal hormones are quite something; I’d like to say I’ve laughed and cried but it’s mostly been tears. And I mean proper meltdowns. Arguments with parents and partner, crying sessions in public over whether to attempt to eat in a restaurant or not – by now you may be able to taste the anxiety-tang, ‘what am I going to do if she wakes up screaming and disturbs the whole restaurant?’. Maternal angst by the bucket load: She’s been asleep for hours, do you think she’s ok? Vs. Omg she won’t sleep…! She won’t breastfeed properly vs. ‘can you just give her a bottle, my nipples hurt.’

Most of all, my partner and I have spent the last four weeks falling in love with our daughter. This is really the crux of it. The why, wherefore, what and how. It isn’t so easy for some mums and it doesn’t always come naturally but we’ve been incredibly blessed with the most wonderful, beautiful being who we’ve been able to get to know her and nurture even through the tough times. We’re a little team now. And just thinking about it in a sustained way makes me cry with joy (and maternal angst). It’s like having your heart in the vice-like grip of her little hand…

But darn it, my time’s up, I hear her summoning cry.

Article: by Two excited mums - 20th July 2015

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Lucy Spraggan at L Fest 17-20th July 2015 Uttoxeter

July 17, 2015 10:05 by PrideAngelAdmin
L fest Lucy Spraggan who shot to fame on X Factor in 2013, will be headlining this year's L Fest festival.

L Fest is taking place this weekend 17-20th July 2015 - It's the UK's multi award winning lesbian festival with music, arts, comedy, workshops, cinema, sports and so much more...

L Fest is the multi award winning Lesbian Music, Arts and Comedy Festival. It is widely recognised as being the "number one" Lesbian festival in the UK and is now in it's fifth year. With a host of acts and activities to suit all tastes it has grown year on year.

L Fest has developed with passion and drive of Festival Director Cindy Edwards. Back in 2010 Cindy was running an event she co organised, Stanstock 7's women's football tournament for 400 women. She saw the amazing atmosphere she had helped to create at Stanstock and started L Fest; that back then was "a multi sports weekend for women who liked women"!

L Fest grew and grew as Cindy met more people wanting to get involved and believed in L Fest in the same way she did. Even before the first festival L Fest had grown from a multi sports event to a music, arts and comedy festival with its own cinema as SpringOut, The Rainbow Film Festival, Laughing Cows Comedy and many other individuals brought in their valuable contributions to the festival. Cindy is the only full time member of staff, helped by volunteers who are vital to programming different areas of the festival.

L Fest also has many stalls, and Pride Angel are pleased to be attending this year.

Article: by Pride Angel 17th July 2015

Click here to read more about L Fest

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Voluntary Register for parent-to-parent and ‘sibling’-to-‘sibling’ contact and for donors willing to be identified

July 14, 2015 10:44 by PrideAngelAdmin
donor registry As a parent, have you ever wished for contact with parents who have used the same donor? Or for your children to grow up knowing their half-siblings? As a donor, do you have any interest in contact with the parents of the children conceived with your sperm or eggs? If so, please read on..........

Currently if a sperm, egg or embryo donor donates through a licensed UK clinic, then their details and those of any children conceived together with the details of the parents planning to raise that child are automatically kept on a national register by the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority). The only problem is that no-one can access identifiable information from that register except the ‘child’ and then not until they are 18. If the conception takes place outside of a UK licensed clinic, whether in the UK or overseas, then currently there is no official way of maintaining these details or making these details accessible to families with younger children.

Well, I’ve been meeting for some time with a group of people to try and get a Voluntary Register off the ground here in the UK. It will be hosted by the Donor Conception Network (DCN) but run separately. It will be open to both DCN members and non members and will operate to strict confidentiality rules. The group are still working on the technical details, but it is clear that there will need to be a charge for the service – perhaps a joining fee, an annual registration fee and/or a lifetime membership fee.

The group would be really interested to hear your views and suggestions. Would you be interested in registering? If so would you be prepared to pay for the service and if so what sort of amount and should it be annual, lifetime or...? What do you think the register’s key features should be? What are the pros and cons? I’d really like to hear your feedback, so contact Erika at info@prideangel.com and don’t forget to say what your involvement with donor conception is......

Article: 14th July 2015 by Pride Angel

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Australia - Is the law failing children of anonymous donors?

July 11, 2015 20:28 by PrideAngelAdmin
Something happened over the weekend in Melbourne which has never happened anywhere before in the world. This is the future come home to roost. For decades, medicine has created miracle babies, while pretending that biology doesn't matter. The time for that pretence is over. Now it's time for the truth.

On Saturday, donor conceived offspring gathered from all around Australia – and some came from overseas – for the country's first National Conference for Donor Conceived People. (We call ourselves 'DC', which is a less socially awkward shorthand for 'people conceived using donor sperm or a donated egg'.) It's the first time in the world that such a gathering has been organised by DC people themselves. You know what that says? The experiment has grown up. Forty years after this industry really got going, we're no longer just donor conceived children. We are donor conceived children, teens, and adults, some with children of our own. Just like adoptees, we want to know who our biological families are, and what our medical history is. We want to know whose genes we have. We have a right to it.

This desire to know the truth shouldn't threaten anyone. We love the people who raised us. They are also our families, and for many of us, they are the most important families we will ever have. But it's utter nonsense to say that donor conceived people have a finite amount of love to give. Finding out you have a lost half-sister doesn't mean you love your other sisters less. And I've been told I could have up to 20 half-sisters to find.

I'm one of the many Australian donor conceived people created under an anonymous donation regime. Anonymous donation has now been outlawed in my state of NSW – but that only happened in 2010. At a national level, there are no laws regulating donor conception at all, and half the states and territories have no laws either. It's estimated that there are around 60,000 donor conceived people in Australia today. No one knows for sure.

Not all donor conceived people want to find their families straight away. Some may need counselling through the process. (Believe me, while living such a distressing mess, DC people already act as counsellors for each other.) Some may prefer written contact to start with. Some may only want family medical history. But the point is that, like adoptees, all DC people have a right to identity. We have the right to know who our family is, whether we choose to make contact or not.

We had no say in the circumstances of our conception, but governments, doctors, nurses and businesses did. They decided, without us, that we were not allowed to know our family. But our biological families are ours by birthright. That should, and must, be respected in law.

Article: www.dailylife.com.au 30th June 2015

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NHS national sperm bank recruits just five sperm donors

July 7, 2015 21:08 by PrideAngelAdmin
The first NHS sperm bank was set up last year in Birmingham to help recruit sperm donors and help with the national shortage. Unfortunately it has emerged that only five donors have passed the screening process since October last year.

Despite being inundated with calls when the NHS-funded was first set up, strict profiling and medical screening procedures mean that only around one in 20 potential donors are eventually accepted.

Demand for fertility treatment with donated sperm is rising steadily in the UK but fertility experts say a shortage of donors is particularly acute in the Muslim community and other ethnic and religious groups.

Birmingham was chosen as the site for the unit because of central location and large population as well as its diverse ethnic make-up. More than 100 men have been screened as possible donors but so far only about five have been cleared, according to leading figures.

Dr Sue Avery, Director of the Birmingham Women's Fertility Centre, who helped found the National Sperm Bank, said: “We have to see and screen an awful lot of people to ultimately recruit one donor.

“One of the of the bits of the learning curve we are going through is to make sure that what we are now doing is to look at more targeted publicity rather than a broad spectrum.”

She explained that many initial contacts are screened out because of personal factors including age and medical history before tests are run for genetic predisposition to certain conditions.

Even then only those with a significantly higher sperm count than average are deemed eligible because of the need to dilute the sample for freezing, which kills off some of the sperm.

“If you think about all of those hurdles then we get relatively few that we can move on to the donation process at the end of it,” she said She explained that the shortage of donors is felt most acutely among some minority groups including the Asian and Muslim communities. “People want sperm donors from the same cultural background and particularly the same religious background,” she said.

“We have a difficulty where we have people from a religious background where the religious teaching – depending on which teaching you accept – suggests that being a sperm donor or having donated sperm is outside of the religion.

“And yet these people still need donor sperm and often are under cultural pressure to have children.” But despite the challenges, the clinic's founder, Dr Laura Witjens said last week that she hoped the centre will have “solved the national crisis” within the next three to five years.

Dr Avery added: “I think we hope to achieve a situation where everyone here in the UK who wants donor sperm will have access to an appropriate donor.

“So there is an existing donor bank here, we are looking to add to that and by targeting recruitment try to relieve the situation of inequality where people from different backgrounds have greater or less difficulty.”

Article: 7th July 2015 Pride Angel

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Pride Angel Journey - Milkies

July 3, 2015 22:39 by PrideAngelAdmin
It started when she was eighteen hours old. And ended when she was thirty hours old: a twelve-hour milky marathon. When I say it was just the start of things to come, I don’t mean it was often as extreme as that, but rather, Luna was always very keen for her milk – breastmilk that is – she never took to a bottle, even of expressed. In those early days when she woke or fussed and fretted, it was all about working out what she wanted…and we worked out gradually that all she really wanted was ‘milky’. So, feeling lucky with our smooth start to breastfeeding and a baby who wanted little else, I settled down with a book while she fed for hours and hours and hours…

Luna is two now – almost 26 months. She’s fast asleep next to me as I type; half an hour ago, I fed her to sleep. In place of the breasts I once had, I have ‘milkies’: the left one is (apparently) green and the right one purple. And these are some of the most common phrases I hear: “Milkies, want milkies.” “Two out. Get two out.” “Change sides. Want other side. Best turn around.”

It seems unthinkable that she will ever want to stop breastfeeding, which is a perturbing thought – but also, of course, not true; friends with older children assure me that it will just gradually not be her favourite thing any more, and then just not be her thing at all, by which point of course she might be around three or four years old.

So what is the huge advantage lesbian parents have over heterosexual parents? An extra pair of breasts and thus, potentially, a second lactating parent. Of course lactation isn’t essential for parenthood at all…but it is a very handy tool if you happen to have it.

It didn’t go down well with the nurse at my local GP practice last week when, asked how old the baby I as breastfeeding was, I answered, “well there’s my two-year-old and also my twelve-month-old – the biological child of my partner.” I’m not sure whether she disapproved of the LGBT family, the extended breastfeeding, or the combination. I don’t really care. I’m just glad that when one of our babies is a bit sleepy, or sad…or thirsty…or just wants mummy cuddles, there’s always plenty of milky to go around.

Article: by Lindsey, West Yorkshire 3rd July 2015

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Gay marriage legal across all US states

June 27, 2015 22:31 by PrideAngelAdmin
gay marriage The US Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States. It means the 14 states with bans on same-sex marriage will no longer be able to enforce them.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the plaintiffs asked "for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right." The ruling brings to an end more than a decade of bitter legal battles. Same-sex couples in several affected states including Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Texas rushed to wed on Friday.

However officials in other states, including Mississippi and Louisiana, said marriages had to wait until procedural issues were addressed.

President Barack Obama said the ruling was a "victory for America". "When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free " he said.

However, Christian conservatives condemned the decision. Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called it "an out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny".

And Kellie Fiedorek, a lawyer for an anti-gay marriage advocacy group, said the decision "ignored the voices of thousands of Americans".

Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, a state where marriages licences will now be issued to same-sex couples, said the justices "have imposed on the entire country their personal views on an issue that the Constitution and the Court's previous decisions reserve to the people of the states".

Loud cheers erupted outside the court after the ruling was announced, and there were tears, hugs, and cheers of "USA USA USA!".

A sea of rainbow flags overwhelmed the few anti-gay marriage activists who reacted in disbelief, and the demonstration seemed to turn into a street party.

Read more ...

Article: 27th June 2015 www.bbc.co.uk

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