Japanese soccer player Shiho Shimoyamada comes out as gay

Congratulations Shiho! | Photo: SV Meppen

A Japanese soccer player, currently playing in the German league, has come out as gay.

Shiho Shimoyamada, 24, has also encouraged other LGBTI athletes to do the same ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The SV Meppen star, a team in the second tier of the German Bundesliga, spoke to Pride House Tokyo.

‘You will find a lot of company, absolutely,’ she said, in a message to closeted athletes.

‘Once you share your feelings with the company you keep, sports will become even more fun.’

Soccer player Shiho Shimoyamada comes out as gay

The 24-year-old athlete said her teammates helped her come to terms with her sexual identity.

‘They helped me to realize that I don’t have to change,’ she said.

‘And it’s [also] OK to stay with the team and love the person I love. I felt relieved’

She said her SV Meppen teammates were very understanding of LGBTI people.

‘They don’t perceive a LGBT player as special,’ Shimoyamada said.

‘I can play just as a soccer player here, and I feel comfortable in such a relationship.’

‘Let’s take a step forward together’ 

Shimoyamada also featured in a Pride House Tokyo video.

She said: ‘I somewhat knew in high school that I was not attracted to men.

‘It wasn’t until I met other soccer teammates who were not straight that I finally realized I could be who I was.

‘You may not see it now but you have many LGBTI friends around you right now.’

‘For those struggling, let’s take a step forward together.’

Japan is likely to win a medal at the 2020 Olympics.

Their best Olympics showing was in London 2012, in which they won a silver medal in the women’s soccer.

A record 56 out LGBT athletes competed at the 2016 Rio Games.

See also

Soccer star kicked out of teams across Cameroon because she is a lesbian

Meet the 14 openly gay or bisexual soccer stars at the Women’s World Cup

This Christian soccer player came out as bisexual and here’s what happened

Author: Joe Morgan

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British activist reveals straight couple raped her for being bisexual

Sali Owens, bisexual activist, reveals horrifying details of her rape | Photo: Screenshot/BBC

A British activist has said a straight couple raped her for being bisexual.

Sali Owen, a bi rights activist from Manchester, says she was assaulted and raped by a man and a woman.

Her story features in the Radio 1 Newsbeat documentary Battling to be Bi.

The film also follows a campaign for a British Pride event aimed at bisexual people.

Bi activist raped by straight couple

‘It went on for hours and hours,’ Owen said.

‘There’s a lot of it I don’t remember but I remember the pain.’

Many of Owen’s memories of the alleged sexual assault took weeks to come back to her.

‘They were just giving me loads to drink and I was drinking water because I’d had enough,’ she said.

‘But I kept finding vodka in front of me, not water.’

In the lead-up to the attack, the couple repeatedly asked questions about her sexuality. This didn’t seem unusual at first due to her work as a bi rights activist.

‘When I stood up to go to bed they stood up as well and they grabbed me and that’s when it started,’ she said.

Owen said she was ‘smacked so hard around the head that everything went white’.

Feeling unable to report it to the police

She believes she was there for six hours in total.

‘The only reason they let me out in the end was because they had work to do,’ she said.

‘So I went home, then passed out for a bit, and when I woke up I went to A&E.’

Owen didn’t even realize at first she had been raped. And despite the violence, she didn’t go to the police because she felt it wouldn’t be successful in court.

Only around 2% of reported rapes in England and Wales result in conviction.

She said: ‘Although I fully support people who do go to the police about sexual violence… bi women are seen as greedy, slutty, asking for it.

‘So if I’d even had got as far as it having made it to court – which wouldn’t happen anyway because it would’ve been dropped long before that – there’s no way I’d win.’

Bi women are more likely to have experienced rape or sexual assault in their lifetime compared to straight or gay women.

The United Nations Human Rights Council says gay and bi women are ‘especially at risk’ of being victims of sexual violence.

Looking for support? 

If you want more information about rape, sexual assault or any of the issues in this article you may want to try some of these organizations:

Globally we have also compiled a list of LGBTI friendly organizations you may wish to seek help from.

Author: Joe Morgan

The post British activist reveals straight couple raped her for being bisexual appeared first on Gay Star News.

Two shot outside popular Palm Springs gay club Toucans Tiki Lounge

A man allegedly fired rounds leaving two men injured at a popular LGBTI club in Palm Springs, California.

A night at the desert resort city club, Toucans Tiki Lounge ended with two injured following an altercation between two people inside of the club.

In the early hours of 24 March, a man shot two people inside and outside the club.

What happened?

According to witnesses, an altercation inside the club ended with bouncers escorting two people outside.

However, what occurred between the two men being escorted and the shootings inside and outside the premises is unknown.

Moreover, footage posted onto Twitter shows patrons hiding under bar stools and tables and people shouting ‘stay down.’

But a local hospital treated the victims. Both are believed to be in a stable condition.

Furthermore, authorities are allegedly looking for a male suspect in his 20s or 30s.

LGBTI rights in California

But the incident comes as a shock considering California’s positive record with LGBTI rights.

The US state was the first to legalize domestic partnerships between same-sex couples.

In fact, in another first, the state is on track to becoming the first state to limit intersex surgery on children.

See also

Californian school protested by Bastille-singing Westboro Baptist Church

California sleepaway camp to introduce all-gender bunks this summer

Thousands of gay jumbo squid mating off the coast of California

Author: Josh Milton

The post Two shot outside popular Palm Springs gay club Toucans Tiki Lounge appeared first on Gay Star News.