IMPACT Wrestling today released its first-ever Pride shirt – with the IMPACT logo emblazed in the rainbow colors, and available in four different shirt colors – to coincide with Pride Month.
The shirts are available at impactwrestling.com and a portion of all Pride shirt sales will be donated to the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA), an international sports organization dedicated to providing opportunity and access for the LGBT community to participate in organized softball competition in safe environments.
There are more than 17,000 players from 48 leagues across North America that are part of NAGAAA, and NAGAAA runs the annual Gay Softball World Series, which will be held this summer in Dallas.
IMPACT Wrestling and NAGAAA formally announced a partnership earlier this year and softball players from various NAGAAA cities have been attending every IMPACT show, including in Orlando, Cincinnati, Louisville, Dallas and elsewhere.
IMPACT Wrestling Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore said: “Representation and inclusion are very important to IMPACT, both on screen and off. IMPACT Wrestling is excited to celebrate Pride Month with our partners at NAGAAA.”
Scott Lehman, Partnership Director for NAGAAA, said: “NAGAAA is excited to partner with IMPACT and proud to be part of its Pride Month programs. Many of our 17,000 players across the U.S. and Canada are wrestling fans. IMPACT’s LGBT initiatives are inspiring and applauded by NAGAAA.”
Dom Smith catches up with Alex Liu to talk about his ‘A Sexplanation’ documentary that examines how sex is taught in American schools, and more…
To right the wrongs of his all-American sex education, 36-year-old health reporter Alex Liu goes on a quest to uncover naked truths and hard facts—no matter how awkward it gets.
From neuroscience labs to church pews, the film features provocative conversations with psychologists, sex researchers—and even a Jesuit priest. With humor and grit, Alex takes audiences on a playful, heartfelt journey from a shame-filled past to a happier, healthier, sexier future.
Like many Americans in the 90s, the adults in Alex’s life taught him that abstinence made him good. These tactics worked to suppress his sexuality—all the more because he was gay. But ultimately, years of repression disconnected him from his body, his desires, and his family. Now in his 30s, Alex still hasn’t outgrown these hang-ups. The fearmongering from school, media, and religion continues to permeate throughout his life—in both big ways and small. Fed up, Alex decides it’s time to turn years of fear and loathing into something positive and humorous.
A Sexplanation follows his pursuit of shame-free pleasure and call for comprehensive sex education. Along the way, he’s surprised to discover it’s never too late to have “The Talk”—even with the parents he’s kept at a distance.
Dom Smith talks to D3T’s Head of Engineering Phil Owen about the workplace culture, and what developments are being made to support diversity and inclusion.
“Success to me, is creating something that makes other people happy,” says Phil, when reflecting on how he defines success in the video game industry. “You can look at sales and profit, but from my point of view, it’s about making people happy, and the same goes for my ‘out of work time’.”
How does Phil work to make himself happy then? “You’ve got to surround yourself with good people, who are like-minded. It’s also about making the most of any opportunity you get.”
In terms of the opportunities that he had when breaking in to the games industry, Phil reflects on how getting work has changed since the start of his career in the early 90s: “I was super lucky when I got into the industry, my journey was not standard in any way. I taught myself to program during the early stages of home computers. I was really interested in games then, and I wanted to start making them.”
Phil went away to university without an idea of how to get into the games industry, but (as luck would have it) as he was a “good golfer”, he won a lot of competitions, and “by chance” one competition, he was paired with someone who already worked in the industry: “We got talking about games, and what I was doing at uni, as well as the areas I was interested in. He offered me work for 50 quid a week, and I said, ‘Yeah, of course!’ and that’s how I got in.”
Phil understands that for students and graduates now, getting into the games industry is extremely hard, and is realistic when it comes to taking advantage of chances: “Once you’ve got your foot in the door, you have to grab that opportunity with both hands, and don’t let go.”
When discussing what types of things he’d like to see from any student, or person getting involved in gaming, he stresses the importance of a good portfolio: “I want to see a passion for making games, and if you’re on a degree course, not just saying, ‘here’s the work I did at uni’, I want to see other work as well. I like to see enthusiasm, and passion. Not only in games, but an interest in us [at D3T].”
This all adds up to a key point that Phil makes around the importance of “being yourself” when meeting him, or going for interviews: “Don’t pretend to be someone that you think I want to see, because a massive part of working in a games studio is contributing to culture, and environment. It is very important that you are good at what you do, and understand the culture and environment of creative people.” Phil continues on, saying that if someone comes in, ideally they will have researched D3T, the games that they’ve made and who the team members are, as it will only help a person’s chances of getting work.
Tracking his own development from a junior developer to a Head of Department, Phil comments that he’s learned a lot during his progression: “One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was how to delegate, and how to get the best out of a team. That’s a difficult skill, and takes time to learn.”
Reflecting on his biggest challenge, Phil looks to Lego City when he worked at Traveller’s Tales (TT Games), and how hard it was creating an open-world area like that: “We were able to solve some significant problems and fill the world with life.” As lead programmer, Phil is most proud of that game: “It’s the game I look back on most fondly because we solved so many problems as best we could.”
Moving on to discuss the importance of location in the gaming industry and whether it matters at all, Phil says that the North West has been a “hot bed” for a long time. “My whole career has been in the North West, I haven’t moved anywhere else. I’ve had chance to go to America and Australia, I stayed where my family was and where I like to work. What matters is what games you want to work on, and how creative you want to be.”
Moving on to examine how the games industry has changed to embrace accessibility and diversity over the last few years, Phil says: “The thing that I always notice is how fast and quick the games industry adapts and moves, in all areas. We push these things forward. Society has changed for the better in terms of mental health and understanding that as well as accessibility and gender diversity. [The games industry] is a very welcoming place.”
In terms of D3T and its ethos when it comes to supporting creative and driven staff, Phil says simply and proudly, “we look after each other”, he continues: “We help, and we form ideas. We create, and we want to do the best for each other. D3T believes in a sense of belonging. We do so much to bring everyone together as much as we possibly can. We work hard, and love what we do.”
For more information visit: https://d3tltd.com/
Listen to, or watch the full chat below on Wobbling About and Rocking Out:
W] What is your own experience of neurodiversity?
Before joining FindCenter, I had been editing and publishing books for over 30 years, with a specialty in books on how to manage the human experience. Along the way, I published books on managing anxiety and depression and ADHD, on being bipolar, on obsessive-compulsive thinking, on trauma, on learning differences, etc. I also had always been told I was “a little weird” in that I’m a kind of artsy person with a strong current of tech geek. Along the way I began to suspect that I wasn’t exactly neurotypical. My child more obviously diverges from the norm and we had some very, very painful experiences as a family until we all recognized that she wasn’t neurotypical. Probably about 20 years ago, I started reading about the autism spectrum and have come to a much fuller understanding of neurodiversity through fabulous books like Steve Silberman’s NeuroTribes. Once you understand that so much of the way we learn and relate is hardwired in our brains, and that there’s such a wide spectrum of brain styles, everything begins to make more sense!
W] What experiences led to the creation of FindCenter?
FindCenter was created by a small team of good-hearted humans with backgrounds in tech (our CEO, Neal Goldman, was the visionary founder of a few other highly successful technology companies that aggregate data in uniquely usable ways and holds numerous patents), humanitarian causes, consciousness and religious studies, and book publishing. We had each experienced an awakening of our hearts through difficult life situations and shared a desire to help others through similar passages. As a person steeped in wisdom teachings for much of my career, I brought a deep library of the ‘who and what’ of what can be most helpful to people who are trying to develop a deeper understanding of life. And a greater capacity to handle emotional complexity. With Neal’s tech genius and my knowledge base, we were able to create this powerful platform for healing and growth.
W] How do you want people to experience the site?
We are hoping that people will find fantastic information, of course, but also a sense of belonging, of being seen without judgment. Whatever your pain points might be, we hope you’ll find the right tools for your own healing. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to gaining inner peace, and we hope people will find the information and inspiration that’s best for them from the wide range of options.
We’re also planning changes to the site to support community. We hope to bring together people looking to find lasting contentment; we hope to connect them to each other by their own particular interests and discoveries. We also plan to involve practitioners of a range of wellness specialties (yoga, meditation, energy healing, Qigong, Chinese medicine, bodywork, etc.) in several ways. We hope they’ll use FindCenter to network with each other and also be able to reach wider audiences looking for their services.
W] What challenges come with building a site like this and providing it to people for free?
Ha. Many! For starters, a site like this is enormously expensive to engineer (a very sophisticated knowledge graph drives the web of connections between different pieces of content and requires that the site be built with exquisite precision) and requires the highest levels of engineering expertise. We’re also in largely uncharted waters in what we’re trying to do and at the scale we’re trying to do it and that brings both high risk and high adventure on a daily basis; and of course there’s the question of how to bring in some revenue to support our efforts. We are all firmly committed to keeping the site free to use and have revenue plans that do not create any obstacles to that. Our revenue plan is built on the idea of being generative for all and not extractive.
W] Can you talk about how you find the book editors that develop and curate the resources available on the site?
Absolutely. My own longtime career in personal growth-oriented book publishing gave me access to a wonderful talent pool of copyeditors, content editors, researchers, and other book pros with exactly the right sensibilities and skill for complex information management and content discernment, as well as a love of accurate data! I have to say, as hard as the work can be, the content team has been having so much fun building this site.
W] What are some of the future goals for FindCenter?
One goal for sure is to attract many, many thousands of wellness practitioners to the site. We are also planning some changes to the design so it appeals as much to the right brain as the left. In its beta version, we know, the site still looks a little too much like an index and doesn’t signal how rich the content is. We want people to more readily recognize that this site will help ease their emotional burdens, whatever they are. We all experience how hard it can be to be human. Maybe right now you’d like to raise your emotional intelligence because you’re finding yourself repeating certain patterns in relationships, but you’re also looking for good resources for a friend who feels shattered by an impending divorce. Next month your sister’s child is diagnosed as bipolar. Or you finally want to start that meditation practice or you’re curious about energy healing. There are resources galore on FindCenter for all of these. We also hope to build up our class roster so people can find courses to meet their interests: everything from breathwork to neurodiversity to near-death experiences or psychedelic therapies–in other words, the whole gamut of tools for managing life’s many pain points. Of course it’s not all about pain! We hope people will come to the site for inspiration, to awaken their sense of awe and wonder at how beautiful and extraordinary life can be. That feeling has to be built into the design as well.
W] How can people get involved?
For starters, people should come and check out the site–including our original podcast, Redefined with Zainab Salbi and our free classes introducing various healing approaches. If they like what they see, they can sign up for a free account and start receiving a weekly newsletter customized to their interests. By signing up, you also get access to one of the cooler features of the site: the ability to make collections of your favorite articles, videos, music, podcasts, etc., by topic or any other grouping. These collections can be stored on the site either to share with other users dealing with similar issues or for their own later use. They can also be shared on other social media. There are already some wonderful collections by other users–on everything from dealing with loneliness or overwhelm or negative body image to sound healing, mindful parenting, astrology, and psychedelic healing.
There’s so much to explore. I hope you’ll come check it out.
Anthony from The Anthony Podcast opens up about his thoughts on being an “inspiration” on YouTube, his personal motivations and so much more.
Anthony is a kind-hearted, and driven soul who is grateful for any and all support, and appreciates kind comments, like those he receives in this video!
For more visit Anthony on: https://www.youtube.com/c/AWTV1920