lgbtqia-issues

As a final paper for my school I don’t want to write about something superficial, I want to change something for someone. So I’m writing about the lack or non existent reforestation of lgbtq+ youth in high schools, and middle schools. The paper will focus on trying pass a program either in the shape of having lessons teaching about gender/sexuality, having a GSA type club, or hopefully both. To get this in I need kids opinions on whether this would have helped or will help with either figuring themselves out or helping others or becoming a better ally, and I think we all know school is not exactly kind to lgbtq+ kids. When was the last time in health class did they mention same sex couples? When did they mention that ‘we’re going to do an activity splitting girls and boys but you can go to whichever side’? For me it was never until I got to high school and found our GSA which helped me greatly, but even then ours is underfunded, not acknowledged, and has to fight for the same things as other clubs. I imagine this is the case for a lot of other schools who want this or aren’t allowed, though it’s not every school I believe it’s enough. Through this I want to help kids realize that even if not all teachers talk about the lgbtq+ community it’s out there and it’s okay, because I honestly believe this could save a lot of kids. So I need your help, please take this survey and answer honestly. To take this survey ☮ click this link ☮ all you have to is log into whatever email you use for google and take it. Again thank you so much this honestly means the world to me!! Thank you again!! ♥ ♡

Tomorrow in the LGBTQ+ Student Resource Center: Union Room 211 at 7PM!  Come out for the first Ace Spectrum of the semester! Ace Spectrum is a discussion group that focuses on the experiences of people who fall anywhere on the asexual spectrum and/or the aromantic spectrum, and provides a forum in which people can share their experiences, learn from one another, and connect with a community. Ace Spectrum is a safe space for those who identify somewhere on the asexual and/or aromantic spectrum. This includes people anywhere on the ace spectrum, whether or not they are aromantic, as well as those who are aromantic but not on the ace spectrum.


This week we will be discussing asexual and aromantic erasure. All are welcome, but please be respectful of the space
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Hey, it’s cookie season! Guess what joke I’m always fucking sick of!

My experience in the Girl Scouts was not typical, and today they’re a very inclusive organization. When I was a scout my troop leader was really irresponsible, shamelessly displayed her favoritism for her daughter in troop activities, and was actually stealing cookie money from us (which we didn’t find out until years later). When I came out most of the other girls in my troop stopped talking to me and started talking about me - one even told the other girls that I’d made a really aggressive pass at her and scared her (as if).

So I’m always happy to donate to the girls selling cookies, but I also make a point of letting them know that I was a girl scout - this odd, gothy, un-feminine person in a punk band tee shirt sold the same cookies on the same cold March weekends. I do this, and tell them I was a scout for ten years, to let them know that there’s nothing wrong with being what they are, that they don’t have to be any one thing as grownups just because they were girl scouts as kids, because as inclusive as the Girl Scouts of America is I’m sure there are troops in my area that are being run by people like my old troop leader with closed minds on the subject of what a Girl Scout should be.

And then there’s that joke. That fucking joke. I think I heard it for the first time when I actually WAS a Brownie, too young to really know what it meant but old enough to know that I was having confusing feelings about my same-sex friends. And I kept hearing that joke at Camporees and from Boy Scouts and from grownups and people in high school who teased me for still being a Girl Scout at 17. That fucking joke is a huge part of the reason that I DIDN’T come out about liking girls - liking girls had to be a bad thing for a girl scout, otherwise people wouldn’t make jokes like that, right? I understand that groups that are primarily women have had homophobic jokes made about them forever, that convents, women’s rights groups, and summer camps all deal with the same thing, and it pisses me off. 

Let’s unpack that little one-liner for a second: in the very best light you could say the lesbian is approaching a group of women because she might be accepted by and attracted to them, but brownies are little girls. So why did the lesbian join the girl scouts? To rape children. That’s what that joke thinks of adult lesbians, and how it warns little girls to avoid them and avoid growing up to become them.

Yeah, thanks asshole joke tellers for letting me know as a small child that you think women who are attracted to other women are child rapists. At the very least you’ve provided me with a great litmus test for jerks.

By the way, you’re also an asshole (of course) if you tell misogynistic, racist, transphobic, and ableist jokes, but if you’re that type of person you’ve probably stopped reading by now to go be terrible to someone who seems like an easy target.

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(Pictures: screencaps from HPB’s FAQ webpage on Sexuality)

ALRIGHT FRIENDS

See the Health Promotion Board of Singapore put up this pretty fantastic FAQ webpage on Sexuality. It’s got some very good information on homosexuality and bisexuality, as well as gender identity, safe sex, HIV/AIDS, and so on. While it arguably needs improvement in some aspects, it is, as an FAQ page published and maintained by a public health statutory board, sensible and informative, especially for youths with many a burning question about sexuality. (You can view the page here: HPB - FAQs on Sexuality.)

HOWEVER

The people at homosexualityandscience (TW: Homophobia in link) decried this move by HPB, and have created a petition, entitled Review HPB’s “FAQ on Sexuality”, to ask the Ministry of Health, and the Minister for Health, Mr. Gan Kim Yong, to “conduct a thorough, non-biased, comprehensive review of the website’s information as it dangerously promotes homosexuality”.

I will leave the link to this horridly homophobic petition here for reference’s sake (Review HPB’s “FAQ on Sexuality” - TW: Homophobia in link), but I humbly request that you, the reader, do not sign it.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS?

In response to this petition, another petition, entitled Restore the HPB’s original “FAQ on Sexuality”, has been created, urging Mr. Gan to ignore homosexualityandscience’s “ridiculously misinformed and regretfully bigoted petition”.

To my friends on Tumblr, I ask this of you: please take a little bit of your time and sign this petition! It currently has only 1,004 signatures, compared to Review HPB’s “FAQ on Sexuality”, which has already garnered 1,581 signatures.

We can do this my friends! Thank you so much for your time and attention.

Once again, here is the link: Restore the HPB’s Original “FAQ on Sexuality” (http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/restore-the-hpbs-original-faq-on-sexuality.html).

(Please feel free to pass this on too.)

[EDIT 5th Feb 2014, 18:47 GMT+8: I just found out that, in fact, the FAQ on the HPB site right now isn’t even in its original form anymore - it originally contained links to various LGBT support helplines and organizations, which have been removed. Source of information: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/petitions-put-spotlight-on-health-promotion-board-s-faq-on-sexuality-040114018.html - however do skip the comments section as it contains A LOT of homophobia from commenters.]

The fact that fckh8 thinks that asexuals are just special snowflake posers makes me so so so sosososososo mad. 

If those idiots were actually interested in knowing why asexuality is not a fad, they could seriously just google it. Or look it up on wikipedia. Or even visit asexuality.org.

But no, instead of doing any vague amount of research, they decided to shit on us in the rudest way possible

And just when I thought they couldn’t get any worse. 

On November 21st, Prof. Edmond Chang gave a talk at Smith College to students, faculty, and staff from the Five Colleges that explored the possibilities of creating a queer game and playing a video game queerly.

The lecture engaged questions of embodiment, avatar customization, and confrontation in gaming environments in order to interrogate modes of  'algorithmic normativity.’

Below you’ll find tweets (collated from our Storify of the event) as well as more information on our 2014-2015 5CollDH Speaker Series, What Is At Stake?

Why can’t we ever get a gay, bi,trans, etc romance without at least one of the partners dying

I have read/watched a ton of yuri/yaoi manga/anime, watched many shows/movies with queer characters and one thing that rings true in a lot of them is that if you have a queer couple on the show one of the boyfriend/girlfriends(I fucking hate the word partner or any variation of it) has to go.  With The Legend of Korra we had a bi romance between two women where neither one died and they got their hard earned happily ever after.  However in many yuri manga I have read at the end you have one of the women dying and the survivor mourning their loss and never loving again.  I loved how Spartacus War of the Damned had Agron and Nasir both make it out (goat farmers bitches!) alive where in other series one if not both would have died.  I hope that by the time I am 30 (8 years,6 months, 6 days from now) we have a kids animated show/major studio film/live action tv show where the main character is either openly gay, disabled, of color, somewhere on the LGBTQIA spectrum such as trans, genderfluid, etc or all of the above to show future generations that being different is good and NORMAL.

why does their sexuality matter???” - common response to me reminding people that a certain celebrity is lgbtqia+

it matters bc we live in a world where heterosexuality is the societal default therefore it is so important to openly acknowledge and talk about queer celebrities in regards to their queerness. 

it matters bc we need to provide lgtbqia+ children and teens people they can relate to. the media has an obligation to represent all members of society. lgbtqia+ children and teens should never ever have to feel abnormal bc the people on their television screens do not mirror them in any way.

it matters bc heteronormativity and queer erasure are harmful and ignorant, othering everyone who is non cishet/gender conforming needs to stop, and it can only be stopped by acknowledging queer people in the media. 

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None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Publication Date: April 2015
Pages: 352
Goodreads Rating: 4.19 

Krissy is a popular, well-loved student, known for her prowess as a hurdler with a full scholarship already in place and a group of friends she’s known forever. The night of homecoming, when Krissy is elected homecoming queen with her boyfriend as king, everything feels perfect, and Krissy decides to spend the night with her boyfriend. But her first time is far from magical, and the pain tells Krissy that something is very, very wrong. After a visit to the doctor, Krissy is diagnosed as intersex and before Krissy can even come to terms with what the means, her secret is revealed to the school and her life begins to fall apart.

This is such an important book. Ever since I read the description months before its release, I was excited. The number of books dealing with LGBTQIA issues is fairly small, and I had never encountered a book about an intersex teen before. Krissy’s story is one of self-acceptance, gender roles, bullying, growth, and so much more. It deals with the fact that a large portion of our population doesn’t understand gender and sexuality that differs from what’s expected and how this effects youth such as Krissy, who more than anything needed support and kindness, not the cruelty of the uneducated. Through bullying, losing friends and her boyfriend, surgery, discovering support, and much more, Krissy begins to redefine herself and learn to love herself for who she is, no matter what her chromosomes say, and it’s wholly inspiring, meaningful, and powerful.

Krissy is such an empathetic character. She’s popular, well-loved, kind, thoughtful, and living a normal life until her world changes. Despite all that’s thrown at her, by the end of the novel, I was so proud to see how much growth and change Krissy has gone through. None of the Above also manages to be educational about intersex conditions, some treatment options, and support in a easy to understand manner that is neither boring nor overwhelming.

None of the Above is monumental for any teenager who has ever been declared intersex but it also is a gateway to better understanding and support for those who have never heard the term “intersex” before. I truly hope that many people read this book because it provides a lot of thought-provoking ideas such as gender identity and societal expectations. This is a powerful book that can do a lot of good and help a lot of people by spreading awareness and education and I’m ecstatic to find it was just as good as I hoped.

Rating: ★★★★★
5.00 stars

Purchase via Book Depository

The biggest problem is that 90% of people who want you to consider them “allies” aren’t looking to love and respect you, or even help you from the positions of privilege they inhabit, they just want to feel good about themselves and benefit from this ridiculous fucking notion that they’re the best kind of people for feeling sympathy for your marginalised ass. These people are not your fucking friends. That isn’t to say that all self proclaimed “allies” have an ulterior motive, but you better be prepared for the fact that the biggest percentage of those “allies” out there don’t give a fuck about you or your problems.

Male or Female Straight or Gay There is not some perfect divide or carved in stone ideal on gender and sexuality

As a straight male of color I have had to deal with issues pertaining to the color of skin but I have never had to deal with issues about my gender or my sexuality.  However two of my best friends have, one of them is bisexual and the other is genderfluid. I love my friends immensely and along with other LGBTQIA individuals I have in my life I can definitely say that there is no straight divide and that whoever you think you are changes as you grow and learn more about yourself and the world around you.

I clicked on this link expecting to be angry and repulsed by the sheer idiocy and horribly distorted views (which is the normal reaction when I encounter something with the word “gay” and “christian” in the same sentence). I was pleasantly surprised and ended up crying a few sentences into the article. 

Please read this. We need more Christians like this. Willing to love others no matter how they identify and no matter what the world thinks. 

One of the reasons I left the church is because I felt that i was the only person that thought this way. It’s so hard to love God in a congregation that hates people that I love. This article is definitely a small step in the right direction.

New Post has been published on http://www.shermanswilderness.org/tdor-speak-now/

TDOR: We Should All Speak Up Now

T.D.O.R.

Scripture: Luke 10:25-37

A friend sent me a news report last week from a place I am familiar with: Toledo, Ohio. As a native of Ohio, I passed through Toledo on more than one occasion.

The story was about an attack on transgender activist Candice Rose Milligan, who lives in Toledo, She has been released from the hospital following two surgeries, including one to wire her jaw closed until it heals. It was broken as the result of being kicked in the head and face by two men during the attack.

Thankfully, Toledo Councilman Jack Ford is calling for a federal investigation, and he stated, “No one at any time should be subjected to violent assault and battery. We all should speak up on this now so further violence is abated.”

Yes, we should all speak up now so further violence is abated.

Many people, Christian and non-Christian alike know Jesus’ parable of The Good Samaritan. I have preached on it many times both in my congregation and as a guest speaking elsewhere.

This story and the predominant question, “Who is my neighbor?” has formed the basis for challenging many types of human relationships and prejudices including race, ethnicity, gender, interfaith, and sexual orientation.

Today I want us to lift up another community that needs to be seen and understood as neighbor; the transgender community.

When I was asked to pray about accepting an appointment to St. Nicholas as your pastor, our District Superintendent, Rev. LaTrelle Easterling and I talked together about my transgender history and how I wanted to handle this dimension of my life as I came here to be your pastor.

After prayerful reflection and conversation with Deborah I decided that I was not coming to St. Nicholas primarily as a transgender man, even though this part of my life plays an essential part in my spirituality and is the basis for my research at Boston University.

In from the Wilderness. Sherman:She-r-man by David Weekley – Click to order.

I accepted this appointment as your pastor. I am more than willing to talk with you about any part of my spiritual journey, I have written about my transgender history, hoping it may benefit others- transgender persons, yes, but also family, friends, and congregations who want to understand, support, and protect their loved ones and neighbors.

The truth is, my faith is grounded in a relationship with God through Jesus from the time of my earliest childhood memories; I know the bullying and cruel experiences contained within my life are part of what has expanded my compassion towards and understanding of others.

I also know that I have a much different perspective on gender, and the effects that our gender-based society has on the development of children. I understand these as gifts in my ministry, and have been amazed at the many ways God has used this part of my life to reach out to others.

I also need to acknowledge there has been much bullying, abuse, and violence experienced by myself and by many in the transgender community, and this violence testifies to the need for us to read “The Parable of the Good Samaritan” from a different perspective today.

Does anyone here know what the sermon title, T.D.O.R., means?

This week is Transgender Awareness Week.

This Thursday, November 20th marks the 15th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

This memorial began in response to the murder of Rita Hester, a transgender woman found in her apartment on November 28, 1998. She was stabbed more than twenty times and died shortly after being rushed to the hospital.

Every November 20 rituals are held in many nations and cities honoring and remembering the victims of brutal transphobic violence.

One part of these rituals is the reading of names.

I have participated in the reading of names many times, and each year it has exceeded two hundred.
These are only the known and defined victims of transgender violence: it does not include the deaths that go unreported or unacknowledged; or the many suicides in which gender identity played a major part.

We here at St. Nicholas recently lost a friend. We knew this person as Phil; some of you knew Phil better than I.

I knew Phil was out of work and looking to move because of an inability to pay rent or find a job. We spoke about it once or twice. Then Phil talked about moving back to New Hampshire as a temporary solution. This seemed like a good idea. Just days prior to Phil’s move from Hull, I learned that gender identity was a major life issue Phil was facing.

Then Phil moved and only two weeks ago I received a phone call from New Hampshire.

I was stunned to learn Phil committed suicide.

Yet as a member of the transgender community, I am not surprised.

I have lost other transgender friends and acquaintances to suicide over the years.

This is why in addition to the names read due to acts of violence on the part of others, I believe we need to include the names of those driven to such a point of despair that they would take their own lives.

Statistically, more than 44% of those who identify as transgender report having considered or attempted suicide at least once in their lives.

People give up trying just simply to survive: it can become too lonely, too scary, too impossible to live in a society that considers you worthless, perverted, and fair game for violence.

We will be the first to tell you it takes courage to speak up as Jesus taught us to do, but for our neighbors who are transgender, it can literally be a matter of life and death. Will you stand with us this year?[/caption]

On November 12, 2014, Dade County, Florida “won” a victory against transgender people when the county voted to not include transgender persons among those protected under current protections for race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

This means that in Dade County, as in so many other places throughout this nation, transgender people may be fired, discriminated against in housing, health insurance, health care, denied employment, or otherwise treated unjustly and inhumanely–conditions which contribute to the high rates of poverty, homelessness, unemployment, lack of health care, depression and violence reported by members of this community.

This Transgender Day of Remembrance when people gather in rituals the list of names read will be the longest one yet: 268 reported murders.

The murders this year makes most other years pale in comparison.. Some of the horrific acts that people have committed against transgender people this year are as follows:

  • A transgender woman in Australia was dismembered and cooked in a pot by her husband
  • Five transgender women and numerous others in a club were firebombed in Mexico
  • Two transgender women were skinned alive
  • An eighteen year old was dragged behind a motorcycle through a city resulting in head trauma and death
  • A sixteen year old was tied up, face burned repeatedly and then tortured to death
  • A teen was set on fire on a public bus coming home from school in California

The unprotected transgender youth of the world continue to suffer as fifteen transgender teen women have been reported murdered all under the age of 19. Sadly, another four youths in the United States committed suicide and many more suicides have gone unreported.

Murders By Country Breakout:

Age Statistical Murder Breakout:

Age Statistical Violence Breakout:

Brazil continues to be the most violent country against transgender people. In a country where the homicide rate for 2013 is approximately 25.2 per homicides per 100,000 individuals, Brazil accounts for a full 58% of all murders documented against transgender individuals during this time frame. (11/2013 – 11/2014) [1]

The United States is third, following Mexico and Brazil.

Jesus’ parable of The Good Samaritan is about faith-based acts of compassion towards others, particularly others the most religiously self-righteous would deplore and harm.

Jesus specifically teaches this as an example of what it means to be a good neighbor.

From the viewpoint of the transgender community, in relationship to this story, anything you and I do to preserve life, empower dignity, and offer respect is appropriate and an act of neighborly love.

There has been some progress in some places since I was a child. As a transgender man and member of the clergy I am so hopeful when I read about camps for transgender children and their families, places where these young people can write, sing, and dance about what it means to grow-up with the awareness of a transgender identity.

My parents and I would have loved such an opportunity; but it was not to be found in the 1950’s and 60’s.

My parents were relieved when I told them about the Gender Identity Clinic I had located and they supported me as I moved through the process.

Still, when I think about those days, and the existence of such places as camps and support groups in schools and communities; while it is hopeful, it is also tempered by the increasing number of acts of violence, reported and unreported, against transgender people.

Camps, conferences, and conclaves of safety do not translate into safe spaces in society, as the statistics illustrate.

While figures such as LaVerne Cox and trendy television shows such as “Transparent” offer some positive, though predictable role models about transgender people (all transgender women, by the way), such media attention also contains within it the seeds for negative pushback.

Some say this increased visibility is the reason for the increasing numbers of reported violent crime among the transgender community.

I do not know.

What I do know is that we at St. Nicholas, particularly as a Reconciling Congregation, have a responsibility and an opportunity to be and act as a place of welcome and safety for our transgender neighbors, family members, and friends.

As a beginning step I invite you to embrace the transgender community in some way this week, particularly on Thursday, November 20.

You could do this simply by educating yourself, or speaking out against violence on behalf of your transgender neighbors.

Originally delivered November 16, 2014 by Rev. David Weekley at St. Nicholas United Methodist Church.

[1] Trans Violence Tracking Portal. Preliminary TVTP Transgender Violence Report for Transgender Awareness 2014. TransViolenceTracker.org.

[2] By Reuben Zellman: “Keshet” Jewish organization working for the full inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people. Posted with permission from Reuben Zellman.

Are we just going to ignore how there is a law going to the California state courts that legalizes killing homosexuals?

Lawyer Matt McLaughlin filed an initiative called the “Sodomite Suppression Act” that would legalize the killing of gays and lesbians through public shootings and other cruel ways. Because of the way that he filed it, the initiative must be addressed by the California Supreme Court, meaning that it could be decided upon by a single person. 

I don’t know why this hasn’t gotten more attention, its a big deal.