QBits

'Define Me' - Ryan Amador (featuring Jo Lampert) (by speakproductions)

Beautifully done.

Q.

"The song DEFINE ME was released exclusively on Ryan Amador’s bandcamp (http://www.ryanamador.bandcamp.com/) in conjunction with Ryan’s live performance at the True Colors LGBT Youth Conference on March 22nd. It was produced by David Baloche for Grove Street Studios. 100% of its proceeds will be donated to organizations actively involved with the LGBT equality campaign. http://www.ryanamador.com/

The assumptions don’t stop there. When people learn that my son identifies as gay, many assume that he is gender-nonconforming. They assume that he is effeminate and likes traditionally “girly” things. Upon learning that he is gay, the people who already know him are often surprised or even doubtful that that could be true, because they have seen how gender-conforming he is. At times it feels like people are only comfortable with a young child being gay if that child fulfills every gay stereotype. That way his orientation would be irrefutable and make them more comfortable. Well, my kid doesn’t comply, and he shouldn’t have to. We are fortunate to have enough gay adults in our kids’ lives that despite society’s assumptions, they are growing up knowing the truth: that gay people come in all different shapes, sizes, types, attitudes, and fashion senses. One size does not fit all. And that should go for gay kids too.

Get Your Assumptions Off My Kid | Amelia

Parenting, you’re doing it right.

"Gay" (by Theo Chen)

A very perceptive and articulate young man speaks about bullying at school because he is perceived to be gay.

TW: slurs, bullying

Q.

It’s generational in the way that that term is newly available in a certain way. I think it feels the most open and inclusive and that’s what makes it apply for me, personally. I think there are a lot of people who fall on this open spectrum of sexuality. My friends and I use that word as an all-encompassing banner and for every human being. There should be an ongoing question and investigation of who you love and everything that’s involved with that very tricky and beautiful thing.

Ezra Miller Talks Queer Love, Rocky Horror, and a ‘Perks’ Reunion | Advocate.com

On being asked why he identifies as ‘queer’.

Neither Man Nor Woman: Meet the Agender

"I didn’t really want nipples," Cory said, running a hand through a mop of bleached blond hair. Born female, 23-year-old Cory uses the pronoun co—and asked that we refer to co that way, too—and got elective surgery to remove co’s breasts last year. But co is not transgender in the traditional sense, transitioning between female and male. Co wants neither gender. So co joined the ranks of the agender—or, in a more florid recent coinage, the gender neutrois.

"You read stuff on Tumblr about how us nonbinary people just want to be special snowflakes," explained Cory, who is special but made of sturdier stuff than a snowflake. Was Cory’s desire to remove co’s secondary sexual traits a ploy for attention? A reaction to internalized sexism? The result of sexual repression? "I tackled all that stuff with my therapist. We came to the conclusion that I was not okay with this part of my body. Regardless of where that came from, it was there." Co has neither breasts nor nipples now.

"It is so perfect," Cory said. “For me this is what neutral looks like and feels like.”

I found Cory through the #nonbinary #agender #neutrois tags on Tumblr. The social network has become an unofficial home for the gender neutral. Though most group themselves with the transgender community, they reject the narrative of a person born into the wrong, oppositely-gendered body. All five neutrois individuals I spoke to have no need for masculinity or femininity at all.

L to R: Cory, Micah, Ashton

Read More

One in four survey participants bisexual

August 15, 2012, St. John’s, Antigua–Almost one in four Caribbean men who took part in a recent study described themselves as bisexual.

The findings were among preliminary results in the regionwide Caribbean Men’s Internet Survey (CARIMIS).

“We have a fair population in the Caribbean that identify as bisexual. Across the entire sample … about 20 to 23 per cent say they are bisexual,” facilitator of the CARIMIS project and director of UNAIDS, Caribbean Regional Support Team, Ernest Massiah said.

The CARIMIS study is being touted as the “largest sample” of the Caribbean MSM (men who have sex with men) population of its kind, done via Internet—surveying 2,560 men throughout 33 territories in the region.

Massiah also revealed that 15 per cent of the men did not define themselves in any category. Although they engaged in sexual activity with other men, they “do not want a label”, he said.

According to the director, the most “shocking” aspect of the study involves the amount of physical and verbal abuse and visual intimidation levied against MSMs in their respective countries.

“What we are seeing across the region is that between five and 10 per cent of people have been assaulted because they were perceived to have a different sexual orientation,” Massiah said.

In some nations half of the MSM population identified with being verbally abused and visually intimidated.

“What we are seeing is that as a society, if you have a sexual orientation that is perceived as different, you can be physically abused and in a lot of cases you receive verbal abuse,” he said.

For the first time, the study identified a new population of men – the educated MSM man.

“We are getting a population that we have not been able to get data from before, that is men with secondary and tertiary level education. We have a very educated sample here,” the director said.

Previously, face-to-face surveys were the norm, but only accessed “certain members” of the MSM population. Massiah said that the use of the Internet and redefining their target populations was the key to the survey’s success.

“It is a good way of doing research because you can get to people in a much quicker way than you would have if you tried to do an interview with an individual person,” he added.

The study’s results will be given to governments of participating nations to help develop policies and initiatives that will protect and service the MSM community.

The UNAIDS-funded initiative was launched online last November and concluded in June.

The MSM population is defined by the survey not only as openly gay men but also men who do not self-identify as gay or bisexual but participate in sexual activities with other men. The survey is being implemented throughout the English, French, Spanish and Dutch speaking Caribbean countries.

Ontario asexuals challenge assumptions
Brock University study found one percent of population does not feel any sexual attraction
David Seitz / National / Friday, July 27, 2012

From the age of 11 or 12, Frances says, she knew there was something “off” about her.
 
At 17, she fell in love with a man – but felt no sexual attraction. A few years later, she fell in love with a woman – but again, nothing. After spending years in bisexual women’s and lesbian communities, the London, Ontario, resident realized those labels didn’t quite fit. Although she was interested in romance and a self-described sex-positive feminist, Frances simply wasn’t interested in sex. Haunted by stereotypes, she panicked: “I said to a friend I was going to die alone, surrounded by cats.”
 
Her friend suggested she check the internet for a community for people who want romantic relationships without sex.
 
Last December, Frances took that advice and discovered the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN). For more than a decade, the group has educated the public about asexuality and connected tens of thousands of asexual-identified and questioning people with resources and each other.
 
The asexual Pride flag.
Like other identity-based communities, AVEN stresses there are as many ways of being asexual as there are asexuals. Some are in non-sexual romantic relationships (monogamous or not), others in sexual relationships, still others single. Some see asexuality as a political, queer or radical identity. Others want nothing to do with politics.

Read More

What’s in a name? Trans students want their chosen names used on post-secondary documents

As someone whose given name is my second name, I was always called by my first name when the class list was read out at the start of a school year but my teachers were always good to note the name I went by and use it thereafter. What I  found more frustrating was trying to deal with the bureaucracy to have documents reflect my ‘real’ name rather than what the institution presumed my name to be. To me, it seems a simple solution is to let students choose the name they want to appear on class lists, ID cards, etc. If the institution’s software cannot deal with multiple names, then they need new software, it is not the student’s problem.  This also holds true for many international students whose names do not conform to Western nomenclature of first name, middle initial, surname. None of this, however, compares to insult to trans* students whose entire identity is being erased. At least some of these Canadian schools are attempting to address their bureaucratic shortcomings.

Q.


Jacques Gallant / National / Friday, April 27, 2012
Ben Boudreau would simply like to have his professors call him by his name, but this is proving to be far more difficult than he envisioned.
 
Boudreau is a transgender student at Montreal’s Concordia University. He’s been fighting with the registrar’s office and ombudsperson there to have his preferred name used on official university documents.
 
For now, the legal name he is trying hard to distance himself from still appears on his transcript and on attendance sheets distributed to his professors.
 
The second-year sciences student was recently offered a compromise by the university. He was told his legal name would have to remain on official documents, but the registrar would contact Boudreau’s professors to explain his situation, so they would not call out his legal name in class. They also told him they would print the letter “B” next to his legal name on his student ID card.
Ben Boudreau has been trying to get Concordia University to use his chosen name on all official documents.
(Sophia Loffreda)
 
“The thing with the card was useless, because my legal name is still on it, and as for the registrar, I’m not sure if they ever followed up with all of my professors, because there are still slip-ups in class,” Boudreau says, noting that it takes time for a legal name change to be processed. This is why he is trying to get Concordia to modify its policy on preferred names.

Read More

Ian Harvie Trans word play (by xtraonline)

Interesting discussion on gender and identity. I like how he embraces his past monikers.

Q.

Ian Harvie talks to Lucas Silviera about trans issues, the use of the tranny word and why Dolly Parton should be considered trans. Harvie was in Toronto recently in support of the 519 Street Community Centre’s Trans Youth program.

Sexual repression and release in Qatar
How a population imbalance makes Qataris turn to gay sex for release, despite the state’s denial and persecution
Behind the modern face of West Bay in Doha, Qatar's capital, there are outdated attitudes to lesbian and gay sex.
 

In some ways Qatar is a bit of a sociological experiment. What happens when men and women are segregated, where men outnumber women three to one, and sex outside marriage is a serious taboo? Turning to people of the same gender appears to be the answer.

On the surface, the staunchly conservative view that homosexuality is a sin, a western disease, and, according to religious leaders like Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi and Bilal Philips, something that should be punishable by death, continues to be the status quo presented to the outside world. And, yet, under the surface, homosexual acts are widespread.

The reality, however, is many taking part in these activities are essentially ‘straight’. And among those who are sexually active with members of the same sex, there is still a major concern about being seen as or labelled as gay. Therefore, a system of justification has developed where, if someone is on the receiving end of sexual contact, they are not gay… the giver is. To have sexual relations with people of the same sex has been justified through a variety of ways and has become fairly widespread and common.

The result, however, helps to add confusion to the issues around homosexuality. It is hard to argue that homosexuals haven’t made a choice when clearly there are straight people who are making a conscious (though often in a haze of denial and justifications) decision to have sex with members of their own gender as a way of finding sexual release.

Read More

Trans Woman Denied Documentation Change, Then Arrested For Indecent Exposure

Tennessee resident Andrea Jones effectively demonstrated this week how poorly transgender people can be treated. According to the federal government, Jones is a woman, but Tennessee’s Department of Safety says she doesn’t have enough proof to have her state gender documentation changed. The state claims she only had partial sexual reassignment surgery and state law requires a “full sex change” to recognize a change of gender. When her paperwork was rejected, she went outside and removed her shirt in protest, for which she was arrested. The police report read:

Mr. Jones continued to yell that he had the right to show his breasts in public and wanted to be recognized as a female.

If the state recognizes her as a male, then it was not against the law for her to remove her shirt in public, as only the showing of “the female breast” counts as public indecency under Tennessee law. The state is essentially punishing her both for being female enough and for not being female enough, whereas the federal government already recognizes her as female.

Jones’ story demonstrates how unrealistic it is to set standards of “proof” for people to identify their gender transition. If trans people were celebrated for their authenticity, they would not face the undue hardship of being punished just for being who they are.

WATE has a video report of Jones’ struggle.