Brendan Velasquez - Things That Go Bump In The Night - Gay Zombie Love Mix (by Brendan Velasquez)
Brendan Velasquez - Things That Go Bump In The Night - Gay Zombie Love Mix (by Brendan Velasquez)
The Canadian Press Posted: Oct 12, 2013 5:48 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 12, 2013 6:08 PM ET
A new Toronto clinic for transgender youth is seeing its first patients.
The clinic at Sick Kids hospital officially opened on Friday and administrators say it will help fill an important gap in care for teens with gender dysphoria.
Gender dysphoria is diagnosed in people whose gender identity doesn’t match their anatomical sex.
Sick Kids says gender dysphoria is relatively rare, but increased awareness and acceptance has led more teens to identify as transgender.
It says while there are two mental health clinics that provide the diagnosis in Toronto, the Sick Kids clinic is the first in the city to focus on medical care for transgender teens.
The hospital says without proper care, transgender teens can experience “negative consequences” such as mental health issues and risky behaviour.
Patients will work with an interdisciplinary team to ensure they get counselling and in some cases, will receive hormone therapy to prevent the changes associated with puberty, the hospital says.
The team includes physicians specializing in adolescent medicine and endocrinology, a nurse practitioner, a nurse and a social worker as well as children’s mental health organizations.
Australia is considering a similar law:
For China, Spring Festival is the most important holiday. It is a time for family reunions and being with loved ones.
When Lin Yi brought his boyfriend home for Spring Festival 2003, the 15 days of celebration would be his last with his family.
“I still can’t remember all the details of that day – when I finally told my parents that I liked boys,” Lin, 21, said.
“My mother asked why I brought home a total stranger for the holidays. I didn’t know what else to say, so I just told her the truth.”
His mother, a high school teacher in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, was stunned by her 16-year-old son’s blunt revelation.
While most households drowned in the noise of firecrackers and laughter as families tuned in to CCTV’s New Year’s Gala, the Lin household sat in silence. His mother and stepfather refused to speak to him. Only Lin and his boyfriend An Ning stayed in the room to watch TV.
“Now that I think about it, my mother was probably too shocked to talk to me. She wasn’t angry. During the last few days of our stay, she took very good care of An after I told her what happened to his leg,” Lin said.
An’s leg was crushed while defending Lin in a fight.
After he dropped out of high school, Lin went to Dalian, Liaoning Province, to be with An, who was tending the bar a local gay club. Lin found work as a waiter.
In 2002, Lin was 15 years old. For many customers, the tall, young boy-waiter was far more enticing than anything on the drinks menu. When An saw his boyfriend being harassed, he confronted the men and was brutally assaulted.
“My mother cried and shouted; my stepfather called me ‘defective.’”
But it may not have been the story alone that made Lin’s mother cool off.
Lin’s parents had already hatched a plan to “cure” him. “The day before I was leaving, they sat me down and told me they wanted to send me to South Korea to study. Their logic was that if I were in another country and away from An, maybe I would become ‘normal’ again,” he said.
When Lin, being in love, refused their proposal, an even bigger fight began. “My mother cried and shouted; my stepfather called me ‘defective,’” he said.
After that, he was kicked out of the house and his parents severed all ties.
“They knew little about homosexuality,” he said.
Retired Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor today married a same-sex couple in the U.S. Supreme Court. O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the nation’s highest court, married a couple together for 36 years, Jeffrey Trammell and Stuart Serkin.
Trammell is a rector (academic, not religious, leader) at The College of William & Mary in Virginia, where the former justice was chancellor. O’Connor was appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan.
“The ceremony took place in the lawyer’s lounge of the court, according to court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg,” Bloomberg reports. “That is just off the courtroom where the sitting justices delivered a pair of 5-4 decisions in June that stopped short of legalizing gay marriage across the country yet struck down a federal law barring benefits for spouses in same-sex marriages.”
In an August article, the Washington Post called Trammell a “D.C. lobbyist and gay Democratic activist,” and reported on his work attempting to unite Virginia’s higher education institutions to offer benefits to partners of same-sex couples.
Recently, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the first Supreme Court justice to officiate at a same-sex wedding. She later hinted she would not be the last.
The government and opposition in Malta have agreed to change the country’s Constitution to protect LGBTI people.
The decision comes as the politicians prepare to vote for lesbian and gay civil unions, offering similar rights and responsibilities to marriage, which also have cross-party support.
The civil unions legislation is expected to pass as early as this week. But the constitutional changes may take a little longer.
Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Claudette Buttigieg has tabled a private members bill to change the Constitution so people are protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
But the government Labour Party has said gender identity should also be added, protecting transgender and intersex people too.
Civil rights minister Helena Dalli said: ‘Categorizing gender identity under sexual orientation is not accurate and therefore it is important to make a distinction and introduce the amendment.’
The proposal to include gender identity has now been backed by the opposition Nationalist Party, reports Malta Today.
Buttigieg said: ‘Let’s avoid political bickering over such matters which do not benefit the people or Parliament. People out there have high expectations and we should deliver.’
The Mediterranean island nation of Malta, Gozo and Comino has a population of over 450,000 and appears keen to keep up with other European Union members on LGBTI issues. The changes are also likely to benefit the country’s important tourism industry.
There are some great resources here for students writing papers on marriage equality or same sex parenting in the US.
Two marriage equality cases are advancing to the Ninth Circuit of Appeals from the states of Nevada (Sevcik v. Sandoval) and Hawaii (Jackson v. Abercrombie). In both cases, marriage equality lost at the district court level, distinguishing them from the case challenging California’s Proposition 8 and essentially freeing them of the jurisdictional issues that complicated the Prop 8 case. This means that the two cases provide an opportunity for the court to directly consider the constitutionality of states banning same-sex marriage.
Numerous professional organizations submitted amicus briefs last week advising the court about why it should support marriage equality and in particular, addressing the question of same-sex parenting. Opponents assert that same-sex marriage should be banned because children fare better with different-sex parents than with same-sex parents. Not only does this ignore the fact that joint adoption is already legal for same-sex couples in both Nevada and Hawaii, but as the scholarly community points out, it disregards the consensus of scientific research endorsing same-sex parenting.
In a brief filed by the American Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Psychoanalytic Association, and Hawaii Psychological Association, the scholars outline three factors that research has determined leads to good parenting:
The groups point out that these factors are not impacted by sexual orientation, and thus there is no reason to conclude same-sex parents would be inferior in any way.
In a complementary brief, the American Sociological Association (ASA) expanded upon what research says specifically about the outcomes for children of same-sex parents:
Like it did in its brief to the Supreme Court earlier this year, the ASA also points out that much of the research opponents cite to challenge marriage equality doesn’t actually address same-sex parenting. This includes rehashing of its debunk of Mark Regenerus’s flawed study, highlighting that David Popenoe’s work doesn’t discuss same-sex families, reminding that several cited researchers have objected to conservatives’ attempts to incorrectly use their research against same-sex parenting, and calling out various other “fatherless” studies that do not apply.
The voices of the young people who have been raised by same-sex parents is championed in an additional brief, filed by the Family Equality Council, Equality Hawaii Foundation, We Are Family, and COLAGE. Census estimates suggest there are about 250,000 children being raised in same-sex families. The brief includes testimony from several of them, who have also been highlighted by the Family Equality Council’s “The Outspoken Generation” project:
Given how same-sex adoption and same-sex marriage are separate issues under the law, it remains unclear why opponents of marriage equality use parenting arguments to justify maintaining their bans. Nevertheless, their parenting arguments do not hold any legitimate scientific merit and only provide advocates with opportunities to highlight the same-sex families already raising children in Hawaii, Nevada, and across the country.
(HT: Kathleen Perrin.)
October 27, 2013
Tens of thousands of people yesterday took part in the annual gay pride parade in Taipei, calling on the public to give more support to equal rights not only for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, but also for all sexual minorities.
Not long after the parade departed from the square in front of Taipei City Hall, participants were asked to leave their palm prints with rainbow colors on the “wailing wall of the rainbow”— essentially six large white banners that bear the slogans “no to sexual oppression,” “no to discrimination,” “condemnation against bullying,” “I want my fundamental rights,” “I want my civil rights” and “I support diversity in family formation” — hoping to raise awareness among the public about sexual oppression and discrimination.
The crowd carried the banners with them after dying them with the colors of the rainbow as they marched.
As many as 60,000 people took part in the parade, with more than 4,000 from abroad, organizers said.
“Equal rights is everybody’s business, not just LGBT people’s,” said a woman who wished to be known as Jenny and participated with her husband and their son. “We’re taking our son to the parade, because we want him to learn the importance of respecting sexual diversity.”
Hong Kong singer Anthony Wong (黃耀明), who publicly came out last year, also took part in the parade, and spoke to the crowd after the parade returned to the square in front of Taipei City Hall a little after 4pm.
Recalling his youth, the 51-year-old singer said that it was difficult to be gay in the 1980s, when Hong Kong society was very conservative regarding homosexuality, calling himself a “sexual refugee.”
“During that time, I could only take refuge at places where other LGBT people gather, such as the New Park,” Wong said, referring to the nickname of the 228 Peace Park in Taipei, which used to be a popular gathering place for LGBT people at night.
“Decades have passed. I’m glad that today, when I come to Taipei, I no longer have to hide in the New Park at night; rather, I can be here in front of the Taipei City Hall during the day,” he said. “Although Taiwan and Hong Kong may face different political and social challenges, I believe that we should go hand-in-hand in the global movement for equal rights, because we share the same objective.”
Tsai Yu-lin (蔡育林), who came to prominence after organizing a sex party in a private train carriage, showed up to voice his support for legalizing same-sex marriage.
“Love is not something that can be restricted by the law, and if the law makes people suffer instead of bringing happiness to the people, it should not exist,” Tsai said.
“Many homophonic people consider homosexuality a disease, and therefore say that homosexuality or same-sex marriage should be prohibited by law,” he said. “Well, as I am afraid of suffering a stroke, can I ask lawmakers to make a law to prohibit strokes, so that no one will ever suffer one?”
Representatives from other sexual minority groups — including bisexuals, intersexuals and handicapped homosexuals — also appealed to the crowd for protection of their rights, saying such groups are sometimes “minorities among minorities” when compared to mainstream LGBT groups.
Abdul Asquith, a senior at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida, has come forward about a painful and uncomfortable incident he says occurred recently at his school’s library. As The Gaily Grind points out, Asquith says he tried to check out a laptop to study for his communications class but an FAU librarian denied his request because she thought Asquith was a woman and the ID card he presented depicted a man:
"She looked at the ID and looked down at it. She said, ‘You sound, look and act like a girl and in this ID is a man, therefore I’m not giving you a laptop,’” said Asquith.
Asquith said he was wearing an FAU hoodie, shorts and had his long hair pulled back.
He says he finally was able to rent a laptop after going through three librarians. FAU has not issued an apology and would not return WPTV’s request for a comment as of this writing.
Samantha Lemessy, Asquith’s friend who also witnessed the alleged incident, told WPTV, “Because he acts a certain way, he can’t possibly be this? It shouldn’t even be like that.” The librarian in question did not wish to comment on the incident.
A 13-year-old male cheerleader was forced to quit and leave his school just because bullies thought he was gay.
The middle school student, known as BB, from Louisville, Kentucky, is taking action against the school district.
When he joined the cheerleading squad at his first school, he was the only male in the squad.
Perceived to be gay, bullies relentlessly tortured him in and out of the classroom.
‘It was in the classroom, it was in the cafeteria, and it was in the hallway too,’ he told WDRB.
‘One time I was even practicing and they were chasing me in the squad auditorium.’
BB’s mother has hired a family attorney, who specializes in anti-bullying cases.
Ted Gordon is going to represent the family, after she said the school did not ‘adequately protect her son’.
She said: ‘This is my son and I love him and I don’t care what he does as long as it’s positive and it’s nothing that’s going to end [up with] him in a juvenile detention center’.
Gordon filed an order for protection in Jefferson County Circuit Court and is asking a judge to order the school district JCPS to protect the student from all harassment.
JCPS claims they have done everything in its power to protect the teen, and believes the protection order filed in court would be ‘impossible’ to fulfil.
They have also changed the teen’s schedule, occasionally escorting him around school, and sending a school counselor to cheer practice and to monitor possible bullying.
The district also highlighted it has held meetings with parents of the victim and the alleged bullies.
BB now attends Holmestead North, which has no cheerleading team, but the harassment still continues.
Anti gay customers refuse tip to server, other patrons rally around him.
Nice to see the community come out in support of this poor waiter.
After more than 50 years of support, United Way of the Bluegrass has suspended nearly $100,000 in annual funding to the Boy Scouts of America’s Blue Grass Council because of national scouting policy to not allow gays to serve as adult leaders.
Sassafras Lowrey had no choice but to run.
Ze grew up abused, “the recipient of wandering fingers, of broken promises, black eyes, and manipulation.” (Sassafras prefers the gender-neutral pronouns “ze” and “hir.”) When ze came out, at 17, ze wasn’t met with love. Ze was told how to be “fixed.” So, like thousands of LGBT youth every year, Sassafras left.
But the “safe” adults ze ran to also soon asked “if [ze] was over that whole gay thing.” Sassafras wasn’t straight, and because ze wasn’t going to pretend to be, ze found hirself homeless for the second time.
Living on the streets presents enough challenges in and of itself, but it often creates new ones, like when Sassafras was kicked out of hir high school because they had never had a homeless student before and didn’t know how to handle it. (Other parents complained to the administration that ze was “leading their kids down a path to hell.”)
On hir 17th birthday, Sassafras had a home, a family, and an education. On hir 18th, ze had none.
Sassafras’ story is tragically common. As a new report from the Center for American Progress details, LGBT people, especially LGBT youth, are at a far greater risk not only of winding up homeless, but being abused on the streets as well.
This is true even in some of the most tolerant areas of the country.
There are many reasons why LGBT people are more likely to wind up on the streets.
LGBT youth are coming out earlier than in the past — the average age is now 13. In cases of family rejection, LGBT youth often have nowhere to go.
Other factors can exacerbate problems at home for LGBT youth as well. These include bullying and poor performance in school to drug abuse and mental illness, which occurs more frequently among LGBT youth. In addition, many wind up in the juvenile justice system, instigating a malevolent cycle between jail and the streets.
Though not pleasant for anyone, homelessness can be a particularly tough experience for LGBT individuals. They’re more likely than straight homeless people to have a substance abuse problem. They’re more likely to be robbed, physically attacked, or sexually assaulted. They’re far more likely to have HIV/AIDS.
In fact, homelessness is a major force exacerbating the HIV/AIDS problem, Brad Vanderbilt of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, told ThinkProgress. For many LGBT homeless people, “the push to attend to medical care has to be set aside because the search for housing is the primary concern,” he said. In addition, many LGBT people living on the streets resort to sex work to survive, which increases their risk of contracting disease.
Organizations like Project Homeless Connect and the Family Acceptance Project are working to address the LGBT angle of homelessness. PHC held its first ever LGBT homelessness services fair in San Francisco this month, bringing in dozens of service providers to address the needs of LGBT individuals living without a permanent home. More than 600 people, as well as an additional 400 volunteers, showed up for the all-day event. The Family Acceptance Project, meanwhile, works with families and their LGBT children to decrease the chances of rejection, the leading cause of homelessness among LGBT youth.
For Sassafras, family was what caused hir to be homeless, but it was also what ultimately saved hir. After relocating to Portland, Oregon, ze walked into a queer youth center and found home. “I survived because of the queer family that I created” there, ze wrote. Sassafras went on to write an award-winning novel about the experience, hoping to help the millions of other LGBT people across the country who continue to grapple with homelessness.