QBits
(via Loving mom writes incredible letter to 13-year-old gay son | Gay Star News)

It reads in full:

Dear Connor,

I am writing you this letter so you have something tangible, something to hold onto, if you should ever need it, to always remind you that we love you.

I am pretty proud that we have the kind of relationship in which you felt comfortable coming out to met at 13 years old. I am hoping that we have created an environment in our house in which you know you are loved, you are safe, and that we will support you and fight for you.

Dad and I love you very much. You are growing into such an amazing young man. You are pure potential. We can’t wait to see where it takes you!

Love, Mom :D

(via Loving mom writes incredible letter to 13-year-old gay son | Gay Star News)

It reads in full:

Dear Connor,

I am writing you this letter so you have something tangible, something to hold onto, if you should ever need it, to always remind you that we love you.

I am pretty proud that we have the kind of relationship in which you felt comfortable coming out to met at 13 years old. I am hoping that we have created an environment in our house in which you know you are loved, you are safe, and that we will support you and fight for you.

Dad and I love you very much. You are growing into such an amazing young man. You are pure potential. We can’t wait to see where it takes you!

Love, Mom :D

"Debi shares the story of her daughter, who transitioned from male to female when she was four years old. She challenges the ignorant comments she hears."

"…persistently, insistantly, consistently…"

Rob Ford is the lone vote against LGBT homeless youth shelter proposal

Measure passes 37-1

CBC News Posted: Jul 10, 2014 3:48 PM ET Last Updated: Jul 10, 2014 3:48 PM ET

rob-ford-20140709

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in city council on July 9, 2014. (CBC)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was the only member of city council to vote against a report looking into a potential homeless shelter for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth in Toronto.

The shelter report recommendation passed on Thursday by a vote of 37-1. Several councillors, including the mayor’s brother Doug, were absent for or abstained from the vote.

The vote means that council has requested a report on the feasibility of allocating 25 per cent of shelter beds to LGBT youth in an existing shelter for the coming winter.

Alex Abramovich, a research co-ordinator with the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael’s Hospital, has spent eight years studying the issue and proposed a shelter exclusively for LGBT youth.

(via Boy, 11, takes down Australia PM in stunning letter supporting gay marriage | Gay Star News)

‘My name is Orlando Burcham, I am 11 years old and I would like to know why you don’t allow ‘gay marriage’ in Australia

'Because the majority of Australians are happily married, so why are you stopping all the gay men/women to be married in this beautiful country?

‘My mother is gay and even worse your own sister is gay! And thousands more are as well.

‘You have actually met my mum Councillor Cordelia Troy who is a member of the Liberal Party and she was deputy major at the time.

‘It is so pathetic that you aren’t letting the gay people of Australia and other countries get married here.

'Millions of people in the world and when they come to Australia and think “wow this place is great! Let’s get married here!”

‘And then they remember that they can’t. So they spend thousands of dollars to go somewhere they can get married. My mum is married but she had to go to New York, which took a lot of money.

‘You were elected to represent our country, not yourself.

‘Just because you think it’s wrong, does not give you the right to make it illegal.

‘Doesn’t our opinions matter to you? Just because you’re the Prime Minister, which by the way does not give you all the power.

‘I hope you change your mind.’

Read more at the soure link.

(via Boy, 11, takes down Australia PM in stunning letter supporting gay marriage | Gay Star News)

‘My name is Orlando Burcham, I am 11 years old and I would like to know why you don’t allow ‘gay marriage’ in Australia

'Because the majority of Australians are happily married, so why are you stopping all the gay men/women to be married in this beautiful country?

‘My mother is gay and even worse your own sister is gay! And thousands more are as well.

‘You have actually met my mum Councillor Cordelia Troy who is a member of the Liberal Party and she was deputy major at the time.

‘It is so pathetic that you aren’t letting the gay people of Australia and other countries get married here.

'Millions of people in the world and when they come to Australia and think “wow this place is great! Let’s get married here!”

‘And then they remember that they can’t. So they spend thousands of dollars to go somewhere they can get married. My mum is married but she had to go to New York, which took a lot of money.

‘You were elected to represent our country, not yourself.

‘Just because you think it’s wrong, does not give you the right to make it illegal.

‘Doesn’t our opinions matter to you? Just because you’re the Prime Minister, which by the way does not give you all the power.

‘I hope you change your mind.’

Read more at the soure link.

Youths reveal what’s really happening to LGBTIs in Caribbean
Barbados: In response to an appeal from the local LGBTI group B-GLAD, Prime Minister Stuart declared he will remain dedicated to lobbying, both regionally and internationally against discrimination against any Barbadian citizen, including LGBTIs.
Yet Donnya Piggott from B-GLAD says: ‘The laws still discriminate and sometimes the police do not take attacks or threats against LGBT people seriously. The situation causes great physical, emotional and psychological damage.’
Trinidad and Tobago: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bisessar said in 2012 she wants the National Gender Policy to ‘forge the way forward for Trinidad and Tobago as my government seeks to put an end to all discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation’.
Rian Merrick of the Silver Lining Foundation said: ‘Despite the PM’s words young LGBT persons and LGBT advocates were compelled to argue before a National Constitutional Reform Commission that their recognition under the law should not need to be up for discussion.
‘The priority is to find ways in which discrimination and prejudice can be reduced.’
St Lucia: Same sex intimacy can be punished by up to 10 years in jail. Christian fundamentalists continue to fight every effort to change attitudes and the law.
Jassica St Rose from United and Strong in St Lucia said she believed change was driven by the actions of youth who by their very nature are revolutionary, always challenging norms and values.
Jamaica: Often described as one of the most homophobic nations in the world. The summit saw footage of LGBTI youths forced to live in drains under the city.
Jae Nelson of the Jamaica Youth Network said: ‘Young people are visibly defiant to status quo – a kind of way being that says there is only one way of being; that some of us are more equal than others and that those who are LGBT do not belong in our society.
‘Many young people are doing this by just embracing their lesbian and gay friends, being open about their sexuality and declaring they believe in equal rights and justice for all.’
Belize: Caleb Orozco, who is challenging the discriminatory laws in his country was unable to attend the summit. In a speech read on his behalf he reported LGBTI youths had been physically attacked and faced mockery, ridicule and a denial of their rights to free expression.
He said: ‘The struggle of the Caribbean LGBT youth is a struggle of invisibility, quiet resistance and passive protest that has its foundation in the need to protect individual expression and dignity.’
Guyana: The conference heard testimony from Ceara Roopchand of Caribbean American Domestic Violence Awareness (CADVA).
She said same sex couples and transgender people were able to enjoy the freedom to socialize in some parts of Georgetown and other areas, but abuse and harassment were still common, including from police officers.
Click on the source link to read the full article.

Youths reveal what’s really happening to LGBTIs in Caribbean

Barbados: In response to an appeal from the local LGBTI group B-GLAD, Prime Minister Stuart declared he will remain dedicated to lobbying, both regionally and internationally against discrimination against any Barbadian citizen, including LGBTIs.

Yet Donnya Piggott from B-GLAD says: ‘The laws still discriminate and sometimes the police do not take attacks or threats against LGBT people seriously. The situation causes great physical, emotional and psychological damage.’

Trinidad and Tobago: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bisessar said in 2012 she wants the National Gender Policy to ‘forge the way forward for Trinidad and Tobago as my government seeks to put an end to all discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation’.

Rian Merrick of the Silver Lining Foundation said: ‘Despite the PM’s words young LGBT persons and LGBT advocates were compelled to argue before a National Constitutional Reform Commission that their recognition under the law should not need to be up for discussion.

‘The priority is to find ways in which discrimination and prejudice can be reduced.’

St Lucia: Same sex intimacy can be punished by up to 10 years in jail. Christian fundamentalists continue to fight every effort to change attitudes and the law.

Jassica St Rose from United and Strong in St Lucia said she believed change was driven by the actions of youth who by their very nature are revolutionary, always challenging norms and values.

Jamaica: Often described as one of the most homophobic nations in the world. The summit saw footage of LGBTI youths forced to live in drains under the city.

Jae Nelson of the Jamaica Youth Network said: ‘Young people are visibly defiant to status quo – a kind of way being that says there is only one way of being; that some of us are more equal than others and that those who are LGBT do not belong in our society.

‘Many young people are doing this by just embracing their lesbian and gay friends, being open about their sexuality and declaring they believe in equal rights and justice for all.’

Belize: Caleb Orozco, who is challenging the discriminatory laws in his country was unable to attend the summit. In a speech read on his behalf he reported LGBTI youths had been physically attacked and faced mockery, ridicule and a denial of their rights to free expression.

He said: ‘The struggle of the Caribbean LGBT youth is a struggle of invisibility, quiet resistance and passive protest that has its foundation in the need to protect individual expression and dignity.’

Guyana: The conference heard testimony from Ceara Roopchand of Caribbean American Domestic Violence Awareness (CADVA).

She said same sex couples and transgender people were able to enjoy the freedom to socialize in some parts of Georgetown and other areas, but abuse and harassment were still common, including from police officers.

Click on the source link to read the full article.

2nd April 2014, 6:47 PM
Joseph Patrick McCormick

The campaign hopes to keep Jake in the custody of his mother The campaign hopes to keep Jake in the custody of his mother

http://www.youcaring.com/other/help-my-daughter-keep-her-transgender-child/144297

A campaign has been started to raise money towards a lawsuit to allow a woman to keep custody of her trans son.

The campaign was started by the grandmother of the boy, Jake, who says his father initiated the custody battle “solely because she supports her child’s self-proclaimed gender,” and that his father intends to make him go to school “as a girl”.

Grandmother Beth, states that Jake’s mother can’t afford the attorney bills on her own, and that without help, she will lose custody.

The page states: “Right now, Jake goes to school and is treated just like any other first grade boy. His teachers and friends are 100% supportive, everyone calls him by his chosen name and I’ve never seen him happier. If my daughter loses this legal battle all of that will change. Once Jake’s father gets full parenting rights, he will force my grandson to go to school as a girl—or as Jake calls it, as ‘his false self.’”

The campaign has so far raised just over $7,000 of a $19,000 (£11,000) goal.

According to the page, Jake has lived with the support of his family as a boy for over a year, and that he had “thrived”.

In Japan, we are afraid of being different, but we don’t show our hate so openly. It is silent discrimination. If nobody talks about the problem then it doesn’t exist. Many gay people in Japan hide who they really are because they are afraid of being rejected, not with angry words or threats of violence, but with isolation. Being gay in Japan is a very lonely existence.

17-Year-Old Japanese Student Comes Out In Inspiring ‘I Have a Dream, Too’ Speech: VIDEO| Gay News | Towleroad

A student’s speech for the Hokkaido Prefectural English Speech Contest, held in Sapporo, December 2013.

Click on the source link for the full transcript and video.
Q.

(via ▶ Homeless Jamaican LGBT Youth Live in Sewers - YouTube)

A follow up to the article I posted on March 10th in which a Jamaican judge rule that homeless LGBT youth were allowed to live in the Kingston sewers. (http://qbits.tumblr.com/post/79175166897/jamaica-rules-gay-teens-can-live-in-the-sewer).

Here openly gay lawyer and activist Maurice Tomlinson takes us on a tour of the sewers. TW neglect, abuse, inhumanity
Q.

Jamaica’s crushing homophobia has resulted in several LGBT kids as young as 12 years old being evicted from their homes. Some of these kids now live in the sewers of the capital and sell sex to survive. Many are paid extra by their rich (often married) clients to have condom-less sex. This increases their risk of contracting HIV. Dwayne’s House is providing these youth with food and clothing. Eventually we will establish a home for them. Please consider supporting this venture by visiting www.openarmsmcc.org. Thank you.

Jamaica rules gay teens can live in the sewer

This is heartbreaking. TW violence, abuse, neglect.

Q.

Police have repeatedly attempted to evict the LGBTI youths from the sewers, with attempts to ‘burn’ them out and conducting early morning raids
A Jamaica judge has ruled gay teens are allowed to live in sewers.

Jamaica gay teens thrown out by their families, chased out of shelters and abandoned by the state have been told they can live in sewers.

A New Kingston judge has advised police that LGBTI teens are allowed to stay in their last option for refuge as sewers are public spaces.

Police have repeatedly tried to evict the youngsters from the sewers and gullies, on the pretext they ‘attract criminals’.

Last week on 5 March, officers once again raided the gutters and demanded the youth leave immediately.

Yvonne McCalla-Sobers, a Jamaican LGBTI rights activist, said: ‘The youngsters were understandably upset and some put up quite a struggle as they literally have nowhere else to go.

‘Police had already chased them from every abandoned building they previously occupied and the buildings were then torn down.’

She added: ‘Some of the youth were arrested for resisting their forcible eviction. They were also charged with using swear words (which is still an offense under Jamaican law).’

On 7 March, the teens were brought before the court to fine them for their language.

However, the judge has told police the sewers are a public space so the youngsters have every right to be there.

Maurice Tomlinson, a lawyer and LGBTI rights campaigner in Jamaica, told Gay Star News:

‘Although the Jamaican Commissioner of Police has issued a directive that LGBT victims are not to be discriminated against…it is clear that there is a lot of work that needs to be done with the police in order for them to respect and support the human rights of vulnerable gay Jamaicans.’

Last year in October, police officers burned down the house – as well as clothing and other property - of gay and bisexual men living in New Kingston.

And in September, four gay men in the resort city of Montego Bay had to flee their home after a mob firebombed it. They asked the police to take them in and protect them but were refused.

The property was thought to be the last place where trans teen Dwayne Jones lived before she was ‘chopped and stabbed’ to death after a party in July.

And yet another study showing same-sex parents can be good parents.
Q.

Key Messages

About 11% of Australian gay men and 33% of lesbians have children. Children may have been conceived in the context of previous heterosexual relationships, or raised from birth by a co-parenting gay or lesbian couple or single parent.
Overall, research to date considerably challenges the point of view that same-sex parented families are harmful to children. Children in such families do as well emotionally, socially and educationally as their peers from heterosexual couple families.
Some researchers have concluded there are benefits for children raised by lesbian couples in that they experience higher quality parenting, sons display greater gender flexibility, and sons and daughters display more open-mindedness towards sexual, gender and family diversity.
The possible effect of important socio-economic family factors, such as income and parental education, were not always considered in the studies reviewed in this paper.
Although many Australian lesbian-parented families appear to be receiving good support from their health care providers, there is evidence that more could be done to develop policies and practices supportive of same-sex parented families in the Australian health, education, child protection and foster care systems.
Additional key messages, relating to specific family structures and psychosocial outcomes for children raised by lesbian and gay parents, are included throughout the paper.

Gay-straight alliances reduce suicide risk among all students: study

Student-led clubs and anti-homophobia policies found to lower odds of discrimination

By Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun January 20, 2014



Gay-straight alliances reduce suicide risk among all students: study


Both gay and straight students in Canadian schools are less likely to have suicidal tendencies when explicit anti-homophobia interventions such as school-based gay-straight alliances (GSAs) are in place, according to a University of B.C. study.

“This study looked across school districts provincewide and looked at gay-straight alliances and anti-homophobic polices, suicidal thoughts and attempts by both gay and heterosexual students,” said Elizabeth Saewyc, lead author of the study and professor with the UBC school of nursing.

“What we found was when these policies were in place for three years or longer, discrimination based on sexual orientation had lower rates of suicidal thoughts and attempts, and also for heterosexual boys,” Saewyc said Monday.

“For heterosexual boys, the odds of suicide attempts dropped by 48 per cent, 28 per cent for suicidal thoughts.”

She said her study concluded that there was no specific effect on heterosexual girls where school-based GSAs were in place.

Gay-straight alliances are student-led clubs that aim to make the school community a safer place for all students regardless of sexual orientation. Their members include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth and their straight allies.

Read More

Dr Ussher warned that if schools failed to act it would lead to a “hugely increased risk of bullying and abuse; isolation and rejection – all leading to significantly increased levels of depression, self-harm and suicide”.

He added: “We must acknowledge we are facing a crisis. Schools have a key role to play in providing inclusive environments for all young people with zero tolerance of bullying and discrimination and by eliminating the fear of it through education and support.”

LGBT campaigner Peter Tatchell said the project’s findings “should be a wake-up call for the Education Secretary, Michael Gove”. “Every school should be required to teach sex and relationship education that addresses LGBT issues.”

Riley Hackford-Peer @ LET IT STAND Rally in Salt Lake City, UT (by ecastro98)

From the mouths of babes…

(via towleroad.com)

"Sometimes I felt really scared that my moms weren’t married. I imagined being taken away by one of my moms. At school we talked about things we hoped to see during our lifetime. I always said I imagined my moms getting married in Utah. On December 20 it happened! I saw my moms get married - in Utah! It felt like fireworks bursting in my heart….But Governor Herbert wants to treat my moms unfairly. He says he wants to protect families. But I want to tell him that my family deserves protection too! I have two moms. And I love them. And they deserve to have their marriage recognized everywhere"

Mumbai to host 2014 Indian LGBT Youth Summit in February
Young LGBT Indians will gather in Mumbai this February for the 2014 Indian LGBT Youth Summit to improve their leadership skills through a series of seminars and workshops
One of Mumbai's iconic Premier Taxis
Photo by David Wilmot

LGBT Indians between the ages of 18 and 25 have been invited to apply to be delegates to the Indian LGBT Youth Summit being held in Mumbai this year on 15-16 February.

The summit is being organized by the Mission for Indian Gay & Lesbian Empowerment (MINGLE) and is intended to upskill young LGBT Indians in order to assist them in taking leadership roles in the community.

MINGLE describe the summit as a ‘pioneering initiative in India, primarily aimed at identifying and grooming high potential individuals within the LGBT youth, and preparing them for future leadership roles.’

Young LGBT people from across India will be selected among the applicants to participate. 20 will be selected from the host city of Mumbai and another 20 will be chosen from the rest of India.

Those chosen to attend from outside Mumbai will have their travel, meals and other needs during the summit provided for.

Participants will be selected on the basis of their application forms– which will judge their leadership potential, creative skills and willingness to work for other LGBT Indians.

The screening process will be done by project coordinators at MINGLE in consultation with prominent LGBT community leaders in India who are part of the organization’s advisory council.

Organizers say the two days will be packed with a host of activities, workshops and seminars that will hone their leadership skills and prepare them for challenging tasks ahead as pro-active members of the Indian mainstream.

The event is being held with the support of the Fondation de France, Fondation Rainbow Solidarite, Pink Pages, the Humsafar Trust and GB.

If you’re a young LGBT person living in India visit www.mingle.org.in/Leadership to apply to attend.

The summit is also looking for volunteers to assist putting the event on.

To apply to volunteer click here

(via Unwanted And Forgotten: The Problem of LGBT Youth Homelessness - VIDEO| Gay News | Towleroad)

A new report from KDAF - Dallas highlights the problem of LGBT youth homelessness in this country and specifically in the North Texas Area. Doug Magditch digs into the issue and reveals that combating homelessness among LGBT youth often times proves challenging because homeless LGBT youth are not counted, making it difficult to adequately assess and address the scope of the problem:

One out of every twenty people in the United States identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Among the homeless youth population, it’s two out of five. According to a study published in September called “Serving Our Youth,” Forty percent of homeless youth are LGBT. The biggest reason: family rejection. Many LGBT youth say they either ran away because their family didn’t approve of them being LGBT (46%), or their family forced them to leave (43%).

There are no numbers on how many homeless youth in North Texas identify as LGBT. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) doesn’t require municipalities count LGBT as a specific demographic in the annual point-in-time homeless count. So, we aren’t counting.