July 30 2014, 02:10 PM

PROTEST outside DCF Headquarters! FREE JANE NOW! FIRE KATZ! 

Wednesday, July 30 @ 5:30 PM
DCF Headquarters - 505 Hudson St., Hartford, CT

CT DCF’s torment of Jane Doe is far from over. On July 13, DCF ordered that Jane be moved to the CT Juvenile Training School, a locked facility for delinquent boys. DCF claims this happened as a result of an altercation with other girls at the Pueblo unit (the girls’ facility Jane was transferred to when released from prison), but all the girls were involved in the fight to the same degree - yet only Jane was punished by being transferred to a boys’ facility. DCF is responding to Jane’s status as an outspoken survivor of abuse at their hands and using her gender identity to punish her. The transfer occurred without her lawyers being notified, in the middle of the night. It occurred in spite of the original placement ruling by a judge, who articulated explicitly that Jane is NOT to go to CJTS. Jane feels unsafe and miserable, and her mental health is deteriorating.

We urge all of Jane’s supporters to converge on DCF headquarters and demand real #JusticeForJane. We are demanding that Jane be released from CJTS immediately, and that DCF Commissioner Katz - who has proven time and again to only care about her own reputation and not the basic dignity and safety of the most vulnerable kids in her care - be FIRED. We are continuing to demand the repeal of statute 17a-12, which allowed for Jane’s imprisonment and likely her illegal transfer to CJTS. 

Join us! Car pools can be arranged; communicate on this page if you want to take part in that.

July 30 2014, 01:02 PM

Why shouldn’t I say trans*?

dirtybrian:

Using the asterisk after trans* seems inclusive until you actually look at its history and what trans women and nonbinary people are saying about it. Here are some links about the nonbinary erasure and transmisogyny.

EDIT: @b-binaohan brought to my attention the original posts that I couldn’t find when I first made this post, so I’m belatedly editing to add what I’ve now been informed is the first post about this subject:

http://b.binaohan.org/blog/on-transasterisk/

To learn more, you can read the links from this post.

All links (except to b-binaohan) go to posts on my own blog so they won’t go dead like the links in the last link-gathering post I saw on this.

July 29 2014, 08:17 PM

Call On HHS & The FDA To End Their Ban Against Gay & Bisexual Male Blood Donors 

sexinwithhoechlin:

The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) bans gay & bisexual men from donating blood. The current lifetime deferral focuses on sexual orientation & we are calling on the FDA to change its policy so that it focuses on sexual behavior & individual risk instead.

In 2010, HHS agreed that the ban on MSM blood donations was “suboptimal”, but kept it in place pending additional research to “create a road map forward”.

The American Medical Association opposes the ban saying it isn’t based on sound science. The blood donation organizations believe the rule should be modified to reflect the deferrals for other similar high-risk sexual behavior. 85 members of Congress have written to HHS to encourage its end.

Changing this policy is long overdue - it is time to end this ban.

As a CLS major who is looking into possible extra schooling to work in the Blood Bank sector of the laboratory, this hits kind of close to home. There is always a need for more donors, to find more blood that might be able to be transfused to someone with one or more of rarer antibodies capable of causing transfusion reactions. This is important stuff! Please signal boost this and sign the petition!

(Sorry if someone else has already posted this and I’m just reposting!)

July 29 2014, 05:01 PM

Dissecting a character to fit a heteronormative box is sloppy and irresponsible. Bisexuals deserve to be represented in media too — not erased or straight-washed. If NBC can’t handle portraying a bisexual male character, then perhaps the network shouldn’t take on John Constantine.

Sexuality is always a part of a character — however minimal — but some sort of romantic or sexual relationship is usually a significant plot point in superhero stories. A bisexual male superhero would disrupt the hetero male template of, “hero saves damsel in distress” that we see consistently in iconic stories like Superman, Spiderman, and Captain America. But it’s 2014, and sometimes men need saving too.

There’s something particularly elusive about bisexual male characters. There is a deeply ingrained misconception that a man can’t be romantically involved with another man and still be interested in women as well. It’s centered on the idea that masculinity requires a wanting, and “getting” of women, and not men. But the depiction of Constantine in Hellblazer proves that is a false assumption.

July 29 2014, 02:16 PM

Fenway report reaffirms: Trans people still face high rates of discrimination, poorer health 

gaywrites:

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and the Fenway Institute at Fenway Health released a report reiterating a miserable trend: transgender people still face high rates of discrimination and experience poorer health outcomes as a result. 

The report found that 2/3 of trans people in Massachusetts had experienced some kind of discrimination in a public accommodation setting in the last year alone — and those individuals were twice as likely to have problems with mental or physical health. In fact, 99% of them reported an increase in emotional symptoms of stress and 84% saw physical symptoms. 

Despite having more physical problems, the trans respondents reported less access to health care; 28% said that they had not seen a doctor in the past year. Writer Morgan M. Page said: “Nearly every trans person I know, both personally and through my work, has told me that they’ve avoided hospitals and doctors’ offices specifically due to instances of past discrimination against themselves or their friends.” 

She then puts a face to the statistic: “My mentor, a genderqueer person in Michigan, actually died a few years ago because he had been discriminated against so many times in emergency rooms that when he had an epileptic seizure, he refused to go to the hospital and died from a second seizure later that night. It’s a story that’s unfortunately not uncommon in our communities.”

In this article, Autostraddle points out that this report came out around the same time as a CDC report on sexual orientation and health, which overshadowed the report on trans issues. We cannot stop paying attention to these problems or they’ll never get fixed. 

July 28 2014, 05:07 PM

Russia celebrates Pride publicly, even after being told to host parade "in a landfill" 

gaywrites:

About 150 people celebrated Pride in Russia this past weekend at the Field of Mars park in St Petersburg — a small number with major significance. 

Not only is Russia notoriously homophobic, but its Pride events face huge pushback from officials who mock and degrade them. City authorities denied activists a permit to hold this year’s parade, and instead recommended they hold the event in a landfill. 

Yury Gavrikov, the chairman of Ravnopraviye (Equality), said the suggestions made by the authorities are a ‘classic’ example of their attitudes towards gays.

Despite this opposition, the pride event held yesterday went without any major incidents.

Queerussia.com reports the event was secured by police, and there were no violent outbursts or counter-groups protesting.

Bravery and strength in the face of so much hatred. Russia’s LGBT community never ceases to amaze me. 

July 28 2014, 02:29 PM

BREAKING: Appeals court strikes down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage 

gaywrites:

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, marking the latest in a series of court decisions favoring marriage equality.

""We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable," he wrote. "However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws."

In considering the matter, Floyd, joined by Judge Roger Gregory, ruled, “The Virginia Marriage Laws … impede the right to marry by preventing same-sex couples from marrying and nullifying the legal import of their out-of-state marriages. Strict scrutiny therefore applies in this case.”“

VIRGINIA! YES!

July 27 2014, 10:35 PM

I think I’ve all but given up on trying to organize around something so annoying to me as sexuality

the idea that having sexual urges toward any given type of person somehow aligns me to anyone else who has even vaguely analogous desires to someone who is vaguely analogous to my desire object is boring

I don’t care about identities, I care about lifestyles

I don’t care about your urges, I care about your agency

gay is an unsatisfying category to me

faggot comes closer

 - CALLOUTQUEEN (via arabellesicardi)
July 27 2014, 02:04 PM

New York begins collecting info about sexual orientation to improve LGBT health services 

gaywrites:

State agencies in New York will begin collecting information about sexual orientation in order to improve health and human services for LGBT residents. 

Eight state agencies will ask the New Yorkers who use their services to self-report their sexual orientation on forms. These agencies are the Department of Health, Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Office for the Aging, Office of Mental Health, Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Office of Children and Family Services and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

A 2011 Institute of Medicine report showed that limited data collection on health issues specific to the LGBT community had made it more difficult to identify disparities in the kinds of care available to them.

If that data was available, the state could develop better ways of addressing health problems like H.I.V./AIDS and certain types of cancers prevalent among gay men. … 

Being able to keep track of the transgender population could also yield other information that helps the state address non-health issues, like discrimination and financial disparities, O’Connell said. While medical researchers have provided estimates of LGBT state populations for years, this type of government effort to collect comprehensive data on LGBT New Yorkers is unprecedented, he said.

It may just be another round of paperwork, but this speaks volumes about New York’s commitment to learning about the needs of its LGBT communities. I’m excited to see what will come of this. 

July 26 2014, 11:10 PM
In case you missed it, an elderly gay man was assaulted while peacefully protesting at a Rob Ford rally yesterday, and Rob Ford’s supporters reportedly yelled homophobic and transphobic slurs at other protestors, ripped up their signs, and chanted “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

In case you missed it, an elderly gay man was assaulted while peacefully protesting at a Rob Ford rally yesterday, and Rob Ford’s supporters reportedly yelled homophobic and transphobic slurs at other protestors, ripped up their signs, and chanted “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”