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Recent Blog Posts
- Early Signal: Roll-back on protection for transgender children and youth in U.S. schools February 23, 2017
- Creating your personal political action plan February 2, 2017
- Spread the Word – ACA Open Enrollment Ends January 31 January 28, 2017
- Breakthrough for Intersex Rights January 12, 2017
- Invitation to participate – how is marriage equality and the election affecting you? December 30, 2016
- LGBT Voices: Perspectives on Health Care December 29, 2016
- No Home for the Holidays? December 14, 2016
Archive of Blog Posts
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, many of us are griped by uncertainty and fear as our country is facing the most egregious attacks on human rights ever seen in this country, fueled by the election of Trump as President. It is impossible to claim a specific value or position that Trump himself holds relative to human rights, but in the days since the election, he has placed well-known white nationalist and anti-gay leaders in key government positions. His choice of Mike Pence as his Vice President was an early sign of ensuing danger for LGBTQ human rights – Pence having already taken major steps in his home state of Indiana to threaten LGBTQ rights.
The good news is that there are important forces of resistance that have worked for decades to protect our human rights, and are now even more dedicated in their resolve to assure that our rights will be protected. So I want to acknowledge here the many groups that have worked on behalf of the strides made in this country on behalf of LGBTQ rights, It is now time for all os us to step up to show our appreciation, and to become involved in lending whatever support we can, in any of the many groups that welcome our membership, our volunteerism, and our donations, no matter how small. Below is my initial list of the groups for which I am grateful, and links that you can use to become involved in any way you can. Even a brief click through these sites will be an inspiration as you see real evidence that there are a host of avenues already in place to fight on our behalf. If you see sometihing missing from this list, let me know and I will add it. This, my friends, is now vital for all of us!
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality. Takes action on any issue that threatens or diminishes the health of LGBT people.
ACLU LGBT Project – Fights discrimination and moves public opinion on LGBT rights through the courts, legislatures and public education.
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) – Promotes and ensures fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
GLAD: Legal Advocates and Defenders for the LGBTQ Community – A leading legal rights organization in New England and U.S. nationally, dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – Works for equal rights for LGBT people by taking political action, education, and sponsoring action networks. The website has much important information on all aspects of LGBT civil rights, including healthcare.
Human Rights Watch – Dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world by standing with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice. Their work on behalf of LGBT rights is strong internationally; the HRW web site provides information about LGBT rights organizations in many countries around the world.
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund – Committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV/AIDS through litigation, education, and public policy work.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force – Organizes and trains people at the grassroots level to lobby to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. Analyzes and reports on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community.
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) – Committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.
Transgender Law and Policy Institute – A comprehensive transgender legal resource, providing up-to-date publications, cases, briefs and news on transgender legal issues.
Transgender Law Center – A civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. TLC utilizes direct legal services, public policy advocacy, and educational opportunities to advance the rights and safety of diverse transgender communities.
The European Human Rights Centre (EHRC) – EHRC represents over 100 non-governmental and other not-for-profit organizations interested in the promotion of Human Rights throughout Europe and beyond.
As much as we all hate to admit it, more and more of us are getting older every day! Our LGBTQ cultures, like most others, have been youth oriented, defying mainstream norms for activity, hobbies, and interests based on gender. Our communities have often promoted “fast” living, with very active social events and celebrations that have emphasized and required high energy levels, both emotionally and physically. To top it all off, our lives often involve high stress levels, some of derived from the intensity of lifestyles, but a great deal derived from coping with social stigma. Then before we know it, we arrive at a place in life where we face various shifts that come with aging, and often are not at all prepared for what is before us. As rich and full as the elder years can be, there are all too many tragedies – isolation and separation from loved ones who have passed on, health problems, and lack of resources to adequately deal with a new life pattern that is required.
This challenge has been around as long as there have been LGBTQ people, but now there is, thankfully, a heightened recognition of the challenges faced by LGBTQ people as we age. The LGBTQ Aging Center provides a number of important resources that are freely available for anyone who is interested in contributing to a positive aging experience in our communities. One of the resources that caught my eye recently is a review of research findings titled “LGBT Aging: A Review of Research Findings, Needs, and Policy Implications,” published in August 2016. You can download the PDF file here.
Explore this important resource today, and find at least one thing you can do to inform your peers, help ease the way for an LGBTQ elder in your circle of friends, or take steps to prepare for your own aging!
All my life clothes have been a huge issue! I coped with the “proper” attire for girls and young women by conforming, but never felt comfortable or at ease in the stuff I was required to wear. Then not long after coming out, I sought out male attire, or very “tailored” women’s clothing – the only exception being that I preferred sleeveless tank tops to the stiff button-down and long sleeve shirts (I hate being hot!). So recently on my daily walk around downtown Oakland I discovered that we have a shop dedicated to the needs of LGBT and Q folks! I knew there was already one in San Francisco, but Oakland?? Then I discovered the video below, all of which adds up to a wonderful new trend serving our communities!
Clothes are a huge issue for everyone, and feeling comfortable and “at home” in what you are wearing may not be something you think about consciously, but for many LGBTQ folks this is a top-of-the-list concern. Clothes make a statement for everyone, but for gender-bending and queer folks, they are a way to convey our identities along a gender-bending spectrum. If our clothes are comfortable in an “at home” kind of way, they support our determination to be real, to be at home in our identity, challenging the norms of societal behavior in the realm of fashion. So enjoy this video – and look for a new enterprise near you, or in a place you might visit soon!