culture

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LGBT Parenting Study Seeking Your Family's Input

transparents dads lesmoms

Our online survey explores the ways in which LGBT parents and their children manage social policies and pressures within their communities.  The survey is kind of long—it may take you an hour to complete.  However, we want to learn about each family’s perspectives, experiences, and opinions.  Parents are asked questions about topics such as attitudes in your community, parenting and family relationships, social pressures and sources of support, as well as questions regarding your child(ren).  Children are also welcomed to participate in our study.

At this point, over 150 LGBT families from 24 states have participated, but we want to hear more voices and perspectives.  So far, we only have small numbers of gay dads and trans-parents–we need your help!  We want families from ALL backgrounds: economic, ethnic, spiritual, and disabled diverse families.  With your help, we hope to better understand challenges facing LGBT families and promote social policies that support all families.

If you would like to participate or to learn more about us, please check out our website: www.lgbtparents.org

If you have questions, ideas, or comments please feel free to email Beth Haines (hainesb@lawrence.edu ) or Julie Konik (konikj@lawrence.edu).

Thanks again for your help!

Warmly,
Beth Haines, Julie Konik, and Siobhan Brooks
Sarah Bruemmer and Erin Henzi

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Buck Angel: Bucking the System (Episode 4)

It's time for another episode in Buck Angel's new series sharing his perspective on gender and sexuality, with the accompaniment of a sign language interpreter.

IN this week's show, Buck talks about Gender Identity and what it means to be a man or a woman.

Buck answers questions from readers every week.  If you have any questions that you would like to hear Buck talk about, please email show@buckangel.com.

Please visit www.buckangelentertainment.com for more info. 

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Gender experts urge continent to learn from Rwanda

By Innocent Niyonshuti [New Times]

Gender experts from across Africa have praised the achievements that Rwanda has so far registered in areas of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

This was revealed in an ongoing five-day gender mainstreaming capacity building workshop that kicked off on Monday.

“Rwandans are people whom, when you teach them something, they grab it and run,” said Dr Miriam Jato, the Gender Advisor to UNFPA Africa Regional Office,  Gender experts from 29 African countries are discussing ways of increasing their knowledge on gender issues on the continent.

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2009 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development

Women's control over economic resources and access to financial resources, including microfinance

Women’s equal access to and control over economic and financial resources is critical for the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women and for equitable and sustainable economic growth and development.  Gender equality in the distribution of economic and financial resources has positive multiplier effects for a range of key development goals, including poverty reduction and the welfare of children.  Both microlevel efficiency results through increased household productivity and macroefficiency results through positive synergies between indicators of gender equality and economic growth have been recorded.  Development rationales for enhancing women’s access to economic and financial resources include women’s role as “safety net of last resort” in economic downturns.

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Trans Rights Declaration endorsed by ILGA-Europe in Malta

 
This Declaration was adopted by great majority of the participants of the Trans Rights Conference in Malta on October 28th 2009.  It was endorsed on by ILGA-Europe and will be used as policy documents guiding the future work of both organisations.  
We, the participants of the European Trans Rights Conference, yearn for a Europe free from all discrimination(1), where all people are valued equally irrespective of their gender identity and gender expression.  We envision a Europe where people of all gender identities and gender expressions are fully respected and can live freely without any violations to their human rights and institutions’ interferences in their private lives, in accordance with the Yogyakarta Principles(2).  We want a Europe where health insurance funded adequate hormonal and surgical medical assistance is available in a non-pathologizing manner to all those trans people(3) who seek it, and where no trans person is required to undergo any compulsory medical treatment (such as sterilization or gender reassignment surgeries) or a mental disorder diagnosis in order to change legal gender and/or name.

Commissioner for Human Rights' ‘Gender Identity and Human Rights’ Issue Paper

We unanimously welcome the ‘Gender Identity and Human Rights’ Issue Paper(4) published by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, in July 2009.  Commissioner Hammarberg’s Issue Paper is a significant step forward in articulating the human rights and equality that national governments should provide to trans people. We endorse all of Commissioner Hammarberg’s twelve recommendations and urge all 47 Council of Europe Member States to implement these recommendations at their national levels, including the implementation of legislation/procedures that allows to change name and gender without compulsory medical treatments, or any form of diagnosis, and including strong anti-discrimination legislation inclusive of gender identity and gender expression.
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2009 Global Gender Gap Report

New York, USA, 27 OctoberIceland (1) has claimed the top spot of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2009 from Norway (3) which slipped to third position behind Finland (2). Sweden (4) completed the Nordic countries’ continued dominance of the top four.  The report’s Index assesses countries on how well they are dividing their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources and opportunities.

South Africa and Lesotho made great strides in closing their gender gaps to enter the top 10, at sixth and 10th position respectively.  The latest data reveals that South Africa in particular made significant improvements in female labour force participation. Gains for women in parliament and women ministers in the new government also helped close the gender gap in the country.  The Philippines (9) lost ground for the first time in four years but remains the leading Asian country in the rankings.


 

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Latest Anti-Gay Surge in Turkey Against Another LGBT Organization

Black Pink Triangle Association in Izmir is the fifth LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) organization that faces closure threat from the Turkish government.  The first hearing will take place on February 19, 2010. The reason for closure threat is once again being “against the law and morality.”

According to the information provided to the association, the Governor’s Office of the City of Izmir is demanding closure of the Black Pink Triangle Association.

Black Pink Triangle Association members stated that: "The prosecutor's demand for closure of our association is clearly a violation of civil rights.  Establishing an organization a constitutional right and they want to take that right from us.”

When Black Pink Triangle Association was founded on February 20, 2009, all the necessary legal documentation was filed to the Governor’s Office.

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LGBTQI and Depression in Mumbai

Dealing With Depression: A report from GayBombay

We present an excerpt from Sachin, from one of the meetings of  Gay Bombay held in June 2003 on some of the issues in dealing with depression of our own and of those around us.

Na koi umang hai, na koi tarang hai

Meri zindagi hai kya ? Ek kati patang hai

(No joy, no zing, no bite; No passion no hope no fight…

Q. Pray what is my sad wretched life? Ans. A myopic circumcised kite…)

Bollywood has a song for every feeling. Sadness, melancholy, loneliness are amply represented? But depression? Even Meena “Humein Qabristan le chalo” Kumari may find that to be a tough one…

The Special GayBombay Sunday Meet on Depression was held at Vikram’s lovely tranquil new home in Bandra on June 01, 2003.  It was attended by 30 people. It was the second meeting organized specially on the subject of depression by GayBombay since its inception four and a half years ago.

For the first meeting we had the honor of the presence of a clinical psychiatrist, who is also the mother of a group member.  She dwelt on depression and its causes. She wasn’t there for this meeting but Dr. Ajit and Jay V led the meeting very well.

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Uganda Civil Rights Coalition Denounces Anti-Homosexuality Bill

By Jim Burroway

A coalition of twenty-two Ugandan professional and civil rights advocacy groups have joined together to denounce (PDF: 52KB/4 pages) the barbaric Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009 that was introduced before Parliament last week. The Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law describes the bill as not just an “anti-homosexuality” bill, but also as “the ‘Anti Civil Society Bill,’ the ‘Anti Public Health Bill,’ or the ‘Anti-Constitution Bill,’” or more specifically, “the Anti Human Rights Bill.” And they liken the bill’s measures with some of the more repressive practices of the Idi Amin era.

The coalition points out eight specific constitutional articles which the proposed bill violates, and a long list of people who would be put at risk of serious criminal penalties should the bill pass. This list includes not only LGBT people themselves, but also parents, teachers, landlords, doctors, human rights activists, religious counselors, publishers, and even Internet cafe operators.

The proposed bill would:

  • Reaffirm the lifetime sentence currently provided upon conviction of homosexuality, and extends the definition from sexual activity to merely “touch[ing] another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.”
  • Create a new category of “aggravated homosexuality” which provides for the death penalty for “repeat offenders” and for cases where the individual is HIV-positive.
  • Criminalizes all speech and peaceful assembly for those who advocate on behalf of LGBT citizens in Uganda with fines and imprisonment of between five and seven years.
  • Criminalizes the act of obtaining a same-sex marriage abroad with lifetime imprisonment.
  • Adds a clause which forces friends or family members to report LGBT persons to police within 24-hours of learning about that individual’s homosexuality or face fines or imprisonment of up to three years.
  • Adds an extra-territorial and extradition provisions, allowing Uganda to prosecute LGBT Ugandans living abroad.
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Telling Our Stories

By Sivagami Subbaraman

[Talks given at various Washington DC Asian and S. Asian LGBTQ community organizations]

Our lives are about silences.  Our lives—as trans, as khush, as gender queer, as shiva-shakti, as bisexuals, as lesbians, and gay people –are about silences. The silence of knowing and of not-knowing.  Of acceptance and of denial.  The silences of our families and communities about all of who we are.  And then there are the silences within us–we are both silent and silenced by fear and by love: fear of our family and love of our family that holds us all in thrall.

I came to the US exactly 25 years ago.  I arrived a Tamilian, a Brahmin, a Feminist, a divorced woman—each of these descriptors invoking a particular gestalt. In the years that have followed, I became the wrong “Indian,” an East Indian, a third world citizen, a woman of color, an Indian American, and most recently a S. Asian.  I was a Non-Resident Alien, and now am a Resident one; and when I go across spaces to what I still call “home,” I have become a compact, Americanized acronym: NRI—Non-Resident Indian.  My personal story is not important except as it gestures to those larger social, political and cultural landscapes that shape and reshape our identities—and the constant making and remaking of our self-markers.

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