action: maura healey wants your same-sex marriage story [#ma4equality]

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via The Rainbow Times:

What you can do to help

Some questions that could assist people willing to submit their story are:

  • How has marriage equality changed your life?
  • What would it mean for your family to have marriage equality across the country?
  • How have you felt when you’ve visited or moved to states which don’t recognize same-sex marriage?
  • Did you choose not to enroll at a school or take a job because the state doesn’t have marriage equality?

When sharing your stories and ideas use the hashtag ‪#‎MA4Equality. According to Healey, if “we need to reach you directly about your story we will follow up individually.”

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commentary: survivors of 1980s AIDS crisis speak

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via Gay Star News:

As the UK celebrates LGBT History Month, users of Reddit revealed what it was like to be living in what felt like a constant state of tragedy.

Real LGBTI people remember the confusion, the lack of information, the lack of support from the government because of the suffering from the virus known only at the time as GRID (gay-related immune deficiency).

‘I’m a 62-year-old gay man. I thankfully made it through the epidemic that started in the early 80s and went right through the mid-90’s. You ask what it was like? I don’t know if I can even begin to tell you how many ways AIDS has affected my life, even though I never caught the virus,’ one user said.

actions: transgender awareness month

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via Fenway Focus:

November is Transgender Awareness Month – a time to celebrate the vibrancy of the transgender and gender non-conforming community, educate the public on trans issues, and remember those who have been victimized by transphobic violence. All month long, Fenway Health will join local and national organizations in hosting events and educational opportunities around transgender awareness.

As outlined in Fenway Health’s Glossary of Gender and Transgender Termstransgender refers to a diverse group of people whose gender identity or expression di­ffers from societal expectations of how they should look, act, or identify based on the sex they were assigned at birth. This includes, but is not limited to, male-to-female (MTF) and female-to-male (FTM) trans people, non-binary identified trans people, and genderqueer individuals.

scholarship: we deserve better

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via BreakOut:

We Deserve Better: A Report on Policing in New Orleans By and For Queer and Trans Youth of Color:

For the past three years, as a part of our We Deserve Better Campaign, BreakOUT! has been surveying young LGBTQ (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, and queer/ questioning) individuals on their experiences and interactions with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). BreakOUT! understands that many trans women, including young trans women of color live below the poverty line. BreakOUT! is also aware that low-income communities of color face higher rates of policing and arrests.Many transgender women, particularly transgender women of color, are negatively profiled in New Orleans. This particular population is generally harassed by police and arrested for prostitution,whether they are engaging in the sex trade, or not. Many people in New Orleans refer to this phenomenon as “Walking While Trans,” similar to the notion of racial profiling in traffic stops being referred to as “Driving While Black.”

LGBTQ people who are restricted from housing, education, jobs, and medical care may be forced to rely on survival crimes including trespassing, loitering, retail theft, involvement in th sex trades or street economies, and pick pocketing[w2] .

Once arrested, transgender women are subjected to harsh discrimination, violence, sexual assaults, and harassment at the hands of police officers and correctional officers. Incarcerated transgender women at Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) are placed in sex-segregated facilities, prohibited from taking hormones, and stripped of gender-affirming clothing. Transgender women are often placed in harsher conditions than cisdgender (or non-transgender) inmates, including solitary confinement and medical wards. The effects of institutional oppression, poverty, and criminalization are all barriers to the liberation of our youth.

Read the whole report at BreakOut.

 

news: gordon college lgbt alumni stand up for equality

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via Bay Windows:

More than 100 LGBT and allied alumni of Gordon College converged on the North Shore last weekend for Gordon College’s Homecoming. OneGordon, the independent LGBT alumni association, hosted events throughout the weekend and had a visible presence on campus Saturday. “Because of Gordon’s prohibition of “homosexual behavior”, many alumni didn’t feel comfortable or interested in returning for Homecoming.

See also: “Gordon College Alumni Stand Up for Gay Rights on Campus,” Boston Globe (4 Oct 2014)

news: campaign for middle school gay-straight alliances

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via The Rainbow Times:

BOSTON, Mass.—Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders today launched a campaign to encourage the creation of more gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in middle schools across Massachusetts and in New England.

The video and resources, including a primer on the right to form GSAs, can be viewed at www.GLADAnswers.org/gsa.

GLAD has partnered with Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth (BAGLY, Inc.), GLSEN Massachusetts, Greater Boston PFLAG, Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth, and True Colors: Out Youth Theater and the Theater Offensive to create the campaign.

LGBT middle school students are significantly more likely than their high school peers to experience verbal and physical harassment and assault, with 35.5% of middle school students reporting regular physical harassment compared to 21.4% of high school students. Yet while 52.6% of LGBT high school youth have access to a GSA, only 6.3% of LGBT middle school youth do.