Monday, 22 December 2014

Save Our Right to Vote - UK Trans Info

The UK Government is drafting new laws that will require everyone who registers to vote to disclose their previous name. This information would be shared with local authorities and the Department for Work and Pensions.

This change will have a negative impact upon anyone who has good reason to keep an old name private, including trans people, and individuals who have experienced domestic abuse.

On this page, you can find more information on the proposed change in law, contact details and template letters so you can lobby for the Government to re-think this idea...

Read the full post and help out here: Save Our Right to Vote - UK Trans Info

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The true face of the anti-gay movement

Same-sex marriage was legalised a year and a half ago in France, amidst a rising tide of ignorance, fear and hate from the extreme right and ultra-religious lobbies. The first gay marriage had to have police protection, as extreme-right bully boys wanted to get into the ceremony and create a disturbance.

Since then, there have been a fair number of marriages, the very fabric of society has failed to collapse and, worst of all, LGBT folk are being increasingly perceived as normal people. This will not do at all. After all, if you’re thundering forth that homosexuality is sin and that anyone who “chooses a homosexual lifestyle” is evil and immoral and corrupt, it causes problems when people are out and proud, with everybody looking at them and saying “But they’re just like us and don’t live any differently.”

The bigots’ lobby has a response to this: invent bugbears to … (Continue reading → )

The post The true face of the anti-gay movement by Jay H first appeared on Plague of Mice .

Monday, 11 August 2014

Fighting Back Against Anti-Transgender Talking Points

By Brynn Tannehill. Reblogged from HuffPo, in its entirety, because it's important, demolishing as it does the most common myths on transgenderism regurgitated by the religious right.

Since the publication of Time's recent cover story "The Transgender Tipping Point," there has been a spate of conservative op-eds in retort, including ones featured in theChicago Sun-Times and the Wall Street Journal, and online on conservative websites such as The Federalist. The attacks follow a predictable set of talking points that rely on the reader having no scientific knowledge of the issue. However, when examined from a perspective of peer-reviewed medical consensus and law, these talking points fail utterly.

"Transgender people are by definition mentally disordered."
The organization responsible for defining what is and is not a psychiatric disorder, the American Psychiatric Association, has this to say about the matter (via the DSM-5):
It is important to note that gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder. The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition.
In short, the people who wrote the definition of "psychiatric disorder" categorically reject the statement that a transgender identity is intrinsically disordered.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Obama advances transgender rights under the radar: 'It's quiet by design' - Washington Times

SAN FRANCISCO — President Obama, who established his bona fides as a gay and lesbian rights champion when he endorsed same-sex marriage, has steadily extended his administration’s advocacy to the smallest and least accepted band of the LGBT rainbow: transgender Americans.

With little of the fanfare or criticism that marked his evolution into the leader Newsweek nicknamed “the first gay president,” Obama became the first chief executive to say “transgender” in a speech, to name transgender political appointees and to prohibit job bias against transgender government workers. Also in his first term, he signed hate crime legislation that became the first federal civil rights protections for transgender people in U.S. history.

Since then, the administration has quietly applied the power of the executive branch to make it easier for transgender people to update their passports, obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, get treatment at Veteran's Administration facilities and seek access to public school restrooms and sports programs - just a few of the transgender-specific policy shifts of Obama’s presidency...

Read more: Obama advances transgender rights under the radar: 'It's quiet by design' - Washington Times

White House says Obama’s LGBT executive order will not provide religious exemption - The Washington Post

President Obama, resisting calls from several prominent faith leaders, will not include a new exemption for religiously affiliated government contractors when he issues an executive order Monday barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the White House said Friday.

Obama announced last month that he would sign such an order after concluding that Congress was not going to act on a broader measure prohibiting discrimination based on sexual discrimination or gender identity by companies.

 Since then, faith leaders have urged him to include an exemption for government contractors with a religious affiliation, such as some social service agencies...

Read the rest of this extremely important article here: White House says Obama’s LGBT executive order will not provide religious exemption - The Washington Post

Considering the stranglehold religious extremists have on US politics, espeically but not exclusively the right, this is a tough and courageous stand for equality on Obama's part. 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The homophobic rantings of Michael L Brown - Plague of Mice

Fred Phelps is dead. Long live Fred Phelps, apparently. Or rather his new incarnation: Michael L Brown. Equally suspiciously obsessed with LGBT folk, equally eager to turn a (dis)honest buck selling discredited ex-gay therapy to the terminally bigoted and/or gullible. Raise a voice in protest? You’ll be blocked on Twitter, banned on Facebook and, should you DARE post an unfavourable review on Amazon, he will muster his followers to vote it down and report it as spam. So yeah, nice guy who really subscribes to Christian values. His definition of Christian, you understand. Nobody else’s is valid… According to him anyway. You know the mindset: the same one that gave us Sharia law and the Spanish Inquisition.

Anyway, here’s the sales blurb for his latest money-spinner: Can You Be Gay and Christian?: Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality

Now read on-> The homophobic rantings of Michael L Brown - Plague of Mice

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 Another death due to legalised homophobia in Cameroon

Roger is dead and my government is to blame. He was like a son to me.
3 years ago, Roger sent a text message to another man that said, "I'm very much in love with you." In our country, Cameroon, it is illegal to be gay and so he was arrested and jailed. This is how we met – I am a lawyer who fought to get Roger free.
I defend many people like Roger and he was especially brave. By speaking out he helped fight the anti-gay laws that let this happen. He inspired hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
When I received word that Roger had died I was overwhelmed with grief. But I'm determined to use my sadness and my anger to continue what Roger's courage started.
I've started a virtual vigil for Roger, together with All Out. Will you add your name to honour Roger's memory, then share his story with the people you love?
Add your name here and share Roger's story:

We're calling on leaders around the world to end all anti-gay laws so that no one has to die like Roger – because of who they love.
By signing and sharing this virtual vigil, we can tell Roger’s story to the many people who simply haven't heard these shocking things are happening, and don't know they can take action to help.
By making sure Roger's story is too big to be ignored or forgotten, we can help turn the tide against these laws, everywhere.

Roger was only 34, and before he was arrested he had been a student. He often talked about returning to school and getting a job. Now he'll never have that chance.
Roger died in a remote village, and the details of what happened are not yet clear. But what we know is this: Roger was violently abused in jail. He was left destitute because no one would employ him. He couldn't get the medical treatment he needed. If Roger hadn't been gay in a country where it's illegal – he would still be with us.
Please join me and share Roger's memory:
Thousands of us have signed petitions, shared news and felt the urgency to speak out during Roger's struggles in the last two years. I know he was moved and inspired by everyone who stood with him. Now we need to come together as a movement and keep his memory and dream alive.
Roger is not the only person we've lost in Cameroon during the last few months to fear and violence – and I just can't stand to lose any more. We have no choice but to win this battle for love, equality, and dignity in Cameroon, in Africa and around the world.
Will you join us?

A luta continua,
Alice Nkom and the rest of the All Out team

PS: My country Cameroon is one of 76 countries where it's a crime to be gay. In 10 countries, being gay can mean a life sentence in jail or the death penalty. I can't believe it's 2014 and yet this is happening here and now. Please help wake up the world – sign and share:

Gay 'Prisoner of Conscience' Dies in Cameroon - Associated Press, 12 January 2014
Gay Cameroonian, Jailed for a Text Message, Dies on Medical Leave - Time, 13 January 2014
Cameroon: Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé, died for being gay - France24, 14 January 2014 (in French)

All Out is mobilizing millions of people to build a world where no person will have to sacrifice their family or freedom, safety or dignity, because of who they are or who they love.
This is a campaign of Purpose Action, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization.
Our mailing address is:
Purpose Action
115 Fifth Avenue
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Copyright © 2014 All Out, All rights reserved.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

*Tap, tap* "Is this thing on?"

This blog is not quite dead. I've sort of neglected it, but it's still been around: slouching about the place, fiddling with the ornaments and stealing snacks out the fridge. So I reckoned it was time I made it earn its keep.

Part of the reason, well most of the reason, is that I got a phone call yesterday from a production company that makes programmes for national TV. I've already been on local TV news twice, in very brief interviews; something that isn't exactly newsworthy except for me and those who know me. National TV is different. There's no guarantee I'll make it to the final list for a 15 minute interview, but if I do, it'll be one of the rare times someone who identifies as genderqueer gets out from under the rug where we're usually swept.

Whatever happens, I'll post it here.
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