“Teen bulling and teen suicide based on someone’s sexual preference is ridiculous – and this film turns the tables on modern society. What IF the shoe was on the other foot?. ” –K.Rocco Shields (Creator/Director)
Love is All You Need?, based on the sensational viral short of the same name, tackles the topics of tolerance and bullying with a twist: in this movie, gay is straight, straight is gay, and heterophobia is prevalent.
We’re honored to announce that in its first festival, Love is All You Need? won the Cinequest New Vision Award, which “pays homage to the director whose film best reflects the future.” Lexi DiBenedetto brings a best actress performance at the Sonoma International Film Festival.
This film delivers life of those who are ridiculed, teased and bullied for being themselves. Feel the sting by writers who lived life being bullied for choosing to be themselves. No gimmicky cliches, just raw emotion of living the live of a heterosexual in a gay world. How Would You Live If You Couldn’t Love?
“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” ~ Mother Teresa
CRIMES against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people are under-reported and police hope the move makes it easier for them to come forward.
ABOUT 60 police officers are being given special training to help crack down on hate crime against members of the LGBTI community .
The Equality Network charity has teamed up with Police Scotland to deliver a training programme for officers around the country.
It is hoped they will go on to form a new network of liaison officers who can be contacted by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people who believe they have been a victim of a crime.
Experts hope the programme will increase public confidence in the police and encourage people to speak up about a form of crime which has typically been under-reported.
Scott Cuthbertson, of the Equality Network, said: “We know too many LGBTI people are the victims of hate crime , but we also know that many, for whatever reason, still do not report hate crimes. We want to change that.
“That’s why we are pleased to be working so closely with Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and other criminal justice agencies to provide training on LGBTI issues and to work together to remove the barriers to reporting a hate crime.”
The officers will also be expected to advise their colleagues across the force on LGBTI issues.
Meanwhile, the Equality Network will also provide training for staff at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service , and LGBT Youth Scotland will roll out an anti-bullying programme in schools.
The number of charges for sexual orientation aggravated crime has risen since hate crime legislation came into effect in Scotland in March 2010, to stand at 841 in 2014-15, the Equality Network said.
Police officers will be trained and will pass their knowledge on to other staff
While reporting of transphobic hate crime remains low at 21 charges that year, there is said to be evidence of significant under-reporting.
A recent report by the charity found almost half of LGBT respondents had experienced or witnessed an incident of prejudice or discrimination in the past month, rising to 79% within the past year and 97% within their lifetimes.
Superintendent Jim Baird said tackling hate crime is a priority for Police Scotland.
He said: “If anyone feels they have been the victim of, or witness to, a crime which is motivated by malice or ill will because of sexual orientation or gender identity they should report it to us directly, online or through a third party reporting site.”
Fergus McMillan, chief executive of LGBT Youth Scotland, added: “We are currently working with a range of partners, including Equality Network, to increase the reporting of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes and incidents and improve the support available to those targeted.”
The initiatives are part of the national LGBT hate crime partnership, which brings together 35 organisations from across the UK.
Article posted ~ 14 Mar 2016 ~ by Hilary Duncanson for The Daily Record
Best. Boot Camp. Ever.
2016 Wake Up Profitable Boot Camp for Business Owners
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”- Nelson Mandela
“Born Free and Equal” sets out the source and scope of some of the core legal obligations that States have to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The 60-page booklet is designed as a tool for States, to help them better understand the nature of their obligations and the steps required to meet them, as well as for civil society activists, human rights defenders and others.
You can grab your copy free at thislinkor select your language:
Pink is any of the colours between bluish red (purple) and red, of medium to high brightness and of low to moderate saturation. Commonly used for Valentine’s Day and Easter, Pink is sometimes referred to as “the colour of love“, “the artist Pink” and now “Pink Shirt Day” in Canada falling this year on Feb 22, 2017.
A little history on the use of the word Pink
The colour “Pink” was first recorded in the late 17th century. Although Pink is roughly considered just as a tint of red, most variations of Pink lie between red, white and magenta colors. This means that the Pink’s hue is somewhat between red and magenta. Lucretius used the word to describe the dawn in his epic poem “On the Nature of Things” (De rerum natura). Roseus is a Latin word meaning “rosy” or “Pink.”
My Thoughts on Pink Shirt Day
I first heard about the boys in Nova Scotia in 2009 after discovering an article on-line, since which I started to follow. After a couple years and having the opportunity to read and learn more from past articles in the archives of Pink Shirt Day, there was one detail that seem to have got lost since the first article I read. It’s all about awareness and prevention of Bullying above all else but I noticed that one main detail from the original story over time seemed to had somehow got omitted from the original story line, which added to the soul purpose of “Pink Shirt Day”. In the first few articles the Grade 9 boy who was being bullied for wearing a Pinkshirt to school was a member of the “LGBTQI Community” and Two Straight boys stood up for him, this is a fine example of good character, something that all youth should know or hear about, it needs to be spoken out loud. Once realizing this I became more interested and involved and started to follow along. I soon realized I was right and not everyone was aware of the complete history that lead up to that day in 2007, we need not forget how and why “Pink Shirt Day” was started, and make sure history remembers.
I would like to close by commending the two youth, in their mid 20’s now and all those of you who have dedicated your time and efforts to the “Pink Shirt Day Campaign” and the fight against Bullying because “Awesome” don’t get any better then you!
Article posted Feb 21, 2016 – last updated Feb 21, 2017 by Terry.K
Where in the world are citizens most tolerant of homosexuality?
According to the results of a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, the world’s most LGBT-friendly nation is none other than Spain.
The rankings were part of a 40-country survey on what is or is not considered morally acceptable. Respondents were asked to discuss the morality of issues, including married people having an affair, gambling, homosexuality, having an abortion, having sex before marriage, drinking alcohol, getting a divorce and using contraceptives.
Of Spaniards interviewed, 55% said homosexuality was morally acceptable, compared with 6% who said it was unacceptable and 38% who answered that it’s “not a moral issue.”
It’s important to note that the rankings are based on percentage of respondents who classified homosexuality as morally unacceptable. The United States had a surprisingly high number of respondents claim homosexuality was morally unacceptable — 37% — however, another 35% claimed it was “not a moral issue.”
Meanwhile, the Czech Republic had the highest overall percentage of respondents claim homosexuality was morally acceptable, edging out Spain with 56%. However, 14% of Czechs surveyed said it was unacceptable.
Countries with the lowest tolerance, according to the survey, included Ghana and Russia, where 98% and 72% of citizens replied that homosexuality was morally unacceptable, respectively.
“Schools need to take bullying, harassment and humiliation seriously, by making it official policy,” Jane Clementi said. “We support this legislation because no other student should have to feel the pain and humiliation that Tyler felt after he had been web-camed by his roommate.”
Lawmakers reintroduced a bill in Congress on Wednesday named after an 18-year-old Rutgers University student who committed suicide in 2010 after his roommate posted a video of his private romantic encounter with another man online.
The bill, the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, was introduced in the House by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and in the Senate by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). The only out lesbian in the U.S. Senate, Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), is an original co-sponsor for the Senate bill.
In a statement, Murray said the legislation is necessary because students need the opportunity to further their education “without the fear of harassment and bullying.” “I am proud that this bill would take meaningful steps to provide schools and students with tools to prevent harassment and protect survivors,” Murray said. “By honoring Tyler’s life with this legislation, we can work to prevent the bullying that far too many students are forced to endure.”
According to the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, LGBT students are twice as likely as their straight peers to face harassment, but colleges and universities aren’t required to have policies protecting students either from harassment on electronic communications as well as harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.
The Tyler Clementi Act would require universities to put those policies in place in addition to creating a grant program to support campus anti-harassment programs.
Pocan, one of six openly LGB members of the House, said the legislation is needed because bullying is “a real and persistent danger for far too many students at our colleges and universities.”
“This bill ensures no student has to suffer the humiliation of being harassed for who they are, or who they love,” Pocan said. “Institutions of higher learning should be a place of open expression, which celebrate diversity and embrace students from all different backgrounds.”
After the incident in which students placed the video of him online, Clementi, who was 18 at the time, jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge. In 2012, Dharun Ravi, Clementi’s roommate and the student responsible for the video, was sentenced to 30 days in jail, three years probation, 300 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine.
Jane Clementi, founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation and Tyler’s mother, encouraged Congress to pass the legislation based on the experience of her son.
The Tyler Clementi Act has support from the Human Rights Campaign, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Association for University Women, the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and the Pride Foundation.
A news statement from the Senate HELP Committee lists the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as a supporter of the bill, but a spokesperson for organization told the Blade it has no official position.
Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands? ~Ernest Gaines~
“Matt Shepard is a friend of mine” official Trailer
When Matthew Shepard died in a Colorado hospital 15 years ago this week, the shockwaves could be felt across America. Kidnapped by two men who had befriended him, tied up to a fence in a remote rural spot, pistol-whipped and tortured, Shepard died of his head injuries on 12 October, 1998.
The outrage that erupted from Shepard’s murder not only put his abductors – Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson – behind bars for life, but it also provoked a nationwide debate about hate crimes against gay people. Evidence presented at trial suggested that the attack had been motivated by violent antagonism towards Shepard, 21, as an openly gay man.
In the aftermath of the brutal killing, several states adopted new hate crimes laws that offered additional protection on grounds of sexual orientation and in some cases gender identity. In 2009, after a long campaign led by Shepard’s mother Judy, a federal version, known as the Matthew Shepard Act, was signed into law by President Obama.
But amid the far-reaching impact of Shepard’s death, one state has stood out as being singularly resistant to change – paradoxically, Shepard’s own home state of Wyoming, where he grew up and where he died. The state is one of only four that has refused to adopt hate crimes protections for the LGBT community – the others being Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina.
“Wyoming legislators had the perfect opportunity with Matthew’s death to deal with hate crimes, but they backed away,” Judy Shepard told the Guardian, speaking from Casper, Wyoming where she still lives. She has taken a strategic decision not to involve herself in Wyoming politics, on the assumption that it might be counter-productive.
But she still has very firm views about the state’s lack of legislative action over hate crimes. “If they had acted people would no longer think of Wyoming as a place of hate – they’d think of it as the state with Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, and not as the place where the gay kid was killed.”
The Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest group working for LGBT equality, has monitored Wyoming’s trajectory over the past 15 years. They have found the jolt that Shepard’s murder caused did not have the same practical effect as in so many other states.
“Unfortunately, Wyoming has taken the view that all crimes are crimes, and that’s good enough. The problem with that view is that it does not recognise that hate crimes have a unique impact on an entire community in a way that other sorts of crimes do not,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC’s state legislative director.
A few months after the murder, Wyoming was prompted to introduce a hate crimes bill to the floor of its House of Representatives. The measure failed in a tied vote of 30-30.
Jason Marsden, director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which was set up by the victim’s parents, Judy and Dennis, was present at that vote in 1999 and recalls that “it was heartbreaking”. He says that the legislature has never again come close to making a serious bid to introduce protections against hate crimes for the LGBT community.
“My understanding is that the legislature are satisfied that they made the right decision on this, and they won’t be revisiting it any time soon,” he said.
But Marsden, who was a friend of Matthew Shepard’s for a year before he died, said that such a negative note should not be the end of the story. Change has come over the past 15 years even to Wyoming, a state with a population of barely half a million, a universally Republican-dominated politics and a pride in its prevailing libertarian anti-government attitudes.
Though it remains a state without pro-gay rights laws, more and more people are living as openly gay. Census figures reported by the Casper Star Tribune show that the number of same-sex couples in the state have almost doubled from 378 in 2000 to 657 in 2010.
Recent bills to outlaw LGBT discrimination in the workplace and to legalise same-sex partnerships both succeeded in getting out of committee and onto the floor of the legislature for the first time this year. The anti-discrimination bill came especially close, falling by only two votes in the state senate.
“Things are happening in Wyoming,” Marsden said. “More people are coming out and feeling comfortable to self-identify as gay. The state is evolving more quickly than any of us back in 1998 would have imagined.”
This video was produced for the American Giving Awards presented by Chase. The Matthew Shepard Foundation competed for a share of $2 million in grants. The Foundation ended up receiving $250,000 thanks to our many supporters. For more information on the Foundation visit http://www.MatthewShepard.org and http://www.MatthewsPlace.com
The Matthew Shepard Foundation presents “The Matthew Shepard Story”
This article was amended on 11 October 2013. The original said Matthew Shepard died in a Wyoming hospital.
The entire interview along with resources can be found here. As Anna Merlan said in her previous post, this could have been avoided. Parents whose children are coming out can and should reach out for support and resources from LGBT+ organizations.
The mother of Leelah Alcorn, an Ohio teen who committed suicide earlier this week has spoken out about her child’s death and she wants to make one thing clear: That she loved her son but that religiously she just couldn’t support his choices. That obviously included the fact that Leelah was her daughter.
Carla Alcorn knew that Leelah was transgender, but she says that the first time she read the name Leelah was in the suicide note (which can be read here) the teen left behind. She also claims that she told Leelah that she’d always love her, but couldn’t support her for religious reasons while denying the fact that she or anyone else in the family had anything to do with the suicide. No memorial service has been held because Carla Alcorn is afraid there might be protests.
While protests are in order (not just for Leelah but for all trans teens who are not supported by their families and communities), it’s painful to read her mother’s words, not only because she’s still misgendering her daughter but because she honestly believes that she wasn’t at all a part of the equation that led to Leelah feeling such despair. Carla Alcron told CNN that she got Leelah therapy and medication. What she doesn’t seem to grasp (even after the note and the outcry) is that Leelah likely didn’t stop talking to her about being trans because it was only a symptom of depression but because she had felt betrayed and that her family had “turned their backs on her.” CNN points out that Leelah wrote that the therapy she received was not the therapy that she needed (it was allegedly religion-based) and that her parents refused to sign papers allowing her to begin the transition process. And Leelah’s parents were angry that the teen had come out as gay to friends at school.
What’s most telling, again, about the interview is how staunchly Leelah’s mother refused to refer to her daughter as such, saying over and over what a great child her son had been. This kind of erasure, while probably seeming small to Carla Alcorn, is one of the biggest issues that teens who are coming out as Members of the LGBTQ+ community face. For Leelah, it was too much and she felt there was “no way out.”
Alberta’s School Act requires school boards to ensure that students enrolled in their schools are provided with a safe and caring environment that fosters and maintains respectful and responsible behaviours.
Although Bills 202 and 10 are not currently law, the common law in relation to bullying has developed such that there is a legal obligation on school boards to protect students from bullying. The high profile 2005 British Columbia Court of Appeal case School District No. 44 (North Vancouver) v. Jubran is an unfortunate example of homophobic bullying and the failure of the school to address homophobic insults and harassment.
The B.C. Human Rights’ Tribunal ruled in favour of Azmi Jubran’s human rights complaint of homophobic bullying at school. Jurban, who did not self-identify as gay, had suffered five years of homophobic insults and harassment by other students. Based on the extensive evidence provided to the Tribunal, it found Jubran had been subjected to harassment on a prohibited ground of discrimination and sexual orientation. The North Vancouver School Board was held to have been responsible for the discrimination because it failed to provide an educational environment free from discriminatory harassment. Put another way, it had not done enough to stop the harassment.
Another case reported that a parent was suing an Ottawa school board because her daughter suffered depression and anxiety allegedly as a result of repeated bullying and harassment. She was seeking over $300,000 in damages arising from the school board’s failure to protect her daughter from these events. A settlement was reached. In October, 2010, Law Times reported that four families were suing a school board in southwestern Ontario because their children were allegedly being harassed. They were seeking $35 million in damages.
School Board Duties
School boards owe duty of care to the students under their care and supervision. The law of negligence requires individuals and school boards to take reasonable steps to counter foreseeable risks of injury to those to whom a duty of care is owed. The standard of school boards to its students has been determined by the Court is that of a “reasonable and prudent parent.”
Alberta school boards are also responsible for ensuring that their services do not discriminate against students based on any of the protected grounds in Alberta’s Human Rights Act, and for providing a discrimination-free educational environment. School boards may take the following steps to provide a safe and caring school environment, including providing an environment which is free from homophobic conduct:
Promote a climate of understanding and mutual respect so that all students are treated equally with dignity and respect;
Identify inappropriate student conduct, including scenarios where students are not treated with dignity and respect, and address these cases in a timely fashion;
Continue to educate students about the importance of maintaining a non-discriminatory, tolerant, and respectful school environment; and
Continue to educate teachers about available tools to educate their students on respectful behaviours, including:
Teach students about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and equality rights;
Teach students about the importance of tolerance including sexual orientation and gender expression;
Promote and talk about the schools’ codes of conduct;
Work with students to understand that discriminatory homophobic is not tolerated in schools; and
Invite outside speakers to talk to students and teachers about homophobia and other discriminatory behaviours.
The experiences that gay teens have online are no less valuable than the offline connections they make with others when preparing to “come out of the closet,” according to Roberto Ortiz of the University of Montreal’s Department of Communications. In fact, the relationships that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth make through the Internet are true learning and socialization experiences.
Policy makers and others are wrong to demean or minimize these experiences, as they can help these young people free themselves. These conclusions emerged from Ortiz’s graduate research, conducted under the supervision of Professor Dominique Meunier. Ortiz undertook retrospective interviews with young adults about the discovery of their homosexuality during their adolescence and to the path leading to their revelation of their sexual orientation to their friends and families. Ortiz and Meunier presented the findings at a conference in April in Lyon that was organized by the French collective Jeunes et médias.
Ortiz found that there are not one, but many forms of coming out of the closet. In other words, all the young adults he interviewed came out in circumstances unique to them.
However, all of them turned to the Internet when they began to feel different from the young people in their environment, in particular, by consulting specialized sites, forums, or instant messaging sites.
“As a result, they were able to make contact, anonymously or otherwise, with young people facing similar situations and to explore their sexual and emotional desires without feeling judged or rejected,” said Ortiz. These online sharing sites were testing grounds that equipped them to begin the process of affirming their sexual identity. “For young gays the Internet meets the need to resist social norms, to affirm themselves and develop a certain resilience toward those who do not accept them or who belittle them.”
To be sure, bullying – along with unwanted sexual invitations – often interfere with online exchanges. “But despite some risks, these young people were not totally defenceless. Neither were they victims,” said Ortiz. “They were able to show judgment as in their lives outside the Internet.”
In short, their online and offline experiences represented neither parallel nor separate worlds: the attendant emotions were interrelated, and both worlds had equally important value in organizing a more or less conscious strategy for announcing their sexual orientation to their friends and family.
In this regard, the transition to high school is “a critical time and reference space for young people discovering their homosexuality.
For some, it is an extension of their online experiences, and for others, it is a place for creating (or not) common bonds,” he said.
Initially, Ortiz assumed that the need to affirm oneself influenced the process leading to revealing one’s sexual orientation for the young men he interviewed. “But it is rather the feeling of being different that seems to have been the driver.”
The feeling was akin to embracing one’s difference, which is different than accepting one’s difference. “Acceptance may be seen as a form of defeat, while embracing can produce pride in being different – a separate view of what is normal,” explained Ortiz, who currently works with the health organization RÉZO with gay and bisexual men.
This is why Ortiz recommends that parents and teachers also be more receptive to embracing this difference at home and school. “While bullying sometimes interferes with online exchanges, offline bullying is even more hurtful and damaging for gay teens.”
“One of the strengths of Ortiz’s thesis is to raise the issue of the role that schools play or can play, especially high school, in embracing this difference,” said Professor Meunier. “His work also raises questions about the boundaries too often taken for granted between what is normal or not, and between what is said or done online and in the offline.”
This article is a translation of a piece originally published in French by Martin Lasalle.
Courtesy of the University of Montreal‘
The United Nations decided to take on bullying, with the first ever stand-alone resolution on the subject in the General Assembly.
NEW YORK, November 28 (C-Fam) Once the resolution was adopted by consensus on Monday, countries behind it wasted no time in making their intentions known.
“We regret that bullying because of the sexual orientation and gender identity of children or their parents was not reflected in the resolution,” said the European Union.
The United States echoed those sentiments in an ad hoc intervention to highlight specifically that health concerns of LGBT youth must be reflected in the report of the Secretary General mandated in the resolution. Several countries in Latin America, Australia, and Nordic countries made statements to also express frustration for failing once again to have a resolution employ the expression “sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The bullying resolution is widely recognized as a stepping-stone to promote the notion of “sexual orientation and gender identity” in UN policy. The terminology was rejected during negotiations, but the resolution requests a report on bullying from the UN Secretary General, which is expected to highlight bullying of children who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).
The African Group said “there is no common understanding” on bullying, after hearing the European statement, explaining that a report from the secretariat in two years time would be a better basis for negotiations.
Earlier this month, during negotiations, one delegate complained to the Friday Fax that his country has “serious problems” to deal with, and his delegation had neither the time nor inclination to dwell on bullying.
There is currently no consensus on “sexual orientation and gender identity” at the United Nations. Every time the term comes up in a resolution it forces countries to a vote. This year, opponents of the term gained ground.
111 delegations voted in favor of a resolution against extrajudicial killings last week—the only resolution of the General Assembly where the terms appear—and 66 abstained because they view it as a Trojan horse for special new LGBT rights. Two years ago 117 countries voted in favor of the same resolution. A last ditch attempt by Islamic countries to delete the reference to “sexual orientation and gender identity” failed. 53 countries voted in favor of the amendment, 9 more than two years ago.
Charges of bullying are commonly leveled at UN headquarters against wealthy countries for using their wealth and resources to “impose” their politics and ideology on the rest of the world.
Along those lines, countries complained of the trends at the Human Rights Council on Tuesday this week. Belarus called for a vote on a resolution on the work of the council saying that countries “manipulate” human rights in an “atmosphere of politicization and polarization.”
The council adopted a resolution this year, only the second on the subject, asking for a report from the High Commissioner for Human Rights on discrimination and violence because of sexual orientation and gender identity. The previous resolution resulted in a report that claimed states should recognize same-sex unions, sex changes, as well as special protections in asylum law, criminal law, and civil law for individuals who identify as LGBT.
“The Council must be devoid of any resolutions that impose unacceptable obligations on member states,” complained Ambassador Usman Sarki of Nigeria. He invited wealthy countries to stop pressuring them to change.
“We do not wish to be seen as imposing our values”, he said. But he went further.
“We stand against the unacceptable social behavior that is now being masqueraded as human rights… against which the Nigerian people have legislated,” he said, adding, “sexual orientation and gender identity is not and will never in the foreseeable future be a human rights issue for Nigeria.”
These sentiments were echoed in a statement from the African Group and in statements from Islamic countries.
In spite of their modest resources and personnel limitations countries from Africa are making a big impact at the United Nations.
Last week they delivered a scathing message that they would not accept or support the promotion of new notions of sexuality that are being advanced in schools in the developed world.
They were also instrumental in the adoption of a resolution on the family that once again omits the phrase “various forms of the family.” The same countries frustrated by the bullying resolution complained that same-sex couples were excluded by omitting that phrase.
Courtesy of C-Fam – By Stefano Gennarini, J.D. | November 26, 2014
Ex-director of Manchester Pride, champion of Village businesses and all-round LGBT hero Jackie Crozier writes on the importance of not being a bystander to crime.
I’ve spent a lot of my career trying to fight prejudice and stereotypes – and promote equality – particularly among LGBT communities.
When I was Chair of Manchester’s Village Business Association, I pushed for a new art project to inject life and pride back into ‘Our Village’.
One reason behind the street art scheme was to demonstrate to passers-by that we are proud of who we are and our history. We also wanted to show that we stand up for ourselves, together, through thick and thin.
As Manchester Pride’s Festival Director I was privileged to lead celebrations of LGBT lifestyle and culture in Manchester and, together with our staff, supporters, volunteers, patrons and partners, raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for LGBT community groups and charities in the process.
Despite no longer holding either of those posts I know that I can still help make a difference. I know that we all have a duty and a responsibility to make the world a better place – no matter what we do. That’s why we all need to step up and make a difference.
This Anti-Bullying Week 2014, I’ve been particularly struck by one campaign in particular from lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity Stonewall.
Stonewall’s #NoBystanders campaign is simple, hard-hitting and inclusive of all and any group who may suffer bullying and prejudice. Its campaign video shows children hearing hateful language from a young age, and demonstrates the way it can progress into adulthood.
And what does #NoBystanders ask of its audience? Pledge to not be a bystander – and stand up for those around you who are being bullied or abused for being who they are.
Sounds pretty simple, I think?
Then do it. Be a role model. Don’t be a bystander. If you hear it, or see it, then stop it. I know I will.
And I know that, as a city that looks after its own, that you’ll do it too, Manchester.
No Bystanders is gay rights charity Stonewall’s campaign to tackle bullying and abuse in the LGBT community. It takes place during Anti-Bullying Week from November 17-21.
For more on this story – 20 Nov 2014 – 09:24AM | By Jackie Crozier
Youth suicide rates are sadly out of control. Research from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says among young people, suicide is third leading cause of their death. About 4,600 young people, between the ages of ten to twenty-four, die from suicide each year.
Death is not the only result from a suicide attempt, because more people survive than die. Around 147,000 youth end up in hospital emergency rooms each year with a self-inflicted injury. Some survivors have permanent damage from the suicide attempt, such as having a brain injury or paralysis. Those who survive have a higher risk of attempting suicide again.
Suicide methods statistics say forty-five percent use guns, forty percent use hanging or suffocating, and eight percent use drug overdoses or poison.
Suicide affects all youth. Males die from suicide more frequently than females, but females make more attempts. Deaths from suicides, for ten to twenty-four year-olds, were eighty-one percent boys and nineteen percent girls. Native American youth have the highest suicide rates. Hispanic youth report more suicide attempts than blacks or Caucasians. Suicide is especially impactful for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT). Bullying is a major cause of youth suicide, when those under attack see no other way out. Many adults question why don’t these depressed youth seek help or reach out. Often they do reach out, but others ignore calls for help or do not take them seriously. In the case of bullying, often a call for help has no effect whatsoever on the daily torments these youth are facing.
The Search for Suicide Methods for Teens and Youth Today, Shocking!
There are certain risk factors, which may influence whether a young person attempts suicide. Just because the risk factors exist, does not mean they will attempt suicide. Nevertheless, these are the warning signs as published by the CDC:
A previous attempt of suicide
Suicide of another family member
Mental health problems and depression
Using drugs or alcohol
A life event, which is extremely stressful
A major loss
Easy access to firearms or other suicide methods
Other youth’s suicidal behavior (copy-cat syndrome)
Going to jail
If any of these risk factors are present, there are things to do to help a suicidal young person.
I am sorry if the title of this post shocks you, or strikes you as harsh or over-dramatic. But honestly, parents don’t realize what they’re asking of their LGBTQ kids. And they don’t realize what their rejection is doing to them.
This is not about inclusion. This is a matter of life and death.
By making their children stick to their own expectations and standards for them — whether they really think their gay child is going to hell or honestly are just ashamed of them — parents are asking their kids to change something inherent, something that son or daughter can’t change. No matter how much they pray or plead. It’s just not happening.
And the message that sends is absolutely devastating. It tells our kids (young, teens or adults) that they are broken, not okay, for whatever reason.
It’s plain wrong. And it can be tragic.
The suicide statistics for LGBTQ youth is alarming — 40% of gay youth contemplate suicide, 50% of transgender youth – 4 to 5 times the rate for their straight peers. And gay youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to have attempted suicide as gay peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection.
I have been in dialogue with a close friend about my support and affirmation of gays, and I am heartsick. We are going to meet for coffee, to see if we can find any common ground. She follows Jesus too, so that should be our common ground. But people get disjointed about this, bent out of shape, worked up.
She has already expressed her deep disapproval in me. I am simply loving without condition, which my main job in life (and it’s hers, too!). To even think about meeting with her makes me queasy, but I must speak up for those who deserve to be spoken for.
Just imagine the one who IS gay. How do they feel? Having to discuss this with a family member who doesn’t approve, and other family members, and friends, and church, and society. No wonder this is so hard to walk through. No wonder they feel so alone, because they essentially are so alone.
Family… we are supposed to love and support each other no matter what. If our own family won’t do that, how does that impact our confidence that anyone else can?
Imagine the depth of the shame of a child rejected, condemned, shunned by parents. Or the shame that comes from parents who just “tolerate” their gay child, but the child clearly knows the parents are disgusted by who they are.
And imagine a parent conveying the message that God too is ashamed and disgusted?
Shame is not a good motivator, it’s a horrible motivator that can destroy a person’s heart and spirit. Shame only makes a person feel fundamentally defective, and no one has the right to do that to someone else.
EVERYONE deserves to be treated as a human being. Even people you might disagree with.
I know this can be hard. Please don’t go through it alone. Seek out people to talk to – people who will support and encourage you – people who will affirm, accept and love your gay child, and you too.
I have a secret private Moms group on social media, Rob has a secret private Dads group — email us about those. There are support groups and affirming churches you might consider while you are on this journey.
I am so proud of you for reading this. It may be the first step in making the decision to err on the side of love, to affirm your child. You may have saved their life.
I promise you that it does get better. The answers will come. Just take the next step, and find someone to take it with you.
I am here if you need me.
We know of way too many families who kicked out, condemned, rejected, shunned and shamed their gay child – in Jesus name, claiming they were speaking for God – and who lost their child to suicide or drug abuse.
Please. Don’t. Just don’t. Don’t drive your child over the edge.
Every one of us would regret that for every single day of the rest of our lives.
Breathe. Love them for who they are. Err on the side of love. Trust God with all the rest.
It’s what they deserve because they are human – and because they are your precious child. No matter what.
Just love. Please.
October 28, 2014 by Susan Cottrell
Courtesy of Patheos – Hosting the conversation on faith.
The claim that homosexual men share a “gay gene” created a furor in the 1990s.
New research two decades on supports this claim – and adds another candidate gene.
To an evolutionary geneticist, the idea that a person’s genetic makeup affects their mating preference is unsurprising. We see it in the animal world all the time. There are probably many genes that affect human sexual orientation.
But rather than thinking of them as “gay genes,” perhaps we should consider them “male-loving genes.” They may be common because these variant genes, in a female, predispose her to mate earlier and more often and to have more children.
Likewise, it would be surprising if there were not “female-loving genes” in lesbian women that, in a male, predispose him to mate earlier and have more children.
We can detect genetic variants that produce differences between people by tracking traits in families that display differences. Patterns of inheritance reveal variants of genes (called “alleles”) that affect normal differences, such as hair color, or disease states, such as sickle cell anemia. Quantitative traits, such as height, are affected by many different genes, as well as environmental factors.
It’s hard to use these techniques to detect genetic variants associated with male homosexuality partly because many gay men prefer not to be open about their sexuality. It is even harder because, as twin studies have shown, shared genes are only part of the story. Hormones, birth order and environment play roles, too.
In 1993, American geneticist Dean Hamer found families with several gay males on the mother’s side, suggesting a gene on the X chromosome. He showed that pairs of brothers who were openly gay shared a small region at the tip of the X, and proposed that it contained a gene that predisposes a male to homosexuality.
Hamer’s conclusions were extremely controversial. He was challenged at every turn by people unwilling to accept that homosexuality is at least partly genetic, rather than a “lifestyle choice.”
Gay men were divided: The finding vindicated the oft-repeated claims that “I was born this way” but also opened frightening new possibilities for detection and discrimination.
View Source and continue reading »»» by Jenny Graves – a Distinguished Professor of Genetics at La Trobe University.
Amnesty International believes that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should be able to enjoy the full range of human rights, without exception.
However, every day, across the globe, sexual orientation or gender identity leads to abuse in the form of discrimination, violence, imprisonment, torture, or even execution. Persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity can take a variety of forms and these contravene the basic tenets of international human rights law.
By highlighting instances of abuse against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, intersex (LGBTI) individuals, Amnesty’s activists work to protect the basic dignity of LGBTI people.
Amnesty and LGBTI rights
Since 1991, Amnesty International has committed itself to campaigning for the release of anyone imprisoned solely because of homosexuality, considering it a grave violation of human rights. Amnesty International regards people detained or imprisoned under such laws to be prisoners of conscience and calls for their immediate and unconditional release. Amnesty International further calls on states to reaffirm that exceptions to the universality of rights protections are unacceptable; to condemn human rights abuses on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression; and to respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights of all people.
Join us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Contact George Harvey and Alexander Kennedy, our LGBTI Coordinators, to explore how you can get involved in our campaigning on LGBTI rights issues.
38.3 percent are physical harassment (including destruction of their property or belongings)
18.3 percent include physical assaults at school.
The places in which gay bullying take place also are varied, but the bulk take place common areas:
39 percent in locker rooms
38.8 percent in bathrooms
32.5 percent in gym class.
This type of harassment typically involves witnesses, as they are carried within school grounds. Yet witnesses do not come forward. Further student education may change that, but the situation also requires greater vigilance from teachers, coaches, administrators and support staff.
The good news is that of the data that has been collected, school efforts to improve the school environment for LGBT students is having a positive outcome. The 2011 National School Climate Survey reports decreased levels of biased language and victimization. Teens surveyed also reported greater access to LGBT resources and support. The increased efforts for fighting gay bullying on behalf of school translate into a safer school environment for students. The 2011 survey had 8,584 student respondents from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Schools around the country are working to make improvements, but much more needs to be done to end gay bullying.
Only 45.7 percent of LGBT students reported having a Gay-Straight Alliance at school.
A mere 16.8 percent learned positive representations in school about LGBT historical figures.
Lamentably, only 54.6 percent could identify six or more supportive educators
Only 7.4 percent said their school included gay bulling in their anti-bullying initiatives.
Consider lobbying your school to implement Gay-Straight Alliances, which help bridge understanding among students, focusing tolerance. If a student cannot gain the attention of administrators, seek assistance from supportive school staff. You may want to seek support from the Equal Access Act which protects the right to form a GSA. right to form a GSA under the Equal Access Act.
Youth can work with student councils to include gay tolerance in their schools anti-bullying policies. If students do not want to stand out by spearheading these initiatives, an anonymous suggestion can be made or a supportive staff member can make the suggestion to the student council.
Parents and teachers can urge the school to schedule a discussion at an assembly or an after school activity about tolerance. Suggest a guest speaker from your community of from the media.
Seek support from a teacher, coach or administrator to start an organization on campus that offers students support and resources, such as the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Contact these groups to send educational materials and resources that can be distributed to students.
School administrators should consider an anonymous suggestion box, where students can feel uninhibited to make anonymous bullying reports.
Adults should be mindful of protecting student privacy. The youth may not want a teacher to disclose LGBT issues to their parents or vice versa.
Adults and students must be aware of their rights. While federal civil right laws to not protect harassment based on sexual orientation, the bullying may target a particular student’s non-conformity to gender norms, which then falls under sexual harassment that is covered under Title IX. Learn more about federal civil rights laws here.
Sexual orientation is a person’s sexual identity as it relates to the gender to which they are attracted. Sexual identity terms have been abbreviated and are now commonly referred to as LGBTQ or the LGBTQ community.
LGBTQ does not include heterosexual individuals. Heterosexual or “Straight” individuals are attracted to the opposite sex.
Homosexual terms are each represented by a corresponding letter of the alphabet:
L – Lesbian – woman who is attracted to females.
G – Gay – male who is attracted to males
B – Bisexual – male or female attracted to both sexes.
T – Transgender – A person whose self-identity doesn’t conform to conventional typing. An example would be a person whose gender was designated at birth based genitalia but feels that the true self is the opposite sex or a combination of both sexes. (Non-identification or non-presentation as the sex one was assigned at birth).
Q – Queer – An umbrella term for persons who feel outside of norms in regards to gender or sexuality but do not wish to specifically self – identify as L, G, B or T.
When a child or teen is being bullied because of gender associations or preferences of any type it is referred to as sexual orientation bullying.
Bullying is an aggressive and unwanted behavior inflicted upon a vulnerable child or teen and is usually repetitive. It can be physical, emotional, verbal, or written as a text message or email. Foul or explicit language, hitting, tripping, ignoring, staring, pushing, name calling, stalking, are all examples of bully tactics.
“Cyberbullying” has become a convenient way for kids and teens to hide behind a screen while sending texts or emails containing defamatory, derogatory, or ridiculing content.
Sex is assigned as male or female at birth based upon observation of the baby’s genitalia. From there, the baby is described as a boy or girl usually for the rest of its life. From the moment of birth, the child’s name, clothing colors, clothing styles, toys, haircuts, and mainstream-acceptable behavior is predominantly based upon the child’s assigned gender.
At a very early age, children are influenced by parents and teachers to recognize commonly accepted differences between boys and girls.
However, when a child or teen behaves in a way that deviates from the established gender norms h/she is often labeled by other children who are uncomfortable with or uneducated about the differences. The vulnerable child becomes a magnet for bully activity.
School should be a place where kids are safe but unfortunately, it is not the case. Numerous surveys have been conducted with students, teachers and parents about bullying and harassment of LGBTQ students and the results are alarming.
“According to the gay bullying statistics from the (LGBT) community, about one fourth of all students from elementary age through high school are the victims of bullying and harassment while on school property because of their race, ethnicity, gender, disability, religion or sexual orientation. Unfortunately the primary reason for bullying is due to something that may set them apart from the norm, and that includes sexual orientation.” http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/gay-bullying-statistics.html
Bullied kids tend to develop difficulties with their studies and have trouble developing peer relationships. The situation is compounded and kids may become depressed and have thoughts of suicide.
The results of one report suggested that 26 percent of male 12th graders who were the target of LGBTQ bullying had experienced thoughts of suicide within the previous year.
Whether or not suicide and depression is higher amongst LGBTQ adolescents and teens has not yet been fully proven but most parents and school officials believe it to be true.
Being on the receiving end of bullying in any form is damaging in some way to every child struggling with his or her identity.
We should never take bullying lightly. Any action that causes an individual to feel threatened, shamed, or afraid for any reason should be recognized as an unacceptable behavior. Parents, teachers and adults in general should never turn the other cheek to the bad behavior of a bully.
Education secretary Nicky Morgan has appointed the head of education at gay rights charity Stonewall as her special adviser.
Luke Tryl, who has worked with Stonewall on a range of campaigns aimed at tackling homophobic bullying, will take up his new job with immediate effect.
The move will be seen by some as an attempt to quell fears over Ms Morgan’s stance toward gay rights after she voted against same-sex marriage in the House of Commons earlier this year.
Her promotion by prime minister David Cameron to education secretary and minister for women and equalities in the cabinet reshuffle earlier this month had attracted serious criticism, particularly as she will be overseeing issues such as homophobic bullying in schools.
Her appointment as education secretary led to Michael Cashman, the founder of Stonewall and a former Labour MEP, to tweet: “Nicky Morgan in charge of education and equalities is deeply worrying. The true nature of the Tory party is unchanged and reverting to type.”
But Mr Tryl’s appointment will go some way to allay any fears, due to his work with Stonewall in schools.
Speaking to the gay news service Pink News earlier this month, Mr Tryl said: “Homophobic bullying is almost endemic in our secondary schools; that children in primary schools, children as young as five are using phrases like ‘that’s so gay’. There’s still a huge amount more to do.
“We really believe that at the heart of tackling homophobic bullying is good quality teacher training.
“Too many teachers are coming out of their teacher training never having talked about issues like homophobic bullying, which, ten years on from the repeal of section 28, is pretty worrying.”
All the latest education news for teachers and school leaders, brought to you by the TES editorial team
I am re-blogging this post which I origanally posted Feb 21, 2013, as there are others that need re-posting as well, this being the first. “Adult Bully’s The Five Types”, the one we are dealing with 90% of the time is number one, The Narcissistic Adult Bully, please read the description below: “You may not hear a lot about adult bullying, but it is a problem. Read this article to learn more about different types of adult bullies and get some ideas on how to deal with an adult bully. Adult bullying is a serious problem and may require legal action. One would think that as people mature and progress through life, that they would stop behaviors of their youth. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sadly, adults can be bullies, just as children and teenagers can be bullies. While adults are more likely to use verbal bullying as opposed to physical bullying, the fact of the matter is that adult bullying exists. The goal of an adult bully is to gain power over another person, and make himself or herself the dominant adult. They try to humiliate victims, and “show them who is boss.” There are several different types of adult bullies, and it helps to know how they operate:
Narcissistic Adult Bully
This type of adult bully is self-centered and does not share empathy with others. Additionally, there is little anxiety about consequences. He or she seems to feel good about him or herself, but in reality has a brittle narcissism that requires putting others down.
Impulsive Adult Bully:
Adult bullies in this category are more spontaneous and plan their bullying out less. Even if consequences are likely, this adult bully has a hard time restraining his or her behavior. In some cases, this type of bullying may be unintentional, resulting in periods of stress, or when the bully is actually upset or concerned about something unconnected with the victim.
While adult bullying rarely turns to physical confrontation, there are, nonetheless, bullies that use physicality. In some cases, the adult bully may not actually physically harm the victim, but may use the threat of harm, or physical domination through looming. Additionally, a physical bully may damage or steal a victim’s property, rather than physically confronting the victim.
Verbal Adult Bully:
Words can be quite damaging. Adult bullies who use this type of tactic may start rumors about the victim, or use sarcastic or demeaning language to dominate or humiliate another person. This subtle type of bullying also has the advantage – to the bully – of being difficult to document. However, the emotional and psychological impacts of verbal bullying can be felt quite keenly and can result in reduced job performance and even depression.
Secondary Adult Bully:
This is someone who does not initiate the bullying, but joins in so that he or she does not actually become a victim down the road. Secondary bullies may feel bad about what they are doing, but are more concerned about protecting themselves. (Definitions courtesy of Bullying Statistics http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/)
A webinar on the Prevention of LGBT Suicide and the Role of Health Professionals and Religious/Spiritual Advisors
Despite some improvements in public attitudes toward gay marriages and greater acceptance of homosexuality, disparities in suicide ideation and attempts between LGBT and heterosexual youth persist. New research indicates that few LGBT people sought help prior to attempting suicide and when LGBT people did seek help it was not effective in preventing suicide attempts. Further, counseling from a religious or spiritual advisor was associated with worse outcomes. Compared with individuals who did not seek help at all, those who sought help from a religious or spiritual advisor were more likely later to attempt suicide. Black LGBTs were also more likely than White or Latino LGBTs to seek treatment in religious or spiritual settings prior to a suicide attempt.
Speakers: Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D., Williams Senior Scholar of Public Policy, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law Abbe Land, Executive Director, The Trevor Project Ann Haas, Ph.D., Senior Consultant, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Rev. Delman Coates, Ph.D., Senior Pastor, Mt. Ennon Baptist Church
Discussant: Peter Goldblum, Ph.D., Professor, Director of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-based Applied Research (CLEAR), Palo Alto University
About: Dr. Meyer will summarize recent research showing that, at least in the past, few LGBT people sought help prior to attempting suicide and when LGBT people did seek help it was not effective in preventing suicide attempts. Study respondents who sought mental health or medical treatment at some time prior to their suicide attempt (or, among those who did not attempt suicide, prior to the age when suicide might have been attempted) were as likely as respondents who did not seek any mental health treatment to have a suicide attempt or serious suicide attempt after this time. However, counseling from a religious or spiritual advisor was associated with worse outcomes. Compared with individuals who did not seek help at all, those who sought help from a religious or spiritual advisor were more likely later to attempt suicide.
Ms. Land will discuss the role of professionals and trained peer counselors in suicide prevention, especially related to LGBT youth. She will also describe preventive trainings, programs, and model policies offered by The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT and questioning young people ages 13-24.
Dr. Haas will discuss advances and challenges in research of prevention of suicide in LGBT populations.
Rev. Coates is Senior Pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, MD and President of the Black Church Center for Justice and Equality, committed to reclaiming the social justice tradition of the Black church. Rev. Coates believes in keeping the legacy of African American Christian activism and the responsibility of progressive faith leaders to further Christian love and American democracy. He will talk about why he believes it is important for African American pastors to dispel the myth the bible condemns homosexuality and the role of LGBT individuals in the Black church.
Dr. Goldblum is the co-editor of Youth Suicide and Bullying: Challenges and Strategies for Prevention and Intervention (forthcoming September 2014, Oxford University Press). Dr. Goldblum will discuss the four presentations and share from his own extensive experience as director of a clinic that specializes in working with LGBT people.
Lets take a look at one of the legal firms I contacted for representation, “Howie, Sacks & Henry” on May 7, 2014, the image below is a partial screenshot of the letter I received by email after my enquiry on May 4, 2014. Not only did Mr Dick (gotta love that name) 🙂 reject to represent me, they addressed me as “Ms” this did not upset me at the time because I am more than aware that I will not obtain legal council due to the fact of my sexuality, but I sent a reply anyway just so they were aware of my acknowledgement and requested they make an adjustment as follows:
Hi Mr Dick
Thank you for the letter of acknowledgement of my request in writing, if I could ask you to correct an error in the “To” section which states “Dear Ms. Kinden” I am a homosexual man but currently single so you may address me as Mr.
Thank you for your attention to this Matter.
The change was made and forwarded to me the next day.
Now the next series of four screen shots were taken from my Google Drive, I give all lawyers when requesting representation access to the files, this means they can only view and read the files, unless I unlock the files, as you can see in the bottom right hand corner of each image it says “CAN VIEW” no one is able to share or download any of the files contained within the Google Drive until I unlock them. A short time ago I received a notification from Google that Mr Dick had shared and downloaded 271 of my files without my consent or knowledge. Now I am really pissed because the only way for him to do such an illegal act is to Hack into my computer and my Google Drive, seems that here in Canada corruption, breach of privacy and a total lack of respect for legislation has no ethical value what so ever, I really don’t know who to trust anymore, but than again I may never trust anyone ever again.
I contacted Mr Dick yesterday to ask what his intentions were, I thought maybe he was going to represent me after all, but not, I am very concerned as to whom he has shared all my documents with. According to his email response he says he only downloaded a couple as to review my case and then destroyed the link but the share list clearly shows he shared more than 250 of my documents. This really truly troubles me how he was able to bypass the lock on my Google Drive.