Photo courtesy of: Dr.Oz
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Photo courtesy of: Dr.Oz
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Transgender Day of Silence 4/19/2013
This day originated in educational settings, both secondary and post secondary schools. Students vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. This actually is an LGBT day promoted by GLSEN by their site: http://www.dayofsilence.org
|About the Day of Silence|
|The National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.|
|Founded in 1996, the Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. From the first-ever Day of Silence at the University of Virginia in 1996, to the organizing efforts in over 8,000 middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across the country in 2008, its textured history reflects its diversity in both numbers and reach.|
|Organizing for Day of Silence|
|Organizing a Day of Silence (DOS) activity or event can be a positive tool for change-both personally and community-wide. By taking a vow of silence, you're making a powerful statement about the important issue of anti-LGBT bullying,and when you organize others to join you that message becomes stronger. Discover ways of organizing your event here.|
|While you DO have a right to participate in the Day of Silence between classes and before and after school, you may NOT have the right to stay silent during instructional time if a teacher requests for you to speak. According to Lambda Legal, "Under the Constitution, public schools must respect students' right to free speech. The right to speak includes the right not to speak, as well as the right to wear buttons or T-shirts expressing support for a cause." However, this right to free speech doesn't extend to classroom time. "If a teacher tells a student to answer a question during class, the student generally doesn't have a constitutional right to refuse to answer." We remind participants that students who talk with their teachers ahead of time are more likely to be able to remain silent during class. Find more Lamda Legal advice here.|
|Legal Help: Report It!|
|If you think your rights are not being respected, or want to report your experience of resistant administration, click here to report it. GLSEN and Lambda Legal will review your situation.|
|The Truth about the Day of Silence|
|As the Day of Silence continues to grow, some people have confused the mission and goals of the Action. Clear up any misinformation by reading The Truth about the Day of Silence.|
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
2013 ATLANTA PRIDE FESTIVAL SCHEDULED FOR NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY
The Atlanta Pride Festival will be returning to Piedmont Park in 2013. The Southeast’s largest Pride Festival will be hosted October 12-13, which coincides with National Coming Out Day. This year's events are in early planning stages and more info will be available as October approaches. Here are some notes from 2012:
The Atlanta Pride Festival, in 2012 was the largest event in the United State to coincide with >National Coming Out Day, which is observed on October 11>. Other established community events that take place around the same timeframe include The Health Initiative’s Garden Party, Out on Film and the Atlanta AIDS Walk.
Leading up to The Atlanta Pride Festival 2012, APC organized events and activities throughout 2012 to build enthusiasm for the festival, including special events during the month of June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Additionally, the partnership with the Georgia Aquarium, for the Kickoff Party, continued as a part of the 2012 Pride celebrations.
A full schedule of programming and parties is still being developed for Atlanta Pride Week. For updates and information about events
throughout the year, please visit www.AtlantaPride.org
Applications are now open for parade participants as well as market vendors. For the past several years, both of these sold out – so interested parties are strongly encouraged to submit their application and payments early to ensure their inclusion! Further information is available at www.AtlantaPride.org.
This "Day of Visability" on March 31, 2012 from their headquarters in Michigan was reported to be a success. The Transgender Education Collaboration which sponcered the day reported that their efforts were well recieved. Instead of making this initial day an annual event, they will focus their efforts with other established events like LGBT Pride. We'll watch their website for future offerings and plans wheather this might become scheduled again. ~Sasha
Transgender Visibility Campaign
The ‘Transgender Visibility Campaign’ begans on March 1, 2012 and ran through the first week of April 2012. The campaign was centered on bringing awareness and education about Transgender issues that affect not only their local Michigan Trans community, but those around the globe. For a complete list of future events taking place, please visit the Transgender Education Collaboration website at www.trans-edu.com.
As the Transgender Education Collaboration works to establish itself in the community, there is an ongoing movement to bring about awareness and education for a segment of the population that, for too long has been ignored, abused and/or forgotten. M Kelley, Co-Chair, Transgender Education Collaboration, said: “The fight for transgender rights is too often easily dismissed because Transgender people lack visibility and our [TEC] main goal is to bring much needed education to our community that allows us to make room for all Transgendered people, no matter where they are on their journey. For too long, we have accepted poor treatment of the trans community because of misinformation and a lack of understanding.” “Visibility is so important for the Transgender community, because the rest of society needs to realize that we are here and we are people who have value.
When asked why this campaign is so important, Jena Lewis, Co-Chair, Transgender Education Collaboration, had this to say: "For so long the only visible faces of Transgender people are those as victims of crime on the news, or the false representation of drug using prostitutes. The International Transgender Visibility holiday is time where we all can combat these memes these false beliefs that society pushes upon those that do not follow the gender binary.” “Also, it is time we celebrate people that matter in history and the present that did not follow expected gender roles. It is time we see amazing artists like Rex Cameron and Andrea James. It is time we remember the incredible scientist and computer inventors, people who have really shaped our daily lives for the better, but also amazingly is the fact that they did and do not fit the expected gender perspectives society has put on us for too long.”
To learn more about the Transgender Education Collaboration, become a supporting partner, provide a resource, or to get involved, please visit them online at: www.trans-edu.com/.
17 May 2013
For IDAHO 2013, we invite all concerned organisations and citizens to participate in the "GLOBAL RAINBOW FLASHMOB".
Anyone can join and become part of the global movement fighting for justice and diversity !
Check out more at
Friday, April 12, 2013 It is now just over a month to go to the 9th annual International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia. This week has seen an incredible amount of information come in about new from all four corners of the world. And, as of today, we can announce that that actions which connect with one another into the form of an IDAHO Global Rainbow Flashmob will take place in at least 25 countries.
The IDAHO committee team has also heard about various events in different countries which we cannot announce for security reasons. Those silent organisers, perhaps most of all, deserve our recognition and thoughts as we approach what promises to be a creative and truly International, Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia, 2013.
To report your event, or for any ideas for action or requests for information, partnership ideas etc. email the IDAHO committee team via firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also join the "IDAHO flashmob working group" on facebook where around 140 event organisers, from around the world, are exchanging ideas for action for May 17th.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
07 March 2012
Message to Human Rights Council meeting on
Violence and Discrimination based on
Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
Madam Lasserre, President of the Human Rights Council,Distinguished members of the Council,
Ms. Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Excellencies,Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to address this historic Human Rights Council session.
Some say sexual orientation and gender identity is a sensitive subject.
I understand. Like many of my generation, I did not grow up talking about these issues.
But I learned to speak out because lives are at stake -- and because it is our duty, under the United Nations Charter … and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights … to protect the rights of everyone, everywhere.
The High Commissioner’s report documents disturbing abuses in all regions.
We see a pattern of violence and discrimination directed at people just because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
There is widespread bias at jobs, schools and hospitals.
And appalling violent attacks, including sexual assault.
People have been imprisoned, tortured, even killed.
This is a monumental tragedy for those affected -- and a stain on our collective conscience.
It is also a violation of international law.
You, as members of the Human Rights Council, must respond.
To those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, let me say:
You are not alone. Your struggle for an end to violence and discrimination is a shared struggle.
Any attack on you is an attack on the universal values the United Nations and I have sworn to defend and uphold.
Today, I stand with you … and I call upon all countries and people to stand with you, too.
A historic shift is under way. More States see the gravity of the problem.
I firmly oppose conditionality on aid. We need constructive actions
The High Commissioner’s report points the way. We must:
Tackle the violence… decriminalize consensual same-sex relationships… ban discrimination… and educate the public.
We also need regular reporting to verify that violations are genuinely being addressed.
I count on this Council and all people of conscience to make this happen.
The time has come.
Supreme Court lets stand ruling that sides with transgender inmates
A Wisconsin law barring state funding for hormone treatments or sex-change operations for transgender prisoners was struck down, a ruling upheld on appeal. The Supreme Court declined the case.
By Warren Richey, Staff writer / March 26, 2012
The US Supreme Court declined Monday to take up a case examining whether transgender prison inmates enjoy a constitutional right to government-funded sex change operations and hormone therapy.
The action leaves undisturbed a federal appeals court decision siding with transgender inmates in Wisconsin.
Concerned about the use of state funding for ongoing hormone treatments that help certain male inmates look more female, lawmakers in Wisconsin passed the Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act. The law barred the use of any state funds for hormone treatments and/or sexual reassignment surgery.
Three Wisconsin inmates filed a class-action lawsuit. After a trial a federal judge struck down the 2006 law as a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. A panel of theChicago-based Seventh US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.
The appeals court noted that the Eighth Amendment requires state governments to provide medically-necessary treatment to inmates in their prison populations.
Prior to passage of the Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act, medical personnel in the Wisconsin prison system had determined that hormone therapy was medically necessary for the three inmates. As a consequence of the new law, this treatment was discontinued.
The appeals court did not rule that prison officials are required to provide hormone therapy or sex change operations, only that such treatments must be available to inmates if the prison’s own medical personnel determine they are medically necessary.
“Surely, had the Wisconsin legislature passed a law that [Department of Corrections] inmates with cancer must be treated only with therapy and pain killers, this court would have no trouble concluding that the law was unconstitutional,” the Seventh Circuit said. “Refusing to provide effective treatment for a serious medical condition serves no valid penological purpose and amounts to torture,” the appeals court said.
Prison officials had expressed concern that providing hormone treatments that would help certain inmates in an all-male prison appear physically more like a woman might make that inmate a more likely target for sexual assault in prison. Men who receive female hormone treatments develop breasts and experience a redistribution of body fat.
The appeals court dismissed that concern, noting that transgender inmates already face a substantial risk of such assaults.
In her brief to the court, Assistant Wisconsin Attorney General Jody Schmelzer had asked the high court to determine whether the Eighth Amendment requires state prisons to treat “gender identity disorder” (GID) with hormone therapy.
Ms. Schmelzer also asked the court to examine whether the Seventh Circuit overstepped its authority in affirming an injunction invalidating the state’s ban on sex-change surgery for prison inmates
“The court of appeals upheld the injunction as to a procedure that no one had requested, let alone shown was medically necessary to prevent a significant risk of serious harm,” Schmelzer wrote. “It is undisputed that none of the plaintiffs were deemed in need of surgery or even requested it.”
The Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office said the appeals court erred by analyzing the case as if gender identity disorder was a potentially fatal physical medical condition, like cancer, rather than a psychological condition.
“Inmates with GID do not have any physical ailment – their bodies are healthy,” Schmelzer wrote. “The condition is a psychological condition and psychological treatments such as psychotherapy, antipsychotics and antidepressants are appropriate and work to reduce the risk of self-harm.”
The Eighth Amendment does not entitle inmates to specific treatments or the best care possible, Wisconsin officials argue, and courts should defer to the judgment of prison officials.
“A state law should be upheld under the Eighth Amendment as long as it allows for the availability of alternate treatments that, although not curative, work to manage the symptoms of a condition and diminish the risk of harm to a reasonable level,” Schmelzer said.
Denial of treatment for severe GID “causes or creates a serious risk of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and self-mutilation or autocastration for transsexual people,” he wrote in his brief.
“Psychotherapy or psychotropic medication alone, without hormone therapy treatment (and in some cases, sex reassignment surgery), is simply not effective,” Mr. Knight said.
“For those who need it, sex reassignment surgery can be life-saving,” he wrote.
“The Seventh Circuit properly ruled that a state statute that prohibits prison doctors from providing what they deem to be medically necessary treatment for a serious medical condition violates the Eighth Amendment,” Knight said.
“Decisions about the proper course of medical treatment should be made by prison medical staff on an individualized basis” rather than with blanket bans on certain procedures and treatments, he said.
The case is Smith v. Fields (11-561).
International Women's Day 2012
United Nations International Women’s Day: a day of celebration and remembrance.
On March 8th, many nations around the world observe the United Nations International Women’s Day. It is a day to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations, disregarding divisions, be they national, religious, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.
It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, as well as for looking ahead toward what still needs to be done to improve the lives and opportunities of women.
The Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement to proclaim gender equality as a fundamental human right. But even though women have made great strides since then, the day when women are treated as equal to men the world over is yet to come. Nowhere in the world can women claim to have all the same rights and opportunities as men.
Advancing the status of women and girls is critical to achieving successful outcomes for U.S. foreign policy priorities, including stability, prosperity, and peace. The U.S. National Security Strategy recognizes, “countries are more peaceful and prosperous when women are accorded full and equal rights and opportunity.” The evidence is clear. Research indicates that nations that invest in women’s employment, health, and education tend to have greater economic growth and improved health and education for children.
Empowering women as political and social actors can make institutions more representative and better performing. And a growing body of evidence shows that women offer unique contributions to making and keeping peace.
On International Women’s Day we celebrate and honor women. But it is past time that women receive the respect they have earned -- every day of the year.
“My message to all of them is to persevere, to be strong, to be courageous, to understand their worth and the difference they can make,” said Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer in a recent Voice of America interview.
“Our world is changing every day for the better because women are on the front lines of change, and I wish them a very happy Women’s Day -- not just on March 8 but every day!”
Good morning. It’s great to be here with you in Philadelphia for the first in a series of White House LGBT conferences we’ll be hosting around the country. The goal of these conferences is partly for us to talk about some of the work we’ve been doing that might be of interest to you. But it’s also an opportunity for you to share your knowledge and suggestions with us. And I hope you’ll do that as the day goes on.