Transgender center launches intersex group

When a baby is born the first question most people ask is “is it a girl or a boy?” The doctor takes a look at the baby’s genitals, if they see a penis the child is declared a boy, if the see a vulva the child is called a girl. But sometimes a child’s anatomy is not that clear cut, and sometimes the genetics, physiology or anatomy of person is more complex than the penis=boy, vulva=girl equation. The umbrella term “intersex” is used to describe people whose physical bodies, hormones or chromosomes lie between the male and female ends of the spectrum.

According to the Intersex Society of North America somewhere between 1 in 1,500 and 1 in 2,000 babies born in this country have genitals that fall between the strict male/female dichotomy. Additionally, several genetic conditions exist where people who may appear strictly male or strictly female have chromosomal combinations other than XX or XY, a combination of XX and XY, or the chromosomes associated with one gender and the body associated with another. With so many intersex people walking around, there is a fairly good chance that you know one.

But according to “Koomah,” the founder of the group, very few spaces exist for intersex people to talk about their lives. “Most of the social and support groups that I’ve encountered are online,” says Koomah. “I’ve encountered a handful of people both in and outside of [Houston's] Transgender Center that are intersex-bodied but didn’t know anyone else who was. When I mentioned I was and spoke with them more in depth about my experience it seemed to be a great relief that their experience isn’t the only one.”

Koomah realised that their was a need for a group that would allow the intersex community to talk about their experiences. This realization led to the founding of the Transgender Centers Intersex group, which will have its first meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7 pm at the Center (604 Pacific). The group is designed as an informal get-to-gether for those with intersex bodies and their spouses.

Koomah explains that while the transgender and intersex communities share many experiences the terms are not interchangeable. “While some intersex people do identify as transgender and some may choose to transition, sometimes the experience of being intersex is different,” says Kumayama. “Being intersex in childhood is radically different than the experience of other non-intersex folks, explaining your body to doctors can be scary, and making choices on things like transition or relationships are easier when you have people whom you share similar experience to talk with.”

—  admin

First Gay Bar Launches in Fairfax County

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS X390 (FAIR USE) | ADVOCATE.COMSo Addictive is the first almost full-time gay bar in Fairfax County, Va.
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First Gay Bar Launches in Fairfax County

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS X390 (FAIR USE) | ADVOCATE.COMSo Addictive is the first almost full-time gay bar in Fairfax County, Va.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

All Out: New LGBT Rights Group Launches

A new global LGBT rights group called All Out has announced their launch in early 2011.

Established by former leaders and founders of some of the world’s most successful movement building organizations, All Out will add global people power to the historic fight for LGBT equality. All Out will rapidly respond to moments of crisis and opportunity, so governments, corporations and other institutions with the power to change the lives of LGBT people hear us – in huge numbers. We’ll also work to change our families and communities so that LGBT people win not just rights but also come to feel truly embraced wherever they are.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Rep. Grayson Launches ‘Taliban’ Attack on GOP Opponent Webster

Talibandanwebster

Hoping to sway voters their way this November, Democrats are rolling out an aggressive, exceedingly negative campaign strategy to smear their Republican opponents, and the trend's definitely taken hold down in Florida, where Rep. Alan Grayson has launched a hardball at virulently conservative GOP opponent Daniel Webster.

"Democratic candidates across the country are opening a fierce offensive of negative advertisements against Republicans, using lawsuits, tax filings, reports from the Better Business Bureau and even divorce proceedings to try to discredit their opponents and save their Congressional majority," the New York Times reported yesterday.

The offensive clearly includes comparing opponents to religious fanatics, as Grayson does in his commercial, "Taliban Dan Webster."

"Religious fanatics try to take away our freedom in Afghanistan, Iran and right here in central Florida," the female narrator says before the viewer hears audio of Webster saying a wife should "submit" to her husband. "Daniel Webster wants to impose his radical fundamentalism on us… Taliban Dan Webster, hands of our bodies, and our laws."

Webster's campaign website stays away from gay issues, which are roiling in Florida, although he does describe himself as a "family man," so often used as code for anti-equality. Further, Webster's largest campaign contributions com from Christian Nationalist David Barton, whose organization, Providence Foundation, hopes to implement Old Testament law, like the stoning of gay people, a punishment also championed by the Taliban.

So, this leads to the larger question: does Webster deserve to be compared to the Taliban, or is this just "dirty politics?"

Watch Grayson's commercial, AFTER THE JUMP, and decide for yourself…


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—  John Wright

Watch: Dan Savage Launches Anti-Bullying YouTube Project

Savage

"It gets better."

That's the message Dan Savage wants to send to LGBT and questioning youth in America who are being bullied, with the launch of a YouTube channel to which he hopes people will contribute.

Writes Dan:

I’ve launched a channel on YouTube—www.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject—to host these videos. My normally camera-shy husband and I already posted one. We both went to Christian schools and we were both bullied—he had it a lot worse than I did—and we are living proof that it gets better. We don’t dwell too much on the past. Instead, we talk mostly about all the meaningful things in our lives now—our families, our friends (gay and straight), the places we’ve gone and things we’ve experienced—that we would’ve missed out on if we’d killed ourselves then.

“You gotta give ’em hope,” Harvey Milk said.

Today we have the power to give these kids hope. We have the tools to reach out to them and tell our stories and let them know that it gets better. Online support groups are great, GLSEN does amazing work, the Trevor Project is invaluable. But many LGBT youth can’t picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can’t imagine a future for themselves. So let’s show them what our lives are like, let’s show them what the future may hold in store for them.

Watch Dan and Terry's video, AFTER THE JUMP

Instructions for submitting your own video are here.



Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Koering Launches Write-In Campaign

REP PAUL KOERING X390Minnesota’s only openly gay elected Republican in the state legislature
will run for reelection as an independent candidate after Republican
voters chose his opponent in the primary in August.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

Army Launches DADT Survey

Army Boots x 390 (Photos.com) | Advocate.comThe Army announced Thursday that it launched an online inbox for soldiers to submit their comments and opinions on “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

Catholics for Equality Launches

From HRC Religion & Faith Program Director Harry Knox:

The internet is buzzing about Catholics for Equality, the new Catholic laypeople’s organization working for equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  The word is out, though the organization’s new website is not yet fully functional.  www.catholicsforequality.org is up and ready to capture your email address for future communication if you are a Catholic in search of ways to get your voice heard.

Lay Catholics and Catholic families are tired of the bishops and hierarchy dictating a policy of limits on LGBT people’s freedom to marry, freedom to earn a living in supportive workplaces, and even the freedom to be safe on the streets.  In fact, a recent Gallop poll shows 63% of American Catholics support LGBT equality and a survey from Public Religion Research shows 57% of Latino-American Catholics support LGBT equality. C4E has been formed to give a voice to those lay Catholics who love their LGBT neighbors and want to put that love into action.

HRC’s Religion and Faith Program has been proud to support the start-up of Catholics for Equality.  We were privileged to host its organizational meeting in the HRC Equality Forum last May and have provided financial and logistical support to the founders.  We hope we have been an effective catalyst for this organization that will provide a powerful counter to the demeaning and disrespectful language the bishops use to describe LGBT people and our lives.  These lay Catholics know, for instance, that same-sex couples have taken on the responsibilities of marriage and should have the legal status to match our commitments.  If the hierarchy won’t speak out for what is right and fair, these voices from the pews will demand to be heard.  September 14 is the target launch date for the fully-fledged site.  But go sign up now so you’ll be among the first to be reminded of this new way to engage your neighbors.


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—  John Wright