#HRC

Nine Trans People Have Been Killed in the U.S. This Year

The strangling death of 26-year-old Carla Patricia Flores-Pavón last week is the ninth known murder of a transgender person in the U.S. this year. The Human Rights Campaign has tracked violence against trans people and non-binary people since 2013. Last year, at least 28 transgender people were killed, a record since tracking began.

These are the nine transgender victims of fatal violence in 2018:

Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, 42, was known throughout her North Adams, Massachusetts community as an activist. She founded and organized the Miss Trans New England pageant. She was found stabbed and beaten to death in her home on January 5. Her husband, Mark Steele-Knudslien, 47, was charged with the crime.

Viccky Gutierriez, 33, from Honduras, was a member of TransLatin@ Coalition’s Los Angeles organization. She was stabbed to death before her home was set on fire on January 10. Kevyn Ramirez, 29, faces the possibility of life in prison for the crime.

Tonya Harvey, 35, was shot to death in Buffalo, New York on February 6. Police initially identified Harvey as male before releasing an updated report. They are now investigating the murder as a possible hate crime.

Celine Walker, 36, was found dead from a gunshot wound in a Jacksonville, Florida hotel on February 4. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office misgendered Walker at first, claiming they do not identify victims as transgender. Authorities are still looking for a suspect.

Zakaria Fry, 28, and roommate Eugene Ray, 70, went missing from their New Mexico home in mid-January. Their bodies were discovered 40 miles outside of Albuquerque on February 19. Charles Spiess, 32, was arrested and charged with two counts of murder.

Phylicia Mitchell, 45, was shot to death outside her home in Cleveland, Ohio on February 23. On April 10, Cleveland.com reported that Gary Sanders, 36, was charged with aggravated murder in Mitchell’s death. The slaying is believed to be drug-related. "She was a good person,” her longtime partner Shane Mitchell told the Cleveland press. “Even though she had a drug problem, she's a good person. She got mixed up with the wrong people.”

Amia Tyrae Berryman, 28, was fatally shot in a Baton Rouge, Louisiana hotel March 26. Police have no suspects at this time. Local TV station WBRZ-TV 2 misgendered Berryman when first reporting the crime.

Sasha Wall, 29, was found dead from multiple bullet wounds in her still-running car on Easter Sunday in the sandhills of South Carolina. No arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation, but local media  have reported a lead. Local station WSOC-TV misidentified Wall as male.

Carla Patricia Flores-Pavón, 26, was fatally strangled in her Dallas apartment on May 9. A man was seen leaving her apartment shortly before she was found. A source told local station CBS 11 the victim had recently connected with a man in a chat room.  An investigation is underway. Dallas police say there is no evidence of a hate crime.

 

Seven of these women were women of color. Violence disproportionately impacts trans people of color, who are uniquely vulnerable due to a struggle for basic living needs like employment, housing and healthcare in the crosshairs of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia.

For Mother's Day HRC Announces Star-Studded "Moms For Equality" Campaign

Even with progress being made every day, the fact is LGBTQ youth face disproportionately high rates of bullying, anxiety and depression.

But when it comes to kids, few are as ferocious a defender as a mom.

So just in time for Mother’s Day, the Human Rights Campaign has announced a new “Moms for Equality” campaign featuring mothers of famous LGBTQs urging their fellow parents and allies to join the fight for equality. 

Kelly Rippon, Sally Field, Betty DeGeneres, Jodie Patterson and more share tributes and truth in the new campaign, chronicling their journeys to becoming fierce advocates of LGBTQ people. 

“Everyone, LGBTQ or otherwise, should get to live as freely as Adam does –– and, as one of HRC’s Moms for Equality, I’m committed to making that happen,” says Kelly Rippon, mother of out Olympic bronze medalist (and "America's sweetheart") Adam Rippon.

“This whole campaign has become such a family affair. All of us are in this fight for LGBTQ equality for Adam, of course, but also for all those young people like him who haven’t had an easy time openly being themselves," added Rippon. "They need allies to support them, now more than ever!”

“At 20, Sam came out proudly as a gay man: to us and to a world where some still hate you just for being different. Ten years later and that hate seems to have only gotten stronger,” says Oscar winner Sally Field writes in a touching tribute for the “Moms for Equality” campaign. “But with you, we can help stop hate in its tracks.”

“It’s on us to change the world for these kids and make it a better place. Just like my Ellen did 21 years ago and continues to do to this day,” says Betty DeGeneres, mother of Ellen DeGeneres. “I’m a proud Mom for Equality and a longtime member of HRC.”

Jodie Patterson, recently named one of “The 20 Most Influential Moms of 2018” by Family Circle magazine, shares, “As a mom, I’ve always wanted to fix things. But, as I soon realized, there wasn’t anything about Penelope that needed fixing. He, like every transgender child, was simply announcing to me and to the world how he truly saw himself.

“He was boldly claiming his identity,” said Patterson. “I joined the fight for transgender equality that very day and I’m here, seven years later, to keep that fight going as one of HRC’s Moms for Equality!”

Limited edition “Fight Like A Mother” t-shirts are available to those who join the campaign through Mother’s Day.

Middle East & North Africa LGBTQ Activists Share Personal Stories In New Video Project

Amid state-sponsored repression and social stigma, LGBTQ people across in the Middle East and North Africa are speaking out against homophobia and transphobia. Some of them are building national movements, while others are simply sharing their stories. - nbcnews.com

Yesterday, on our Facebook Page, we asked:

Have you become more involved or less involved in politics since the last presidential election?

I often receive calls to donate my time and/or money to this gay cause, this LGBTQ+ event and I say I don't have the time or money or often think that the cause does not align with my personal life and I go on with my personal life and don't think any more of the call, this email, that Facebook post. 

YouAreNotAlone is the name of the campaign in which 34 gender activists have taken part. Participants' efforts have tackled LGBT issues in Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, and Yemen. - raseef22.com

We shouldn't say we have it easy in America, but we have it so much easier than many nations in the world.  It's a reality check when we hear that hook-up apps, that we throw on when we see a cute guy in public to see if he's "on the grid," are used to hunt down gay men.  That men are turned in by their neighbors to authorities because they may be gay. 

A new multimedia project from Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality (AFE) is seeking to amplify the voices of these human rights activists. Their initiative includes a 75-page report about the state of LGBTQ activism in the region, titled "Audacity in Adversity," and a video series, titled "No Longer Alone," which includes Arabic-speaking LGBTQ people sharing their personal stories and experiences as activists.

YouAreNotAlone, as it is called overseas or No Longer Alone by the HRC, is somewhat of a reality check for some of us that do say no to that phone call or just delete that email.

 

 

Many of the nations where the participants are from criminalize homosexuality. With that in mind, the creators of "No Longer Alone" allowed some interviewees to hide their faces, use false names, and if desired, alter their voices.

Going back to our Facebook question:

Have you become more involved or less involved in politics since the last presidential election?

Should we have asked, when was the last time you participated in a pro-LGBTQ+ event or political event?  Bravo for those that speak up for the LGBTQ+ causes when we do not.

 

 

 

h/t:  nbcnews.com, raseef22.com

Did Bisexual Health Awareness Month Make Us Examine Our Own Health And Our Relationship With Our Doctor?

I will admit, I didn't know March was Bisexual Health Awareness Month.  It came and went and I juts continued with my cis gay life. Do I shrug my shoulders and say, oh well, there seems to be a day or a month dedicated for anything and everything now, and move on? 

We honestly need to stop treating the Bisexual+ community as the lower case confused child of the rainbow family. Why does it seem that the most prevalent comments about the bisexual community are that they just want it all, they are confused, and they just need to pick a side. 

Enough is enough with that mentality.  Haven't we as Ls and Gs an Ts heard too many comments just like those?  As a gay man, how many times have you been asked if you've ever had sex with a woman and if the answer is no, they seem totally shocked that you never tried it and move forward with saying you should?

But what if some of these off the wall, degrading, confusing questions came from your doctor?

GLAAD.org recently posted a piece called "Six Things Bisexual+ People Are Tired Of Hearing From Their Doctors."

1) “Wow, being bisexual must make dating so easy, you’ve got all the fish in the sea.”

2) “Are you sure there is no way you could be pregnant?”

3) “You don’t need STD/STI testing because you’re in a same-sex relationship, right?” or “I think we should run some STD/STI tests, just in case.”

4) “When was the last time you had sex? I mean… real sex?”

5) “So you’ve been in a relationship for a while now. You’re not bisexual anymore? Finally picked a side?”

6) “Don’t worry, I experimented some back in college too, I know how it is”

For more elaboration on these comments, head over to GLAAD.org where Micah Prussack puts it all in context.

So imagine hearing these comments from a professional that is there to help you protect your health.  Knowing these questions and the attitude toward Bisexuals is a negative, degrading one, do bisexuals even "come out" to their doctors?  Maybe you have heard these questions from your own doctor?

The Human Rights Campaign marked Bisexual Health Awareness Month by highlighting the startling health disparities facing the bisexual community:

  • HRC’s 2017 Youth Survey conducted with the University of Connecticut is not yet published, but preliminary insights reveal that bisexual youth are more likely to avoid exercise, smoke cigarettes, and more frequently feel irritable and depressed than their lesbian and gay peers. Additionally, bisexual youth were less likely to disclose their sexual orientation to their doctors and health care providers.
     
  • HRC’s 2015 report Health Disparities Among Bisexual People found that when compared to their heterosexual, lesbian and gay peers, bisexual adults reported double the rate of depression and were far more likely to engage in self-harming behaviors.
     
  • HRC’s 2014 report Supporting and Caring for our Bisexual Youth found that bisexual, queer and pansexual youth were less likely than their lesbian and gay peers to report feeling happy, and more likely to experience being excluded and harassed.
     
  • In partnership with BRC, BiNetUSA and the Bisexual Organizing Project, HRC Foundation’s issue brief, Health Disparities Among Bisexual People, highlighted these disparities, which include higher rates of cancer, heart disease and obesity, and higher rates of HPV and other sexual health issues, likely stemming from a lack of access to preventative care and not being out to medical providers.
     
  • The Williams Institute also found that bisexual people are far less likely than their gay and lesbian counterparts to disclose their sexual orientation to their medical providers, leaving them at risk of failing to have access to a full range of medically-necessary care.

Are we asking doctors to be verse in all the challenges the LGBTQ+ community may face.  Well, actually, yes.

We're asking doctors to do the best they can, and if they are at their limit of knowledge, refer us to someone that can do more, that can assist more. But we are asking for a level playing field and an open minded playing field.

Once again, I didn't know March was Bisexual Health Awareness Month, but it does raise a question, a personal one for me. Am I afraid to find a doctor that doesn't respect or know how to deal with me being a gay man?

I moved to Florida over 4 years ago and I have not been to a doctor yet.  Eye and teeth, yes, those are taken care of, but an overall health doctor/physician?  No. I have not taken the step to do the research to see what doctor may be accepting of me being a man and liking men.  If this is such an issue for me, I cannot imagine what it is like for a bisexual person, a transgender person, or any other member of our alphabet, besides the more "accepted L and G" members.

Bisexual Health Awareness Month can affect us all, even if we aren't a B.


Have you been open with your doctor about your LGBTQ+ ness?

How did you go about selecting a doctor?

Or did you keep your family doctor and just "come out" to them?

Have you left a doctor because s/he could not handle, understand, or help you because of your sexuality?

h/t: GLAAD.org, The Human Rights Campaign