Last post for 2016 and maybe… for good

So, it’s coming to the end of the year. So much has happened; from the same – sex marriage debate here in Australia, the U.S. Election and of course, Orlando. This year has seen a lot of fear and division in the LGBTQ+ community, with people like former Order of Australia, Catherine Mcgregor, lashing out at the mainstream LGBTQ+ lobby. This year showed that as an ally, one shouldn’t assume anything about a member of the LGBTQ+ community and how all LGBTQ+ people are individuals, just like anyone else.

The shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, willl stay with me, as it would many others. The aftermath bought usual debate about Islam and so on, but, also, members of the LGBTQ+ community spoke out. Prejudice and violence against the LGBTQ+ community came into focus. As I wrote at the time, the ONE place where many LGBTQ+ people went to feel safe was targeted. It exposed, I think, who the allies are and homophobia, bi – phobia and transphobia, etc, in it’s ugliest form. Not only did you have the gunman, but also people praising the shooter. Not all were Muslim, either, mind you. Luckily, there was a backlash against them.

 

So, that’s what’s been happening in the last 12 months… well some of it. Next year, I hope for the ‘culture wars’ to calm down, or even better, to cease completely, (I can dream, can’t I?).

Now, I want to talk about the future of this blog. Will this be the last post here? I don’t think so, but, I’ve got another blog prepared to start next year. It’s going to have similar content to what I post here, PowerGirrrl and News, Views and Ramblings. I’m hoping to take it to the next level, ie. upgrade the domain, and so on. Technically, I could upgrade the domain of this blog (and the others), but I always classed this as just an amateur blog, just a start. Hopefully with the next blog, I can start off on a less amateurish, more professional foot.

 

I’d like to thank all those who’ve supported this blog. Special thanks to Bryan Patterson of Faithworks. Bryan, your encouragement, comments and tips have been valuable. Thank you. ūüôā

So, how much longer this blog will be up for, I’m not sure. Some day, I’ll post a link to my newest one then feel free to check that out.

 

Hope all of you have a great day/ night and a great 2017. ūüôā

YouTuber and ‘Christian’ extremist calls National Geographic editor to be ‘burned at the stake’

Well, the heading is self explanatory. This may be distressing to some readers. Hope this gets a severe backlash.I’ll be honest, if you ‘stood in solidarity’ and claimed ‘we are Orlando’ after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in June, then please condemn this and stand in solidarity with the 9 – year – old covergirl for National Geographic. All homophobia, bi – phobia, trans – phobia, etc, NEEDS to be condemned!

YouTuber calls 9 – year – old trans girl a ‘demon’ and says National Geographic editors should be burned at the stake

 

 

Six months since Pulse Nightclub and other thoughts

Trigger Warning: queerphobia, Orlando shooting

How time has flown. It’s¬†been over six months since the tragic shooting at Pulse Nightclub, Orlando, Florida where 49 innocent people were massacred by a reported supporter of Islamic State. 53 other people were injured and the gunman was shot dead by¬†police.

This caused a media circus. On one hand, you had politicians and media personalities downplaying the role of Islam in the shooting and the hostility between Islam and the LGBTQ+ community. On the other hand, I believe there was a downplaying on the fact that it was an attack directly on the Latino/Latina/ Latinx LGBTQ+ community. As I wrote at the time, a number of American LGBTQ+ bloggers expressed how shook up they were. The¬†one¬†place where LGBTQ+ people have gone to meet up¬†safely for the past 40+¬†was targeted. Not only that, but what wasn’t acknowledged by most journalists and commentators, was that this was only the latest violent attack against LGBTQ+ people. No one in Australia mentioned¬†the man arrested in Santa Barbara, who planned to attack the LA Pride event. Luckily, the event went without any issues. In the US, these were only the¬†latest¬†(at the time), attacks (or would – be attacks) against the LGBTQ+ community. MSNBC reporter, Rachel Maddow listed a number of hate crimes aimed at LGBTQ people since Stonewall in 1969. Apart from a deadly arson attack on a New Orleans club in 1973,¬†most of the attacks didn’t end in fatalities.

 

Most people showed solidarity to the LGBTQ+ community at the time after Orlando, which I think should be acknowledged. I think ¬†Owen Jones made a mistake when he attacked Sky News’ journalist, Julia Hartley – Brewer about how she “didn’t understand” the impact of the attack. What if she (or Mark Longhurst) had LGBTQ+ family¬†or friends. Most people could feel for the victims in¬†Orlando. I couldn’t imagine the anguish of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, etc of LGBTQ+ people that night. That would’ve made them feel vulnerable as well.

 

Unfortunately, the attack also brought out the worse in people and exposed who homophobes really were. Pastor Steven Anderson from Tempe, Arizona, made a video stating that it was “good news” that 50 gay people had been killed. Pastor Roger Jimminez from Sacramento, California made similar sentiments. These people were not mentioned in Australian media, but did receive backlash. Anderson’s¬†PayPal account was shut down¬†and he has been banned from preaching in a number of countries, including the UK. Jimminez’s video was taken down from YouTube for hate speech.¬†Also, Christians have spoken condemning Jimminez’s words. I’ve got to say, that after watching the video of Anderson’s comments on Orlando, it shook me up and made me wonder whether same – sex marriage was worth the risk.

 

The reaction on social media, like I wrote at the time, was overwhelming. I saw memes from friends and family that expressed solidarity and acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. That was comforting, given my own struggles accepting my own identity. At least now I know¬†that I won’t be losing too many friends over what I write here.

 

So, what about the future? I hope that 2017 will be a safe year for everybody. I hope that LGBTQ+ people can be themselves safely. Globally, and even nationally, we have a fair way to go (in some countries, obviously miles to go). I’m quietly optimistic about Australia, although I do have some reservations. I hope that in the future, the livelihoods and well – beingof LGBTQ+ not have their existence be treated like never – ending political ping – pong. I also hope that the voices of LGBTQ+ people will continue to be heard and listened to. I hope that people also listen to mental health workers who are concerned about the well – being of LGBTQ+ people, rather than just brush them off as ideologues. If you are a supporter of same – sex marriage, then support same – sex marriage, but don’t use LGBTQ+ families as pawns to gain politically. I, for one have had it.

To all those who have stuck by me and other LGBTQ+ people, thank you for your love and acceptance. ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧

 

Anyway, that’s my rant for today. I may post again before the end of the year, I may not. If you don’t here from me, hope everyone has a happy Christmas and a great, safe 2017 full of love, success and joy.

 

Marriage debate – yes, it does effect the LGBT community

Note: some of the content of this post may be distressing and triggering for some readers. 

Even though the plebiscite is dead at the moment (been voted down the second time), it hasn’t stopped the debate – or, frankly, the hostility. The Facebook post below¬†from Sky’s “Paul Murray Live” shows a short story about the plebiscite being voted down in Parliament on Monday for the second time. The next step is anyone’s guess. Some people, like Senator David Lyonhjelm thinks it’s either the plebiscite or nothing, (more on him in a second).

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FPaulMurrayLIVE%2Fposts%2F1476688602360104&width=500

 

Now, same – marriage sceptics or outright opponents, as well as some proponents, argue that we should be able to “debate” this issue. Senator for the Liberal Democrats, David LeyonheljmSamneS, made a speech addressing Parliament on the plebiscite. He himself is a supporter of same – sex marriage, but also supports a plebiscite, unlike¬†most LGBTQ+ people and their allies, according to Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays¬†(PFLAG).

Yesterday, Melbourne’s the “Herald Sun” printed an¬†edit of Leyonheljm’s speech, encouraging a vote for the passing of legislation on the plebiscite. Some things he said, that was also printed in the Herald Sun were controversial.

Your (Labor, Greens and other opponents of the plebiscite) suggestion that an acrimonious debate will prompt suicides and other mental health issues in the LGBTI community is obnoxious. These are normal people, not mentally fragile little daffodils affronted by name calling.

This little paragraph alone is, quite frankly problematic on so many levels. While the LGBTQ+ community can’t be all lumped in together in regard to vies on same – sex marriage or mental strength, mental health organisations such asSuicide Prevention, Black Dog Institute¬†and¬†Beyond Blue¬†acknowledge that the LGBTQ+ community are at risk when it comes to mental health issues, especially when facing homophobic, bi – phobic and trans – phobic bullying and violence.

 

Also, I think that this so – called “debate” has gone beyond a bit heated. I was appalled at some of the comments in the comments under the Facebook post above. Throwing false slippery slope arguments that same – sex marriage will lead to the acceptance of paedophilia or that gays are paedophiles, a claim that’s COMPLETELY false!!!! Regardless of your view on homosexuality or same – sex marriage ANY PAEDOPHILE WHO IS ACTING OUT THEIR SEXUAL DESIRES IS COMMITTING RAPE!!! Everyone get that?! Rape!!! All States and Territories in Australia and the Western world have age limits to when a person can engage in consensual sexual activity. In the U.S, who made same – sex marriage law nation wide last year, according to “Age of Consent (US), the age restrictions are¬†between 16 to 18¬†across the country. ¬†In England and Wales – countries that legalised same – sex marriage in 2014,¬†have a minimum age of consent¬†at 16. This goes across the board, regardless of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Holland, the first country in the world to legalise same – sex marriage in the world has less straightforward laws. According to “Netherlands – Age of Consent”, the legal age of sexual contact is 16. However, if a person 12 or over agrees to have sex and no complaint is made by parents, then no prosecution will occur.

 

Also, the “debate’ has seen threats of violence toward LGBTQ organisations, despite what some would like to believe. In September, Melbourne LGBT radio station, JOY 94.9 FM¬†had to be evacuated after a bomb threat was made against staff via e – mail.¬†This got almost buckley’s coverage in the mainstream media. The first place I read about it was on Facebook. No hate speech from the “no” side? Yeah right! It hasn’t all been one way, but the fact that this got a little but not a lot of attention is despicable.

A part from that, I truly believe the well – being of the LGBTQ+ community should be (and should’ve been from the start), taken into consideration and not mocked. And, no, it’s not enough for a journalist to just cite the Lifeline number of feature it for ten seconds at a bottom of a screen. Think about what you are saying! Realise that this issue¬†does¬†affect people. Not everyone can brush off hurtful or downright hateful comments, unlike what Leyonheljm or conservatives would like to suggest.

You want a debate, then fine. BUT it’s not without consequences. Lives are affected. And let’s¬†condemn abuse!¬†

 

If this post has brought up any issues for you contact:

Lifelline: 13 11 14

QLife: ask@qlife.org.au or 1800 184 527 3 p.m. onward every day

For those under 25: Headspace:  on Рline or by phone: 1800 650 890

If you need help, please, please get it.

 

 

Thank you!

Thank you to all those who have read, commented and follow this blog. It really is much appreciated.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. ūüôā

For those who need help…

I have written extensively about LGBTQ+ politics over the last few months. Yet, me banging on about such things and asking questions can only do so much. I think this tweet from LGBT Shrink is what some people, both LGBTQ+ and cis – het need to know:

Sometimes, it’s hard, but I hope you all get and believe this.

If you’re in Australia and need help for anything you can contact:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond BlueHeadspace (for those under 25)

Here is a list of mental health services across Australia (some are for specific age groups, including young children/ infants).

Thoughts on World Mental Health Week

This week is World Mental Health Week. LGBTQ+ issues and mental health are often tightly linked, considering that LGBT people (especially youth) are, according to mental health advocasy group, Beyond Blue, data showed that 36.2% of trans people and 24.4% of lesbian, gay or bisexual people:

met the  criteria for experiencing major depressive episodes.

Trans women under 30have the highest rate of mental health issues (59.3%).

Gays and lesbians had also been found to have significantly higher rates of anxiety (31% vs 14%sexual people also report having higher incidents of mental health issues at similar rates of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

One of the issues that are faced by asexual people is erasure – a lack of knowledge – or more likely – acceptance that people can be – and are – asexual. This is slowly, slowly changing, with a number of media outlets over the years doipng articles and news items on asexual people. Cleo, women’s site, Mamamia, Everyday Feminism and Ravishly has done articles on people on the asexual spectrum. Despite the controversy around the Safe Schools program, I’ll give credit when it’s due – it was acknowledged in the resource ‘All of Us’ that some people are asexual. Although not directky linked, I had looked at the site Minus18 for LGBTQ+ youth under 25, and realised that they did differentiate between sexual and romantic attraction. That would have madechigh school so much easier! It’s a pity it all turned out to be a political manifesto and that data on sexuality and gender diversity was inaccurate.

Anyway, back to mental health. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was slammed by tying the same – sex martiage plebiscite to gay t thing to sayand lesbian youth suicide. While I don’t think it was the wrong thing to say, and I agree with Andrew Bolt that it was emotional blackmail, mental health of LGBTQ+ does need to be a part of this debate.

 

I know I said this before, but I want to repeat it. To my LGBTQ+ friends and family, I love you and I hope that all of you are doing well. For those who need help, please get it. Don’t bottle anything up. ¬†To all my other friends and family, I say the same. I love you, and if you have any issues, please grt help.

Lifeline number: 13 11 14.