Tag: gender identity

Call for testimonies by agender or gender-fluid members of our community

Israeli newspaper Haaretz is seeking to interview members of our community who identify as agender or gender-fluid. The purpose of the article is to increase awareness about these identities around the world in general, and in Israel in particular.

Call for testimonies by agender or gender-fluid members of our community

If you are interested in being interviewed, please contact Sylvain Bruni at sbruni@bostonpride.org.

Call for testimonies by agender or gender-fluid members of our community

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Not your Daddy’s Leather Daddy

Recently, I had the change to sit down with Gauge Strongarm.  I’ve know Gauge for awhile now, but when he won the SF Leather Daddy Contest and in his acceptance speech described what the title met to him, I knew there was a story I wanted to share with you.  I asked Gauge last year a Sac Heat if he’d be willing to sit down with us, and he of course replied yes.  Unfortunately, with our crazy schedules that sit down took awhile.

Gauge was born intersexed, he self identified as a male, but his family raised him as a girl.  Gender identity is challenging in the best of circumstances, but to be forced into an identity that conflicts with your own natural self identification, well I’ll let Gauge tell you the rest . . .

What was it like growing up as a female?

I always identified as a male.  I used to hide clothes in my bag to change into when I left the house.

Tell us a little about your background

I was a military brat.  We moved around a lot when I was a kid.  While my parents knew about me being intersexed, I was not told.  I just felt like I was in the wrong body.  At age 11, I was diagnosed with GID – Gender Identity Disorder.

In my teens, I lived in Germany and came out as a Butch Lesbian.  I identied as Queer and the butch lesbian role allowed me to embrace my masculine side.  The Queer Community, particularly the lesbian community, treated me as a male.

At the age of 17, the concept of being transgendered popped into my world.  I began to research everything I could find on the subject – particularly the Harry Benjamin’s Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorder.  I began to identify what I was struggling with and quickly realized I wanted to transition.  I also had a great therapist at the time that worked with meet and really helped me find my true path.

At the age of 28, I started testosterone and began the transition.  And interesting side effect was that I went bald – so I went straight to Daddy!

Beyond the transition, you’ve done a few other things to your body, eh?

I had my nosed pierced at 13 and got my first tattoo at 14.  As I struggled with my gender identity, I quickly came to realize I didn’t want to be a part of polite society.  Body Modification was a way that I could control how my body looked.

And the leather community?

In the 80’s, I was living in Seattle.  I wanted to embrace and be accepted as a male.  The leather community embraced my maleness and when I played, I played as a male, with one very obvious exception.  Seattle Men of Leather were very inclusive, I finally felt like I belonged.

And the titles?

Billy Lane was the first to win a men’s leather title.  He went on to compete at IML and even placed in the Top 10.  I was in the audience, and it was great.  He was an individual who had transitioned FTM and was now competing for the manliest of titles – Mr International Leather.   And while the crowd knew there was a transgendered contestant, they didn’t know who it was.  It was hysterical listening to them speculate – I think it’s him, look at his hands LOL!

In 1989, I ran for the Seattle leather Boy title.  The following year, the rules were changed to state you had to have a penis to compete.  (Note the leather community has struggled with this – for example – In 2006, the Powerhouse refused to host the LeatherSIR/boy competition due to controversy surrounding the contest’s policy prohibiting transgender men from competing.)

But my friends have always been supportive and welcomed me into the leather community.  BDSM is another way in which I can control my body.  I can choose what I get into.  I feel like I fit into the Leather/BDSM community.

And SF Leather Daddy?

A friend of my suggested I run.  I decided 24 hours before the contest.  I am the 1st FTM to win the Daddy title.  It has been a great experience.  I think it demonstrates the community is moving forward on inclusion and the realization “It’s not all about what is between your legs!”

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Idaho Wants to Add the Words

On June 26th, 2015 when gay marriage was legalized in the United States I was camping with my good friend Andrea and her wife, Sam. When we found out the news we were elated! Andrea and her wife had just celebrated their one year wedding anniversary a few months before and now their marriage was recognized throughout the entire country. We all texted friends and family, wrote about the news on our Facebook walls, and changed our profile pictures with a rainbow filter. It was such a big moment for us and such a huge moment in history. Unfortunately, one ruling is not all it takes to create equality. There are still many steps to take for the LGBTQ community, but this step was definitely one to be celebrated.

Idaho Wants to Add the Words

Idaho Wants to Add the Words

By Chelsy Ranard

Human rights

Despite the legalization of gay marriage in the U.S., many laws have not caught up to this moment in human rights. Those in the LGBT community may get married in all 50 states, but not all of our state’s offer protection against being fired, evicted, or worse due to their sexual orientation. Because of this inconsistency in the law, many same-sex couples are stuck. Many choose not to get married for fear of outing themselves and losing their jobs.

A 2013 HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 69 percent of Americans think that firing people for being gay is illegal. In truth, there are still 29 states where you can be fired for being gay. Only 22 states and a handful of major cities have enacted laws prohibiting housing discrimination. Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Wyoming still don’t have statutes criminalizing various types of hate crimes against the LGBTQ community although the Matthew Shephard Act is enforced on a federal level. Tax laws haven’t caught up to the ruling and some states allow businesses to discriminate against potential customers based on sexual-orientation or gender identity. These are terrible human rights violations throughout our country that need to be changed.

add the words2

Adding the words

In Idaho, no provision of law explicitly addresses discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation or gender identity. On January 15, 2015, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to hold a hearing on a bill that adds language banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s Human Rights Act. It had been denied a hearing in each of the preceding nine years. Unfortunately, on January 29th, the House State Affairs Committee voted 13-4 against the bill. The vote was split right along the party lines. There are 11 cities in Idaho, however, that have ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and one has an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation only. Idaho’s hate crimes law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

In response to these human rights violations, Add the Words was created in 2010. It is a non-profit activist group advocating for adding the words, “sexual orientation,” and, “gender identity,” to the human rights act. It is actually a conglomeration of two groups: Add The Words, Idaho which is a political action committee, and Add The 4 Words, Idaho which is an all-volunteer direct action group that came together. Protestors for Add the Words cause can be seen organized around Boise’s Capitol Building participating in silent or peaceful protests advocating for equal rights in Idaho. They have plastered the capitol building with sticky notes begging to be heard, held vigils, and wrapped the capitol with protesters holding signs and covering their mouths to represent their government not giving them a voice.

Despite the fact that the Idaho lawmakers haven’t made many moves to add the words, Add The Words is still keeping busy and advocating for those without a voice. The road hasn’t been easy with many protesters being arrested, requests being ignored, and watching a bill fail that was finally seen by the committee after nearly a decade of waiting. The organizers and volunteers for Add The Words are resilient, though, and have vowed to keep fighting until all Idahoans have the same rights.

add the words3

What we can do

Movements like these are only as strong as the people backing them. For those in Idaho, attend the events, email your lawmakers, talk about the issues, be an advocate. If you live in an area with similar inconsistencies in the laws for the LGBTQ community, research the organizations in your community that want to create the same change. For those that want to help create change in any state without laws to protect the LGBTQ community, you are still free to email lawmakers, seek out national human rights campaigns, or just be an ally. Share stories and spread the word so people know there are still those out there that need to be protected.

One of the most important things you can do for the LGBTQ community and the injustices they face is to speak up as an advocate for their cause. Stand up for what you believe in, vote accordingly, and teach our younger generation that equality matters and that every citizen deserves the same rights as anyone else no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, sex, religion, or national origin.

Each step taken to make the LGBTQ community safe and equal is one to be celebrated. For those in Idaho who are facing discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, I am excited for the day that I can celebrate laws to protect them from these injustices. For those involved in Add The Words, one day they will be able to say that they created the change that Idaho so badly wanted. Hopefully someday soon we can look back and learn from the time that our government didn’t deem everyone as equal and be happy that our laws now reflect the change we’ve all needed to see.

Author bio photo

Photos courtesy of Add the Words, Idaho

Author bio: Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. She is passionate about equal rights and is happiest spending time with her animals, travelling with her fiancé, and trying new beer. Follow her on Twitter!

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Herts Pride 2015

August 22, 2015

Hertfordshire Pride – The Hertfordshire Pride Society is a group of friendly, passionate, creative volunteers from the local lesbian, gay men, bisexual and trans* (LGBT*Q) community and their straight allies. Watford, England.

Herts Pride 2015

Herts Pride 2015

Aim:

To set up, plan, organise, raise funds and implement an annual Pride and family fun day event in Hertfordshire that promotes equality and diversity for the public benefit, through raising awareness of discrimination on age, disability, race, religion and belief, and in particular the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Objectives:

The Society will fulfill the aim by:

To work in partnership with organisations committed to progress on age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, and whose aims are also to ensure the rights and needs of lesbian, gay men, bisexual, trans* and queer people are addressed in the wider community.

To be a central point of contact and resource, working with local businesses, statutory and other voluntary organisations to find ways of improving services and employment opportunities for lesbian, gay men, bisexual, trans*, queer community living and working within Hertfordshire.

To work with the Hertfordshire LGBT*Q Partnership to promote a Hertfordshire accreditation ‘Commitment Workbook’ scheme for local organisations and businesses in Hertfordshire to ensure that their services are supportive and friendly to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and trans community customers and staff.

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North Carolina Annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2015

August 14, 2015toAugust 22, 2015

North Carolina Annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festival – The North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (NCGLFF) is the second largest gay, lesbian and transgender film festival in the Southeast, attracting thousands of patrons yearly. Since its beginning in 1995, the Festival has featured a diverse array of shorts, documentaries and feature films. The Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau named the NCGLFF a Signature Event for Durham, the highest honor bestowed on a cultural event or attraction by the organization. Durham, NC.

North Carolina Annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2015

North Carolina Annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2015

NCGLFF Schedule of Events

Thursday, August 13 — 20th Anniversary Kick-Off Party

NCGLFF festival donors and VIPs are invited to help celebrate the kick-off of the 20th NCGLFF at Durham Hotel (315 E. Chapel Hill St.) from 7 – 9 p.m. (Invitation Only)

Saturday, August 15 — Family Day with Free Screening of The Wizard of Oz

Families are welcome to stop by the plaza in front of the theatre for free popcorn and soda, clowns, balloon art, face-painting, activities and a free screening of The Wizard of Oz, which begins at 10:45 a.m. in Cinema 1. (Courtesy of Producer Level-sponsor BASF)

Sunday, August 16  — Free Screenings of Out To Win at Full Frame Theatre 

The Carolina Theatre and LGBTQ Center of Durham co-host two free screenings of Out To Win — a superbly crafted overview and examination of the lives and careers of aspiring and professional gay and lesbian athletes from all over the world — at Full Frame Theater at American Tobacco Campus, Durham from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday, August 23 — LGBTQ Center of Durham Block Party

Expect food trucks & fun as the LGBTQ Center of Durham co-hosts a Block Party with Carolina Theatre/NCGLFF at 114 Hunt St. from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Food Trucks will include Captain Pancho’s Taco Truck, Urban Entrées, The Parlour and Fahsyrah’s Lemonade.

Two decades of leadership
The non-profit Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. is one of downtown’s most loved and established arts organizations. Operating the city-owned Carolina Theatre complex for nearly two decades, we are funded by ticket sales, individual and corporate contributions, and an annual management stipend from the City of Durham.

150,000 fans and counting
Each year we present over 60 concerts, daily film and film festivals, serve 15,000 school children with our Arts Discovery educational series, and provide a home for numerous nonprofits and other organizations that utilize the facility – in all attracting more than 150,000 people to downtown.

More than numbers
People who love downtown Durham crave the distinct personality, programming, and atmosphere that we specialize in.  The Carolina Theatre is more than a building, it’s an experience that can only be found in Durham.

Our mission is to serve greater Durham and the Triangle region with vibrant, thought-provoking programs of the performing and cinematic arts in our historic treasure, The Carolina Theatre. We strive to contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of downtown Durham and to delight and educate our children and future leaders.

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New West Pride 2015

August 8, 2015toSeptember 15, 2015

New West Pride / Royal City Pride – The purpose of the New West Pride Society is to empower, celebrate, and promote inclusivity, acceptance, and respect among persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities in New Westminster and surrounding communities. To further our purpose, we will organize and/or promote community-building events and raise funds for causes that benefit our communities. Vancouver, BC.

New West Pride 2015

New West Pride 2015

New West Pride aims to promote equality and diversity through all of its events. Our Pride festivities uses theatre, music, debate, art and entertainment to raise awareness of discrimination and the issues and difficulties affecting the lives of Gay Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender/Transsexual, Queer and Inter-sex people in New Westminster and around the world. We celebration the diversity of our GLBTQI community by all we do. Through this we aim to promote a sentiment in favor of equality, uniting people in a celebratory atmosphere where all are welcome, and fostering a sense of community within the GLBTQI population. Overall, New West Pride hopes to promote understanding and cooperation, as well as education in diversity, in order to get rid of the discrimination faced by GLBTQI people.

Celebrate Pride and the LGBTQIA2S community in New Westminster, BC with an entire week of events and a full-scale Street Party on Saturday, Aug 15th, 2015! Come check out the performances on the Starlight Casino Stage and the HIM Stage! This free event features Canadian rockstar and international recording artist Bif Naked, beer gardens, food trucks, vendors, community groups, a children’s area and a special welcome from the Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society. New West Pride is just steps from New West and Columbia Skytrain Stations.

The New West Pride Columbia Street Party runs from 3 pm – 8 pm along historic Columbia Street in New Westminster, BC.

Check out www.newwestpride.ca for the complete events listing and information on the entire New West Pride week!

The New West Pride Columbia Street Party Performance Line Up:
HIM Stage hosted by David C. Jones
Featuring
Amanda Luv, Current Reigning Empress 11 of Surrey & the Burbs
Curtis Newart
Daren Wait Collective
Kate Reid

Starlight Casino Stage hosted by Miz Adrien
Featuring
Iskwé
I Am Mandrake
Los Furios
Bif Naked

New West Pride would not be possible without the generous support from the City of New Westminster, the Starlight Casino, the Health Initiative for Men, the New West Record, and the members of New West Pride Society. High fives and love to them!

This is a volunteer-run festival. Have fun. No jerks. Be your awesome self!

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Rendezvous Wyoming Equality

August 5, 2015toAugust 9, 2015

Rendezvous – Wyoming Equality seeks to enhance the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the Equality State by providing: Education, Information, Activities, Support, a Networking System, and an Advocacy System for people impacted by gender and sexual orientation issues. Cheyenne, WY.

Rendezvous Wyoming Equality

Rendezvous Wyoming Equality

Rendezvous | A newcomer’s perspective

Last year I was a “Rendezvous Virgin,” both nervous and excited. Being a Wyoming native I couldn’t wait to finally spend some time around people I could relate to, and when it was all said and done I vowed that I would never miss another Rendezvous – it was truly a life-changing experience.

I was at Pride in Denver this year, passing out Rendezvous flyers in the parade and also spending some time manning our booth in the park. The most common question I got was: “What kind of a camping trip is it?” My response: “Like anything in life, it’s what you make of it.” If you’re looking for a nice quietand relaxing camping trip you can find it here. If you’re looking for a great party you can also find it here; and anything in between. We have old campers, young campers, men, women, families and a nice mix of the LGTB community along with a handful of our straight allies.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I’m not much of a camper so I wondered if I would even fit in. Right away I had trouble setting up my tent, thinking to myself I can’t get this put together quickly I’m just going to throw it back in my car and go home. Luckily I almost immediately had help – a passerby came to my rescue and I ended up spending many wonderful hours with him and his friends laughing, telling stories and sharing good food and drink.

Speaking of food, I brought some of my own, but decided to mostly eat the meals that could be purchased at the main campsite. I thought they were very good! All the ingredients were fresh and a nice variety was offered. I met some campers that had brought all of their own food and were kind enough to invite me to one of their “dinner parties.” Keep in mind this is gay camping, so they weren’t grilling burgers and brats – it was more like bacon-wrapped shrimp on rosemary skewers. I had wonderful food the entire time I was there.

The entertainment was great last year, and should be even more impressive this year. For me, the best part was making so many new friends. Some I’ve stayed in touch with over the last year and we’ve actually become very close, and some I’m excited to reconnect with.

So if you’re on the fence about attending or not attending, give it a shot, it might just change your life!

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EuroGames Stockholm 2015

August 5, 2015toAugust 9, 2015

EuroGames 2015, Stockholm – EuroGames Stockholm is a sports, cultural and political event which will take place between 5th to 9th of August 2015. The event encourage participation from everyone — regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political beliefs, athletic or artistic ability, age, physical challenge or health status. The goal is to offer a safe environment for LGBTQ competitors and participants. With an aim to attract over 5.000 participants and more than 200.000 visitors EuroGames Stockholm invites people not only from Sweden but from all over the world. Stockholm, Sweden.

EuroGames Stockholm 2015

EuroGames Stockholm 2015

 

EuroGames 2015 allows Stockholm, known worldwide as an open and welcoming destination, an opportunity to state as an example and act as an international role model for LGBTQ rights. There are still severe problems for LGBTQ people around the world in politics, culture and sport where EuroGames fulfil its mission as an open for all event. Nationally we also have the possibility to highlight the existing problems for transgender participation as well as inform and prevent the fact that many young LGBTQ people quit or never even begin with organised sport.

Jakob Jansson, President of EuroGames Stockholm


EuroGames was founded in 1992 by EGLSF with the propose to:

1.Offer a high-quality sport event to the LGBTQ community

2.Fight against discrimination on grounds of sexual preference in sports

3.Stimulate integration emancipation of lesbians and gays in sports

4.Support the coming out of gay and lesbian in sports

5.Support the founding of new gay, lesbian, straight and mixed groups

The European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) is a sporting body for homosexuals in Europe. The Federation was founded in 1989 by two LGBTQ sport clubs from Germany and The Netherlands inspired by the first Gay Games in San Francisco, United States. Its headquarters are in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Today, EGLSF has more than a hundred LGBT sport clubs from all over Europe as members, representing more than 10.000 European athletes. Since 1992, the EGLSF celebrates a huge European gay sport event once a year: the EuroGames, the European Gay & Lesbian Championships.

EGLSF continuously appoints a hosting city for EuroGames, which is one of the largest LGBTQ events in the world. In this occasion Stockholm was selected as a host city to celebrate EuroGames 2015. Previous host cities have been Barcelona, Paris, Berlin and Antwerp.

Currently the event contains a series of pragrammes with in sport, culture and politics and it is open to everyone who wants to participate, regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political beliefs, athletic or artistic ability, age, physical challenge or health status.

For more information about the EGLSF visit:

www.eglsf.info

 

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Liverpool Pride 2015

August 1, 2015

Liverpool Pride – Established in 2010, Liverpool Pride returns for its sixth consecutive year and continues to be one of the city’s most visual and flamboyant events of the Summer. Liverpool, England.

This year marks the 6th anniversary for Liverpool Pride, which was established in 2010 and takes place each year to coincide with the date of murdered gay teenager Michael Causer 7 years ago.

After a poll, the public have spoken and the theme for this year’s Liverpool Pride is Love Is No Crime, with those attending encouraged to come dressed in their most wild and wonderful interpretations of the theme.

Liverpool Pride 2015

Liverpool Pride 2015

Liverpool Pride is an annual festival for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, our friends, families and supporters organised by the charity Liverpool Pride run by a board volunteers Trustees and a number of volunteers. If you want to get involved then contact us at www.liverpoolpride.co.uk/volunteer

The Charity’s objects are to promote equality and diversity, advance education and eliminate discrimination in relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) across Liverpool and Merseyside for the benefit of the public by raising awareness of issues affecting said persons and in particular by promoting and stating an annual festival.

The post Liverpool Pride 2015 appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Liverpool Pride 2015

August 1, 2015

Liverpool Pride – Established in 2010, Liverpool Pride returns for its sixth consecutive year and continues to be one of the city’s most visual and flamboyant events of the Summer. Liverpool, England.

This year marks the 6th anniversary for Liverpool Pride, which was established in 2010 and takes place each year to coincide with the date of murdered gay teenager Michael Causer 7 years ago.

After a poll, the public have spoken and the theme for this year’s Liverpool Pride is Love Is No Crime, with those attending encouraged to come dressed in their most wild and wonderful interpretations of the theme.

Liverpool Pride 2015

Liverpool Pride 2015

Liverpool Pride is an annual festival for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, our friends, families and supporters organised by the charity Liverpool Pride run by a board volunteers Trustees and a number of volunteers. If you want to get involved then contact us at www.liverpoolpride.co.uk/volunteer

The Charity’s objects are to promote equality and diversity, advance education and eliminate discrimination in relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) across Liverpool and Merseyside for the benefit of the public by raising awareness of issues affecting said persons and in particular by promoting and stating an annual festival.

The post Liverpool Pride 2015 appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

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