LGBTQ+ History Month

October is LGBTQ+ History Month. To celebrate, let’s turn our attention to a couple Philadelphians whose advocacy contributed greatly to the advancement of LGBTQ+ civil rights in the United States. John E. Fryer was a psychiatrist and a faculty member of Temple University School of Medicine. He was also a homosexual. (A note on usage: Homosexual was the word Fryer and others used to self-identify. Today the term is discouraged in favor of gay and lesbian.)  At the time, a homosexual psychiatrist was thought to be an oxymoron. This was because for much of the 20th Century, “homosexuality” was classified as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual. Of course, Fryer and others like him knew there was nothing inherently disordered about LGBTQ+ identity. Due to their personal and professional experience, they understood better than anyone that the classification of homosexuality as a mental health disorder reflected not pathology in individuals, but deep-seated prejudice in the field and in society at large. Although people like Fryer were ideally positioned to challenge harmful professional practices about sexuality, doing so incurred great personal risk. A psychiatrist who avowed their sexual identity risked the loss of their license and professional ruin. Because of this, LGBTQ+ psychiatrists were faced with a stark choice: conceal their identity or forfeit their careers. Barbara Gittings was [...]

2021-10-11T12:20:25-04:00October 11th, 2021|LGBTQIA|

Transgender Day of Remembrance

In memory of loved ones lost to acts of anti-transgender violence. Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.  Additionally, during the week of November 13-19, people and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender people and address the issues trans people face.  Along with honoring the memory of those lost to acts of anti-transgender violence, the transgender community is also honoring long time community organizer for TDOR, Dawn Munro who passed away last month. This year, we are bringing attention to transmen who have died by suicide, such as comedian Daphne Dorman. On a national level, 40% of transgender adults report having made a suicide attempt.  92% of these individuals report having attempted suicide before the age of 25, and it is estimated that 1 in 3 trans or non-binary youth have made a suicide attempt (Trevor Project). Compared to the general youth population, attempts are higher among trans youth in the US (Youth Risk Behavior Survey) 19% of all teens have seriously considered suicide 15% have made a plan to attempt suicide 8% have attempted suicide 2.5% have been injured by a suicide attempt. This study found that transgender youth [...]

2019-11-20T01:01:45-05:00November 20th, 2019|LGBTQIA, Suicide Prevention|

Remembering Pulse

Saturday night had given way to Sunday morning and the club was packed. It was Latin night, and the music was loud and the bodies were feeling it: a sense of belonging, the joy in one another. Then it began. By daybreak the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando would be reported as the deadliest act of violence against LGBT people in the whole, bloody history of the United States. Forty-nine dead. Over fifty wounded. Most of them Latinx. Queer people do not have often have the luxury of safety. The things I imagine other people take for granted, like walking down the street or taking the subway, can feel scary if someone around can read the queerness of your body. For this reason, we create makeshift spaces for ourselves when we can, where we can. In my own life, I have found safety and community on so many dance floors. Sometimes people challenge me on that point. What kind of community can you find among strangers? What kind of safety do you find in the dark? I remind them that the founding mothers of the gay rights movement threw the first brick fifty years ago at Stonewall. Queer people and dancefloors have a cozy history. I woke up to news of Pulse the day I was set to [...]

2021-01-02T19:57:25-05:00June 24th, 2019|LGBTQIA|

Mi recorrido verdadero como mujer transgénero

Nacer hombre o mujer implica roles de género específicos y responsabilidades que se perciben como parte de dichos roles, tanto en la familia como en la sociedad. Ante los ojos de mi familia y de la sociedad, yo no era el hombre típico que todos esperaban. Crecer como mujer transgénero fue muy difícil. No era aceptada y sufría maltratos físicos, emocionales y sociales. Papúa Nueva Guinea es una sociedad dominada por los hombres y ser una mujer transgénero se percibe como algo anormal, que no está en consonancia con las creencias culturales y religiosas tradicionales. Las relaciones entre personas del mismo sexo son ilegales, son un delito que se condena hasta con 14 años de prisión. Las leyes del país y la falta de recursos de transición para personas transgénero me impiden mostrar la persona que realmente soy interiormente. A los 16 años traté de suicidarme. Me llevaron de emergencia al hospital y los médicos me salvaron. Fue entonces que comprendí que ponerle fin a mi vida no resolvería nada. La única manera de escapar de la injusticia social y el dolor al que me habían sometido era educarme y fortalecerme personalmente. Empecé a estudiar mucho y a buscar oportunidades de empleo. Aunque aún busco estrategias basadas en la fortaleza para mantener mi capacidad de sobreponerme a las adversidades, el odio, el estigma y la discriminación todavía son algo común en [...]

2021-01-02T20:09:12-05:00January 31st, 2018|LGBTQIA|
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