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The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

YOUR STORIES
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in UNITED STATES...
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Erin Dary (user currently living in UNITED STATES) posted for gay lesbian bisexual intersex readers on 02/03/2014 tagged with intersex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion
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When I graduated high school, I didn't know what I was. Hi, my name is Erin (Legally it's Eric). This website helped me to discover who and what I am.
When I graduated, I thought I was gay, then straight, then a girl, then a boy, then something else entirely. A different website helped me discover that I am something called Intersex.
If you don't know what that is, let me explain. It is both, which is cool, because my favorite kind of science is quantum physics. If you don't know what that is, look it up. If you do, then you understand.
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HELLO??? People are being imprisoned in the USA and elsewhere for merely downloading pictures or talking about having consensual sex, but ILGA doesn't care about that. In fact, ILGA continues to distribute HATE propaganda right here on its website, because ILGA is bullshit.
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In the U.S context, prominent domestic organizations sought to establish LGBT normalcy and inclusion as a means of assimilating into the heterosexual mainstream in order to change the minds and hearts of heterosexuals, pressuring local LBGT communities and individuals to give up their own sense of self and experience. I think its important to remember that stressing that " LGBTI people" are as normal as heterosexuals and deserve acceptance precisely because we are like every one else (aka straight people) was a political strategy. We need to remember what is normal and natural in society is constructed, our understandings of these categories are made up by mainstream society and politics. We should take pride in our difference and our queerness, we should not feel that we must make ourselves normal for others in order to feel good or enough or deserving of rights. there is no normal
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F. J. Llorente (user currently living in UNITED STATES) posted for intersex readers on 30/11/2013 tagged with intersex, human rights, laws and leadership
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I started to research 'intersex' over several years ago. It was then I decided to make a documentary film. We have been working on the promotional trailer for the past year and this past week we premiered them on our Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for production. I hope you will visit the web page, view the films, share the web site with others, and contribute to help us get the information out to all around the world!!!!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/born-between-the-gender-spectrum/x/2374173

THANK YOU!
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Mia (user currently living in GEORGIA) posted for lesbian transgender bisexual readers in response to this story on 25/03/2012 tagged with tourism, intersex
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my email is galarinas@yahoo.com
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steven kasiko (user currently living in NEW ZEALAND) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex straight readers in response to this story on 15/08/2011 tagged with intersex, hate crime and violence prevention, gender identity
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Sorry for what has happened to you am really surprised that in USA you still have people how hate LGBT people because of what they are.If such is happening in USA what about Africa. We LGBT members have suffered alot in hands of governments that are meant to protect us. In Uganda some LGBT lost their jobs,others are recieving death threats,experiencing discrimination unlawful detention by police ,LGBT communities in Uganda have no were to go to as they are scared of the police and even it cant take your case as priority instead they will inform you of the law you are breaking. Yet sexual orientation is a universal right. Let us join hands and try to put pressure on all government to decriminilse homosexuality pass laws against hate camp gains targeting LGBT people .Some of us have been victim to torture discrimination because of being agay we know what you are experiencing as for me up to now am still expriencing the pain from the torture of the police trauma and am ever suspicious of everybody around me. when i was still in Uganda i was ever worrying about life as i had recieved death threats even my house was destroyed Steven Kasiko
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The Honolulu Pride Festival Foundation is starting to kick off this years 2011 Hawaii State Pride Fest hosted in beautiful Honolulu Hawaii September 15 - 17, 2011 and encourage all to come and participate as this year we strive to bring PRIDE AROUND THE WORLD!

As Hawaii and the rest of the United States takes pro-active choices in sharing in the equality and justice for all with long roads ahead the little steps we take will lead to bigger victories for all of our LGBT brothers and sister who do not have the same freedoms we do in America. Help our politicians to understand that PRIDE is one way of showing that we are equal and we do not have to fear the hate and discrimination from the world around us which view us as a minority community who is filled with so called "Sinners". Take a stand and support all of your PRIDE organization around the world as we work hand in hand to creating peace, equality and justice for all!
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"Welcome to the 21st Century" by Reinaldo J. Rendon
Oct.04 2010

It hasn’t been too long since the recognition of civil rights for women and our black brethren has allowed their successful integration into what has become a more tolerant, even welcoming society to those that were originally oppressed by outdated laws, and fearful politicians. Although society and laws are still adapting to these modifications, their success has depended mostly on the efforts of those who saw conservation of unnecessary old customs as misguided way to conceal inconvenient or uncomfortable truths. By truth I refer to something universal, unaffected by our perceptions; by truth in this case I refer to equality and freedom.
Thousands of years have passed since certain flawed corrupted/outdated values of the church began to persecute "the wicked", from witches to demons as its doctrine spread through all corners of the Earth. Meanwhile, science has been evolving alongside human civilization and society. Although our knowledge and justice systems have supposedly evolved to the point where we understand all capable humans as equals, (and those not fully capable, as still human…sometimes more), we still don’t have laws that protect and grant gay citizens the same rights, protections, and benefits as our heterosexual counterparts.

Greater understanding of the human mind has been achieved since the consolidation of psychology as a social science. No longer “witches”, nor possessed, we understand mentally ill patients and their conditions; we create treatments to aid them, and structure adequate processes to integrate them into society in a way that they can successfully “fuse” with the system. With the progress of science, and its imminent exposure of the truth, many conservatives have come to re-awaken to the idea that Christianity promotes love and tolerance, not hate nor discrimination. I remember a great quote from a great man who once said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” with a hooker-made-apostle lying at his feet. Although we now frown upon societies that throw stones as ways of punishing their “criminals”, many still throw verbal/mental stones at those who are different simply because they were not educated properly and laws haven’t progressed rapidly enough to protect those in need.

“In recognition of the scientific evidence, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the DSM in 1973, stating that “homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities.
After thoroughly reviewing the scientific data, the American Psychological Association adopted the same position in 1975, and urged all mental health professionals “to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with homosexual orientations…Thus, mental health professionals and researchers have long recognized that being homosexual poses no inherent obstacle to leading a happy, healthy, and productive life” (American Psychiatric Association, 1975).

This is true in every sense but the legal one, for denying homosexuals the right to benefit from social/financial unions such as marriage deprives them of certain benefits such as tax-breaks, insurance coverage, or even to be treated as a family member at the time of an accident. The right for a gay American to marry their foreign lover in order to live happily in their free country is impossible; their relationship has no option but to end the moment their foreign “life-partner’s” Visa expires.

Furthermore, the absence of laws that prevent the hate word “faggot” being as commonly used as the hate word “nigger” was before the creation of civil laws that protected the blacks, prevents the social boundaries that allow proper growth of youths in a non-hostile environment. Evidence of this are the (now due to the increasing growth of general acceptance, as the next generation of straight and gay citizens whose education has been updated steps up to the plate) recently public wave of juvenile suicide cases...that are sadly, and ultimately, nothing new...
The point is that people’s lives are still ticking away while bureaucrats place the issue on the back-burner generation after generation, refusing to accept that gay people are equal, and therefore deserve the same rights as everyone else. While most other developed nations in Europe, and even Latin American (Colombia, Argentina, Mexico currently debating it) permit civil unions between homosexuals with equal recognition of all their rights, “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” continues to ignore the silent screaming of a small, but definetly existent percentage of their population that seeks nothing more but an equal opportunity at happiness. If the constitution and even the declaration of independence place us all as equals, defining America as a nation ruled by majority, that protects minorities…then how can we allow our rights to freedom, financial prosperity, protection of our nation, and even to live safely in peace without being forced to deny who you are slip away from us.

Is there not a separation between Church and State? Does scientific evidence hold any value over social struggle against the conservation of ignorance? Aren’t we all guaranteed the same protections and rights regardless of our race, gender, sexual orientation, or favorite ice-cream flavor? Do societies evolve or change on their own?

Gay (much like “straight” or “bi”) is also not a choice, but it is something that affects everyone, regardless of their race, gender, or religious preference across the globe since the beginning of civilization. Even animals may choose a same-sex life partner as evidenced by the study of the University of Oslo, that states “More than 1500 species where homosexuality have been observed” (“Against Nature? Oslo). Gay should not be a taboo. Gay is not an illness that can be prayed nor drugged away. You can attempt to brainwash someone into becoming straight, but then you would just be hindering their potential to fully experience their lives, and their rights to explore themselves as human beings without hurting anyone.

Would you want your children, or a loved one's child to live unhappily repressed simply because God/Genetics made them in a certain way that the world hasn’t updated fast enough to fully accept them as people? In a world of repression and lies, it would not be difficult for one to marry someone that is secretly gay, and refuses to come out simply out of lack of courage that it takes to live under such different conditions...do you think that could truly be a happy and honest marriage? Think about the children caught within the parental struggle to stabilize their personal mentality and sexuality and their mental health compared to those that grow up in open and caring environments.

With Florida being one of the many states that recognizes gays’ right to adopt (instead of permitting an vast number of children stuck in orphanages or foster homes relying on state budget/care), we join many developed nations who understand the full personal/economic value of all its tax-payers without any form of discrimination. Furthermore, if the violation of the sanctity of marriage is in question, then know some consider divorce a far greater offense, for it breaks an oath made in front God and the State (perjury?)...but it was still implemented into law due to the social necessity that so many people required in order to find financial and personal stability in their lives.

To simplify the concept a bit more:
If Gay-Joe and Gay-Jane were perceived as “people” instead of “gays” by the majority, our society would improve a lot more having provided every normal human being the rights and protections they deserve. People shouldn’t be perceived legally or socially by who they are biologically, but by what they hope to do for the world around them. This would promote a more accepting co-existence between all members of American society, as well as monogamy and general honesty.

Most conservatives that still discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation are mostly misinformed, or choose to ignore truth simply out of the comfort brought on by tradition or some form of profit. Others are closeted gays who envy the freedom, while others are simply out to hate on someone for what they’ve been taught as “sins” to feel a little better about their own faults; however they’re not the ones we allow to write our academic texts, nor are they the knowledgeable authorities we quote when we teach facts in our schools. Also, if gays were allowed to formally unite under the state, and their individual interpretation of God (we all see our Creator differently, we have a right to do so), that alone would promote monogamy and prevent sexually transmitted diseases among all groups (not that gays are statistically in the lead anymore; now replaced by African-American men). This would also allow more people to reconcile with the bonds that have been severed by temples that promote hate and discrimination, instead of providing help to those in need, or uniting the children of God without casting any stones (if they truly do see him as the supreme judge).

I invite you all to re-examine your definitions of justice, violence, and empathy for we are forging today the world of tomorrow, and as we do, we must do so carefully given how this nation has remained the center-stage of the world (at the very least in terms of democratic ideals) for a couple centuries. It shouldn't take global calamities, waves of pestilence, the bloody (in a term familiar to most: expensive) aftermath of riots and wars, or financial meltdowns for people to focus more in building the bridges and crumbling the walls that separate us, before they become bars in the dawn of an age with diminishing natural resources, and the decaying socio-political values that impede people from realizing how much influence they have lost over the basics of their democratic principles. We are all still working on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s dream to make this nation “rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal”…and that no one should be judged by the color of their skin (or the way God/Genetics brought them into the world).

We shouldn’t wait for it to “get better”, it should be “alright” for all who support and believe the democratic spirit of America, a nation conformed of different states that in spite of being slightly different in their ideology, most stand united as those who wish to protect freedom and peace.
Remember, America is “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”.
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