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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!

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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in WORLD...
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posted for readers to the MALDIVES country page on 23/07/2014 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, gender identity, human rights, laws and leadership
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http://minivannews.com/politics/perceived-atheists-and-homosexuals-targetted-as-campaign-of-attacks-continues-86753
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Important Blog post on internet entrapment in Saudi Arabia: http://paper-bird.net/2013/12/19/jeddah-prison-cell-18-entrapped-in-saudi-arabia/
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Ajay Sathyan (user currently living in INDIA) posted for gay readers to the INDIA country page on 28/06/2014 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, gender identity, human rights, sexual orientation, armed forces, illegality of male to male relationships
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My name is Ajay Sathyan and I live in Chennai, India. Three weeks ago I was molested and beaten by the police. Below is my write up about that incident.

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I’ve mustered every bit of courage that is left in me to write this. To finally write about the darker side of Chennai. By doing this I know I’m risking a lot, but I’m not going to be just another victim who is not going to show his face, who is not going to share his name or tell his story. I want tell everyone that violence against LGBT people is real and it exists even in Chennai.

It may come as a shock to many Indians and expats who have lived in this city for a considerable time. You may have known that Chennai is the most tolerable and one the most hospitable cities in India. You may have heard that it is a city that harbors the friendliest of people and the smartest of minds. But there are exceptions to the rule; I’ve experienced those exceptions – horrific, painful and haunting exceptions. Experiences that have left me traumatized and damaged to the extent that I wake in the middle of the night screaming in agony. Here is one such incident that has deprived me of my sleep, my peace, my strength, my sprit, my faith; an incident that pushed me to take my life – once again.

It was one of the worst days of my life – Friday, 6th June 2014. Earlier in the evening, I was laughed at an interview yet again. The HR was convincing me that I will never get a job anywhere as long as I existed and I had to wait till 8:30 PM to listen to her yap after clearing rounds of interviews and tests. I was so close to telling her my hindrances. So close to telling her about my learning disabilities and that I’m obviously gay and that these factors have cost me my career. But I decided not to tell her. I knew she would not understand, I knew she would judge me because she is ignorant and I didn’t want to be embarrassed all over again in this company too. Crestfallen, I was on my way to my parent’s place where I stay these days. I had to take a bus and a train to reach my destination and then walk another 40 minutes in the dark, crossing a cremation ground, a lake, and a few creepy deserted places. Every day when I step out, I always hope and wish that I don’t get molested or hurt.

On that blessed Friday, my hopes were meant to go down the drain. I got off the train late in the evening around half past 10 and began to walk towards my parent’s place. I always wear earphones listening to music and swiftly walk to avoid anything near or around me. When I was 20 minutes away from my destination I noticed around 8-10 cops standing near a police jeep. Almost all of them were not in their uniforms from their waist above. I was able to confirm that were cops by the khaki pants and the brown shoes that they were wearing. I saw three policewomen and five -six policemen. One of the policewomen, as I quickly passed them pointed to me and yelled “Why are you wearing that thing that women wear? Why are you wearing leggings?” I picked up my pace and walked faster pretending not hearing her. She immediately signaled two policemen to grab me. The two policemen ran to me, grabbed me by the back of my neck and dragged me to the group, as I kept protesting and fighting. One of the men hit me in my shin with his stick for not stopping and instead, walking away. The women kept saying “Ai ombothu (offensive term for a hijra), pottai (offensive term for an effeminate man) can’t you hear me? Are you deaf?”. She then asked why I was wearing leggings. I kept quiet and I didn’t respond. She then said “Your kaai (offensive term for breasts) are really big.” As I’m chubby and as I have a fleshy chest she was referring to my chest as breasts. The two policemen who held me, immediately felt my chest and when I protested a third policemen with a stick hit me on my knees. Then the two policemen felt my ass and commented on how big and plump it is. They said I may be taking a lot of dick up my ass. The policeman with the stick commented about my face. He said “I can fuck your pretty face as long I live.” and then tried to put the wooden stick in my mouth. When I turned away from him a fourth cop walked to me and slapped me right across my face.

I cried out to them to stop this and asked them why they were doing this. They said that all the ombothu and pottai men have become a nuisance which is unacceptable. I told them that I’m not a hijra. One of the policewomen looked at me and said “Your face is prettier than ours, you’re a ombothu.” The policewomen looked at the policemen and then looked at me and asked if I underwent an operation. When I kept quite one of the policemen lifted my kurta and felt my crotch and then he laughed out loud and asked the others to feel me up. There were suddenly a lot of hands feeling me up and vandalizing me. I struggled and protested and one of them slapped me again across my face, another punched me in my stomach and then I was hit with a stick again on my knees.

While all this was going on, they took my bag and ransacked it, they found my address book, my id cards and took down my address and my phone number. One of the policemen warned me to behave and said that I should visit them whenever I was called. They warned me never to speak of this to anyone as they know where I live and that they will hurt me and my family, that they will book me in a false case and incarcerate me and my family if required. They warned me that they will strip me naked and force a man on me, take obscene photos and incarcerate me under IPC section 377. One of the policemen said “Since IPC section 377 has been criminalized which makes your kind illegal, we can do anything we want and nobody will question us, even the government will support us.” They said that they have strong political support and influence from both the national and regional ruling parties and said that any wrong move from my end will lead to my ruin.


This is the city I live in. I live everyday waiting for something hurtful to happen to me. I live a life with imminent threats. This is what they did to me and it wasn’t the first time I’ve experienced horror like this. Late in the evening in 2013 after attending a Film Festival, I dropped my friend at his place and was waiting for a train at the Nungambakkam railway station. I managed to catch the last train and the compartment that I was in was completely deserted. As the train neared Saidapet, 4-5 men got in the train and they didn’t look friendly. I could smell cheap alcohol and I knew that they were drunk. The men noticed me and quickly walked towards me. One of them complimented my kurta and asked me where I got it from. I immediately moved away from him and walked closer to the door. The men came closer to me asked me to join them to drink and have sex with them. When I tried to get away from them they grabbed me and hit me. Then they tore the back of my kurta, turned me around to face them and tore the kurta from my neck to my waist as another guy tore my sleeve off. I struggled hard and pushed them away and tried to run to the end of the compartment. One guy tripped my leg and I fell crashing down on the floor.

One of them grabbed my legs and another tried to pull my jeans down. I kicked the guy who was holding my legs and hit the other with my bag and quickly pulled myself up and as I tried to run, one of them tore some more of my kurta. The train slowed down at Guindy and I quickly jumped out of the train. All I heard was a railway police whistling but I didn’t want to wait to tell him what happened to me and I ran out of the station and to the road covering my body with all the torn pieces of my kurta. There were few rickshaw drivers who immediately without questioning put me in one of the rickshaws and rode away.

I was able to defend myself from those men now that I’m grown, but I couldn’t do that when I was 13. When my face was smashed in a urinal and when eight men raped me. I couldn’t defend myself, I couldn’t but try to scream even though I was muffled and took the pain. The scar on my right eyebrow reminds me of that horrid day till now and it doesn’t stop there, it’s been 15 years and I still ache with phantom pain in my nightmares waking up screaming in horror reliving them again and again. I still do. I don’t know when they will stop. I’ve now shut myself away from all human contact, except my family. I’m now too scared and damaged to even meet my acquaintances. Unable to deal with all of this hurt I tried to stop it all last Saturday. I tried to take my life but I was saved yet again. Now that the moment has passed – I’m too afraid to take my life. I will have to relive my horrifying past again and again and again; hoping for an even horrifying future ahead of me.


Below are the publication/news/blog/forum links which mentioned about the incident.

http://gaysifamily.com/2014/06/13/singara-beautiful-chennai-asingamana-ugly-chennai/

http://theaerogram.com/indian-man-attacked-policemen-policewomen-chennai/

http://www.sify.com/news/sexual-harassment-when-cops-turn-criminals-news-national-ogqjW8hfdggij.html

http://disbursedmeditations.blogspot.in/2014/06/sexual-harassment-when-cops-turn.html

http://www.gaylaxymag.com/latest-news/gay-man-alleges-sexual-assault-by-cops-in-chennai/

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/Gay-Man-Alleges-Abuse-Assault-by-Cops/2014/06/14/article2279588.ece1

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=663605343693646

https://www.facebook.com/NEWSLGBT/posts/664922823563665

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1488076128076200

http://www.reddit.com/r/india/comments/282rs2/this_is_the_city_i_live_in/

http://whotalking.com/chennai+gay

http://www.toptweet.org/search.php?q=chennai+gay
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A short documentary about gay Ugandan refugees in The Netherlands, who fled their home country due to anti gay laws in Uganda. I hereby send you the link of the video on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/98122540
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A short documentary about gay Ugandan refugees in The Netherlands, who fled their home country due to anti gay laws in Uganda. I hereby send you the link of the video on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/98122540
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A short documentary about gay Ugandan refugees in The Netherlands, who fled their home country due to anti gay laws in Uganda. I hereby send you the link of the video on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/98122540
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A short documentary about gay Ugandan refugees in The Netherlands, who fled their home country due to anti gay laws in Uganda. I hereby send you the link of the video on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/98122540
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link
A short documentary about gay Ugandan refugees in The Netherlands, who fled their home country due to anti gay laws in Uganda. I hereby send you the link of the video on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/98122540
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link
A short documentary about gay Ugandan refugees in The Netherlands, who fled their home country due to anti gay laws in Uganda. I hereby send you the link of the video on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/98122540
add response to story
link
A short documentary about gay Ugandan refugees in The Netherlands, who fled their home country due to anti gay laws in Uganda. I hereby send you the link of the video on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/98122540
add response to story
link
A short documentary about gay Ugandan refugees in The Netherlands, who fled their home country due to anti gay laws in Uganda. I hereby send you the link of the video on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/98122540
add response to story
link
A short documentary about gay Ugandan refugees in The Netherlands, who fled their home country due to anti gay laws in Uganda. I hereby send you the link of the video on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/98122540
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I want to testify of a great death spell caster that helped me in casting a death spell on the lady that almost took my lovely husband completely away from me and our two sons,after the casting the bitch died in her sleeps within 48hours,all thanks to this great man called instant death. If you also need an urgent death spell on someone then contact this great man immediately via his email address, shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com.... CONTACT HIM TODAY VIA THIS EMAIL ADDRESS: shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com AS HIS POWERS ARE SO STRONG AND VERY EFFECTIVE AND HAS NO BAD EFFECT INSTEAD IT HAVE A VERY GOOD RESULT AFTER CASTING THE SPELL.
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Shakira Elliot Says

Am giving this testimony cos am happy

My name is Shakira Elliot from Houston,taxes.i never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once. when i went to Africa in June 28th 2013 this year on a business summit. i ment a man called DR SHAKES SPEAR. He is powerful he could help you cast a spells to bring back my love’s gone,misbehaving lover looking for some one to love you, bring back lost money and magic money spell or spell for a good job.i’m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 3 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 2 years… i really loved him, but his mother was against me and he had no good paying job. so when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him..at first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. and in 6 days when i returned to taxes, my boyfriend (is now my husband ) he called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married..i didn’t believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do… well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid,and my husband also got a new job and our lives became much better. in case anyone needs the spell caster for some help, email address: shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com

GREAT SHAKES SPEAR i thank you very much thank you in 1000000 times.. if not you i would have been losted and wasted thank you. Email Him Through his email address... shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com

please make sure you contact him for any financial difficulties okay..

What a powerful man such as DR SHAKES SPEAR.. he is so much powerful..\\ email him for any difficulties.. shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com
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My Name is Mrs BLESSING I was married to my husband for 10 years and we were both bless with two children, living together as one love, until 2012 when things was no longer the way it was [ when he lost his job ]. But when he later gets a new job 6 months after, he stated sleeping outside our matrimonial home which really makes me crazy. Only for me to find out that he was having an affair with the lady that gave him the job. since that day, when i called him, He don't longer pick up my calls, He do not behave how he use to be before he got the job from the lady that he was having an affair with,I have also questioned him on this particular issues several times to please stop all this that what he is doing to me that is causing me to loose my temper and patient, Yet my husbands just still keep on seeing the lady. Until I met a very good friend of mine who was also having a similar problem years back, Who introduced me to a very good love spell caster,When my friend told me about this spell caster i ask her which one is he talking about,That i have used like two spell casters online that are fake.She explained to me that yes that there are really fake spell casters online that are just there to rip off someones money without giving out good result that THIS VERY PARTICULAR SPELL CASTER THAT I AM TELLING YOU ABOUT WAS INTRODUCED TO ME BY THE PRESIDENT OF AMERICA,COS HE IS MY COUSIN.The president directed me to him and gave me his contact that he is a very great spell caster that has helped him solve internal and external problems of his home and also of this country. But i told her that if it has to do with things that i am not interested, but she said that it has nothing to do with pay first. but the only thing she was ask to do when the president gave her the contact was just to go and buy the items to cast the spell,And if you can not get this items,It will only cost you just $150 dollars to like $300 dollars which you will have to send to him via western union or any means he require you to get this charges to him to get material needed to cast the spell this was what i did to get my man on track when he was doing something like this me in the year 2011.I quickly ask her on how i am going to get to this very great and reliable spell caster and also i did not forget the country he was from,She to me that this great spell caster that is so reliable and unique is from NIGERIA.she gave me the spell caster e-mail address and phone number. When i contacted him, i was so surprise when he said that if i have the believe in him and also i have faith that directed me to him that i will get my husband back in the nest three [3] day that i should just relax my mind as everything will go well,He told me to just put my mind at rest that nobody has ever come to him for help and go the same way he or she came.That he will want to first of all assure me that in the next 1,2,3,to 4 days that my husband must and will call me on phone begging and come home to me and go down on his knees and will be begging for forgiveness and even will get a gift to make the reunion sweet.He also told me that his spell casting is forever that there will be no break up again and also that the spell do not have any side effect but just to make you get what you want.Really my people in the world that will stop by to read my story,Or to those that need a very good spell caster,All the process went well and as he assured me and my husband was fully back on track and love me like never before.So i am out here to extend my thanks firstly to my friend that introduce me to him and also a very big thanks and more thanks to DrJohn Yi Yi. This testimony is what i can only do for him by sharing it to other people to contact the right spell caster online and not to fall into the hands of those scammers that has used spell to start collecting money from individuals that need help without any sort of result.This man Called Dr Shakes Spear is good,great,durable,reliable and he helps those that will not also complete charges to get materials needed to cast spell and he is the author of my happiness and Joy. His e-mail address is as follow: shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com
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yassmina (user currently living in MOROCCO) posted for transgender readers to the MOROCCO country page on 26/05/2014 tagged with gender identity
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my english is not so good but if you read , you can understund it.
since i was yung i felt like a girl i always fight with kids because im not normal and because i was androgynous boy , my parents they didnt understund why im verry feminine so they start to treat me verry bad because they want me to be more masculine they beat me evry kind of violance but iv never changed always the same me,also i fighted during all my year school with students because im normal , i was looking in the internet what i am? i dont feel as a boy but i have a penis what i am ?so tnx the internet i saw poeple like me on youtube i knew i have gender idendity desorder , so i was looking for hormones and i start the transition and because im androgynous hormones changed my body so fast and i become like a girl i finelly feel happy now i lift my parents and live by my own that was verry hard i felt selfish because i leave my parents i feel so bad i lift my two little brothers it hurts me in my heart only because if i didnt start my transition i will kill my self i cauldnt stay like thes way i need to be happy , i need to be me .
20 years of sadness then i start to change the hair start to grow fast i have chick bones alll the stracture of my body is changed buuuuuuuuut the problem is on my idendity its illegal to be trans in my contry i cant work i cant go out because last time the police catch me for 48hours because they find that im a genetic male they didnt believe it so they took me to a jail with a criminals i didnt do anything rwong so now i feel like im not a moroccan because im scared of the police like a criminal i honestly need help i dont know what my supose to do i cant work sometimes i dont even have money for my own food lucky me i have my ex boyfriend who help me with a little bet of money but its not enaugh i honestly need help im waiting a miracle .
thes is my email tsyassmina@gmail.com
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Mary (user currently living in ALGERIA) posted for transgender readers to the ALGERIA country page on 25/05/2014 tagged with gender identity
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As a transgender in Algeria i live under the mask, i learned a lesson that coming out is impossible because a transgender from Algiers was persecuted and even received death threats. she was obliged to flee the country to Lebanon where she is living as a woman. for me i see that leaving the country is a must because i fear future mistreatment and persecution. i intend to go to San Francisco which has lots of LGBT communities and support groups. i wish that being a trans in Algeria is a solid ground to be granted asylum. i would be so happy and thankful if someone helps me get out of Algeria. i hope this is meaningful to you.
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Michiko Bown-Kai (user currently living in CANADA) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual straight readers to the CANADA country page on 14/05/2014 tagged with gender identity, human rights, sexual orientation, religion, marriage / civil unions +5
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Hi there,

Just wanted to share the words from our Moderator of the United Church of Canada, Gary Paterson, in honour of the upcoming International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. It can be found at the following link:

English:
http://www.united-church.ca/communications/news/releases/140512
http://www.united-church.ca/files/communications/news/releases/140512_letter.pdf

Bonjour! Je suis content a presenter une lettre overte du
modérateur de l'Eglise Unie de Canada, Gary Paterson. Cette lettre présente un message qu’il espère être entendu par la communauté LGBT.

French:
http://www.united-church.ca/fr/communications/news/releases/140512
http://www.united-church.ca/fr/files/communications/news/releases/140512_letter.pdf


Michiko Bown-Kai
Program Coordinator: Racial Justice, Gender Justice, and LGBTQ Justice
United Church of Canada
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(user currently living in VENEZUELA) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex readers to the VENEZUELA country page on 12/05/2014 tagged with teaching lgbt rights in schools, gender identity, sexual orientation
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Lanzamiento WEB de la Guía para padres, madres y familiares de LGBT “AMO A MI HIJ@, RESPETO A MI HIJ@” #FRV
La sociedad ha ido evolucionando humanamente hablando. ¿Eso es verdad?, hablando de la Comunidad de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales, personas Trans e Intersex (LGBTI) la discriminación comienza en sus casas.

Cabe destacar que el problema se debe a estar mal preparado, mal educado y a mentirnos al decir “no soy homofóbico”, siempre y cuando el homo, trans es de otro… ¿Qué pasa si es nuestro?... la cosa cambia. Nace el miedo, la confusión, el rencor y… la necesidad de entender y amar. De ahí nace la idea de la guía “Amo a mi hij@, respeto a mi hij@” que ha sido hecho con el apoyo de la Embajada Británica en Venezuela y Fundación Reflejos de Venezuela. Con la autoría de Elena Hernáiz Landáez, la colaboración de Gerardo Márquez, Rafael Vanezca y Ana Margarita Rojas, la ilustración de Mariam Prato.

La Guía Educativa para Padres, Madres y Familiares “Amo a mi hij@, respeto a mi hij@” se encuentra en su versión on line en la página de la Fundación Reflejos de Venezuela http://www.fundacionreflejosdevenezuela.com desde el 17 de mayo.

Así como la versión actualizada 2014 del “Manual Educativo para la Diversidad”, en ellas se tendrá una herramienta para prevenir la discriminación por homofobia y transfobia en nuestros hogares, escuela y sociedad.

¡Esperamos sea de su agrado y le pueda ayudar a continuar acompañad@ de su hij@!

Elena Hernáiz Landáez







Más información: info@fundacionreflejosdevenezuela.com Twiter: @radioreflejos

Teléfono: +58-2052612

Web: http://www.fundacionreflejosdevenezuela.com/
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(user currently living in NETHERLANDS) posted for transgender readers to the NETHERLANDS country page on 08/05/2014 tagged with gender identity, human rights, religion
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Being disabled is not easy. It is never easy. Discrimination, especially on the labor market, is pervasive and everywhere. Being a disabled transgender, however, like me, is totally an adventure. There are no rules, there is no script..
Since 25 years ( I am 51 now) I know that I am transgender, mtf, and two summers ago I came out of the closet..Now I am calling myself everywhere Petra. I identify as female, lesbian and a feminist. But I have a strong sense of humour, especially black humour..You have to if you are like me disabled from birth, sitting in a wheelchair and at the same time transgender..
Luckily I had already made a lot of experience in emancipation as a bodily disabled person when I decided to come out of the closet.. that really helps. I know I am lucky to live in a very tolerant country, but also personally I am not afraid. And luckily, most female friends are very supportive, and after my coming out I got new female friends. So I am a happy person.
And you wont believe me, but I am a dedicated christian, active in my church and a theologian and religious scientist. In my local church I luckily do not experience any discrimination.. it is a church where also many gay and lesbian people come, and one of the pastors is gay also. So that is a part of my story.. love, Petra
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Stephen (user currently living in CANADA) posted for bisexual readers to the CANADA country page on 05/05/2014 tagged with tourism, gender identity, human rights, sexual orientation
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The FLUID Kickstarter campaign is down to its last 3 days - don't miss your chance to support bisexual art in a first of its kind exhibition. If you are able, please donate, and if you can't, please share the link. http://kck.st/1fqR9Cg -- every little bit helps. FLUID is a part of the upcoming WorldPride 2014 Toronto celebrations.

For more information you can check out http://fluid2014.wordpress.com.
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, Anne Marie the director of Boi, song of a wanderer (user currently living in NETHERLANDS) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex straight readers on 30/04/2014 tagged with lgbt families, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion +5
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We would like to invite you al to WWW.SONGOFAWANDERER.COM
Its a movie, an exhibition and a photo book. Boi is the story of an inner struggle, Boi is about the pursuit of somebody’s real self. Boi is the story of a girl who wanted to be boy. Boi keeps tracks of Nitzan’s life and body changes following her through her journey all over the world but most important the journey to find out who she really is. like to know more see also on Kickstarter!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/602866401/boi-song-of-a-wanderer-movie-photo-book-exhibition
thanks !
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John Mccallum (user currently living in UNITED STATES) posted for gay readers to the UNITED STATES country page on 25/04/2014 tagged with gender identity
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I have always been gay, I was as first open as a sheep bearded in 1968. I feel for a black hand at the local ranch. I loved him but was ashamed. So I acted straight and married a woman, but have always missed being man handled and taken. Now I can't hide anymore, I want to be a real woman and find another man.
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Barbara Castle (user currently living in SOUTH AFRICA) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex straight readers to the SOUTH AFRICA country page on 20/04/2014 tagged with at the work place, health, gender identity, human rights, sexual orientation, religion +5
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My story is the form of a book published recently entitled FINDING MY OWN WAY...to happy & gay. And it is exactly the book for these times, for gay & straight people ... no matter which country they live in.
Should you be lucky enough to have a friend, a child, a sister, an aunt or a colleague who is gay this book answers many of the questions you'd never dare ask. And should you be on your way out of the closet and into the world be assured this book will keep you company all the way to being happy and gay!
Visit the website http://happyandgay.yolasite.com/ to find out more and to order a copy online.
You owe it to yourself...and to all people who are different.
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Eric Barnes (user currently living in UNITED STATES) posted for gay readers to the UNITED STATES country page on 03/04/2014 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, gender identity, human rights
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Facebook deleted my group SUPPORT IRAQI GAYS - STOP THE KILLING, a vital outlet for Iraqi gay expression in a country that routinely kills gays. Please read my letter to facebook, as yet unanswered. Will you contact Facebook for me and tell them you are disturbed by this report? Please? Thank you!

April 3, 2014

Dear Facebook administrator,

I was shocked to wake up this morning and learn that my longstanding social group, SUPPORT IRAQI GAYS - STOP THE KILLING was removed for unspecified "content violations." For nearly six years this group has been a vital forum for more than 2,000 iraqi gays who needed a place to communicate online openly as they try to avoid being openly murdered for whom they love.

From my end as founder and administrator, we have become increasingly adept at monitoring the site for porography, hate speech, commercial postings and the like. We now monitor the site 24/7 from both Baghdad and San Francisco looking for content violations. Postings are removed with lightning efficiency if they violate the content standards, and members are banned permenantly for repeat offenses. By any possible standard we have given due diligence to monitoring this site in both Arabic and English - continuously.

In addition, I recall on more than one occasion when Facebook would not allow me to remove a posting, saying "You are not authorized to edit this site" when I am in fact the founder! But other than that we are a page that does not tolerate nudity below the waist, or hate speech of any kind. I have an Iraqi administrator who is on the job when I'm not.

With any group of more than 2,000 young gays you are going to have the occasional violation, but we deal with them increasingly swiftly to ensure that the site is open and friendly to everyone. How could we possibly do more? About a year ago the site was suspended for allegedly violating standards, but I searched the site for evidnce that images had been removed, or that any standards were violated, and could find none. Nothing - and no explanation from Facebook on what the offending content was - or who had posted it!!!

But let's look at the real problem here: Thousands of Iraqi gays face the death penalty in their country for daring to be gay. This page has been one of the few forums available to them to express themselves and meet each other -- and by any POSSIBLE measure my administration of the page has been caring and competent and continuous.

I ask that you restore our page and its members to their former status. I promise we will continue monitoring the site as carefully as we do today. When you show images of two men kissing, there will always be someone who complains, but if they are merely bad actors and there is no pornography or hate speech -- then Facebook needs a way to recognize that that their complaints are not valid and ignore them. We do everything we can here to ensure a good experience for our members. But you didn't even leave a grievance procedure in place for us to challenge this dreadful decision. Without our page, one thing is sure. Iraqi gays will die, Iraqi gays will be hurt, and Iraqi gays will have no forum to share their feelings.

I beg you to reestablish this site in consideration of the enormous social benefit it brings. Paying attention to these things is part of your responsibility as a company. We as administrators can only provide diligence, we cannot prevent members from posting things, we can only remove members who do. And we do so with lightning speed.

I look forward to your reconsideration of this issue.

Very truly yours.


Eric E Barnes
San Francisco

synrg@comcast.net
saucyladd@yahoo.com










Goodbye Iraqi Gays - you are loved

Today brings a sad farewell to my beloved Facebook group "SUPPORT IRAQI GAYS - STOP THE KILLING." To our 2,473 loyal members who for six years asked for nothing more than a chance to be themselves, seize the opportunity to speak out against homophobia and meet and cruise each other in a relentlessly antigay society, I am sorry.

But it wasn't the CIA, it wasn't the Iraqi government, and it wasn't antigay militants who killed the group -- it was Facebook. I got an e-mail at midnight saying the group had been removed for unspecified "content violations" and that was that. There is no response address, no grievance procedure, no image or content specified as violating their community standards.

I consider Facebook's actions to be brutally violent considering the great lengths we went to to keep members' contributions civil and decent. We monitored the site continuously from both San Francisco and Baghdad, in both English and Arabic, constantly on the lookout for porn, hate speech or commercial interests. Violators had their inappropriate postings removed with ever-increasing speed and efficiency, and wayward members were banned permanently for repeat violations.

But the vast majority of members were kind souls who were grateful to have a forum where they could express themselves openly. In recent months more and more members were daring to show their real faces, expressing what can only be their own brand of Queer Pride.

Iraqi gays, I congratulate you on your indomitable spirit and will never forget your bravery, which has touched me deeply. I treasure the few of you who have become real friends too, and hope to keep you around forever.

But Facebook doesn't care about human rights, about the brutality of the antigay violence that continues to this day in Iraq, or about the plight of the oppressed. Facebook doesn't give a whit about its scorched-earth policies -- or that its claimed violations are invisible to the human eye. Facebook DOES want me to know that not only the group, but my personal profile will be removed if "I" continue to violate its nebulous and undefined standards. So go to hell Facebook. The blood of my beloved Iraqi gays is on your hands now.
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Dr Jane Andrews (user currently living in UNITED KINGDOM) posted for readers to the UNITED KINGDOM country page on 02/04/2014 tagged with gender identity
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Transgendered Isolation
A short essay for the public
April 2013
Internal Isolation
The usual reaction to the initial realisation of gender dysphoria is one of self-denial. It is a shock to realise that you desire to be of the opposite gender. This is quickly followed by feelings of shame, guilt and fear. Shame that you are not able to be part of the gender that you were assigned at birth, guilt that this is something that should be suppressed and, fear that one will be found out.
The fear of your peers and their reactions also meant that these feelings were further suppressed . Finally, there is disbelief that this could be possible, how can it be that I a normal healthy boy, could want to be a girl?
Much later I realised that I was not gay, and I feared the idea of being attracted to men, these fears passed with transition.
All this initial experience leads very suddenly to isolation. One can become withdrawn, shy, bullied and depressed. The ensuing lack of self-confidence means that one stands on the outside of one’s social network, and indeed the population at large.
Who do you talk to, what do you say, do you even want to talk about it?, the first temptation is to talk to a close friend, but the risk of losing their friendship or of incurring their wrath usually means that this is not an option until much later.
The idea of talking to parents, doctors or school teachers is so full of trepidation that it is often impossible. So the early seeds of isolation are sewn and as the years go by the sense of shame becomes ever greater.
The child with gender dysphoria is often extremely sensitive and withdrawn, coping with their situation often involves cunning, deceit and solitude. So they become isolated and lonesome. They will have few friends - if any, and will prefer their own company.
It is not that long ago since transexualism was unheard of and, if diagnosed often involved mental institutions and electric shock treatment. So even if the individual was aware of the condition, openly confessing to the same was not something to be taken at all lightly. Only with enlightenment has the situation improved, to the point where now there is compassionate and understanding
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treatment. Part of the reluctance to speak out was the perception that one would have to somehow convince others that one was in earnest and sincere. This could be seen as a daunting, uphill battle that put many off from speaking out.
Even today, the emphasis on sex, orientation and other sexual conditions far out way the gender issue of gender dysphoria. This imbalance of view is most unhelpful to both the client and the clinician. The emphasis should be on the gender aspect of the condition not the sexual characteristics of the client.
Domestic Isolation
Further isolation and suppression is brought about by the domestic situation of the individual. Parents can be hostile to gender dysphoria and find it almost impossible to accept that one of their own could be a victim. The fear of the parents reactions mean that the client will often say nothing until much later in life. This is a mistake, but understandable. Brothers and sisters also pose threats to our client, few will be able to understand or accept the situation. The prospect of bullying and ridicule put off any hope of coming out.
Then there is the larger family, in-laws Aunts, Uncles, cousins and so on, they all have to accept the situation or there will be tensions within the family group. There are friends and neighbours who will all have opinions and views which may well be hostile. And so the pressures mount, and our gender dysphoric child is expected to take on these responsibilities by stating that they wish to be a girl or a boy. Clearly, even the most confident and out going individual is going to be challenged by such a weight of responsibility.
For those later in life, often they are married with children, more issues with which to grapple. Partners who were unaware of the condition rarely are supportive of the individual, and children can be difficult to keep on side. Even if the partner is supportive, there is still the business of telling family members and hoping for their support. All too often family support is withdrawn and hurtful family situations can and do arise. Loss of family and especially children is one of the main reasons so many gender dysphoric clients leave coming out until late in life.
So the isolation of our individual is almost complete. They can be ensconced in a family with other children or with children of their own and, yet be totally isolated, alone in a crowd. Unable to socialise or converse even at the most basic level, and so will seek their own company. Many attempt to out strip the gender dysphoric feelings by getting married, having children, joining the army or other services, appearing overtly male, (in the case of male to female transgender), But mostly the gender dysphoria will out, and by then the damage is done.
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So we have touched on the “self” and the “domestic”, but later in life comes the public situation.
Public Isolation
Our individual has somehow survived the “self” and the “domestic”, but later they are faced with the “public” context of gender dysphoria. If employed then the employer has to be made aware of the situation. This can mean several things. Loss of job, lower earnings or demotion. Today we are blessed with legislation which protects against discrimination, but that was not always the case. Even today it can be a lengthy fight to protect our rights. Fortunately much has changed for the better, but still there is the trauma of telling employer and work colleagues of the impending change that is going to take place. This leads on to friends and social groups, they all have to know and what has until now been an intensely private and suppressed condition is now suddenly threatening to go “public”.
For younger individuals, the head teacher or member of staff and, all their friends will soon know of the change. This can lead to bullying, discrimination and ostracising of the individual.
For some the whole prospect of going public is just too much, so it is put off until a later date. Friends can be another cause for isolation, all too often they reject the individual and the friendships break down. Although there is definitely more awareness of gender dysphoria now than ever before, there are still barriers to acceptance and integration, and our client knows this.
All too soon other things start to become of great importance, the voice, the beard, the G.P., N.H.S. Funding, Transphobic attacks, privacy and fears, all these things, which up until now have not been particularly important take on new and worrying dimensions.
So the public isolation of our client becomes clear. Suddenly how our voice sounds becomes of ever greater importance, strenuous efforts are made to overcome years of overtly male/ female speaking. The beard takes on new proportions of ugliness, making a feminine appearance all but impossible. The family G.P. suddenly becomes a close ally hopefully in referral for treatment and the prescribing of the all important hormones, N.H.S. funding becomes a new topic of intense interest, as treatment for gender dysphoria is progressed, and Transphobic attacks are something of an innate interest since now one is a potential victim.
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The desire for privacy now becomes almost obsessive as more and more of our true self is put in the public domain. The only thing which our client desires is acceptance, not the prissy, overtly patronising but plain simple acceptance. This is who I am, and I just want a life.
Resultant Isolation ( over 60’s)
Much later in life, all these pressures to being isolated have a cumulative effect. The main problem is one of self-confidence, quickly followed by a sense of low self-worth. By now, if all the obstacles to becoming one’s self has been overcome, one can still be left with a sense of little self-worth, and even less self-confidence, family has all but gone, friends have long since disappeared retirement looms and one’s social circle is small if extant at all. Basically we are alone, frightened persecuted and vulnerable. For many the home is their safety, and if that is safe then we are safe, stepping outside the home on the other hand offers many fears and anxieties. Have we got the voice right, has the years of electrolysis worked, is our appearance one of integration, are we safe, safe from physical and verbal abuse, are we a target, do we inadvertently make our home a target, or our car or personal possessions. Are we an object of ridicule, are we accepted?.
All these issues add to the sense of isolation that many feel, the lack of a social life is possibly the worst of all to bear if you crave acceptance and company. Being alone can seem as if one has failed, failed to make the grade as a human being, and it adds further to the sense of isolation that one experiences.
The loss of family and friends is a bitter blow for anybody, but for the Transgendered it is particularly hard, for they have done nothing wrong, only to have been blighted by gender dysphoria. Coming to terms with this condition is in itself a triumph, being accepted by the wider community is the icing on the cake. So if one has been able to accept who they really are, then half the battle is won. It is for the rest of the world to catch up, and recognise that these men and women are just that, men and women.
External Isolation
The media,( T.V., radio, newspapers) have a lot to answer for. Their portrayal of the Transgendered community is often overtly offensive and derisory. There are exceptions, Channel 4’s My Transsexual Summer was a fair insight into the lives of these brave men and women. And ITV’s My Dad is My Mum was particularly well done. But sadly these examples are all too rare, leaving the Transgendered isolated from public life. Public awareness is so important to us, but the right type of awareness, mini skirted trannies clubbing and drunk do no-one any good, but it makes for good T.V..
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The public are not stupid, they respond to the well-meaning and the decent, it is this sort of awareness that we should encourage. The work of the many groups and charities for the trans community should get more support from the media, and more public awareness. In this way we will reach our goal of acceptance.
Government legislation has gone a long way towards encouraging more Transgendered individuals to come out. The Gender Recognition Certificate is of particular importance, allowing us to assume the full identity of who we really are, with the redrafting of our birth certificates and rights to pensions it all helps to make us the integrated citizens that we truly are. Of course there is a long way to go, but progress is being made, and thanks here are due to Press For Change and the hard work they do on our behalf.
Commercial acceptance is also of the greatest importance, for it would include us, not isolate us. If the thousands of shops, pubs and clubs would encourage us to use the “ladies”, (or the gents), as our demeanour dictates, then life could be so much simpler, if the staff at these establishments were gender aware, how much more pleasant would be our experience, and how much more we would spend!, if the assistant were to call us madam (or sir) as our presence dictates, how much more included would we feel.
Conclusion
There are ways to help reduce the isolation felt by so many Transgendered individuals. More public awareness and education would be of great help, schools should also enlighten their students, and funding for the many charities and organisations should be increased. The media also have a role to play, in responsibly publicising the issues of gender dysphoria.
Gender Action UK is there to help others, be they in childhood, at school or college, at work or unemployed and retired. It is a charity which has premises in the Medway Towns, membership is from as little as £100 per year. Members are welcome to come along to their weekly meetings drop-in sessions on a Wednesday, GAUK works closely with the NHS, the local authority and the police, as well as schools and colleges in the area.
There are many other organisations and charities who work to offer support, too many to list here, but if individuals contact GAUK, (01634 723339), or view our website: www.gauk.org, then we can put them in touch.
So there really is no need to struggle on alone, isolated and afraid, there are
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many routes out of isolation but the initial contact has to be made by the individual, this is why it is so important that funding for publicity and rent is made available to charities and organisations.
Jane Andrews MBA BA (Hons)
April 2013
01634 723339
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The following theory proves everybody is gay weather you know it or not ."Some species, such as some snails, practice sex change: adults start out male, then become female (See also sex reversal). In tropical clown fish, the dominant individual in a group becomes female while the other ones are male, and bluehead wrasses (Thalassoma bifasciatum) are the reverse. In the marine worm (Bonellia viridis), larvae become males if they make physical contact with a female, and females if they end up on the bare sea floor. This is triggered by the presence of a chemical produced by the females, bonellin. Some species, however, have no sex-determination system. Hermaphrodites include the common earthworm and certain species of snails. A few species of fish, reptiles, and insects reproduce by parthenogenesis and are female altogether. There are some reptiles, such as the boa constrictor and komodo dragon that can reproduce sexually and asexually, depending if a mate is available"(ref –man is the extension of woman)The main hypothesis discussed in this book is that, if a woman lives long enough she will be converted into a man physically. A similar thing can also be stated about man. It is wrong to categorize humankind into two genders as it implicates that they are extremely dissimilar and physically opposite to each other. Man and woman are just two different stages of one developmental process. And physically they are very similar. The ideas presented may sound unconventional but Dr. Fulzele implores readers to consider his point of view with an open mind. “Your world will not change if you do not agree with me. But if you agree with me, how does it change your world? If more people agree with you and me, how does it change our world? The possibilities are limitless.�
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The following theory proves everybody is gay weather you know it or not ."Some species, such as some snails, practice sex change: adults start out male, then become female (See also sex reversal). In tropical clown fish, the dominant individual in a group becomes female while the other ones are male, and bluehead wrasses (Thalassoma bifasciatum) are the reverse. In the marine worm (Bonellia viridis), larvae become males if they make physical contact with a female, and females if they end up on the bare sea floor. This is triggered by the presence of a chemical produced by the females, bonellin. Some species, however, have no sex-determination system. Hermaphrodites include the common earthworm and certain species of snails. A few species of fish, reptiles, and insects reproduce by parthenogenesis and are female altogether. There are some reptiles, such as the boa constrictor and komodo dragon that can reproduce sexually and asexually, depending if a mate is available"(ref –man is the extension of woman)The main hypothesis discussed in this book is that, if a woman lives long enough she will be converted into a man physically. A similar thing can also be stated about man. It is wrong to categorize humankind into two genders as it implicates that they are extremely dissimilar and physically opposite to each other. Man and woman are just two different stages of one developmental process. And physically they are very similar. The ideas presented may sound unconventional but Dr. Fulzele implores readers to consider his point of view with an open mind. “Your world will not change if you do not agree with me. But if you agree with me, how does it change your world? If more people agree with you and me, how does it change our world? The possibilities are limitless.�
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Hi, we are Paco and Pasquale. We are researchers from Goldsmiths University of London. We are currently preparing a project about Palestinian LGBT stories in Palestine, Israel and all over the world.

If you have sought refuge or you have a story to suggest, please write us at co301pa@gold.ac.uk

Thank you
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PALITHA (user currently living in SRI LANKA) posted for gay readers on 11/03/2014 tagged with hiv/aids , gender identity, human rights, sexual orientation
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As a openly gay man and person living with HIV my life was actually filled with lot of hardships. Not only battered by my sexual orientation but also victimized because of living with HIV at a very young age. there were times that I thought death would be far more better. However the opportunity to work at UNAIDS drastically changed by life from disgrace and discrimination to respect and well being. It is not the fact that I was working at UNAIDS but it was the fact that I was employed somewhere, a place where I gained respect as another employee ,not sympathy as a person living with HIV,
Civil society and key affected communities ad maintaining a sound relationship with UNAIDS in SriLanka. When I came to know my HIV status, I thought it is end of my life and I had no courage to go anywhere with the fear of exposure. I met a person working for UNAIDS through a PLHIV network and I went to UNAIDS office with great difficulty questioning myself whether I can fit in to such a well-respected place. But I felt a great comfort to be with them with their non-judgmental attitude.
UNAIDS Sri Lanka gave me a greater opportunity to work as a volunteer initially for 6 months and then extended my contract for another 3 months. Initially I was afraid of working in such an organization simply because I don’t have the necessary technical knowledge and I don’t speak good English. I was expecting further stigmatization based on my HIV status and sexual orientation. That was my experience form the society as a young gay man living with HIV.
But I was wrong in my thoughts and UNAIDS staff very warmly welcome me to the UN Compound and felt that it is the safest place for person like me. UNAIDS provided me number of opportunities to develop my public speaking skills and representational capacity. My computer skills, communication skills and English language skills were vastly developed during my stay with UNAIDS. I represent UNAIDS in couple of national forum making me empowered and making me a respected civil society activists. It was a great turning point in my life.
Finally I need to say this is giant opportunity for myself and also my community and I UNAIDS contributed to build up a strong HIV ACTIVITY AND GAY ADVOCATE, in Sri Lanka where HIV positive gay community face double discrimination with the societal norms and legal system. We urge UNAIDS to breed more people like me with necessary capacity to achieve our goal of ZERO
DISCRIMINATION, ZERO AIDS RELATED DETHS, ZERO NEW INFECTIONS
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hey guys... I just wanna meet some other girl who is just the same like me.... lesbian.... I need friends:) u can follow my twitter first and mention me for follow back to (@Yeah_Me1), then I'll give you my contact:) by the way I'm sixteen y.o and goin on my sweet seventeen this october:) am about 5'5 tall and about 143 lbs^^
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gladwin (user currently living in INDIA) posted for gay readers to the SWEDEN country page on 09/03/2014 tagged with gender identity
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Hi everyone going to write but scaring what will happen next because in a country where i lives noone likes this type of people even makes fun for them and therefore we can never opens ourself before anyone and push strongly our feelings and emotions which the nature has given us with our birth,gay r a new word until i introduced with internet in 2000 , till then i was thinking that im a wrong person who is living in this cultural world and im the only one , before that i got married with a girl , but there were no sexual relationship between us and the result was we both were living a life full of tension, fighting, stress with all the negative things.to each other.
frienship with girls was a normal relationship eating waliking thats it, this was my thinking but after marriage when she demanded sex with me but i was not able because i had no attraction for the woman ,i can respect them like god but can never accept in my sex life therefore after 7 day of marriage when there were no sex between us then mediator came to our home and talked with my father and both asked me whats up man i tried to hide and said everything is ok and fine in my life but they compell me to visit a doctor and doctor given me medicine which i hve to take with alchol then it happens betweenus every night i had to take medicine before going to the bed but my days were full of stress and when i stopped to medicine then the situation was like before because alcohl can never change who we r?
and till then im living a stressful and miserable life but could not accept it , i want to fly with my own feathers in the sky of life but there r many rocks on my feathers therefore im looking a platform and land where i could strech out my feathers and fly in the sky like other son and daughters of the god otherwise ithink that im the mistake of creator something must be wrong i did in my previous birth and now im suffering and cultivating it,
reading stories is much enjoyful but experience r full of pain the pain of disappear wounds and cuts on our soul noone try to understand us mean the people like me , we comes and goes no one try to save our shadows, is this the life which i ever asked to god if yes then sorry god i will never do it again like father forgive me once again,thats it
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george (user currently living in SOUTH AFRICA) posted for straight readers on 03/03/2014 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, gender identity
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If been molested trough my own da since the age of 4 now I'm invoved with a 66 y old guy that's doing the same after all thus years and being married with 3 kids and almost 4 grandkids the emotional battering never stop I wanna end my life sometimes and believe in a upper GOD and level !!! No energy left pls Yelp !!! 082 298 2345 or 00082 308 3277 PLZZZZZ help me
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Erin Dary (user currently living in UNITED STATES) posted for gay lesbian bisexual intersex readers to the UNITED STATES country page 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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Stephen (user currently living in CANADA) posted for bisexual readers to the CANADA country page on 02/03/2014 tagged with gender identity, sexual orientation
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Hi, my name is Stephen, from Toronto. My partner is organizing a call for submissions for bi* identified photographers for "FLUID" - (bisexual/queer/pansexual/fluid/omnisexual/two spirit/don't-label-me & other non-exclusively straight or non-exclusively gay identities) -- photo exhibit planned for June 2014, for WorldPride (Toronto, Canada). We are interested in seeing a variety of photo based work (digital, collage, analog, historical process) and experimental works. More info on theme / how to enter is on our blog: http://fluid2014.wordpress.com. Deadline for submissions is April 1st. You can contact Catherine at fluidtoronto@gmail.com with questions or for more info!
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we are facing alot of challeges here in Uganda now that the anti homosextuality was passed the people in the communities we leave are using it to harrass us more recently the day Museveni enacted the bill into law one of our own was killed through mob justice in a kampala surburb we appeal to the international community of the LGBT to give a helping and support the gay community in Uganda
many people would think leaving the country is a good option but i beleive in freedom in my our land
reach me by telephone +256754892440 or by email ssentongoherbert@gmail.com
together we will win
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Peter Dankmeijer (user currently living in NETHERLANDS) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex straight readers to the NETHERLANDS country page on 24/02/2014 tagged with teaching lgbt rights in schools, gender identity, human rights, sexual orientation
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GALE has have prepared a number of courses on sexual diversity education, which can (for European countries) be funded under Erasmus+. Each course is 4 days and one or two days come-back meeting. The courses should be done in another country than your own to get it funded. If your application is accepted by the EU, your own contribution is about â‚Ź 180 for both travels and courses, while the EU will pay all travel, accommodation, food and course fees.

The courses are:

Peer education on sexual diversity - How to discuss lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender topics with students and young adults
Schools without homophobia - Be an effective change maker in your school and more effective in mobilizing the team in combating homophobia
Dealing with strong opinions - Learn how to deal with strong opinioned students, who deny the holocaust, think homosexuals should be killed, Muslims should be sent 'home', women should be treated like property and Jews should be gassed
Strategic advocacy to mainstream attention for homophobia in schools -Assess the implementation of the right to education in your region or country and strategize a high impact strategy to improve it
Assess homophobia and transphobia in schools - This training is a workshop, which completely supports you to prepare a research strategy in your country.

Read more at http://www.lgbt-education.info/en/training/open_courses.
The deadline for application is 17 March, 12:00, and the application needs to be done by the legal representative of your organization. The application form is quite long, but GALE has made draft texts to make the application easier for you. If you want GALE support, please send GALE a note of interest: http://www.lgbt-education.info/en/training/note_of_interest. We will then contact you to offer support. In the week of 10-15 March GALE offers personal support via skype or phone. If you needs this, please make an appointment so they don't get overwhelmed with requests and can plan their work.
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Adele (user currently living in UNITED KINGDOM) posted for gay lesbian bisexual readers to the BULGARIA country page on 17/02/2014 tagged with tourism, gender identity +5
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Whilst visiting Bulgaria with my Bulgarian girlfriend I discovered that it definitely isn't England. However - we did hold hands sometimes in Sofia, and although we got some looks that was it. In her small home town we didn't, but this was more for personal reasons. However there, even though we weren't showing any public affection my girlfriend was stared at for how she looks, not outlandish just a bit boyish. Over there the gender identities are very traditional. We know some younger friends over there who have come out, and the parents, although not happy haven't rejected them. However another Bulgarian friend living in England who just came out to his sister back in Bulgaria got told he should go to the doctor. There is much work to be done, but it's not as bad as Russia....yet.
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Rijoan (user currently living in BANGLADESH) posted for gay readers to the BANGLADESH country page on 17/02/2014 tagged with gender identity
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In my own life experience-I just want to say ‘Open up with self identity as a different desire in Muslim family” is a still big challenge to overcome and based on that particular issues, most of the “Kothi-MSM as like me and some cross dresser’ (MA: cross dresser means-they are man in day light, but in night they are wearing some girlish dresses only for sex partner collection purpose) little by little fighting with family, friends and as well as with law, society etc.
Here I just want to share my own success story for great example as an opportunity, what actually we can follow in other’s Muslim society.
“Open up with self identity as a different desire in family”
My fascinating eyes, illusive sights and sweet face create joyful feelings on my mothers mind since me was born. Gradually some symptoms developed in mine which makes my parents sad frustrated. But i was confident enough on my aim by ignoring the bad comments of neighbors and the criticism of my relatives and friends. Me continues my study and classic dance practice devotedly though my friends and classmates insulted me for that. Nothing can change the mindset of mine, rather i tried to make people understand that it is my passion and also wants to contribute to change the economic condition of my family through dance. Then they comments on me that” you are very close to be a “She male” and “Hijra”!! . Me bears all the stigma puts on me quite silently. After receiving the “Advocacy and Communication on LGBT rights and Legal issues” training from Bandhu Social Welfare Society me became capable to make my parents understand that how they are suffering for their elder son, where as me is earning and continuing my study through income from dance. Me than asks my parents-who is ensuring you respect and honor in society? My fateher thought that it is really true that for his elder son sometimes police used to come at our home, but one day it was only because of me when my teacher introduced him as the father of their best student ! That day the tear of joy came to his eyes! He realized that it is dissent matter for him that me is his feminized son, but me is his true blood. He can earn some respect from the society through me. My father embraced me and says” from today you can grow up with your freedom and will continue you education”. Me is quite happy and satisfied now with my own life. Me also convinces my friends through negotiation. Everyone in my surroundings now specially recognizes me. So, I think this are the achievement of our work together as LGBT community as well as LGBT friendly CBO-led NGO .
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Arsalan (user currently living in PAKISTAN) posted for straight readers to the PAKISTAN country page on 16/02/2014 tagged with intersex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, illegality of female to female relationships, illegality of male to male relationships
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This is not my story but my research about homosexuality in Pakistan and factors that cause it. Homosexuality is catching fire in Pakistan these days. However, this isn't something related to the preference of sexes here but an outcome of ill minds. See how people in Pakistan satisfy their lust in the name of homosexuality which eventually leads to child molest and abuse in some cases of the rural community. Click on the link to read complete article: http://bit.ly/1gFtfQK
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Harsha (user currently living in SRI LANKA) posted for transgender readers to the SRI LANKA country page in response to this story on 13/02/2014 tagged with gender identity +0
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all transgeder girls shall v form a community?email me harsha.perera82@yahoo.com
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Hi - I wanted to leave you with a mostly positive story, which is nevertheless laced with frustration. I socialised within the gay community from 1886 to 1995, in the UK. The reason was so that I could cope at the time with my 'gender dysphoria' (as it was called) - this led to my full gender change. Later, I effectively moved, though not deliberately, more into the 'straight world' but as a post-op transsexual (M to F). I have managed to work professionally since 1996 in a well-respected role, without anyone knowing. I have not 'come out' - even though I have been in two 'lesbian' relationships during that time. I wanted to state this now because it proves that transgendered people can work well in society. However, the frustration has been that coming out would have ended my career - of that I have no doubt. The number of people who openly castigate gay people and transgendered in particular, to my face, without the slightest idea about me is remarkable. If there is a joke in any of this it is on them - but of course, it's not funny. In my role, I do the best I can to educate people - but it has to be subtle, with small moves... My gay and transgender experiences have been wonderful and I would never go back on them - but it has been a long and hard road. I found I needed to be very resilient. Thanks for reading this.
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Khristina Levins (user currently living in UNITED STATES) posted for transgender readers to the GHANA country page on 20/01/2014 tagged with health, gender identity +5
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There is some one in southafrica thats wants marriage from me im trangender and in united state ive been diagnose gender dysfroria and I take hormones can the marriage be more legal in united state or Ghana south Africa
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Hi everyone.

My name is Christian Martinez from Canada and I live in the Dominican Republic. I am known as Canada Inc, a movie and video producer. I have been helping youths here for the last 8 years record their music for free and promoting them through web tools we have developped over the years. 3 years ago, a young transvestite (I am not gay and not a professional in the terms so excuse my ignorance but he is a young boy who likes to dress as a girl. Looks very good. Anyway point is this boy comes and starts recording a style we had never heard of. Litterally GAY Reggaeton. We are in a country where police still beat gays just for being gay in the streets where Haitians are being denationalized and where the possibility for a human being to be treated properly when he or she is admitedly gay is almost 0. Somehow, in the middle of this homofobic and racist environment, his/her songs actually became popular. His face is starting to be recognized (20 million views in youtube last 2 years) and he has been a tremendous embassador for the gay movement. I am asking you all to please visit youtube and view his/her videos. Their great and colorfull but most of all their historical. We are in a country where the president took hours deciding if he would go to the inoguration of the new american embassador because he is gay. Please help us make this kid a international star so Dominicans can start seeing their gay comunity as people and worth being proud of. I have grow up with a gay mother in Canada and I have seen what hatred can do. In the 70s it was truely not easy. I remember how it changed and acceptance came through famous people everyone loved. Or so I remember.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeiO_d74ubA
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People, raise your voices. Create a huge group. As a western law student, we learn that power come from people. Machiavelli says in his book, the Prince, that religion shall be used to create love and fear in his population. Sure, everybody has the right to have your own religion, but this should be a choice, not imposed by Sharia law. Fight for human rights, doesn't matter what is your religion or how conservative your country is. You, together, will make a difference. You all could interact in here, then, add a larger number of people, go to the streets, make a noise. Don't stop until you make it. Go for international aids, spread the world. Easterns are brave, challenge the biggest power if needed to fight for their believes. Read about LGBT families, I am part of one and there's nothing wrong with it. GO FOR IT, LEAVE THE PAST BEHIND, PLANT A SEED IN THE PRESENT AND CHANGE THE FUTURE! God loves you all
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I have lived in South Korea for 3 years, I have loved every moment of my time.. so far!

I think this is a very Gay friendly country behind the scenes .

Legally the system is dated and the role of the Church dominates.

Change is needed and it is needed quickly because the world we live in HAS CHANGED and the Koreans need to get with the times..

Please sign my petition http://chn.ge/15MLc7k

As a Gay guy, I am concerned about the shame that society places on homosexuality. In Korea you have the proud Gay and the closet... who often gets married to a woman, under a joke of a situtation bogged down with contracts or a guy who will leave the country or take their own life.. the latter is my biggest concern... as it the situtation of parents throwing their kids out..

Please help SEOUL to wake up!

I find it ironic that Adjushis (old men) are allowed to rape freely in Saunas without problem or to feel men or women up and down in public without issue. I was on a Metro when an Old man touched my backside and then penis, I shouted at him, not one person did anything and the Korean Police simply took notes and said it happened an awful lot but because it is a Gay issue, it doesn't matter.

This country is awesome but THERE are problems.

Gays in the Army are asked hundreds of question to prove Gayness.

AKA WAKE UP and issue EQUAL RIGHTS
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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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Bushra (user currently living in BANGLADESH) posted for lesbian readers to the BANGLADESH country page on 24/12/2013 tagged with intersex, at the work place, lgbt families, health, gender identity, human rights, sexual orientation +5
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Hey there. This is Bushra from Bangladesh. I currently live in Dhaka and I'm 19 years old. I've been working with some Bangladeshi organisations that deal with sexual minorities in Bangladesh. I myself am trying to build up an organisation that deal with only lesbians and bisexual women in Bangladesh. Our aim is to reach out to as many women we can to invite them to this group so that they can be themselves. Homosexual people are still very discriminated in this country. We are providing them a space to open themselves up, talk it out and do some social work as safely as possible.

I hope ILGA and other Bangladeshi fellows will appreciate our/my work and maybe a part of it.
Take good care all.

If you wanna contact me then mail me at cosmicrayotc@yahoo.com
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(user currently living in ITALY) posted for transgender straight readers to the ITALY country page on 18/12/2013 tagged with gender identity +5
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coming soon (2014) the "UNIQUE" documentary (INFO www.uniquedocfilm.com)- 5 stories UNIQUE in the world about Transgender people
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Lucky (user currently living in PANAMA) posted for gay readers to the PANAMA country page on 17/12/2013 tagged with gender identity, sexual orientation, religion
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Hello, my name is Lucky and I'm 17 years old. Since I was a little kid I knew that I like boys, but while I was growing up I tried to force myself to like a 100% girls. I did have a few crushes on girls and even an official girlfriend, but as always I found myself draming about guys and how would it be to have a male-to-male relationship. I'm not a "normal boy"; I like fashion, I like fashion, make up, I don't like sports, I like art ( here in Panama, guys who like any of those things are usually categorized as gay)... All my life I've been called "gay", "faggot" and some other words that were actually killing me. Right now, I've accepted myself, still with a few insecurities because being gay here it's not something good. The mayority of my friends know I'm gay, I've told them; other people still think I'm gay, but I haven't told them officialy. Today, my mom knows about my sexuality, she doesn't accept it at all, neither she accepts the fact that I'm having a relationship with another boy ( she met him), but I'm looking forward. I'm really happy with my boyfriend and I'll fight for us, but most important is that I'll fight for my happiness; I just can't fool myself again about pretending to like girls.
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