Accepting Transformation

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Here is a moving story about a couple going through a transformation together and how they stayed together through tough times. Willy was a butch lesbian who identified as transgender and went through surgery to change the identity to male.  Willy’s partner is self-identified lesbian who preferred dating butch women, and  was not seeking to partner herself with a man. Georgia tells her story about how the queer and straight community saw her and her struggles and how even after all of this, her love kept her strong.

Read more here:  http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2014/07/18/op-ed-accepting-my-partners-gender-transformation

Trans people no longer need proof for birth certificate rights.

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In New York trans people no longer need to have proof of sex-reassignment surgery to change the sex marked on their birth certificate. 100 people a year seek to change the sex on their birth certificate in New York state. With this new rule this provides people the right to stay they way they want to be and safely change their birth certificate. As Dru Levassuer, the transgender rights director for the advocacy group Lambda Legal, said “It is important to have accurate identity documents that reflect who people are in the world.” Many Trans people identify as having a different sex from their one at birth. Many do not need, do not want, or cannot afford sex-reassignment surgery. This provides more freedom and the previous documents can leave trans people  vulnerable to discrimination or embarrassment. Everyone has the right to identify to what they feel is them, their unique selves. And this may be a step forward to expand future birth certificates or to get rid of the 2 categories (female or male) all together.

To read more go here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/06/new-york-drops-surgery-rule_n_5454005.html?utm_hp_ref=transgender

Start Talking. Stop HIV

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When you start talking about HIV with your partner you stop HIV. This can help create a safe space and a space free from hiding. When you open up you take the preventative steps of spreading HIV and create new steps within your relationship to keep you and your partner safe.  Talk about your status, condom use, testing, and medications. Get tested every 3 months and keep yourself safe. Remember 33% of men do not know they have HIV.

 

To learn more information go here: http://www.cdc.gov/actagainstaids/campaigns/starttalking/index.html

Some quick HIV statistics.

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  • 50,000 people get HIV each year and young people between the ages of 13 and 24
  • Young gay, bisexual men and African Americans are hit harder by HIV than their peers.
  • About 70% of youth were infected with HIV through male-to-male sex
  • 4% from injection drug use and about 4% from a combination of male-to-male sex and injection drug use.
  •  60% of new infections among youth occur in African Americans
  • 20% of new infections among youth in Hispanics/Latinos
  • and about 20% of new infections among  whites
  • The percentage of youth tested for HIV overall was 12.9% among high school students
  • 34.5% among those were aged 18–24 years
  • Testing was lower among males than females

With these statistics it is important to use it to our advantage. To diminish the stigma of getting tested and make it more of a normal part of daily life. If HIV testing was incorporated in  examinations every 3 months then this would create a norm and a new way of looking at HIV/AIDS.

You can follow more on these statistics here: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/dhap/ehap/direct/112712.html

 

 

 

Local Health Departments helping in Healthy Grindr Experiences.

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A published study by Hunter College’s Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST) found that 10% of men on Grindr have never gotten tested for HIV. But nearly a third of them still claim they’re HIV negative. Local Health Departments are trying to let many users know the importance about safe sex on Grindr and many other applications. 80% of the Grindr users continue with the conversations about safer sex methods in their sexual lives. These conversations follow in the HIPPA regulations and are completely confidential. This helps the person using Grindr to ask any questions or any concerns they may have with their health.  The program seems to be working great and contacts with gay men increased more than 500 percent during the first year of the San Mateo County health program. So if you see a message informing you about testing hours and with any questions you have, don’t be afraid to ask. You can ask any questions you want that pertains to sexual health or any other health questions you want to know. Remember the Health Departments on these applications want to help you in any way they can. 

Here is a link to read more about this wonderful study: http://ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=69566

Womenspace Keeping everyone in the community safe.

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Womenspace is not just for women, they help everyone in need of escaping a violent relationship.  Violence is not just physical it can be emotional, sexual, or economic abuse. It is the least reported crime in the country. Womenspace provide services, such as, a Confidential Shelter, 24-hour Crisis Line (1-800-281-2800), support groups, transitional programs,  and much more. If you or anyone you know suffers from domestic violence, womenspace is there for you.  As Womenspace put so perfectly, “Womenspace believes that each person has the right to lead a life free from violence and fear of abuse. All people have the desire and capacity to control their own lives (Womenspace.org, 2014).” You can visit more on their website: http://womenspaceinc.org/services/