Resource 2: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/teens
Studies prove that only 20% of teens ( in the USA) who are sexually active actually use condoms. Not only is does that mean that there is a higher chance of teens getting pregnant, but it is a higher chance of getting STDs. www.plannedparenthood.org is a website that has a section that is for teens, and there they help them and suggest many things. One of those things is how to prevent getting an STD. It explains how sex can lead to STDs, what is the best way to protect yourself from STDs, explains all you need to know about STDs and also give advice on how to talk to your parents about STDs. I think this is a great website because it is very educational, but also gives information in a way that teens can understand.It also gives the definition of difficult words or terms, This page really helps improve teens sexual health because it is teaching teens how to prevent, deal and understand the problem that are STDs.
The MeToo movement can be categorized as a movement mostly for women and their empowerment as well as the sexual assault at them. However many people wonder how the men affect it or feel about or use it. Like any topic in the media there are two sides to this question. The first being that men feel offended or feel the need to backlash or defend themselves. This article is written about actors using the metoo movement as a self defense mechanism. The second stance that some men take is the supportive stance. For example, this article by The Hollywood Reporter's is about one director who even started a new hashtag, #WeToo. A hashtag for men who are supporting the #MeToo and who are helping with the cause.
How do members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) feel about children learning about sexual information inside the home versus at school?
Within the Mormon religion church authorities council parents that they should teach their children about sexual health at home before they are taught about it at school. The reasoning is that children need to feel like they can talk to their parents about sex and ask questions. It is also important to Mormons to talk about sex from a spiritual standpoint so that children don’t just learn about sex from movies and friends.
The website lds.org has a page called How to Teach Children about Sexual Intimacy. This page helps teach parents how to talk to their kids in a positive way about sex and teach about the church’s doctrines.
“Whatever your hesitations or fears, it is vital that you discuss sexual intimacy with your children on an ongoing basis,” the lesson states. “Children and teenagers are regularly bombarded with damaging ideas about sex, and you have the opportunity to help them create a positive, gospel-driven understanding of sexual intimacy.”
“Parents who proactively prepare their children have this conversation in appropriate ways starting very young,” said Brother Gibbons.
Rather than allowing the media to teach children what is appropriate, parents can start teaching about bodies being blessings from Heavenly Father. From there, parents can teach in more detail according to the direction of the Spirit and their family’s needs. Rather than waiting for children to learn at school or other outside influences, parents can broach the topic at home, in a positive atmosphere.
“There are things you can do that are age appropriate along the way so children are inoculated and prepared rather than just reacting to things they see in the media or hear from friends,” said Brother Gibbons. “When you proactively prepare them, you set the stage for them to be able to handle those instances when they inevitably encounter it.”
What do members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) think about sexual health that may differ from other beliefs?
What do members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) think about sexual health that may differ from other people?
We Mormons believe that sexual health means remaining abstinent until you are married, and being monogamous once you are married. In the Mormon handbook “True to the Faith a Gospel Reference,” We are counseled on how to achieve this goal.
“Decide now to be chaste. You need to make this decision only once. Make the decision now, before the temptation comes, and let your decision be so firm and with such deep commitment that it can never be shaken. Determine now that you will never do anything outside of marriage to arouse the powerful emotions that must be expressed only in marriage. Do not arouse those emotions in another person’s body or your own body. Determine now that you will be completely true to your spouse.”
“If you are single and dating, always treat your date with respect. Never treat him or her as an object to be used for lustful desires. Carefully plan positive and constructive activities so that you and your date are not left alone without anything to do. Stay in areas of safety where you can easily control yourself.”
As members of the Mormon faith we are counseled not to go to dances until we are 14 and to not date anyone until we are 16. Even after we are 16 we are taught to go on dates with many different people and not date one person exclusively.
“If you are married, be faithful to your spouse in your thoughts, words, and actions. Never flirt with anyone of the opposite sex. Ask yourself if your spouse would be pleased if he or she knew of your words or actions. When you stay away from such circumstances, temptation gets no chance to develop.”
Mormons practice abstinence before marriage not only to prevent STDs and pregnancy but because we believe it is a commandment and that keeping that commandment will also keep us safe from the emotional and social difficulties that come with premarital sex.
In contrast to these gospel based directions, teens are often told that they should have sex when they feel like they are ready as long as they protect themselves from STDs and pregnancy. The Planned Parenthood website states,
“Am I ready at a glance:
Also, it states:
I think I’m ready to have sex. What do I do now?
1. Both of you want to have sex without pressure from each other or anyone else.
2. You’re being honest about your feelings. Your partner should be honest, too.
3. You and your partner will do what you need to do, like using condoms, dams, and getting tested, to prevent STDs.
4. If you have vaginal sex, use birth control and condoms to protect against pregnancy. (You should also use condoms to protect against STDs.)
5. Both of you feel comfortable saying “stop” and “no” in any situation.
- See more at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/teens/sex/am-i-ready#sthash.vn9pX29A.dpuf
What is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) standards in regard to sex?
In a pamphlet written by church leaders, teenagers are taught what standards they are expected to live by and taught the reasoning behind these standards. The following is a quote from the pamphlet “ For the Strength of Youth.” The complete text can be found here.
“Physical intimacy between husband and wife is beautiful and sacred. It is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love between husband and wife. God has commanded that sexual intimacy be reserved for marriage.
When you are sexually pure, you prepare yourself to make and keep sacred covenants in the temple. You prepare yourself to build a strong marriage and to bring children into the world as part of an eternal and loving family. You protect yourself from the spiritual and emotional damage that come from sharing sexual intimacy outside of marriage. You also protect yourself from harmful diseases. Remaining sexually pure helps you to be confident and truly happy and improves your ability to make good decisions now and in the future.”
These standards are supported by information found on sex-ed sites such as KidsHealth.org, which states, “Not having sex may seem easy because it's not doing anything. But peer pressure and things you see on TV and in the movies can make the decision to practice abstinence more difficult.
If it seems like everybody else is having sex, some people may feel they have to do it, too, just to be accepted. Don't let kidding or pressure from friends, a girlfriend, a boyfriend, or even the media push you into something that's not right for you. The truth is that most teens are not having sex.
A couple can still have a relationship without having sex. If you've made a decision not to have sex, it's an important personal choice and the people who care about you should respect that.”
Author: Grade 8 Scott
Smash Bipolar Gay Oppression by Leo (gr10 student)
Rayan Ahmed, a bipolar gay blogger once wrote, “It is ironic to be a bipolar gay, especially in my conservative society where sharing your feelings is far difficult so you can’t expect the positive acceptance in society you’re living in.” I want to discuss this issue because I have seen the majority of the conservative society show a lot of fear and rejection towards the LGBTQ community and more specifically,bipolar gay men. People do not give these people love or a life experience they deserve, leaving them in deep depression and loneliness. One huge contemporary issue today is solving the discrimination and mistreatment towards bipolar homosexual men. My position is that we should not walk away from these people, because they are not helpless and this ill-treatment is just something we all have to solve. I believe there are three pillars to solving the maltreatment that this community is receiving: developing communities’ acceptance, providing more rights to protect them, and education to the general public which will make their lives safer and improve their overall quality of life.
I am researching this topic because bipolarism is actually not as rare as you might think. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the bipolar disorder affects about 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population 18 and older. I must clarify that I am not associating bipolarism as a result of homosexuality, because they are not a cause and effect of each other, but rather targeting a more particular group to investigate, because I believe they receive the most intolerance from our society. Just like Mark Donbeck, Ph.D., explained, “there is no direct connection between mood disorder (of bipolar or unipolar varieties) and homosexuality.”
Bipolarism is a biological disorder that occurs in a specific area of the brain and is due to the dysfunction of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. These chemicals may involve neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, serotonin and many others (Dombeck Ph. D., Mark). It is a disease, like diabetes, and the person should not be blamed for having it. Dr. Donbeck also described that, “homosexuality appears to be determined primarily by fluctuations in hormones that occur during fetal development (during pregnancy).” They are both particularities of our society, and because many parts of society have prejudice against the “different”, intolerant people may commit a sexual orientation discrimination on top of a disability discrimination.
I also would like to establish that bipolarism is not a normal mood swing teenagers get because of hormonal changes during puberty, they are far more severe. Matthew Rudorfer, the associate director of treatment research in the division of services and intervention research at the National Institute of Mental Health says, "The mood swings of bipolar [disorder] are more severe, longer lasting, and maybe most significant of all, they interfere with some important aspect of functioning, such as ability to work at one's job, or manage one's home, or be a successful student." These people already live with difficulties, and really they do not deserve to be tormented by society’s judgement. The second point I would like to make everyone understand is that it is not because society’s increasing acceptance, that there are more homosexuals now. According to Ray Blanchard, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and his research, “Homosexual orientation does not increase in frequency with social tolerance, although its expression (in behavior and in open identification) may do so.” People with a different sexual orientation and a different kind of nervous system can now express themselves more, but it doesn’t mean that it is because they are expressing themselves, their population is increasing. Relatively, society is learning to be more liberal and is starting to embrace the existence of these phenomenons, but I believe it is still a work in progress, because many people are still suffering because they are bipolar, or they are gay, or even more so if they are a bipolar gay.
I have no doubt that acceptance is a predominant way to solve discrimination against bipolar gays, which can be achieved by means of optimism, non-judgement, avoiding dichotomies and focusing on the present. A homosexual bipolar man from south-east London called Oli Reagan reported, “Since I came to realize my identity, all my relationships in the past have broken down. It's been a nightmare. You get looked at in a different way from a "normal" person. Every argument is: "Are you taking your medicine?", "You're a nutter."” Just breaking the pre-established relationship because someone is a bipolar gay, calling them names and seeing them differently with an unjust manner is a prejudicial discrimination. I find that sometimes being only non-judgemental is also discriminatory. Non-judgement is different than accepting (because not judging is only part of accepting). The definition of “acceptance” is the act of taking or receiving something offered; a favorable reception; approval; favor; the act of agreeing with or believing. Then, the definition of “Non-judgment” is not judging on the basis of one’s personal standards or opinions. It is to refrain from holding an opinion, forming a conclusion, or deciding upon critically (Deck, Joanne M). In harmony to these definitions, we could contemplate that acceptance is like saying “yes” and not judging expresses something like“I see” or “that doesn’t matter to me.” According to the definition, accepting is to respond in a positive manner, to perceive information in an optimistic way. With non-judgment, we make no kind of response, we form absolutely no standpoint, which is upon the biggest issues today, people do not protect and fight for the rights of these people. (Deck, Joanne M) Accepting is not the same as remaining silent about our view; with non-judgment we have no formed view and do not take a stand, so nothing is discussed and nothing is changed. Discrimination against bipolar gays can only be solved if we discuss the issue, convince people to accept them, only conversation will make change. The people who left Mr. Reagan, only met the non-judgemental stage and not the acceptance stage, so they treated an isolated and helpless person with a cold heart.
This is what society has to do before discriminating anyone, we have to always preserve our optimism. We need to realize that a person is way more than the illness, we cannot just look at stereotypes of the illness or homosexuality. After all, we should not call people “a bipolar” or “a queer”, we are all people and we are more than a sexualtiy or a disease. The key of acceptance is seeing the best of a person, so we stop focusing on how people are different but see the beauty of that person’s actions, qualities, talents and strengths. The American author Rebecca Solnit once said, “There are infinite shades of grey, people often see black or white.” It is extremely true that people often are tempted to see the world in black and white, which is what is right and wrong, but there is no right or wrong in the identity of a person. If we see a person in black or white we are applying prejudice and labeling a person in some way, and people are more than a label. People don’t like it when them themselves are labeled, but people tend to label others, so the key is empathy. You can reverse the situation, what if you yourself came out as gay and similarly you developed bipolarism, so you can learn to treat people how you want to be treated. The organisation Cush and Wisdom has a famous quote, “Don’t cry over the past, it’s gone. Don’t stress about the future, it hasn’t arrived. Live in the present and make it beautiful.” It is psychologically proven that lack of acceptance is because of a comparison made of the present situation to the past, but we have to live accordingly and live in the present (Deck, Joanne M). Every person and every situation is different, so focus on the bipolar gay you have in front of you, than comparing and saying that someone is worse than something. With all of our solution methods applied, then we can rethink our past example of discrimination, and we can definitely solve this injustice. If Oli Reagan’s friends and family looked at all the positive attributes this person had, they would not have isolated him. If people didn’t label Reagan with “wrong or right, gay or bipolar” and see themselves in his shoes, then people wouldn’t break down their relationships with him. If people didn’t compare Reagan to the past experiences, they wouldn’t think Reagan is worse, then they would realize that Reagan is just another human being that deserves the same love and relationships that any other person has.
I fight for the creation of more rights and laws towards the protection of bipolar homosexuals as I see that it is another way to stop discrimination towards them. Sadly, in our society some people don’t do things because it is morally what should be done, and the bipolar homosexual people need to be able to get protection from these people, at least in a judicial system of our society. In the history of this matter I have to be thankful and acknowledge that many legal bills like the amendment of the Americans with Disabilities have improved many aspects of their lives, because the bipolar community deserves to be cared for just like any disable person. The year 2008, was when the Americans with Disabilities Act was amended to include the bipolar disorder. This simple legal process protect bipolar homosexuals from discrimination in hiring, job, assignments, promotions, firing, layoffs, benefits and all-employment-related activities, so people can sustain their lives with no oppression at least in the workplace which is a huge part our lives (McCullough, Lynda). Bipolar homosexuals before this act would get fired because of depression or insomnia, and the flexible time needed for doctor appointments, or just because they needed more office supplies, and this changed their lives utterly. According to the New York State attorney Jonathan Weinberg, “You may experience frequent mood swings, from high points to low points, and back again. You may have persistent anxiety, hopelessness, loss of interest in the ordinary pleasures of life, decreased energy, or sleeplessness. Your employer cannot discriminate against you because of your bipolar disorder.” These poor people are already suffering from these symptoms and they should be relieved from extra discrimination from their superiors. The American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch found that students with disabilities made up 18.8 percent of students who suffered corporal punishment at school during the 2006-2007 school year. This is the bill changed the life of the percentage of disabled children who were punished as it applies to students, and this helped the bipolar community as they are also part of this disability community. US president Obama and US Congressman Barney Frank set an example to the entire world, by fighting and achieving rights that helped the bipolar gay community. Frank is the first gay congressman serving in the US House of Representatives, and constantly fought for LGBT and disability rights in congress. He was upon the main supporters of the Americans with Disabilities Act with countless labor rights, housing rights, marriage rights, including hate-crime laws and anti-discrimination laws. President Obama as the executive power carried these wishes out, which were the Shepard and Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, which were creation of hate crimes laws, including crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation or disability. Obviously then were the efforts which resulted in the legalization of same-sex marriage, which Obama pushed to be passed. This meant equality and the so many rights for the bipolar homosexuals, and this meant that they had to be legally protected by our society. This was a wonderful change, but the rights for the global community is a work in progress. Homosexual relationships are illegal in 74 countries, and in 9 countries homosexuality is punished by death penalty. In majority of Asian countries bipolars are excluded from education, which destroys their lives. People in the entire world have to take action to protect this community, just that the change in the United States is absolutely not enough, and I believe we have to produce a catalyst based on rights and education for acceptance.
I believe that another part of stopping mistreatment of homosexuals is education. Will Page a 20 year old, from Brighton, was diagnosed with bipolar about a year ago, and it was his boyfriend who supported him all the way. He explained, “Mainly it's been the medication. People have got total misconceptions about it, like, 'Oh you're on meds, you must feel totally zonked out. Or [they'll say], 'Oh you must have no personality because it dulls you out.' But as a person experiencing [the effects of medicine] it's not that my edge is lost, it's that I'm actually stable for once.” This shows that people are offending gay bipolars because they lack education, they do not know how the medications he was taking affected him and that brought numerous misconceptions towards this person. Why did he get so much love and support from his partner? I believe it is because he effectively got educated, and went to the doctor with him, investigated in the internet and went to support groups. The ultimate solution to all ignorance which causes all this prejudice is education. People should learn that bipolarism is not a personality flaw, and that it is a natural occurrence, a disease like any other ones. The key to education is connection, when people mix and actually meet people with the illness they learn acceptance and see that they are more than the illness or their sexuality("Dealing With Stigma Or Discrimination | Bipolar Caregivers"). When people are educated, as a result they will educate more people, and people will start to speak out and stand up against the discrimination of bipolar homosexuals.
There is a whole other perspective, arguing that homosexuality is causing bipolarity, and that it is a curse that God has put on the gay community. Recently the blogger Christian Inc. has made a publication on MDJunction that provoked a whole wave of responses, and this organisation claimed, “During the past 12 years with this illness, I have met countless gay/lesbian souls who have been cursed like myself with this illness. I was so moved, I began researching the topic and (sic) history shows that our greatest creative people who have been gay and lesbian have also had entirely clear signs of this disease (...) like Van Gogh who had homosexual affairs and had depression episodes.” It is extremely sad that people are believing that bipolarism is a curse, like any disease it is just a part of health, but not some malicious curse that God puts on us. I believe that people are also saying this because of lack of education, and they do not understand the difference between depression and bipolarism. The second misconception is that homosexuality causes depression, but the truth is that all the discrimination and pressure that parts of society brings upon these people is what depresses them. So I completely disagree with the idea that it is homosexuality that is cursing humans with bipolarism, and I believe it to be nonsense. Because if you make that statement, you are saying that homosexuality is a sin ,and that people should be punished based on sexual preference.
The actor Will Smith once stated, “If anybody can find someone to love them and to help them through this difficult thing that we call life, I support that in any shape or form.” I feel that life is tough and specially if you have a disease like bipolarity, so that it why they deserve all kinds of love from anybody, and any gender. This support comes from acceptance in the shapes of rights and taught by education. As I stated before, these ideas need to reach every corner of this world, because it is what is right. Bipolar homosexuals will stop being called “nutters”, they will receive the rights and love they deserve, and we will accept people for who they are. My dream is that some day every single person in the entire world will believe in these words, and this will only be achieved with acceptance, rights and education.
Works Consulted Page
Ahmed, Rayan. "Bipolar Gay Having Hypersexuality". Bipolar Homosexuality, 2017, https://mybipolarhomosexuality.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/bipolar-gay-having-hypersexuality/.
This is a hands-on, very personal and intimate reflection of Rayan’s own sexuality and his bipolar sickness, which really impacted me, and will be useful as a factual and experimental source. It is useful because the person speaking is actually going through all of these problems and it talks about the coldness and the discrimination he received. It talks about the phases and the episodes, and the whole process of it all, and the struggles in sexual health and mental health.
"Dealing With Stigma Or Discrimination | Bipolar Caregivers". Bipolarcaregivers.Org, 2017, http://www.bipolarcaregivers.org/stigma-and-discrimination/ways-to-deal-with-stigma-or-discrimination.
This source provides a lot of solutions to discrimination and can be used as a powerful resource to encounter my own arguments. This source is completely honest and caring because this is a support group for bipolars which only write for the welfare of others. I will consult this source to create my own solutions to the discrimination issue.
Deck, Joanne M. "Acceptance + Non-Judgment: Are They The Same?". Yoganonymous.Com, 2017, http://yoganonymous.com/acceptance-non-judgment/.
This piece of evidence is really essential to my writing because it is the main component to one of my solutions which is acceptance. To establish acceptance, we have to explain how not judging and accepting are different. How not judging is no reaction, but accepting is a positive reaction and is what contributes to change. Other than establishing the difference we also have to mention that not judging is only a component of acceptance. This site is reliable because it is written by a very famous educator, who has written multiple reference books, and this website was created only for the wellbeing and improvement of humanity.
Dombeck Ph. D., Mark. "Bipolar And Homosexuality - LGBT Homosexuality And Bisexuality Meanings". Mentalhelp.Net, 2017, https://www.mentalhelp.net/advice/bipolar-and-homosexuality/.
This site is exceptionally credible because it is a scholarly source written by a doctor that received a Ph. D in clinical psychology. that studied this topic, and is explaining these concepts. It is really essential to the narration section to be able to establish what each term means and how it affects people in this society, and how people might discriminate against them. It is better when we establish something conceptually to be able to look at the solutions to the maltreatment of this community.
Fenton, Siobhan. "The 74 Countries Where It's Illegal To Be Gay". The Independent, 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/gay-lesbian-bisexual-relationships-illegal-in-74-countries-a7033666.html.
This was really impacting for me to see. It brings me the fact that it is illegal to be gay in many places to prove that more change has to be made, and that change is needed in all countries. This source is absolutely reliable because it is written by a certified newspaper called The Independent, and it is based on a lot of evidence and true facts, so it establishes great credibility.
Inc., Christian. "Is There A Gay/Lesbian Connection With Bipolar?". Mdjunction, 2017, http://www.mdjunction.com/forums/bipolar-support-forums/general-support/3371885-is-there-a-gay-lesbian-connection-with-bipolar.
This is a blog written by a person creating the idea that being gay causes you to be bipolar. Which is useful for my article because it helps me show how absurd these arguments can be, so I can refute them. This can be used because I can show how strong my argument is, and prove this article’s ideas wrong.
Jackson, Marie. "Mental Health And Stigma: 'You're Not Alone' - BBC News". BBC News, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-38814377.
This site is very useful because it is a primary source and provides first-hand experience of people with mental illnesses like bipolarity. The author does not state any opinion which makes it more impartial, it just includes the statements and the feelings of the people with these conditions, which makes it reliable. BBC News is usually reliable too because of the merit that it already has, and particularly this article contains the experience of a homosexual bipolar in regards to discrimination, that can be extremely useful for proving my point.
McCullough, Lynda. "Bipolar Disorder And The Americans With Disabilities Act | Psych Central". Psych Central, 2017, https://psychcentral.com/lib/bipolar-disorder-and-the-americans-with-disabilities-act/.
This source is about a US legal bill and how it affects people with bipolarism. This is credible because this is a psychology page based on investigation made by experts and therapists. I will utilize this information to establish how rights can help this community, and these legal movements should be carried across the globe.
"One Billion Forgotten Protecting THE Human Rights Of Persons With Disabilities". 2017, https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/related_material/2014%20disabilities_program_low.pdf.
This source is about the treatment of disabled people, also particular investigation in the legal system and the social issues of each country. This source is by the Human Rights Watch that is a non-profit organisation that towards the meeting of human rights in every section of the world. I will use this source to provide statistics to show how the bipolar gay community is being mistreated.
Page, Will. "World Mental Health Day: Bipolar Is Like My Body Is A Shell, Like I'm Not Here". Bbc.Co.Uk, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/37595651/world-mental-health-day-bipolar-is-like-my-body-is-a-shell-like-im-not-here.
This information is also essential, from a great news source, approved from the entire world. The fascinating part about this article is that it directly gives you a compilation of quotes of the maltreatment of gay bipolar people, it does not show much bias. It shows how the disease has affected his love life, his professional life, his family and friends and society’s views on him. It shows and proves that society is lacking education, which I believe causes ignorance and is the root of all major issues today. This source encourages people to learn to deal with people like him, and to not hurt and damage him, treating him like how he deserves to be treated.
Grade 10 Student
Transphobia is the fear, hatred or distrust of people who are transgender. It’s like a form of racism or sexism. It is a gender based discrimination. Many people have transphobia because they were raised a certain way of thinking or because of personal experiences. Transphobia is caused when a person has a negative or cruel feeling towards a transgender individuals. Transphobia is a very dangerous way of thinking because it causes anger, violence and pain.
Transgenders face discrimination at schools, workplaces and even in families. Studies have shown that transgenders face workplace discrimination and harassment at higher rates than gays and lesbians. According to Americanprogress.org, “90% of transgender individuals have encountered some form of harassment or mistreatment on the job… this includes 44% who were passed over for a job, 23% who were denied a promotion and 26% who were fired because they were transgender.”
There are many cases where transgenders were fired due to their gender, one being the Vandy Beth Glenn case. Vandy explains her story:
“My boss told me I would make other people uncomfortable, just by being myself. He told me that my transition was unacceptable. And over and over, he told me it was inappropriate. Then he fired me. I was escorted back to my desk, told to clean it out, then marched out of the building…I was devastated.”
There has been many cases where transgenders get fired from their jobs simply because of their gender. According to research, there has also been countless cases where a transgender person was denied urgent medical care because the medic was transphobic, leaving the person to suffer and die. Today, 10 states in the US prohibit insurance exclusions for transgender health care. Many social services and housing services discriminate against transgenders due to the fact that they do not comply to traditional gender behavioral roles. According to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey, almost a fifth of transgender people have been refused care because of their gender identity.
Many transgender kids are being teased and bullied at school. According to nobullying.com, 82% of transgender students feel unsafe at school. 44% of them have been abused physically. 67% of them were bullied online and 64% of them had their property stolen or destroyed. More than half of transgender students skip school on a regular basis to avoid bullies. Compared to gays and lesbians, only 34% are bullied in school, 28% of them were cyber bullied and 13% of them did not
attend school. From this data you can see that transgender youth suffer higher levels of bullying and violence than lesbians and gays.
You could say that non-transgenders are the only ones at fault for the problems occurring today with transgender youth. However that is not the case. In a recent study, it showed that most of the suicide attempts were due to the dissatisfaction with the individual’s appearance and the desire to look different from their assigned gender. These are all signs of dysphoria which is another problem occurring with transgenders. With gender dysphoria, the dissatisfaction of your male or female body can be so intense that it can interfere with the way you function in normal life at school, work or during social activities.
According to the High Risk Project, 20% of the known transgenders communities are involved in high-risk activities such as sex trade and drug abuse mostly because of negative social pressure. As a result to this, many transgenders face social isolation which is what causes that absence in many public places. Sandra Laframboise, an activist for transgender rights was involved in the high risk activities mentioned above and her story. Sandra spoke out to her parents at the age of 12. Three years later, she was excluded from social groups, institutionalized, she was thrown out of her parents’ home, and expelled from school. At the time, she had no support or counseling available. However, she befriended people who were also trans and queer who were involved in street-level sex work. At the time, this was one of the few paths for trans women to make a living.
A turning point in Sandra’s life was in 1974 in Parliament Hill. She marched for gay rights and freedom from police harassment. Although this wasn’t meant for transgenders, this motivated her to want a better life. She then later finished high school and in 1987, she moved to Vancouver where she recovered from drug use and completed a psych-nursing diploma.
Most businesses in Vancouver did not want to provide services to trans women. As a result, Sandra became very active and did outreach to trans women, especially those involved in sex work and drug use. In 1994, she helped established the first drop-in center for transgender women out of Vancouver Native Health as part of The High Risk Project. This program provided services to HIV+ transgender women involved in street level sex work. Her work was later noticed by many people, including the government and they listened to the experiences of trans women.
The National Center for Transgender Equality is working to push for trans rights and equality and many schools are now putting anti bullying policies specifically for transgender youth. States now in the US prohibit a person to violate a transgender physically and transgenders are now allowed to attend bathrooms that they please according to their gender; if a higher authority such as a teacher or principal were to refuse that student to attend the bathroom they please because of the thought that it does not correspond to their gender, the higher authority could get expelled and fired from the job. Studies after studies have shown that bullying is a serious problem all over the world and the victims are frequently the transgender community. Transgender individuals are at risk and like Sandra Laframboise and other trans activists that are trying to make a change, we as a community need to work together to create a safe environment so that all transgenders can feel safe and achieve their potential in life.
What Happens in an Abortion?
Although Abortion is used as the umbrella term for ending a pregnancy, there are actually three different procedures that can take place.
A medical abortion involves taking medication to make the lining of your womb come away, ending your pregnancy. You can have a medical abortion up to the legal abortion limit of 24 weeks (in the US and UK) but your experience will be different depending on how long you've been pregnant. Up to ten weeks of pregnancy (or nine with the NHS), you go to a clinic and swallow a pill which initially has little effect. Then, 1-2 days later you come back and take another medicine which is placed either inside your vagina or between your cheek and gum in your mouth (at BPAS clinics, you may be able to take both pills on the same day in the early stages of pregnancy).
The medicine you take at a BPAS clinic makes the pregnancy end within four hours.
The further along you are, the longer the process will take, so you may have to stay in the clinic or hospital while you pass the pregnancy.
(up to 15 weeks) in which a small suction tube is placed in your cervix and the embryo is sucked out.
It involves inserting a tube through the entrance to the womb (the cervix) and into your womb. The pregnancy is then removed using suction. Your cervix will be gently widened (dilated) first. A tablet may be placed inside your vagina or taken by mouth a few hours beforehand to soften your cervix and make it easier to open.
Pain relief is usually given using medicines that you take by mouth, and local anaesthetic, which is numbing medicine injected into the cervix. You may also be offered some sedation, which is given by injection. A general anaesthetic isn't usually needed.
Vacuum aspiration takes about 5 to 10 minutes and most women go home a few hours later.
Suction abortion is the most common kind of abortion procedure.
Before your abortion, you’ll get pain medicine to help with cramping. You may be able to get sedation during the abortion. With some kinds of sedation, you’re awake but super relaxed, and with others you are completely asleep. You’ll also get antibiotics to help prevent infections.
A nurse or doctor may give you medication to help open your cervix before your abortion. Sometimes they also put small dilator sticks called laminaria into the opening of your cervix a day or a few hours before your procedure. The laminaria absorb fluid from your body and get bigger, which slowly stretches your cervix open.
In the procedure room, there will be a staff person there to help the doctor or nurse and support you during your abortion.
During a suction abortion procedure, the doctor or nurse will:
This type of abortion only takes about 5 to 10 minutes, but your appointment will take longer because you’ll need to have an exam, read and sign forms, and stay in the recovery room afterwards for up to about an hour.
Dilation and evacuation (15-24 weeks) in which the cervix is gently widened using forceps and the pregnancy is removed using a suction tube.
Dilatation and evacuation (D&E) Used from around 15 weeks of pregnancy. It involves inserting special instruments called forceps through the cervix and into the womb to remove the embryo.
The cervix is gently dilated for several hours or up to a day before the surgery to allow the forceps to be inserted.
D&E is carried out with conscious sedation or general anaesthetic. It normally takes about 10 to 20 minutes and you might be able to go home the same day.
D&E is usually used for abortions later than 16 weeks after your last period.
During a D&E abortion, the doctor or nurse will:
After an abortion, you can:
You may experience a range of emotions after an abortion. If you need to discuss how you're feeling, contact the abortion service or ask your GP about post-abortion counselling.
If you have a medical abortion, you may experience short lived side effects from the medications, such as nausea and diarrhoea. General anaesthetic and conscious sedation medication can also have side effects. For all types of abortion, it's likely you will experience some stomach cramps and vaginal bleeding, too. These usually last a week or two. Sometimes light vaginal bleeding after a medical abortion can last up to a month.
Having an abortion feels different for everyone — it can be super painful or just a little uncomfortable. Your level of discomfort can depend on the medications you get, how far into your pregnancy you are, and how much cramping and pain you have. For most people, it feels like strong period cramps.
These are a few websites and forums that could be helpful to visit before or after the doctor’s visit;
"Abortion - What Happens." NHS Choices. NHS, n.d. Web. 22 May 2017.
Preskey, Natasha. "What Actually Happens When You Have an Abortion?" Cosmopolitan. Cosmopolitan, 07 Mar. 2017. Web. 22 May 2017.
Parenthood, Planned. "What Happens During an In-Clinic Abortion?" Planned Parenthood. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2017.
Today, I am dressing up for myself.
I chose a red dress,
I chose a red dress with a V-neck that shows cleavage,
I chose a red dress that does not cover my knees,
I chose a red dress that has an open back,
And I chose high heels.
Today, I am dressing up for myself.
I am slowly building who I am,
I am slowly rising as a women,
I am slowly building a life for my own,
And it feels great.
Today, I am dressing up for myself.
I am not trying to get any men,
I am not trying to get people to whistle as I walk past them,
I am not trying to call anyone’s attention.
Today, I am dressing up for myself.
I do not need a man to tell me how good I look,
I do not need anyone’s validation or approval,
I do not need anyone holding my hand or escorting me as I walk through the streets.
But most importantly, today I am standing up for myself.
Yes, I am a woman wearing a short, red dress,
Yes, I am a woman walking all alone through the streets,
Yes, I am a woman building a life for myself and following my dream job,
Yes, I am a woman and that does not mean that I can’t feel great in my clothes.
Today, I am raising my middle finger up for every single man to see
For them to see that I am not an object,
For them to see that I should not stay at home and take care of my house,
For them to see that my sexual organs or my physical appearance does not define what I can or can’t do,
For them to see that I am an equal, that I can do just as much as they can
For them to see that I need to be treated with the same respect that they treat each other with.
We need to stop telling women to watch how they dress,
We need to stop telling women that just because their clothes are not entirely covering their parts they are asking for it,
We need to stop telling women that they are nothing but an object,
We need to stop telling women that they are worthless, that they should not demand to be treated with respect,
We need to stop telling women that it is ok to live in fear and that they should stay at home after the sun goes down,
That if they leave their houses after dark, without being escorted by a men, they are asking for it and everything that happens to them is their fault,
That no men that they meet is decent and that they are all evil.
Instead, we need educate our precious males,
We need to tell them to keep it in their pants,
We need to tell them to know when to not act upon their thoughts,
We need to tell them that women are not objects,
We need to tell them to stop using women, for they are just as human as men are,
We need to tell them that gender does not define abilities or intelligence,
We need to tell them that just because they are pretty does not mean that they want you,
We need to tell them that looks don’t determine whether they are capable or not of building a life for themselves,
We need to teach them how to respect women, for they need to be treated as equals,
But most importantly,
We need to tell them that just because they have a penis it does not meen that it belongs inside every single women they meet.
A simple definition of sexuality would be who you’re sexually and/or romantically attracted to. These two attractions are different from each other, and both branch off into whole other branches of sexuality and sexual orientation. For example, you could be sexually attracted to boys, yet romantically attracted to girls. This means that when it comes to sexual desire, you would rather have sex with boys, not girls. Of course, this doesn’t mean you don’t want a healthy, romantic relationship with girls; you would just rather abstain from girls, and go with boys. This is totally fine, since everyone has their preferences. Some commonly known sexualities include:
Pansexuality/Omnisexuality: This refers to people attracted to others of any gender identity, including cisgender, transgender, and genderqueer people. Their attraction is not limited to only one or two genders, but rather all.
Bisexuality: This is when an individual is attracted to both men and women. When someone refers to themselves as bisexual, it does not mean they’re both gay and straight. They’re not “basically gay”; they’re a whole other sexuality, and calling them gay when they don’t identify as such is considered offensive.
Homosexuality: When an individual is attracted to people of the same gender. For example, a girl who is sexually attracted to other girls is commonly called a lesbian. A more commonly used word for this sexuality would be gay.
Heterosexuality: Most people know this sexuality; when one is attracted to people of the opposite gender. A more commonly used word for this sexuality is straight.
Asexuality: Someone who isn’t sexually attracted to anyone. The term asexual is merely and umbrella, and there are so many more parts to it. Just like any sexuality, it’s a broad spectrum, and each individual identifying as asexual may differ. Some don’t want to have sex with anybody at any time, some want to have a close bond first, some don’t even want romance (the term for this would be aromantic), simply platonic friendship.
These are broad subjects, and each have its own subdivisions of attraction. Some examples of romantic attractions would be homoromantic, heteroromantic, biromantic, aromantic etc. Each of these terms refers to who you’re romantically attracted to. Maybe you don’t want to use these terms, and that’s fine. Maybe you don’t want to tell anyone either, and that’s fine too. Only you can decide what to do with your sexuality; let everyone know, keep it hidden, whatever feels right for you.
Sometimes, it’s not easy for someone to come out as gay, bi, etc. As lots know, there is a ginormous amount of stigma, stereotypes, and prejudice against sexualities that aren’t heterosexual. There’s tons and tons of discrimination; people have even been killed because of their sexualities. With this amount of hate, it makes sense that some people just want to stay hidden, because sometimes it’s dangerous for them to say anything. The truth is, one can’t change who they’re attracted to and who they like. It’s not a choice whether someone wants to have sex with girls or boys. Trying to change this part of someone is completely pointless, because it’s not about how they were raised or what kind of things they do or hobbies they like; it’s just a matter of that person, and how they just are. It’s like making fun of someone because of their race; they can’t help it if they’re black, white, asian, or anything else. They just are, and it’s not anyone’s fault.
They should be teaching this in Health classes. They should be assuring young teens and kids that it’s okay to be gay, bi, straight, ace, pan. It doesn’t matter if they’re straight or not, because it doesn’t make them any more human than anyone else on the planet. Just imagine: your peers, family, and half the world hate you because of one little thing that you can’t control. Just remember that no one can tell you who you are. Only you can decide for yourself. Not your parents, not your friends, not your classmate or your teacher. There is only one person who knows you best, and that is yourself.
For more info:
Here’s a video in case you’re still confused about sexual preference:
Author: Sophia (gr8)
Blog posts here have been written by students in MS or HS on topics that interest them and with a purpose to educate their peers.