Tag Archives: LGBT

Gallery

Photographs from Leicester Pride 2017

This gallery contains 77 photos.

What a fantastic day at Pride, and many thanks to Trade Sexual Health who organised the POP (Pride in Our Partnerships) marquee. LASS, together with Trade and other partners marched together showcasing all the partners in the Trade Health & … Continue reading

Damien Hirst has painted George Michael to raise money for HIV/AIDS, and it’s beautiful

In the time since he passed on that bittersweet Christmas Day last year, it has sometimes seemed as if the lives of LGBT+ people, and the world in general, are just a little greyer with him gone.

Story via GT

Luckily, gorgeous George is back in glorious technicolour today, in a beautiful painting by artist Damien Hirst, which will be sold at a charity gala in Texas on Friday night, with the proceeds going to help treatment for people with HIV/AIDS.

You didn’t think George would let a little thing like death stop him from doing some good in the world, did you?

The event will be held in Texas by MTV Re:Define, a contemporary art showcase, and co-chaired by the Goss-Michael Foundation – a British art exhibition which George co-created with his ex-partner Kenny Goss.

“This year is poignant as we celebrate George. We’ve been honoured by his and Kenny’s support,” event organiser Georgia Arnold told The Sun.

“We look forward to continuing to raise awareness and support for our mission, and especially thank all the artists for their involvement and generosity.”

It has emerged that George is to be buried in Highgate Cemetery, north London, next to his late mother who he was devoted to – it was always his plan to be laid to rest next to her.

Security at the cemetery has been increased to 24 hours a day to stop any interference with the plot that has been prepared for George, next to Lesley’s.

George’s £105m fortune will now be split between his loved ones and various charities – he was famously generous with his wealth whilst he was alive, including an instance in which he tipped a barmaid five thousand pounds because she was a student nurse in debt.

He was also a trailblazer for gay rights in the music industry, famously refusing to apologise for being gay in his 1998 CNN coming out interview, saying: “I don’t feel any shame whatsoever and neither do I think I should.”

Well said George – rest easy our friend.

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Young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People face discrimination and negativity

Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride.

Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new poll commissioned by METRO suggests that despite huge strides towards equality in recent times, young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are still not able to be completely open about their sexuality and identity without fear of negative reactions and 65% of the population have witnessed or are aware of discrimination and abuse of LGBT people.

The same poll also shows that whilst awareness of discrimination against LGBT people is high, 72% of the population support the need for more and improved services for young LGBT people.

The poll of over 1,000 people of all ages across Great Britain conducted by Populus finds that:

  • 76% of people believe that young LGBT people experience negative reactions when they are open about their identity at school
  • The same proportion (76%) believe that young LGBT people experience negative reactions in the street when they are open about their identity and worryingly this figure rises to 84% of 18-24 year olds
  • 66% believe that young LGBT people experience negative reactions when they are open about their identity at work
  • Nearly 60% believe that young LGBT people experience negative reactions from their parents when they are open about their identity

These findings are perhaps not surprising when set alongside other findings from the poll about discrimination and abuse of LGBT people with one in 10 people being aware of or having witnessed physical abuse of LGBT people and a third having witnessed or been aware of verbal abuse of LGBT people – rising to half of all 18-24 year olds.  The poll also confirms that the use of the term ‘gay’ in the negative is widespread.

The findings come as a national survey of 15,000 young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) 16-25 year olds is launched . The National Youth Chances survey is seeking the views of young LGBTQ people across England and will use the data to identify their needs and to make recommendations for change. National Youth Chances is the biggest ever social research and influencing project of its kind, aiming to find out direct from young people about their experiences of education, employment, health, community and relationships.   Youth Chances is also engaging service providers, service commissioners, policymakers to make a commitment to make improvements for LGBTQ young people.

Dr Greg Ussher, Deputy CEO of Metro said:

Metro’s expertise in working with young LGBTQ people over nearly 30 years was the catalyst for National Youth Chances. There have been major steps forward in LGBT  equality and in understanding the needs of young people, but as the findings of this poll show we still have a long way to go to eliminating discrimination and ensuring that sexuality and gender identity are not barriers to young people’s happiness and wellbeing.  The findings are perhaps not so surprising when we consider the questioning of equality in current debates about equal marriage, which must be bewildering for most young people. Youth Chances offers us an opportunity to turn things around and make a real difference.

Dan Baker, Youth Chances Project Manager said:

These findings really demonstrate the importance of National Youth Chances and the need for us to understand directly from young people themselves about the challenges they face. It saddens me that when young people need the most support and understanding, they still face discrimination and fear because of who they are.  I want to encourage as many young people as possible to take part in the Youth Chances online survey so that their experiences can be counted.  There is clear support in the general population for more and better support for young LGBT people and I am committed to ensuring that Youth Chances results in recommendations for change and a real difference to young people’s lives

Via: Metro Centre On-line 

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Help Make Homophobia & Transphobia History!

The issue of whether marriages between same-sex couples should be recognised or not has been a a key issue in the White House recently and history was made yesterday when American President Barack Obama declared his unequivocal support for same-sex marriage, taking a bold political gamble on an issue that divides American voters just months before a presidential election.

This has been prompted by an election on Tuesday in the key swing sate of North Carolina, in which voters overwhelmingly backed a move to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage and civil unions.

(Read more about Obama’s stance on gay marriage here)

The issue of Gay rights is not limited to America, it’s global and there is still lots of work to do in this country, and indeed our city.

Next Thursday (17th May) is International Day Against HOmophoba  & Transphobia (IDAHO Day) and the Leicester LGBT Centre (website) is opening it’s doors between 2pm and 6pm to promote awareness of the effect homophobia and transphobia have on our communities and society as a whole.  This will include stalls and information from StopHateUK, Safer Leicester Partnership, Leicestershire County Council, Stamp It Out, and many more.

More information is available from the Leicester LGBT Centre website we hope you’re able to attend and help make homophobia and transphobia history!

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September Round Up

If you’re reading this, the chances are you’re subscribed or receiving this news via Twitter but just in case you’re a casual browser why not stay a while, subscribe or follow us and read up on LASS and HIV/STI updates.  Here’s a brief roundup from last month’s posts

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GOVERNMENT & UK

A House of Lords Select Committee published a damning report on HIV in the UK, warning that the current priority given to HIV and Aids treatment by policy makers is ‘woefully inadequate’, and revealing that over 100,000 people in the UK will be living with the disease by next year. The Lords Select Committee on HIV and Aids in the UK also warned that the total cost of treatment would soon top £1 billion per year, and called for all new patients at GPs’ surgeries to be tested for the illness on an opt-out basis.

The Government announced last month that the rules on gay men donating blood will change from a lifetime ban to a 12 month deferral period.  This decision follows a review of the current policies around exclusion and deferral from blood donation by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO).

Employing sport to communicate HIV messages isn’t new, but one initiative aims to go further – imparting skills for planning, evaluating and funding a football-based HIV campaign
Follow LASSleics on TwitterSCIENCE

Scientists in the US have developed a strain of green-glowing cats with cells that resist infection from a virus that causes feline AIDS, a finding that may help prevent the disease in cats and advance AIDS research in people.

Raising the CD4 cell threshold for the initiation of antiretroviral therapy to 500 cells/mm3 would mean that almost 50% of patients would need to start HIV treatment within a year of their infection with HIV, investigators from an international study of seroconverters report in the October 15th edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Scientists spent a decade trying—and failing—to map the structure of an enzyme that could help solve a crucial part of the AIDS puzzle. It took online gamers all of three weeks.

Spanish researchers have completed the first human trial of a new vaccine against HIV. It has been successful in 90% of the HIV-free volunteers during phase I testing. This vaccine brings great hope to eradicate HIV forever.
Follow LASSleics on TwitterINTERNATIONAL

The Zimbabwe government says it is considering drastic measures of door-to-door HIV testing campaigns for every citizen in the country in a move to try and eliminate new HIV infections.

Linkage to facility-based HIV care from a mobile testing unit is feasible, South African researchers report in the advance online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.  In a stratified random sample of 192 newly diagnosed individuals who had received CD4 test results, linkage to care was best among those who were ART eligible, Darshini Govindasamy and colleagues found.

The David Kato Vision & Voice Award will be presented annually, on Human Rights Day (10th December), to an individual who demonstrates courage and outstanding leadership in advocating for the sexual rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, particuarly in enviroments where these uinduvidual face continued rejection, marginalization, isolation and persecution.  David Kato, the advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda was one of Uganda’s most prominent gay rights activists until January, when he was murdered in his home weeks after winning a court victory over a tabloid that called for homosexuals to be killed.  Read more about it here.
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Each month, a registered dietician from the NHS, visits LASS to offer helpful advice and information on food nutrition and healthy eating for people who live with HIV.  Our next session “The Truth About Fats” will be on Friday, 16th September 2011 from 12:00pm.  This is an opportunity to ask questions and speak with the dietitian directly about any concerns you may have.

Well done to TRADE Sexual Health after a very successful Gay Pride.  This year’s Leicester Gay Pride saw Trade Sexual Health join forces yet again with the Leicester GUM Clinic to present the Health & Wellbeing Marquee 2011!

  • Excellent strategy, well communicated.
  • Excellent and trusted leadership.
  • Excellent coaching and mentoring across the organisation.

These are just three of the positive statements used to describe Leicestershire AIDS Support Services by Investors in People after our recent assessment.  We are proud to announce that we are now officially recognised as an investor in people organisation.

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David Kato: Gay Rights Activist, his Murder and the Vision & Voice Award

The David Kato Vision & Voice Award will be presented annually, on Human Rights Day (10th December), to an individual who demonstrates courage and outstanding leadership in advocating for the sexual rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, particuarly in enviroments where these uinduvidual face continued rejection, marginalization, isolation and persecution.

The award will be accompanied by a one time grant of US$10,000.

David Kato, the advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda was one of Uganda’s most prominent gay rights activists until January, when he was murdered in his home weeks after winning a court victory over a tabloid that called for homosexuals to be killed.

Along with other Ugandan gay activists, Kato had reported increased harassment, when a high court judge granted a permanent injunction against the Rolling Stone tabloid newspaper, preventing it from identifying homosexuals in its pages.

Late last year, Kato had been pictured on the front page of an issue carrying the headline “Hang Them”. He was one of the three complainants in the court case.

“Since the ruling, David said people had been harassing him, and warning they would ‘deal with him,'” Julian Pepe Onziema, a close friend and fellow gay rights activist, said.

“We were due to meet to discuss security arrangements, but he said he did not have money to get to town. A few hours after we spoke, his phone was off.”

Human Rights Watch said it was too early to speculate why Kato had been killed, but added that there were serious concerns about the level of protection of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Kampala.

Maria Burnett, the Uganda researcher for Human Rights Watch, urged a “real and substantive investigation” into the murder.

News of Kato’s murder came after a lesbian due to be deported from Britain to Uganda said she feared she would be killed if she was returned.

Brenda Namigadde, 29 – who fled Uganda in 2003 after being threatened over her relationship with her Canadian partner – is being held at Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

She told the Guardian Newspaper: “I’ll be tortured or killed if I’m sent back to Uganda. They’ve put people like me to death there. Most of my friends in Uganda have disappeared.”

Her initial asylum claim was rejected, in part on the basis that there was not sufficient evidence that she is a lesbian.

Ugandan society is, in general, homophobic – but in recent years the anti-gay feeling has been stoked by religious leaders, a group of US evangelicals and politicians.

In 2009, MP David Bahati introduced the anti-homosexuality bill, which calls for gay people to be imprisoned for life. Repeat offenders would face the death penalty, while Ugandans would be required to report any homosexual activity within 24 hours or face police action themselves.

Widely condemned internationally, the bill remains before parliament. Kato, human rights activist, was murdered in his home in Kampala, Uganda on 26 January 2011.

 

In recognition of his life and courage, and the continued struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals around the world, partners committed to eliminating violence, stigma and discrimination have established the David Kato Vision & Voice Award.

Inspired by his work, the award recognizes the leadership of individuals who strive to uphold the numerous dimensions of sexual rights for LGBTI people. Sexual rights are an evolving set of entitlements related to sexuality that contribute to the freedom, equality and dignity of all people, and are an important aspect of human rights. The realization of these rights is also an integral element to a meaningful HIV response among these marginalized groups.

Why is this important?

The freedom to enjoy and express our sexuality is an integral facet of life, happiness and well-being. Yet, over 70 countries continue to criminalize same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults, adding a complex dimension to realizing the sexual rights of individuals.

Stigma, discrimination and violence towards LGBTI people, and repressive laws that criminalize same sex consensual acts, undermine access to sexual health and HIV-related services and cause many to hide their same-sex relationships. Even where this is not illegal, real or perceived homophobia among health workers can make individuals reluctant to access services.

To find out the situation in your country, visit the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

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On Heat – Hot News From TRADE: Your Local Gay Health Charity

TRADE have released their bumper edition of on heat with hot news from your local gay health charity.

In this edition they bring you news of their Health & Wellbeing Marquee at Leicester Pride 2011, Kwick Prick rapid HIV testing now available at TRADE, the launch of the re-vamped Calling all Divas booklet for lesbian and bisexual women, an update on the Rainbow Asian Project and a whole load of other stuff! – Click below to download your copy today.

On Heat Autumn 2011 BUMPER EDITION.pdf

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