As a native myself, I found this to be an insightful introductory article to those who may be unaware of the struggles facing the Two-Spirited peoples of Native American culture and community.
“Shortly after coming out, dancer Tyler-Alan Jacobs was beaten so badly that his right eye was dislodged and the side of his face was caved in. Jacobs woke up in the hospital to the sight of his father leaving the room; his father couldn’t bear to look at him.
The pain was excruciating, and the $30,000 of reconstructive surgery would leave still-visible scars, but the fact that Jacobs had grown up with his attackers made the abuse even harder to move past.
Jacobs, 29, is one of a few hundred Vancouverites that identify as two-spirit – a First Nations term for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, other gendered, and third/fourth gendered individuals.”
According to the National Aboriginal Health Organization, two-spirited people are more likely to experience violence than heterosexual First Nations and they are twice as likely to experience assault (including physical assault, sexual assault, and assault with a weapon) than LGBT people in the general population.
May 17th, 2014 is the 9th annual International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia, the biggest LGBTI solidarity event in the world. May 17 actions are set to take place in over 120 countries today. At the start of the Day worldwide, various top global figures have already come out in support for May 17 around the world, from US President Barack Obama, to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Today, 2.8 billion people worldwide live in one of the 81 countries, which still criminalize same-sex acts. 4.9 billion people – 2/3 of the world’s population – have their right to information or expression around sexual and gender diversity systematically censored by states. Yet today’s global May 17th commemorations are set to send a clear signal that human rights for all are shared values for billions of people worldwide.
When Jenna Talackova was disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada for being born male, her story made headlines all over the world. But since successfully fighting the rules to re-enter the competition, the 25-year-old has pushed even farther to pursue a career in modelling and acting.
Her journey to follow through on her ambitions, without being pigeonholed, has been documented in a new E! series that premieres this Sunday: “Brave New Girls”. Talackova discusses the media firestorm than surrounded her in 2012, why she doesn’t want her transgender identity to be seen as a gimmick, and why she’s decided to share her story, on different terms, today.
“I love telling my story to people as long as they approach me in a respectful manner,” she said. ‘I had no role models who were transgender, and I want to be that kind of girl.”
The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the country’s major prostitution laws, saying that bans on street soliciting, brothels and people living off the avails of prostitution create severe dangers for vulnerable women and therefore violate Canadians’ basic values.
Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, writing for a unanimous court, stressed that the ruling is not about whether prostitution should be legal or not, but about whether Parliament’s means of controlling it infringe the constitutional rights of prostitutes.
A small group of Muslims in Halifax want to start a unity mosque — a space where openly gay and transgender Muslims can be themselves while they pray and women would be allowed to lead followers in prayer.
However, several imams in Halifax said everyone is welcome in the city’s five mosques regardless of their sexual orientation. They told CBC News they have not heard of or met a gay or transgender Muslim in the city.
“All mosques, everybody is welcome in the mosque regardless of race, colour, gender, whatever,” said Imam Ibrahim Alshanti, of the United Muslims of Halifax. “To open a new mosque specially for these people, maybe it’s not necessary.”
Since it’s inception in 1999, this day is a call for bisexual people and their families, friends and supporters to recognize and celebrate bisexuality, bisexual history, bisexual community and culture, and the bisexual people in their lives.
This celebration of bisexuality in particular, as opposed to general LGBT events, was conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of the bisexual persons by some in both the straight and greater LGBT communities.