Canadian Blood Services is finally lifting the lifetime ban on blood donation by gay men, though serious restrictions will remain in place. It says men who have not had sex with other men within the last five years will be allowed to donate blood when the new policy comes into effect this summer.
May 17th 2013, is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO or IDAHOBIT for short), and people are coming together across the globe to celebrate and push for an end to discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community.
May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
The event is coordinated by the IDAHOBIT Committee, which was founded by Louis-George Tin in 2004. The first event took place on May 17, 2005. That year, 24,000 individuals and organizations signed on to a message of support for the initiative.
In 2013, countless people and groups around the world are showing their support in creative ways. In Canada, the theme of this year’s Day is “Fight the Homophobia Web Virus.” The Fondation Émergence Homophobia Day website explains:
“Homophobia is becoming increasingly present on the Web and in social media. The anonymity of the Internet facilitates the spread of abusive comments and cyberhomophobia that could have serious consequences.”
“We’ve come a long way, baby — even if they don’t always notice. On May 10, Amelia Maltepe made the pages of the Sun Media papers as the Sunshine Girl — the daily piece of female eye-candy on page 3 — and ended up being a big first for the paper, even if its staffers weren’t aware.
Maltepe is the paper’s first known transsexual Sunshine Girl. “They didn’t ask me, I didn’t tell,” Maltepe tells Xtra. And, according to the Sun’s editor, they certainly don’t mind.”
Significant changes are coming about in the world…
“Next month, Pakistan will hold its first election in five years. And just by running, some candidates will be making history. Two female candidates are contesting the election in extremely conservative areas where women have never run for office. And for the first time, transgender people are running as candidates in various parts of the country.”
An interesting development: A bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against transgender Canadians was approved by the House of Commons today.
“Transgender and transsexual citizens are among the most marginalized and are too often victims of harassment and acts of violence.”
The bill had triggered vigorous, sometimes emotional debate in the Commons, and no big surprise, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper, most of his front bench and the vast majority of his backbenchers opposed it.”
Almas Bobby, leader of Pakistan’s transgender community
“Hijra is the South Asian term for a transgender woman. They trace their presence back to at least the 16th century, when eunuchs served as entertainers and guards in Mogul courts. The word means “leaving one’s own tribe” — or in this case, gender group — in several Asian and Middle Eastern languages.
In Pakistan, transgender women have long been considered good luck for both newborns and newlyweds — and perform both at baby showers and weddings. Despite this, they continue to face discrimination in this otherwise conservative Muslim country.
This year, hijras won a key legal battle to have a third gender option on national ID cards. About 50,000 Pakistanis are classified as hijras like Mehvish. The category includes self-reported transgender men and women, as well as transvestites, hermaphrodites and eunuchs.”
Read the full article or listen to the 4 minute audio story NPR:
Rihanna exclaims that “Pain is her pleasure!” in her newest video, released on January 31st — however, she is also causing quite a controversy over the music vid’s kinky and sexually-laden imagery.
The video has been reportedly banned in 11 countries and YouTube has put it behind an “adult sign-in wall”. The BBC will not show it before 7pm and there are reports that MTV wants a re-edited version.
“I may be bad, but I’m perfectly good at it.
Sex in the air, I don’t care, I love the smell of it.
Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but chains and whips excite me!”
Kink and fetish has become more and more mainstream over the past few years, and even Rihanna has hinted at it in some of her previous videos such as “Disturbia”. However, has Rihanna’s “S&M” hit the mainstream’s boundary? What do you think?