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.
“Facebook has begun vigorous enforcement of its “name policy,” requiring all users of the social network to provide their real names—those “listed on your credit card, driver’s license or student ID.” The policy is not new—Facebook has long asked for users’ “real names” at registration—but it has come under new fire after Facebook disabled the profile of San Francisco LGBT activist and drag queen Sister Roma last week, forcing her to post under her legal name “Michael Williams.” ”
“The social media outrage was almost immediate. An online petition on Change.org demanding Facebook change its policy has already garnered 18,300 signatures. Today, Facebook representatives met with members of the drag and LGBT communities in San Francisco. Regardless of the outcome of today’s meeting at Facebook HQ, (I’m pessimistic considering the protesters only got to meet with Facebook’s “PR and Pride” teams), these people’s lives have already been impacted by Facebook’s enforcement policy.”
Retired dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford was escorted by security out of a Senate committee meeting after refusing to heed the chair’s warning that her allotted speaking time had run out — but not before threatening to make politicians “forget about Mike Duffy.”
The woman who won a Supreme Court challenge to Canada’s prostitution laws told committee members that the government’s proposal to criminalize buyers of sex would “make Canada the laughingstock of the world.”
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.