World News
Facebook Apologises to Drag Queens Print E-mail
News - World News
Written by Time Magazine   
Friday, 03 October 2014 02:35


Enforcement of a "real-name policy" led to LGBT users being blocked from their accounts

A coalition of LGBT rights advocates met with Facebook representatives at the company’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters on Wednesday morning, demanding change to the company’s treatment of their profiles. In recent weeks, many drag queens — people who may go by names like Lil Miss Hot Mess rather than the male-identifying names they were given at birth — said their accounts were suspended because Facebook demanded that they use their “legal names” on their profiles.

While Facebook did acknowledge “the hardship that we’ve put [such users] through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks,” the company also said their policy was never to require legal names — simply “authentic ones.” In a post, chief product officer Chris Cox affirmed that when it comes to members of the LGBT community, the company considers “authentic” names to be whatever those users go by in daily life, regardless of what is scrawled on their birth certificate.

Cox blamed the suspensions on company protocol for dealing with profiles that are reported as fake. Many transgender users and well-known drag queens in the San Francisco community, such as local icon Sister Roma, were among “several hundred” people to have their accounts reported, he said. (He did not name the individual who did the reporting.) Their policy has been to suspend the profile until the user submits some form of identification that matches the name on the page.

Read more at:

USA : Too many LGBT kids are still homeless. Print E-mail
News - World News
Written by Zach Stafford   
Friday, 26 September 2014 07:28


Too many LGBT kids are still homeless. And we still throw money at marriage?

The pre-eminence of weddings in the gay rights movement ignores the basics that so many of us can’t even afford. Can you fathom how much money the mainstream LGBT rights movement spent on marriage equality? 

Over the past decade, the LGBT rights movement in America has overwhelmingly focused on the fight for marriage, making it seem as if marriage is the key to making us all truly equal in America. And through this ardent effort, incredible strides have been made. Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states, the District of Columbia and 10 Native American tribal jurisdictions, meaning 44% of the American population has access to same sex marriage – an amazing feat given that, just 10 years ago, the state of Massachusetts was the first state to make it legal.

But at the same time, around 40% of all homeless young people identify as LGBT. Predominantly these young people are African American or Latino. Transgender youth face disproportionately higher rates than even lesbian, gay or bisexual people. While the inability for same-sex couples to marry has pushed many to label themselves “second-class citizens”, I find it difficult to completely sympathize with their plight – and the money they’ve spent to end it – when so many LGBT youth are living and dying in the streets everyday with no end in sight.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Carl Siciliano, who founded the Ali Forney Center (the largest organization dedicated to LGBT homelessness in America), put it bluntly: “The summer [of 2011] that marriage equality passed in New York, we saw the number of homeless kids looking for shelter go up 40 percent.”

New York is not alone – the entire nation is seeing a rise in general homeless youth populations, with LGBT youth continually making up a substantial chunk as more and more marriage bells ring across America.

Most young people end up in the streets for a variety of reasons, ranging from familial neglect to economic problems to being discharged from foster care with few other options and no money. However, for LGBT youth, we do know from key surveys that the two primary reasons are: being forced out of their homes by family members due to their sexual orientation, and running away due to their sexual orientation.

Read the full article at:

Homosexuality will cause the collapse of civilization Print E-mail
News - World News
Friday, 26 September 2014 01:02

A US newspaper columnist has claimed that the overturning a “well founded” taboo on homosexuality will cause the collapse of civilization.

Proud2Be, a Devon based lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans+ (LGBT+) organisation commented that they were extremely saddened by the views and “facts” expressed in this article and deeply concerned about the impact on the LGBT+ community as these views can reinforce prejudices and validate homophobia/biphobia/transphobia.

In the artcile below, the known writer know as ‘Grave Turner’ claimed that homosexuality is an “aberration”, and that it is “worth recalling” that homosexuality used to be criminalised.

The article reads in full:


There is no better example of this than the Human Rights Act.

Human Rights legislation has been used to overturn well founded taboos that have, hitherto, stood the test of time over many generations.

Prominent amongst them has been the issues surrounding homosexuality, and the Roman Catholic’s opposition to public acceptance of homosexual practices as being anything other than the sin of sodomy.

It is worth recalling that in these Islands and well within living memory, those practising homosexual acts were persecuted and punished.

Clearly homosexuality is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is, nonetheless, an aberration.

Such persons as suffer from it should-be treated with sympathy and understanding.

What came next, in law, was permission.

It declared that, in matters of sex, what happened between consenting adults in private was purely their business. What evolved following the change in the law was a change in language.

No longer were homosexuals referred to as ‘queer’, which of course, they are being at odds with the natural ‘norm’, but ‘gay’. Hitherto ‘gay’ was understood to mean light hearted, and carefree with youthful connotations. This harmless and pleasant little word was skilfully adopted by organized homosexuals (Stonewall and the like) as a sort of camouflage disguising what they were really about, making it seem palatable.

Time passes, and the media are constantly referring to the ‘gay movement’ and aggressive ‘gay pride’ marches are organized. ‘Gays’ are encouraged to ‘come out’, prominent people having already been ‘outed’ by the likes of the thoroughly odious Peter Tatchell, an alleged draft dodger from ‘down under’, now travelling under the ubiquitous human rights cloak covering anti-racism, and the outlawing of the so-called ‘homophobia’. School children – SCHOOL CHILDREN! – mark you, are encouraged to express their sexuality.

So there you have it. In this country, homosexuality has gone from persecution, to permission, and thence promotion. When parliament passed the law making homosexuality legal, a well known figure was heard to remark “Knowing that lot, it’s a wonder they didn’t make it compulsory!”

It was not homosexuality per se that caused the collapse of the great civilising empires of Greece, Rome, Britain, et al, but rather public acceptance of it was the exclamation mark that signalled the end of empire. With it came the weakening of the disciplined social structures that support law and order. Slowly, but surely, anarchy will take over.

In passing, if the Scots don’t vote for ‘independence’ believing that they can’t make a better fist of it governing them selves than that shower in Westminster – they they deserve all they get – and suffer!





I'm Gay. Get Over It Print E-mail
News - World News
Written by Huffington Post   
Friday, 26 September 2014 00:32


'I'm Gay. Get Over It,' State Senator Announces During Push For LGBT Hate Crimes Bill.

A Pennsylvania press conference against LGBT hate crimes on Tuesday turned personal when a state senator announced he is gay.

"I'm gay. Get over it. I love it," Democratic Sen. Jim Ferlo said, according to audio posted by Mary Wilson of WITF broadcasting. Wilson noted in her tweets during the event that Ferlo is likely Pennsylvania's first openly gay state senator.

Ferlo, an outgoing senator who represents part of Pittsburgh, is the sponsor of a bill that would expand the state's hate crimes law to cover lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The legislature's current push to amend the law was sparked by a Sept. 11 incident in which two gay men were allegedly beaten in Philadelphia.

At the microphone Tuesday, Ferlo said he's been "a practicing homosexual" since his mid-20s.

"I've never denied my homosexuality … I just never made an official declaration," he said, noting that many of his friends, co-workers and community members have known for years.

After Ferlo finished speaking, Rep. Brian Sims (D) told other lawmakers, "Let's keep this going," according to Wilson's tweets. The recent attack was in Sims' district, and he became Pennsylvania's first openly gay legislator to be elected when he won his seat in 2012.

See Jim's speach at:


Proud intersex person Tony Briffa Print E-mail
News - World News
Written by News.Com   
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 06:22


Tony Briffa. Picture: Nathan Dyer. Source: Supplied

Proud intersex person Tony Briffa tells story of self discovery

BEING born both female and male has led Tony Briffa, 44, to campaign for the law to treat every person as unique. This is Tony's story:

"It's been nearly a year since I married my partner, Manja, in a beautiful ceremony in New Zealand. In my wedding vows, I promised to be the "best husband and wife possible". Sadly, we couldn't marry here in Australia because the law requires marriage to be 'between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others'.  

I can't fit such a narrow definition because I was born biologically both female and male - I'm an intersex person.

I was born with Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (PAIS). Doctors weren't sure what my sex was because I was born with biological features of both sexes. Doctors decided that my testes should be removed and I should be raised as a girl because I didn't have a penis and appeared more female than male. I was named Antoinette and I went to the local Catholic all-girls school.

Despite doctors not wanting me to know, there were constant reminders I was different. I spent a lot of time in hospitals being examined and having tests. I was told not to talk about it because it was a secret. Over time, I learned I couldn't have children and I'd never get periods. I was confused; I felt like a freak and very alone.


By 18, I'd seen my medical records and things made more sense. I got married to an understanding man, but we divorced soon after. At 26, I started having relationships with women. This was a very exciting time in my life, but I still felt it best to hide the "real" me and my "shameful" secret.

At 29, I found a website for intersex women. I discovered there was much more to PAIS than I'd been told. I then asked my doctors to give me the testosterone my testes would have produced if they hadn't been removed. They refused so I went public, coming out as an intersex person on the Nine Network program 60 Minutes.

Changes came within months - my voice deepened and I grew hair in places that I'd never had hair before. Read the full interview at:





Facebook to Meet With LGBT Community Print E-mail
News - World News
Written by   
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 05:17

Facebook has agreed to meet with San Francisco city officials and activists following criticism that its naming policy discriminates against the LGBT community.

The social network's policy, which requires users use their legal name on profiles, is not new — but has recently come under new scrutiny after a number of transgender people and drag performers reported being locked out of their Facebook accounts.

Sister Roma, member of a drag group and venerable San Francisco institution known as the The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, was among the first to raise the alarm when she was locked out of her Facebook account.

Roma had to change the name on her account to Michael Williams, a name she said she has not used for nearly 30 years.

"I am overwhelmed and moved to tears by the literally hundreds of emails I have received from people who are sharing their compelling stories explaining why they don't use their 'real' name on Facebook," she wrote in one of many Facebook posts on the subject. "I want you all to know that you are not alone, there are many people who were abused, shunned, discriminated against, fought custody battles, survived addiction, and maintain profiles that are very real and very separate from your legal identity."

As word of the policy and Facebook's apparent crackdown on affected accounts spread, upset users took to Twitter to voice concerns over the police using the #mynameis hashtag.


My account has been suspended. After my article about the right to self-identify was shared a bunch.


Facebook Is Forcing Drag Queens To Use Their Legal Names Print E-mail
News - World News
Friday, 12 September 2014 10:42


Sister Roma (left) has been forced to use her legal name on Facebook

Facebook Is Forcing Drag Queens And Other Performers To Use Their Legal Names

Facebook has started cracking down on the names people are using on the site in an effort to “keep our community safe.” 

But among those affected by this policy shift are performers, including drag queens, who don’t go by their legal names and are more well-known by their stage names or nicknames. 

And they are outraged and have even started a petition to change the policy. “Although our names might not be our ‘legal’ birth names, they are still an integral part of our identities, both personally and to our communities,” the petition reads.

Michael Williams, better known as Sister Roma, is one of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an LGBT organisation focused on community service and drag performances. The group has been around since the late 1970s. 

Roma says that she was suspended from using the site until she adjusted it to contain her legal name. She’s been using the name Sister Roma on Facebook since 2008, according to the Daily Dot.

“I was automatically logged out and told my account was suspended because it appears that I’m not using my real name,” Roma told the Daily Dot. “I was instructed to log in and forced to change the name on my profile to my ‘legal name, like the one that appears on your drivers’ licence or credit card.’”

Post by Michael Williams .

Roma has been using the hashtag #MyNameIsRoma on Facebook and Twitter to bring attention to the issue and to fight against the policy. 

In February, Facebook announced that it was rolling out a customisation option with about 50 different words people can use to identify their preferred gender. So it’s unclear why the company would force people to use a name that’s on their driver’s licence, but not necessarily the gender that’s listed there. 

“If people want to use an alternative name on Facebook, they have several different options available to them, including providing an alias under their name on their profile, or creating a Page specifically for that alternative persona,” a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider. “As part of our overall standards, we ask that people who use Facebook provide their real name on their profile.”


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