Lesbian Training Blog
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We empower lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and support survivors through counseling and advocacy
On Thursday, January 6th at 5:30 PM, we virtually presented at a legislative advocacy training alongside our West Virginia-based partners at the West Virginia Gay & Lesbian Community Center, Beckley Pride, Fairness WV, ActionLink: The Center Action Network, Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
This training aimed to teach participants how to engage with your legislators at the state and national level, provide information on topics relevant to the community, and equip participants to advocate for their rights. ABB Staff Attorney Cassandra Gomez discussed paid family leave, as well as the critical role the West Virginian LGBTQ community can play in pushing for passage of comprehensive federal paid family and medical leave.
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Transgender individuals may suffer from an even greater burden of intimate partner violence than gay or lesbian individuals. Transgender victims of intimate partner violence are more likely to experience threats or intimidation, harassment, and police violence within intimate partner violence. Specific forms of abuse occur within relationships where one partner is transgender, including:
The education you receive as a child strongly affects how your brain will develop as you grow. For example, children who are given musical training experience changes to areas of the brain associated with hearing and motor control.
These guys both did this because they are concerned about the rights and needs of LGBTQ people living in the Middle East or under other oppressive regimes. So, rather than doing something really weird like donating money to Gay Middle East, a grassroots website of real LGBTQ people living in the Middle East, or Israeli Gay Youth, or The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, they decided to support the cause of lesbians in Syria by pretending to be lesbians.
These include the International Emergency Fund, the International Movement Fund, the Consortium of Latin American Funds LBT Project, and the International LGBTQQ Youth Fund. All of which, shockingly, provide actual assistance to actual lesbians living in oppressive situations, and who do not need random foreign straight men pretending to be them to decide the best way for them to organize or promote their agendas.
Or, these guys could have blogged about these organizations or the groups they fund. They could have held fundraisers for these organizations (which certainly can use that kind of help). They could invite speakers or guest bloggers from these organizations to blog on their own blogs.
Fuck, they could have donated money to lesbians here at home who are suffering under oppressive situations, such as almost every disabled lesbian I know, who are scraping by in poverty, and lesbians in prison, who live under deplorable conditions, or lesbians who are beaten, raped, or have their kids taken from them for being lesbians. That all still happens in America!
It certainly was trendy for straight men to go to lesbian online chats and try to pretend to be lesbians so they could pretend to have pretend sex with us. And to keep making craploads of money off of straight women pretending to be lesbians pretending to have sex with each other in visual media for the enjoyment of other straight dudes.
As it turns out, however, the trend of straight men pretending to be lesbians online is alive and well! Thank goodness! That will keep all us real lesbian bloggers honest. Or sarcastic. Maybe it will keep us just a little more bitter and sarcastic than we already were. Hm.
However, most auditory gaydar research has focused on male speakers. We know much less about how lesbian-sounding women are perceived and treated. This gap in the literature motivated us to examine how both lesbian-sounding women and gay-sounding men are treated when they apply for leadership positions.
Point Foundation (Point) is the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit. Point Foundation provides it scholarship recipients with:
Brad Brenner, PhD., is a counseling psychologist and the founder and Clinical Director of the Therapy Group of DC and the Therapy Group of NYC. He also cofounded WithTherapy and The Capital Therapy Project, a community-based psychotherapy training institute.
Being highly attuned to context as a lesbian, gay man, bisexual, or transgender person shapes your inner world, too. It affects how you think and feel about yourself. In response to an outside world full of negative messages about what it means to be attracted to people of the same sex or not cisgender, many people come to view themselves as deeply flawed, unlovable, unworthy, and hopeless.
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You may be familiar with the rainbow-striped Pride flag. In recent years, this flag has been updated and expanded to represent the intersectional diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQIA2-S) communities.
Many groups within the LGBTQIA2-S community have their own Pride flags. There are specific flags celebrating the identities of transgender, bisexual, lesbian, pansexual, asexual, and other communities. Still, the rainbow-striped flag has historically been the most used and recognized symbol representing Pride for the LGBTQIA2-S community overall.
Anne Seccombe, writing for Examiner, describes the results of a study presented back in 2004. Researchers surveyed 618 women seeking fertility treatment at a clinic in London. They found that while 14% of heterosexual-identified women in the sample had PCOS, among lesbian-identified women the prevalence of PCOS jumped to 38%.
In addition, 32% of heterosexual women had polycystic ovaries (PCO), which may or may not have been part of full-blown PCOS. However, a staggering 80% of the lesbian women in the sample had PCO.
As you are likely aware, PCO and PCOS are caused by excess androgen levels (such as testosterone). Lesbian women in this study with PCO or PCOS demonstrated higher androgen levels than heterosexual women in the study with PCO or PCOS. However, among heterosexual and lesbian women who did not have PCO or PCOS, androgen levels did not significantly differ.
What the study is saying is that there is a link between PCOS and lesbianism. That link may well be high levels of androgens, as research has identified levels of prenatal androgen exposure to be one of the many factors which may influence sexual orientation.
As Seccombe wisely notes, lesbian women have unique healthcare needs compared to heterosexual women. Polycystic ovary syndrome is the leading cause of infertility, and has been linked with increased risk for diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Not to mention all of the other unfortunate cosmetic side effects of PCOS caused by excess androgen levels, such as midsection weight gain, acne, excess body and facial hair growth, and even male-pattern baldness.
Lesbian women will therefore want to be especially vigilant about getting checked for PCO and PCOS, preferably by working with an endocrinologist with specialized training in the condition.
It is important that all women dealing with PCOS seek out caring and reliable people in their lives for support, as well as work with trusted healthcare professionals. If you are struggling with PCOS, talking to a psychologist with specific training in health psychology and PCOS can be very helpful for improving your mental health and well-being.
Agrawal R, Sharma S, Bekir J, Conway G, Bailey J, Balen AH, Prelevic G., Prevalence of polycystic ovaries and polycystic ovary syndrome in lesbian women compared with heterosexual women. Fertil Steril. 2004 Nov;82(5):1352-7. 781b155fdc