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Archive for November 2009

Talk on the History of the U.S. Gay Rights Movement, American Center (Mumbai), Nov. 19th, 6pm

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November 15, 2009 at 11:02 am

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India’s third gender gets own identity in voter rolls

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India’s third gender gets own identity in voter rolls

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN

November 12, 2009 — Updated 1640 GMT (0040 HKT)

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A member of the gay, lesbian and transgender community holds hands with a eunuch after a court ruling on gay sex.

NEW DELHI, India (CNN)

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November 12, 2009 at 11:46 pm

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Our Own Place for the Older lGBT–write to ashok kavi directly

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Courtesy lgbtindia

From: arowkavi
> Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 07:32:01 +0000
> Subject: [lgbt-india] Our Own Place for the Older lGBT
>
> An LGBT Refuge and Old Age Home
>
> Everyone has a place in society and most of us must create one; we are different and diverse in culture, creed and color but most understand that our orientation is something unique only to us.
> Well, my little Prince, Manavender Singh of Rajpipla, has an old age home planned in Rajpipla but as an urban Indian, I’m not sure I want to end up in the backwaters of this great turbulent nation at the cross roads, far from immediate medical help. At the same time, I will not be a relegated to the past so easily. Not only will I be alone but I will also be lonely if I don’t have a partner.
> The concept of an Old Age Home for LGBT people has been discussed within the Board of Humsafar Trust, friends and colleagues across the spectrum. After studying some of the sad cases of gay men of means becoming bitter and badly-mannered faggots in their old age, it’s better to stop the slide downhill for our older brethren and that’s what this concept is all about.
> Can we have a communal living unit under one roof without the vulnerabilities of either being alone or lonely built out of the system? Yes we can if it’s well planned.
> This is an effort to do that – and its been shaping up over the last five years after talking to scores of people.
> If there are older LGBT people out on this list please write to me so I can share the concept and go forward with it seriously. I need a quorum of at least 25 to move this forward and I don’t think it’s too much to find them within our communities. Humsafar has always had a tradition of being innovative and pioneering in many ways. Maybe we can all pull this off with support from the Humsafar Parivar and INFOSEM.
> Thanks for reading this. So if you’re 55 or above, do write in and we can chat, exchange emails or meet to give shape to this project as soon as possible.
> Ashok Row Kavi

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November 12, 2009 at 8:55 pm

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The pressures of professional play (Gay Angle)

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The pressures of professional play

By Clare Murphy
BBC News health reporter

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Every sport has its own particular pressures

The suicide of German footballer Robert Enke has raised fresh questions about the particular pressures of sport on the psyche.

Every case is unique, and Enke had suffered intense personal tragedy with the death of his baby daughter from a congenital heart problem three years ago.

His widow Teresa said he had battled depression for years, and that he lived in fear the daughter they had subsequently adopted would be removed from them if his condition became public knowledge.

His career was also dominated by the extreme highs and lows that characterise sporting life.

A goalkeeper who was sidelined before finding favour again, he said openly that the threat of being usurped by a younger, better player made him falter, not flourish – and that it was faith in his talents that he needed to perform, not the challenge of competition.

After a stomach illness ruled him out of recent friendly internationals, a headline referred to his promised appearance in next year’s World Cup as the "comeback of the man thought dead".

Researchers have sought to unpick the various threads that may tie sport with suicidal tendencies. But the picture is a complex one, with each sport throwing up very different issues.

"We also have to keep this tragedy in perspective. There are particular pressures associated with sport but people do commit suicide – it is the most common form of death among young men," says sports psychologist Victor Thompson.

‘All consuming’

"We pay attention to this young man because he’s famous, but arguably many sports stars have access to the kind of support – from their team members, their club – that others could only dream of."

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Mind Games – Inside Sport (UK users only)

Former cricket player turned writer David Frith does however believe there is something inherent to his sport which means English cricketers are apparently twice as likely to commit suicide as the average male.

"It is the all consuming nature of the sport, the number of hours you spend not necessarily playing but sitting around waiting to play – quite different to football say. You live and breathe it in a very intense, nerve-shattering way, and then very suddenly you’re spat out, it’s over," he says.

"But we’re also starting to see problems at the other end of the spectrum, when players are just beginning their career. In India in particular, where there is glamour and fervour akin to the English football premiership, we’re seeing youngsters take their lives as they realise they’re not going to go all the way."

The England career of cricketer Marcus Trescothick was ended by a stress-related illness, although he dates the onset of anxiety attacks back to when he was just ten years old.

Taking to the stand

The most high profile footballer to commit suicide in England was Justin Fashanu – the first professional footballer to admit he was gay.

image006 image007You live and breathe it in a very intense, nerve-shattering way, and then very suddenly you’re spat out, it’s overimage008

David Frith
Cricket writer

He was found hanging from the rafters of a London garage in 1998, at the age of 37. He was at the time facing a court charge in the US of sexually assaulting a teenage boy, and wrote in a suicide note that while innocent he felt he would be treated unfairly because of his homosexuality.

His career had already nosedived by the time he spoke about his sexuality, but to his own mind it was a deep-seated prejudice within the English game which led to his demise.

The consensus remains that the sporting arena remains a difficult place to be gay, but regardless of sexuality all athletes live under the constant threat of injury, pressure to perform, and early retirement in which the commentators’ box is not always an option.

image006 image007I had clinical depression and I’ve probably had it all my life. It’s just that, for most of my life, I couldn’t admit to having something wrong image008

Wendy Williams

Injuries clearly take their psychological as well as their physical toll, but there is also growing evidence that head injuries may have a role to play in suicidal behaviour.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), associated with repeated blows to the head, is a risk for boxers and wrestlers – and has also been diagnosed in American football players – including two who had recently committed suicide.

Mind over matter

Chicken and egg theories also abound – and the question has been raised as to whether sport attracts a very particular type of personality.

There are athletes who have attained a high level of success in spite of psychiatric disorders such as manic depression, but also those who have perhaps chosen sport as a way of dealing with a problem like Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, Antonia Baum, a psychiatrist at the George Washington University Medical Center, has argued.

Eating disorders, which are associated with suicide, may also have started as result of involvement in sports which require the leanest body possible.

The American Olympic diver Wendy Williams said she became preoccupied with finding a way to commit suicide before finally getting the help she needed.

"I had clinical depression and I’ve probably had it all my life. It’s just that, for most of my life, I couldn’t admit to having something wrong.

"I was an athlete. I was supposed to be able to get over it. Mind over matter."

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November 12, 2009 at 11:40 am

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Britain Ready to Admit: No Good to Reason to Ban Gay Blood Donors

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Britain Ready to Admit: No Good to Reason to Ban Gay Blood Donors

http://www.queerty.com/britain-ready-to-admit-no-good-to-reason-to-ban-gay-blood-donors-20091028/

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That utterly retro policy that prevents gay men from donating blood? Britain is actually considering joining New Zealand, Spain, and Italy to overturn it. How come? Because as it turns out, the risk of letting men who have sex with men put their blood into a bank is effectively nil.

The scare tactic used to defend the ban surrounds a heightened infection rate among gay men. So, the thinking goes, keeping gay blood out of circulation, by default, cuts down on the possibility of infecting transfusion recipients. Except all blood is screened for HIV before it’s used — so why keep out healthy, willing gay donors?

There’s no reason: "While all blood donations are screened for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), hepatitis B and C and syphilis before they can be used, very recent infections may not be detected. Health officials have argued that the only way to protect patients against this ‘window’ of early infections is through careful donor selection. Since 1985 only two patients have been infected with HIV through blood transfusions."

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November 10, 2009 at 10:55 am

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