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The father of us all: meet the world’s first LGBT activist

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The father of us all: meet the world’s first LGBT activist

150 years ago this year Karl Heinrich Ulrichs came out to his family. Five years later he came out to the world. He had become the world’s first LGBT rights campaigner and eventually published twelve manifestos which contain all the demands we still fight for today While the LGBT rights movement in the English speaking world dates back a half a century, its beginning came a century earlier.

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Can you provide advice and information to parents of gender-diverse young people?

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Can you provide advice and information to parents of gender-diverse young people?

Firecracker Square Social Media Logo

Firecracker, a company making a film as part of a series for Channel 4’s Education Department , would like your help. The film follows the complex journeys of families and young adults in the US and UK as they go through the challenge of growing up and becoming the person they want to be. They are currently filming with a boy who is gender diverse in Leicester, and his parents are keen to speak with other parents in a similar situation. They hope to get advice and openly discuss issues that arise with people who understand their circumstances.

If you feel you would be able to help support these parents with your own knowledge and experiences then please get in touch with Nina on 07771 603849 or by emailing.

We understand that this can often be a sensitive issue so there is no obligation at this stage, just an informal chat.

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National Parental Alienation Day

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National Parental Alienation Day

National Parental Alienation Day

‘Parental Alienation’ is a relatively new term. It has certainly caused controversy in the legal and medical world, and Women’s rights campaigners say the term discriminates against women as they are still generally the primary carers of children. Parental Alienation is when one parent, often the ‘absent’ father, following separation or divorce, feels, or is in fact, alienated (distanced/estranged) from the good relationship they once shared with their child(ren).

The child will usually express unjustified dislike, possible hatred, but at least unreasonable bad feeling towards the absent parent. This causes the child to distance themselves from the absent parent. They will refuse to see the absent parent and become anxious about spending time with them. This sad situation is unfortunately more often than not a result of the parent with whom the child lives influencing, or brainwashing, the child against the absent parent. It must be noted that the absent parent can also exert such influence but this is not as common.

How and why does this happen? The parent with primary care of the child may be so hurt by the separation from their spouse or partner and/ or fear the impact the separation may have on the family unit that they push the absent parent further away. They may feel that the separation was not their fault, feel upset and bitter by the absent parent’s departure, and allow (intentionally or unintentionally) their emotions to transfer to the child. They may repeatedly undermine the absent parent in front of the child prior to or post separation. One or both parents may make negative comments in ear shot of the child about the other parent. For most, this behaviour is their main coping mechanism to get them through the separation. They do not necessarily recognise that they are using the child to hurt the absent parent, nor do they see how this can ultimately damage the child. Sadly, but not unsurprisingly, the subjected child is likely to later blame the primary parent for destroying their relationship with the absent parent.

Parental Alienation can happen where the child previously loved spending time with both parents. It can occur at any time, all of a sudden or gradually over time. It is however very difficult to prove and whilst the law now appreciates its existence, one may have a long journey proving its existence and then eradicating it.

How can this be prevented? Well first, it is important to raise awareness of its existence. It is unfortunate when any relationship comes to an end but there is now more help and support available to those experiencing a relationship breakdown, to ease the separation process and allow both parties to focus on what is most important: the children. For instance those finding any separation difficult can undertake counselling, either individually or as a separated couple. Couples may find joint counselling useful to help them discover a way to work together on matters generally following separation – explore how they are now going to move forwards, as separated parents.

If couples struggle to communicate following separation, or simply feel they need extra support, they can also attend Mediation. A neutral third party’s perspective may be needed and discussing matters in the presence of another may just defuse any ill feeling and assist to move matters forwards, in the best interests of the children.

It is advisable for separated parents to agree a Parenting Plan from the outset of a separation detailing the day to day arrangements for the children. A clear agreement as to the arrangements for the children helps parents to not only stay positive about the change they are experiencing but also allows them to concentrate on finalising their separation amicably and in the best way possible for all concerned. They can focus on spending quality time with their children and building a new life as two separate units rather than harbouring ill feeling for their former lover which will only cause prolonged hurt for everyone, especially the children.

Only the parties themselves can choose to deal with their separation or divorce amicably, logically, and as adults, to ease the heartache caused to everyone involved. Very often it is the children who suffer the most. They often have no one to express their feelings to and unhealthily store their emotions. They experience feelings of guilt, as well as sadness, and if they see the primary parent showing ill feeling towards the absent parent then this can easily transfer to them drawing the child closer to the primary parent and further away from the absent parent.

Children need both parents in their lives. The Courts recognise this and parents should also. The term Parental Alienation should not exist, let alone there be a Parental Alienation Day on 25th April, but sadly it does.

If you feel you are experiencing Parental Alienation and/ or struggling with agreeing arrangements for the children, or dealing with other matters arising from separation or divorce, then please do not hesitate to contact Specialist Family Law Solicitor Lauren Greenhalgh at Focus Family Law on 07990 806086 or 01949 485358. Alternatively please email Lauren.

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LGBT Domestic Abuse Forum - The Rabbit Event - FREE EVENT

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LGBT Domestic Abuse Forum - The Rabbit Event - FREE EVENT

domestic-violence

This is your invitation to attend the LGBT Domestic Abuse Forum at Leicester LGBT Centre on 18 May from 2-4.30pm. The purpose of the day is to bring together those who are actively providing advice, advocacy and support to LGBT survivors to…

*  Share best practice and experience *  Develop regional links between LGBT services *  Discuss the possibility of a peer support system *  Discuss referral pathways for survivors in need of crisis intervention *  Learn about the experiences of established and newly commissioned services *  Identify new trends and use this to set the agenda for LGBT DAF in 2015

Cost: Free Attendees: Up to 30

TO BOOK YOUR FREE PLACE - CLICK HERE.

For more information about LGBT Domestic Abuse Forum go to www.lgbtdaf.org or contact Dennis on 0116 254 7412 or by email.

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Activists to mark 50th anniversary of first gay protests in the US

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Activists to mark 50th anniversary of first gay protests in the US

Frank_Kameny

April 17 marks the 50th anniversary of what many LGBT rights advocates believe was the first-ever gay rights demonstration held outside the White House. That 1965 event, which is believed to have included just 10 people, including famed gay rights pioneers Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings, was said to be the forerunner to a larger gay rights event held July 4, 1965 in Philadelphia that drew about 40 participants.

“The organized LGBT civil rights movement was launched when activists from New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia staged demonstrations for equality each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969” in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, according to gay rights advocate Malcolm Lazin, chair of the LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration.

That event is set to take place July 2-5 in Philadelphia, with at least one ceremony to be held in the historic Congress Hall, where the U.S. House of Representatives first met from 1790 to 1800.

Veteran D.C. gay activist Paul Kuntzler, who participated in the April 17, 1965 demonstration on the sidewalk in front of the White House, describes his recollections of that historic event in a column in the Blade this week.

“After walking to the White House, I was astonished to see a large cluster of news photographers standing at the corner of Lafayette Square waiting for the red light to change,” Kustzler writes. “After crossing, they began photographing us. I was so unnerved that I kept hiding my face behind my sign.”

The 10 participants, seven men who wore business suits; and three women who wore dresses, according to Kuntzler, believe they made history by drawing attention to the discrimination and oppression that gay people encountered at that time through official federal government policies.

The events over July 4th Weekend this year in Philadelphia will include a National Politics Panel with LGBT movement leaders discussing the progress made since those first “homosexual rights” demonstrations in 1965 – four years before the Stonewall Riots in New York, which have been credited with sparking a more aggressive phase of the gay rights movement. Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff will be the moderator of the July 2 panel in Philadelphia; other events are planned through the weekend and are being announced shortly.

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Protecting students from homophobic bullying

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Protecting students from homophobic bullying

homophobic bullying2

Students who are bullied because of sexual orientation have willing defenders in their classmates -- motivated by leadership, courage, their beliefs in justice, altruism and having lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender friends, according to a Boston College professor and co-author of a new report on bullying at school. With as many as eight out of every 10 LGBT students enduring bullying at school, the findings can help shape new programs to make schools safer, said Lynch School of Education Associate Professor Paul Poteat, who presents the study today at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.

"Homophobic behavior often goes unchallenged, and there has been little attention to the large segment of students who witness homophobic behavior," said Poteat. "It is important to distinguish those who actually intercede or support students when homophobic behavior occurs."

An eight-year Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found between 12 to 28 percent of LGBT students reported they had been threatened or injured at school the prior year. The 2011 Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network national survey found 82 percent of LGBT students reported problems with bullying.

Poteat and Olivier Vecho of the University of Paris, Nanterre, surveyed 722 students at a New England high school, assessing factors such as leadership, courage, altruism, and justice sensitivity, as well as observing and intervening against homophobic behavior among their peers.

The researchers found students were more likely to intervene and defend a fellow student based on the values of altruism, leadership, courage, having LGBT friends, and beliefs in justice.

The original article can be found by clicking here.

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Gay, lesbian job seekers face discrimination

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Gay, lesbian job seekers face discrimination

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The research, carried out by Dr Nick Drydakis of Anglia Ruskin University and published by SAGE in the journal Human Relations, involved 144 young people -- all first-time job seekers -- making 11,098 applications. The study, the first of its kind ever conducted in the UK, found that gay applicants of both sexes are 5% less likely to be offered a job interview than heterosexual applicants with comparable skills and experience.

The firms who offer interviews to gay male candidates pay an average salary of 2.0% less than those who invite heterosexuals for interview (£23,072 compared to £23,544). For lesbian women the average salary is 1.4% less (£22,569 compared to £22,907).

Gay men receive the fewest invitations for interviews in traditionally male-dominated occupations (accounting, banking, finance and management jobs), whereas lesbians receive the fewest invitations for interviews in traditionally female-dominated occupations (social care, social services and charity jobs).

In the accounting, banking, finance and management sector, the study found 74 occasions when only the heterosexual candidate was offered an interview and not the gay male candidate with comparable skills and experience, but no instances of only the gay male candidate being offered an interview.

Similarly, there were 63 examples when only heterosexual women were offered an interview in the social care, social services and charity sector, but no examples of only the lesbian candidate being offered an interview.

The study was carried out with the help of 12 students' unions at universities across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Of the 2,312 students who volunteered for the study, Dr Drydakis was able to match 72 students whose CVs mentioned having a prominent role in their university's LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) society with 72 students whose skills and experiences were identical, but whose CV didn't indicate their sexuality.

The participants were all third-year undergraduates, 21 years old, British nationals and unmarried. They were all predicted to achieve an upper second class degree (2:1).

In pairs, the 144 students applied for 5,549 jobs (11,098 separate applications) that had been advertised on 15 of the UK's leading recruitment websites over a two-month period.

Dr Drydakis, Reader in Economics at Anglia Ruskin University, said: "Because of the limited research carried out so far into the experiences of gays and lesbians in the labour market, the disadvantages and discrimination they experience has gone unnoticed and therefore unchallenged.

"Despite measures to encourage openness and discourage discrimination, including the introduction of the Equality Act of 2010, it is evident from my research that gays and lesbians are encountering serious misconceptions and barriers in the job market.

"It is also clear that people who face biased treatment in the hiring process must spend more time and resources finding jobs, and firms lose potential talent as a result of biased hiring."

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Dying Matters Awareness Week

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Dying Matters Awareness Week

DyingMatters

Dying Matters Awareness Week takes place on 18 – 24 May this year. The purpose of the awareness campaign is to demystify the dying process so that people better understand the changes that can happen to their loved ones in the last days of life. For more information about the Awareness Week click here.

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