Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Via Bilerico: How Homosexuality Stopped Being a 'Disease'

We had been jointly planning our tactics over the past month. I and my compatriots of the Gay Liberation Front and Gay May Day collective, friends from the Mattachine Society, and members of the newly formed Gay Activists Alliance were to gather on this bright morning during the first week of May in 1971, and carpool up Connecticut Avenue in northwest Washington, DC to the Shoreham Hotel. Also uniting with us were people from out-of-town who joined us as part of "Gay May Day" as we attempted to shut down the federal government for what we considered as an illegal and immoral invasion into Vietnam.

We parked about a block away since we didn't want hotel security and attendees at the annual American Psychiatric Association conference to notice a rather large group of activists sporting T-shirts and placards announcing "Gay Is Good," "Psychiatry Is the Enemy," and "Gay Revolution." Half the men decked themselves in stunning drag wearing elegant wigs and shimmering lamé dresses, glittering fairy dust wafting their painted faces.

A year before, activists demonstrated outside the APA conference held in San Francisco. As a result, conference organizers conceded to permit a panel to lead a discussion workshop at this year's annual conference in DC under the title "Lifestyles of Nonpatient Homosexuals." The panelists included Dr. Franklin Kameny, Director of Mattachine DC; Barbara Gittings, Director of the Philadelphia office of Daughters of Bilitis; and Jack Baker, first "out" U.S. student body president at the University of Minnesota.
In their capacity as official conference panelists, they were granted inside access to all proceedings, including admission to the annual Convocation of Fellows, in which all attendees were to hear U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark deliver the keynote address in the hotel's over-the-top Regency Ballroom. Earlier in the week, some of us checked out the hotel's layout. The day before, a comrade placed a wedge in a doorway coming from the Rock Creek Park woods into the hotel, where we gained access.

All along, the panelists were to serve as our Trojan Horses. After the Convocation was called to order, and half-way through Clark's address, our insiders opened the doors and in we poured, chanting, waving, shouting. On stage, we witnessed a stunned Attorney General surrounded by similarly stunned and also upset APA officials, and seated in the front rows we noticed elderly men who wore gold medals around their necks. When they saw us, they stood and began beating us with their medals while shouting "Get out of here. We don't want any more people like you here!" Others yelled: "You're sick, you're sick you faggots, you drag queens!" Other psychiatrists stood up from their seats and attempted to push us physically from the hall. I was able to escape their grasp, and I sat locking arms with a contingent on the floor just beneath the stage.
Then Frank Kameny rushed the stage and grabbed the microphone, his booming voice cracking through the pandemonium even after the technician cut the power. "Psychiatry is the enemy incarnate," he yelled, the anger seemingly oozing from his pores. "You may take this as a declaration of war against you!"

And this was, indeed, our intent: to declare war on the psychiatric profession for the atrocities, the colonization, the "professional" malpractice it had perpetrated over the preceding century in the name of "science," the biological and psychological pathologizing of sexual and gender transgressive people. From the so-called "Eugenics Movement" of the mid-nineteenth century though the twentieth century and beyond, medical and psychological professions have often proposed and addressed, in starkly medical terms, the alleged "deficiencies" and "mental diseases" of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

Read more at http://www.bilerico.com/2015/06/how_homosexuality_stopped_being_a_disease.php#OdSvVVyPJOZj9vLh.99

Via urious Liberals / FB:

Via Subhi Nahas: Help Save LGBTI Refugee Lives

Neil Grungras
Neil Grungras campaign leader
'I was sure I’d be raped or killed. I was terrified': My life as a gay Syrian refugee who had to flee Isis
I first escaped to Turkey, but I wasn't even safe there – a childhood friend who had joined Isis threatened to kill me through a mutual friend

By Subhi Nahas
Originally published by the Independent.

Growing up in my small city Idlib, Syria, I always knew I was different. I didn’t know what the difference was or what it was called, but I knew I had a secret to guard. That was a decade ago. Even in my worst nightmare, I didn’t dream that one day my beautiful country would implode. And I couldn’t possibly imagine that one day I would address the UN Security Council on behalf of all refugees including LGBT people like me.

Once my family and community in Idlib found out that I was gay, they confirmed my worst fears. I was “abnormal” and “sick.” Most of them believed – and probably still do – that gay people like me should be hospitalized, imprisoned and even killed. I felt desperately alone.
The internet saved me. I was hungry for information about who I was, and I learned there were others like me who were able to live happily – with careers, travel, and even love. Many were free to tell the truth about who they are.

When I was 15, before I came to terms with my identity, my parents suspected something was “wrong” with me and sent me to a therapist. Breaching rules of confidentiality, he told them I was gay.

From that time, I became a prisoner in my home and my town. My father watched my every move. Authorities of the Syrian government and Jabhat al Nusra, a branch of al-Qaeda, raided cafes and parks where LGBT people secretly gathered. Militants promised the townspeople to cleanse our town of gender nonconforming people. Many people were arrested and tortured. Some were never seen again.

Then I became a target of the militants. In 2012, I was on a bus heading to university. We were stopped. The young people, including me, were taken to a remote house where we were all physically assaulted and harassed. The militants took special notice of me. They called me “sissy,” “faggot,” and other insulting Arabic epithets. I was sure I’d be raped or killed. I was terrified. In the Idlib of 2012, there was no law — only people with guns. Miraculously, they let me go.

The terror followed me home, where my father and I had our last fight. The scar on my chin is a constant reminder of his violent reaction to my being different.

My only hope was to flee. I escaped first to Lebanon and then to Turkey, where I lived for three years and began to advocate for other LGBT people and refugees like myself. I co-founded a group, LGBT Arabi, to bring LGBT refugees and non-refugees together. I wrote a blog about LGBT rights.

Read More>>> www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/i-was-sure-id-be-raped-or-killed-i-was-terrified-my-life-as-a-gay-syrian-refugee-who-had-to-flee-isis-10484304.html

Make the jump here to sign the petition

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día - Flower of the Day 29/09/2015

“Todas as separações que existem em relação ao mundo exterior são por conta das separações que existem dentro de nós mesmos. Tem sido muito difícil criar união fora simplesmente porque tem sido difícil criar união dentro.”

“Todas las separaciones que existen en relación al mundo exterior son por culpa de las separaciones que existen dentro de nosotros mismos. Ha sido muy difícil crear unión afuera, simplemente porque ha sido difícil crear unión dentro.”

“All the separateness we see in the outside world comes from the separateness that exists inside of us. Creating union externally has been so incredibly difficult simply because we have not yet been able to create union within ourselves.”

Today's Daily Dharma: The Path, Simply Put

The Path, Simply Put
Buddhist teachings can be divided into three parts: sila, samadhi, and prajna: ethical conduct, concentration, and wisdom. Or to put it into the vernacular: clean up your act, concentrate your mind, and use your concentrated mind to investigate reality.
—Leigh Brasington, "Focus Comes First"
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