When you have to come out to every person you meet, you tend to get more comfortable with it. Actress/writer Laura Zak (of Hashtag and Her Story) stars in this funny and oh-so-real video about coming out for the first time, and how different it can be from coming out for the 101st time.
Tag Archives: LGBT communities
This Is My Coming Out Story
For National Coming Out Day, Bustle staffers and friends told us their coming out stories.
LGBT Elder Americans Act Reintroduced by Senior U.S. senator
The senior U.S. senator from Colorado reintroduced on Tuesday legislation intended to aid LGBT elder Americans, which continue to face difficulty in accessing resources afforded generally to the older population.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) introduced the omnibus bill, which is known as LGBT Elder Americans Act and aims to make additional resources available to elder LGBT Americans. The bill, which would build upon the Older Americans Act, would designate LGBT seniors as a vulnerable population and permanently establish a National Resource Center on LGBT Ageing. Bennet said in a statement the legislation is important because as the number of Americans age 65 and older surges over the next few decades, the number of LGBT older adults is expected to double to 3 million by 2030.
As baby boomers continue to age, it’s important that we understand the unique needs of this diverse generation. For LGBT seniors, questions about health care and financial issues can be particularly difficult without a trustworthy advocate to help guide them through these challenging decisions. And now, with full marriage equality thankfully the law of the land, many older LGBT couples have additional planning decisions to make.
This bill will help ageing service organisations assist older LGBT adults and their caregivers. Above all, it will provide LGBT seniors and their families the peace of mind that their best interests are being considered.”
Joining Bennet as original co-sponsors of the legislation are Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only out lesbian in the U.S. Senate, and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who’s known as a champion of LGBT rights.
According to a fact sheet accompanying the bill, many Area Agencies on Aging, or local organisations that seek to foster independence in aging, offer LGBT cultural competence training to their staff, but very few offer LGBT-specific programs or outreach.
Less than half say they would be able to offer or fund LGBT-specific services, the fact sheet says. The legislation was first introduced in 2012 during the 112th Congress. In the previous Congress, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) introduced LGBT-inclusive legislation inclusive to the reauthorisation the Older Americans Act through fiscal year 2018, but neither her version, nor the Republican version of the legislation, saw any traction.
According to a fact sheet, The LGBT Elder Americans Act would make numerous accommodations for LGBT older Americans.
Michael Adams, executive director of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders, or SAGE, praised the introduction of the bill, but anticipated difficulty in passage going forward.
On the heels of yesterday’s LGBT-inclusive White House Conference on Aging, it’s now time for Congress to act to address the many ways that federal aging services and programs are not effectively addressing the needs of LGBT older people .
That’s why SAGE is so grateful to Sen. Bennet for his leadership in re-introducing the LGBT Elder Americans Act. While it’s no secret that it’s difficult to move legislation through Congress in this polarised environment, the proposed act should be common sense for anybody interested in fairness for LGBT people.”
The White House Looks to Protect Elder LGBT Americans with New Anti-Discrimination Housing Policy
The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday issued new guidance on rules to ensure that gay people are protected from discrimination in federally subsidised housing, particularly in programs designed for older Americans.
The White House hosted a conference this week, something that is done only once every decade. The previous conference had over 1200 delegates in attendance, with one single delegate representing the entire LGBT community.
This year, they chose to downsize the event, and invite around 200 delegates to discuss the problems of elderly Americans.
Four of those invitees represented older LGBT people, including Michael Adams, executive director of Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE).
HUD used the conference to announce new anti-discrimination protections for elderly LGBT Americans.
The Washington Post reports that the new HUD policy expands the department’s Equal Access Rule, designed to protect people who live in federal housing or use federal rent vouchers.
The Equal Access Rule said a person could not be evicted or refused accommodation because of sexual orientation. The new policy clarifies that no owner or administrator of HUD-subsidized housing or FHA-assisted financing may even inquire about the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant. Violators would be subjected to HUD sanctions, and there is no religious freedom exemption.
SAGE’s Michael Adams praised the new policy:
HUD’s announcement is a strong step toward ending discrimination against LGBT people in federally supported senior housing.
With a recent report showing that housing discrimination against LGBT elders is rampant, this is just the kind of leadership we need from the federal government. Now we need to make sure that these anti discrimination protections are effectively implemented.”
The new policy goes into effect immediately.
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard is Re-Branding to be More Inclusive
The London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard is re-branding – to adopt a name that is more inclusive of all LGBT people.
The organisation is one of the oldest gay charities in the UK and provides confidential phone, e-mail and instant messaging services to support people who want to talk about sexuality and gender identity.
The charity has announced that it will drop most of its historic name, to emphasise that it also caters for transgender, bisexual, and other-identifying people, as well as callers outside London.
The change will be officially confirmed today at a special Gala at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London, with the charity re-branded as “Switchboard, the LGBT+ helpline”.
Dave Maher, Switchboard’s Co-Chair, said:
So much is changing for our LGBT+ communities and so is our name to make it clear that we’re here for everyone, wherever they live, and in whichever way they choose to define their sexuality or gender identity.
Even in our increasingly interconnected age, it’s not always easy to find the support we need at crucial times in our lives and Switchboard’s volunteers will continue to be here with calm words when those are needed most.”
Celebrities including Olympic diver Tom Daley, Radio 1 presenter Scott Mills and pop star Carly Rae Jepsen have posted a #SwitchboardSelfie to raise awareness of the charity.
Nuala O’Sullivan, Switchboard’s Co-Chair says:
This is an incredibly exciting time for Switchboard. We have so much to celebrate and a new chapter to look forward to.
Our new name will help us to spread the message that we continue to provide a safe and confidential space where people’s concerns can be listened to and talked through.”
A Polyamorous Marriage – Legal in Brazil
One thing our modern society requires is for us to be is straight, cisgender and monogamous.
However, we are slowly making progress regarding LGB people, and even regarding T people. A big part of LGBT communities has always been polyamory.
What is polyamory? Well it is a Greek word, which means the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. It is distinct from swinging (which emphasizes sex with others as merely recreational) and may or may not include polysexuality (attraction towards multiple genders and/or sexes).
It is our natural tendency to think that we need to be monogamous, because that is what you are taught to think, and what society requires from us for marriage.
However, in Brazil it is not illegal to be married to more than one person, therefore a judge can grant a polyamorous couple their right to marry.
In Tupã, which is in the state of São Paulo, a triad was married, which is a huge step for polyamory. The triads were living together in Rio de Janeiro for 3 years and they admitted to have been sharing their finances throughout this time period. The group consisted of two females and a male. It was made possible to unite the females due to the legalization of gay marriage back in 2004.
“We are only recognizing what has always existed. We are not inventing anything”, said one of the women in the married triad. Her words are indeed true; polyamory has always been around, it’s just society that tries to tell us otherwise.
In Brazil because it is not illegal, a judge may easily, if they wish so, accept such unions. So in Brazil, in theory, you can also have a lesbian or a gay triad. All variations are possible as long as you find the right judge. Still keep in mind, though the law might be accepting, people may not ne. Many religious groups have since stepped forward, and people against gay marriage have said that this is the downside of civil marriage and gay marriage. In reality, we are just breaking the restrictions people have put upon us due to hatred.