Archive for the ‘Media’ Category
Please read this great article from Matthew Carnahan, the creator, executive producer, and writer of “House of Lies” about creating the young character of Roscoe who is “based loosely on several children I’ve met over the years whose gender identities have come differently from those of the majority of their peers.”
It’s an interesting read about how best to think about children who might identify as transgender (as themselves). It also speaks to the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation. In its most simple form, gender identity is the gender that you identity as, and sexual orientation is the gender of who you are attracted to.
Check it out here.
Do you have questions about what it means to be transgendered? Please call or start a chat.
The next Presidential election is now one year away, but already things seem to be in full swing. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered issues (including “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the Defense of Marriage Act, marriage equality in general, etc.) remain hot-button topics for political campaigns, and that can be emotionally troubling for members of the queer community.
Many GLBT people intellectually recognize the importance of having discussions about inequality and acceptance on a national scale. But intellectually knowing this doesn’t stop them from experiencing hurt, anger, and sadness when politicians openly discuss their equality rights and whether or not their sexual orientations or gender identifications are choices.
In one study, University of Kentucky psychologist Sharon Scales Rostosky, PhD, surveyed more than 1,500 lesbian, gay and bisexual adults across the nation and found that respondents from the 25 states that have outlawed same-sex marriage had the highest reports of “minority stress”—the chronic social stress that results from minority-group stigmatization—as well as general psychological distress. The negative campaigning that comes with a ban is directly responsible for the increased stress, says Rostosky. Past research has shown that minority stress is linked to health risks such as risky sexual behavior and substance abuse.
See the American Psychological Association site for the full article.
If political events are making you feel anxious, or if you just need to talk about what you’re feeling, please call us, start a chat, or send us an email.
Android recently released an app called, “Is my son gay?” It features twenty questions for a mother to answer about her son, focusing on the son’s reading habits, musical tastes, clothing choices, etc.
This app is absurd. Its intention might be humor, but even that falls flat. The only thing that determines whether anyone is gay is whether or not that person is primarily physically and/or romantically attracted to people of the same gender. Masculinity or femininty have nothing to do with it, nor does one’s interest in Lady Gaga’s music (which is appreciated by ALL sexual orientations).
We do understand that some parents feel that they need answers about their children’s sexual orientation, but these are answers only your children can provide, and they need to do that on their own timelines. The discovery of one’s sexual orientation is not based on one encounter, but has to be considered over time with the evaluation of feelings for people of the opposite gender versus people of the same gender.
So sadly, when it comes to tacky technology, there’s an app for that!
By now most of America has heard that Chaz Bono, the son of Cher and the late Sonny Bono, is on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” This has been deemed a controversial move for the show as Chaz has transitioned so that the outside of his body reflects the gender that he knew he was on the inside. Click here for a definition of transgender or transsexual.
Sadly, and somewhat incredibly, there has been quite a bit of backlash about this casting choice. Some Americans have expressed disapproval of Chaz, simply because he is transgendered. Here at the Help Center, transgendered callers tell us that they hear many of the same criticisms in their day-to-day lives that Chaz is experiencing on a national scale. And although we are barely into the season, Chaz is handling the pressure with strength and dignity.
We at the Help Center applaud Chaz’s willingness to be public, and know that he is helping other trans youth and adults learn that they too can live their lives in a way that is healthy and honest for them. And oh yeah, we also admire his dance moves. Chaz is certainly his mother’s son!
If you are transgendered and want to discuss other’s reactions to your gender identity, call us, email us, or chat with us.
On August 4, the American Psychological Association unanimously approved a resolution in support of full marriage equality. It confirms what we at the hotline already know: “emerging evidence suggests that statewide campaigns to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage are a significant source of stress to the lesbian, gay and bisexual residents of those states and may have negative effects on their psychological well-being.”
While a majority of our callers are primarily concerned with coming to terms with their own sexual orientation and/or gender identity, they have been greatly affected by media attention and public discourse on marriage equality discussions.
We at the GLBT National Help Center firmly believe that marriage equality is a must for the GLBT community as a whole, and understand that this topic often sows the seeds of misinformation and misleading statements. And even though homophobic arguments may be completely untrue, they can still hurt, and our callers feel it every time a public figure says that it is not natural to be gay or that same-sex marriage is the equivalent of bestiality.
GLBT individuals who desire to marry are just as worthy of friendship, love, families, and lasting relationships as those who are not queer-identified. Our thanks to the APA for this recognition.
MTV recently aired an episode of the documentary series “True Life” called “I’m Trying to be Straight.” The episode follows two people, Kevin and Melanie, as they attempt to ignore their homosexual orientations and live as heterosexual people. The premise of the episode, as indicated by the title, is that Melanie and Kevin attempt to live a “straight lifestyle” with different degrees of success. Melanie dates a few men but ultimately realizes that she wants to follow her natural inclination despite her mother’s resistance; Kevin turns to religion and religious friends to help him disregard his attractions to men.
The episode is rife with themes that we often encounter from callers at the hotline. Both Kevin and Melanie deal with strong oppositions from their families (Melanie’s mom stabbed her!) when they were living the “gay lifestyle.” Both are scared to tell others of their sexual orientations for fear of rejection. Each struggles with the balance of being true to him/herself versus what he/she perceives is acceptable to others.
What is striking is that neither Melanie nor Kevin denies where her/his attractions lie. Something we often tell callers is that a bisexual or homosexual orientation is just as natural as being heterosexual, and the stories of these two further confirms that orientation is not something anyone chooses.
Heartbreakingly, Kevin describe the “gay lifestyle” as filled with drugs and cheating and bad relationships. Kevin sees no lasting happiness for himself if he lives as a gay man because of his experiences. It is a common misconception for many of our callers that gay men and women cannot have long-term relationships or families or other life facets they identify as only being available to those who are straight. It is often revelatory to the callers that gay people can find lasting love and happiness with someone of the same sex.