sexual identity

All posts tagged sexual identity

LGBT suicidality

Published May 10, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Suicide and Suicide Risk in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Popula tions: Review and Recommendations Article (HTML) “Journal of Homosexuality” Jan 2011

When I first saw this article, I thought something new that somebody has realised that the LGBT communities face a higher risk from suicide. The acknowledgement by this panel of academics of how social factors like stigma and discrimination contribute to suicidality or suicidal behaviours of people who identify seems refreshing. In so much as it validates our experiences that these factors detract from our individual and community wellness.

Such as

  • Rejection or abuse by family members or peers
  • Bullying and harassment
  • denunciation from religious communities
  • individual discrimination
  • Discriminatory laws and public policies have a profound negative impact

Their Recommendations include

  • LGBT organizations to lead efforts to encourage early identification of mental health issues
  • Push for the development and testing of a wider range of culturally appropriate mental health treatments and suicide prevention initiatives.
  • Revision of diagnoses pertaining to transgender people in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (due out in 2013) to affirm that gender identity, expression and behavior that differ from birth sex is not indicative of a mental disorder.
  • Improving information about LGBT people by measuring  sexual orientation and gender identity in all national health surveys in which respondents’ privacy can be adequately protected, and encouraging researchers to include such measures in general population studies related to suicide and mental health.

Criticism

Social factors trigger LGBT suicidality these recommendations do not seek to address the issue but at some level manage the symptom.  The symptom being suicidality the issue here is stigma and discrimination experienced by people who identify as LGBT and their communities. It is not a pathological process but a social issue requiring a political intervention not a clinical one. While the later may assist the individual in developing personal resilience, it is a bandaid measurer. A political side step, which focuses on the victim rather than critically responding to the underlying issue

When questioning sex?

Published August 21, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Comment: Speculation over athlete’s sex has brought trans issues into the open – from Pink News – all the latest gay news from the gay community – Pink News

Summary of article

South African sprinter Caster Semenya’s the world is now waiting to see if she is truly a woman, the article give commentary on the controversy about this athletes sex i.e. male female or something in between.  The commentator argues that this story puts gender and Trans issues in the spotlight in particular the

“Mass media reporting on gender identity issues is sensationalist, prurient and tinged with faint disgust. Tabloid treatment of those who seek to change gender often portrays them as freaks and, especially in the case of male-to-female transitions, deviants.” It cites how a number of newspapers have run lengthy articles discussing how sex is medically classified and explaining the spectrum of disorders of sexual development, from intersexuality and Klinefelter’s Syndrome to congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

It makes the following key points

  • Many people, including some in the medical profession, view issues such as gender dysphoria as mental illnesses.
  • What sex, in the biological sense, actually is? Is it an outward physical construct, a question of chromosomes, a mental state?
  • Some female athletes over the years have been found to be chromosomally male, despite identifying and being classed in all other respects as female.
  • Some gender theorists believe the concept of gender should be abolished but in sectors such as sport, it is difficult to see how this can be done.

What I believe

When speaking on either sex or gender we are talking about complex and interacting biological and social factors that constitute our identity.

Increasingly it seems that when defining either sex or gender, it is heavily shaped by our perceptions or how we understand something to be.

While sex has biological roots, a simplistic heteronormative dyadic worldview heavily defines it, either as male or female and sees any other as deviant requiring medical or scientific intervention.

Gender is a social construct, which changes over time and from location to location i.e. how a man or woman understood himself, or herself in 1940’s Australia is completely different to now. Alternately, how a man or woman understands himself or herself in Nukuʻalofa when compared to a citizen of Paris.

A rule of thumb often applied is that the individual defines their gender and out of respect, we validate their view.

The view that gender categories have little real value other than to maintain social inequity really needs further consideration, because of their centrality in allowing some to define themselves in the Qmunity.

Are these categories a necessary evil?

Coming out

Published August 20, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Coming out
August 10, 4:01AM Atlanta Lesbian Relationship Examiner Leslie Davis

I agree with Leslie and many others who view coming out as a process, although, I would like to make the following points.

I believe that

Coming out is not mandatory, it is your choice

Each of us makes decisions in life, some good, and some poorly timed.

The guiding question here is “what is best for me at this time?”

The only recommendation is to come out to you first, always be honest with yourself.

Gay, Lesbian or bisexual are labels referring to a person’s sexual identity

Some people use these labels however, it is your right to accept, reject or adapt these in labelling yourself.

At no time does anybody else have the right to label you or out you.

Only ever, use labels that you feel comfortable with and that fit.

Sometimes it maybe better not to use any labels, which is also ok.

Never get same-sex attraction mixed up with being Gay, Lesbian or bisexual

Same-sex attraction refers to have feelings of sexual attraction towards another member of the same gender identity.

Teenagers often get themselves egg bound over this one people find others attractive for many different reasons.

It does not mean you are gay people have many different kinds of relationships, which fulfil personal needs.

However, the guiding principles here

Be respectful of yourself

Be honest with your partner.

Practice safe sex

Act safe

Positive support from family and friends is always important

Otherwise reach out for help you’re not alone

Sexuality

Published June 15, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Opposing Views: OPINION: The Truth About Homosexual Parenting

Homer Simpson once said facts mean nothing they can be used to prove anything this is one of those attempts. It is a sad commentary on mankind that at the beginning of the 21st century we still find the ignorant advocating hate. This article speaks to that hate in reflecting how the ignorant seek to use misinformation through generalisations fuzz maths and testimony of experts.  It tries to develop some argument about a conspiracy to usurp the “natural” order of heterosexism. The tact used being to prove homosexuality is not biologically determined in using selective texts to support the author’s opinion. This argument loses traction when citing the APA, the quote simply says several factors and their interaction may or may not influence the development of an individual’s sexuality including heterosexuality.  This point slipped by the author that heterosexuality may or may not be determined by biological factors. The point highlights that sexuality has no biological hierarchy or more or less legitimacy than any other. I believe like most things in nature sexuality occurs along a spectrum and reductionism has no place other than to fuel the vitriol of the ignorant

‘Being homosexual is just having the preference to be with the same sex but to be gay is to be involved in it politically’ / Queerty

Published June 15, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

‘Being homosexual is just having the preference to be with the same sex but to be gay is to be involved in it politically’ / Queerty

I couldn’t have defined it any better,

Homosexuality is about the person’s sexual preferences being only 1 dimension of who they are
Gay is about the person’s holistic or whole identity with an inclination to be politically active

I am Gay