Sunday, 31 March 2013

Cut aid to homophobe African regimes

Gambia's president Yahya Jammeh, has popped up again. Previously he made a bit of news when he claimed to be able to cure AIDS with some herbal thing, and he's been known previously also for his remarkably hostile statements about gays (saying he would behead a gay if he found them in Gambia). Now he's come out with this raving lunatic stuff:
He ranted: ‘Homosexuality is anti-humanity. I have never seen homosexual chicken, or turkey…

‘If you are convicted of homosexuality in this country, there will be no mercy for offenders. We will put you in the female wing of the prison.

‘We want the population to grow. There will be children in this country.

‘Homosexuality is anti-god, anti-human, and anti-civilization.

‘Homosexuals are not welcome in the Gambia.

‘If we catch you, you will regret why you are born [SIC].

‘I have buffalos from South Africa and Brazil and they never date each other’.

Jammeh also stated he was undeterred by threats of the UK and US government to cut aid to countries which persecutes LGBT people, saying, defiantly: ‘We are ready to eat grass but we will not compromise on this.

‘Allowing homosexuality means allowing satanic rights. We will not allow gays here’. more
Well, being as the country is Muslim, I suppose they have to jump in and join the Christian crazies. 

It's another example though of how they say their particular religion is a peaceful one (as the Christian crazies do of theirs) and then use that religion to come out with some of the most vile hate speech imaginable. I mean FFS, there's quite a list there. According to him I am "anti-humanity", deserving of "no mercy", don't have offspring, am "anti-god and anti-civilisation", into "satanic rights", and "not welcome in Gambia". Well I'd have to agree with that last one.

I think they should  start cutting aid to countries like Gambia that come out with BS like this. Maybe he's a bit thick, but if he's going to have a hissy fit about LGBT people then he surely should realise that LGBT people work and pay tax, and therefore contribute to the very aid he gets. How would anyone feel having their hard earned taxpayers money going to a regime like his, and get nothing back off him but hate, even a death threat?

BTW here he is crapping on about his so called herbal cure for AIDS:



Yeah right...... What's next? Aroma-therapy? 

"Will and Grace" - blamed for gay marriage

Rick Santorum, who became a Republican horror story in the last US Presidential election with his comments and stance on gays, has blamed the TV show Will and Grace for the rise of gay marriage as an issue :s



I guess they won't be playing Will and Grace re-runs in Russia then.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Our picture taken

Not so long ago somebody asked to take our photo in the pub when they saw us kissing. I can't remember exactly who it was, but they dropped the picture off at the bar about a week ago. Unknown to us, it had been put up on some window there. Last night one of the barmen walked over and gave it to us. We were both stunned at this picture out of the blue. We love it.

 

Friday, 29 March 2013

Faces of HIV today

With all the huge advances in HIV treatment in the last 15 years or so, HIV+ people are no longer the frail and sick people that they used to be. Unfortunately many people don't seem to realise this. 

When I told my sister I was HIV positive, I was surprised at her lack of understanding on the subject. I had to explain to her that the images in her head of sick and dying people are no longer prevalent. Well not in Australia. It came as somewhat of a shock to her that Africans still died from the disease simply because they didn't have the money for HIV medication. And she's an intelligent woman, a teacher.

I loved this little video about HIV today. 

 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

$250k a year and still "struggling"

First, there was this excellent little GetUp video. It shows how the superannuation laws in this country are massively skewed towards the rich.


 
Well that's pretty fucked up! No-brainer there. You can sign the GetUp petition about it here if you so desire.

Not that I'm working anymore. But again, a case of massive amounts of money going to the rich whilst I'm getting a pittance (my pension doesn't go up to the full rate until June forcing me to live off my redundancy payout). 

So imagine my surprise when I read this:
''In Sydney's west you can be on a quarter of a million dollars family income a year and you're still struggling,'' Mr Fitzgibbon said. Read more
Oh FFS. I don't pretend to know the intricacies of family budgets in Sydney's western suburbs, but if they're earning $250k a year and still struggling then there's something seriously wrong with their budgeting capabilities. With all that money why don't they go to a financial counsellor and get their shit sorted out?

Is it my fault that they've gotten in way over their head, building a McMansion that takes up the whole block of land, has a mortgage in the stratosphere, and costs $1,000 a quarter just to keep the place air conditioned? Or that they're driving around in some new car that they can't afford? Or they have a TV the size of a wall that sucks even more electricity? Why should the rest of us pay for their incompetence and extravagance? 

Struggling on $250k? Fuck they must be throwing it away.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Rainbow's end?

Despite massive support for the new rainbow crossing at Taylor Square, the roads minister in the state gov, Duncan Gay, is adamant the crossing will be removed at the end of this month. At a cost of $30,000 of public money. Why? From what I can gather it's a case of politicians arguing about nothing really. Meanwhile everyone else in the community is scratching their heads at the inability to see logic. 

Why spend $30,000 to get rid of it? Why not just leave it there and extend the trial period? Originally I though the trial period was a year, but no it's only a month. It's already a huge attraction, with people there all the time taking pictures. The State roads minister has bloody rocks in his head. Even that State Labor opposition has now called for the thing to be kept, along with the Greens.
The Greens have also maintained pressure to have the crossing made permanent with Greens MP Cate Faerhmann urging Gay to reconsider his decision in Parliament last week. 

However, during Question Time, Gay stood firm in his decision against making the crossing permanent at least until an assessment is completed at the end of a 30-day trial. 

Meanwhile, the Lord Mayor Clover Moore has also written to Gay requesting the trial be extended for at least another 12 months. more
So, according to Duncan Gay's logic, he wants to spend $30,000 to remove it and then look at an assessment about it during the trial period. The assessment will undoubtedly come up positive, and so then to put the crossing back will cost another $60,000 or so. Why not just leave it there while the assessment is completed?

I thought I better take another picture then in case it does end up going. It looks even better now that they've put the other flags back after Mardi Gras too.


"Traditional marriage" not under threat by gays

It's all happening over in the US, with a supreme court ruling on same sex marriage underway. Haven't been following it much, isn't going to change anything here which ever way it goes. But there's some pretty interesting and funny stuff around as people march for equality or the reverse.

This little video, people supporting marriage inequality were asked how gay marriage affected their traditional marriage. As that's one of the main arguments agains gay marriage, that it threatens traditional marriage, you'd think that in a US state where it'd been legal for 10 years would have a plethora of complaints by straights as "traditional marriage" in that state crumbled. Well, it would do if the conservatives were right in saying that gay marriage threatened straight marriage. The last comment is absolutely priceless.


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Ellen's mum addresses PFLAG

Ellen's mum addressed a PFLAG meeting in Sydney on the weekend. There's lot's of photos here.



And a story about it here.
Betty is here, too, and addressed a PFLAG meeting at Westmead last Saturday. PFLAG is a worldwide support group for families struggling to accept gay children. 

Betty says it was hard enough for Ellen to come out once, at age 20, to her family – let alone a second time, in her 30s, to 36 million people. That time it almost cost her everything. Read more

Australian Gay Rights

This was put out by Australian Marriage Equality. It's very good I thought. Hard to believe after all that the federal gov still opposes same sex marriage.



Determined ignorance - Bryan's cancer story

I was struck by the discussion afterwards with my post on Bryan's cancer story. This in regards to the withered and dying Bryan who now is on the packets of many smokes here in Australia. I had no idea it was going to get so many views when I wrote it, hence the original post was just a short little thing pointing out the actual facts. The story of Bryan dying of AIDS (among other things) was false and that in reality he died of lung cancer. At the time I thought it was a no-brainer, and only went as far as to include a linked quote and a short video showing what happened, then went on with my life.

To my surprise it started getting all these views, and then people started commenting on it, all anonymous which is fine. The first post was pretty mystifying to me, claiming to be a registered nurse of 30 years and without any evidence at all apart from their own opinion, declared that it was "AIDS related illness", implied Bryan was a "70's porn star", and that he should have told his loved ones it was AIDS (being a registered nurse of 30 years I'd expect them to know that doctors tell loved ones of what's going on. Indeed many families have found that their loved one has AIDS simply because they end up deathly sick in hospital). They also said "Please don't blame the whole thing on smoking".

Then there was another person (anonymous again) who "personally believed he died of AIDS", of which I challenged him on this, asking for proof (which there is none). Their reply was like what? You "need proof that it was AIDS?" (well yes I do). They then went on to assert that there was no proof that it was cancer (WTF?) and that "the government has lied to us, made up stories, etc. in order from us to comply out of fear to their regulations." (Oh man you could write a book about this shit). They went on declaring "There is nothing backing up the story that it was from a smoking related illness whatsoever." (WTF?) They finish their comment with a dare to me "Prove me wrong, prove you're right. Go on, do it. Or do you not have proof either?". 

I understand that people can become a bit unhinged when faced with their own mortality, (as everyone does who acquires HIV) but the level of complete denial in this case was astonishing. Admittedly I'd not done any digging on the subject, just posted a couple of things that were already everywhere on the net anyway, and had left it at that. I had no idea the level of determined ignorance that was out there amongst Australia's smoking population however, and after such a display I determined myself to do a bit of digging to the source of where this all started in a newspaper in Florida. Which I found with little effort by simply copy and pasting from an Age article about it. The results came up straight away, at the top of the Google list. I was amazed at how little effort it took to find out the facts from 1999. See the two updates at the end of my post which I added yesterday. And there it was, Bryan died of "oat cell lung cancer that had spread to his liver". 

I doubt however any of that will change the anonymous persons mind about any of it. Likely they will continue to ignore the facts staring at them in the face and claim that there's no proof that he died of cancer, and that they believe he died of AIDS. It's almost religious in nature; to deny basic facts put in front of you that go against what you believe. Sadly, this may well be going on across Australia right now among many smokers who want to deny the basic facts of smoking. Even more sadly, AIDS has been blamed.

I've thought about this a lot since yesterday. Why do I find it so offensive to have Bryan declared an AIDS death all over Australia? I suspect many HIV+ people would come to a similar conclusion as me when asking themselves this question. 

Haven't HIV+ people seen enough images from the past of deathly people dying of AIDS? A big thing when testing HIV+ today is coming to the present reality that HIV isn't a death sentence anymore. With medication our life expectancy is the same as someone with Diabetes. Yes there's many other issues involved that you have to live with, but these days we survive. Yet we have this very distributed picture of Bryan who died of an aggressive lung cancer being declared AIDS by even a fuckin registered nurse FFS! Apart from it being a lie, it reinforces the old stereotype that if you get HIV you die like this. It's just not true anymore.


And why the lie? Because the smokers involved are too fuckin gutless to admit that they're killing themselves with smoking. They would rather crap on about AIDS from the late 1990's (which has little to do with AIDS in Australia in 2013) and use that as a scapegoat, instead of being honest with themselves about what they're doing (or indeed have done) to their own bodies. Rather increase the ignorance and the very real stigma that exists even today with HIV+ people. 

To all those people, thanks for nothing. You're making the life of all HIV+ people in Australia that little bit harder by your fuckin lies. Fuckin grow up and get real. 

Don't make me the scapegoat for you poor health decisions. 


Monday, 25 March 2013

Paris - march against gay marriage

There were hundreds of thousands march against gay marriage in Paris. I watched the video, and I would have to say I'm a bit stunned. All these people, marching against something as innocuous as two gay people who love each other wanting marriage equality with the rest of the population? They try to bash down police barricades and all, unbelievable.

 

Usually I'm very sympathetic to people getting tear-gassed by police. This time however I have mixed emotions about it. Trying to break down a police barricade isn't the sort of thing you do if you don't want to be tear-gassed FFS. There will inevitably be stray tear-gas that gets people who didn't ask for it in such a scenario. The bit at the end when the protesters were bashing on police barricades, WTF did they think was going to happen? Why are they so bloody angry? Aren't there better things to protest about than that?

Anyway the marriage bill looks like it's going to pass the French senate. My words to all those protesters, how does it feel to be in a minority?
 Riot police fought back crowds who pushed their way on to the Champs Elysées in Paris as part of a protest against a draft law allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.

Hundreds of thousands of people – conservative activists, children, retirees, priests, many bussed in from the French provinces – converged on the capital on Sunday in a last-ditch attempt to stop the bill.

The lower house of France's parliament approved the "marriage for everyone" bill last month with a large majority, and it now faces a vote in the senate next month. Both houses are dominated by President François Hollande's Socialist party and its allies. more
"Bussed in"? So how many were from rent a crowd then?

"Gay is the word"

An interesting little thing about the word "gay". It starts by a guy trying to come out to his mates, who think gay means lame.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

4 years since the mental collapse

Noticed a comment on one of my posts from way back in 2010. I very rarely read any previous posts on here so if they get commented on it can take me a while to notice the comment (sorry about that darlings). The post was saying it was one year since my mental collapse. Well, now it's four years in a couple of weeks.

What got me was how I described my condition back then. Cried a little bit reading it. Guess that might be a reason why I don't go back and look. It was interesting though, in some sort of way. Can't believe I ever progressed from that mess. Here's some of it, you can read it all in the original post here.
I can't even describe what the emotional pain was like back then. After years of major traumatic life events it had all come to a head. And my head apparently broke! I entered a world far apart from others. Beyond even what some professionals could understand. Constantly reliving events from the past. Reliving the pain. To cry was the worst thing to happen as it didn't help, all it did was throw me into the pain and make me feel it again. There was no bottom to it. A crying episode would simply access this pain, and I may spend an hour as waves of it hit me, unable to stop it. Pain beyond tears, that came from deep within. Almost like some kind of primordial scream inside. Pain beyond words. Pain very few in this life have ever experienced. This was the pain that I experienced that day. 
All I wanted was for the pain to stop. To be free of it. There seemed no escape. Trapped in a terrible nightmare. It was beyond me to live with such a level of pain as this. I happily thought of suicide as the only escape. There seemed no other options. I am here today only because I got help by people who actually understood where I was at, and was given alternatives to suicide that helped me to separate myself from that pain. I don't think anyone really wants to kill themselves if they have a choice like that, but without those alternatives the pain leaves you with no choice. It is impossible for someone to live hurting like that for any great length of time.
Well, 4 years later and I'm still here. No wonder my doctor says I have nine lives.

Am never going to completely recover from all of that. It's part of who I am now. 

Sleepless night for us

I have a cold. Which is no great drama. Just that when my nose gets stuffed up a bit I snore. So I said to David yesterday, that as he's working 5 days this week it might be an idea if I slept at home so as not to wake him up. But he was adamant that he'd be fine, and later on in the afternoon I decided to capitulate and stayed the night.

He had to get up at a bit after 5am this morning. Guess what happened all night? Yep, I snored, he spent half the night poking me to stop, and got little sleep himself. In the end he didn't go to work as he was too tired. I felt really bad about it, but he pointed out the idiots yelling out in the street through the night (Sat night in the inner city) who seem incapable of understanding that at 2am people are sleeping. It's been pretty warm the last few days too and his upstairs room was so hot, couldn't even hold each other much it was too uncomfortable from sweating. Plus with all the rain lately the mosquitoes in Surry Hills have evidently had a population explosion and inevitably find their way into the bedroom, so we're spraying fly spray in the night after waking up after being bitten. All in all it wasn't the best night to sleep, particularly with me snoring.

Think David is starting to consider that with the fatigue related to HIV his job is more demanding physically. He was also surprised with my blood results, pointing out that my CD4 count is better than his. I simply said that it's something to think about with HIV; how it affects your work. Also said how stress can have such a big impact, like when my CD4 count dropped 100 points when I was going through all that bank BS. Plus he's working hard physically as a nurse, whereas I'm at least able to sleep enough.

Think I'll spend tonight home, poor dear needs his sleep.

Nine lives

I found this hilarious. Being as the last times suicide was crossing my mind I had decided that jumping was my preferred method. And being that my doctor reckons I'm like a cat with nine lives, this was very apt.


Saturday, 23 March 2013

Ellen Mania in Sydney

Gross stupidity - Australia Post

So I take the tracking email to the local post office yesterday and hand it to the lady behind the counter. She goes out the back and returns after some time with two parcels. WTF? 

"OMG" I thought, "One of them is the missing parcel! I found it!" But then the mystery deepened.

Written on both of them, by the Australia Post contractor, was "Doesn't live at this address". WTF? The lady is pointing to this like I've given the company the wrong address. Of course that wasn't true; there's the little matter that I've been living here for five years, and have received books from that exact company previously at the exact address written on the parcel.

So I asked where the hell this contractor bloke was taking the parcel. She said he wasn't there that day but would bring it up with him when he was. I explained where my house was (he'd told her it was a block of units, WTF?) and that it was only two doors up from a local service station. She was surprised at how simple it was to find. The street number is in big letters on the front of the house, and the number 1 (is a divided house) is on our front door. I mean FFS it couldn't be any bloody easier.

Incredibly, after about a week of some Australia Post investigation that'd turned up nothing, the book was just sitting out the back at my local post office. So much for their investigative capabilities. 

So now I have two books. Maybe I should ring the company on Monday and ask them if they want the other one back. And I have an imbecile at my local post office who will I assume continue to deliver anything I order in an eparcel to some mysterious unit block and claim I don't live there. Suppose I can get around that by the parcel needing me to sign for it, that way it'll end up in the too hard basket at the post office.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Ellen has landed in Sydney!

Lots of people at the airport to greet her and Portia. She's very much loved down here, particularly after the struggles she faced losing her show back in the '90's because she was gay.
The eagle has landed. 

After many delays Ellen DeGeneres has finally arrived at Sydney Airport and been greeted by a roaring crowd of cheers, wolf-whistles and the Qantas choir singing the Men at Work classic Down Under. 

DeGeneres, her wife Portia and mother Betty were clearly pleased with the warm reception. Ellen broke into an impromptu dance routine as screaming fans became overwrought with emotion - some burst into tears, while others simply sang along. One fan was so overwrought she fainted as Ellen arrived, and was almost trampled by the heaving media pack. Read more

Australia Post can't find my book they lost

I rang the company where I ordered this book last week.


Explained again what the story was; that Australia Post had "launched an investigation" into where it'd ended up, which would take "2-3 days". So the company rings the Australia Post distribution centre again as it'd been 3 days and nothing had been heard from them. They ring me back about 2 hours later saying that Australia Post was still in "negotiations" with the delivery driver, but that it was taking too long and they'd send me another book from their stock instead. Thought that was very nice of them.

I said they should get reimbursed by Australia Post as they were the one that lost the book. I assume the company will take that up with them.

So they've made this one so I pick it up at the local Post Office, which is fine with me. Have printed out the tracking email to take and show them there. I guess it was all too hard for them to actually deliver it to the right address. Ah yes, internet shopping in Australia..... pfffft.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

"A police service, not a police force"

69 representatives from the LGBT community have signed a statement calling for an end to police violence and harassment. 
“The purpose is to make a statement to the NSW government, the police force, and to community leaders about our objectives and the process to get there,” say the letter’s organisers.

“We believe that there’s a consensus in LGBTIQ communities and community organisations that the current policing model in NSW isn’t serving us. more


Also, the community forum this week (which I didn't go as I don't want to sit in the same room with the cops) appears to have gained some resonance with the police who claimed to have listened. Um, I'll believe that when I see it in action, but anyway the issues raised were as follows.
Security contractors – conduct at events, training

Drug detection dogs – abuse of strategy, lack of oversight, constituting community members as criminals, damage to community relations, lack of finds/false positives, independent observers?

Police Conduct – Intimidation, mistreatment, internal culture, targeting, assault allegation, harassment during parade, searches without reasonable grounds, strip searches, homophobia, need for oversight

Police training and education – diversity training, collaborative briefing (Mardi Gras, ACON, etc)

Police complaints – due process, volume, lack of follow up, sanctions for officers (suspension), need to lodge complaints

Negative perception to visitors

Community response – role of Mardi Gras

Scale of Police operations – roads (policing access/crossing), number of officers deployed, deployment criteria (outside LACs).

................................... 

Listening to dozens of accounts of inappropriate police behaviour during Mardi Gras season, last night the message from Surry Hills Local Area Commander Superintendent Tony Crandell’s message to attendees of the Police Community Forum was: “You’ve spoken. We’ve listened. More to come.” 

Of the around 200 concerned individuals who met in a Surry Hills hall last night to share their concerns, many of them took their opportunity to speak passionately about their personal experiences being harassed by officers during recent Mardi Gras events. 

The situation gained widespread public attention when video of 18-year-old Jamie Jackson hit YouTube, but the issues raised last night involved much more than just one teenager at the parade. Tensions over the use of sniffer dogs at the parties, over-policing of various Mardi Gras events and perceived homophobia from officers brought in from outside the local area has been brewing since long before this season’s events. 

Superintendent Crandell spoke to Same Same just after the meeting, and admitted “it was a very difficult environment. But I feel very positive that we have can work through these issues and get this right, particularly in relation to the Mardi Gras season 2014. 

“This level of disquiet has resonated greatly with me, and I have some work to do.” more
I guess, as was said at the meeting, "more to come"......

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

"Family Voice Australia" - denies gay bullying in schools

The NSW gov recently put together a trial in the states schools, called the Proud Schools program. This was it's goals (from the gov website):
The $250,000 Proud Schools program aims to build a culture of understanding and respect in NSW public schools through the professional development of school staff, student and parent workshops and the development of resources to assist schools build their capacity to support same-sex and gender questioning young people.

Recent national research highlights the impact of homophobic attitudes on young people, including the fact that about two in three same-sex and gender questioning young people reported they had been verbally abused, and that one in five had been physically abused.

The research, conducted by La Trobe University, also showed that the majority of those young people were abused at school and that once the abuse had taken place they no longer felt school was a safe place for them.
Young people who had been abused were also found to be three time more likely to think about harming themselves.more
Well there doesn't look anything wrong with that surely. 

Unless of course you're a hyperventilating Christian group going by the rather misleading name of "Family Voice Australia". Then it's time to protest! In this case they sent an open letter to the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell. You can read the whole thing here (pdf). If you want a good laugh, or to see an example of extreme paranoia. But here are just a few tasty little morsels from it:
Homophobia is a term of abuse used to intimidate into silence anyone who believes homosexual conduct is unnatural, unhealthy or immoral.

Transphobia is another term that should not be used, for the same reason. 

Heterosexism is another term of abuse, used to condemn anyone who holds the view that men and women are complementary and that sexual relations between men and women are the norm. 

Students who are “smoking-attracted” should not be encouraged in an unhealthy habit. Neither should same-sex attracted students be encouraged to embrace a lifestyle associated with serious health risks. 
We don’t want NSW school students to be exposed to a program aimed at normalising homosexuality. Please cancel the Proud Schools program immediately. more
Fuck, I feel like they've politicised my whole sexuality. Once again, Christians don't care about LGBT young people. They even go so far in the letter to state that gay bullying isn't much of an issue in public schools. Well where did the gov get it's very reliable info on it then that completely disagrees with that?

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths these religious groups will go to to try and stop people discovering who they are. 

4 years with HIV

Just realised yesterday, this month is four years since I was diagnosed with HIV.

Although I had the very unusual reaction at the time of like "Meh, whatever....." (it was just another facet of the train wreck) I do still remember the doctor giving me the news. 

He says: "I've got some good news and bad news".

Me: "I'll have the good news first".

Him: "You don't have HepC anymore. You've cleared it on your own. Only about 20% of people can do that".

Me: "Well what a fuckin legend I am then. So the bad news?"

Him (after taking deep breath) "Well I'm sorry to say the results are positive"......

Mugabe greets Pope at inauguration

Never mind that Mugabe has a European travel ban on him for human rights abuses. He went to the Popes inauguration anyway. So much for the travel ban....
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe attended the inauguration of Pope Francis I at the Vatican on Tuesday, despite a European Union travel ban.

Mugabe, a practising Catholic, joined other heads of state and representatives from 132 countries in the crammed St Peter's Square to see the installation of the new head of the Roman Catholic Church.

With the President was the First Lady Grace Mugabe and their son, Chatunga Bellarmine. more
And what sort of reception did he get once inside the Vatican? It seems like there was a lot of people there:


And here's Mugabe, in the front row for VIP's.


But there's more. Here he is meeting the Pope face to face.


Awwwww, how cosy......... Nothing surprises me from this church, but seriously, at the Pope's inauguration? Pfffft.

Oh BTW, this is the sort of thing that happens to LGBT people in Zimbabwe. 
Male homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe and in 2006 the country’s government amended the law which now states that sodomy is any ‘act involving contact between two males that would be regarded by a reasonable person as an indecent act’, thereby criminalizing even holding hands, hugging, or kissing. 

In 1995, the country’s president, Robert Mugabe, came across a GALZ stall in an international book fair in Harrare and stated: ‘I find it extremely outrageous and repugnant to my human conscience that such immoral and repulsive organizations, like those of homosexuals, who offend both against the law of nature and the morals of religious beliefs espoused by our society, should have any advocates in our midst and elsewhere in the world.’ 

Two weeks later during Zimbabwe's annual independence celebrations Mugabe proclaimed: ‘It degrades human dignity. 

'It's unnatural, and there is no question ever of allowing these people to behave worse than dogs and pigs. 

‘What we are being persuaded to accept is sub-animal behavior and we will never allow it here. If you see people parading themselves as lesbians and gays, arrest them and hand them over to the police!’ 

Since then, President Mugabe has increased the political repression of Zimbabwe’s LGBT community. GALZ has been repeatedly subjected to harassment. 

Members of the Zimbabwe’s LGBT community have been repeatedly detained, beaten and sometimes even raped by the authorities. more

"Think of the children"

This is the guy, Jacob Rudolph, that came out in front of his school and the video posted online. Here he is now urging the banning of gay conversion therapy in his US state. 

It's a very well written speech and excellently delivered. It gives a clear idea of just what LGBT youth can face coming out in conservative communities. 

When he talks about gay conversion therapy he states that the youth involved in such therapy are defenceless against it. This is the reality of what people should be considering when the cry goes out from the religious that we have to "think of the children". Which is more damaging? Help and encouragement for youth to live their lives authentically as to who they are in the face of adversity, or to demand they deny their sexuality and live a lie?

I didn't know it was still legal in Western countries this gay conversion therapy as it's been soundly disproved as wrong.

Loredana's story - the right to die...

This came in an email from Dying With Dignity, NSW, yesterday. The Greens are going to introduce a bill in the NSW parliament giving people like Loredana the choice to die. You can support the campaign here.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The HIV is now undetectable

Have been taking the HIV pills for three months now, and have had the results of the latest blood test taken the other day. The HIV viral load in the blood is now undetectable (less than what current tests can pick up) and the CD4 count is the highest one I've ever had since getting tested with the HIV, at 880. An excellent result.

There was more good news with the kidney functions. They have improved a bit more and are near normal now. That's an amazing result considering where I was at two years ago with the acute kidney failure. The specialist at the hospital said the results would never go right back to normal because of the damage from lack of oxygen, so that makes these results even more remarkable.

The only bad news was my blood pressure is still bananas at 155 over 105. Typical of me that, as once it gets high with me it stays there stubbornly. Doctor wants to check it again in 2 weeks after I've been taking the higher dose of blood pressure pills for a while. May have to add another tablet of something to get it down.

Oh, and I'm drinking a bit too much beer. Said to the doctor "Well you can't have total perfection you know". He laughed, but was adamant I should address the issue. Trouble is the so called healthy amount of beer to drink, as dictated by doctors, is so fuckin low as to be rather impractical.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Cyprus's run on the banks

Had to do a double take reading this one. I can't imagine. Cyprus is the latest country to be bailed out of debt by the Eurozone, but very curiously the deposits of ordinary people are being raided to pay the debt. It was announced with no chance of people getting their money out before the tax is implemented, leaving people taking what they can out of ATM's. A run on the banks, surely one of the worst nightmares of economists.
Under an emergency deal reached early on Saturday in Brussels, a one-time tax of 9.9 per cent is to be levied on Cypriot bank deposits of more than €100,000 effective on Tuesday, hitting wealthy depositors - mostly Russians who have put vast sums into Cyprus's banks in recent years. But even deposits under that amount would be taxed at 6.75 per cent, meaning that Cyprus's creditors will be confiscating money directly from pensioners, workers and regular depositors to pay off the bailout tab. Read more
Rich Russians aren't going to be happy. This Euro debt crisis looks like it's going to go on for years yet. Indeed the fears are that other Eurozone countries could see a run on their banks too.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the group of euro-area ministers, on Saturday declined to rule out taxes on depositors in countries beyond Cyprus, although he said such a measure was not currently being considered. Read more
And the scare doesn't end there. Indeed it's being felt all the way down here in Australia.
While Europe has imposed tax on Cypriot bank deposits to help pay for the €10 billion bailout, this tax would not have extended to Australian-based subsidiaries. 

Even so, Australians that have funds on deposit in banks in Cyprus would still face being hit with the new bank levy, which includes a scaling tax on deposits that starts at 6.75 per cent. 

Australian banking exposure to Cyprus is small, running at just $76 million, according to Bank for International Settlements figures. Read more   
Whoever has that money in Cyprus is going to be pretty bloody pissed off right now.

Knowledge vs ignorance

The latest round of gay hate indicated in some of my recent posts, led me to wonder why exactly is the level of hatred so intense? I mean none of those people know me at all, and probably wouldn't even read a blog by a gay person in case they somehow got influenced by it. They know nothing about my life. Who I love and have loved. That I have a 22 year old daughter. That I'm as much of a human being as they are. Yet they see fit to condemn me without knowing the slightest thing about me, except the gay thing. They're willing to make a value judgement about my whole life simply based on my sexuality.

This appears to be largely based on ignorance. If they did  know me, if they did  read the blog for example, would they still be so condemning? Studies say they wouldn't. Here's some characteristics listed of those who so object to gay people, from Gregory Herek:
In general, however, some consistent patterns have been observed across different samples. When compared to those with more favorable attitudes toward lesbians and gay men, these studies have found that persons with negative attitudes:

1. are less likely to have had personal contact with lesbians or gay;
2. are less likely to report having engaged in homosexual behaviors, or to identify themselves as lesbian or gay;
3. are more likely to perceive their peers as manifesting negative attitudes, especially if the respondents are males;
4. are more likely to have resided in areas where negative attitudes are the norm (e.g., the midwestern and southern United States, the Canadian prairies, and in rural areas or small towns), especially during adolescence;
5. are likely to be older and less well educated;
6. are more likely to be religious, to attend church frequently, and to subscribe to a conservative religious ideology;
7. are more likely to express traditional, restrictive attitudes about sex roles;
8. are less permissive sexually or manifest more guilt or negativity about sexuality, although some researchers have not observed this pattern and others have reported a substantially reduced correlation with the effects of sex-role attitudes partialled out; 
9. are more likely to manifest high levels of authoritarianism and related personality characteristics.more
And it goes further, stating that ignorance is an important source of hostility towards gays.
Interactions have consequences for both beliefs and affects associated with lesbians and gay men. Because they provide information, face-to face interactions tend to refute stereotypes and reduce ignorance, which Marmor (1980) identified as the most important sources of hostility toward homosexual persons. At the same time, interpersonal encounters have an emotional impact that individuals can generalize to all lesbians and gay men. Thus, heterosexuals who know lesbians and gay men are better able than others to recognize stereotypes as inaccurate, and are more likely to express tolerant attitudes as well. more
Ibram Rogers is even more direct. 
I am always amazed by the use of notions of hate to explain historic and existing manifestations of racism and sexual discrimination. And I am even more amazed when the reason given for why people hate is ignorance. Slavery occurred, segregation happened, mass incarceration is in effect, opposition to gay marriage persists, efforts to maintain a hetero-normative United States continues due to hate. Only ignorant Whites hate Blacks. Only ignorant heterosexuals hate gays. more
If the ignorant would just get to know us, surely they'd see just how human we are, and just what it's like to be on the receiving end of their ignorant hate. Sadly, many times the ignorant are too busy hating us to be bothered knowing us.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

"Wrap my arms around you"

Republicans react - Sen supports gay marriage

I just found out what CPAC stood for. The Conservative Political Action Conference. Wasn't particularly interested, but it was because of a video taken there that's now on YouTube, with attendees answering questions about their views on gay marriage. Of course I wasn't expecting anything positive to come out of it, but my jaw dropped a few times watching this. Even more-so as the reason for the interest was because one of their own (Rob Portman of Ohio) has come out in support of gay marriage, his son being gay himself.


 
The surprise was the level of hatred and condemnation. Especially from the lady who preferred gays to stay in the closet like they did in the 1950's. Or the bloke at the end who claimed that gays went "beyond" the thing of doing to others like you'd do to yourself. I honestly can't understand what their problem is. None of their arguments are valid, or even thought out. Just another display of Christian love I guess.

I wonder what they're all going to do when Republican guys all start coming out of the closet, or embracing their gay offspring? Being gay isn't confined to whatever political views you have, or which party you're in. Wherever humanity is, you'll find gay people.


Update:

More reaction from Republicans. This one is totally out there, comparing being gay to drink driving. It's a stupid argument that uses the premise that being gay is wrong. This is from the Tradition Values Coalition (um, the interpretation of that: more Christians darlings). Perhaps they should consider gay teen suicides before crapping on about "morality".
‘Earlier this week one of my children came to me and told me something which was shocking. He is a drunk driver and has been driving drunk regularly since college.

‘I have taken several days to reflect on this and I have decided to reverse my earlier opposition to drunk driving. My child is a drunk driver and I love him. It is a part of his identity, who he is.

'Therefore, today I am reversing my opposition to drunk driving. My child has caused me to revisit a decision which, up until now, had been based simply on morality.

‘In addition, I would like to say that drunk driving will make all of us stronger drivers. Think of how much more interesting driving will be in the future if more people have the freedom to drive drunk. It will sharpen the defensive driving skills of the rest of us.’

‘This unreleased press statement follows the same twisted, self-serving logic that several public officials have used in explaining their switch from opposing homosexual marriage to favoring it.’ bitch
BTW here's a picture of the Republican Senator and his gay son. 

Cyclist gives Koala a drink

This was really nice. A cyclist stops and gives a Koala a drink of water in South Australia. I like the sound too, or should I say the lack of sound. Reminds me of being in the country and there's none of the city noises that we all get so used to.

A burpy day

Woke up yesterday feeling quite ill, and started burping. My assumption is that I ate too late the night before; was hungry and had fried egg on toast. It was pretty good actually, but it seemed to just sit in my stomach all night and by the morning it was burp city. 

Took my pills and stayed in bed. Didn't seem to get better and so stayed in bed. The heartburn with it was it's usual un-comfortableness. Mainly I didn't want my pills coming up. David rang at 11 and told him I was still in bed. Went over there in the afternoon for a while. Didn't eat much all day, except for some potatoes and vegetables later at home.

So I guess that's another lesson learned. Don't eat egg on toast before bed :s

Friday, 15 March 2013

New Pope is a homophobe

Not that I care much. I mean I was hardly expecting anything relevant to me out of a new Pope being appointed. This one however takes the bloody cake on gay hatred. 
Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio who has named himself Pope Francis is reputed to be a simple man who cooks for himself, takes the bus (which in Buenos Aires is a scary choice) and eschews the trappings of prestige, including the bishop’s palace. Those are admirable qualities, as was his Holy Thursday choice to wash the feet of persons with AIDS, but before we get teary-eyed over what may seem like an antidote to his gilded predecessor, we ought to consider the fact that Pope Francis went beyond the call of duty in opposing gay marriage and gay adoption in Argentina. All cardinals follow the directives of their boss and deliver boilerplate proclaiming that gay sex is opposed to the natural law of God, but Cardinal Bergoglio went further and laced his script with original messages of hate, calling gay marriage “a machination of the Father of Lies [Satan] that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.” He also said that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children because it deprives them of the possibility of a good life that can only come from families comprised of one father and one mother. more
Oh how lovely. There you go, there's another thing that churches call gays. "Opposed to the natural law of God", whatever that means. Strange a person who has never had sex (supposedly anyway) in 76 years now is making judgements about people's sexuality.

The "machination of the father of lies" (pffft) also is a bit rich, coming from a church that hid child abuse and declared that condoms increased HIV. Now there's a couple of big lies if ever I heard any. And those poor dear "children of God" who are evidently being confused and deceived by us evil gays following the father of lies machinations.

The "good life" thing that only comes from hetero parents, OK I shall have to remember that when I look back at the years of mental abuse I suffered at the hands of my father and stepmother, which lead to my attempted suicide at 17. But they were hetro, so it must have been a good life.....

Seriously, this Pope is just another fuckwit from the dark ages. Another leader appointed to keep the church there. And no, I have no respect for someone who declares from the other side of the world that I'm evil, especially given the influence he has. How much homophobic hatred is this nut going to stir up around the world?

What homosexuality is not

This is great. Pretty well sums it all up:

The children on Manus Island - their voice

With politics winning over compassion and human rights, the Australian gov has made it very hard for people in Australia to know what the real story is with the detention centres there for asylum seekers. GetUp has put together this very moving add.


 
It's not the hard nosed line we get from both political parties here, or from the ignorant rednecks in Australia who have the loudest voices in this. Indeed, gov and opposition policy is simply a race to the bottom, to appeal to racists and rednecks rather than human compassion. This add has the voice of a child, not nearly as loud as the cacophony of hate by small hearted Australians. 

GetUp wants to get the add on telly here to show Australians the real story that the gov doesn't want them to hear. They're asking for donations here if anyone wants to contribute. 

I'm so sick of the constant lies and demonisation of such vulnerable people. It's to Australia's great shame that this is happening to them. Not only to their parents but to the children as well. It's immoral. These people aren't criminals and neither are their children. They are however political footballs.

Australia Post lost my book

I ordered this book online the other day:


Was going through my emails yesterday and noticed that I'd been sent tracking emails of the parcel telling me where it was. One of them said it was in transit on the Australia Post truck, and another that it had been delivered 20 minutes before. So I went out the front to get it.

Nothing. Have bought off this place before and the books get sent out via Australia Post as an "eparcel" and they've left it just at the front door if no one is home. This time nobody knocked or anything. 

So I rang the company I bought it off and explained the situation. The company then rang the Australia Post sorting centre who informed them that nothing could be done unless it hadn't arrived by the next day. 

It hasn't. So I rang the company again and and explained the situation again, this morning. They then rang the Australia Post sorting centre again, who have now "launched an investigation" into WTF happened to it, of which usually takes "2 or 3 days". So I said I'd ring the company back in 3 days if I'd heard nothing by then to see WTF is going on.

I have a pretty good idea. A few weeks back I was delivered a parcel at the front door that wasn't mine; it was for a place two blocks from here. I just took it down there and delivered it myself to the correct address when I went to the bus stop. But the address on it wasn't even mine, it was theirs. The street number didn't look anything like mine. It'd been delivered to the wrong address. I've got a feeling my parcel has suffered a similar fate.

Australia Post uses contractors for it's eparcel service I'm told.