Monday, March 28, 2016

It's #LGBT Health Week


How Does Your LGBT Child Measure Up To His Heterosexual Peers?

Did you know that?:

LGBT youth are more likely to smoke, drink, use drugs.
They are twice as likely to have attempted suicide.
Due to harassment and discrimination, LGBT youth are more anxious, prone to depression, and   substance abuse disorders.
They are less likely to engage in moderate or vigorous physical activity or team sports.
Lesbian and bisexual girls are twice as likely to be obese.
                                 Source: JAMA, January 6, 2015

LGBT Discrepancies Don’t End With Adolescence

LGBT persons are at higher risk for cancer, mental illness and other diseases.
                                 Source: American Progress, 2009/12/21

What You Can Do As A Parent

Make sure your child’s doctor is LGBT-friendly.  Don’t assume he was trained in LGBT health issues.
Your child has to be comfortable with his doctor so that he/she can express their LGBT concerns without feeling judged by a medical professional.  Only then, will your child get the care he deserves.
Be on the lookout for health disparities.  You know your child.  Trust your instincts about what’s ailing you child.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

It Shouldn't Be The Luck Of The Irish

It wasn’t the luck of the LGBT Irish this year that led to their inclusion in New York’s St. Patrick’s Parade.  Their invitation to march was due to marriage equality and greater acceptance of LGBT people, as well as  changed attitudes of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish Catholic fraternal group that helped organize the event. 
LGBT Groups Have Waited 22 Years to March
What a difference a year makes!  Just last year, the only LGBT group that was allowed to participate in the march down Fifth Avenue was out@nbc, a gay division of NBC television.
Mayors Traditionally March
The 1990 St. Patrick’s Parade is credited with the onset of divisiveness among pro- and anti-gay group inclusions in the Parade.  A year later, Mayor Dinkins marched, as most mayors have done, in the parade.  But he was greeted with jeers and thrown beer cans.
Mayor Bill de Blasio last year choose not to lead the marchers, whose numbers can easily reach 2,000.  De Blasio has protested the lack of Irish LGBT groups since he has been Mayor of New York City.
However, this year, he proudly, on a sixty degree day, marched along with the LGBT associations that included The Lavender and Green Alliance, a three hundred-member Irish LGBT affiliation with its own banner. Same-sex spouses walked hand-in-hand. Ubiquitous Edie Windsor, a lesbian, who, in 2010, challenged the existing Defense of Marriage Act that banned federal recognition of same-sex marriage and its benefits, walked purposefully down Fifth Avenue under the banner of The Lavender and Green Alliance. (Windsor won her case against the U.S. Supreme Court (Windsor v. United States)).   
Gay or Straight, You’re Still Irish
How refreshing for the St. Patrick’s Parade to be open to all of Irish identity and represent their contributions to New York and the world.  How great for viewers to see a peaceful parade and not a demonstration!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Who Cares If Harper Lee Is A Lesbian?

In my last post, I took offense at conservative individuals trying to pigeonhole my cartoon characters of childhood as gay or drug users.  Today, I’m even more upset that the Pulitzer Prize- winning author of To Kill A Mockingbird, (Nellie) Harper Lee, who died on February 19th, can’t rest in peace.  The website vipgaq (“Facts, Rumors and the latest Gossip on your favorite celebrities”) asks “Is Harper Lee gay or straight? Feel free to tell us – what you think! Vote by clicking below.”

78% think she’s gay
11% think she’s straight
11% think she’s bisexual

I can’t imagine caring if Harper Lee is gay. Biographers before now tried to coax the confession out of her.  Much to no avail.

Ally With Truman Capote until….

We do know that she was a friend of Truman Capote who visited his relatives next door to Lee in Monroeville Alabama (Maycomb County in the book that loosely based the character “Dill” on Capote). As children, Capote and Lee used to compose stories on typewriters and act them out. They were considered outsiders with their peers.

Later, as we learned from the movie Capote (2005), she and Truman had a falling-out over his cavalier attitude about what she, as a research assistant, contributed to In Cold Blood (1966).  She actually sat in the jail cells with Truman and his subjects, paved the way for skeptics to allow interviews with this “flagrant, effeminate writer.”  Yet, she only got a token of thanks in In Cold Blood. Maybe Capote was jealous of her success? But it was Lee who had the genius of taking a fictitious town in the South as a microcosm for larger issues that loomed large in the United States such as segregation, civil rights, and class.  

Truman wanted the limelight.  Lee, on the other hand, gave her last documented interview to McCall’s magazine in 1964, four years after To Kill A Mockingbird was published. She was a recluse.

I hope in the future the public will not want to know if people, famous or not, are gay, straight or bisexual.  It doesn’t matter and is for those whose privacy is invaded to tell if they wish.  Lee didn’t wish to acknowledge her sexual orientation nor did she deem it important to her work.  She was too busy writing her heart out, on her way to the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.