Thursday, March 19, 2015

Trekking Foward Thursday

Health departments urged to take action on female condoms

This week three national organizations urged their health department members to include female condom (FC) information in their online prevention messaging.  The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), and the Urban Coalition of HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS) issued joint communication that highlights findings from the recent AIDS Behavior article about FC information available on health departments’ websites. It also recommends the health agencies take specific actions to improve communities’ access to accurate information on FC insertion, use and access.

Authored by Rodriguez, Kristina, et. al in late 2014, the article describes the results of a systematic review of FC information provided directly by the department of health websites of 50 U.S. states and 29 U.S. cities. Researchers assessed both whether health department websites included any general FC information and if there was any specific information regarding the use of FCs for anal sex. Here’s a snapshot of what the researchers found, which is highlighted in the memo to health departments:

• Approximately 60% of the health department websites included any FC information;
• Of the websites that included FC information, 46% discussed them for anal sex;
• Nearly 96% of websites that mentioned FCs for anal sex used supportive or neutral language;
• Specific instruction for using FCs for anal sex varied widely across sites, indicating a lack of clear guidance regarding FCs for anal sex and the absence of safety and efficacy data.

We are proud to have partnered with NCSD, NASTAD, and UCHAPS on this communication and applaud them for actively engaging health departments on this issue. The NFCC looks forward to sharing resources and offering support to health departments looking to improve the accuracy and depth of FC information made available to the public. Female condom advocates are encouraged to
share the memo with their health department partners.

Under The Dome: The Madness Continues

If you've only been watching Empire or needing that show as a diversion, COP 24/7 wants to bring you back to the fact that there's too much crazy that has gone on directly aimed at the LGBTQ community and beyond.

Hit the "we're crazy button," so many times we had to get a second one!  On this forum we've been apart of the "call to action," to encourage individuals to do whatever they feel they can to inform their legislator about these matters.

There's been a fury of work done by Stonewall Democrats, CAR, Arkansans for Equality, HRC, LinQ for Life and a host other both newly developed or emerging entities have shared their mutual outrage.

Certainly we must applaud all the efforts ranging from e-mails, phone calls, letters, press releases, meet up's and even this forums calls for big dollar shot callers to roll out some TV and other mass media campaign that finally happened. Albeit short lived and not making the needed impact to make a difference as we all would have liked.

However, through all of this strident effort, what this demonstrates is the fact that we need more on going direct funded infrastructure capabilities of local CBO's. Plus a year round game plan involving cultivating legislative relationships, developing a community leadership pipeline and creating sustainable systems that are ready to take on the well oiled machine of Jerry Cox's Family Council and other's like him.  There's no doubt that the LGBTQ community has been under assault and have given a good fight, we must realize that "times are a changing," and apparently its not always gayly forward. Keep up the good fight!! Stay tuned to COP 24/7 for updates and links.

Lavender Blazing on TV Trails

As we speaks to all the anti-gay legislation that's swirling around state houses and otherwise, there seems to be gold rush going on in TV land. Its been a banner year from the coming out of the Jamal character on EMPIRE played by Jussie Smollett (pictured below), to the hot gay boys on Day's of Our Lives and now CBS’s long-running The Bold and the Beautiful, has added a new arc for one of its characters: a secret past. That may not sound surprising, given it’s a soap opera, but in this case, a regular character is revealed to be transgender.

People magazine reported the plot twist was presented on Wednesday's episode, when it was revealed that Maya Avant, played by Karla Mosley (pictured right), is transgender. She was assigned male at birth with the name Myron.
Maya and her sister, Nicole, played by Reign Edwards, were arguing when Nicole said, "You're not my sister, Maya. You're not Maya at all. You're Myron, my brother."

What’s notable about this development is that CBS is actively promoting the plotline with a publicity push. As USA Today reported, the network boasted that The Bold and the Beautiful is the only current show on broadcast or cable TV to include a transgender character as part of the regular cast.
The big reveal scene could cause an LGBT viewer to cringe, since one character uses the word
"lifestyle" and Mosley is yet another cisgender (nontrans) actress playing a trans role. But Mosley, 33, has been acting on the soap for more than two years and only found out late last year about her character's hidden history.

"My first reaction was surprise, because 10 or 20 years ago, this is not a story we would be telling, and not in a way that's truthful and not sensational," Mosley told USA Today.

"My second reaction was, 'Thank you.' It's a gift it's a privilege," she said. "It's a real opportunity to educate our viewers here and all over the world."

Bradley Bell, executive producer and head writer, told the paper the soap is telling a story about love and tolerance.

"It is about people respecting other people's differences and their uniqueness," he said in a statement. "In the end, we all want to be loved, and in order to love someone else you first have to love yourself. If you are transgender, gay, straight, it doesn't matter. It's about finding love in life. This is a love story."

USA Today speculated that this could have the same effect on public attitudes towards transgender people that Will & Grace had for gay people a decade ago.

GLAAD certainly hopes so. The media watchdog organization that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people estimates as many as 90 percent of Americans know someone who is gay, but only 8 percent know someone who's transgender.

"Scripted gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters have become more common on television,” GLAAD spokesman Nick Adams told USA Today, “but transgender characters continue to lag behind.”
Although she is not trans herself, Mosley said she understands the challenges. "It's hard, when you've been pushed down for so long and made to feel shame and feel you have to hide out," she told the paper. "It's a challenge to be vulnerable and say, 'Yes, this is who I am. Hollywood has the opportunity to be the trailblazers in the world.”

No comments: