Staten Island Democratic Association takes official position on Transgender Rights

trans-symbol1Yesterday at the August meeting of the Staten Island Democratic Association the club voted unanimously to adopt a paper written by fellow club member and Social Secretary Bryan Ellicott (myself).

The paper was discussed at length at the July Monthly membership meeting. Which included speakers like New York State Senator and Co-Sponsor of GENDA (Gender Expression NonDiscrimination Act) and LGBT Liaison to Comptroller  Scott Stringer’s office Eric Holguin.

The Staten Island Democratic Association started in 1961. They are the oldest, largest and most Progressive Democratic Club in Staten Island. The paper covers the topics of Public Awareness and Advocacy, Legal and Political Action.

This was an extremely powerful moment especially because its Staten Island and the uphill battle our borough faces when it comes to the discussions on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

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TRANSGENDER RIGHTS
POSITION PAPER

 

Since the founding of The Staten Island Democratic Association in 1961, we have taken pride in being Staten Island’s oldest, largest and most Progressive Democratic Club. It has come to the attention of the Staten Island Democratic Association that we must take a stand on the rights of Transgender Americans, New Yorkers and especially Staten Islanders.

It is a time when so many Transgender people are under attack for nothing less than being who they are.

Harvey Milk (the first openly gay person elected to public office in California) once said “It takes no compromise to give people their rights…it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.”

 

Background

 

Gender is a human social system of differentiation by sex for roles, behaviors, characteristics, appearances, and identities (e.g. “man” or “woman”). Gender maps cultural meanings and norms about both sex and gender on human bodies. Everyone has an internal sense of their “gender” and this sense is called “gender identity”.1     “Most people’s gender identity is congruent with their assigned sex, but many people experience their identity to be discordant with their natal sex (sex assigned at birth)2

“Transgender” is a broad term used to describe those whose gender identity or gender expression is in some sense different from, or transgresses social norms for, their assigned birth sex. Transgender may include those who identify as being transsexual, cross dresser, androgynous, bi-gender, no-gender or multi-gender, genderqueer, and a growing number of people who do not identify as belonging to any gender category at all. For some transgender people, individuals discomfort with a social gender role is accompanied by a profound sense of mismatch of the physical body to their internal bodily experience. This body dysphoria (known as “gender dysphoria”) causes significant distress, negatively impacts daily functioning and well-being, and requires medical services in order to realign the body with the self. There are many transgender people with medically diagnosed inter sex conditions. 3     In the absence of systematic data collection, estimates vary widely as to the number of transgender individuals in the United States, ranging from 3 million to as many as 9 million individuals 4. Prevalence of transgender identities is likely to be on the order of at least 1:100 (i.e. 1%), and transsexualism is also not rare, with prevalence now being estimated at between 1:2000 and 1:5000.5 Reports now indicate there may be roughly equal numbers of male-to-female and female-to-male transsexual people.6

Transgender people encounter difficulties in virtually every aspect of their lives, both in facing the substantial hostility that society associates with those who do not conform to gender norms and in coping with their own feelings of difference. Considerable verbal harassment and physical violence accompany the powerful social stigma faced by transgender people 7 and may be accompanied by racial and ethnic discrimination 8 .Transgender people also experience dismissal from jobs, eviction from housing, and denial of services, even by police officers, and medical emergency professionals..9 Restrooms, the most mundane of public and workplace amenities, often become sites of harassment and confrontation, with access often denied     10 ).

Transgender and transsexual people are often denied appropriate medical and mental health care and are uniquely at risk of adverse health care outcomes. 11 Basic services may be denied because of ignorance about or discomfort with a transgender client. To align the physical body with the experienced sense of self usually is an integral part of the social transition away from the sex assigned at birth. Transsexuals and some other individuals require medical services (for example, hormone replacement, facial electrolysis, or surgical and other procedures, as appropriate to the individual). Despite ongoing evidence that the vast majority who access these achieve congruence and well-being 12 It is important to underscore the denial of basic health care, and also the extreme race and socioeconomic status disparities: Needs assessments in major cities show that severe marginalization and barriers to transition contribute to high rates of joblessness, and disproportionately affect people of color. Lack of employment leaves many without health insurance, and because insurance carriers often deny coverage for transgender individuals other nontransition related services, transgender individuals often lack access to all ongoing basic health services, even when employed. 13

Many transgender children and youths face harassment and violence in school environments. Those who do not feel safe or valued at school cannot reach their potential and may drop out. 14   Medical protocols exist for children whose body dysphoria may lead to severe depression and suicidality, including endocrinology intervention to prevent or delay unwanted puberty.15  There are few support resources for transgender children, their parents or surrounding social institutions, leaving transgender youth particularly vulnerable to so-called “reparative” treatments. 16

Issues Statement

Transgender people experience the stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and extreme hostility known as transphobia on a daily basis. Although gender non-conforming experience can be traced across history, and the successful social and medical transition of transsexuals is well documented since the middle

of the twentieth century, it is only in recent years that this/has emerged in the public discourse. Unfortunately, most in our society have little or no understanding of the profound discomfort some may feel in trying to conform to rigid gender roles assigned to them by virtue of their physiology. Similarly, ignorance and insensitivity prevail regarding the debilitation that accompanies body dysphoria, and the damage done to those left without access to medical and social transition.

We as human beings have the responsibility to understand and appreciate the full range of differences that exist among human beings and to explore any and all prejudices that result in oppressive and unjust treatment.

 

Policy Statement

Staten Island Democratic Association (S.I.D.A.) recognizes that considerable diversity in gender expression and identity exists among our population.

S.I.D.A. believes that people of diverse gender- including those who are included under the transgender umbrella- should be afforded the same respect and rights as any other people.

S.I.D.A asserts that discrimination and prejudice directed against any individuals on the basis of gender identity or gender expression, whether real or perceived, are damaging to the social, emotional, psychological, physical, and economic well-being of the affected individuals as well as society as a whole.

S.I.D.A. reaffirms a commitment to human rights and freedom and opposes all public and private discrimination on the basis of gender identity and of gender expression, whether actual or perceived, and regardless of assigned sex at birth, including denial of access to employment, housing, education, appropriate treatment in sex-segregated facilities, appropriate medical care and health care coverage, appropriate identity documents, and civil marriage and all its attendant benefits, rights, and privileges.

S.I.D.A. encourages the repeal of discriminatory legislation and the passage of legislation protecting the rights, legal benefits, and privileges of people of all genders identities and expressions.

Public Awareness and Advocacy

S.I.D.A. supports efforts to provide safe and secure educational environments and promote an understanding and acceptance of self in which all youth including youth of all gender identities and expressions, may be free to express their genuine gender identity and obtain an education free from discrimination, harassment, violence and abuse.

S.I.D.A. supports a development of, and participation in, coalitions with other professional associations and progressive organizations to lobby on behalf of the civil rights of all people of diverse gender expression and identity.

S.I.D.A. supports collaboration with organizations and groups supportive of the transgender community to develop programs to increase public awareness of the mistreatment and discrimination experienced by transgender people and of the contributions they make to society.

S.I.D.A. encourages the development of programs, training, and information that promotes proactive efforts to eliminate psychological, social and physical harm directed toward transgender people and to portray them accurately and compassionately.

S.I.D.A. supports the development of programs within schools and other child and youth services agencies that educate students, faculty, and staff about the range of gender diversity and the needs of transgender children and youth.

S.I.D.A. supports the creation of scientific and educational resources that inform public discussion about gender identity and gender diversity, to promote public policy development and to strengthen societal and familial attitudes and behaviors that affirm the dignity and rights of all individuals, regardless of identity or gender expression.

 

Legal and Political Action

S.I.D.A. advocates for increased funding for education treatment services, and research on behalf of people of diverse gender expression and gender identity.

S.I.D.A supports the legal recognition of marriage, domestic partner, and civil unions, regardless of either the sex or gender status of the betrothed or partnered individuals.

S.I.D.A. encourages the repeal of laws and discriminatory practices that impeded individuals in their identification with, and their expression of the gender which matches their sense of themselves in all areas of the public arena, especially employment, health care, education and in a housing including in custodial settings.

S.I.D.A. encourages the adoption of laws that will prohibit discrimination against, and protect the civil rights of, and preserve the access to health care and well-being of, individuals who identify with and express their gender identities, in education, housing, inheritance, health and other types of insurance, child custody, property and other areas.

S.I.D.A. acknowledges the importance of working with groups in and around the community of Staten Island to support the transgender community’s development and help larger community organizations help overcome ignorance and fear of transgender people, and to move toward equality and justice.

S.I.D.A. supports the statements of both President of the United States Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in support of the transgender and non-conforming community across the country.

 

References

  1. Stone, 2004
  2. Lev, 2004, p. 397
  3. Xavier, 26 Honnold & Bradford, 2007
  4. Bushong 1995; Olysl*ger & Conway, 2007
  5. Olysl*ger & Conway, 2007,p.23
  6. Bullough, Bullough, & Elias, 1997; MacKenzie, 1994
  7. Clements-Notes, Marx, & Katz, 2006; Lombardi, Wilchins, Priesing, & Malouf, 2001; Wyss, 2004
  8. Jung, 2006
  9. Xavier, 2000; Xavier, Honnold, & Bradford,45 2007
  10. Transgender Law Center, 2016
  11. Dean et al., 2000; Xavier et al., 2004
  12. De Cuypere et al., 2005; Newfield, Hart, Dibble, & Kohler, 2006; Pfafflin & Junge, 1998;   Rehman, Lazer, Benet, Schaefer, & Melman, 1999; Ross & Need, 1989).
  13. Xavier et al, 2004
  14. D‘Augelli, Grossman, & Starks, 2006; Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, 2004; Grossman,       D‘Augelli, & Slater, 2006; Wyss, 2004
  15. Cohen-Kettenis & van Goozen, 1997; Smith, van Goozen, & Cohen-Kettenis, 2001; Spack, 2005
  16. Menvielle, Tuerk, & Perrin, 2005; PFLAG, 2004

 

 

 

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North Carolina Governor Signs Bill Undoing ALL pro-LGBT Ordinances

You owe to yourself to READ through the hateful North Carolina anti-LGBT law to understand what we are condemning as the worst such law in the nation. It not only makes pariahs out of transgender people, it denies ALL North Carolinians access to the courts to seek protection under what’s left of their state human rights law. It forbids ANY local government from protecting its citizens beyond what the state does–thus repealing all local laws protecting LGBT people.

Despite calls from LGBT advocates urging him to veto the measure, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law late Wednesday legislation that would undo pro-LGBT non-discrimination ordinances in his state, including the recently approved measure in Charlotte. In a statement, McCrory said he had signed the measure, House Bill 2, because he thinks the Charlotte ordinance, which would have allowed transgender people to use public restrooms consistent with their gender identity, violated privacy rights. “As a result, I have signed legislation passed by a bipartisan majority to stop this breach of basic privacy and etiquette which was to go into effect April 1,” McCrory said. “Although other items included in this bill should have waited until regular session, this bill does not change existing rights under state or federal law.” McCrory blamed the city of Charlotte for enacting the ordinance, saying “the mayor and city council took action far out of its core responsibilities.” “The basic expectation of privacy in the most personal of settings, a restroom or locker room, for each gender was violated by government overreach and intrusion by the mayor and city council of Charlotte,” McCrory said. “This radical breach of trust and security under the false argument of equal access not only impacts the citizens of Charlotte but people who come to Charlotte to work, visit or play. This new government regulation defies common sense and basic community norms by allowing, for example, a man to use a woman’s bathroom, shower or locker room.” McCrory was expected to sign the law, although he didn’t give much notice about his planned action. After the legislature approved the measure on Wednesday, his office informed the media he would sign it before the next day.

See more at

 

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City Council Press Conference on Comprehensive Sex Education

Talking Points- Comprehensive Sex Education

October 27th 2015 at 10am

My name is Bryan Ellicott. I am a transgender/ bisexual identified man and LGBTQ advocate/activist born and raised in Staten Island & attended all NYC public schools K-12.

I am here to speak in support of comprehensive sex education in our schools and why it NEEDS too be inclusive of topics of Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression. 50% of all New York public high school students have mentioned they have had sexual intercourse according to the ACLU…this statistic doesn’t say whether the students identified as homosexual or heterosexual.

Almost 75% of NYC public schools report not learning about LGBTQ its 2015…where we have marriage equality across this country, were our Governor gave an executive order to The Department of Human Rights to include Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming people under the Human Rights Law. Celebrities and Icons come out almost every other week

Its time to discuss Sex Education in an affirming way that includes all identities that our children may identify with and continue to review and expand as does our vocabulary for expressing our selves and our potential partners.

These are things that I didn’t learn when I was in school whether it be middle school or high school, that I feel, my teachers should have given me would have benefited the feelings I had about my own gender identity and expression as well as my sexual orientation.

Many people in the LGBTQ community know how they are at a young age. I knew that I was transgender in middle school but didn’t have the words to describe how I felt (I was in fact looking for the word Transgender or Female to Male).I knew I was attracted to both men and women (Bisexual) in elementary school/middle school the word existed but the teachers didn’t know what to do with that knowledge.

Sex Education to youth when they identify with the gender they were assigned at birth and are attracted to the opposite gender is hard.That’s because you’re a kid and everything is a joke and not taken seriously, they are kids it is to be expected.

However sex education when it comes too youth who may identify or be curious if they are LGBTQ is even more difficult. (Not because they aren’t interested or curious) but because they are looking for the words to use.

We need to empower them and give them the tools to figure things out…if we don’t give them the tools we have already set them up to be in situations that can be avoided.

It’s not until you step foot into a LGBT service provider or youth drop in center that you are taught about safe sex and real discussions. I had sex way before I was properly educated on the subject

  • HIV/AIDS
  • STI’s/STD’s
  • Consent and Healthy Relationships
  • Reproductive Health

These are the things I wish I knew about, and that I had an adult that I could talk to at school that may have had the words that I was looking for. My journey may have been a little different and my transition would have started a little sooner.

I want our New York City school children to be more knowledgeable and the ability to make better choices an than I was, more able to possibly live in their own skin more comfortably

Feel included in the classroom…that the most important part to not live a student wondering where do I fit in this conversation. I want our youth to have trusted and trained adults who feel comfortable talking about.

bryan elllicot- sex ed presser

These are just some of the reasons why I am supporting the need for comprehensive sex education in our schools and why it NEEDS too be inclusive of topics including Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression.

The B in LGBT History- Brenda Howard

Brenda was an important figure in the modern LGBT rights movement. The past couple years that I have my identity both as an individual and as an actvist, I have gotten the pleasure of getting to know and learn about Brenda’s life from her partner Larry Nelson.

Brenda Howard (December 24,1946- June 28, 2005) a well known American bisexual activist. She is known for being a Bisexual Rights Activist, Sex Positive Feminist.

Brend was born December 24th 1946 in the Bronx, and grew up in Syosset, Nassau County. She graduated from Sysisset High School and from Borough Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

In the late 1960s, Howard was active in the movement against the Vietnam War. In 1969 she lived in an urban commune of anti-war activists and draft resisters in downtown Brooklyn New York. Like many other women in the US anti-war movement at the time, Howard became critical of its domination by men, and she soon became involved in the feminist movement as well.

That was the kind of activism and work that helped plan and participated in LGBT rights actions for over three decades, Howard was an active member of the Gay Liberation Front[ and for several years chair of the Gay Activists Alliance‘s Speakers Bureau in the post-Stonewall era.

Brenda is known as the “Mother of Pride” for her work in coordinating a rally and then the Christopher Street Liberation Day March to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969. She and others originated the idea of a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June.

A fixture in New York City’s LGBT Community Howard was active in the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights which helped guide New York City’s Gay rights law through the City Council in 1986 as well as ACT UP and Queer Nation.

In 1987 Howard helped found the New York Area Bisexual Network to help co-ordinate services to the region’s growing Bisexual community. She was also an active member of the early bisexual political activist group BiPAC, a Regional Organizer for BiNet USA, a co-facilitator of the Bisexual S/M Discussion Group and a founder of the nation’s first Alcoholics Anonymous chapter for bisexuals.

On a national level, Howard’s activism included work on the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberationwhere she was female co-chair of the leather contingent and Stonewall 25 in 1994.

In addition to being openly bisexual, Howard was openly polyamorous and involved in BDSM.

Howard died of colon cancer on June 28, 2005. She is survived by her longtime partner Larry Nelson, who wrote in Howard’s obituary, “[W]e forged a bond of mutual bad girl respect…that lasted through the years, including the production of the 1993 March and the work to create Stonewall 25. I miss my colleague in crime. The worst part of growing older is that such missing grows right along with it.”

-Bi, Poly, Switch- I'm not greedy,I know what I want-Brenda Howard

Spirit Day and NYC Goes Purple

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which we can acknowledge by wearing purple. Why purple? Well, in the United States military, the Purple Heart is presented to those who have been wounded while serving. For survivors of Domestic Violence, who may also be wounded both physically and emotionally, the color is meant to be a symbol of peace, courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending violence.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month was first observed in 1981 as a national day of unity. It was established by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to ensure that victims know help is available if they need it. Today, we have made considerable progress toward achieving this goal. However, there is still more work to be done.

Domestic Violence could be done to anyone by anyone a husband, a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or life partner.

A couple months ago I met a man his name was Stevan and it wasn’t horrible from the beginning. It started out really great but as usual I didn’t tell anyone that I was seeing someone. It wasn’t anything yet for the people in my life to know him.

Pride was soon approaching and I knew they would have too meet him. Pride season is also around the same time he started to change. Stevan would say things that made me feel less than to him in regards to my body and he would mock my body in private, public and in random texts during my work day, and he would do things to me sexually that I did not consent too. Stevan would mock what I called my body, and tell me I wasn’t masculine unenough because I was assigned female at birth. He attempted to cut me off from the people who matter most in my life, my best friend, my political friends and even my work with the LGBT Community Center of Staten Island. That’s the short version of this…and as I continue to heal and go thru the emotions of this maybe I will write more about it.

However today, I watched as some of the people who inspire and drive me most wear purple and be Upstanders to Domestic Violence. I find the need to still educate them on something, in 2015 Domestic Violence/ Intimate Partner Violence can happen to anyone of any sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Domestic Violence/ Intimate Partner Violence comes in all forms physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions.

anLily

Queens PFLAG NYC Chapter Honors Cliff Arnesen and New Out LGBT members of the New York City Council

Tomorrow the Queens Chapter of the New York City PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays hold their Annual Awards Reception and Luncheon. I have been asked to read the speech of honoree Cliff Arnesen who is being honored with the “Brenda Howard Memorial Award.
 
 
Sunday, February 23, 2014
 
Greetings and blessings to all participants of the Queens NYC Chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) “Annual Awards Reception and Luncheon.
 
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am unable to be with all of you today to receive the “Brenda Howard Memorial Award,” for my dual roles as an advocate of 24 years on behalf of the Bisexual Community; and our Country’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Heterosexual military veterans. Thus, Bryan Ellicott, has generously agreed to read my acceptance speech to you as follows:
 
I am humbled and honored to be selected by the The Queens NYC Chapter of PFLAG to receive the Brenda Howard Memorial Award, for helping to secure human and civil rights-not special rights- for my bisexual brothers and sisters within society.
 
However, as is always the case when seeking equality for any “minority” population of people within society , I stand upon the shoulders of the monumental accomplishments of Bisexual pioneers, such as the late Brenda Howard, and so many others.
 
The seeds of my journey of advocacy was prompted in the details of my dysfunctional childhood growing up in Brooklyn, NY. Although I had biological parents, around the age of three, my loving mother was forced by the state of New York to place me in an orphanage , after being physically assaulted by my violent alcoholic father.
 
At the age of ten, my Mom sent me away to the predominately African American, Wiltwyck School for Boys, where I met and became friends with the late First Lady, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, who was on the Board of Directors. It was at Wiltwyck that I knew that I was physically and emotionally attracted to other  boys, as well as girls. 
 
1n 1965, At the age of seventeen, I joined the U.S. Army, but agonized over the painful necessity of having to conceal the “attraction and affection” I felt in my heart toward other soldiers. Finally, I told my Company Commander that I was gay/bisexual , because I could no longer live my life as a lie and conceal my “secret.” 
 
Thereafter, I was court court-martialed and sentenced to a year at hard labor in the stockade-of which I served  three months in “segregated confinement,” as other prisoners in the general population had threatened to rape and kill me. Then, in 1967, 
I was given an “Undesirable Discharge” based on homosexuality, as the military made no distinction between a soldier who was gay or bisexual.
 
Ten years later, in November of 1977, I petitioned the Department of the Army for an upgrade in discharge, which was granted and changed from “Undesirable” to “General Under Honorable Conditions.”
 
In 1988, I attended a meeting of the New England Gay & Lesbian Veterans in Boston, MA. After the meeting, I ran for office and was elected president.
 
Subsequently, on May 3, 1989 and May 16, 1990, respectively, I    became the first and only openly bisexual veteran in U.S. history to testify before Congress on behalf of GLBT veterans before the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs: Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, on issues relating to veterans who suffered from HIV/AIDS, PTSD, homelessness, and less-than-honorable discharges based on homosexuality and bisexuality.
 
During my 24 years of advocacy as an “openly bisexual veteran” I took a lot of “heat” from miscellaneous organizations and individuals for speaking up so vociferously as an out bisexual veteran. 
 
To these organizations and individuals, I sincerely state that it was, and is, my moral and ethical responsibility to speak out on the issue of the marginalization of bisexuals in the military under the now repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; and within the larger Gay Community, as all should know what terrible consequences people can suffer when one does not “speak out” about external and internal injustice. I only sought acceptance and recognition for ALL bisexual people who have made enormous contributions in helping to secure human and civil rights for the larger gay community.
 
Personally, I wish we as human beings did not have to “label”
our sexual orientation(s). But, as was the case in the U.S. Military where bisexuality was “specifically” encoded as a basis for discharge, I had to “speak up” when it was not fully integrated in the equation of the generic “Gays” in the Military,” espoused by many gay organizations, and the gay and straight media – whether intentional or unintentional.
 
For the record, I state that bisexuality is NOT a counterfeit behavior. It is a true “sexual orientation.” The unfounded fear lies within the mindset of people that oppose the concept of bisexual people as having “heterosexual privilege.”
 
To those folks, I state that people have lived and died without ever having found love in this world. Thus, no love by anyone of a specific sexual orientation or gender identification or expression should be judged by others!
 
GLB&T people must remember that all of us are God’s children, and that we need each other to fight our real mutual enemies: the Religious Right; perverted organized religions; cults; fundamentalists; conservatives; and so many others who hate GLBT people and use the Bible as a means and tool to try and justify their sick hatred of us-collectively.
 
Thus, we must ALL band together to fight the injustice of the aforementioned dark forces of evil. Otherwise, we defeat the very purpose of trying to secure human and civil rights for
each other-which is the ultimate injustice! 
 
To this effect, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
 
So, I rest secure in the knowledge that all Bisexual people , along with GL&T people- have a rightful place in the universe and within our society, as “we” are God’s children -and God does not make mistakes!
 
The greatest feeling in my heart today is to know that I have tried for 24 years to make this world a better place in which to live for all GLBT people. 
 
And, I am grateful to my Bisexual brothers & sisters who supported me over the years, which gave me the strength to carry on. Among those iconic nationally known bisexual icons and friends were Loraine Hutchins; and Professors Lani Ka’ahumanu, Robyn Ochs, and many others too numerous to pay tribute to.
 
As for myself, I have learned in my painful journey through life that “love is where one finds it.”
 
Sincerely and bisexually yours,
 
Cliff Arnesen, Past Bisexual President
New England GLBT Veterans, Inc. Boston, MA
( “Dissolved” on Nov. 1, 2013 after 28 years of advocacy 
on behalf of our Country’s GLBT military veterans.)
 
Former Board Member: National Bisexual Advisory Board
Former Medical Patient Services Assistant, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Facebook Master Photos: Cliff Arnesen
 
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35th Anniversary of Harvey Milk and Mayor George Mancone

Thinking of Harvey Milk and Mayor George Mascons on this 35th anniversary of their senseless murder. We continue to fight for equality in his name and all others who devoted their lives to justice.

Harvey Milk inspires all of use in the LGBT community.

“Every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. Once they realize that we are indeed their children, that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and all. And once you do, you will feel so much better”

But he personally inspired me to be more active to put myself out their…I always know that everyday that I say “I’m Bryan and I’m transgender” it’s a risk.

” I fully realize that a person who stands for what I stand for, an activist, a gay activist, becomes a target or the potential target for somebody who is insecure, terrified, afraid, or very disturbed themselves.”

I love politics…how I know I’ve tried to make the world a better place and you need to know I’m standing right in front of you.

“Politics is theater. It doesn’t matter if you win. You make a statement. You say, “I’m here, pay attention to me”

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