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Media Release: Bold changes announced to combat defunding

Media Release: Bold changes announced to combat defunding | Gay News | Scoop.it

A new Treasurer, three new board members and a revised program of health and wellbeing services for the next financial year were announced by Healthy Communities today, nearly a year since all the organisation’s Queensland Health funding was controversially cut late last year.


The bold changes come in the wake of industry and community concern for a lack of mental, physical and emotional assistance for the LGBT community, and offer the first optimistic turn-around for the organisation since the cuts were announced.


The defunding made Queensland the only Australian state not to have a government funded peer organisation specifically working to prevent the spread of HIV in gay men, who account for 68% per cent of cases in the state.


The four new board members, who include a law lecturer, media strategist, public health specialist and compliance manager, were selected on their ability to bring much needed skills to the obstacles faced by the organisation.


Services confirmed to continue include resource centres, mental health, and training and consultancy, while HIV, STI, Hep C, alcohol, tobacco and other drug programs have been significantly reduced.


Healthy Communities President Joanne Leamy said Healthy Communities was overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of expressions of interest for the board positions, which became vacant due to retiring members.


“The Board had a difficult job in selecting just four people among the many skilled and experienced people who offered to become involved,” Ms Leamy said.


“Our organisation has been able to survive because of a range of grants and donations, but we have also had to dip into our reserves, which is why a fresh approach will be so valuable during this time.


“Our volunteers, staff, donors and supporters have really stood by us this past year and enabled us to continue to serve LGBT Queenslanders, despite the challenges.”


Healthy Communities also announced Executive Director Paul Martin will be moving on from his role to allow a new leader with different skills, experience, contacts and ideas to take the organisation forward into the next phase of its journey.


Ms Leamy said Mr Martin would be staying on with Healthy Communities until a new Executive Director was appointed to assist with the induction and handover of the organisation’s future leader.


“We have been most fortunate to have Paul as our Executive Director in times of growth, development and change,” Ms Leamy said.


“Paul is highly respected within Healthy Communities, Queensland and across Australia for his integrity, honesty, advocacy and passion.“


-- ENDS --


New board member bios:


Charles Hammersla (Newstead, Brisbane) has been appointed Treasurer. Charles Hammersla has over 10 years of senior retail experience in various roles with Wesfarmers owned businesses, including Coles supermarkets and Kmart. Legally qualified, he is currently the National Compliance Manager - Facilities, for Kmart, overseeing a wide portfolio for that business across Australia and New Zealand. Charles has broad experience in a variety of areas including budgetary management, legal and regulatory compliance and retail management. Charles is a qualified JP in QLD and is looking forward to assisting Healthy Communities in their future work.


Christopher Cliffe (Cairns) is the new Northern Region Member. Christopher trained as a nurse and public health specialist. He is currently Director of Nursing in Far North Queensland and has worked in senior positions for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, National Centre for Quality Improvement in Indigenous Primary Care and the International Red Cross. He has extensive experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and internationally in disaster relief. Christopher is also past-President of CRANAplus, the professional body for remote and isolated health professionals in Australia, Deputy Chair of the Coalition of National Nursing Organisations and on the Prevention and Community Health Committee of the National Health & Medical Research Council.


Peter Black (New Farm, Brisbane) has been appointed as a General Board Member. Peter has completed law degrees in Australia and the U.S. and is currently a Senior Lecturer, at the Law School, QUT. He has lectured in law at several universities and has written extensively, especially on the law and social/new media. Peter was also the Campaigns Manager for Electronic Frontiers Australia, which successfully lobbied against the introduction of a mandatory government internet filter. Peter is an active blogger and has a regular weekly segment on ABC local radio and 4ZZZ and well as appearing regularly on ABC News 24.


Patrick MacDonald (Newstead, Brisbane) has also been appointed as a General Board Member. Patrick is a Senior Consultant at Cole Lawson Communications, specialising in media strategy and reputation and crisis management. Patrick was recently awarded the National Golden Target Award 2012 (Issues Management and Recovery Communications), the Queensland State Award for Excellence 2012 (Issues Management and Recovery Communications), and the 2012 Ian Robertson Award for emerging PR professional of the year by the Public Relations Institute of Australia.


Healthy Communities services for the 2013-2014 financial year:


Resource Centres – in Cairns and Brisbane providing office accommodation for Healthy Communities staff and volunteers, other LGBT organisations and meeting space for LGBT and HIV groups and organisations.


2 Spirits – HIV, STI and Hep C prevention for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander gay men & sistergirls. 2 Spirits will also seek to expand its services to additional health and cultural issues affecting LGBT indigenous people, subject to additional funding.


Men4Men – HIV, STI prevention and sexual health promotion among gay and other men who have sex with men.


LGBT Health – promoting health and wellbeing through our volunteer lead action groups including Lesbian Health, LGBT Seniors, Transgender Health and LGBT history.


Training & Consultancy – providing LGBT awareness training and consultancy services to health and community services, as well as the private sector, assisting them to be LGBT inclusive.


MindOUT – in partnership with the National LGBTI Health Alliance, developing the capacity of Queensland mental health organisations and the LGBTI community to better respond to the mental health and suicide prevention needs of LGBTI Queenslanders.


Health Policy – providing public policy advice and assistance to governments and mainstream organisations to help build healthy public policy for LGBT people and create supportive environments.


Healthy Communities also hopes to make an announcement in the coming weeks about new and continuing services for LGBTI seniors.


Over the next few months Healthy Communities with be consulting about the formal inclusion of intersex people in the work and constitution of the organisation. Consultation will occur with intersex people and organisations as well as the Healthy Communities membership. A final recommendation will be made to the AGM in November.

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Beautiful Photography Project Celebrates The Diversity Of Gender Expression All Around The World

Beautiful Photography Project Celebrates The Diversity Of Gender Expression All Around The World | Gay News | Scoop.it

Writer Emily Besa and photographer Bernd Ott have spent the better part of the last year and a half traveling around the world (5 major cities in 4 different countries so far) speaking with individuals about how they personally define and express their own gender identity. “A lot of projects we found tend to focus on one aspect of being non-binary or non-conforming and we were particularly interested in relating the infinite possibilities of gender expression and identity,” Besa, one half of the team behind the All The People project, told BuzzFeed. “From the beginning we wanted to avoid any kind of labeling or categorization.”


The assortment of portraits and interviews debuted as a “work in progress” when presented at Amsterdam’s TransPride this past weekend. Besa spoke with BuzzFeed about her work on the project, as well as her hopes for the upcoming finished book.

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Advocates fear Tony Abbott's 'same-sex marriage plebiscite' would delay change

Advocates fear Tony Abbott's 'same-sex marriage plebiscite' would delay change | Gay News | Scoop.it

A plebiscite on same-sex marriage could delay change for two years, advocates fear, following reports Tony Abbott was canvassing the idea with colleagues.

Channel 7 reported on Monday night the prime minister had sounded out some of his senior colleagues on holding a plebiscite after the next election, following Labor’s decision to keep a conscience vote for two terms, before moving to make support for same-sex marriage a binding policy. .

Critics say Labor’s decision has taken the urgency out of the debate and potentially deferred a planned Coalition party room discussion on granting a conscience vote.

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GOP’s Open Season on Gay Kids

GOP’s Open Season on Gay Kids | Gay News | Scoop.it

As the one-month anniversary of nationwide same-sex marriage approaches, some top GOP leaders have already moved on from LGBT adults to LGBT kids. And why wouldn’t they? LGBT youth can’t vote, generally don’t get married, and have even fewer avenues for legal recourse than their adult counterparts.

If there was any doubt that youth are up next in the seemingly never-ending LGBT culture war, last week proved it. While the abortion debate took up most of the political bandwidth, some in the Republican Party were busy ensuring that LGBT youth would become a 2016 talking point.

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What Happened When I Created the Transgender Flag Photo Filter

What Happened When I Created the Transgender Flag Photo Filter - The Pansexual Labyrinth - Medium

As many of you are well aware, there was a great victory for social justice on Friday, June 26, 2015, when the Supreme Court of the United States declared any law banning gay marriage unconstitutional. Millions of gay, white, cisgender men were liberated from the violent oppression of the State, as Equality finally arrived in his beautiful, TD Bank sponsored rainbow carriage to spread happiness across the land. It was a day filled with much joy and laughter as the rainbow was declared the national bird of the United States of America and everyone was invited to join in on the fun and celebrate Pride ™.

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Gay literature is firmly out of the closet in India

Gay literature is firmly out of the closet in India | Gay News | Scoop.it

Even as same-sex couples in India struggle to gain legal recognition, in literature they are the heroes and heroines.


Over the years, a number of Indian writers have steadily produced remarkable gay literature, keeping alive the issue of inequality in love through their compelling stories. Here is an overview of some of the books and plays that have blazed a trail for gay rights in the country.

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Boy Scouts Are Poised to End Ban on Gay Leaders

Boy Scouts Are Poised to End Ban on Gay Leaders | Gay News | Scoop.it

The Boy Scouts of America is expected on Monday to end its blanket ban on gay leaders — a turning point for an organization that has been in turmoil over the issue.

But some scouting groups will still be able to limit leadership jobs to heterosexuals.

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Brisbane Pride Festival wants you!

Brisbane Pride Festival wants you! | Gay News | Scoop.it

Are you a group, individual or business keen to show your rainbow pride and get involved with the Brisbane queer community? Then Brisbane Pride wants to hear from you.

The annual celebration of all things LGBTI, Brisbane Pride Festival, will kick off on August 28 to provide a month long extravaganza of rainbow loving goodness and the festival organisers are looking for all manner of events to include in the festival calendar.

Brisbane Pride Incorporated invites community groups, businesses and individuals to submit an event as part of the 2015 festival.

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Gays and right-wingers: an unhappy marriage

Gays and right-wingers: an unhappy marriage | Gay News | Scoop.it

So if we don't see a conscience vote it will not be because the majority didn't want change, it will be because the majority and the leader were happy to throw out a long-held Liberal view about conscience issues and were happy to ignore public opinion. But I don't think Tony Abbott will do either of these things, because he is a liberal and he is a politician.

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When Should You Use Come vs. Cum? It Depends What Kind of Sex You’re Describing.

When Should You Use Come vs. Cum? It Depends What Kind of Sex You’re Describing. | Gay News | Scoop.it

Rather than part-of-speech dependent, in other words, the spelling should be context dependent, because the tonal shimmer around cum is very distinct from the one around comeCome and cum are not two different words for the same act-cum-orgasm ectoplasm; they are two different words for two different acts-cum-orgasm ectoplasms. And all four meanings have their place.

Pete's insight:

What do you use, "cum" or "come"?
And do you agree these rules with article suggests?:


"And here are some contexts in which it probably makes more sense to use come:

  • magazine article, real magazine
  • novel, literary
  • nonfiction, historical
  • letter to the editor, newspaper


Contexts in which it probably makes more sense to use cum:

  • magazine article, men’s magazine
  • novel, romance
  • nonfiction, steamy memoir
  • sexts"
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How Scalia Helped Make Workplace LGBT Discrimination Illegal in All 50 States

How Scalia Helped Make Workplace LGBT Discrimination Illegal in All 50 States | Gay News | Scoop.it

On Thursday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dropped a bombshell: Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, the EEOC ruled, is already illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This ruling—which is binding on EEOC conciliations between employers and employees, and is an extremely persuasive authority for courts—has been a long time in the making. In fact, it can be traced back to a unanimous 1997 Supreme Court opinion written by none other than Justice Antonin Scalia.

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Australian aid for HIV and LGBTI projects overseas vital: Labor national president

Australian aid for HIV and LGBTI projects overseas vital: Labor national president | Gay News | Scoop.it

LABOR’S national president Jenny McAllister has told the Star Observer she is “horrified” by recent cuts to Australia’s overseas aid budget and funding must be maintained to HIV prevention programs.

McAllister, a NSW Labor Senator, spoke to the Star Observer from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam where she visited a number of projects backed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – which Australia supports financially – including initiatives aimed at promoting LGBTI inclusion.

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Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Barred By Existing US Law, Federal Commission Rules

Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Barred By Existing US Law, Federal Commission Rules | Gay News | Scoop.it

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that existing civil rights law bars sexual orientation-based employment discrimination — a groundbreaking decision to advance legal protections for gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers.


“[A]llegations of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation necessarily state a claim of discrimination on the basis of sex,” the commission concluded in a decision dated July 15.


The independent commission addressed the question of whether the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars anti-LGB discrimination in a complaint brought by a Florida-based air traffic control specialist against Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx.


The ruling — approved by a 3-2 vote of the five-person commission — applies to federal employees’ claims directly, but it also applies to the entire EEOC, which includes its offices across the nation that take and investigate claims of discrimination in private employment.

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My Month of Hell in a Gay CrossFit Cult

My Month of Hell in a Gay CrossFit Cult | Gay News | Scoop.it

Coach Brad is a magnificent, roaring Clydesdale of a man, standing 6-and-a-half feet tall, with blond hair, a golden complexion, and deep-set blue eyes. He speaks in a core-shaking baritone. His head looks like it ought to be atop a pedestal in the antiquities wing of the Met, where it could be quietly admired. His facial features are so architectural that I scribble in my notebook, “Looks part Klingon.” Then Coach Brad slaps his hands together and booms: “Excellent! You should all be taking notes, like this guy!” I haven’t a clue what he’s been talking about for the past five minutes to our timid group of misshapen nerds, but have jotted down odd words like “burpee,” “snatch,” and “jumping squat.”

Each level of the Black Box, an open-floor-plan CrossFit gym in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, is divided into four “pods.” Some CrossFitters from other gyms around the city criticize the Black Box for its factory-like atmosphere, where classes of different skill levels, with about 20 students each, stream in and out with blazing efficiency all day long, nearly every hour from about 5 a.m. until 8 at night.

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Here Are Your Penis Beauty Standards

Here Are Your Penis Beauty Standards | Gay News | Scoop.it

What makes an attractive penis? Is it a nice, even skin tone? Is it girth? Length? Can a penis be too fat? Too skinny? Can the head be too bulbous? (Yes.) Are all dongs beautiful or is beauty really just in the eye of the beholder? If it doesn't look like Ca$h Out's penis, is it then considered kind of ugly? Is there such a thing as a "butter dick"?

Pete's insight:

This study was based on what women found attractive.  I wonder if it would be different if the same study was done with gay men.

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Obama's Canny Gay Rights Push in Kenya

Obama's Canny Gay Rights Push in Kenya | Gay News | Scoop.it

President Obama’s first visit to Kenya as U.S. president concluded on Sunday and, for all intents and purposes, the journey went well: Obama was greeted by adoring crowds throughout the country and was also able to meet with a number of his relatives.

But the trip did include one tense moment. Appearing at a press conference with his counterpart, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, on Saturday, Obama spoke out about the importance of gay rights in the country.

“As somebody who has family in Kenya and knows the history of how the country so often is held back because women and girls are not treated fairly, I think those same values apply when it comes to different sexual orientations,” he said. He then likened anti-gay discrimination as “the path whereby freedoms begin to erode and bad things happen.”

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Drag Queens Officially Banned From Gay Pride Event For Being "Offensive"

Drag Queens Officially Banned From Gay Pride Event For Being "Offensive" | Gay News | Scoop.it

The PC police have landed and this time they have their sights set on drag queens.


Organizers of Free Pride Glasgow, which bills itself as the “anti-commercialist” alternative to the main Glasgow Pride festival, just announced that drag queens are officially banned from performing at their event next month because they “offensive,” not “appropriate,” and may make some trans people feel “uncomfortable.”


In a statement, organizers said: “After much discussion, the trans and non binary caucus decided not to have drag acts perform at the event. This does not mean that people of any gender can’t wear what they want to the event, we simply won’t be having any self-described drag acts perform at our Free Pride Event on the 22nd August.”

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This Is What Happened When Protesters Tried To Shut Down Korea Pride

This Is What Happened When Protesters Tried To Shut Down Korea Pride | Gay News | Scoop.it

When Christians protested against gay pride in Korea, these LGBT Koreans continued with their celebrations.


On June 28th, 2015 Seoul held its LGBT pride festival which was part of the three week long Korean Queer Culture Festival. A month before, Christians have been doing whatever it took to shut down the Queer Festival. The anti-LGBT protesters stood outside the police station, trying to get permits in order to hold an event in the exact same location as the Queer Festival.


Due to conflicting permits, the police were planning to shut down the parade but the court ruled that the parade must go on. Because of this conflict, police were responsible for separating the Christians and LGBT supporters who held events in the vicinity of one another.


Eight different counter protests took place and the biggest of them all was organized by a church and created the Korean Churches Anti-LGBT Response Committee.

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Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to pick from the past to face the future

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to pick from the past to face the future | Gay News | Scoop.it

SYDNEY Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will make greater use of volunteers’ skills and reunite its office and workshop in an effort to bring the festival to surplus — effectively reversing a number of changes made to the organisation over the last five years.

In an interview with the Star Observer, acting chief executive Michele Bauer also said the sheer size of the parade, as well as wave of construction in Sydney, would inevitably have an effect on the future shape of the festival.

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Bill Shorten wins compromise on gay marriage

Bill Shorten wins compromise on gay marriage | Gay News | Scoop.it

Bill Shorten has promised to legalise gay marriage in the first 100 days of an ALP government, and to put as much pressure as possible on the Abbott government on the issue in the meantime.

At ALP national conference late today, Mr Shorten moved a motion, seconded by deputy leader Tanya Plibersek, resolving that “the matter of same sex marriage can be freely debated at any state or federal forum of the Australian Labor Party, but any decision reached is not binding on any member of the party.”

Under pressure from the Left faction to immediately drop an existing conscience vote for federal MPs in favour of a binding vote on the issue, Mr Shorten announced a compromise to deliver laws in the next parliamentary term under a Labor government, or see Labor MPs bound to vote in favour in the parliament after that.

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Stop slut-shaming me! I’m proud of my gay porn work

Stop slut-shaming me! I’m proud of my gay porn work | Gay News | Scoop.it

I do want to say that porn work is no crime. We all have sex in our homes – some outdoors, some by meeting random hook-up off apps like Grindr or Tinder – so why do people have a problem with filming it? 

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Your Worst Ever Hookups Take to the Stage in ‘Grindr the Musical’

Your Worst Ever Hookups Take to the Stage in ‘Grindr the Musical’ | Gay News | Scoop.it

Sadly not coming soon to a theater near you, Grindr the Musical is a three-minute trailer that just makes us wish there really was a full show on the way.


The short sees a fresh-faced kid arrive in New York ready for his exciting new life on Grindr, with hopes of finding his true love on the ubiquitous hookup app. In case you hadn’t guessed, it doesn’t go exactly according to plan.


Director Andrew Putschoegl (of BFFs, an Outfest 2014 favorite) partnered with writerJC Gardiner (a.k.a. Hunter from comedy duo Jessica & Hunter) and musician Mark Byers (a.k.a. RuPaul collaborator Markaholic) to make the musical, which already feels like a full show waiting to happen.


“I brought the idea to JC Gardiner and Mark Byers in October of last year,” Putschoegl told Frontiers by email. “We developed it for a few months on and off, Mark put together some demos early this year, and we shot the video at the beginning of March.Nicco Annan choreographed everything and we shot the four song segments in about four hours. It was pretty intense, but the cast and crew did a phenomenal job on a tight schedule.”


Watch the video below, and just try and pretend you wouldn’t watch a whole two-hour show ...

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The Complicated Politics of Where to Come

The Complicated Politics of Where to Come | Gay News | Scoop.it

A successful sexual encounter will require many negotiations — some conducted explicitly, others through gesture and subtext. And while many negotiations are more fraught than where to come, few occur with such speed and urgency. (Or practical ramifications: “I let him do it on me because I don’t like doing laundry,” my friend Anne said of blow jobs conducted in bed. “But I already shower.”) And though sex may require the management of any number of fluids — from people of any gender — this column will deal with the fluid that comes out of a penis during unprotected sex. This is a column about cum, and where it lands. (Note that, when it comes to the spelling of cum, I defer to the Strunk and White of filth, the Vice style guide. Come is the verb, cum the resulting substance.)

Pete's insight:

While this article is about sex between men and women, I did wonder if the politics of where to cum is equally tricky when it involves sex between two (or more) men.  I tend to think it's not as fraught, but maybe that's just me ...


Thoughts?

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Sex on premises

Sex on premises | Gay News | Scoop.it

In news that will shock absolutely no-one, gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM) enjoy having sex. Often, we’re not too fussed where – bedrooms, backrooms, bathrooms – so much so that commercial operations exist to provide gay men the opportunity to show up, fuck and leave.

They’re called Sex on Premises Venues, or SOPVs. As a homogenous idea of ‘gay culture’ is slowly digitised into app-based cruising, and nightclubs struggle to attract the next generation of gay men, can the SOPV endure? And if so, for how long?

SOPVs have a long association with gay culture, stretching back to a time when open displays of our sexuality were at best frowned upon, and at worst illegal. These operations emerged from working class bathhouses – a necessary service when working bachelors lived in rooms, rather than self-contained apartments. There was, and continues to be, a degree of homosexual activity in these gatherings. As ‘the gay identity’ emerged, the working-class necessity of bathhouses gave way to gay-specific venues.

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PrEP: Third FDA Anniversary

PrEP: Third FDA Anniversary | Gay News | Scoop.it

Three years ago today the FDA approved Truvada as a daily HIV preventive. Since then PrEP has remained controversial. Powerful naysayers like the AIDS Healthcare Foundation run anti-PrEP ads in a major publications while other HIV/AIDS groups and health departments in major US cities vigorously promote PrEP for at-risk populations. In another PrEP promotion, the hook-up app Scruff is today supporting PrEP Action Day on social media.

Pete's insight:

Truvada has still not been approved for use as PrEP in Australia.

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Ireland passes law allowing trans people to choose their legal gender

Ireland passes law allowing trans people to choose their legal gender | Gay News | Scoop.it

Transgender people in Ireland have won legal recognition of their status after a law was passed allowing them to change their legal gender with no medical or state intervention.

The majority of countries in Europe require transgender people to undergo surgery and sterilisation, or be diagnosed with a mental disorder and get divorced if they are married, in order to have their desired gender legally recognised.

The gender recognition bill, passed late on Wednesday and set to be signed into law by the end of July, makes Ireland only the third European country, after Denmark and Malta, to allow transgender people aged over 18 to change their legal gender without intervention.

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