How Tech Companies Are Celebrating Pride Month

The tech community frequently boasts about its commitment to diversity, and this June’s LGBTQ Pride Month has provided the perfect opportunity for some of the biggest tech companies to prove Continue Reading

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LGBT community wants freedom from discrimination

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community from 15 barangays of San Fernando on Friday morning marched with pride in their colorful Continue Reading

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Category:

Same-sex marriage & the social imagination of homosexuality

Applied to the case of same-sex marriage, the social imagination of homosexuality at the macro level is the collective process of creating prototypical understandings of same-sex sexuality in a society. Cohorts Continue Reading

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“Pink washing”: A Marketing Stunt or An Economic Revolution?

Pinkwashing is a portmanteau compound word of the words pink and whitewashing. In the context of LGBT rights, it is used to describe a variety of marketing and political strategies Continue Reading

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LGBT: There’s more to the acronym

You’ve probably heard the term LGBT in the news a lot lately, especially when someone is talking about gay marriage or transgender bathroom rights. But did you know that LGBT is short for an even longer acronym?

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Discrimination – It’s not about wedding cake

My Rainbow Social can help you find a baker who will not discriminate! Did you hear about the baker who refused to make a gay couple a wedding cake?

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How Does Sexual Orientation Work When You’re Transgender?

Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and / or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the gender they were assigned at birth.

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High heels were originally made for men.

These boots were made for walking… More like made for men to be walking in

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Disclosing mental health in the workplace

Around 45% of Australians aged between 16 and 85 will experience a mental illness at some point in their life.

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OUR QUEER HISTORY: Where Gay Power Started

In a society filled with hatred, fear, and ignorance of homosexuality there was at least one public venue for socializing where gays and lesbians in most major towns and cities could go—the bars.

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Girl Noticed Project Aims to Shine a Light on Female Accomplishments

A local artist is using her work to highlight the accomplishment of women who make a positive impact on others. The artist, Lori Pratico, is also a nationally recognized muralist and portrait artist.

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Suitsupply Takes A Hit On Social Media After Gay-Inclusive Ad Campaign

Suitsupply is a men’s fashion brand from Amsterdam founded by Fokke de Jong. Just the other day, the international tailor debuted a terrific gay-inclusive ad campaign featuring some male model on male model kissing. While many found it fantastic, not […]
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Taking the Buzz Word Out of Bias

Bias continues to be a big topic in diversity and inclusion, but there is more to culture change and changing mind-set than taking a test on bias. While understanding bias is one key to diversity and inclusion practices and behaviors, it can be used as a buzz word, “trend or flavor of the month,” or an academic polemic stuck in neuroscience conversations.bias

Before you decide on a program about bias, think about these two factors.

  1. Any program that includes bias training must go beyond simple recognition and include mitigation with real examples, accountability, and transformation.
  2. Training alone doesn’t bring about long-term change. You need to develop and implement an ongoing strategy for creating an inclusive culture that filters out bias in all areas. Transformation has to include people at every level in your organization and every business system and process.

Bias Basics

We have a filter in our brain that helps us interpret what we see and hear. It filters out information that is not threatening, not important, and not in our perceived reality.

We form our biases based on our experiences, what we hear and what we see.  Based on our biases, we make assumptions and stereotype other people. These stereotypes impact our actions, which can lead to exclusion, discrimination, or avoidance.

We’re not responsible for the messages we received growing up, but we are responsible for what we do once we become aware how these messages influence our thinking.

In addition, not all bias is unconscious. There is bias that is deliberate and conscious, and there is the bias that leads people to stereotypes others and believe they are right. When our bias is unconscious, we’re not aware of our actions and the impact that we have on others. When our bias is conscious or deliberate, we are aware of our actions, but think we are justified because of how we consciously feel about a whole group. It doesn’t occur to us that we might be wrong.

Learn how to create a culture of inclusion to avoid the damage hidden biases can cause to the workplace culture, when you attend: Unconscious and Systemic Bias: The Hidden Toll on Workplace Culture, Hiring, Productivity, and Retention, presented by Simma Lieberman on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. Click here to reserve your spot today!

If you think you either have no bias, know you may have unconscious bias, or that you sometimes stereotype others, try this.

Suggested action:

Be conscious of your visceral reaction or any thoughts or judgments you have about the next three people you see.  What story or impression immediately comes to mind before you give it second thought?

Notice their age, clothing, skin color,  and any other visible characteristics at the root of your bias and the first story you created.

Next, create a different story about what they do and who they are. Seeing other possibilities will help filter out your biases and wrong assumptions about people.

Point to ponder: When you have a disagreement with someone who is a different race or gender, is your first reaction to attribute the disagreement to his or her race or gender? But if you have the same disagreement with someone who is similar to you, is your first reaction to attribute it to him or her as an individual?

Bias buster: Stop thinking of individuals who are different as “representatives” of a whole group.  Take your brain off automatic and put it on manual. Stay conscious!

Our best clients who are creating inclusive cultures that last take the time to understand their own thinking even if they are uncomfortable. They’re willing to review every system, process, and cultural norm in their organization to root out opportunities for bias and exclusion.

Simma LiebermanSimma Lieberman is internationally known as “The Inclusionist,” because she creates inclusive workplaces where employees love to do their best work, and customers love to do business. In 2017. She received the Global Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award from the World Human Resource Development Congress in Mumbai.

Ms. Lieberman works with leaders of organizations who understand that while training in areas of diversity and inclusion is important, sustainable change only occurs when diversity and inclusion are integrated into the business strategy, and are part of the organization’s cultural DNA. She strongly believes that implementing good diversity management and developing cultural intelligence are necessary for organizations to stay relevant and competitive in tomorrow’s markets.

Her unique ability to view organizations through an inclusion lens also enables her to help leaders in organizations uncover employee genius, and leverage their diverse talents and skills at any level.

The post Taking the Buzz Word Out of Bias appeared first on HR Daily Advisor.

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Pretextual Failure to Promote Produce Worker Is a Recipe for Disaster

HR professionals are all too familiar with the McDonnell-Douglas burden-shifting standard for establishing discrimination from circumstantial evidence. Under the standard, an employee presents a prima facie (minimally sufficient) case that he belongs to a protected class and suffered an adverse action. The employer then presents a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for its action, and he in turn tries to prove its stated reason is merely a pretext (false excuse) for discrimination.discrimination

Each McDonnell-Douglas burden-shifting case is highly fact-specific, and—notwithstanding nearly 45 years of case law applying the standard—reasonable minds still disagree on how much evidence is required to support a finding of pretext. A recent case before the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals— which covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming—demonstrates how tricky such situations can be.

What’s the Big Dill?

“Mike,” who is originally from Nigeria, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who recently experienced the ambiguity of the McDonnell-Douglas standard firsthand. “Neil,” the director of distribution at Safeway’s Denver distribution center, hired Mike to work in the produce warehouse in October 2004. During his employment, Mike furthered his education, earning a second bachelor’s degree (in finance) and an MBA. At some point, apparently following a complaint of discrimination, Neil promoted him to supervisor. The performance of the produce warehouse improved under his watch.

Despite his education, work experience, and achievements on the job, Mike was never able to rise higher up the management chain. In 2012, he applied for two open manager positions. In each case, Neil hired a white male instead.

Mike filed suit in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, alleging that Safeway discriminated against him because of his race, color, and national origin when it failed to hire him for either manager position. The district court rejected his claims and awarded summary judgment (dismissal without trial) to Safeway under the McDonnell-Douglas standard.

Mike’s allegations satisfied his prima facie burden, but Safeway argued it had a legitimate reason for not hiring him. It claimed it had hired other candidates with “far greater potential for success” and “more relevant warehouse management and leadership skills,” and it was concerned about his “leadership and communication skills.” The district court concluded he hadn’t presented sufficient evidence for a jury to conclude that the company’s justifications were pretextual.

It Ain’t Over Lentil It’s Over!

Dissatisfied with the result, Mike appealed the district court’s decision to the 10th Circuit. The appeals court revisited six types of pretext evidence he had presented:

(1) Job qualifications. An employee can show pretext through evidence of a sham review of a rejected candidate or unreasonable denigration of the rejected candidate’s qualifications but inflation of the successful candidate’s qualifications. In this case, the 10th Circuit concluded a reasonable juror could find that Mike, with his two bachelor’s degrees and MBA, was better educated than either manager Safeway hired. One didn’t have a college degree but had 20 years of experience in the Denver distribution center (10 as a supervisor), and the other—an external candidate with warehouse management experience at Chrysler and previous experience at a different Safeway distribution center—only had a bachelor’s degree in business.

Evidence that Mike met his individual and departmental goals and increased efficiency as a supervisor in the produce warehouse established that he had the experience and demonstrated performance to qualify him for the job. In fact, Safeway’s internal talent acquisitions team identified him as a candidate who should be considered for the manager openings, but Neil refused even to interview him.

(2) Procedural irregularities. Disturbing irregularities in employment procedures can also establish pretext. In this case, evidence showed that Safeway typically preferred managerial candidates with a college degree in logistics or business.

However, Neil acknowledged he had authority to—and did—modify the qualifications for the manager positions, limiting the preferred degree to logistics (not business) and allowing work experience to substitute for education. The 10th Circuit concluded that a reasonable juror could believe that these changes were made to rig the process against Mike’s superior educational background.

(3) Past treatment. An employer’s past treatment of an employee can be evidence of unlawful bias or animus, but stray racial comments aren’t admissible unless they’re tied to the personnel decisions or the decision makers. In this case, there was evidence that Neil had treated Mike worse than other employees and had made some remarks that could be perceived as race or national origin-based—such as telling him that his coworkers don’t perceive him well and that in the States, perception is reality; or saying “You can’t call me racist because I hired you.” Because these comments were made by the decision maker, a juror could consider them as evidence of pretext.

(4) Differential treatment. Differential treatment of similarly situated individuals is “especially relevant” to measuring the validity of an employer’s stated justification. In this case, Neil said he wouldn’t promote Mike because the produce warehouse had been underperforming for 10 years and because he struggled to control absenteeism and occupational injuries and had poor relations with coworkers. But one of the manager positions was filled by an internal candidate from the same underperforming warehouse who had been counseled about absenteeism and injury issues and didn’t get along with some employees. This differential treatment cast doubt on the veracity of Safeway’s justifications.

(5) Use of subjective criteria. The use of subjective criteria—such as the “potential for success” and “leadership and communication skills” standards used here—isn’t enough by itself to establish an inference of discrimination. But when such malleable criteria are the basis for an adverse employment action, their use can magnify the inferences raised from other evidence.

(6) Minority employment. A general policy or practice with respect to a disadvantaged group can also support other evidence of pretext. In this case, the Denver distribution center hadn’t had any African-American managers during Mike’s tenure with the company, and there hadn’t been any African-American supervisors until he was promoted (following a complaint of discrimination).

The 10th Circuit acknowledged that any one of those factors alone might be insufficient to establish pretext. But viewed properly all together, the court held that the evidence was sufficient for a reasonable juror to disbelieve Safeway’s explanations for not promoting Mike. It thus reversed summary judgment for Safeway and sent the case back to the district court for further proceedings.

Meat and Potatoes

This case is a reminder that the line between legitimate and pretextual actions can be razor thin—here, even the courts disagreed. But it also underscores the importance of HR best practices that weren’t followed here (such as consistency in job descriptions and hiring protocols) and the value of job-placement audits that might identify and allow you to address potential biased decision makers before you face a lawsuit.

Charles McClellan—a partner with Foulston Siefkin—is a contributor to Kansas Employment Law Letter. You can reach him at (316) 291-9764 orcmcclellan@foulston.com.

The post Pretextual Failure to Promote Produce Worker Is a Recipe for Disaster appeared first on HR Daily Advisor.

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Aceh has just banned trans women working in hair salons

Screenshots of trans women arrested by police

Aceh –  the only province in Indonesia to rule with Islamic Sharia Law – has furthered its clampdown on the LGBTI community, this time banning trans women from working in hair salons.

Working in hair salons is one of the few sources of income for trans women. In Indonesia, trans women are are also known as waria.

The district of Aceh Bersa, which includes the local capital Banda Aceh, issued the ordered on Friday 9 February.

The order stated that any beauty business owned by a waria or employed warias would face a penalty.

‘The circular is true, and soon we will meet with all district heads to pull together data on salons in Aceh Besar,’ said Aceh Besar chief, Ali Mawardi. 

‘If we find that [a salon] employs waria, we will pull its permit.’

Mawardi also told Kumparan that his local government prohibited any actions or behaviors that contravened the province’s Sharia Law. He included being LGBTI as an illegal activity in Aceh.

His order came a day before a public seminar was held in Aceh to warn people of the looming dangers coming from the LGBTI community.

Aceh Besar was in the news recently after Mawardi ordered all female Muslim flight attendants to wear hijabs when flying into the province.

Aceh’s history of LGBTI persecution

The conservative Islamic province has been one of the worst perpetrators in Indonesia’s increasing persecution of the LGBTI community.

Last year it became the first place in Indonesia to cane men for being gay.

The two men aged in their early twenties were charged with homosexuality and sodomy. Their public caning – in which they received 82 lashes – drew international condemnation.

Trans women have also been the target of authorities in Aceh.

In December last year, a group of waria were followed by vigilantes and then detained by police without explanation after attending a birthday party. They were released the following day.

Earlier this year in a incident that may have prompted the waria hair salon ban, 12 trans women were rounded up from five different hairs salons.

They had their hair forcibly shaved and were made to wear men’s clothes. Police remanded them in custody to train them into behaving like men again, including shouting until they sounded like men.

The women were released a few days later on the condition they lived like men.

Late last week, one of the province’s federal politicians, Muslim Ayub, called for the death penalty or life in jail for LGBTI people.

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Trans man wins China’s first illegal dismissal case amid calls for anti-discrimination laws

A court in China ruled in favor of a trans man who sued his employer for unfair dismissal after he was sacked for wearing men’s clothes.

Known as Mr C, he was fired from his job a week after starting at the health center in Guizhou. The town is about 1200 miles south west of Beijing.

In a first hearing on the matter in early January, the Guiyang Yunyan District People’s Court did not rule the man was discriminated against exclusively because of his gender identity.

The court ordered Mr C’s employers to pay him a salary 843 yuan (US$133) and compensation of 1,500 yuan (US$238).

At the time Mr C said the decision was a landmark for trans people in China.

‘It is the first case in China where a sexual minority wins,’ he told the AFP.

‘It is also a piece of good news for the community.’

Two people one man in a suit and a woman in a grey cardian post in front of an official emblem

Mr C (R) with anti-discrimination lawyer Liu Xiaonan. | Photo: Weibo

Mr C appeals the decision

But Mr C was not satisfied with the court’s ruling that he was not discriminated against because he was trans. He quickly appealed the decision in Guiyang Intermediate People’s Court .

‘I have not received an apology up until now, which actually means that – in law – there is still very little protection in this area,’ he told Radio Free Asia.

The court ruled in favor of Mr C. It ordered the court to pay him an increased amount in lost wages and compensation totalling to about 4000 yuan (US$635).

The appeal ruling read that a person should not be discriminated against because of their gender identity.

‘An individual’s gender identity and gender expression falls within the protection of general personality rights, [everyone] should respect others’ rights to gender identity and expression,’ the ruling read.

‘Workers should not experience differential treatment based on their gender identity and expression.’

Trans rights in China

A landmark study in 2017 revealed trans people in China face high levels of discrimination and violence.

The National Survey of the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Population found almost 50% of the study participants said they had considered suicide or self-harm.

Also, due to widespread workplace discrimination, trans people often lived with very low incomes. A third of people earned less than 25,000 yuan ($3,770) a year.

‘The discrimination from work is a reason that a relatively large number of transgender respondents earn a low income,’ the Beijing LGBT Center’s director, Xin Ying said at the time

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Celine Walker is the 4th trans woman murdered in the United States in 2018

36-year-old Celine Walker

Celine Walker, age 36, became the fourth transgender person murdered in the United States in 2018.

Walker was found dead from a gunshot wound in a Jacksonville, Florida motel room. She was pronounced dead at the scene on Sunday, 4 February.

Why it matters

According to PghLesbian Correspondents, a Pittsburgh-based LGBTI blog, Walker was the third trans woman of color and second black trans woman to be killed in the country this year.

Walker’s death is the second reported murder of a trans person within a week.

The police misgendering and deadnaming Walker caused the announcement of her death to be delayed a week. Initial reports of the incident also misgendered and deadnamed Walker.

Reactions

‘The reason the media has misgendered her is because it started with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, who is claiming they have a policy that does not refer to victims as transgender,’ writes blogger TransGriot. ‘Well Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department, y’all need to deal with the reality that trans people exists, because it was not only disrespectful to refer to Celine as a man, not stating from the outset that a transgender female was murdered (see how easy that was Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office) has delayed your investigation.’

‘Celine was not a pageant girl. She didn’t even enjoy going to gay clubs or events,’ Walker’s friend, Naomi Michaels, wrote on Facebook.

‘There are several parts of this story that disturb me very much. One is that Jacksonville is home to some of the most amazingly talented Transwomen I know. That being said you’d think that this city could have some type of policy for dealing with the death and murder of transpeople. They don’t,’ Michaels said.

How can I help?

Police ask that anyone with information about Walker’s death contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at +1 (904) 630-0500, or via email at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org, or contact First Coast Crime Stoppers at +1 (866) 845-8477 (TIPS).

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Andrea Marra and Melissa Sklarz Running For Office In New York State!

Image result for Andy Marra

The list of trans people,running for office in 2018 to #TransformPolitics continues to grow.

Have two more names to add to that list and both are longtime advocates and friends of mine in New York state running for legislative office there.

Andrea Marra is running for a New York State senate seat in Senate District 13 against the incumbent DINO senator Jose Peralta.   Peralta is colluding with the NY Senate Republicans so they can keep control of the Senate and block progressive legislation coming out of the Democratically controlled state Assembly. 

Senate District 13 covers the neighborhoods of Queens, Jackson Heights and  Astoria in New York City.

Image may contain: 1 person, text

One of the bills that is caught up in that legislative drama is GENDA.   That transgender rights bill has passed multiple times by large margins out of the Assembly, but has yet to get a hearing, much less a vote in the Republican controlled Senate in large part because of the sellout group of Democrats who caucus with the Republicans.

Should Andrea’s run for the SD 13 seat be successful, it would not only put a Democrat back in the Senate 13 seat, it would also put the party one step closer to finally getting control of the NY Senate in a predominately Democratic state and breaking the GOP senate logjam preventing progressive legislation from getting passed and signed into law by Gov.Andrew Cuomo (D).

Andrea said this about her race on her Facebook page.

It’s time to dish on what I’ve been working on for months. With already 210 contributions raising nearly $50,000 in just 30 days, I’m running for state senate to tackle the affordability crisis affecting New Yorkers from all walks of life. An affordable New York enabled my parents to succeed and I am running to ensure that other working and middle class people are offered that same kind of opportunity.

Image result for andy marra

I’m running against the incumbent Jose Peralta who walked away from the Democratic conference and now shares power with the Republicans. Enabling the party of Trump is clearly not the answer, yet Peralta is proud of his new affiliation. He even accepted $20,000 from Richard LeFrak, a close friend and major donor to Trump. Now more than ever, we need a strong and progressive state government to safeguard all New Yorkers from the real harm coming out of the White House. And I am excited to work hard and earn the privilege of serving my local community.

In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to meeting more of my neighbors and listen to their concerns where 167 languages are spoken and difference of all kinds is valued. Let’s transform New York, together.#Marra2018 #SD13 #QNS #WatchMeWork

Marra would also be making history if she’s successful.   If she wins she’d be the first out Asian American elected to the NY Senate and the first Asian descended trans person elected to public office anywhere in the United States.   She’d  also be the first out trans person of any ethnic background elected to the New York state legislature.

Image may contain: 1 person, sittingThe other person attempting to make electoral history is another longtime New York based trans advocate in Melissa Sklarz.

Melissa is no stranger to making history.  In 2016 she became one of the first trans person in New York state who was named and cast a vote as an Electoral College presidential elector 

Sklarz is running for the 30th State Assembly district seat that is also in Queens.   The 30th Assembly District covers Woodside, Maspeth, and parts of Middle Village, Astoria, Sunnyside and Long Island City.

She’s also challenging an incumbent in Assemblyman Brian Barnwell who defeated a 9 time incumbent in the Democratic primary in 2016.

So needless to say Melissa is going to have a tough race and this is what she had to say about it from her Facebook page.  .

My dream is finally coming true. I am excited to announce my run for the New York State Assembly’s 30th Assembly District in Queens (Woodside, Maspeth, and parts of Middle Village, Astoria, and Sunnyside). This is the first of many announcements to come about this campaign. This race will not be easy, and I will need your help. 

Image result for Melissa sklarz presidential elector

After the 2016 election, I realized that now, more than ever, my years of experience in Albany and NYC advocating for equality will be put to good use representing the voters in my district. With our transportation network in crisis, the Trump budget assault on New Yorkers, and women still lacking proper representation in all sectors, I will make sure all voices are heard in Albany. 

Please donate whatever you can and share with your networks. I look forward to working with you and for you! #Melissa2018https://secure.actblue.com/donate/melissa-2018-1

Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club Endorses Bernie Sanders

Should Sklarz win this race, she would be making trans history again by becoming the first out trans person elected to the New York General Assembly.

Run Andrea and Melissa Run!   Good luck to both of you in this 2018 election year that is becoming more interesting by the day. 

Hope those of you living in New York will help them both out and help them with their campaigns either with your cash, your volunteer time and more importantly, your votes.   

This is your chance trans New Yorkers, to elect someone to the legislature to represent you, and hope you take advantage of it.

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Trump is going to introduce a new transgender military policy

People protesting the original transgender military ban.

Donald Trump and his administration have plans to introduce a new transgender military policy on 21 February.

The date seems to refer to the memorandum Trump inititally released regarding his transgender military ban. In the memo, there was direction for the defense secretary to submit an implementation plan by 21 February.

US District Judge Marvin Garbis, who is ruling one on of the many cases challenging the initial ban, noted in the new policy in an order filed on Tuesday (6 February).

In the order, Garbis writes that Trump’s counsel will not be defending the original policy. Instead, they will defend the new policy coming out this month.

As of 1 January, trans people were allowed to join the military again.

It is unclear what the new policy will entail and how it will change matters.

Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News they would be making ‘recommendations’ to the White House. However, a final decision on the new policy will only come from Trump and his team.

Cruel and unconstitutional

In an emailed statement to GSN, HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride responded to the upcoming policy.

‘There has already been extensive and thorough study of allowing transgender people to serve openly,’ she said. ‘A process which led the Pentagon two years ago to announce that the United States would join eighteen other nations that allow open trans service.

‘There are currently thousands of transgender people serving in the U.S. military,’ the statement continued. ‘Their skills and service are already proving invaluable to our national security. In their repeated attempts to implement and justify this cruel and unconstitutional policy, the Trump-Pence Administration has been the only source of disruption on this issue.’

Indeed, a study by RAND discovered trans inclusion in the military would have ‘minimal impact on readiness and health care costs’.

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Christine Forster and Virginia Flitcroft’s high profile same-sex wedding

Virginia Flitcroft and Christine Forster — sister of former prime minister Tony Abbott who famously campaigned for the no vote in the same-sex marriage postal survey last year — talk about the effect of their relationship on their families, and how they approached their big day.
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Strait-acting gay men and trends of disposition and gender

Identity and who we are attracted to is a diverse and multifaceted spectrum. Gender stereotypes are often ingrained in our minds from being born into communities and household that are Continue Reading

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How much does LGBTI exclusion really cost?

Unless you want to see world war 3, don’t deny another human the same rights and entitlements, because you jeopardize the meaning of the word that connects us all. “HUMAN”

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Marriage is about love not gender

I’m a bit surprised that the government has not made a move yet on “Civil Unions “or “Life Partners” being legally recognised in Australia.

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Trans*, Non-Binary, and Genderqueer Sexualities

It can be incredibly challenging to find information about sex and sexuality geared toward or focused around genderqueer and non-binary people. The lack of coverage of these identities in mainstream resources as Continue Reading

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