In Haiti, slight progress for LGBT rights is seen as victory

In Haiti, slight progress for LGBT rights is seen as victory

Yaisah Val, 46, a transgender woman, watches a movie with her husband, Richecarde Val, 28, in their home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. — AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Yaisah Val recently came out publicly as a transgender woman on YouTube, a potentially risky move in a country like Haiti where LGBT residents face pervasive hostility in most spheres of public life.

Two proposed anti-LGBT laws are pending in Parliament. The major churches are firm in their condemnation of homosexuality. Gay Haitians are frequent targets of attacks and harassment, and police are often unsympathetic to victims of anti-gay violence.

“We told my family beforehand,” Val told The Associated Press of her decision to come out. “And they said, ‘You’re going to be stoned.’”

Instead, Val says she’s developed a supportive fan base — many of them straight people and mothers who gratefully view her as a role model for their transgender daughters. Val says she’s occasionally recognized on the streets by people who want to be photographed with her. And she recently attended a meeting in Washington, D.C., as part of a delegation trying to strengthen LGBT rights in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Her situation is indicative of the struggle for LGBT rights in Caribbean nations like Haiti, where incremental progress toward acceptance is seen as a major step in the face of deep-rooted cultural opposition to gays. Val and other activists have been pushing for greater equality and access to education, and have been welcomed into some broader civil-society initiatives, including events supported by Haiti’s first lady.

They also realize it’s an uphill fight in a country with a strong anti-gay stigma — contributing to an HIV prevalence rate among gay men that’s nine times higher than for the adult population as a whole.

The SEROvie Foundation, a 20-year-old organization providing free HIV treatment and prevention services for LGBT Haitians, says many gay and bisexual men avoid seeking care because they fear mistreatment or disclosure of personal details. Executive director Reginald Dupont said several men had committed suicide in the city of Jeremie after their HIV status was publicly revealed.

As a precaution against harassment, there’s no exterior sign identifying the foundation’s main clinic in Port-au-Prince — a two-story building in a neighborhood housing several international organizations.

The complex includes an emergency shelter in the rear courtyard where victims of anti-gay violence and harassment can stay for up to two weeks. It was busy last year, staffers said, when debate in the Senate over anti-gay laws triggered a spate of attacks.

According to the latest figures from UNAIDS — the United Nations agency that fights HIV and AIDS — about 2.1 percent of all Haitian adults are living with HIV, while prevalence rate among gay and bisexual men is 18.2 percent.

The overall HIV prevalence rate, though still among the highest in the Western Hemisphere, is down sharply from a decade ago. UNAIDS says new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths have both decreased by about 25 percent since 2010.

However, further progress will be difficult without addressing the persistently high infection rate among gays and bisexuals, said Dr. Jean William Pape, who founded Haiti’s largest HIV/AIDs organization in 1982 and also teaches at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

Anti-gay bias is prevalent even among health care providers, said Pape, who recounted how one of his senior staff members complained about the flamboyant appearance of some gay men.

“I told him, ‘They can look the way they want. Our job is to provide care,’” Pape said.

The head of the UNAIDS operation in Haiti, Yafflo Outarra, says he and officials of other humanitarian organizations have been prodding the government to be more active in countering anti-LGBT prejudice. But he acknowledges the task is daunting, given the results of a survey last year commissioned by Haiti’s Health Ministry with support from UNAIDS and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among the 1,089 respondents in the nationwide survey, 90 percent rejected the idea of equal rights for LGBT people and 75 percent said Haiti should ban gays and lesbians from entering the country.

“The results were not encouraging,” Outarra said.

Given that background, it’s striking that Haiti’s most prominent LGBT activist, while dismayed at the hostility, is hopeful about the future.

“More and more young people, bringing their skills, are getting engaged in our fight,” said Charlot Jeudy, president of Kouraj, Haiti’s leading LGBT-rights group. Jeudy founded the group in 2011, seeking to counter anti-gay sentiment that intensified after the previous year’s devastating earthquake.

Prior to Kouraj’s founding, Haiti’s LGBT community remained largely underground because of social stigma, even though there are no laws criminalizing homosexual relations as there are in several English-speaking Caribbean nations. Two years ago, an LGBT cultural festival in Port-au-Prince was canceled after organizers received threats and a local official, calling it a violation of moral values, sought to ban it. — (AP)

Last year, Haiti’s Senate passed two bills targeting LGBT Haitians. One would formalize a ban on same-sex marriage, and prohibit public demonstrations in favor of LGBT rights. The other would include gays among categories of people who could be denied a “certificate of good standing” — a document required as part of many job applications.

Kouraj and other advocacy groups, as well as some foreign diplomats and international organizations, voiced opposition to both bills, which have not advanced in Parliament’s lower house.

Jeudy attributes much of the anti-LGBT animosity to the influence of Haiti’s Catholic and Protestant churches. The main exception, Jeudy said, is the Voodoo religion, which is more welcoming to LGBT people in keeping with its tradition as a spiritual home for marginalized communities.

Yaisah Val’s husband, Richecarde, experienced religious disapproval firsthand. When he told his father, a Protestant pastor, that he planned to marry a transgender woman, his father replied, “You know that’s the devil.”

Richecarde subsequently left the church, is estranged from his father, and devotes himself to the cause of transgender rights.

Yaisah Val, who is now 46, started her gender transition at age 29 in Haiti and completed it five years later with sex-reassignment surgery in Philadelphia.

She and her husband are now seeking to raise funds to open a first-of-its-kind shelter for transgender Haitians that would help them pursue an education and get appropriate health care.

“Most people want to be activists behind the scenes,” she said. “If you really want to make change, you need to be out and about in public.”

LGBT activist: What is ‘political suicide’ compared to actual suicide?

LGBT activist: What is 'political suicide' compared to actual suicide?

PETALING JAYA: "While you worry your career will die, we worry people want us dead," says Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activist Pang Khee Teik.

In a Facebook post on Friday (Aug 17), Pang condemned the comparison between "political suicide" and actual suicide, and described how difficult it was to be part of the LGBT community in Malaysia.

"Instead of funding research on LGBT mental health and suicide and improving resilience, the Government is funding institutes on ‘curing’ LGBT people.

"We are told: Stop being LGBT and you will be fine.

"You tell us to keep things private, but you have done nothing to help our families accept us. Instead you teach them to correct us and bully us into conforming," he wrote.

Pang said "social stigma" isolated the LGBT community and made them vulnerable to depression.

"When their mental health takes a dip, it simply spirals inwards, sucking them into a darkness from which they may not emerge," he said.

Pang added that he was "tired" of politicians saying that they couldn’t speak about LGBT issues because it would be "political suicide".

Touching on actual suicide, he said "it is what LGBT youths are actually contemplating" due to the "homophobia and transphobia" they face in Malaysia.

On Friday, hours before Pang’s Facebook post, reports emerged of a man being arrested in Seremban for allegedly assaulting a transgender woman.

So far today (Aug 18), the victim’s condition is still unknown.

Earlier this month, Pang and fellow activist Nisha Ayub had their portraits removed from the month-long "Stripes and Strokes" exhibition at the George Town Festival by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

Dr Mujahid said it was because the portraits were "promoting LGBT activities", and this was not in line with the Government’s policies.

Both Nisha and Pang were portrayed holding the Jalur Gemilang in prints.

"Stop comparing your political career to actual suicides if you are just making excuses. There are people so marginalised that the very people who should protect us won’t.

"Tell me, how is a marginalised person supposed to deal with hearing that they are like poison to your careers?" said Pang in the same Facebook post.

Small LGBT pride parade takes place in Odesa under police guard

Small LGBT pride parade takes place in Odesa under police guard

Demonstrators take part in an Equality March in Kryvyi Rih, the first LGBT march in the industrial city’s history, on July 22. About 100 representatives of the queer culture have participated in a LGBT pride parade in downtown Odesa, they marched from the Vorontsov Palace to the building of the Odesa City Council, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported.

The event took place without incidents, apart from an attack of two men on a participant in the parade before its beginning.

Policemen detained the attackers and brought them to the Prymorsky district police department. According to Ivan Ischenko, the head of the preventive activities department of the Ukrainian National Police’s Odesa regional branch, the detainees’ actions may be qualified as petty hooliganism.

Around 800 police officers were involved in guarding participants in the parade, Ischenko said. Law enforcers also cordoned off the parade’s route with fences and equipment.

However, such measures proved to be excessive, as only about 30 members of nationalist organizations met participants in the parade at the end of the route and shouted insults at them for some time without trying to attack.

Gay people are turning to strangers on Grindr for mental health support instead of doctors

Gay people are turning to strangers on Grindr for mental health support instead of doctors

(Pexels) As a decline in mental health funding takes its toll on LGBT+ people , some members of the community are turning to anonymous strangers online for help.

In January, the independent charity The King’s Fund found that “since 2012/13, funding for mental health trusts has increased by just 5.6 percent compared to an increase of 16.8 percent for acute hospitals.”

There is a lack of prioritisation for mental health services across the UK and funding is not increasing at the same rate as it is for other kinds of care.

Compounding this, the London Assembly reported last year that “around 40 percent of LGBT+ people experience a mental health issue, compared to 25 percent of the wider population.”

The lack of prioritisation in mental health funding is likely to have an unfair impact on LGBT+ people across the UK, perhaps leading to them seeking help in more clandestine ways online.

The hit movie Love, Simon recently showed us the power of online anonymity in the LGBT+ community but this potential extends beyond dating and into mental health support.

I launched a research project called “Finding Simon” in order to document not only my story but the story of hundreds of other anonymous strangers and their struggle to speak about their mental health. A scene from Love, Simon (20th Century Fox) The interview process so far has taken place through Grindr, anonymous chat rooms and even Reddit. Everyone interviewed maintains their anonymity throughout and the project has thrown up some harrowing truths about the state of LGBT+ mental healthcare. Finding Simon

When I was 16 I began to struggle with depression without realising it. The toxic masculinity I grew up with meant that I had repressed a lot of the emotional fluency I needed to speak about my feelings.

I remember when my grandad died I was about to go into a screening of Les Miserables. I got the news over the phone from my mum and I stoically went in and watched the film.

I was overwhelmed with grief, but I didn’t have to tools I needed to understand the complexity of my emotion and my only instinct was to try and instantly hide it. I still struggle to watch the film to this day.

Instead of speaking, I began to type out my feelings to a near-anonymous stranger I met in a chat room called Simon. It was one of the most emotionally intimate friendships of my life even though I didn’t know much more than his name. Over five years, I never met Simon but he was the only person I learned to speak to as the anonymity protected me from the stigma of my depression.

After five years, I found myself bleaching my undergraduate kitchen at 6am in the morning, having been there for about eight hours. At the click of a button I severed all ties with Simon. If that crutch wasn’t there it would force me to get professional help, I thought.

He probably saved my life, but also prolonged my reluctance to get professional help because this online world was just enough to keep me going without giving me a proper support strategy. Those fleeting moments of connection with Simon were comforting but as I returned back to reality, I could feel the craving for the next time I would be able to return to my anonymous digital world. Professionals

One anonymous man on Grindr tells me, “I feel like when I’m anonymous, or online, I can be myself more. I also have anxiety, so I worry about what people think of me and how they see me.”

This man openly uses Grindr as a platform for being honest about his mental health and sexuality, where stigma doesn’t allow him to talk about them in reality. It is common for isolated young LGBT+ people to find their community online when they don’t find it in their immediate vicinity and maybe this is where our dependance on the online world begins.

“I feel I am not living as my true self,” he tells me. “I am unhappy with both my real and anonymous self.” One of the messages I received. (Grindr) He is unable to express himself in reality and although the anonymity offers him temporary expression, he doesn’t find lasting solace there either. “It’s partly because of my career. I look after people, so I don’t want the stigma,” he says.

Incidentally, the man works in healthcare, but finds that he cannot access help within the very system he works in.

If mental health professionals are slowly being replaced by Grindr, there are two options. We can either ensure mental health funding is prioritised, or we need to see online platforms like Grindr and Twitter take responsibility for their users’ mental health. Beyond the Binary

In the commodity culture of the 21st century, the immediacy of online connections can sometimes prove essential.

In an anonymous website submission, a trans man tells me, “I deal with anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorder, all of which have been strained through my identity crisis / gender dysphoria. It was through using Tumblr and Twitter as a young teen where I discovered that habits and behaviours of mine were not commonplace, but were not just ‘me’ things.” Vulnerable members of the LGBT+ community are gaining important insights into their psychology, not from professionals, but from anonymous strangers online. Grindr app (Leon Neal/Getty) The trans man goes on to say that “whenever I am struggling mentally, the person I talk to is someone I have never met, who lives in New York. Just recently he talked me out of suicide through hours of Instagram DMs.”

Though these online friendships cannot offer sustained help for a lot of people, perhaps they offer just the right amount of crisis intervention for others. Responsibility

Through all of the interviews there is a general consensus that online anonymity does allow a greater freedom of expression for LGBT+ people to talk about their mental health. But despite the benefits, it is incredibly lonely.

Anonymity doesn’t allow you to fully connect with another person because only a fragment of you is evidenced by some of the people I spoke to, it does allow a temporary reprieve which could save a life.

Yet, in the absence of a prioritisation of mental healthcare, this form of digital backstreet therapy does allow a temporary reprieve which could save a life.

However, this doesn’t forego the need for legitimate medical services to step it up. The charity Stonewall reports that “nearly half (48 percent) of trans people under 26 said they had attempted suicide.”

I survived my experience with depression, thanks to Simon, but some LGBT+ people don’t.

If you are in immediate danger of harm please call 999. The charity MIND have specific support for LGBT+ people here .

Fans fuming after Celebrity Big Brother refuses to remove Human Ken Doll for using N-word

Fans fuming after Celebrity Big Brother refuses to remove Human Ken Doll for using N-word

Fans have hit-out at Celebrity Big Brother producers after the show decided not to remove Human Ken Doll Rodrigo Alves for using the N-word. (Channel 5) Celebrity Big Brother fans have lashed out at producers for not removing Human Ken Doll Rodrigo Alves from the show after he used the N-word twice in Friday night’s episode (August 17).

The show instead broadcast a clip showing the Brazilian-born TV personality being given a “formal and final warning” in the diary room , following his use of language.

Alves , who earned his Human Ken Doll nickname after undergoing more than 100 surgeries and cosmetic procedures, used the racial slur when he was speaking to fellow housemates Chloe Ayling, Natalie Nunn and Gabby Allen about why he didn’t fancy The Only Way Is Essex star Dan Osborne, who is also in the Big Brother house.

“I like a n***er boy. [Osborne is] too white for my sake,” he said.

When his housemates were shocked by Alves’ use of the N-word and believed that they had misheard him, he then repeated it back to them.

After being issued with a warning from Big Brother in the diary room, Alves blamed his use of the racial slur on alcohol consumption.

“I was quite drunk… I’m obviously regretting that, the fact that I used the N-word,” he said.

Fans have criticised the show for not booting out Alves over his comments, highlighting that previous contestant Emily Parr was immediately removed from the 2007 regular version of the show after she used the N-word, without being given a warning.

Gerry Stergiopoulos, an author and former Big Brother contestant, wrote on Twitter: “Plastic Rodrigo has been there for few hours & dropped the N-word twice?! He was way too comfortable using it, obviously not for the first time!

“But @BBUK you removed Emily from my series #BB8 for the SAME word in the middle of the night! Double standards?” Plastic Rodrigo has been there for few hours & dropped the N-word twice?!
He was way too comfortable using it, obviously not for the first time!
But @BBUK you removed Emily from my series #BB8 for the SAME word in the middle of the night! Double standards? #CBBUK #CBB — Gerry Stergiopoulos (@GerryGreek) August 17, 2018 Another Twitter user wrote: “Absolute joke that Rodrigo isn’t being removed immediately for using the N-word. Big Brother should stick to their precedent (Emily in BB 2007) and get rid #CBB.”

And one person exclaimed: “Does not understand why Rodrigo has not been removed for saying the N -Word not once but twice [sic]!!! Why is this word still being “fashionably” used!! UNACCEPTABLE!!!!” Does not understand why Rodrigo has not been removed for saying the N -Word not once but twice!!!
Why is this word still being “fashionably” used!! UNACCEPTABLE!!!! #CBB Big Brother UK also posted a statement on Twitter, which read: “Big Brother does not tolerate the use of highly offensive, racially charged language in the House.

“Rodrigo has received a formal and final warning and if he uses such language again, he will be removed immediately. Rodrigo has apologised for his comments.” Big Brother does not tolerate the use of highly offensive, racially charged language in the House. Rodrigo has received a formal and final warning and if he uses such language again, he will be removed immediately. Rodrigo has apologised for his comments. #CBB Alves, who has more than 700,000 followers on Instagram, has transformed himself into a doll-like person after having numerous cosmetic surgeries and procedures, including botox.

He’s previously had over 3,000 hair follicles transplanted to his forehead and then platelet rich plasma injected into his forehead to stimulate growth.

Before he was a TV and social media star, Alves has said he battled bullying and abuse for his looks as a child.

LGBTI inmates win lawsuit, to receive $1 million for bigoted treatment

LGBTI inmates win lawsuit, to receive $1 million for bigoted treatment

Major Pride parade postponed due to killer floods in India Sheriff’s officials had claimed the isolation was to protect inmates from harassment. | Photo: Pixabay The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department have agreed to settle a lawsuit claiming LGBTI inmates were confined to their cells for up to 23 hours a day.

They were also allegedly prohibited from taking part in jail programs. The decision was taken on 15 August and still needs to be approved by U.S. District Court in Riverside. If so, it would mark another victory for the ACLU in its battle for equal treatment of inmates in Southern California jails.

The 2014 lawsuit shed a light on the unfair treatment of gay, bisexual, trans and intersex inmates at San Bernardino County jail. The plaintiffs were housed in the so-called county’s Alternative Lifestyle isolation tank.

Despite sheriff’s officials had claimed the isolation was to protect inmates from harassment, LGBTI inmates complained their removal from activities could compromise their life out of prison. LGBTI inmates couldn’t take part in special programs

Lynn Price is a transgender woman and one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. She said she would have participated in the General Education Development (GED) program offered at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga if she had the opportunity.

‘So when I got out, I would be able to do something. I’d be ready for society,’ she said.

But Price and other LGBTI men and women had to stay in their cells for all but an hour a day. They were also denied access to the jail’s job training, educational, drug rehabilitation, religious and community re-entry programs.

Price explained they all experienced discrimination.

‘Everybody else, all the non-gay people, they could do the things they wanted to do. But us, there was nothing we could do.’

ACLU officials confirmed the Alternative Lifestyle Tank housed 600 people between 2012 and 2018.

Lynn Price had to spend up to 23 hours a day in her cell. | Photo: Flickr/Travis Wise ‘It was a very lonely thing’

Price was in her 50s when police arrested her for narcotics possession in 2012. She was wearing makeup, a dress and heels at the time of arrest.

At the West Valley Detention Center, Price said she was classified as an LGBTI inmate and placed on virtual lockdown. She explained she had only an hour a day to shower, make a phone call or watch television.

‘It was a very lonely thing. It kind of tends to wear you down,’ she said.

Upon being released in 2014, Price joined a lawsuit against the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department by former Indiana sheriff’s deputy Dan McKibben. A gay man, McKibben, too, spent 23 hours a day in his cell and couldn’t participate in a work program.

According to McKibben, who died in 2016, sheriff’s deputies beat up and verbal abused LGBTI inmates. Price said she experienced the same kind of verbal discrimination. The plaintiffs might receive $1 million

‘The [San Bernardino County] jail maintains the discrimination folks experienced was for their own safety,’ ACLU Southern California attorney Brendan Hamme told .

‘But jails have an obligation to keep everyone safe while providing equal access to opportunities in jail.

‘No one should be led to choose between their safety and their equal rights.’

According to the terms of the agreement, LGBTI inmates will have more housing options and a broader access to programs.

Furthermore, jail staffers will receive special training. The county also agreed to pay $1 million to plaintiffs. The amount will be split between those incarcerated in the Alternative Lifestyle Tank from 2012 to 2018, as well as attorney’s fees.

Price, who has worked at an Ontario motel since her release, commented on the settlement. She said she’s glad she was able to help other LGBTI inmates in their struggle for equal treatment.

‘Somebody had to speak for those who didn’t know what to say,’ she told

GSN has reached out to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for comments. Read more from Gay Star News:

Steven Russell has spent 20+ years in solitary confinement because of multiple jail escapes. His story was told in the movie, I Love You Phillip Morris

Ex-prisoner says life in British prisons are ‘cut-throat’, ‘hostile’ and ‘terrifying’ if you’re gay

Charles Rhines, convicted of murder in the 90s and sentenced to death, tried to appeal his sentence to no avail

New Qantas ad features sweet same-sex wedding and Sydney Mardi Gras

New Qantas ad features sweet same-sex wedding and Sydney Mardi Gras

Russian local authorities approve Pride march, then ban it less than 24 hours later Qantas ad featuring same-sex wedding. | Photo: Qantas / YouTube A new ad by airline Qantas features a same-sex wedding, Hugh Jackman and scenes from the Sydney Mardi Gras parade.

Released today (17 August), the ad starts off with Jackman talking about the ‘Spirit of Australia’ connecting people.

He says: ‘It connects us no matter where we were born, how we look or how we live.

‘Our spirit is about standing up for what’s right, standing up for a fair go and about standing up for those who can’t,’ he says.

The video then jumps into a song that sings ‘We’re going to stand up with pride’ and ‘Stand up!’

It cuts to various scenes, including a same-sex wedding where two women place rings on each other and then kiss.

Another scene is from the Sydney Mardi Gras, where a guy throws confetti in the air and a group of marchers wave glow sticks in unison. Qantas and its openly gay CEO

Alan Joyce is the openly gay CEO of Qantas.

Joyce said he believes being open about being gay ‘allows him to be himself at work and demonstrates to others that it hasn’t hindered his career.’

He said in an interview in 2016: ‘‘I can say categorically that we wouldn’t have gotten through the transformation and the tough times of this business as well as we did without having that diversity in the top leadership team.

‘At the end of the day, it makes you a better business,’ he said.

During the same-sex marriage equality public debate at the end of last year, Joyce donated $1 million to the ‘yes’ campaign .

Earlier this year, he also became the co-patron of national LGBTI workplace inclusion program, Pride in Diversity .

Lesbian teacher suspended for showing picture of her future wife is back in classroom

Lesbian teacher suspended for showing picture of her future wife is back in classroom

Major Pride parade postponed due to killer floods in India Stacey Bailey (L) and her wife Julie Vazquez on holiday in Venice in a snap shared on social media. | Photo: Facebook When she showed a picture of her future wife to her students, lesbian teacher Stacey Bailey had no idea what she was about to face.

Despite having worked at the Charlotte Anderson Elementary School in Arlington, Texas, for a decade – and been twice selected Teacher of the Year – the woman was placed on administrative leave.

After a year-long legal battle, she is now back in the classroom. Except this is not the same classroom she used to teach. The lesbian teacher and her ‘homosexual agenda’

The teacher filed a lawsuit against Texas’ Mansfield Independent School District in May 2018.

Texas is one of 28 states in the US that do not have a state law protecting employees from discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation.

According to the lawsuit, a parent had complained to the school board and the superintendent. Apparently, showing a picture of her and now wife Julie Vasquez wearing Disney Pixar’s Nemo and Dory costumes was promoting a ‘homosexual agenda’.

Bailey did so during a ‘Get to Know Your Teacher’ presentation in September 2017.

Among the backlash, the lesbian teacher also received support from people angry at the decision. Meet Stacey Bailey (left). She has been an art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary in Texas for a decade In September, after showing her class this picture & pointing out that the other woman is her wife, Stacey was suspended & has been on paid leave RETWEET if you’re MAD — Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) May 24, 2018 ‘In September, after showing her class this picture & pointing out that the other woman is her wife, Stacey was suspended & has been on paid leave,’ one user wrote posting the picture which sparked the debate.

‘RETWEET if you’re MAD.’ Bailey is back in the classroom

The art teacher has won the lawsuit and she is now back in class. However, she will no longer teach to the students of Charlotte Anderson.

The Dallas-area school district, in fact, transferred her from the elementary school to a high school. As a result, her classroom size increased from approximately 20 students to around 40.

‘She has never taught anything other than an elementary school level,’ Bailey’s attorney Jason C. N. Smith told NBC News.

‘She’s disappointed that she doesn’t get to return to Charlotte Anderson, and the learning curve to teach at the high school level is daunting,’ he added.

‘But Stacey loves teaching art to students and hopes to find it rewarding, even with the increased workload.’ The decision

‘Defendants placed plaintiff on administrative leave, improperly discussed her employment status publicly,’ Bailey’s lawsuit states.

Furthermore, the decision of transferring her to a secondary school ‘determined she was not appropriate to teach elementary students all because of her sexual orientation’.

The school district, at the time, claimed the issue was not due to Bailey’s sexual orientation. They explained it concerned the ‘district guidelines requiring that controversial subjects be taught in an impartial and objective manner.’

Baileys’s attorney said they are going to appeal the decision of transferring her client to another school.

However, Mansfield ISD filed a motion to dismiss Bailey’s lawsuit. They said her new high school position ‘is arguably a more prestigious position than that of an elementary school art teacher’. Read more from Gay Star News:

Germany has recognized a third gender, but trans people are not happy

Germany has recognized a third gender, but trans people are not happy

Intersex and trans groups have criticized the new law. | Photo: Facebook/Oii Deutschland Germany has become the first European country to add a third gender option on official documents.

The move came after a Federal Constitutional Court ruling declared not having a third gender option violated a person’s individual rights and anti-discrimination laws.

The new option will be called ‘divers’ which translates to miscellaneous in English. The German government will make the new gender option available to intersex people. Until now intersex people were forced to register themselves as ‘no gender’.

Available from the end of the year the recent Cabinet decision is still waiting on parliamentary approval.

But not everybody is happy about the decision.

Trans advocates said the German government needed to make it easier for trans people to update the gender markers on official documents.

‘For trans people, nothing has changed regarding the obstacles they face to change their registered name and gender,’ Markus Ulrich, a spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Medical tests to prove third gender

Advocates argued that the decision would require invasive medical tests to determine if someone was intersex.

Intersex groups also criticized elements of the Bill saying it would lead to increased patholigazation of intersex people.

‘Sexual self-determination should exist only for a medically narrowly defined group of people,’ intersex organization Oii Germany wrote in a statement.

Germany will also allow newborn intersex babies to be registered as third gender on their birth certificates. In 2013, laws changed so intersex babies could be registered without gender rather than male or female.

‘No one should be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual identity,’ said Justice Minister Katarina Barley.

Barley’s office drafted the Bill. She argued the third gender category would give intersex people a greater sense of ‘dignity and positive identity’.

Other countries to offer third gender options are Australia, India, Pakistan , Nepal, New Zealand and Canada.

MNEK drops single off his debut album, promises a ‘black, gay, pop experience’

MNEK drops single off his debut album, promises a 'black, gay, pop experience'

Major Pride parade postponed due to killer floods in India Russian local authorities approve Pride march, then ban it less than 24 hours later MNEK | Photo: Tongue artwork Gay artist MNEK has revealed details from his new album and dropped a new mellow single.

The 23-year-old Londoner will release Language on September 7, via Virgin EMI.

He’s also given fans a taste of what to expect in Crazy World, the latest song to emerge from the record. MNEK promises a ‘black, gay, pop experience’

The artist previously promised his debut album to be a ‘black, gay, pop experience’.

‘This album is so special to me because it’s something I’ve put my heart and soul into writing and producing and singing,’ he said.

‘I’ve waited for the day my debut album is released my entire life, so naturally, I’ve designed it to be listened to from start to finish,’ he added.

MNEK has been in the music industry for 10 years but this is his first solo album. He boasts an incredible list of production and writing credits. Notably, he wrote and produced for icons such as Beyoncé, Madonna, and Kylie Minogue, to name but a few.

He explained ‘every song flows into each other in a way that tells a sonic story. I’ve learned so much as a musician over the years and most importantly as a young man’.

Listen to Crazy World: He shut down homophobic comments

In March this year, he received widespread praise for the way he shut down a homophobic Instagram user.

The R&B star took to Instagram to call out a commenter on his Tongue video, who stated that the clip was ‘so wrong’ and said ‘you can clearly see a demon is in control of this guy and is doing this gay thing so it can poison minds’.

He responded: ‘I’ve been working in this industry for a long time and have earned the right to now perform in a way that exhibits the true me.’

‘I’m aware it’s not something everyone is used to seeing but that’s exactly why I wanted to do it. loving another man is not a demonic act, especially not in a music video!’ Read more from Gay Star News:

The British songwriter and producer shot down a suggestion of a collaboration with Banks – who is currently in a feud with RuPaul

‘Loving another man is not a demonic act … If videos like mine can help a young kid come to terms with their truth, I’m doing more good in the world’