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Why is there no Cross-dresser Pride Flag?

As I’ve been working through the numerous tasks that I have lined up at the moment I’ve been putting together a section in the Transgender Awareness Training relating to definitions of the various sub-categories which fall under the Transgender Umbrella.

In order to present the concept on the PowerPoint slides I decided to use the various Pride flags as a starting point for each definition, and this highlighted a problem. I couldn’t find a flag to represent the cross-dressing community.

Now whilst cross-dressing is not synonymous with being transgender per-se, the support group I help to run welcomes cross-dressing individuals to our ranks as we feel they are a valid subsection of our community and face many of the same problems and issues as the rest of the transgender people we aim to support. Just try going shopping with one and you’ll find out what I mean.

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This is turning into a full time job

Many of you may be aware that I help coordinate a local Transgender support and social group. It is something I’ve been doing for the past four years or more.

The group has received much praise for the work it does and is well respected within the local community.

Through 2019, and especially toward the latter end of it, I felt that I was running out of the energy and motivation needed in order to continue to work for the group. I expressed my need to back away to the other Coordinator and we began to look for other group members who could step up and take over some of the responsibilities involved.

It was a slow process, but help was forthcoming and I was able to sit back in a more minor role and just keep my finger on the pulse.

Then, of course, 2020 happened.

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Connections and motivation

It’s as if a weight has been lifted, not just from my shoulders but from those of the world.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working with a colleague, D, from another local LGBT+ organisation on revamping and expanding a Transgender Awareness training module that the co-coordinator of our Trans support group and I put together a couple of years ago. Well, I say “working on”; I guess what I really mean is “trying to work on”.

As with so many things I talk to people, make notes, think about ideas, make mental plans, but actually getting down to action? Well, that’s something else. That final motivation and inspiration is often lacking, a situation that is oh too common since my accident some thirteen years ago.

I started this week very much not able to function in any real sense, but then something changed. A light began to emerge from the darkness.

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Has it gone? Can I look yet? …

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Wow, what a crap fest 2020 was, right up to the last day!

On New Year’s Eve I realised I wasn’t going to be able to suffer the pain any more over the upcoming long weekend, and so got an emergency appointment at the dentist and had two teeth removed. That doesn’t leave me with a vast selection any more.

Roll on 2021, I thought.

Hmmm….

Welcome to 2021. Welcome to … A new lock down until at least the end of January! Wonderful!

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Just when I needed them: Pronouns – and a challenge

I’ve been finding it hard lately to come up with something to blog about. Oh sure, there’s a whole rack of YouTube videos I have flagged and ready to roll, but knowing which is most important or what to say to lead into them has been somewhat holding me back.

Today that changed, and thanks to Beau for this insightful message to everyone. I’m not sure he really knows what a sea-change he may have started.

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The impact of Lockdown on Scottish LGBT+ Communities – Study

Rainbow Responders, an initiative developed in Scotland by Pink Saltire, have just emailed me the results of their recent study into the effects of lockdown on the Scottish LGBT+ community, and I’m relaying the email to you in full in this post. It makes interesting, and concerning, reading.

Study uncovers an ‘epidemic of loneliness’

2 out of 3 LGBT+ people have faced isolation or loneliness during the COVID pandemic and it has been the single biggest challenge for the community, as outlined in a new report published today.

‘Community Matters – The Impact of Lockdown on Scottish LGBT+ Communities’, released as part of the Rainbow Responders programme managed by Pink Saltire, details a worrying number of LGBT+ people are dealing with mental health challenges, with many turning to drink and drugs to help them cope.

The research has also evidenced very low levels of trust in public services amongst the LGBT+ community and disproportionately low levels of funding for vital services.

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Discreetly calling for emergency services

If you’re ever in need of assistance in a life threatening situation and are unable to speak clearly to the responder for fear of being found out then remember this story, and adapt it for your own country as appropriate.

Stay safe.

Pink Saltire Shop: LGBT+ Products Review

Pink Saltire is an organisation that I have worked closely with for a number of years now and is Scotland’s community voice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) people of all age groups.

Since 2014 they have been doing an immense amount of good work for the LGBT+ community here in Scotland, and it is no exaggeration to say that recent advances in the wellbeing, understanding and acceptance of the LGBT+ community in Scotland as a whole is in no small part down to their efforts.

In this post I’ll be reviewing some of the products that are available from their online store.

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Online event: LGBTI+ Rural life during COVID-19

Dear Friend,
you are invited to the event LGBTI + Rural life during COVID-19.

Evidence suggests that the disproportionately high incidence of poor mental health within the LGBTI+ population living rurally is due to prejudice, isolation and minority stress. Prejudice and lack of inclusion is experienced in social life, the public sector, work life and school. Evidence shows that service provision is not meeting the needs of LGBTI+ people in rural areas in Scotland. This lack of provision leads to feelings of isolation and lack of visibility. 

We know that these are big issues with significant impact on the community, and Covid 19 has potentially made things worse. 

We want to ensure that LGBTI people living rurally are heard when it comes to social, economic and community recovery. 

Please join us on the 17th of September at 6pm. For an online event to allow for open and safe discussion around LGBTI inclusion and equality. Open to all LGBTI people who live and work within rural spaces, who would like to share their experiences in order to see improvements made.
Event details    
Thursday, September 17, 2020 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM  
Online Event:
Register at https://www.outsavvy.com/event/5033/lgbti-rural-life-during-covid-19-tickets      
Please share this event on Facebook and Twitter with your friends.
Book your tickets below. We hope to see you there!

Yours for equality,

Rebecca Crowther, Ph.D
Policy Coordinator
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