International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia

Today is a good day to celebrate events supporting LGBTQ folks and to take a stand against discrimination!

Historic equality legislation happened today in the USA!

And Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage!

 

(Lancaster rainbow stickers can be purchased from Madcap & Co.)

Happy Constitution Day to Norway! Gratulerer med Dagen!

📷:Kari Schibevaag  📷:Logan Johnson

 

Gratulerer med dagen til Norge!

As some of you know, many years ago I was a Rotary exchange student to Norway. Today is Norway’s Birthday (Constitution Day)! Norway has more layers to its history and diversity than some may realize. Let’s look at some of them!

…Senker drømmer for alt på vår jord…

Norway’s national anthem:

Historic Syttende Mai children’s parade from NATO:

And if you are watching Eurovision this weekend, check out Norway’s group, KEiiNO, featuring Sámi songwriter Fred Buljo who incorporates traditional indigenous joik singing style into their performance:

It’s the 6th Annual Bi Health Month!

Countering Bi Erasure, it’s the 6th annual Bi Health Awareness Month:

 

 

 

 

(Lancaster rainbow stickers can be purchased from Madcap & Co.)

Methodist Church Votes to Maintain Opposition to LGBTQ

In St. Louis this week, 53% of Methodist delegates voted to continue the “traditional model,” which opposes same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy, leaving some LGBTQ members and clergy excluded and heartbroken.

WaPo coverage at Twitter link below, and here: UMC Vote.

If you would like to make an appointment for pastoral counseling with our newest colleague, LGBT-supportive Methodist pastoral counselor, Rev. Dr. John G. Smith, please contact us by email or phone.

 

 

Honoring Black History Month

Check out upcoming events on the Lancaster Black History Month events calendar!

 

Support Black Women’s mental health:

And watch some better entertainment!

Holocaust Remembrance Day

There is a reason we must remember, and that is so that we may see and avoid allowing genocide to unfold again:

 

New York Passes Landmark LGBTQ Equality Legislation

New York State Bans Dangerous Conversion “Therapy,” Protects Gender Expression in legislation passed today:

Pennsylvania is NOT among the states to have passed a statewide ban on conversion “therapy.” Only 18% of our population is estimated to be protected by local bans in our state. Check out the maps on this site for more information:

 

map-conversion-therapy

 

 

Supporting Vulnerable Friends and Acquaintances During Violent News Cycles

Above, Header Photo: Ryan Loew/PublicSource

dpac20memorial13_1466116283934_4884595_ver1.0_640_360   Muslim Women talking

Above Photo: Cox Media/WFTV9

Violence is committed every day, but people in marginalized groups experience violence at considerably higher rates than majority group members, and more often simply because of who they are. For minority group members, this can lead to a pervasive (and frankly, realistic) sense of vulnerability that causes increased symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD, especially when hate-based violence is a news event.

Jeffrey Marsh has some gentle suggestions for being supportive:

Checking in and validating–without pressuring someone to talk or to help you to process–can be helpful, especially if you are willing to simply allow your friend or loved one to have the space to manage their feelings.

Publicly speaking out to or among other majority group members can also be helpful: for example, share a supportive post. But consider sharing a post that does NOT include graphic images or footage of violence. People who live with the threat of violence daily don’t need further exposure and may feel even more vulnerable.

It is common for PTSD symptoms to spike during times of social upheaval, especially for those who are in marginalized groups or who have abuse histories.

Nicole Sanchez, a lecturer at UC UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, has some useful insights about how we can support marginalized friends and coworkers during critical events. She’s talking about race, but much of the dynamics also apply to events affecting LGBTQ folks (and other marginalized groups).

 

(Threadreader compiled version here.)

 

Let people know they are loved and valued and that you want them to be safe, happy, and thriving! ❤

Trans Rights at Risk

To our transgender friends, family, and neighbors: you are valid and worthy of love and support. We are with you and will work to help protect your civil rights and your basic right to exist!

To cis allies: today would be a good day to make that donation. Consider one or more of these organizations:

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