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Dave Bautista’s NSFW message to homophobes: ‘Suck my #*@%!’

After a Twitter fan extolled him for his support of the LGBT community, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” star Dave Bautista responded: “Proud son of a lesbian mom and anyone who has an issue w/ that can suck my balls.”

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You don’t mess with Drax!

Dave Bautista, that is.

This is the message that the “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” star gave after a Twitter fan extolled him for his support of the LGBT community.

One David J (Twitter: @arlowe007) stated:
“I want to thank @DaveBautista for being a LGBT supporter and defender. It’s important, esp for younger gen, to see that. A true Guardian!”

Bautista responded: “Obviously no thnx necessary but I appreciate the acknowledgement. Proud son of a lesbian mom and anyone who has an issue w/ that can suck my balls.”

This isn’t the first time Bautista was vocal about his pro-LGBT stance. Earlier, in 2016, when Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao was mired in controversy after blabbering that LGBT people are “worse than animals”, Bautista told TMZ that “my mom happens to be a lesbian so I don’t f*cking take that shit. I don’t think it’s funny. If anyone called my mother an animal I’d stick my foot in his ass.”

A former professional wrestler Bautista will be appearing in the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Blade Runner 2049.”

NEWSMAKERS

More teens coming out as LGBQ but suicide attempts still high – study

The proportion of high school students identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGBQ) doubled from 2009 to 2017, while the LGBQ teen rate of attempted suicide went from five times the rate for their straight peers to nearly four times the rate.

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Unsplash.com

A new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study finds that the proportion of high school students identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGBQ) doubled from 2009 to 2017, while the LGBQ teen rate of attempted suicide went from five times the rate for their straight peers to nearly four times the rate. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

“Large disparities in suicide attempts persisted even as the percent of students identifying as LGBQ increased. In 2017, more than 20% of LGBQ teens reported attempting suicide in the past year,” says study lead author Dr. Julia Raifman, assistant professor of health law, policy & management at BUSPH.

“It’s critical that health and educational institutions have policies and programs in place to protect and improve LGBQ health, such as medical school curricula and high school health curricula that are inclusive of sexual minority health,” she says.

Raifman says LGBQ rights also play a particularly important role in shaping mental health. In a 2017 study, Raifman found that states’ legalization of same-sex marriage came with a 7% decrease in all high school student suicide attempts. She notes that other research (including a 2018 study she led) has shown that anti-LGBQ policies harm the mental health of LGBQ adults and teens. “Our new paper indicates that an increasing number of teenagers are identifying as LGBQ, and will be affected by anti-LGBQ policies that may elevate these already very high rates of suicide attempts” she says.

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For the new paper, the researchers used Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Survey (YRBSS) data from the only six states that collected sexual orientation data continuously between 2009 and 2017: Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, North Dakota, and Rhode Island. Of these states, only Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, and Rhode Island collected data on the sex of sexually-active students’ partners, and distinguished between consensual sexual contact and sexual assault. This left the researchers with sexual orientation data for 110,243 high school students, and data on the consensual sexual behavior of 25,994 of these students. (None of the states consistently collected data on transgender students.)

The researchers found that the proportion of high schoolers identifying as LGBQ doubled from 7.3% in 2009 to 14.3% in 2017, with similar trends for identifying as gay/lesbian (1.4% to 2.8%), bisexual (3.9% to 7.2%), and unsure/questioning (2.0% to 4.3%). The proportion of sexually active high schoolers who reported consensual, same-sex sexual contact increased from 7.7% to 13.1%.

In both 2009 and 2017, about 6% of heterosexual high schoolers reported attempting suicide in the previous 12 months, while the rate for LGBQ teens decreased from 26.7% in 2009 to 20.1% in 2017. Adjusting for other student characteristics, the researchers found the LGBQ suicide attempt rate went from 5.2 to 3.8 times the heterosexual rate. They did not find significant changes in the rate of suicide attempts among high schoolers who had had same-sex or only heterosexual sexual contact, although the rate remained about twice as high for those reporting any same-sex sexual contact.

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Health & Wellness

Half of trans youth avoid disclosing gender identity to a health care provider

The most common reasons cited for withholding gender identity were feeling uncomfortable and not knowing how to bring it up, with only 25% saying they preferred to be the ones to broach the topic.

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Photo by Chris Johnson from Unsplash.com

Researchers at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh surveyed patients in a local clinic providing gender-affirming care to transgender youth and found that a surprisingly high number of them intentionally avoided disclosing their gender identity to doctors outside the clinic.

The paper was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

“The provider-patient power dynamic is a real one,” said lead author Gina Sequeira, M.D., M.S., adolescent medicine fellow at UPMC Children’s Hospital. “It’s important for us as providers to open the door and ask young people in a respectful and open way if they would like to talk about their identity.”

When providers know that a young patient is transgender, they’re in a better position to ensure access to services, from medical transition to mental health, Sequeira said.

During the summer and fall of 2018, she analyzed survey responses from 153 transgender youth ages 12-26 years old. Two-thirds identified as male, one-fifth as female and another fifth as nonbinary.

While 78% of the participants reported disclosing their gender identity to a health care provider outside the clinic at least once, 47% reported intentionally avoiding disclosure, even in situations where they thought it might be important for their health.

The most common reasons cited for withholding gender identity were feeling uncomfortable and not knowing how to bring it up, with only 25% saying they preferred to be the ones to broach the topic.

Instead, participants suggested multiple ways clinics can create spaces to help young patients feel more comfortable disclosing their gender identities, including transgender-friendly materials in the waiting room, forms that include a checkbox for gender identity and educating staff about using a patient’s preferred name and pronouns.

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It’s important to note that the gender clinic where participants were recruited requires parent or guardian consent for treatment of minors — a group that makes up half of the total study sample — meaning these youth are “out” at home and often have at least one supportive caregiver in their lives.

Given that sampling bias, Sequeira was surprised to see so many participants avoiding disclosure.

“I suspect if we looked in a non-clinical sample, that number would be much higher,” Sequeira said. “Our patients have already overcome many barriers.”

Sequeira is expanding the study to sample a larger, more general population of transgender youth through social media.

Additional authors on the study include Kristin Ray, M.D., M.S., of Pitt; Elizabeth Miller, M.D., Ph.D., of Pitt and UPMC Children’s Hospital; and Robert Coulter, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Pitt Graduate School of Public Health.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Study charts rising trend of image-based sexual abuse

Image-based sexual abuse is the non-consensual taking, sharing or threatening to share nude or sexual images of a person, including the use of digitally-altered imagery.

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Photo by Leon Seibert from Unsplash.com

Image-based sexual abuse is increasing, according to new research.

A survey of more than 2,000 Australians found 1 in 3 had been victims of image-based abuse, compared with 1 in 5 in 2016. The survey also found the perpetration of image-based abuse had increased, with 1 in 6 people surveyed reporting they had taken, shared or made threats to share a nude or sexual image of a person without that person’s consent, compared with 1 in 10 of those surveyed in 2016.

The findings are detailed in a new report Image-Based Sexual Abuse: An International Study of Victims and Perpetrators, which presents the results of the first cross-national survey on image-based sexual abuse, conducted in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom in 2019.

The Australian survey follows a similar study conducted in 2016 – the first of its kind – allowing the researchers to compare results for the first time.

Image-based sexual abuse is the non-consensual taking, sharing or threatening to share nude or sexual images of a person, including the use of digitally-altered imagery.

Lead author Associate Professor Anastasia Powell said although it’s commonly referred to as “revenge porn”, the study shows the perpetration of image-based abuse is not limited to jilted ex-lovers out for vengeance.

“We found that image-based sexual abuse is used by perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault, in stalking and sexual harassment, as well as in threats and bullying by peers and other known people,” Powell said. “Not only this, but we found high numbers of victims had never consented to having their image taken.”

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The interviews with victims uncovered cases of people being photographed or filmed without their knowledge in the shower, while sleeping, over Skype and during sex.

“We also found no increase in people sending consensual sexy selfies. All this suggests it’s not victim behaviour driving the rise in abuse, but rather the actions of perpetrators.”

The survey of 2,054 Australians aged 16-64 also found that:

  • Young people were twice as likely as those aged over 40 to be victims of image-based sexual abuse, with those aged between 20 and 29 years the most likely group to be victims.
  • Men and women reported a similar frequency of victimisation, but women experienced higher levels of harm from the abuse, including being more than twice as likely as men to report being fearful for their safety from the perpetrator.
  • Men were more likely than women to be perpetrators.
  • Perpetrators reported that their reasons for the abuse included for fun, to flirt or be sexy, to impress friends or trade images, to control, embarrass, and/or get back at the person in the image.
  • The most common sites for distribution were social media, email and mobile messages.
  • Rates of image-based sexual abuse victimisation were similar across Australia (35.2%), UK (39%) and New Zealand (39%).

Notably, while results showed strong support among survey respondents for image-based sexual abuse to be made a criminal offence (at more than 80%), less than half knew that it that it actually was a crime to take, distribute or threaten to share nude or sexual images of a person without consent.

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Co-author Associate Professor Asher Flynn from Monash University said these findings highlighted the need for greater awareness-raising and legal education.

“We need to make sure that those laws are enforced – that victims are supported, and perpetrators are held to account,” Flynn said. “There is also a need to build information about the seriousness and harmfulness of image-based sexual abuse into respectful relationships education.”

But most of all, for Flynn, “we need community attitudes to change so that whether it is our friend, a family member, a fellow student or co-worker whose image is shared without consent – we place the blame and shame on the perpetrator of the image-based sexual abuse and not on the victim.”

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NEWSMAKERS

Many teens are victims of digital dating abuse; boys get the brunt of it

More than one-quarter (28.1 percent) of teens who had been in a romantic relationship at some point in the previous year said they had been the victim of at least one form of digital dating abuse.

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A new research is illuminating how dating violence is manifesting online. “Digital dating abuse” as it has been termed, uses technology to repetitively harass a romantic partner with the intent to control, coerce, intimidate, annoy or threaten them. Given that youth in relationships today are constantly in touch with each other via texting, social media and video chat, more opportunities for digital dating abuse can arise.

A researcher from Florida Atlantic University, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, conducted a study to clarify the extent to which youth are experiencing digital forms of dating abuse, as well as to identify what factors are linked to those experiences.

Research on this phenomenon is still emerging; indeed, this study is the first to examine these behaviors with a large, nationally representative sample of 2,218 middle and high school students (12 to 17 years old) in the United States who have been in a romantic relationship.

Results of the study, published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, showed that more than one-quarter (28.1 percent) of teens who had been in a romantic relationship at some point in the previous year said they had been the victim of at least one form of digital dating abuse. These included: whether their significant other looked through the contents of their device without permission; kept them from using their device; threatened them via text; posted something publicly online to make fun of, threaten, or embarrass them; and posted or shared a private picture of them without permission.

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In addition, more than one-third (35.9 percent) had been the victim at least one form of traditional (offline) dating abuse (i.e., they were pushed, grabbed or shoved; hit or threatened to be hit; called names or criticized, or prevented from doing something they wanted to do).

Interestingly, males were significantly more likely to have experienced digital dating abuse (32.3 percent) compared to females (23.6 percent), and more likely to experience all types of digital dating abuse, and were even more likely to experience physical aggression. No other differences emerged with respect to demographic characteristics such as sexual orientation, race and age.

“Specific to heterosexual relationships, girls may use more violence on their boyfriends to try to solve their relational problems, while boys may try to constrain their aggressive impulses when trying to negotiate discord with their girlfriends,” said Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D., lead author and a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice within FAU’s College for Design and Social Inquiry, and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. “It’s unfortunate to be thinking about dating abuse as we approach one of the most romantic days of the year, Valentine’s Day. However, it is clear that digital dating abuse affects a meaningful proportion of teenagers, and we need to model and educate youth on what constitutes a healthy, stable relationship and what betrays a dysfunctional, problematic one.”

The researchers also found a significant connection between digital and traditional forms of dating abuse: the vast majority of students who had been abused online had also been abused offline. Specifically, 81 percent of the students who had been the target of digital dating abuse had also been the target of traditional dating abuse.

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Students victimized offline were approximately 18 times more likely to have also experienced online abuse compared to those who were not victimized offline. Similarly, most of the students who had been the victim of offline dating violence also had been the victim of online dating violence, though the proportion (63 percent) was lower.

A number of risk factors were significantly associated with digital dating abuse. Students who reported depressive symptoms were about four times as likely to have experienced digital dating abuse. Those who reported that they had sexual intercourse were 2.5 times as likely to have experienced digital dating abuse. Most notably, those students who had sent a “sext” to another person were nearly five times as likely to be the target of digital dating abuse as compared to those who had not sent a sext. Finally, those who had been the target of cyberbullying also were likely to have been the target of digital dating abuse.

Hinduja said: “Gaining a deeper understanding of the emotional and psychological mind-set and the situational circumstances of current-day adolescents may significantly inform the policy and practice we need to develop to address this form and all forms of dating abuse.”

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NEWSMAKERS

City of Manila co-opts LGBTQIA pride; to hold tourism-centric event

In the City of Manila, where there is still no anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO) protecting the human rights of members of the LGBTQIA community, the local government is slated to hold its tourism-centric “Manila Summer Pride” celebration at Burnham Green at the Quirino Grandstand on April 19.

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Screencap from the Facebook page of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila

Tone-deaf event for tourists using the LGBTQIA community as lure?

In the City of Manila, where there is still no anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO) protecting the human rights of members of the LGBTQIA community, the local government (LGU) under the leadership of former actor and product endorser Mayor Isko Moreno is slated to hold its first “Manila Summer Pride” celebration at Burnham Green at the Quirino Grandstand on April 19.

Themed “Awra Na,” the event – done through the city’s Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila (DTCAM) – is said to “showcase ang diversity sa Lungsod ng Maynila.” DTCAM also stated that the event is the LGU’s way of expressing its support to the LGBTQIA community.

https://www.facebook.com/DTCAM2020/posts/511090726211959

According to DTCAM, “the Manila Summer Pride will be the first pride celebration organized by the City Government of Manila and we are honored to host this historical event.” But earlier, DTCAM stressed that the event is open even to those who are not LGBTQIA to include allies, and that it’s for people who “support love and equality, no matter what gender.”

Since pride celebrations are usually done in June, marking the Stonewall Inn Riots that happened in New York in 1969, largely considered as the impetus of the modern LGBTQIA movement, the LGU’s decision to hold its version of pride in April is because it believes that pride should be celebrated “anywhere and anytime of the year.”

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“Pride… in June are known all across the world and we understand that this also signifies unity among the LGBTQIA community members globally. However, times are changing and even in other countries and places in the Philippines, Pride (events) are now being conducted in different months and we believe that as a movement, it is due to be celebrated anywhere and anytime of the year,” DTCAM stated.

According to Michael David C. Tan, editor of Outrage Magazine and concurrent executive director of Manila City-based Bahaghari Center for SOGIE Research, Education and Advocacy, Inc. (Bahaghari Center), the LGU’s version of pride is problematic on many sides.

“No one will question efforts that eye to give attention to minority sectors – such as the LGBTQIA community – that continue to experience hardships,” Tan said. However, “when an effort that claims to be for a certain sector does not even know what that sector really needs, then there’s an issue.”

Manila’s LGU may be accused of “co-opting” the LGBTQIA struggle, Tan said, by focusing on “just selling it as a for-tourism event, particularly since the city still does not have an ADO.”

For Tan, “partying is cool; but we need rights”. So if Moreno is “really serious about wanting to support the LGBTQIA community, he should focus on passing an ADO, which will longer-lasting, life-changing effects on his LGBTQIA constituents’ lives.”

Tan added that the decision to hold the gathering in April solely because the organizers see pride as a celebration that can be done anytime, anywhere is therefore “tone deaf” because “for as long as LGBTQIA people are treated as less than their heterosexual counterparts, then pride remains a protest, a struggle” and “not mere celebration.”

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NEWSMAKERS

PNP should stop all forms of profiling – Sen. Binay

Sen. Nancy Binay urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to end all kinds of profiling that target specific individuals or groups based on appearance, political beliefs, religion, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation.

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Screencap from the Twitter page of Sen. Nancy Binay

Philippine Sen. Nancy Binay urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to end all kinds of profiling that target specific individuals or groups based on appearance, political beliefs, religion, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Binay issued the call for a “standing policy banning operations with a gender or political bias” after a transgender woman claimed she was “profiled” by Makati cops under “Oplan X-Men.”

For Binay, police profiling “borders on grave abuse”, particularly since even innocent law-abiding citizens have been wrongly arrested or accused of crimes.

In a statement, Binay said: “Pipilitin kang sumama sa presinto at kukunin ang personal na impormasyon mo na wala namang malinaw o legal na dahilan. Bakit, may kaso ba? May complaint ba? May krimen bang nagawa? Warrantless arrest ba ito? (Cops force you to come to their police station and get your personal information without clear and legal reasons. Why? Do you have a case? Is there a complaint? Did you commit a crime? Is this a warrantless arrest?)”

Binay questioned gender profiling, red- or prostitute-tagging and the propriety of arresting people on the basis of observed characteristics or behavior.

For Binay, “dahil sa mali-maling profiling, people’s rights have been trampled. Sana huwag nang pamarisan pa ang pangyayaring ito ng ibang local police (because of wrong profiling, people’s rights have been trampled. I hope other local police don’t follow suit).”

Binay added that “police should be accountable for abusive practices.”

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The senator is urging to the PNP and other law enforcement agencies to have a “clear and enforceable policy” ending bigotry, particularly institutionalized homophobia and transphobia, in their organizations. She suggested that cops undergo gender awareness and sensitivity training to avoid further malicious and unsubstantiated arrests.

Earlier, Makati City police chief Rogelio Simon said that profiling operations are not wrong per se; but because of the ruckus created by Operation X-Men, the two cops involved in an incident wherein a transgender woman was wrongfully almost forced to be profiled were fired.

As per an Inquirer.net report, too, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas said that the agency will continue its profiling operations as this was the directive of the PNP chief.

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