DSM-5 Website inviting comments – new proposals

Further to transgender communities campaigning and lobbying for an end to pathologisation of gender dysphoria or Gender Identity Disorder (GID), the Diagnostic

For example, The Childhood GID (Gender Identity Disorder) criteria now includes ” The condition is associated with clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning, or with a significantly increased risk of suffering, such as distress or disability” – this would justify intervention or ‘treatment’ if the child is not distressed as long as they were considered as ‘at risk’ of distress. Please comment on the DSM-5 website.

The DSM-5 website has been updated and is inviting comments. There are also several new proposals including Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

DSM-5:

At this time, we are asking visitors to review and comment on the proposed DSM-5 organizational structure and criteria changes. Please note that the current commenting period will end on June 15, 2011. It is important to remember that the proposed structure featured here is only a draft. These proposed headings were reviewed by the DSM-5 Task Force in November 2010. A recent article by APA President Carol A. Bernstein, M.D., published in Psychiatric News, provides an informative background as to why they were developed. Furthermore, all of the revisions on this site – the chapter headings as well as the diagnostic criteria – are still preliminary. They are under continual review by the DSM-5 Task Force and the APA Board of Trustees. Many of the diagnostic criteria sets are being tested in the large academic-medical field trial settings, and all will be included in field trial tests as potential diagnoses for patients seen in the routine clinical practice settings.

http://www.dsm5.org

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Queer Resistance – new LGBTQ anti-cuts group in UK

Success for LGBTQ anti-cuts group Queer Resistance at the March for the Alternative as the fight against the cuts builds momentum

Following a callout by Queer Resistance, the newly formed group of queers from across the UK working to oppose the cuts, it was tremendous to see a turnout of around 3-400 queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people from around the UK for a Pink & Black Bloc at the March for the Alternative, called by the TUC, on Saturday 26th March.

As a result, there was a visible queer presence proud to be part of the fight against the cuts, with an array of banners, placards and pink umbrellas as well as vocal chanting, marching in solidarity alongside at least 500,000 other people, including local anti cuts groups, pensioners, students, public sector workers, unions and people from all walks of life.

The group met up in the morning at Soho Square with LGBTQ people from all over, including London, Brighton, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Cambridge. Queer Youth Network joined as the group created a wonderful march through Soho, linking up with other LGBTQ groups at Cambridge Circus including Queers Against the Cuts, TUC LGBT and NUS LGBT. It then proceeded down Charing Cross on the way to the start of the March, with the colourful demonstration receiving waves from passers-by. Feedback through the day was tremendous, such as two pensioners commenting: “I like walking with those Queer Resistance people. It’s nice to walk with them” and some young people saying that the group was inspirational. With its own sound system and megaphone, the crowds were kept amused with witty repartee about the cuts as the very long March weaved through London.

Next steps for the resistance
There are a number of upcoming activities for Queer Resistance, which people from across the lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer communities as well as their friends and allies are invited to join and become a part of. They aim to give each other moral support and provide safety in numbers. Do wear pink and black, bring any queer banners, placards or signs that you have, or just turn up and join with them.

On Saturday 2nd April, Queer Resistance will be gathering for a picnic at 12 midday in Soho Square, London, to discuss activity to date and plan for future actions.

At 3pm on the same day representatives of Queer Resistance will be joining other anti cuts groups for the United Anti Cuts Assembly, an open mass meeting at UCL to reflect on the March for the Alternative and organise the next stage of the movement. More details available at http://anticuts.com/2011/03/29/united-anti-cuts-assembly-saturday-2nd-april/ / http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=210282135649223.

Following this, at 6.30pm, Queer Resistance will be joining in solidarity with other groups for the Occupy Trafalgar Square for the Alternative event, which aims to show continued peaceful resistance with a clear purpose and approach. More details at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=137568376313742 / http://london.indymedia.org/events/8544.

There will also be events shortly in Brighton and Manchester.

People can also follow happenings via the Queer Resistance Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/queerresistance) and via the Queer Resistance Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/qresistance).

Impact of cuts deepens
Following the financial crisis and the bank bailouts paid with public money, the ruling elite is using the current economic situation as justification to push through brutal cuts to public spending in education, housing, benefits and healthcare. These cuts will have a serious effect on a diverse range of important communities in the UK, not least LGBTQ people. Now is the time to resist these needless ideological cuts, push for the alternatives and fight for your community, your society and your values.

The rise of tuition fees will impact students who are not supported financially by their family and this means the effect will inevitably be felt by many LGBTQ students, as many have increased risk of being estranged from their families.

Other plans include severe cutbacks in NHS spending, meaning local authorities will have to abandon services they regard as ‘non-essential’. This will undoubtedly put sexual health and HIV services at risk at a local level – latest news indicates a 43% cut in funding for HIV services in London. Plans to devolve spending decisions to doctor-led consortia will also create a postcode lottery for health services, effectively leaving those who want to surgically transition unable to do so.

Cuts to education and community resources may mean a further lack of awareness about LGBTQ people in our society and potential rises in homophobic and transphobic attitudes. At the same time, an increase in unemployment and cuts in benefits is likely to lead to the scapegoating of already marginalised groups, including LGBTQ people, with resultant increases in homophobic and transphobic attacks. This is particularly worrying, given that the work of many charities working with victims of hate crimes and domestic abuse, like Galop and Broken Rainbow, are already suffering from the effects of underfunding.

The slashing of the benefits system and legal aid will compound problems for those who need help the most, including the disabled and those unable to work within the LGBTQ communities.

A bit more about us:
Queer Resistance is an independent collective of queers and allies across the UK coming together to fight the cuts. Our members include lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer folk as well as many friends and allies. The group aims to bring together individuals from the widest possible range of backgrounds, united in their commitment to resist the cuts, which are already hitting the most vulnerable members in our society, including many from the LGBTQ communities. It also acts to raise awareness of the impact of the Government’s plans as well as providing a support group for the LGBTQ community and unifying like-minded individuals, working with anti-cuts groups, existing LGBTQ groups and other organisations from across the UK and beyond in the fight for the alternative. It also aims to challenge the common portrayal of the LGBTQ community as part of a wealthy and influential professional elite, when in reality many are often economically and socially disadvantaged members of UK society.

Our key aims:

● Provide a support group for LGBTQ people that want to go on anti-funding cuts marches and demonstrations while also giving more visibility to LGBTQ communities;

● Protest in solidarity with other groups and organisations across the UK and beyond;

● Highlight how LGBTQ communities are and will be affected by the cuts to public in general;

● Raise awareness of the cuts in LGBTQ communities to ensure they fully understand how their families, friends and neighbourhoods will be affected.

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Imaan, Queer Muslims, Gay Fascists and East End Gay Pride

New, hard evidence emerges, proving EDL and other right wing, anti-Muslim allegiances amongst the organisers of East End Gay Pride, 2 April 2011

Imaan, Europe’s largest support group for LGBTQI Muslims calls for removal of the organisers and for the event to be delivered by Pride London and local communities.

We have been following with careful interest the unfolding issues centred on the appearance, in the East End of London, of posters or stickers carrying de-contextualised quotes from the Qur’an with text and a logo calling for a “Gay Free Zone”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12526820

We stand united with Muslim organisations, including the East London Mosque and the Association of British Muslims and with secular LGBT and non-LGBT community activists who have unanimously and unequivocally condemned the actions of whomever placed these stickers in our communities for the purpose of seeding fear and division.

Imaan understands better than most, the problems of homophobia within Muslim communities and has been working inside our communities since 1998 to address homophobia and its causes. We condemn unreservedly any and all acts of homophobia committed by Muslims or by any other sector of our society.

We join the call for a fully inclusive and community-led demonstration of unity in the face of these homophobic crimes. An event along the lines of a fully community-inclusive local Gay Pride event would be one such welcome response.

As the leading organisation working for the rights and support of LGBT Muslims, we have worked alongside local LGBT and interfaith organisations to try to engage with the organisers of what has become known as “East End Gay Pride”, to try to open dialogue with a view to securing a fully inclusive show of unity.

http://www.eastendgaypride.com/Home.html

The organisers have not been willing to address community concerns during the course of several meetings and have declared themselves unconcerned with the views of local organisations who have worked tirelessly for community engagement and unity over many years.

A “Pride” event is nothing if not political: a supreme demonstration of communities coming together to celebrate their diversity and often in the face of negativity from the fringes of those communities. In that regard a “Pride” event must always confront prejudice and show those who hold prejudices that they are at the edges of society, standing increasingly alone. That is why the full participation of the rest of any community is essential. That is why the motivation behind a Pride event is its most essential attribute.

There has been concern that the organisers of this event have associations and sympathies with right wing anti-Muslim extremists, the EDL. That concern is laid out perfectly clearly at:

http://lattelabour.blogspot.com/2011/03/east-end-gay-pride-update.html

We have not regarded this as “proof” but rather as grounds for serious concern. We have asked the organisers to explain these details and to condemn, explicitly, the EDL and other right wing extremists and islamophobic philosophies. They have failed to do so.

We have now acquired evidence that Raymond Berry, the principal organiser of the event, faced a call for disciplinary measures (revocation of his membership) by officials of the RMT (Rail and Maritime Trades Union) because he was a public and vocal, leading member of the EDL (English Defence League) and promoted the EDL objectives and extremist politics.

In correspondence, in September 2010, with union officials, Mr. Berry claimed – in his own words – the following:

* That he was a founder member of the English Defence League, but had decided to cease his involvement following disagreements over changes in the EDL leadership.
* That in spite of this, he continued to hold firm beliefs with regard to Sharia law and the Islamification of Britain.
* That he remained an active member “of such organisations as” S.I.O.E. (Stop the Islamification of Europe) and N.S.B. (No Sharia in Britain)
* That he was working, with other disaffected members of the EDL to start new groups with similar objectives.

In October 2010, Mr Berry continued his correspondence with union officials making new assertions, some contradictory to his position in September:

* That he would not voluntarily cancel his RMT membership on the grounds of his EDL membership
* That he saw no reason why he should not hold membership of the RMT and of the EDL, in spite of his disagreement with some aspects of RMT politics – i.e. that he found the RMT to be more controversial than the EDL.

So we now understand that as of October 2010, Mr. Berry – a founder of the EDL – remained connected with the EDL and unrepentant. Indeed, he desires to start other groups with similar right-wing, anti-Muslim objectives as well as retaining active associations with existing right-wing, anti-Muslim groups (such as S.I.O.E.)

In light of all the evidence of Mr. Berry’s political involvements, the apparent associations of some of the other organisers and their collective contempt for our communities we can do nothing but conclude that their calling for “East End Gay Pride” is motivated primarily by their political desires to build groups and alliances founded on their anti-Muslim and anti-Islam bigotry and that East End Gay Pride is – in his terms – just a furtherance of Mr. Berry’s stated aims to create anti-Muslim political movements.

Imaan continues to believe that a truly inclusive community-led Pride March would be one of the best responses to these homophobic crimes. We call, as a minimum response, for Mr. Berry and the other organisers of the 2 April event to stand aside from East End Gay Pride and to remove themselves from any further publicity before and after the event, thereby freeing the LGBT and other communities from the taint of Mr. Berry’s political views and associations.

We call on the board of Pride London to take over the organisation of East End Gay Pride and to deliver a successful, politically safe and community-engaged event on 2 April or another appropriate date, using the tried and tested Gay Pride principals of community cohesion and celebration of our diversity.

If this cannot be achieved, if the integrity of the event cannot be salvaged, we call for all right-minded people to boycott the event; to show Mr. Berry that there is no place within LGBT Society for his brand of prejudice and fear-mongering – however much he might try to dress it in the outward appearance of an authentic community campaign such as Pride.

Tawseef Khan, Chairperson of Imaan said “There is no place in Islam for homophobic acts or crimes, as there is no place within our LGBT communities for intolerance of and prejudice against other groups – including against Muslims as a whole. In uniting as a community against these homophobic attacks, we must be vigilant against those who would seek to co-opt or manipulate our actions for other, less honest and constructive purposes. The evidence of the political motivations of Raymond Berry, and his colleagues, cast a dark shadow on East End Gay Pride that can only be resolved by their removal from the event and for Pride to be restored to our communities, where it belongs.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS:
Imaan has been given email exchanges between Raymond Berry and RMT officials, in which Mr. Berry makes the statements we have referred to. The source of the emails is firmly on the record and will stand by the correspondence, and its publication, if Mr. Berry should seek to deny the claims.

The emails forms a part of a dossier of evidence of right wing and fascistic associations amongst the organisers, which has been painstakingly collected by Imaan and other concerned community groups and will be part of a complete community publication expected to be ready for release on Thursday March 17.

Stop the Islamisation of Europe is a group, which has as its byline “Racism is the lowest form of stupidity! Islamophobia is the height of common sense!”

And a lead article at its website – http://sioeengland.wordpress.com/ – titled “The Trinity of Evil: Diversity, Political Correctness, Multiculturalism.”

Imaan has not, yet, been able to identify positively a group called “No Sharia in Britain”

Further details on Imaan can be found at http://www.imaan.org.uk

All press enquiries should be directed by email to Tawseef Khan: tawseef@imaan.org.uk or by calling 020 3393 5188 and leaving voicemail. We regret it is not possible to offer instant telephone contact in view of the unfunded and unsupported status of Imaan. Email and voicemail will be monitored and answered as quickly as possible.

Imaan has supported LGBTQI Muslim people, their families and friends, to explore issues of sexual orientation within Islam since 1998. It provides a safe space and support network to share individual experiences and institutional resources.

Imaan is the largest network for Muslim LGBTQI people in Europe.

Imaan promotes Islamic values of peace, social justice and tolerance in its work to build a world that is free from prejudice and discrimination against Muslims and LGBTQI people.

Imaan is an independent organisation run by volunteers and without external funding. In addition to international conferences, Imaan holds monthly meetings, provides a free, dedicated counseling service, represents members at asylum tribunal cases and speaks at external conferences.

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