I am an out loud proud lesbian trans woman, I do not have an off switch I was born this way and have no control over being who I am it is not a choice. Mia G
A leading psychology magazine and website has been heavily criticised by the Human Rights Campaign for allowing listings promoting the controversial practice of gay conversion therapy.
Psychology Today was criticised by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for “propping up a fraudulent industry”, and offering a “veneer of credibility” to the practice, which is widely condemned by health bodies.
According to the Huffington Post, an HRC legal team-member last month noted that a therapist’s profile on Psychology Today’s directory advertised conversion therapy.
The California-based therapist offered that he has “helped men with unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) reverse their attraction to men and increase their attraction to women.”
However despite calls by the HRC for the magazine to remove such listings, the magazine told the Huffington Post that it would not.
Fred Sainz, a spokesman with HRC, called on Psychology Today to ban such ads and condemn the practice in an editorial.
He said: “There is no credible evidence that conversion therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, and it is abundantly clear that conversion therapy poses devastating health risks for LGBT young people,” Sainz wrote in a letter to Psychology Today’s chief executive and publisher. “Psychology Today has the opportunity to take a leadership role in protecting the public from these harmful and illegal practices by taking prompt action to limit this type of advertisement and creating awareness about the danger of conversion therapy.”
According to the Huffington post, a spokesman for the magazine said it is not “a fan” of gay “cure” therapy, but that it would not remove listings, unless illega
This article is reposted from a study first posted in huffington post
While the role of diet and nutrition in our physical health is undeniable, the influence of dietary factors on mental health has been less considered. That may be starting to change.
For the first time, a report by a task force advising on new dietary guidelines, commissioned by the departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture, included a point considering the possible role of diet in mental health outcomes. The USDA and HHS report notes, for example, that the American Psychiatric Association classifies omega-3 fatty acids (which are most commonly found in oily fish) as a complementary treatment for depression. However, the advisory panel concluded, for now, that the research was too limited to make policy suggestions.
Some psychiatrists, too, have recently launched a rallying cry for a more integrative approach to mental health care — one that takes diet and other lifestyle factors into account in diagnosing, treating and preventing mental illness. In a paper recently published in The Lancet Psychiatry, an international group of scientists (all members of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research) argue that diet is “as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology and gastroenterology.”
With over 450 million people globally suffering from some form of mental disorder and a pharmacological approach having achieved only limited success in treating debilitating mental health conditions, the field of psychiatry may be reaching a sort of tipping point.
“We’re now facing this huge epidemic of mental health disorders,” one of the paper’s authors Dr. Drew Ramsey, an integrative psychiatrist at Columbia University and author of Fifty Shades of Kale, told The Huffington Post. “Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world and soon it will be the leading cause of disability in America. So, as somebody who treats depression, it’s of great interest when we see a data signal that suggests that we can treat depression by focusing on nutrition and what we eat.”
Ramsey and colleagues’ paper cites a number of studies attesting to the vital role of certain nutrients in brain health, including omega-3s, Vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, iron and magnesium. The modern diet, while dense in calories, tends to be lacking in these important nutrients, which may be contributing to the rise in mental health conditions. Many studies have linked depression with low levels of key B vitamins, for instance, while low maternal Vitamin D levels have been found to play a role in the child’s risk of developing schizophrenia.
The research has been mounting in recent years, and has expanded from a focus on individual nutrients to dietary patterns more broadly. In 2011, a large study found the modern Western diet (which is high in processed, high-calorie and low-nutrient foods) to be linked with increased depression and anxiety, as compared to a traditional Norweigan diet. 2014 review of studies, too, linked unhealthy dietary patterns with poor mental health and children and adolescents.
“For a long time in psychiatry, we’ve known that individual vitamins can have a big impact on mental health — vitamin B12, iron, magnesium — but really in the past 10 years, studies have begun to look more at dietary patterns, and that’s been quite revealing,” said Ramsey.
Growing evidence of the brain-gut connection also lends support the hypothesis that when it comes to mental health, food matters. The idea that there might be a significant link between gut health and brain health — and that gut bacteria imbalances in a number of neurological conditions, including anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD and schizophrenia — has gained steam in the scientific community. A 2014 neuroscience symposium even called the investigation of gut microbes a “paradigm shift” in brain science.
“The idea that brain health depends on gut health… that’s certainly the next wave of this,” Ramsey noted.
However, up to this point, the traditional line of treatment for mental heath problems has been pharmaceutical interventions or treatments like talk therapy, or some combination of the two. Diet and exercise are rarely taken into consideration, except by “alternative” practitioners. Bringing diet into the equation would represent a major shift in the field of mental health care, opening up new modes of treatment and low-cost, low side-effect interventions for individuals suffering from a range of mental health concerns.
“Food should be the first line of defense because it’s a foundational treatment,” said Ramsey. “We really need to move away from thinking of things like diet and exercise as ‘complementary’ or ‘alternative.’ That’s really bad thinking that’s gotten psychiatry into trouble.”
Of course, it’s important to remember that the causes of mental health problems are complex, and can span psychological, biological, emotional, environmental and dietary factors. But improving one’s diet with brain-healthy nutrients can only support mental and neurological health.
“A well-nourished brain is going to be more resilient,” says Ramsey. “Being a modern human is stressful. There are a lot of demands for our attention and we’re exposed to a lot more trauma … Through diet, over time you make the brain more resilient.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that the new dietary task force was commissioned by the Food and Drug Administration, when in fact it was commissioned by the HHS and USDA
A punk band made up of musicians with learning disabilities is to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The quartet, named PKN, was chosen by Finnish viewers on Saturday and has now been ranked by bookmakers as among the favourites for the contest.
The group, whose members have Down’s syndrome and autism, will perform their 85-second song Aina Mun Pitaa (I Always Have To) at the event in Vienna in May.
“Every person with a disability ought to be braver,” singer Kari Aalto said.
“He or she should themselves say what they want and do not want,” he told Finnish broadcaster YLE.
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The group – full name Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat (Pertti Kurikka’s Nameday) – will also become the first punk band to compete at Eurovision.
They first got together during a charity workshop and appeared in an award-winning 2012 documentary called The Punk Syndrome.
The song deals with the frustration of the rules of daily life, like having to eat healthily and doing chores like cleaning and washing up.
“We are rebelling against society in different ways, but we are not political,” bassist Sami Helle told The Guardian.
“We are changing attitudes somewhat, a lot of people are coming to our gigs and we have a lot of fans.
“We don’t want people to vote for us to feel sorry for us, we are not that different from everybody else – just normal guys with a mental handicap.”
They are 5/1 to win the contest, according to Betfred, making them third favourites behind Italy and Estonia.
Heavy metal band Lordi gave Finland its only Eurovision win to date with Hard Rock Hallelujah in 2006.
The UK’s Eurovision entrant will be named on Saturday
Ottobock, leading UK wheelchair manufacturer, has launched a new power wheelchair designed for people living with MND Working in collaboration with the MND Association, the new B400 Neuro Power Wheelchair is compact, comfortable and is designed for use outdoors and inside the home.
Leading UK wheelchair manufacturer Ottobock, has launched a new power wheelchair designed for people living with motor neurone disease (MND). Working in collaboration with MND Association, the new B400 Neuro Power Wheelchair is compact, comfortable and is designed for use outdoors and inside the home. The chair offers a range of options and features which have been designed based on feedback from wheelchair users.
The B400 Neuro Power Wheelchair was developed as part of a MND Association initiative, funded by the Department of Health, to develop wheelchairs better suited to the requirements of people living with MND and other neurological conditions. In addition to being compact enough to fit in the home environment and sturdy enough for outdoor use, the chair has been designed to support accessories and technologies where required and has many options for seating position and cushioning.
• A small, compact design with 80cm turning radius and rear wheel drive for easy transfer and adjustments
• High performance, long-lasting batteries with a travelling distance of 35km
• Soft, comfortable seating
• Adjustable seating positions with 45 degree power tilt-in-space and 30 degree power recline as an option
• Adaptable electronic interfaces as standard
“Our new wheelchair is designed to adapt to the often rapidly changing needs of people with MND,” said Simon Tempest, Mobility Solutions Manager, Ottobock. “It has been a great honour to work with the MND Association on this project and we hope we’ve created a wheelchair that will enable those living with this debilitating disease the chance to remain independent, comfortable and mobile.”
The Ottobock B400 Neuro Power Wheelchair is now available at wheelchair services across the UK. The wheelchair is tested to twice the ISO standards and comes with a two year manufacturer’s warranty (excluding batteries) on parts and 4 years on the frame
Anthony Merchante 7, sits with his mother Monica Alboniga in their Sunrise, Fla. home as Anthony’s service dog Stevie, licks his fingers. U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom ruled that Stevie should be allowed to join Anthony at school. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS)
Stevie is a good dog. He doesn’t eat from the table or have accidents in the house. And he never pulls on his leash.
The white-and-tan Staffordshire terrier also has a special talent: He alerts caregivers when his little boy, Anthony Merchante, is going to have a seizure or has trouble breathing.
Anthony’s mother, Monica Alboniga, tried for two years to persuade the Broward County School Board in South Florida to permit Stevie, a trained service animal, to accompany the 7-year-old on campus. But school administrators repeatedly said Stevie didn’t belong at school. And they hoped that a Fort Lauderdale federal judge would agree with them.
Instead they got a scolding. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom ruled that Stevie should be allowed to join his human friend at Nob Hill Elementary — and without a series of requirements the school district had tacked on.
Stevie, Alboniga said, “has saved Anthony’s life. I feel completely safe every time he is with the dog, because I know the dog will look for help.”
As the lawsuit progressed in federal court, the school board allowed Stevie to go to school every day, but administrators continued to fight the case.
“The district has always permitted the service dog at the school,” said the district’s spokeswoman, Tracy Clark. Alboniga “pursued the lawsuit as the parties [the district and the plaintiff] differ somewhat in the interpretation of the federal regulations governing service animals. The district’s legal department is reviewing and analyzing the order.”
Had the district won, Alboniga’s lawyer said, 4-year-old Stevie almost certainly would have been expelled.
Anthony suffers from a host of serious disabilities: He has cerebral palsy, spastic paralysis, a seizure disorder, and he cannot speak. To get around, he depends on a wheelchair, to which Stevie is tethered most of the time.
Alboniga, 37, who is raising her son alone, paid to obtain and train a dog up to the specifications of Assistance Dog International Standards, records say. Stevie can aid caregivers in a variety of ways: He can step onto Anthony’s wheelchair and lay across the boy’s lap; once there, the dog is trained to help stabilize Anthony’s head so his airway isn’t impeded.
“Stevie was also trained to ‘tell’ or ‘alert’ human responders in the event that [Anthony] was experiencing a medical crisis,” Bloom wrote. The dog can jump on a sensor mat that activates an alarm, or bark to get the attention of caregivers. He also wears a red service dog vest that holds medical supplies, as well as detailed instructions on how to respond to medical emergencies.
“Stevie lets me know when he has seizures or problems breathing. He pushes me toward Anthony. He barks,” Alboniga said. “When Anthony is having convulsions, he starts barking and goes looking for us. Then he goes back to Anthony and stays with him.”
At home in Sunrise, Fla., Stevie is also a house pet, although he isn’t all that interested in Anthony’s baby sister, Mariangel, a 5-month-old, because he seems to intuitively understand that Anthony is his full-time job. “He loves Anthony,” Alboniga said. “And Anthony loves Stevie, too.”
“He is a very good dog,” Alboniga said. “He is very sweet, and very obedient. He is the best there is.”
All 50 pounds of Stevie rest next to Anthony in bed each night, and the boy and dog are virtually inseparable. That’s partly by design. It’s best if service animals spend almost all of their time with their “targets,” trainers say, and long separations diminish the animal’s “responsiveness and effectiveness,” Bloom wrote.
Alboniga first approached the school board in May 2013, and submitted a formal request for the dog two months later. In its reply in August 2013, the school board said Stevie must obtain a host of vaccinations that rarely are applied to dogs, required Alboniga to obtain costly liability insurance, and mandated that she provide, at her own expense, a “handler” for Stevie.
The requirements, said Alboniga’s lawyer, Matthew Dietz, amounted to “an impossible barrier,” and violated federal civil rights laws that give preference to the choices of people with disabilities. “The fact that the judge said the school board’s rules made no sense vindicates this woman’s belief that what she was doing for her son was the right thing,” Dietz said.
For the first four months that Anthony attended Nob Hill Elementary School as a kindergartner, beginning in August 2013, Alboniga worked, at the district’s requirement, as Stevie’s handler herself. Later, the school board appointed a custodian to work as Stevie’s handler. His responsibilities were “to walk Stevie alongside [Anthony] with a leash, instead of allowing Stevie to be attached” to the boy’s wheelchair, and to take the dog outside to urinate. The custodian also ensured that other children did not try to play with the dog.
“While at school,” the judge wrote, “Stevie does not eat or drink. Nor does Stevie defecate or make stains, or require cleaning or exercise.” Alboniga, the judge said, “attends to Stevie’s daily feeding, cleaning and care needs.”
But administrators continued to assert in the lawsuit that it was not the district’s responsibility to help the boy keep Stevie at school. Anthony’s “individual educational plan” — a detailed accounting of the school’s accommodations to the child — does not mention Anthony’s use of a service dog, Bloom wrote.
Anthony found a friend in the U.S. Department of Justice. The department’s civil rights division enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act, landmark legislation passed by Congress in 1990. Last month, the DOJ weighed in on the lawsuit, arguing that the school board “fundamentally misunderstands” ADA regulations, which require that “public entities generally must permit individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their service animals.”
“Congress specifically intended that individuals with disabilities not be separated from their service animals, even in schools,” the DOJ wrote.
The school board contended that it wasn’t necessary for Stevie to accompany Anthony to school since the elementary’s staff already was trained to perform the same tasks as Stevie. The district also argued that, even if Stevie was permitted on Nob Hill’s campus under the ADA, it was not reasonable for the district to bear the costs of the dog’s handler.
The judge wrote that the dispute pivoted on whether it was reasonable to expect the district to allow Stevie on campus under the federal civil rights law.
The judge ruled that it was indeed reasonable, “in the same way a school would assist a non-disabled child to use the restroom, or assist a diabetic child with her insulin pump, or assist a physically disabled child employ her motorized wheelchair.
Enlargephoto by: Todd Wiseman
Lex Frieden is a disability advocate and a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he was treated after a 1967 car accident that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Frieden’s advocacy helped shape the Americans with Disabilities Act.
HOUSTON — Nudging a joystick with the palm of his hand, Lex Frieden controls his motorized wheelchair with ease. He types emails with his knuckles on a phone fastened with a rubber band to his chair’s armrest, making the most of the limited use of his hands. He’s had practice, having been paralyzed since a car crash 47 years ago.
Back then, accommodations like ramps and automatic doors were rare.
“There was no dignity whatsoever when it came to trying to use public facilities at that time,” said Frieden, 66, a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “There were no protections for people with disabilities in terms of discrimination.”
Frieden pushed to make things like buses and restaurants more accessible in Houston, then statewide, and eventually played a key role in the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. Twenty-five years later, the law known as the ADA now seeks to protect the civil rights of the more than 39 million people with disabilities in the United States, including 3 million Texans. It requires that public spaces like doctor’s offices and hotels be accessible to people with disabilities, and it bans discrimination based on a disability.
The anniversary — which comes as Texas has just inaugurated its first governor to use a wheelchair, Republican Greg Abbott — will be the focus of a celebration Sunday through Tuesday in Austin as part of a yearlong national bus tour. The tour, a rolling display of accessibility accomplishments organized by advocates for people with disabilities, includes several workshops and an event recognizing history-makers like Frieden.
“For us, Texas trailblazers like Lex Frieden, among others, played that pivotal role in writing and advocating and getting passed what we all consider landmark legislation that has impacted so many lives now,” said Chase Bearden, director of advocacy at the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities. “It is great to know that we can still talk to the architects of this and learn about what we didn’t go through.”
Frieden’s research at the university focuses on improving the lives of people disabled through injury, as he was.
A 1967 head-on car crash left Frieden paralyzed from the shoulders down. An 18-year-old freshman at Oklahoma State University, he found himself in a wheelchair on a campus where stairs were an impossible barrier and sidewalks were just beyond reach. He dropped out of school.
Later, he sought to continue his education at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, but he was rejected because he used a wheelchair, he said.
“When I got the letter, I thought it was a mistake,” Frieden said. “That hurt a lot worse than the broken neck. That was the first time I understood discrimination and the civil rights movement I had seen growing up. People making decisions based on characteristics over which someone has no control.”
He went to the University of Tulsa instead. Armed with a psychology degree, Frieden moved to Texas. He pursued a master’s degree at the University of Houston, where he met his wife, Joyce, who also uses a wheelchair.
Frieden joined an experimental cooperative housing project with other young disabled students. The students began pushing for greater access to the city’s restaurants, which they typically had to enter through a back door. (Sometimes restaurant staff carried them up stairs.)
Austinite Bob Kafka, an activist with ADAPT of Texas, worked with Frieden in Houston to shed light on inequalities for the disabled.
“In Texas, it was hit or miss. In some of the urban areas there would be accessibility in places; in the rural areas it was usually pretty much ignored,” Kafka said.
Rallies in Houston helped spur accessible bus systems there. In 1976, Frieden, Kafka and other young advocates organized wheelchair users to try riding city buses.
“We had about 50 people in wheelchairs lined up at the bus stop,” Frieden said. “People got out of their wheelchairs and started dragging themselves literally onto the bus. That continued for years until the metropolitan transit authority agreed to buy all accessible vehicles.”
The transit system was pushing back as late as 1989, when it sought to buy 300 inaccessible buses just before the law was expected to pass, according to Richard LaVallo, the legal director for Disability Rights Texas, one of several groups that sued the city’s transit system.
“It would have made the whole metro system inaccessible for another generation, at least for the age of those buses,” LaVallo said.
Frieden was eventually appointed by Gov. Bill Clements to a panel with members of the Legislature. The group was tasked with making recommendations on improving accessibility, leading to the state’s building codes.
Frieden later testified before Congress and joined the National Council on the Handicapped, where he helped craft the ADA in 1986.
“Some people thought we should just make an amendment to the Civil Rights Act and add the word ‘disabled’ next to ‘race,'” Frieden said. He made the case that there was a difference between discrimination on the basis of race and on the basis of disability “because the remedies are different.”
Frieden, now the father of a grown daughter, said Texas served as an example to states with leaders who argued that accommodations would be too expensive and difficult to implement.
“In Texas, we essentially had already done what we went to Washington to do a few years later,” Frieden said. “The fact that we had made progress in Texas made it much easier for us lobby for the ADA.”
The law led to the electronic voting system used today, allowing for blind voters to cast secret ballots. It prompted wheelchair-accessible bus stops, with curb ramps and sidewalks. It is involved in every new construction or restoration of older buildings, calling for hallways and elevators suitable for people in wheelchairs.
The ADA also targets employers, barring them from denying a qualified applicant because of a disability and requiring them to make accommodations such as accessible parking spots and bathrooms.
While many societal barriers are gone, people with disabilities still struggle to find adequate employment and health care, according to Bearden. He said the 25th anniversary of the ADA — and Abbott’s rise to governor — may relaunch the conversation.
Abbott, who was paralyzed in 1984 by a falling tree, regularly referenced his wheelchair and “spine of steel” throughout his run for governor.
But his record when he was attorney general has been criticized by advocates for people with disabilities. His office, defending the state from a lawsuit, challenged a section of the ADA. Abbott told the Austin American-Statesman at the time that although he was personally a strong supporter of the ADA, his legal obligation was to defend the state.
Abbott said this week he is committed to ensuring Texas provides opportunity for all, including people with disabilities.
“I am living proof that here in Texas, a young man can have his life literally broken in half and still rise up and be governor of this great state,” Abbott said in a statement.
Frieden said he hopes Abbott uses his platform to expand job opportunities for people with disabilities and help them live in the community rather than in nursing homes.
“I am hopeful that Gov. Abbott will choose to confront some of these issues, just as he has chosen to confront the physical implications of his disability,” Frieden said.
Correction: A previous version of this story said that Lex Frieden recovered in a nursing home after his accident. He recovered at home
Canadas shame, a veteran amputee lost limbs and must prove he still doesn’t have legs every three years
A wounded soldier who lost both legs in Afghanistan will have to verify his condition and the kind of support needed, including his wheelchair, to Veterans Affairs every three years, rather than annually under a policy change.
The revision was quietly unveiled in the House of Commons on Friday by Pierre Lemieux, parliamentary secretary to the veterans minister.
Paul Franklin, who was a master corporal when he lost his legs in a 2006 roadside bombing in Kandahar, has long complained about the veterans system and its annual review.
He says he was well looked after at National Defence, but has faced a bureaucratic nightmare since retiring almost six years ago and coming under the veterans department.
His plight caused a political sensation and even drew the attention of comedian Rick Mercer, who devoted a rant to the subject.
A spokesman for Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole stressed the process is not meant to reconfirm the injury, but to track changes in the condition of ex-soldier.
“Veterans who have been granted entitlement for a disability benefit from (Veterans Affairs Canada) for any service-related injury or condition are not asked to prove their disability again once they have been granted entitlement,” said Marton Magnan in an email statement.
“Veterans who face serious injuries face potentially a fluctuating health condition related to the original injury. Veterans Affairs has a responsibility to proactively update the government to ensure they have the necessary support and treatment for their current condition.”
Magnan also said the government “places the highest priority on making sure Veterans and their families have the support and services they need, when they need it.”
Franklin wasn’t immediately available to comment Friday.
In early February, he told CTV’s Canada AM that veterans affairs treats him and other ex-soldiers as though they are trying to cheat the system.
The department required him to justify annually why he still qualified for home-care services and income replacement because of his disability.
The disputes got so bad, Franklin had his wheelchair taken away from him twice because it wasn’t clear which department should pay for it and which doctor’s notes were needed.
Lemieux told the Commons that O’Toole has spoken to Franklin personally.
Ten suspects – including nine Asian men – are accused of a number of sex exploitation
The investigation focuses on Rochdale and other parts of Greater Manchester
Ten men have been charged as part of an investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rochdale.
The suspects were arrested after police launched an operation in May 2012 targeting older men accused of sexually exploiting teenage girls in the town and other areas of Greater Manchester.
Nine of the men are Asian. They are accused of serious sex offences against seven victims, at least one of whom was 13 at the time of the offences alleged to have taken place between 2005 and 2013.
Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett of Greater Manchester Police said: “Operation Doublet is an investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rochdale and across other areas of Greater Manchester.
“The majority of the offences were committed between 2003 and 2013 and focus on reports that teenage girls were sexually exploited by older men.
“So far, 65 people have been arrested as part of Operation Doublet and the investigation continues.
“This is an extremely complex and challenging investigation which started in May 2012. The investigation will continue over the coming months and further arrests are anticipated.”
Police in Greater Manchester recently faced criticism over their handling of child abuse cases.
A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) accused the force of significant delays in the investigation of child protection cases and of adopting an inconsistent approach to child sexual exploitation policing.
The men have been bailed to appear at either Bury or Tameside Magistrates’ Court later this week.
The suspects are:
Shayfur Rahman, 31, Prestwich, charged with one count of rape.
Kutab Miah, 34, Rochdale, charged with three counts of sexual activity and one count of rape.
Rehan Ali, 26, Manchester, charged with one count of rape, three counts of sexual activity with a child when the offender was over 18 and three counts of sexual activity with a child when the offender was between 15 and 17.
Iklaq Choudhry Hussain, 37, Rochdale, charged with three counts of sexual activity with a child and two counts of rape.
David Law, 45, Derbyshire, charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit rape.
Mahfus Rahman, 28, of HMP Garth, charged with three counts of rape and three counts of sexual activity with a child.
Ashfaq Yousaf, 28, of HMP Forest Bank, charged with one count of aiding and abetting rape against one victim. He has also been charged with one count of rape against a further victim.
Afraz Ahmed, 32, Rochdale, charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit rape and one count of rape against one victim. He also faces two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, relating to offences against to girls. He has also been charged with one count of rape against a further victim.
Mohammed Davood, 37, Burnley, charged with one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against one victim. He has also been charged with three counts of rape, one count of sexual activity with a child and one count of sexual assault against a further victim.
Mohammed Miah, 39, of HMP Moorland, charged with three counts of sexual activity and one count of rape against one victim. He has also been charged with one count of rape against a further victim
The NYC LGBTQ business expo every year for the last fourteen has been the highlight of our year. Each year Ella’s magazine part sponsors and also has a stand at the expo, people who 14 years ago were strangers are now dear friends even though I see them only once a year within minutes it’s as if we never parted.
The expo runs from Friday to Sunday, today was my day to go it was the last day, the purpose of being there is for Ella to be the face of the magazine, hand out free copies and talk to potential advertisers.
The hall is divided into lanes of gay lesbian bisexual and transgender and queer businesses and those who run businesses that benefit both them and the community, some of these are community groups and some are business people such as party planners, wedding planners dj’s and entertainers. One of these is seriously called “GIRLZ PARTY”.
Now you have the 411 on the expo, back to the beginning, Ella and I dropped our bags set up the stall and went to the ladies room, Ella went first while I stayed outside with Zeus then It was my turn I unclipped Zeus from my waist leash and went in.
The Disabled accessible toilet cubicle was full so I sat 6 feet away back against wash basins and silently waited, All of a sudden a voice started screaming sentences profanity laced I assumed that like many women she was taking the chance to call people on the potty so I tried to ignore her.
All of a sudden she screamed “hey faggot get the fuck out or I’ll fuck you up”? I again ignored her, then the voice behind the door said “this is the women’s toilet get out pervert “I said “excuse me I am a trans woman and I am para so I’m waiting for the disabled toilet” Trans are men” came the answer I replied Ma’am I just want to use the disabled bathroom I don’t want trouble” she screamed” you’re walking around peeking under toilets” Ma’am I can’t walk it’s impossible.
She then yelled “if you’re still there when I get out you will be fucked up” Ella came running in with Zeus because she could hear the screaming the woman came out and said to Ella “you shouldn’t let men in there” Ella said she’s not and received a mouthful of mumbled profanity.
I did my business and cautious of Ella’s position in the company thought I would get ahead of it and told the head of security as I reentered the expo and she was flabbergasted, this was a LGBTQ business expo bigotry had no place here.
Fifteen minutes later I was rolling around networking and suddenly a loud African American female voice started screaming “that’s the fucking pervert that was in the ladies should’ve fucked it up while I had a chance” I started to leave and the profanities flew so I went back to security and told them they called the expo organizer his name was Adrian I told him what had happened and told him” I come here every year for a party, a good time I don’t want to ruin someone else’s by calling the cops I’ll leave this in your capable hands but make it clear one more word one more contact and I will involve the police( there are LGBTQ police officers at the expo who are friends) Adrian assured me he would handle it.
Ten minutes later he came by the stall and assured me all was fine she got the message, so I went for a role each person I spoke to that she evidently knew she called and shitted on me over the phone I turned she was following me around the room hiding behind displays.
I told the management they washed their hands of it, one of my cop friends asked me if I was ok I told him the story he went over and told her he was a friend and he would really hate it if I had a bad expo.
The rest of the expo she walked in circles constantly going past the stall like a spoilt child.
Girlz party spent at least $2500 on the stall hoping to get bookings for their women only dance parties, you only get one chance to make a first impression, their first impression is a transphobic borderline criminal employee with dangerous stalker tendencies. Ask yourself with a choice between them and another party organizer whom would you let in your establishment.
How can we call ourselves a community and march each year when people amongst us are set on killing our own from within.
I had a great day after 14 years of working the event, and 22 years out loud and proud. One self-absorbed minimally educated thug who thinks she rules the known world will never put me down, she will never put down the true community the true fighters for freedom to love whom we want and be whom we know we were born to be.
The winter storm has affected nearly everyone in one way or another. Many are still cleaning up, including college campuses.
The slow progress has left one student stranded at home. And even in the best conditions, for Megan Webb, getting around isn’t always easy.
She has definitely been impacted by the weather, particularly the snow. “I’m affected from basically the waist down,” she said.
Megan is a senior at Georgetown College. She was born with cerebral palsy. But that’s never stopped her from going after her dreams.
She is limited though, needing a wheelchair to get around. And after several inches of snow was dumped on her campus, her disability really slowed her down, even denied her access in some places.
The snow has all been plowed out of the streets and right onto the wheelchair access ramps.
During the storm, she’s had a hard time getting around campus, and has even had to miss a few classes.
“If I get stuck I have to sit in the cold and wait for someone to come get me,” She said. “And when it is too slick I cant even get traction to go over.”
A spokesperson for Georgetown College says they take the needs of their students very serious and and like everyone else, they are still cleaning up after the storm.
“You wouldn’t risk your car to get over a snow mound,” she said. “And I’m not going to risk my wheelchair.”
Her message was heard loud and clear.
The School said that no student would be penalized if they could not get to class because of weather related issues.
Mia’s thoughts- To people who think the story above is unusual, think again I have been housebound almost 6 weeks because of the ramp in my building and the uncleared local sidewalks.