Trans people who are routinely barraged with anti-transgender media coverage are more likely to experience depression and negative mental health outcomes, a study has found.
Researchers from the The Fenway Institute and Brown University asked 545 participants about their experiences of anti-trans messaging and their mental health.
The study, published in the LGBT Health journal, found that 97.6 per cent of participants reported seeing negative depictions of transgender people in the media in the past 12 months – 93.9 per cent seeing anti-trans coverage in print, 93.8 per cent on television and 83.1 per cent in advertising.
Exposure to anti-transgender messaging was found to correlate strongly with reports of depression, anxiety and psychological distress.
People who are frequently exposed to transphobic media were found to be 18 per cent more likely to be depressed and 28 per cent more likely to experience psychological distress, even when adjusted for other factors.
Anti-trans media coverage is fuelling negative mental health impacts.
Jaclyn White Hughto, assistant professor at Brown University School of Public Health, said: “Nearly all of our study participants reported having seen negative depictions of transgender people in media over the past 12 months.
“But those who reported greater frequency of exposure to these messages were significantly more likely to exhibit clinical symptoms of depression, anxiety, global psychological distress and PTSD.
“The association held even after adjustments were made for variables such as age, race, income and reported experiences of childhood and/or adult sexual or physical abuse, which suggests that negative media messages may have an independent impact on the mental health of transgender populations exposed to such messages.”
Hughto added: “Given the prevalence of systemic discrimination against transgender people in employment, health care settings, schools, and housing, we have long known that structural interventions are required to target stigma at its source.
“Campaigns designed to encourage accurate, non-stigmatizing depictions of transgender people across all media could serve to mitigate the harms of negative media messages to transgender people.
“In the meantime, clinical interventions can also help transgender people cope with the stress of being exposed to negative transgender-related media.”
The US-based study affirms anecdotal reports from the UK, where a years-long blitz of anti-transgender stories in the media has led to rising demand for mental health and support services for trans people.
Earlier this month, a report from LGBT+ anti-violence charity Galop found that as a result of transphobia, more than half of transgender people in the UK feel less able to go outside and two-thirds say they avoid using public bathrooms.
One respondent said: “The fear is particularly prevalent when public figures – politicians, high profile newspaper columnists etc – demonise trans people in print or on air; it makes the fear more pronounced because you worry someone’s going to act on it.”
Leni Morris, CEO of Galop, said that the report showed the reality of life for British trans people amid increasingly hostile debate about trans rights and toxic, transphobic commentary in the media.
“As the whole LGBT+ community knows from our history, there are real-world consequences to public debates,” Morris said. “Our new report shows how the safety and dignity of trans people is currently at risk.”
Sydney Duncan, 44, an attorney in Alabama, has been so focused on managing the increased legal needs of her clients that she rarely has time to address her own mental health needs, including her anxiety.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Duncan has devoted nearly her whole waking day to her work at Birmingham AIDS Outreach, an Alabama nonprofit. Helping her transgender clients obtain vital name changes has become a prolonged process due to court backlogs piling up, helping them acquire driver’s licenses has become harder while Social Security offices are closed, and increased unemployment among the community she serves has complicated a variety of services her nonprofit provides.
“We’re so busy trying to resolve other people’s issues — which objectively are more pressing than anything I have going on in my life — that it’s hard to slow down and feel the weight of the problems in your own life,” Duncan said.
Duncan, who is transgender, is among many LGBTQ Americans grappling with the added strain of the coronavirus crisis as they continue to adjust to a “new normal.” Meanwhile, the United States is poised to deal with a third spike in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, nine months into the pandemic.
Prior to the global crisis, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans were already at greater risk of mental health problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This elevated risk — due to a host of factors, including stigma and discrimination — combined with a global health crisis that has upended life as we once knew it, is presenting unique challenges for LGBTQ people.
“The physical distancing, economic strain and housing instability caused by Covid-19 have the potential to exacerbate these barriers among LGBTQ young people,” Dr. Amy Green, vice president of research at The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization, told NBC News.
‘Barely making it by’
Duncan had hoped to begin the year by supplementing her nonprofit salary by working as a comic-book writer. She made her debut with Dark Horse Comics at the end of last year but said her family is now “barely making it by” as opportunities have dried up.
“I feel like I’m better off than most, so don’t want to take someone else’s place if they need it more,” said Duncan, who added that she has been having “more sleepless nights” amid the pandemic. However, “opportunities seem fewer,” she added, which has affected more than just her finances.
“I’ve buried myself in working constantly to not pay attention to anything, but at some point it’s going to crash, and I don’t know what I’ll do then.”
“To make it to a level and have it erode from beneath you — the loss feels more profound,” she said. “Second chances for someone like me feel further away.”
Many LGBTQ people work in industries that have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, according to research by the Human Rights Campaign. These industries include jobs that have been contracted due to the pandemic, as well as other industries that have put workers at direct risk of exposure to the virus.
The report found that in addition to being at risk for precarious employment conditions, LGBTQ people were less likely to have health insurance, putting them further at risk from Covid-19.
On the other side of the coin, as many work remotely, the lines between work and home life have evaporated, putting an additional strain on mental health.
Rebecca Mix, 25, a queer author from Michigan, said that being overworked has just become a normal part of her routine with little sign of that changing.
“I think I’m barreling towards burnout,” Mix told NBC News. “I’ve buried myself in working constantly to not pay attention to anything, but at some point it’s going to crash, and I don’t know what I’ll do then. But I feel like I don’t have any other option.”
Loss of community
One of the biggest losses Covid-19 has robbed Duncan of is her sense of community. Seeing friends and colleagues on video conferencing has become exhausting, she said, and a poor substitute for having a community to help lift one another up.
“For me, community is support,” Duncan said. “Without community, I feel less supported, less confident in my place in the world. I feel this underlying anxiety every day.”
Many around the country have begun feeling “zoom fatigue,” while working to implement social distancing measures at work and with friends.
There is also worry about the long-term impact that the loss of in-person connections could have on LGBTQ people coming into their own with their sexual orientation and gender identity and presentation. A lack of a supportive community could stunt that formative time for many, according to research from Boston University’s School of Public Health.
A recent poll conducted by The Trevor Project showed that 40 percent of LGBTQ youth across the country said that “Covid-19 impacted their ability to express their LGBTQ identity,” with that number jumping to 56 percent for transgender and nonbinary youth. In addition, another report found that 2 in 5 LGBTQ youth in the United States have “seriously considered” suicide in the past year, highlighting the direness of the situation for many this year.
Access to therapy
The combination of economic strain and lack of available space to express themselves has also conspired against LGBTQ Americans by blocking access to a vital mental health resource: therapy.
Green, of the Trevor Project, said many LGBTQ youth have lost their job amid the pandemic and the health insurance that came with it.
“Finding providers who are not only affordable and available but also well versed in LGBTQ youths’ identities and unique mental health challenges can prove incredibly difficult in many areas of the country,” she said. “And concerns around parental permission, being outed and privacy could be heightened for LGBTQ youth who find themselves confined to unsupportive home environments and isolated from affirming LGBTQ communities.”
One of the silver linings of the pandemic has been the increased access to teletherapy as health care providers shift to remote work. This has been particularly helpful for those who had little access to affirming mental health care in their physical area.
“By and large, I have found it has worked really well,” Dr. Alex Keuroghlian, director of the Fenway Institute’s National LGBT Health Education Center and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Psychiatry Gender Identity Program, told NBC News this year. “I’ve had almost no no-shows in my schedule, and patients are answering the phone very appreciative that we can give them care despite what’s happening.”
Remote therapy, while easier to access in some respects, still does not make it accessible for everyone. Mix, for example, began teletherapy during the pandemic, but then had to quit once the costs started piling up.
“At one point, I felt so spiraling-out-of-control depressed and anxious, but I had to stop because I couldn’t afford it,” Mix said. “I’ve noticed everything is harder and more exhausting — things as simple as phone calls to household tasks like laundry and dishes.”
Therapy in addition to medication helped stem feelings of spiraling out of control and depression, but the longer the pandemic rages on the harder it will be to stay on top of certain tasks and remain motivated in day-to-day life, Mix said.
Others, who are sheltering in place with people unsupportive of their LGBTQ identity, may not have a space to privately participate in a mental health video visit. And some may be skeptical of a new platform for accessing health services altogether.
A combination of unemployment, unsupportive families and reduced in-person services at LGBTQ centers have created an acute crisis of housing precariousness for the community.
Wren, 20, who is nonbinary and uses ze/hir pronouns and asked that hir surname not be published to protect hir privacy, has spent the past year moving to different parts of the country to avoid infecting family members, to keep job prospects alive and have space to finish college classes. For Wren, this involved moving in with hir partner on a farm in Appalachia, working in exchange for rent.
For around two months, Wren returned home to see hir family, but that only brought old traumas and threats of violence. Wren is back on the farm with hir partner, trying to navigate an uncertain future amid the pandemic.
“The uncertainty about where I would be living, the worry I felt for my community in the city who were at higher risk for Covid and were facing violence from police during the protests this summer, and stressed family relationships compounded pre-existing mental health issues I have been dealing with for years,” Wren said.
Mental health investment
The implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on the state of mental health care won’t be known for some time, the Trevor Project’s Green added, but the disparities in our current system show that urgent investment is needed before more LGBTQ people get left behind without access to care.
“Investing in mental health and social services is the best strategy for proactively preventing worse mental health consequences in the future,” Green said.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.
If you are an LGBTQ young person in crisis, feeling suicidal or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the TrevorLifeline now at 1-866-488-7386.
Bishops have voiced scepticism over Biden’s viewpoints, distancing themselves from the incoming president.
Texas bishop Joseph Strickland went further than most on Friday (19 November) as he tweeted: “As a bishop I beg Mr Biden to repent of his dissent from Catholic teaching on abortion and marriage for his own salvation and for the good of our nation.
“He aspires to the highest office in our land and must be guided by the truth God has revealed to us. I pray for him to find truth.”
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops also had icy words for Biden.
Los Angeles archbishop José Gomez, head of the body, said: “For only the second time, we are anticipating a transition to a president who professes the Catholic faith. This presents certain opportunities but also certain challenges.
“The president-elect has given us reason to believe that his faith commitments will move him to support some good policies. This includes policies of immigration reform, refugees and the poor, and against racism, the death penalty, and climate change.
“He has also given us reason to believe that he will support policies that are against some fundamental values that we hold dear as Catholics.”
Gomez cited Biden’s support for the Equality Act, which would amend civil rights laws to outlaw discrimination against LGBT+ people.
The archbishop insisted: “These policies pose a serious threat to the common good whenever any politician supports them. We have long opposed these polices strongly and we will continue to do so.
“When politicians who profess the Catholic faith support them there are additional problems, and one of the things it creates confusion among the faithful about what the Church actually teaches on these questions.”
It is possible that church leaders could take the provocative stance of ordering that Biden should be denied holy communion, as some archbishops have previously for politicians who support equal marriage and abortion.
Thomas Groome, a theology professor at Boston College, said it is likely that conservative bishops would push for the measure, even though polling suggests Biden’s views are shared by the majority of US Catholics.
He told AP that the archbishop’s statement was “dreadfully unfortunate” and said the bishops “should be helping bring us together rather than driving us apart”.
A transgender woman who was a well-known activist and performer in Miami was murdered on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the Miami Police Department told the Washington Blade that 28-year-old Ygor Arrudasouza had placed a 911 call at around 4:25 a.m. on Tuesday, stating that he had stabbed his girlfriend, 39-year-old Yunieski Carey Herrera also known Yuni Carey, in their downtown Miami high-rise apartment near the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami.
Responding officers found Carey covered in blood suffering from stab wounds and unresponsive. The police report noted that Arrudasouza had uttered a spontaneous confession admitting to the crime and that methamphetamine had influenced the events. She was pronounced dead at the scene. According to Miami police the two had been involved in an argument that became physical.
Arrudasouza on Wednesday during his first court appearance confessed he was under the influence of methamphetamines when he used a fork and a knife to stab Carey in a fit of rage.
Arrudasouza, a local dancer of Brazilian origin, has been charged with second-degree murder. Arrudasouza in an emotional confession claimed he “deserves the punishment that comes to him.”
Arrudasouza, according to the arrest report, told a detective that Carey said during an argument that “she had a better man.” This confession triggered Arrudasouza, who has a recent history of violence, to attack Carey.
Court records indicate Arrudasouza in January was charged with three counts of battery.
That case remains open and is scheduled to go to trial on March 8. Arrudasouza was out on bail when he allegedly killed Carey. He is currently being held without bail at a Miami jail.
Arianna Lint, executive director of Arianna’s Center, a South Florida-based group that works with members of the trans community, told the Blade on Wednesday that she knew Carey and Arrudasouza well. Lint said she is still in shock over Carey’s murder.
“They came to the center for exams and for emotional support,” said Lint. “I received calls from her (Carey) on several occasions seeking advice when she had a fight with her husband. They, as a couple, were facing problems.”
Carey performed at Azúcar, a gay nightclub near Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. Alexis Fernández, a drag queen known as Marytrini who is the establishment’s artistic producer, told the Blade that Arrudasouza was kicked out three times because of violence.
“Her boyfriend was aggressive, violent,” said Fernández. “He got hysterical out of jealously and he was always hitting people. I advised her to leave him on several occasions, but she was afraid. I even think she wanted to rehabilitate him for his violence.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/TnXYwUq6clc?wmode=transparent&modestbranding=1&autohide=1&showinfo=0&rel=0
Carey born, raised in Cuba
Carey was born in Santa Clara, the capital of Cuba’s Villa Clara province that is in the center of the country, and spent her childhood there. She lived with her grandmother in Miami, while the rest of her family remains in Cuba.
Carey previously won the Miss Trans Cuba beauty pageant. She was later crowned Miss Trans Global 2019 in Barcelona. Carey was preparing to return to the stage for the first time in eight months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Next Sunday would have been her great return to Azúcar,” said Fernández. “I was ready for the show.”
Fernández, as an artist, defined Carey as a person who knew how to seduce her audience. Fernández added the community loved her.
“She was the typical jovial and cheerful Cuban,” added Lint. “She loved parties. She was very Cuban, very beautiful.”
Bamby Salcedo, president of the Los Angeles-based TransLatin@ Coalition, told the Blade she had known Carey since she was a teenager. Salcedo described Carey as a highly motivated person and a role model for young trans women who took care of her grandmother.
“This is a crazy world, so sad,” said Salcedo. “She [Carey] was admired by so many in the trans communities, her work in pageantry, her work as a service provider, she was the most resilient person. She was a good person.”
Carey was killed days before the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, which pays tribute to trans people who were murdered. Carey is the 37th trans person reported killed in the U.S. in 2020.
Azúcar on Friday and Sunday plan to honor Carey’s life with a tribute. Marytrini, Valeria Coutier and Mónica Simpson are among those who are expected to perform.
The International Transgender Day Of Remembrance will be held on Nov. 20th, 2020.
Trans Day Of Remembrance (TDoR) is a day which remembers those trans and gender-diverse people who have been victims of homicide.
Though the event began in the US, TDoR now happens in many parts of the world.
Vigils are usually held in person all around the world, but due to the pandemic and varying levels of lockdowns and restrictions, the community is expected to take to social media to join together in grief and remembrance.
The City of West Hollywood will host an online Transgender Day of Remembrance Ceremony on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 6 p.m. featuring speakers and a reading of names to memorialize people who have been murdered as a result of anti-transgender violence.
The event will feature the traditional Reading of the Names wherein community members will recite the name of at least one person and brief biographical details of the person being memorialized. The reading is pre-recorded and has been made part of a video presentation, which will be played during the virtual event. The City encourages community members to take part and to honor these lives and memories as well as to take the opportunity to reflect on the work that remains to be done.
350 transgender people were killed this year around the world, a figure that has risen since last year’s total of 331. In the United States alone at least 33 transgender or gender non-conforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means. A disproportionately high number of these victims are black and latinx transgender women.
The annual list, released for Transgender Day of Remembrance, found the average age of those killed was 31, with the youngest just 15.
The Pride LA mourns those we have lost in the transgender community and works toward justice and equality for transgender and gender non-conforming people.
A list of the transgender lives that have been lost in the United States has been listed in memoriam:
Dustin Parker, 25
Neulisa Luciano Ruiz
Yampi Méndez Arocho, 19
Monika Diamond, 34
Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, 32
Layla Pelaez Sánchez, 21
Penélope Díaz Ramírez
Helle Jae O’Regan, 20
Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells
Riah Milton, 25
Jayne Thompson, 33
Selena Reyes-Hernandez, 37
Brian “Egypt’ Powers, 43
Brayla Stone, 17
Merci Mack, 22
Shaki Peters, 32
Bree Black, 27
Dior H Ova (aka Tiffany Harris)
Queasha D Hardy, 22
Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears (aka Rocky Rhone) Kee Sam,
Dr Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, has been tipped for a high-ranking position in the Joe Biden administration.
Levine is one of the highest-ranking transgender officials in the US, and has spent this year leading Pennsylvania’s response to the pandemic in the face of shameless transphobia.
Her hard work and decades of medical experience could soon be rewarded, with her name now attached to two key White House roles.
The LGBTQ Victory Fund, a political action committee (PAC) that helped elect hundreds of queer politicians in the 2020 election, has suggested Biden should appoint Levine either secretary of health and human services or US surgeon general.
Ruben Gonzalez, vice president of the PAC, said the organisation has already had “informal conversations” with the Biden transition team regarding LGBT+ appointments, and is “feeling very confident and very hopeful that we will see trans people serve in high-level roles in this administration”.
“Dr Rachel Levine has served Pennsylvania incredibly well as their secretary of health for a number of years, leading their response on COVID, and leading their response on the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania,” Gonzalez said, via the American Independent.
“I think someone like her is well-poised to serve at a high-level in a Biden administration.”
The LGBQT Victory Fund has made a number of other suggestions, includingPete Buttigieg for UN ambassador; Maura Healey, the first openly gay state attorney general, for US attorney general; Tammy Baldwin, the first out lesbian in Congress, for the Department of Health and Human Services; and Raphael Bostic, the first out gay man and first Black man to lead a regional bank for the Federal Reserve, as secretary of the treasury.
With more than 4,100 roles available in the incoming administration, the LGBTQ Victory Fund says that there should be at least 185 queer appointees in order for the new White House to be properly representative.
As Joe Biden prepares to take office in January, he has already begun naming staff to his presidential transition team.
Among them is Shawn Skelly, who was the first transgender veteran to get a presidential appointment when Barack Obama named her director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the Department of Transportation.
The former Navy commander will help Biden evaluate the Department of Defense, understanding how it operates and helping ensure a smooth transfer of power.
It took just one day for Target to pull a screening U-turn Friday (13 November) after it removed a transphobic book off its digital shelves, prompting anti-trans users to pelt the American retail giant into submission.
Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughter, which is currently rated just two-and-a-half stars on Target’s website, has been fiercely upbraided by LGBT+ rights activists since its July 2020 release.×
While Target initially said it would remove the text, a torrent of anti-trans Twitter accounts, including Shrier, criticised the company for doing so, promoting Target to walk back and relist the book.
Twitter users sought to sound the alarm as to why Target was stocking a book that rails against a so-called “transgender epidemic sweeping the country”. The company, amid backlash, tweeted on Thursday (12 November): “Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention.
“We have removed this book from our assortment.”
Author Shrier quickly took aim at Target, tweeting that the company had made her “book disappear”, igniting countless anti-trans users to send incensed tweets and emails to Target.
Does it bother anyone that woke activists and spineless corporations now determine what Americans are allowed to read?” she added.
Target later tepidly responded to a tweet by a user with less than 1,000 followers and whose display picture is of a painting by Alex Grey. The user called on Target not to “submit to Stalinist thought policing”.
“We want to offer a broad assortment for our guests and are adding this book back to Target.com. We apologise for any confusion.”
Trans people in the US have themselves been reduced to political targets with increasing temerity by the Trump administration in the last four years, where the president’s officials have peeled back a roster of legal protections across countless federal departments and programs – defence, housing, health and education.
All the while, an actual epidemic – one of violence against trans people – continues to rip across the States, with 2020, monitoring groups warn, being the deadliest year for trans people since records began with 34 trans people murdered at the time of writing.
I was diagnosed with HIV just shy of my 30th birthday. That day, everything changed. I was apprehensive about my prognosis, my treatment plan, and my ability to live a normal life.
Fortunately, medical advances have turned HIV from a certain death sentence into a manageable condition. Still, like all Americans who depend on complex medications to stay healthy, I worry about high drug prices, and this concern has only intensified amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially since some of the proposed “solutions” to high drug prices would put patients’ health at risk.
Just recently, the Trump administration announced that it would allow states to import prescription medications from Canada with the aim of saving money for consumers. Doing so, though, could expose millions of Americans to counterfeit drugs, while achieving little in the way of savings.
I’ve seen firsthand how importation schemes can put patients at risk.
Shortly after learning I was HIV-positive, I ordered my anti-retroviral drugs from an online Canadian pharmacy. For two months, I received medications via mail without ever wondering where they were sourced or whether they contained the active ingredients I needed to keep me alive.
Then my doctor intervened. She told me that drugs purchased through online storefronts are often adulterated or counterfeit—in fact, the global trade in fake medicines is a $30 billion-a-year business. Unknowingly, I had been rolling the dice with my health.
There are two types of counterfeit drugs. The first contains potentially deadly substances— everything from arsenic to antifreeze. The second contains few, if any, active ingredients. Though pills in the latter category don’t contain actual poisons, they can be deadly. Anti-retroviral drugs have to be taken exactly as prescribed; missing even a few doses can allow the virus to reemerge.
There is no mechanism in place to regulate the quality of drugs imported by American patients. A senior official at Health Canada explicitly told the U.S. surgeon general that her agency “does not assure that products being sold to U.S. citizens are safe, effective, and of high quality.” The FDA, meanwhile, plainly states that it “cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs that it has not approved.”
Moreover, drugs purportedly from Canada could come from anywhere. A 2017 study by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy found that three quarters of online pharmacies claiming to sell Canadian drugs actually sourced their products from places like India, Singapore, and Hong Kong, all major suppliers of counterfeits. Back in 2005, the FDA reported that only 15 percent of imported drugs marketed as Canadian actually originated in Canada. The other 85 percent came from “27 countries around the globe,” meaning that many likely didn’t go through rigorous quality control.
It’s relatively easy to get hoodwinked by online pharmacies that promise quality drugs at bargain prices. CanadaDrugs.com, for instance, started out in 2001 as a seemingly reputable online pharmacy. But soon it turned to distributors outside of Canada to secure medicines. In 2018, a U.S. court prosecuted and fined the company for selling fake cancer drugs to American doctors.
Counterfeiters have shown they are willing to prey on people living with all kinds of diseases, including HIV. In 2011, a British regulatory agency discovered that two fake HIV medications had infiltrated the market and were circulating among patients.
Opening the door to drug imports would allow that kind of thing to happen here, putting us all at risk. And it’s not even certain that legalizing importation would cut costs. The FDA acknowledges that it is “unable to estimate the cost savings” from President Trump’s new plan. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote that “when importation of foreign drugs is done under a regulated scheme, it really wouldn’t save money.”
Right now, Americans are anxious enough about our health. Let’s not add drug imports to our list of things to worry about.
Brandon M. Macsata has been living with HIV since 2002, and serves as CEO of the ADAP Advocacy Association, an organization that promotes the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and works to improve access to care.
Pope Francis’ endorsement of same-sex civil unions was taken out of context, Vatican officials have claimed as they sought to clarify that the church does not support LGBT+ rights.
The Pope’s comments featured in the documentary Francescodid not signal a change in church doctrine, neither did they support a wider endorsement of marriage equality, according to guidance issued to apologetic ambassadors by the Vatican secretariat of state.
Vatican nuncio to Mexico, Franco Coppola, posted on Facebook Friday (October 31) unsigned guidance which claims that the pontiff’s remarks were “edited” and lacked “proper contextualisation”.
In the guidance, the Vatican says that the Pope was referring to his position in 2010 when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires.
They said that the quote itself was not recent and was taken from a May 2019 interview that was never broadcast. The church claimed two of Francis’ answers were spliced together in Francesco.
More than a year ago, during an interview, Pope Francis answered two different questions at two different times that, in the aforementioned documentary, were edited and published as a single answer without proper contextualisation, which has led to confusion,” the guidance said.
Pope Francis praised for endorsing same-sex civil unions. Not quite, the Vatican clarifies.
Francesco made global headlines when it released an interview with the Pope in which he endorsed same-sex civil unions. The remarks were hailed by LGBT+ advocates but startled many religious leaders, prompting furious attempts to undermine them.
“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family,” Pope Francis said in the interview. “They are children of God and have a right to a family.
“Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it.”
According to the Vatican guidance, Francis was referring to parents with queer children and the need not to kick them out or discriminate against them.
The second part of his remarks – “What we have to create is a civil union law, that way they are legally covered, I stood up for that” – was again skewed, the guidance claimed.
It was him reiterating his position from nine years ago, as archbishop of Buenos Aires, the Vatican claimed.
“It is clear that Pope Francis was referring to certain state provisions and certainly not the doctrine of the church, which he has reaffirmed numerous times over the years,” the guidance said.
It had already emerged that the Pope’s comments were cherry-picked from a 2019 interview with Mexican television station Televisa.
Trans youth are twice as likely to be depressed and seven times as likely to engage in risky sexual behaviours, a new study has found.
A Minnesota study of 411 teenagers who went to the emergency department at a hospital found that rates of cis and trans teenagers having sex was not significantly different – 20.8 per cent and 23.3 per cent, respectively – but that trans youth were more likely to use drugs or alcohol before sex.
The study found that 35.7 per cent of trans youth reported that they’d drunk alcohol or used substances before sex, compared with only 4.6 per cent of cis youth. Sexually active trans youth were also more likely not to have discussed STIs before sex than cis youth – 21 per cent compared to 6.2 per cent – and 78.5 per cent of trans youth didn’t discuss pregnancy prevention before having sex, compared to 50 per cent of cis youth.
Brianna S McMichael, of Children’s Minnesota in Minneapolis, led the study and reported the findings at a virtual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
McMichael told the meeting that gender-diverse youth are also more likely to say they have been depressed for at least half of the days in the fortnight prior, with a quarter of trans youth compared with 12.6 per cent of cis youth, and trans youth are three times as likely to have tried smoking as cis youth.
“With risky sexual behaviours, smoking, and depression, the next step in our process is to figure out how we safely identify youth and provide appropriate resources around these topics,” McMichael told MedPage Today. “That is a challenge to figure out how we are going to bring it up in clinical care, how often, and in ways that are safe.”
“Gender identity and sexual orientation are still considered sensitive or taboo topics in certain communities,” McMichael said. “Because we’re a pediatric institution, parents come with their children and, depending on the reason they’re visiting the ED, parents may or may not be able to step out.”
The survey asked children about the sex they were assigned at birth and whether they were genderqueer, gender fluid or trans, which all came under the “gender diverse” category used by the researchers. If youth told the survey they were trans, they were then asked if they were trans masc or trans femme.
While most estimates put trans people at around one per cent of the population, the Minnesota study found that 15.4 per cent of youth were gender-diverse.
This could be due to the fact that the hospital where the research took place recently opened a gender clinic for trans youth, as well as being recognised as being supportive of LGBT+ patients.