Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Opening Closets

I enjoyed today's training in Bridgetown. It was entitled "Opening Closets" and was run jointly by Gay & Lesbian Community Services and Uniting Care West. The structure and content of the day was very good and very engaging. I'll be borrowing a few of their ideas next time I'm running a training session.

One chilling statistic they gave us was that 80% of people who identify themselves as transgender end up committing suicide!

While people may have different beliefs and attitudes on sexuality to me, I don't believe anything people do should be made so difficult to deal with that it leads to such a high percentage of people taking their own lives.

I don't feel like I'm expressing it very well, but what I'm trying to say is that regardless of beliefs or behaviours (within the law) people shouldn't pay with their lives for sexual or gender freedom.

Hopefully that makes sense!

If not, I can point you to their website for a clearer explanation of the issues.

The other important factor in a good training day is the quality of the food, and the fish and squid rings at lunchtime certainly added to my enjoyment. I even got to bring a doggie bag home of the leftovers!

I grabbed the opportunity to check out the shops at lunchtime, especially one of my favourites, Puddletown, and was not disappointed, I found a couple of cool new toys for my office.

By the time I got home at 6.00 Mrs Holt Press was already in bed, blaming "over-tiredness". I'm not sure of the cause, surely it couldn't have been my absence for the night!

I spent the evening watching TV- especially a disturbing expose of the Binge Drinking Culture amongst young people in Australia, on 4 Corners- and painting. I'm working on something very different to my normal style, far more ambitious, and I have to say it's not going very well! I know what I'm trying to do but I don't know how to do it, or more accurately I lack the skills knowledge and technique required, three fairly important elements it has to be said!

I will persevere but am not feeling optimistic about the project!


Darren Birch said...

Maybe the high suicide rate amongst gays is not so much to do with the community and it's acceptance but rather the spiritual side of things. We know that Scripute is very clear about homosexuality, that it's origins are from the kingdom of darkness. So when someone chooses (I emphasise they choose) this lifestyle it comes along with the other baggage of the devil - kill rob destroy. The same can be said for the drug world. High suicide rate doesn't mean they are paying a price as matryrs for their sexual freedom, but rather that choice can come with a heavy price tag. There's nothing gay about being gay.

Anonymous said...

Wow Darren . . . .perhaps you could do with going to a course in this . . .

Anonymous said...

Marcus, I have heard great things about this course within the community and would love to know more about it . . .please send me the website and anything else you would like to share about it.
I think Zac has my hotmail address
Thanks Cara :-)

Zaac said...

ummmmm... i think i don't. i have your facebook tho.

Anonymous said...

Hey Birchy

Tricky issue I know, but I fear for most people it's a little more complicated than a simple choice - there are a whole heap of factors that contribute to someone's sexuality, just as there are many factors that contribute to drug use.



Anonymous said...

Thank you Broady well said and understood :-)

Hmmm okay i will send it through to you Zaac thanks


Marcus said...

Good to see some debate happening.
I agree it's a difficult and controversial issue that often polarises people.

The 80% suicide rate I mentioned was not for ordinary gay people but for trans gender people, those who for a variety of reasons live in confusion and ambiguity regarding their gender. Some are born with both male and female genitals, I can only imagine what that would be like to live with and the level of confusion and confrontation it would produce.

Like you Broady, I don't think it is as straight forward or black and white as people make it.
Nor do I think God condemns anyone to death because of their sexuality.
There may well be spiritual influences that affect a person's thinking on sexuality and yes the devil is a deceiver and destroyer,but the bottom line is that God loves all people and his judgement of them is based on one thing only, their response to Jesus and the cross.

2Pete said...

Hi Marcus, it's been a while since I've dropped in, lots of family and work stuff happening.

I was on church council when the whole gay clergy debate came up before assembly (I'm in the Uniting Church). A few of us did some research looking at the bible in a historical and literal context (it helps having a minister who studied history and can read hebrew and greek!).

We found references to homosexual acts that were synonymous with rape, necrophilia and adultery (as there are similar references to heterosexual acts).

But we found it has nothing negative to say about loving, committed same sex relationships.

Unfortunately so many people have been indoctrinated to believe otherwise, it's a difficult point to make.

This is not a complex or tricky issue. It's all there in the good book. You just have read it properly.

I have no doubt the "Sorry" we have to say for this one will easily match the one given to Aussie aboriginals.

On a lighter note: Hope all is well with you and family!

Marcus said...

Nice to hear from you 2Pete, I've missed you.

The Good Book is the final authority, but it's the interpretation of it that causes the conflict. Just as your study found one thing I'm sure another study could find another outcome, not so favourable.

The family are all well and headed into a busy weekend, Carolyn away on a course at Northam, Myself and Sport Boy and Favourite Daughter all going to Perth for the footy, Carn the Cats!
My birthday is Saturday so we're all hoping for the same birthday present!