Monday, February 23, 2015

#DDoM2015 Disability Day of Mourning 2015 :(

I have began to lose count how many people who are "different" are disrespected, disregarded, and discarded by their "families" for the crime of not being what their parents wanted them to be.  Stuck in a state institution or group home because they have "too high needs." Kicked out of the house for revealing their gender identity or their sexual orientation, or their HIV status.  The statistics on how many individuals who are chronically homeless who meet one or more of these criteria are astonishing.

But those are the lucky ones.

Because there are some even more disturbing statistics: the number of people who are murdered each year at the hands of those who are supposed to care for them the most. In many cases, a member of their very own "family." In other cases, a staff person who was charged with caring for them and entrusted with their safety. Whatever the scenario, it is still horrifying. And frequent. And unacceptable.

The following quotes illustrate this situation far better than I could do on my own:

"These acts are horrific enough on their own. But they exist in the context of a larger pattern..."

"The media portrays these murders as justifiable and inevitable..."

"The victim is disregarded, blamed for their own murder at the hands of the person they should have been able to trust the most, and ultimately forgotten. And then the cycle repeats."

"These deaths had little to no mainstream media attention..."

"When these deaths were covered, they were often not given the respect they so deserve..."

"Their stories are often riddled with patronization and condescending opinions from reporters...

"Not only does the media often underreport these murders or misgender the victims, but the police often fail to make an arrest or get a solid conviction..."

(Quotes obtained from "Disability Day of Mourning" [ASAN] and "BreakOUT" New Orleans LGBT Youth of Color)

Enough is enough today.

Please join us on March 1st as we remember those whom society wants us to forget.  Our Houston event (which, sadly, had to be cancelled due to inclement weather) is inclusive of all disabilities; we will honor our both our fallen trans sisters and brothers along with other individuals from the disability community who have been murdered by relatives or caregivers. Across the globe we will come together in solidarity to remember their lives and to vow to preserve the lives of others. Not as separate communities, but as one.  Whether at an in-person vigil or via the virtual vigil held annually, we hope you will consider joining us.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Join the #SaveRyanWhitePartD All-Day Social Media Advocacy Event on March 17, 2015!!!

PLEASE join in a virtual all-day social media event happening the week after National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day #NWGHAAD. The date is March 17, 2015. 
This is designed to be a community-wide event; we invite individuals, agencies, clinics, families, schools, support groups, places of worship, ASOs, and any other organizations, especially HIV advocacy groups and agencies focused on social justice, public health, human rights, etc to join in. We need you!

For the second year in a row, the President's budget has proposed to ELIMINATE targeted services for HIV+ women, infants, children, youth, and HIV affected families served by the Ryan White Part D program. The combined efforts of global community advocates stopped them once; we can do it AGAIN! We MUST do it again!

From midnight to midnight, let's cover Twitter with tweets about the importance of retaining these critical family-centered HIV services, using the hashtage #SaveRyanWhitePartD along with any other hashtags relevant to your particular tweet (i.e. #womenshealth, #girlslikeus, etc). You can also help promote this issue by sharing about it on other social media platforms. ANYONE can participate; it is important to have both people living with HIV and allies involved.

We will be creating some sample tweets and statuses that anyone can modify for their use if they aren't certain what to say. We will also provide some suggested targets if you want to direct your tweets to certain Part D and/or budget appropriations decision makers. (You can create and schedule your tweets ahead of time if you won't have availability on that day; we'll post a link explaining how to do so for those who might be unfamiliar.)

Positive women, youth, and their affected families don't disappear once NWGHAAD has come and gone; and these services shouldn't be disappearing either.  Please unite with us to ensure that these important services remain intact. And please share this WIDELY!

(Want more info? Feel free to visit for more information on these efforts. Additionally, a great, concise list of talking points created by PWN-USA is available at: