Positive Living: Ruby slippers, raising a flag and serious questions

By : Greg Stemm
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I recently had the wonderful experience of participating in the inaugural Gulfport Friends of Dorothy march, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. It began a month-long whirlwind of events sponsored by the award-winning LGBTQ Resource Center of the Gulfport Public Library, of which I am privileged to serve on the board of directors, to celebrate Pride season.

As I was marching up Beach Blvd. in a rainbow wig, ruby slippers and with several hundred members of my Gulfport “family,” I couldn’t help but reflect on the significance of what Stonewall started and what it has meant to the LGBTQ community in the past 50 years. I was most moved by the fact that the carriers of the lead banner were an openly gay vice mayor and an openly gay state representative. That would have been unthinkable in June of 1969.

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Va. health officials take steps to ban conversion therapy

By : wire report
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) | The Virginia Board of Psychology has issued a letter of guidance stating that conversion therapy should be considered a violation of standard practices, which LGBTQ advocates hope is a major step toward halting the practice.

Conversion therapy, which aims to change the sexual orientation, gender expression or identity of LGBTQ individuals, has been banned in several states across the U.S. but is still legal in Virginia.

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DOD appears to contradict White House on process for trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Defense Department spokesperson appeared Thursday to contradict the White House on the process for drafting the transgender military policy, asserting it was “a coordinated effort” with the White House and Justice Department as opposed to Defense Secretary James Mattis and his working group alone within the Pentagon.

Dana White, a Pentagon spokesperson, made the comments Thursday during a Pentagon news briefing in response to a question on timing for the release of the policy late Friday night and whether Mattis was “proud” of his recommendation against transgender military service.

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A brief history of ex-gay therapy

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1900 Shortly before the turn of the 20th century, physician Denslow Lewis publishes that he believes women brought up in wealthy families could develop “sexual hyperesthesi” (excessive sensitivity to stimuli) and become lesbians. In order to cure these women, the doctor prescribes cocaine solutions and surgical removal of “adherent clitorises.”

1957 In the mid-20th century, researcher Gunther Dorner of the Institute of Experimental Endocrinology hypothesizes that altering hormonal imbalances in the womb could prevent homosexuality before it developed.

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