05 May 2010


It is an interesting observation that Kevin Rudd does not seem able to comprehend that gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS (GLTH)members of the community are citizens of this country in the same way he and his family are - or maybe they aren't??

He does not utter these words, and his health minister, Nicola Roxon is the same, both not being able to understand or comprehend or unwilling to because of their homophobic disease that GLTH people are human beings and should benefit from the same human rights extended to most - not all people living in this country.

Rudd and Reagan - and Roxon - remember Reagan uttered the word AIDS for the first time 7 years into the epidemic when fellow actor Rock Hudson died of the disease.

Rudd and Roxon suffer from the disease of homophobia but it will not kill them. However it will kill those in our communities who are amongst the most vulnerable in our societies - the elderly, frail, disabled, disadvantaged, the poor, the homosexuals, the Aborigines, the Asylum Seekers.

There will be an election later this year, and neither of the two major parties have shown any willingness to treat GLTH people as voters. Punish them all by voting for those who DO support us, and let there be huge swings away from a two-party ruling system in this country.

Our health, mental and otherwise, doesn't matter to them, but we are alive, we vote and we will remember!


Article in The Melbourne Times dated 5 May 2010:

LGBT community finds health system lacking for its needs

By Rosemary Bolger

Homosexual or bisexual people are more likely to be smokers and four times more likely to commit suicide or become homeless than heterosexuals, new statistics reveal.

An analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data by the National LGBT Health Alliance also showed homosexual or bisexual people were twice as likely to be estranged from family and have a high level of psychological distress. The alarming figures have strengthened the alliance’s case for government funding.

President Paul Martin said the national health reforms failed to address the needs of the LGBT community.

Mr Martin believed the first step would be establishing a body to work with the federal government. He said most other special interest groups such as disabled people, women or seniors, had a devoted (sic) minister or parliamentary secretary, and one or more funded non-government organisations.

“We’re probably about 10 or 20 years behind, so there’s a degree of invisibility.”

The alliance is seeking just under $400,000 a year to pay for an office and a few staff.

Money from the alliance’s founding members including Gay and Lesbian Health at La Trobe University, will run out at the end of yhis year forcing it to close without government funding.

Mr Martin said the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender community’s health needs were not met.

“Most people don’t receive outright hostility, it’s just the service assumes everyone’s heterosexual. It’s the assumption that everyone’s the same so the service isn’t targeted to meet our particular needs.”

Health Minister Nicola Roxon’s office did not return TMT’s calls.

GLBT health refused federal funding

Written by Brendan Bolger | 03 May 2010 SX - Sydney

Funding requests have been rejected and an invite to work with the recently formed LGBT Health Alliance has been ignored by the federal government at a conference convened to help the health sector deal better with sexuality and gender diverse people.

At the launch of the 7th Health in Difference conference on Thursday, LGBT Health Alliance chair Paul Martin told more than 200 delegates that many other equity groups are acknowledged by the government, except sexuality and gender diverse people.

The federal response to other equity groups he said had resulted in the creation of specific ministerial portfolios, departments and ministerial advisory groups addressing numerous other equity issues.

He said without federal funds future Health in Difference conferences could be placed in doubt, calling on the government to fund the LGBT Health Alliance as it does other non-government organisations.

“The time for not acting is well and truly over,” Martin told conference delegates, adding that the Commonwealth mental health plan to 2014 has “not a single mention” of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people.

“[We] stand ready to work with the government, if only we were funded to do so,” he said.

Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Health Mark Butler opened the conference on behalf of federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon, following Martin’s speech, and from the outset said he had “been asked” to address “health reform in a general sense”.

The federal government has been intensely negotiating health reforms with state governments for the past few weeks and had also been “coming under pressure from a range of directions” such as ageing and chronic diseases, he said.

During his speech, Butler made only one reference to “LGBTI” which drew a pause from him, when a muffled “thanks” was given from one delegate who said it was the only reference the government had made to the conference itself.

The health and well-being of LGBTI people is not on the radar of the federal government, Health Alliance executive director Gabi Rosenstreich said before the conference.

“Hundreds of thousands of LGBTI people live throughout Australia but their health needs are not being adequately met by our health system due to a lack of understanding of LGBTI people and issues and a lack of engagement with the LGBTI community sector,” she said.

Recent approaches for funding had been rejected by the federal government, Rosenstreich said, despite overtures that LGBTI health is an area of its concern.

The conference held every couple of years was presented this year for the first time by the Health Alliance, a peak body of organisations that provide health services, programs and research that targets sexuality and gender diverse people.

The health and well being of indigenous Australians and transgender and intersex people, the impact of social inclusion and exclusion, political activism and the changing nature of diverse communities in a health context were just some of the many issues covered.

Health issues discussed at the conference which ended on Saturday included mental health, ageing, alcohol and drug use, violence, parenting, identity documentation, health service access and health promotion strategies.

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90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm