Monday, March 23, 2009

Outweekly plans for IDAH

On Saturday, March 21, 2009 members from OUTWEEKLY had a mapping in the rural area of Kingston, Jamaica to find a suitable location to hoist the rainbow flag which is the symbol for LGBT people world wide. Speaking with the group’s programs manager Tyriek Issa, he explains to us that May 17, is the International Day Against Homophobia and on this day the group will campaign against homophobia in Jamaica. He went on to say that many homosexuals in Jamaica has lost there lives because of there sexuality and many continue to live in fear of losing there life, and it was on this case and many others why the group decide to campaign against homophobia on that day.
“The purpose of today’s event is to find a location where we can rise the rainbow flag, so far two suitable location has been determine and the group will meet to finalized which location will be choose.”- Tyriek Issa.
There are other activities that are going to be plan on this day, and the group is going to be sending out letters to other organizations seeking support on that day.

Leorio Ellis

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gay men in Jamaica 'face higher levels of HIV due to discrimination'

Gay Jamaican men are suffering from high levels of sexually-transmitted diseases due to discriminaty barriers in accessing healthcare, it has been suggested.
According to the Caribbean HIV & AIDS Alliance, gay men are reluctant to go to healthcare providers because of homophobic laws and attitudes in the country.
A 2008 survey commissioned by the Ministry of Health suggested that 31.8 per cent of gay men in Jamaica are living with HIV. Another 8.5 per cent were reported to have chlamydia, while 2.5 per cent had gonorrhea and 5.5 per cent had syphilis.
A gay healthcare peer educator told the Jamaican Gleaner: "Many MSMs [men who have sex with men] are not secure in themselves and so put themselves at risk by having multiple partners."
The source, who requested anonymity, added: "Our main problem is that based on the law, we have problems interacting with each other. There are no safe spaces."
Earlier this month, Jamaica's prime minister, Bruce Golding, said that the country will not decriminalise homosexual acts and that he has a duty to "protect" the country.
Speaking in parliament in support of a new sexual offences bill, he said: "We are not going to yield to the pressure, whether that pressure comes from individual organisations, individuals, whether that pressure comes from foreign governments or groups of countries, to liberalise the law as it relates to buggery."

Friday, March 6, 2009

Protection for lesbians

Dental dams are small, thin, square pieces of latex that are used for oral-vaginal or oral-anal sex. They get their name from their use in dental procedures. Dental dams help to reduce the transmission of STIs during oral sex by acting as a barrier to vaginal and anal secretions that contain bacteria and viruses. They come in a variety of sizes and flavors - so you can find a dam that satisfies your tastes.

How effective are they in preventing STIs?Because dental dams act as a barrier to bodily fluids, they help reduce STI transmission. Many STIs, such as herpes, genital warts and HIV, can be transmitted through oral sex. Like condoms, dental dams must be used correctly and consistently in order to be effective.

How do I use them?Although it may seem a little awkward to use them at first, dental dams are extremely easy to use. Before using the dam you may want to rinse off any powder that's on the dam and check the dam to make sure there are no holes or perforations. The partner performing oral sex will hold the dam against the vulva or anus of the receiving partner. You can opt to apply a lubricant on the vulva or anus before using the dam. The lubricant can help increase the sensation for the recipient. Just make sure the lubricant is a water-based lube because oil-based lubes and lotions can degrade the latex and decrease the dam's effectiveness.

When you use the dental dam, be sure to ONLY use one side. Don't flip the dam over for another round because you will expose yourself to the very fluids you're trying to avoid! And do not re-use a dam on another body part (e.g. from anus to vulva or vice-versa) because you can transfer germs from one body area to another. Do not re-use a dam for another act of oral sex later on either. Dams are for one-time use only.

Won't using a dental dam diminish the whole experience of oral sex?Many people believe that using a dam will nullify the enjoyment of oral sex. That's not how it has to be! Granted, the feeling of latex will be different than a tongue, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Using a dental dam with lube can offer your partner a new type of stimulation. Although oral sex is considered less risky than vaginal or anal sex, there is still a risk of transmitting STIs. To be as safe as possible, use a dental dam for every act of oral sex.

Dental dams can be hard to find, and they also may be somewhat expensive. There is, however, a condom can be used, cut the top of the condom and the cut in the middle.

A finger cot (also finger stool) is a device resembling a condom used to cover the fingers. Finger cots are typically used by kitchen workers and others to cover cuts and open wounds while working, in order to prevent infection and the spread of disease. They are very useful for keeping bandages on an injured finger, especially for activities like typing. Finger cots may also be used in the insertion of a medicinal suppository.
Because of their similarity to male condoms, they are also known as finger condoms. There are limits to that similarity, however, as finger cots are made from thicker latex and do not have features that condoms sometimes have for sexual purposes like reservoir tips and pre-applied lubricant.
Some people use them in sexual contact, although surgical gloves are probably more common. Finger cots are most often used for fingering of the vagina and anus, and can be effective in reducing the transmission of most STDs (the most notable exceptions are herpes and Human Papilloma Virus). However, latex surgical gloves are generally considered more effective for sexual contact than finger cots, due to the latter item's limited coverage of the finger and the impracticality of having multiple fingers covered by finger cots. In particular, finger cots usually do not cover the web or palm of the hand, allowing fluids to come in contact with skin and therefore potentially cause disease transmission.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Homosexuality in Turkey

Homosexuality is not illegal as such in the Republic of Turkey. However, owing to conservative values embedded in Muslim-majority Turkish society, homosexuality remains a taboo topic in public discourse.


Turkish LGBT rights activists created the Radical Democrat Green Party to campaign for a variety of issues, including support for LGBT human rights. Several of its members participated in a hunger strike in 1987 to protest the police harassment of LGBT citizens.
In 1988 the civil code was amended to allow for transgender people to have a sex change operation, under medical approval. In the 1990s the LGBT movement fought against government bans on LGBT conferences. This prompted the creation of Lambda Istanbul. In 1994, the Freedom and Solidarity Party banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity within the party and nominated Demet Demir, a leading voice of the community, to successfully become the first transgendered candidate for the local council elections in Istanbul.

In 1996 the Supreme Court overturned a lower court's ruling and removed a child from her lesbian parent, on the grounds that homosexuality is "immoral". While bias motivated violence against gay and transgender people intensified as did efforts at government censorship, the desire of Turkey to join the European Union has forced the government to grant official recognition to LGBT rights organizations, respect a greater degree of the freedom of speech and the press and to entertain gay rights legislation. Gay themed conferences and gatherings now regularly take place, particularly in Istanbul and Ankara. In 2006 Turk Gay Club, Turk LGBT Community was created in Istanbul and several universities have LGBT associations and societies.

LGBT civil rights organizations

The major LGBT community-based civil rights organization is KAOS GL, established in 1994 in Ankara. Lambda Istanbul, a member of ILGA-Europe, established in 1993 in Istanbul, was dissolved in May 2008. The prosecution argued that its name and activities were “against the law and morality.” That ruling, sharply criticized by Human Rights Watch, was finally overturned by the country's Supreme Court of Appeal on January 22, 2009
During the early 1990s, the organizations' proposals for cooperation were refused by the Government Human Rights Commission. April 1997, when members of Lambda Istanbul were invited to the National Congress on AIDS, marked the first time a Turkish LGBT organization was represented at the government level. During early 2000s, new organizations began to be formed in cities other than Istanbul and Ankara, like the Pink Triangle Group in İzmir and the Rainbow Group in Antalya.

In 1996, another LGBT organization, LEGATO, was founded as an organization of Turkish university students, graduates and academicians, with its first office in Middle East Technical University in Ankara. The organization continued to grow with other branches in numerous other universities and a reported 2000 members. In March 2007 LGBT students organized for the first time as a student club (gökkuşağı - in English: rainbow) and Club Gökkuşağı is officially approved by Bilgi University.

During June 2003, the first public LGBT pride march in Turkey's history, organized by Lambda Istanbul, was held on the Istiklal Avenue. In July 2005, KAOS GL applied to the Ministry of Interior Affairs and gained legal recognition, becoming the first LGBT organization of the country with legal status. During the September of the same year, a lawsuit by the Governor of Ankara was filed to cancel this legal status, but the demand was rejected by the prosecutor. In August 2006, the gay march in Bursa organized by the Rainbow Group, officially approved by the Governor's Office, was cancelled due to large scale public protests by an organized group of citizens.

The organizations actively participate in AIDS-HIV education programs and May Day parades.
In September 2005, the Ankara Governor’s Office accused KAOS-GL of “establishing an organization that is against the laws and principles of morality.” It also attempted in July 2006 to close the human rights group Pembe Hayat (Pink Life), which works with transgender people, claiming to prosecutors that the association opposed “morality and family structure.”Both charges were ultimately dropped.

In 2006 Lambda Istanbul was evicted from its premises as the landlady was not happy with the fact that the organization was promoting LGBT rights. The organization was then dissolved in May 2008 by courts.

Penal code

Gay sexual conduct between consenting adults in private is not a crime in Turkey. The age of consent for both heterosexual and homosexual sex is 18. The criminal code also has vaguely worded prohibitions on "public exhibitionism,” and “offenses against public morality" that are used to harass gay and transgender people. Turkish towns and cities are given some leeway to enact various "public morality" laws. For example, it was once reported that in Adana males were prohibited from kissing in public, on the cheek. However, there has been no evidence of enforcement of this regulation. Men kissing as a form of greeting is common in Turkey.
Istanbul has a very open gay scene with around 20 bars and clubs plus various other venues such as cinemas and Turkish baths. Gay bars have been used to shoot pop videos and celebrities can often be spotted there. Turkish artists tend to have sympathies with gays, particularly in recent years.

Article 428 prohibits "obscene" and "indecent" books, songs, literature, etc.Although the extent that these conditions apply to homosexual themes in the media has been liberalized in recent years. The film Brokeback Mountain was permitted to be shown in select theaters, but the Turkish Culture Ministry ruled that no one under the age of eighteen could be in the audience. It should be noted that age limits applied to Brokeback Mountain in many countries. Several books with gay themes have been published recently including 'Volkan's story' - about a gay policeman. Bestsellers often include gay characters. In 1997, Hamam: The Turkish Bath was released. The film depicted a gay romance between a married man from Italy and a Turkish teenager. The film was successful internationally and was even broadcast on state TV. Gay characters have started to appear on television series, although often in stereotypical or very restricted roles. The popular gay themed TV series Will & Grace and Queer as Folk have both been broadcast in Turkey by Digiturk (also Six Feet Under and Angels in America by CNBC-E). Istanbul Film Festival (held every year by İKSV) contains some selected LGBT themed movies. The! F Independent Film Festival, held every year in Istanbul and with a smaller selection of films in Ankara, has an LGBT section.

It is worth noting that the culture of "honour killings" is another key factor within Turkish society - families murdering members (usually female) who engage in sexual/moral behaviours regarded as inappropriate. The death of Ahmet Yildiz, 26, may be the first known example of an honour killing with gay male victim. Institutions like the police and courts tend to ignore violence and murder committed in such circumstances.

Military law

In Turkey, compulsory military service applies to all male Turkish citizens between the ages of 20 and 41. However, the Turkish military openly discriminates against homosexuals and bisexuals by barring them from serving in the military. At the same time, Turkey - in violation of its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights - withholds any recognition of conscientious objection to military service. Some objectors must instead identify themselves as “sick” – and are forced to undergo what Human Rights Watch calls "humiliating and degrading" examinations to “prove” their homosexuality.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

HOW to use a Condom

Open the condom package at one corner being careful not to tear the condom with your fingernails, your teeth, or through being too rough. Make sure the package and condom appear to be in good condition, and check the expiry date to make sure that the date has not passed.

Place the rolled condom over the tip of the hard penis, and if the condom does not have a reservoir top, pinch the tip of the condom, leave an inch space for semen to collect and movement for the penis.

Pinch the air out of the condom tip with one hand and unroll the condom over the penis with the other hand. Roll the condom all the way down to the base of the penis, and smooth out any air bubbles. (Air bubbles can cause a condom to break.)

If you want to use some extra lubrication, put it on the outside of the condom. But always use a water-based lubricant (such as KY Jelly or Liquid Silk) with latex condoms, as an oil-based lubricant will cause the latex to break.

The man wearing the condom doesn't always have to be the one putting it on - it can be quite a nice thing for his partner to do.

The right side of a condom

The condom should unroll smoothly and easily from the rim on the outside. If you have to struggle or if it takes more than a few seconds, it probably means that you are trying to put the condom on upside down. To take off the condom, don't try to roll it back up. Hold it near the rim and slide it off. Then start again with a new condom.

When do you take off the condom?

Pull out before the penis softens, and hold the condom against the base of the penis while you pull out, so that the semen doesn't spill.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Condom Negotiation

It can be difficult to talk about using condoms. But you shouldn't let embarrassment become a health risk. The person you are thinking about having sex with may not agree at first when you say that you want to use a condom when you have sex. These are some comments that might be made and some answers that you could try...


Don't you trust me? - Trust isn't the point, people can have infections without realising it.

It does not feel as good with a condom - I'll feel more relaxed, If I am more relaxed, I can make it feel better for you.
I don't stay hard when I put on a condom - I'll help you put it on, that will help you keep it hard.

I am afraid to ask him to use a condom. He'll think I don't trust him. - If you can't ask him, you probably don't trust him.

I can't feel a thing when I wear a condom - Maybe that way you'll last even longer and that will make up for it

I don't have a condom with me - I do

It's up to him... it's his decision - It's your health. It should be your decision too!

I'm on the pill, you don't need a condom - I'd like to use it anyway. It will help to protect us from infections we may not realise we have.

It just isn't as sensitive and I can't feel a thing - Maybe that way you will last even longer and that will make up for it.

Putting it on interrupts everything - Not if I help put it on

I guess you don't really love me - I do, but I am not risking my future to prove it.

I will pull out in time - I can get STDs from pre-ejaculate

But I love you - Then you'll help us to protect ourselves.

Just this once - Once is all it takes.

There are many reasons to use condoms when having sex. You could go through these reasons with your partner and see what she/he thinks.

Reasons to use condoms
  • Condoms are the only contraceptive that help prevent both pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV) when used properly and consistently
  • Condoms are one of the most reliable methods of birth control when use properly and consistently.
  • Condoms have none of the medical side-effects of some other birth control methods may have.
  • Condoms are available in various shapes, colours, flavours, textures and sizes - to increase the fun of making love with condoms.
  • Condoms are widely available in pharmacies, supermarkets and convenience stores. You don't need a prescription or have to visit a doctor.
  • Condoms make sex less messy.
  • Condoms are user friendly. With a little practice, they can also add confidence to the enjoyment of sex.
  • Condoms are only needed when you are having sex unlike some other contraceptives which require you to take or have them all of the time.

Here are also some tips that can help you to feel more confident and relaxed about using condoms.
Confidence tips

Keep condoms handy at all times. If things start getting steamy - you'll be ready. It's not a good idea to find yourself having to rush out at the crucial moment to buy condoms - at the height of the passion you may not want to.
When you buy condoms, don't get embarrassed. If anything, be proud. It shows that you are responsible and confident and when the time comes it will all be worthwhile. It can be more fun to go shopping for condoms with your partner or friend. Nowadays, it is also easy to buy condoms discreetly on the internet.
Talk with your partner about using a condom before having sex. It removes anxiety and embarrassment. Knowing where you both stand before the passion stands will make you lot more confident that you both agree and are happy about using a condom.
If you are new to condoms, the best way to learn how to use them is to practice putting them on by yourself or your partner. It does not take long to become a master.
If you feel that condoms interrupt you passion then try introducing condoms into your lovemaking. It can be really sexy if your partner helps you put it on or you do it together.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Condom

A condom is a device most commonly used during sexual intercourse. It is put on a man's erect penis and physically blocks ejaculated semen from entering the body of a sexual partner. Condoms are used to prevent pregnancy and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs—such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV). Because condoms are waterproof, elastic, and durable, they are also used in a variety of secondary applications. These range from creating waterproof microphones to protecting rifle barrels from clogging.
In the modern age, condoms are most often made from latex, but some are made from other materials such as polyurethane, or lamb intestine. A female condom is also available, most often made of polyurethane. As a method of contraception, male condoms have the advantage of being inexpensive, easy to use, having few side-effects, and of offering protection against sexually transmitted diseases. With proper knowledge and application technique—and use at every act of intercourse—users of male condoms experience a 2% per-year pregnancy rate.

Condoms have been used for at least 400 years. Since the nineteenth century, they have been one of the most popular methods of contraception in the world. While widely accepted in modern times, condoms have generated some controversy. Improper disposal of condoms contributes to litter problems, and the Roman Catholic Church generally opposes condom use.

Female condom

Female condoms (also known as femidoms) are also available. They are larger and wider than male condoms but equivalent in length. They have a flexible ring-shaped opening, and are designed to be inserted into the vagina. They also contain an inner ring which aids insertion and helps keep the condom from sliding out of the vagina during coitus. One line of female condoms is made from polyurethane or nitrile polymer. A competing manufacturer makes a line of female condoms out of latex. The latex female condom has been available for several years in Africa, Asia, and South America, although as of 2008 it was not available in the United States.

Causes of failure

Condoms may slip off the penis after ejaculation, break due to improper application or physical damage (such as tears caused when opening the package), or break or slip due to latex degradation (typically from usage past the expiration date, improper storage, or exposure to oils). The rate of breakage is between 0.4% and 2.3%, while the rate of slippage is between 0.6% and 1.3%. Even if no breakage or slippage is observed, 1–2% of women will test positive for semen residue after intercourse with a condom. "Double bagging," using two condoms at once, also increases the risk of condom failure.

Different modes of condom failure result in different levels of semen exposure. If a failure occurs during application, the damaged condom may be disposed of and a new condom applied before intercourse begins - such failures generally pose no risk to the user. One study found that semen exposure from a broken condom was about half that of unprotected intercourse; semen exposure from a slipped condom was about one-fifth that of unprotected intercourse.
Standard condoms will fit almost any penis, although many condom manufacturers offer "snug" or "magnum" sizes. Some manufacturers also offer custom sized-to-fit condoms, with claims that they are more reliable and offer improved sensation/comfort. Some studies have associated larger penises and smaller condoms with increased breakage and decreased slippage rates (and vice versa), but other studies have been inconclusive.

Experienced condom users are significantly less likely to have a condom slip or break compared to first-time users, although users who experience one slippage or breakage are more likely to suffer a second such failure An article in Population Reports suggests that education on condom use reduces behaviors that increase the risk of breakage and slippage. A Family Health International publication also offers the view that education can reduce the risk of breakage and slippage, but emphasizes that more research needs to be done to determine all of the causes of breakage and slippage.

Among people who intend condoms to be their form of birth control, pregnancy may occur when the user has sex without a condom. The person may have run out of condoms, or be traveling and not have a condom with them, or simply dislike the feel of condoms and decide to "take a chance." This type of behavior is the primary cause of typical use failure (as opposed to method or perfect use failure).

Another possible cause of condom failure is sabotage. One motive is to have a child against a partner's wishes or consent. Some commercial sex workers from Nigeria reported clients sabotaging condoms in retaliation for being coerced into condom use. Placing pinholes in the tip of the condom is believed to significantly impact their effectiveness.

How do you dispose of a used condom?

All condoms should be disposed of by wrapping in tissue or toilet paper and throwing them in the bin. Condoms should not be flushed down the toilet as they may cause blockages in the sewage system and pollution.
Latex condoms are made mainly from latex with added stabilizers, preservatives and vulcanizing (hardening) agents. Latex is a natural substance made form rubber trees, but because of the added ingredients most latex condoms are not biodegradable. Polyurethane condoms are made from plastic and are not biodegradable. Biodegradable latex condoms are available from some manufacturers.