In the last month I have officially joined the team at cliniQ in Soho, to help provide sexual health and wellbeing services to the trans* communities, their friends, families and significant others. Running from 56 Dean Street on a Wednesday evening (5.30 – 7.30), cliniQ works in partnership with a range of organisations (such as London Friend and GALOP) to provide safe, reliable support services for trans* people as well as clinical sexual health services, cervical screening and liver function tests.
The clinic is run by and with trans* people, working with trans* aware clinicians who offer discreet, respectful services; working from a model that should be replicated throughout health and wellbeing services. I genuinely couldn’t be happier to be involved with the organisation.
First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
“A friend and comrade Ira Putilova has been detained today by UKBA officials. Ira is an LQBTQ person from Russia who is currently claiming asylum in the U.K for her own safety. In Russia she was harassed, followed, and attacked, by state officials, the police and Neo Nazis because of her political activism and LGBTQ status; if she is returned to Russia she is likely to face torture, detention, and potentially death. Today (06/12/13) she was taken by UKBA officials to Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre and may face imminent deportation. We have recently lost contact with Ira, but are hoping to speak to her later tonight when she arrives at Yarls Wood. In the mean time, we ask everyone reading this to spread the word about Ira and her situation, and to contact groups or people who might be able to help- All and any actions of support/solidarity are greatly appreciated by Ira and her Friends.”
Can anyone with any experience or contacts in immigration/asylum PLEASE contact myself or my friend Faith Taylor (email@example.com) as soon as possible.
Ignoring the archaic gendered nature of the text (if you can), John Donne made a very good point. Human rights should matter to us all.
No Man Is An Island
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
Please sign the petition at Change.org
and help to stop Laetitia’s deportation back to a homeland that is abusive and unsafe.
Here are the details from change.org:
“Laetitia is a woman with trans background from Russia. In Russia, she faced harassment and violence on a daily basis. She was treated inhumanely in the police station, beaten up and urinated on by the officers. She sought asylum in Sweden three years ago. She fears that violence, spearheaded by Russian government towards LGBT people will continue upon her return to Russia. Moreover, she is active in LGBT movement, promoting normalization of trans people. New Russian laws hinder her activism to the point that she will face huge fines while being completely excluded from daily life. But Swedish Migration Board rejected her asylum. By deporting her back, Sweden wants to put her in the situation when she can be killed or forced to commit suicide. Please sign this petition to support Laetitia’s fight for asylum and to make Swedish Migration Board understand the danger that LGBT people face in countries like Russia.”