The United Nations Human Rights office recently released a publication calling for international human rights protections for LGBT people. The 60 page publication, titled Born Free and Equal, outlines five core obligations requiring national attention: protecting people from homophobic violence, preventing torture, decriminalizing homosexuality, prohibiting discrimination, and safeguarding LGBT people's freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly. If these recommendations are taken seriously it could protect and change lives for many people.
Some of the recommendations I am especially excited to see:
- Asylum laws and policies should recognize that persecution on account of one's sexual orientation or gender identity may be a valid basis for an asylum claim
- Repeal laws criminalizing homosexuality, including all laws that prohibit private sexual conduct between consenting adults of the same sex.
- Protect individuals who exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association and freedom of assembly from acts of violence and intimidation by private parties.
This statement is a huge sign of progress for human rights. The tides, they are a changing…
You can read and download Born Free and Equal: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity booklet here.
I am in the business of helping people create changes in their lives - and survive the unwanted changes that come to us all. I know that change can be tricky. So often we have changes in mind that we know will improve our lives, we just don't know how to implement them. What I have found is often when people feel stuck, it is in part because they have lost sight of options and possibilities. They are truly stuck doing what they have been doing with no room to add something different. And that is one of the tricks of change - it always requires us to give something up too. Yes, change requires a letting go.
Let me give you an example that is common in my sex therapy practice : A couple comes to me because they would like to have more sex in their relationship. Now we will certainly explore dynamics of their relationship and ways to increase desire and self esteem and much more, unique to each couple. But what I can guarantee you we will talk about is what are you doing instead of having sex? Literally, what is this couple doing with their time? Because if they want to have more sex, they have to create more time for sex. In our culture, we tend to fill our time so I know this couple will need to make some choices about how they are prioritizing their free moments. And it will mean that something has to go. Maybe that is TV viewing time, or a workout a week, or the time it takes to cook a complicated dinner. But it will probably be something that they enjoy, something that will hurt a bit to give up, something that was working for them - just not as much as the desired change (more sex) might work for them. And preparing to make that change means addressing the reasons it is hard to make that change and what might be lost or left behind in making it.
Change requires us to make space in our lives for something new. But we tend to focus on what needs to be added and we can end up adding more and more postive changes to our lives until we hit the limit of the actual hours in the day. In preparing for a change your life, remember to ask yourself - what am I willing to let go of to make time and space for this change?
If you are interested in more ideas about making time for sex with your partner, you can read my article for YourTango.com "I Have You Penciled In...For Sex" at http://www.yourtango.com/experts/melissa-fritchle/i-have-you-penciled-infor-sex