Breaking Barriers!

Breaking Barriers is the theme for the Abortion Rights Campaign 10th Annual March for Choice; which will be a static demo due to Covid.

The Demo is taking place on Kildare Street and speakers will be:

People are still having to travel to get the Health Care they need. The promises made to introduce proper sex education, safe zone and free contraception have not been kept. We have come a long way over the last 10 years but there is much work to do.

We should be gathering

We should be gathering in my Grandmother’s house. Talking, listening, laughing, crying, for my Uncle died yesterday, after a long battle with Cancer.

I should be helping with endless pots of tea, making trays of sandwiches, lining up apple tarts on the counter top next to the fridge covered in magnets and washing another and another round of mugs, as family, neighbours and friends call in.

For the house to be full of people, some sitting on the arms of the armchairs, and spillin out into the back garden; but none of that can happen.

None of the rituals or gatherings which allow us to offer comfort with a glance or a touch. We won’t get share stories, to listen to our elders and our generation speak of him. To learn more of our family history, and the bonds between them, the ache when the first of siblings dies. To raise a glass together.

I should be in the kitchen or often as we were as grand kids, out in the back garden or even sitting on the stairs among family. But we can’t gather, and it is crueler then I could of imagined.

But we mustn’t gather so we do not loose anyone else.

Long Covid

I still can’t have a shower without my heart having episode. It was 122 beats per minute when I first but the oximeter on. Poxy covid, 4 Months on & I am still a wreck.

Blood oxygen and heart rate.

And this is with me being on medication to lower my blood pressure. But sure the MRI and contrast scan say there is nothing physically wrong with my heart and vessels. And my blood work comes back normal. So no one fecking knows.

I had what was considered a mild to moderate case of covid infection. Wasn’t hospitalised, didn’t need oxygen. But I still get sore lungs, am on steroid inhaler but again, x-ray and MRI say my lungs are normal. How out of breath I get says otherwise.

And recently I have added my fingers to the places I get painful joint ache. Yes I am having a whinge, it’s been 4 months of no real answers, treatments which only make things sort of bearable, and on going fatigue.

And no idea when things will get properly better, I keep hearing 3 months things might improve, then 9 months. It would be nice to have a poxy shower and not need to rest for an hour after. Yeah I’m angry, so please #wearamask#StayAtHome you do not want this.

I was a fairly fit and active 45 year old. Zero cardiac issues or episodes. Zero respiratory issues bar hay-fever. Zero issues with inflammation of tissues or joints. My life has ground to a stand still, with long covid, or post covid viral syndrome.

Please just hang in there and follow the guidelines, the vaccine roll out has started. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Please Keep yer distance. #wearamask#StayAtHome

Gender Recognition Act and those who are 16.

This is a really good read on the issues with the Gender Recognition Act as it stands in relation to those aged 16 to 18.

https://www.irishlegal.com/article/stephen-kirwan-pitfalls-and-uncertainties-in-ireland-s-gender-recognition-laws

The current #GRA does allow for those who are 16+ to apply, but there are considerable hurdles.

What if the person who is 16+ is estranged from their parents?

What if they have the support of their parents, but can not afford to pay privately for the consultation and paperwork?

It means we have in place laws which say a person aged 16+ can consent to medical procedures and see medical professionals with out parent/guardian permission, but can’t apply for the #GRA

Why is #GRA important for a person who is 16+? I’ve had people say sure they can just wait until they are 18. Well firstly 16 is when we sit our first state exams, it is when our legal and public Id which we will use for our professional life starts.

It is just not possible to have your leaving cert results issued under a different name at a later date. Also for people are in non gender mixed schools, it’s frankly hellish and if the only other local option is also non mixed, school policy often won’t allow a transfer.

If 16+ were allowed to self ID the same way as 18+ are, then it removed the barriers which can take over 2 years anyway. It means they can sort out all the paper work to live authentically as themselves, and not have to always explain.

A person does not have to undergo surgery or hormones to apply for their gender to be acknowledges by the State under the #GRA
16+ plus can already legally consent to any surgery or treatment currently in our healthcare system, if they meet the criteria for it. Extending the #GRA to allow them to self ID will not change that.

What it will do is frankly save lives and save the quality of someones life. Given the high rate of young trans people ending their lives and the impact tranphobia can have on a person’s mental health, extending the #GRA fully to 16+ can only be a good thing.

What it will allow is for those who are 16+ to wear the school uniform which aligns with thier gender, where a school has gendered uniform policies. #GRA

Another failing of the #GRA is that it is very Binary. It does not take into account people who are #NonBinary, #Agender or #GenderFuild. Trans people are expected to fit into a very binary system of gender conformity and gender expression.

This mean that these trans people are left with out legal recognition under #GRA and often access to services. The trans healthcare we have also is stuck in this binary mode and those who discover they are non binary are considered to have dropped out or failed to transition.

Which means they don’t have access to the medication which adjusts their body to what is optimal for them. They face hurdles when it comes to work and don’t have the support they need. #GRA should include #NonBinary people and those who are 16+

I do my best to be an Ally, I am cis and I have trans people in my life. If you are a cis person who has genuine question, I am happy to answer them the best I can.

Age of Consent in Ireland

Ireland’s Age of Consent does need to be reviewed along with the standardization of sexual health and sexuality education in our secondary schools.

Ireland’s #AgeOfConsent is out of step with other EU countries. ageofconsent.net .We do have somethings right, that there is no difference in the #AgeOfConsent for homosexual and hetrosexual sex.
17 is too old as an #AgeOfConsent, in my opinion, it should be 16. We how ever should have age bands, as some countries do, a close in age exemption, which are often refereed to as a Romeo and Juliet clause. Ireland does not have one.
Maturity is many faceted, and young people mature physically, mentally and emotionally at different rates. Which is why it is an impossible bench mark to set, but in setting #AgeOfConsent too high we ostracise teenagers. We put in place barriers, which prevent them from getting the information and services they need to keep themselves safe and make better choices.

Ireland is still dealing with the hangover of the Roman Catholic Church being the moral authority. We have shaken it off in many ways but it still remains in our education and healthcare.

In lowering the #AgeOfConsent we are facing the reality that many teens are sexually active at that age and we remove the stigma. However I am in favour of having an age band, so that it would be still illegal for those over 20 to have sex with a 16 year old.
Lowering the #AgeOfConsent would not be about giving free reign to pederasts.

I know many people are not comfortable with the idea of their 16 to 20 year old who still lives at home having sex. But they will, and if you ignore it, you make it harder for them to get help when they need it.

Ireland does not have an #AgeOfConsent close age exemption. ageofconsent.net/world/ireland
To have a law on our books which means two 16year old can both be done for statutory rape if they have sex is absurd. Which is why our #AgeOfConsent needs to be revised and looking at revising the #AgeOfConsent is something a Minister for Children should be looking at as well as a proper national age appropriate sexual health education for all children.

 

When something is criminalised it causes all sorts of stigma and other issues, so young people hide it and so don’t access services or get the help they may need.

Resource links:
https://b4udecide.ie/
https://spunout.ie/

https://www.healthpromotion.ie/publication/fullListing?category=Sexual+Health&searchHSE=

https://www.scarleteen.com/

On Not having a Degree

Plenty of people never finish the degree they enroll in for a whole range of reasons. That does NOT mean they are lesser or not capable or qualified in other ways.

Undergrad degrees are about learning certain concepts and theories, how to think using them and cite in a certain way and research. All of which can be done outside of 3rd level or as part of attending 3rd level, but not finishing.

Not having a degree is not a moral, ethical or personal failing.

A Degree has become a filter, same as the leaving cert used to be. Most of what you do in level entry jobs, you don’t use your degree at all, or need a degree to do. I often see many excellent people who are older, who don’t have a degree who are experts in what they do, who are blocked from working in orgs who’d be lucky to have them due to the requirement to have a degree.

The whole ‘drop out’ ‘doesn’t even have a degree’ is elitist, gate keeping, and snide when a person moved on and done the learning curve in their chose career. When it is done to people in the media, and repeated by people it effects people who are in the same situation. It makes people feel lesser even with then being awesome people and being good at the work they do.

A degree can be a social class barrier as many from working class backgrounds can simply not afford the ‘registration’ fees or the cost of living while in full time education. Either their parents can’t afford to help them or their parents are not in their life. That a person has to be 23 to be considered financially independent of their parents for grant purposes is absurd.

3rd level learning often does not suit people who are nonneurotypical (ADHD, ASD ect). With some undergrad courses having filler modules, or forced team projects, or just being not structured enough.

There are so many ways a passionate person can self educate themselves outside of a degree and they will continue to do so, which is honestly what is the ideal. It is what professional development plans are.

The best coder/hackers I know, never finished or enrolled in a degree. Same with some of the best communication and social media managers, who were early adopters.

If a hr/recruiter filters out based on having a degree, with out actually looking at the whole of an application or C.V. then they are doing it wrong imho.

Yes, I still have to finish my Degree, a Family issue and mental health issue means I have exam and essay outstanding. That is part of my plan for 2021.

But I also have a huge amount of experience with website management, social media management, press experience, training, running campaigns, team building and event management at local, national and international level, which no degree can give.

The idea that a person can have 5 years experience which so many jobs look for, but are then ruled out for not having a degree, any degree, is ludicrous.

No Going Back

Updated!

NO Going Back!

Our post #Repeal legislation will be up for review and possibly changing, we can not have agents of the State who will restrict and refuse our human rights.

Dear @greenparty_ie WTAF

This legislation needs to be improved as couples dealing with TFMR Ireland are still denied healthcare here.

The 72hour waiting time is not legally or medically needed, it is a restriction which needs to go.

With it looking like a FF/FG+ ind coalition I was already concerned about the review of this legislation.

We will have to keep reminding TDs and political party that ProChoice Ireland has not gone back to sleep.

AND PEOPLE STAYED HOME – Kathleen O’Meara (1869)

AND PEOPLE STAYED HOME – Kathleen O’Meara (1869)

“And people stayed home

and read books and listened

and rested and exercised

and made art and played

and learned new ways of being

and stopped

and listened deeper

someone meditated

someone prayed

someone danced

someone met their shadow

and people began to think differently

and people healed

and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,

dangerous, meaningless and heartless,

even the earth began to heal

and when the danger ended

and people found each other

grieved for the dead people

and they made new choices

and dreamed of new visions

and created new ways of life

and healed the earth completely

just as they were healed themselves.”

There are Meetings if you Need one.

These are trying times.

This post is not about the AA and if it’s effective, it is a gentle reminder to those who use that system, that they are putting in place measures and to contact them.

gso@alcoholicsanonymous.ie

Mobile Number for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing only: 087-1460387

The AlAnon helpline is still open also.

Helpline (01) 8732699 (10 am – 10 pm every day)
email info@alanon.ie

Narcotics Anon is moving to online meetings:
https://www.na-ireland.org/covid-19/

Gamblers Anon has also moved to online meetings.
https://www.gamblersanonymous.ie/meetings

www.lifering.ie are peer support with a different those to AA and they also have online meetings.

Aware also have a range of supports.
https://www.aware.ie/

Support Line if you are concerned about your mood or the mood of a loved one (1800 80 48 48, 7 days a week, 10am-10pm)
Support Mail if you are concerned about your mood or the mood of a loved one (supportmail@aware.ie contact anytime and expect a response within 24 hours)