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  • From the Americablog article I refrenced, and it explains why Laurel is trivializing a very IMPORTANT concern by puutting it into “perspective”. Unfortunately, Laurel does not have the medical background, nor did she check with someone who did, to put this outbreak into honest MEDICAL perspective:

    “One more thing Dr. Clark noted was that this disease tends to strike in specific clusters, in specific communities, and it tends to stay confined to that community, without spreading to other communities. And that’s another reason why the warnings are only being given to gay men, and only, so far, in NYC.

    Just how big is this outbreak? Not big at all, actually, but big enough to be concerned.
    There was one case in 2010, four in 2011, and thirteen in 2012. Those numbers may look small, but in public health terms, they’re not. What has experts worried is that they keep hitting the same community, gay men in New York City, and it’s not going away. Most outbreaks happen quickly, Dr. Clark told me, with usually just a few cases occurring at once in a short period of time, and then they go away. This has been going on in NYC since 2010 and it’s growing, rather than going away. Thus the concern.

    I just talked to Dr. Clark about some of the comments here, and on Facebook, saying that with these low of numbers, this was blown out of proportion by the authorities in NY. He says that’s not true at all. Here’s why….

    In public health terms, an “outbreak” is defined as 10 cases per 100,000 people within a short period of time (say, a few weeks). When you have an “outbreak,” that’s suggestive that the disease has reached a point where it may accelerate and spread to even more people. In public health circles, it’s their job to stop outbreaks from becoming something bigger. To the public, these numbers sound small. But in public health terms, these numbers are statistically significant and worthy of increased concern.

    That’s why when they get 2 or 3 cases in a school of 600 kids, or a prison of a few thousand inmates, they vaccinate everyone to prevent the disease’s spread. That’s enough cases to set off alarm bells.

    In NYC, we’re talking more on the order 13 or so cases last year. But, you might say, hey, that’s 13 cases for 8 million people, so who cares? But that’s not really correct. It’s not 8 million New Yorkers. It’s gay New Yorkers. And it’s only gay men who are getting sick, not lesbians, so now the number is cut down even fewer. And it’s not all gay men in NYC, it’s gay men in certain boroughs. And it’s not every gay men in those boroughs, it seems to be gay men in those boroughs who are sexually active and particularly using Web sites, phone apps, bars and partys to meet guys. That cuts down the number even further. So you’re now a lot closer to that 100,000 figure than you were when you thought this was about 8 million New Yorkers.

    The uncertainty of the size of the community exposed to this disease is part of what worries public health professionals. It’s not possible to accurately define whether we’re talking 13 cases per 100,000, per 200,000 or per 50,000. So they err on the side of caution because this is such a particularly deadly variant of the disease, killing 1 in 3 who get it, rather than the normal 1 in 5. And in public health, you try to cut off disease before they become a huge problem. Thus you have to look at small numbers, and historically what those numbers tend to mean for the future, and act accordingly.”

  • Laurel-

    You are NOT putting it in perspective. Did you bother to read the article by Avarosis? It talks about the serious of the number of cases in NYC and how it is considered an Outbreak by the cdc and the NYDOH. The calls for vaccination are geared toward a specific sexual orientation as it seems that somewhere in our communtiy ther’s a bout of menengitis. That doesn’t infer that it’s sexually transmitted, it means that in tight locals like bars and other scenarios where you are getting frisky with someone, that there is a current heightend risk to our community. You act as if this is just the standard garden variety strain of menningitus, it is NOT, it is a virulent strain and people are dead, and your article seems to imply it’s nothing more than the average meningitus that kids normally get, it is NOT. Do some actual research and then report back. Just skimming the pages of the CDC website is not reporting. Talking to an actual disease specialist in this area about this particular strain, as Avarosis did, is reporting. You are not adding to the conversation, your denying it.

    I’m not calling for hysteria, but I am calling for responsibility in reporting on this issue. YOUR report talks of the average meningitus, not this virulent strain, which is killing, proportionatly large numbers of gay men. 13 deaths in one area out of 1500 cases that normally occur sporadically, is a very high percentage, and in regards to disease control these numbers are of great concern. Read the Americablog piece and then ask again, if you really have to, how this is minimizing it.

  • Also, here is a link to the NYDOH Call for getting vaccinated, which specifies GAY MEN. Denying that this is affecting the community is very reminiscant of the early days of AIDS when no one wanted to accept or believe that it was really happening. That started out with just a few cases too.

    New York State Department of Health Expands Meningococcal Vaccination Recommendation Statewide
    ALBANY, N.Y. (March 25, 2013) – The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is expanding a recommendation issued earlier this month by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) regarding meningococcal vaccinations for men who have sex with men (MSM). These meningococcal vaccine recommendations have been issued in response to an outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) in New York City.

    Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection of the bloodstream. Common symptoms include high fever, headache, vomiting, stiff neck, and a rash. Symptoms may occur two to 10 days after exposure, but usually within five days. Since 2010, 22 men residing in NYC and one man who resides outside the City, but spent significant time there, have become ill in this outbreak, seven have died.

    The recommendation by DOH has been expanded to include MSM residing outside NYC who have traveled to the City and engaged in the risk behaviors described below since September 1, 2012.

    The following groups were identified by NYCDOHMH as being at highest risk of IMD and are being advised to obtain a quadravalent meningococcal vaccination:

    •All HIV-infected MSM
    •MSM, regardless of HIV status, who regularly have close or intimate sexual contact with men met through an online website, digital application (“app”), or at a bar or party. (Previously, meningococcal vaccination was recommended only for those with contact in certain high risk areas in New York City)
    HIV positive individuals who do not have a health care provider or whose provider does not currently have the meningococcal vaccine can use the following link to find locations that offer vaccinations and/or health care services: Other individuals can visit and use the directory to find contact information for their local health department, which also may have the vaccine.

    Additional provider information can be found on the statewide HIV provider directory at:

    More information about the meningococcal disease outbreak among at-risk men is available at:

    I take Health Concerns VERY seriously as I live with AIDS and I know that these poh-pooh articles lessen the impact of the call for vaccination for an at risk population.

  • Laurel-

    THis particular issue is being discussed in many lgbt sites (not what these people say about the issue, but the actual menengitus outbreak) and I think defending from this smear job is a good thing, but minimizing the NYC Outbreak, and it IS an outbreak according to the NYDOH, and it is hitting primarily gay men, so by downplaying this issue you do the community a disservice. There is a wonderful articel on Americablog about this, he spoke to a lead doctor at the CDC, he didn’t just skim their website. There is a call for getting the vaccination if you live in NYC, it doesn’t hurt to get it, and it could be helpful in saving lives. 13 gay men died in NYC from this last year, a high percentage of a low total of cases if you do the math. Yes, these fools are playing politics and religion with the issue, but that does not negate that the outbreak, albeit small right now, is growwing-the numbers have increased exponentially over the last three years, but it IS reeal.

  • just as a simple matter of fact, if you are not married you are not being kept from the bedside of a spouse. And heterosexuals have a much easier time with being admitted to hospitals just on the basis of their heterosexual relationship. A fiancee of the opposite sex is very often allowed into hospitals, whereas a Domestic Partner or Civil Unionized same sex couple is kept out of many hospitals. You should look for a better argument if you really believe your suppostitions.

  • Oh, yes, just because some of you people fuck up marriage, the rest of us shouldn’t be allowed to have them. Okay, I see. You think if you and others can’t handle the responsiblity of marraige and screw yours up, then my marriage is doomed because of your screw ups.

    You make no logical sense. NONE, not one iota.

  • there was nothing in your “paragraph” that provides ANY reason to oppose Marriage Equlaity, in fact, I think you forgot to include the “paragraph”.

  • Laurel-

    It would be nice if the graphic was viewable. Maybe you could nmake it an actual link or photo so we can save it and, possible even read the numbers and figures on it. Even when I enlarge the screen to 400 % it is difficult to read. Noy a complaint, just a suggestion. It is really hard to take in the full article if we can’t read the numbers on the supporting graphic.

  • Rob commented on the blog post Hillary Clinton Speaks Out For Marriage Equality

    2013-03-18 12:56:51View | Delete

    Where was she? I guess you missed all of the rights she secured for same sex partners and families for Federal Employees. She’s been working on this issue as Secretary of State behind the scenes, and in that position, I think holding her tounge until Obam came forward on the issue was the right one. Yes, it’s a little late, but she HAS achieved a lot for ALL of the LGBT community at least those in the Federal employ.

  • Rob commented on the blog post Hillary Clinton Speaks Out For Marriage Equality

    2013-03-18 12:44:46View | Delete

    It is about time she made a statement to this nature, but her actions bringing rights to same sex spouses and individuals in the State Department has been VERY commendable. I also believe she had no place to say anything until after she stepped down from office.

    LAte to the Party, but glad she’s finally said it.

  • you mean the DADT that is no longer in existence? Or do you mean the DOMA that his Administration no longer defends, and hasn’t for over a year? Yeah, that’s not progress. I’m personally tired of people who can’t recognize that this is what change looks like. When was the last time you heard a sitting President call for our inclussion in his Anaugural Address? Oh, that’s right, NEVER.

  • q can stand for two words, it’s often used twice in the alphabet soup. Queer and/or Questioning. And yes, I too am offended at the use of Queer. Seems that it’s acceptable to offend a large amjority of gays by insisting on using the word many of us abhor, yet other portions of the community demand we respect their “terms” but insist on still calling some of us Queers.

  • you really can be an ass. It seems you found your own “gotcha moment” in everything anyone else posts. you seem to take great pleasure in ridiculing others for the same behavior you have.

    For a minute I thought you might have something to add to the conversation, seems I was wrong.

  • There has been more done for Trans rights by THIS President than has been achieved in the last 40 years, I’d think the proof would be in the pudding that you were not left out.

    Thanks for the conversation, only by discussion can we understand our friends and allies.

  • I have to add that it is NOT disengenous to expect a part of a community that lays claim to exclusion to also lay claim to the exclusion of their brothers and sisters, otherwise they simply are doing the same thing. Calling for their own inclusion but not that of their brothers and sisters. Isn’t that what people who disagree with this article are being told. You don’t care cause you got yours? If one is truly upset about exclusion, they would be complaining about not just their own. Or is it up to someone else to get that other letter their inclusion too?

  • I took my list from the official LGBT etc. list as explained in the history of the term on Wikipedia. I already knew the evolution of the term as I was around when it was GLB and there when we added the T, and there wehen we added the Q and the other Q and the I etc etc etc. I want’t attempting to list every sexual spectrum point there was. And actually you just helped point out the issue. With a name that includes multiple points on a sexual spectum, you can’t always list them all.

    There is currently a title for our Community and so I was remarking on that. It expands every day. Yes, I know there are calls for some of the terms you mentioned to be included, but so far I haven’t seen a mass movement to add more letters. At some point it will take hours to say the name, even when just saying the letters. THAT IS MY POINT about the exclusion. It was a statement of support for our ENTIRE community, it was truncated for berevity’s sake.

    And I do see it relevant to point out that not one individual upset about this slight had spoken up about the other folks left off the list. When one claims they were excluded from the group, it bears pointing out that they were not the only titles left out. For goodness sake, even the word lesbian was left out. The President is not LGBT, so he doesn’t probably understand the issues surrounding the truncation of the term LGBT. He used brothers and sisters to include both genders, I believe it was an attempt at inclusion of us all. L and T, and Q and I and all the other letters in addition to G that was the only one mentioned.

    And I believe you meant to use the word “INCLUSSION” in the first half of your last statement.

    And one can dismiss me all they want, if that is your choice, go ahead. But when one claims exclusion, others have the right to say they don’t agree with the premise that they were excluded. As a gay man I heard a reference to us all, but maybe that’s because I’m from the age of Dinasaurs and knew that once upon a time the term Gay was used for us all, and as such, I didn’t hear a message of exclusion, I heard one that includes us all.

  • timberwraith,

    Sadie wrote a lovely letter indeed. Her letter, however, did not attack the President for leaving out transgender. She didn’t go on a campaign against the speech, she instead wrote her own, and expressed why and how she see’s her future. I commend her for a lovely letter.

    But the moving letter of an 11 year old is just that, a moving letter of an 11 year old. Yes, she’s very smart and articulate, but she is still an 11 year old and as such is not yet fully able to understand the complexities I and others might see in this issue. I notice that no one here has responded to the fact that Queer, Bi-Sexual, Intersex and others were left out as well. Why are you not complaining about the fact that Bi-sexuals were left out? Or the “Queer” or “Questioning” were left out? It seem to me that you have selective outrage. You, nor anyone else upset about this, have bothered to even acknowledge the fact that Transgender was not the only group left out. When I see you lament the fact that all those other letters in our Community were left out as well, then maybe your argument will have some weight to it. I find any mention of this, that does not lament the others left out, to be highly suspect and self-serving of only ONE portion of the Community.

    Were you offended that Queers, Bi-sexuals, Inter-Sex, Questioning, Polyamourous and the rest were left out? Did you make any noise about their exclusion? If not, then your argument looses it’s strength, because it sure looks like the ONLY concern is for Trans, and not the community as a whole.

  • Nugirl-

    You can be as nasty as you wish to Autumn, it’s her decision to allow your comments to stay, but I think you are belittling and mean spirited.

    Autumn Sandeen has devoted a large majority of her life fighting for Equality across the board, please, enlighten us all to what YOUR efforts have been. Yeah, you can complain all you want and be personally attacking in your posts, but really, nugirl, what have YOU done in this fight that you feel privlidged and entitled to belittle the efforts of others?

    I may disagree with the idea of this being a slight, but I don’t disagree with the FACT that Autumn Sandeen has put enough skin in the game that if she wants to “whine” as you call it, she has the right to.

  • Autumn-

    I personally don’t take it as “whinning”, but if you need an example of “hand-wringing” well, there is this:

    “The lack of rhetorical inclusion of trans people in the second inaugural speech means that President Obama isn’t including the vision of equality for trans people in the national civil rights dialogue in the same way he’s included the vision of equality for gay people in that dialogue.

    At this point, I’m not sure what the full significance of that reality is, but I’m certain that there is significance that trans community will come to better understand in years to come.”

    Which to me, and obviously a few others, might EASILY be read to say: “Because we didn’t get a specific shout-out it’s obvious (despite the considerable progress made these last 4 years) that we are not included and bad stuff is sure to happen to us.”

    Also, when you utilize another individuals blog to bolster your case, you embrace their arguments, and this line in Adele M. Stan’s blog post :

    Alas, transgender people, it seems, will continue to wait for their day.

    does indeed seem like whinning. The obvious fact that our Community moniker is indeed a long one and sometimes gets truncated to “gay” as an umbrella for us all is being entirerly ignored. And that takes it from legitimate concern to hand wringing that somehow you are obviously going to get the shaft. I also noted that I ddin’t see you or anyone else decry the fact that Bi-sexual, Queer, Questioning, and Inter-sex also got left off the list in the speech. You can’t talk about this being a slight specificlly of the transgender community when 4 other segments of the population were also left out.

    But I gave you my reasons I thought the speech only mentioned gay in general, and I feel it was truncated for berevity sake in the speech. If he had tosay the entire community name every time he spoke, he’d still be making the speech today.

  • Rob commented on the blog post Obama gives gay equality an inauguration shout out. Now what?

    2013-01-23 11:40:15View | Delete

    Teddy Partridge,

    We can NOT achieve equality via Executive Order. Executive orders are only effective while the President who signed them is in office. And Executive orders can not overturn all the myriad of laws against us. It must be done by vote, legislation or judicial fiat. The ONLY way we can undo all the anti-gay laws in one sweep would be by Judicial decree by the Supremes. Other than that we have to have popular vote and/or legislative action either at the state level or the Federal level. I don’t think people would be happy if he signed Executive Order giving us equality, oly to have a future republican recind those orders.

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