original article can be found at: https://janitorqueer.com/2016/09/14/new-app-lgbtq-health-care-info-reviews/
I recently connected with Nic and Cat, a duo based in Philadelphia, who have been working super hard for about a year, creating an app for anyone who is LGBTQ+ and is looking for a health care provider. It will be simple, straightforward, user-based, and reliable. A beta version will be available soon, and Nic says, “the more the merrier, because once we’re beta testing we want to have as many reviews on there as possible–that’s what’s gonna make the app useful.”
I already signed up. You can too! At: https://qspacesapp.com/qreview/
I definitely will have a lot to add, from
The first primary care doctor who proscribed me T,
The terrible consultation I had for top surgery in my area,
and, yeah, there will be much more. I have thoughts on my current doctor. Thoughts about the surgeon who did do my top surgery. Thoughts about my sometimes therapist and my psychiatrist (refreshingly, those two are all positive.)
I asked Nic a few questions to get a better sense of who they are and what their project is all about…
K: I’m curious, do you and Cat have experience in web design? Or, what are your backgrounds?
K: Was there a specific moment or incident where you said, “We need an app to fill in this void of information.”
Some 150 local concerned citizens held a rally at Washington Square Park to show solidarity with those in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. The event was sponsored by Mothers Out Front, a climate awareness group, the Green Party of Monroe County and a newly formed group Project Connection. While the Dakota pipeline is thousands of miles away it has local implications including explosion- prone oil trains running through our city, a gas pipeline near schools and a nuclear power plant, and dangerous gas compressor stations in neighborhoods. The groups also stressed the importance of moving away from carbon emitting fossil fuels. Continuing to build massive fossil infrastructure like the Dakota pipeline will delay that transition while continuing to fuel climate change. Presentations included mayoral and council candidates Mary Lupien and Alex White. There was a performance by Rochester's Raging Grannies.
One important matter absent from this event was the need to stop the Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP. The TPP is not simply a trade agreement as its supporters claim. It would give corporations "rights" to ignore laws passed to protect the environment, consumers and workers. Some of its most egregious provisions would enable corporations to sue governments for "lost profits" resulting from such laws.
Following the rally a large number of the protesters staged a 10 minute action in the street. Police arrived to direct traffic around the rally but did not engage the protesters. It remained peaceful.
Imagine a magic bullet that only needs to be used a few times to treat otherwise treatment-resistant conditions. A bullet that could erase the need for medication. It might sound like science fiction, but such a miracle drug might have been accidentally discovered more than 30 years ago and brushed under the rug by our government.
Alicia Danforth, a psychologist and researcher at LA BioMed, is testing the safety of using 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in conjunction with dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) to help people with treatment-resistant social anxiety learn how to overcome their social anxiety. The Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelics Studies better known as MAPS (www.maps.org) is providing the funding needed to conduct this study.
Dr. Danforth made it clear that she was “not attempting to treat autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, but was rather looking at the benefits of using MDMA to treat social anxiety which is only one symptom that affects some people on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) spectrum.”
She chose to study people who fell on the ASD spectrum because they were less likely than people in the general population to be helped by more traditional therapies. According to a report on the MAPS website, treatments that work very well for neurotypical people often fail to provide benefits for people on the ASD spectrum because they have a much harder time than their neurotypical peers in forming a rapport with therapists.
The study, which currently features ten patients, is observing how safe it is to use MDMA, and not the long-term benefits of MDMA. To my knowledge, this is the only study being conducted to test the use of MDMA in helping autistic people overcome social anxiety. Two more subjects are currently being evaluated to see if they can participate in the study. The long-term effects of MDMA are speculative and unsubstantiated at this time. Hopefully, this study will help determine if MDMA will provide long-term benefits to autistic people suffering from social anxiety.
According to Dr. Danforth, the benefits observed in autistic people who have completed the study has lasted many months. The benefits of the study are calculated by Christopher Struble, MD who uses the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale to measure how the subjects improve.
Dr. Struble only measures the results of the MDMA therapy and does not engage in any other parts of the study to minimize the risk of bias tainting the study. Dr. Danforth hypothesizes that the benefits from the study occur because the subjects experience “an altered state of consciousness from the MDMA and not as a direct result of the pharmaceutical action of the MDMA.”
One of the major problems people on the ASD spectrum face is called alexithymia, or the inability to verbalize their emotional states, said Dr. Danforth.
Dr. Danforth advises people against self-medicating with MDMA because people cannot be assured about the purity or dosage of MDMA bought off the streets. She also had a medical team on standby in case life support was needed. Because the subjects were carefully selected and monitored, none of the patients involved in the study needed any medical interventions.
One of the main benefits of MDMA-assisted therapy is the limited number of times that the medication needs to be used to get lasting results. “Two applications of MDMA have lasting effects to people on the ASD spectrum who suffer from social anxiety, and the maximum of three applications has been shown to benefit veterans with treatment-resistant PTSD,” Dr. Danforth said.
Her inspiration for this line of research stemmed from Gary Fisher’s research conducted in the 1960s. He a psychologist who worked at a hospital in Sothern California and tested LSD on autistic children who were unable to communicate. While not every patient was helped, a few patients who society had given up on, were able to attend a public school as a result of Dr. Fisher’s therapy. It would currently be impossible to conduct such research because institutional review boards would not allow doctors to conduct medical research without the informed consent of subjects.
Amy Thompson (note: the name was changed to protect her privacy), an autistic person from Canada, is using Cannabis Sativa to help overcome her social anxiety so that she can work. She is using Cannabis Indica to help quiet her overactive mind so she can sleep at night. Mrs. Thompson has a medical marijuana card in Canada so she can legally access cannabis.
She said, “legal cannabis costs much more than buying cannabis from dealers” and that “she would start buying cannabis from street dealers again if her card was not renewed.” She also told me that since autism is not a qualifying condition for getting cannabis in Canada many doctors are giving cannabis to autistic people for neuroleptic pain or other co-morbid conditions but are being pressured by the Canadian Ministry of Health to stop this practice.
Mrs. Thompson said that she “will need to travel to another province the next time she wants to get her card renewed.” Her current doctor was pressured by the Canadian Ministry of Health not to renew medical marijuana cards for autistic patients who are using the marijuana to help them deal with social anxiety. Going to another doctor to get medication your main doctor refuses to provide to you is known as doctor shopping.
To help support this research, you can donate to MAPS (www.maps.org) or to the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (www.mdma-autism.org). MAPS is also investigating the use of MDMA and Ayahuasca (a very powerful hallucinogenic drug that results in total ego loss) to help veterans with PTSD, and the use of Ibogaine (an LSD-like drug that has psychedelic effects that last for two or three days) to help heroin addicts stop using heroin without going through withdrawal. MAPS is a non-profit group which investigates the medicinal uses of psychedelics.
If anyone on the ASD spectrum who is over 21, and suffers from social anxiety lives close to Los Angeles and wants to participate in the study, they should either call (310) 222-1664 or go to www.mdma-autism.org for more information. Anyone who is interested in taking part in the study needs to be in good health, have no blood pressure issues. They also cannot have used MDMA in the past.
Related: How to Help Black Lives Matter (and Other Causes) While Dealing with Mental Health Issues | Why some therapists are risking arrest to heal trauma using psychedelics | Finding from a Study on the MDMA Experiences of Adults on the Autism Spectrum (YouTube Video) | Can Ecstacy Ease Symptoms of Autism? (The author also talks about how Psilocybin and Ayahuasca can help people.)
Above in a video interview with Kerry Coleman talking about the police brutality he and his wife experienced at the hands of RPD officer Brian Cala.
On the afternoon of January 19, 2009, Kerry Coleman had called for the Mobile Crisis Team (MCT) for his wife. Instead of the MCT showing up, 10 Rochester Police Department (RPD) cruisers came to his home. Upon opening the door, RPD officer Brian Cala barged past Mr. Coleman into the house.
According to his complaint to Professional Standards Section (PSS), Mr. Coleman informed the officer that he had called for the MCT and not patrol officers. Officer Cala responded, "What the fuck do you want me to do? Take her to the hospital or take your fucking ass to jail?" Mrs. Coleman told the officer Cala to leave her home to which he replied "Shut the fuck up!"
Mr. Coleman's Professional Standards Section Complaint
In the interview at the top of the article, Mr. Coleman explains that the RPD had a warrant for his arrest based on an issue with the Rochester City School District (RCSD), and that that's why the police were there, not because of his call asking for help from the MCT.
Mr. Coleman's complaint then states that officer Cala maced his wife and proceeded to punch her in the face. While lying face down on the bed after being punched, officer Cala proceeded to "punch her in the face about 9 - 10 times." At this point, another officer came into the house and maced Mr. Coleman.
Officer Cala was eventually secreted away by officers in another squad car after irate family members started demanding to know who beat up Mr. Coleman's wife. Before getting in the car, officer Cala smugly yelled, "I fucking did it!"
Mr. Coleman was arrested, charged with criminal contempt in the first degree over a dispute with the RCSD and menacing, and then taken to jail. Mrs. Coleman went to the hospital for injuries sustained by officer Cala. Mr. Coleman was eventually tried and convicted of criminal contempt in the first degree and given probation for five years. He was arrested again over another RCSD issue and charged with violating his probation and sentenced to two years in state prison with one year of parole.
On March 15, 2013, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department released their decision in an appeal made by Mr. Coleman, stating that, "It is hereby ORDERED that the judgment so appealed from is unanimously reversed on the law, the plea is vacated and the matter is remitted to Monroe County Court for further proceedings on the superior court information."
Read the Appellate Court decision in PDF format above
Mr. Coleman was railroaded by the system in which a network of corrupt individuals worked to force him into positions he never wanted. One such position was taking a plea deal and accepting a guilty verdict that, technically, he should not have been allowed to take. The Appellate Court saw this and reversed the conviction telling the lower court to retry the case.
After the decision, he was released from probation (after two years of prison and eight months of probation) and his case was to be retried with the original criminal contempt in the first degree. Because the case was shoddy to begin with, the district attorney's office offered him plea deals. He refused and demanded either a new trial or that the charges be dropped. Eventually, seeing they had no case, the DA's office dropped the charges.
Aside from having his conviction vacated and the charges dropped, the DA has not sought to prosecute officer Cala for police misconduct and the department, according to Mr. Coleman, has refused to administer discipline. Officer Cala, as of 2015, was still employed by the RPD and still on active duty.
Justice delayed is justice denied. Enough Is Enough!
Related: B.L.A.C.K. addresses community after 73 protesters arrested | A Jury of One's Fears | NYS is a no SWAT zone! Reject SWAT conferences & police militarization | "Racism Lives Here": a student response to the UR's "We're Better Than That" campaign | Joey Lipari on Syracuse's Citizen Review Board | Student athlete, who settled false arrest suit with City, racially profiled & falsely arrested for shoplifting | Mental Health: A juxtaposition of Rochester police tactics | Rochester Police Department demographics, 2015
A Rochester Police surveillance camera was recently placed on the corner of
Flint and Jefferson, which happens to be where the organization Building Leadership And Community Knowledge, B.L.A.C.K., garden happens to be. This follows a march organized by B.L.A.C.K that took place on July 8 of this year in which police violently arrested 74 protesters. Tonya Noel, Director of Cause N'FX and organizer for B.L.A.C.K. was intervewed regarding the new RPD blue Light camera.
Questions have arisen if this is an attempt by the police to harass or
keep under surveillance an organization who has been challenging the status quo. This is not the first time that the police have started surveillance in places that activist groups meet or gather following incidents with police.
Video: Police Harrassment and surveillance at meeting to discuss police brutality after anti war march turns into police riot.
Kent Handy, the author of "The Dark Secrets of Woodruff County," told Rochester Indymedia the story of how five children in his extended family were murdered by racist sheriff's deputies in Woodruff County, Arkansas on the night of March 1 and into the early morning hours of March 2, 1984.
His book is not only about the story of how Ku Klux Klan members by night and cops by day murdered five innocent children, but it's also about the conspiracy of a pathologist, the fire marshal, and the county coroner to cover up the murders.
Kent has been seeking justice for his family since.
In 1992, Kent moved to Rochester, NY where he wrote the book and now lives.
The interview was conducted on March 5, 2016 at Java's Cafe in Rochester, NY.
Related: "Racism Lives Here": a student response to the UR's "We're Better Than That" campaign | Ferguson Revolutionary Community Organizers Speak! | A Jury of One's Fears | #SayHerName #JusticeForIndia
Rochester's Pride parade kicked off on July 16 with a theme of "Let's Make Magic." This year it followed a different route starting downtown heading up Park Ave to a festival at Cobbs Hill park.
A group representing veterans was able to march, thanks in part to the elimination of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" in the US military.
One group paid tribute to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting and another called attention to the larger problem of gun violence.
A group sponsored by Rochester Red and Black called attention to private prisons the mass incarceration of LGBTQ people.
More photos of the event in the gallery!
Professor and activist Wendy Lynne Lee spoke at the Flying Squirrel Community Space on July 21 2016. Lee is a professor of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg. The event was sponsored by the Green Party of Monroe County. The talk was about sustainability and how current social and philosophical attitudes make achieving it more difficult. The accompanying photo show showed the effects of fracking in Pennsylvania and world wide climate change. The video includes the full lecture, photos and follow up questions.
The immediate withdrawal and dismissal of all charges against the 73 arrestees on the night of July 8th.
The immediate retraction of the false statements regarding lack of injuries and use of force made by the Mayor & Police Chief, as well as a public apology to all the men, women, children, and gender non-conforming people who were terrorized on the night of July 8th along with 73 people who were arrested
We want officers names who assaulted protestors to be publicized and for them to be held accountable
We want an independent community civilian review board with the power to review complaints and administer disciplinary action including but not limited the suspension and firing of officers with multiple infractions
This review board should be at least 60% Black and Latino to reflect the population of the city
Demilitarization the police and the ban on use of deadly tactics on unarmed citizens
Immediate end to broken window policing and racial profiling that negatively black, brown, and poor communities
Less funds to go to the police and fund year round vocational training and employment opportunities for youth, after school programs for young adults, and support black-owned businesses
Police misconduct to be independently investigated and prosecuted
Community voice to be heard in police union contract negotiations and that union contracts hold officers accountable for misconduct
Article: Dredging Up the Past on Police Union President Mike Mazzeo http://rochester.indymedia.org/node/6979
Article: Police Harrass Community Members Attending Meeting in Support of Emily Good
Video: Police Retaliate Against Supporters of Emily Good
Video: Police Harrassment at meeting to discuss police brutality after anti war march turns into police riot.