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All posts for the month April, 2012

MY BLOG STATS

Published April 30, 2012 by Tony

THIS WEEK STATS

From time to time I like to take a look at the Stats page of my blog, for curiosity or just to know how many readers have read my writings, and so if my efforts have met with success. Although this blog in English language has fewer visitors than my Italian blog, where the daily visits average is twice, I am pleased that the highest number of hits come from the U.S.. On the other hand, this blog was born with the wish to be American-oriented. Thanks you all, anyway!

weekly stats

CENSUS in ITALY

Published April 30, 2012 by Tony

ITALIAN CENSUS 2011

In Italy the population census takes place every 10 years, and the last has just been made in the end of 2011. The “General Census of Population and Housing” is the main statistic surveys entrusted, on the basis of a legislative decree, to the “ISTAT”. Its scope includes the collection of numerical information on population, housing (house numbers) and on buildings, in addition to counting the population it also analyzes its statistical character, and to a lesser extent also is made the analysis of the population temporarily present in the country. The National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) is an Italian public research institution which carries out the census using a method known as classical (or conventional census), consisting in the delivery of a questionnaire for self-compilation.
In this fifteenth census, for the first time it has been possible to complete the questionnaire via ISTAT web site, or return it at any of the Italian Post office. These days, the Istat has published the first figures of this last census, while the final data will be available in the coming months.

For 2011:
59.464.644  persons living in Italy;
28.750.942 male;
30.713.702 female (52 female per 100 people);
46% citizens is living to North, 19% to the centre and 35% to southern and isles;
8.092 towns (municipalities);
70% of these municipalities has a population lower than 5.000 habitants;
6.612.068 inhabitants in Rome, the most populated country;
30 the inhabitants of the less populated municipality;
12.311,7 the inhabitants of the most populated municipality;
0,2 square kilometers the size of the smallest country;
1307,7 square kilometers the most extended country (Rome);
2.468.900 more inhabitants compared with the last census;
2.4 the average components number of an Italian family;
6.34 the percent of aliens;
28.863.604 dwellings;
14.1763.371 the buildings number;
71.101 persons living in shacks, tents or roulettes.

Considerations:
3.331.605 people more than 2011 (+ 4, 3%). This do means nearly 333.000 new people per year.
In 2011 the aliens were 1,3 millions while now almost 3,77 millions: three times in 10 years and most of them not living in the biggest cities, without considering illegal immigrants. The number of families has increased, from 21.810.676 to 24.512.012, while the number of  components decreased. Populations increase to the north and centre. In 2011, inactive people, those are not seeking employment but available to work, are 2 million 897 thousand, up 4.8% (+133.000) compared to 2010, more than three times the European average (+3.6%).

GLBT Film Festival

Published April 29, 2012 by Tony

Turin International Film Festival on Homosexual Themes

torino-glbt-film-festival

[Click on to see the beautiful Festival trailer]


In 1981 Ottavio Mai and Giovanni Minerba decided to stage their own rebellion against mainstream movies where homosexual “characters” were always relegated to marginal roles and/or to offensive stereotypes. Their opposition took the form of their first film, shot in video, “Dalla vita di Piero”, well received at ‘Festival Cinema Giovani di Torino’ (Turin’s festival for young film-makers), and then presentedWe Were Here at several international festivals. So the seed of the “Torino International Film Festival on Homosexual Themes” (GLBT Film Festival), entitled “Da Sodoma a Hollywood” (From Sodom to Hollywood), was planted and now arrived at its 27th edition. This year the festival was held April 10 to 25, and in this edition, among other events, different “focus themes” and ‘in-depth-examinations’ as “The Last Taboo” the hot topic of relationship between homosexuality and sports, and the topic “Forever Young“, which includes a series of films by young directors who are investigating the issue of sexual identity through the adolescents world and their hard coming out, as “Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho”,  “Uniformadas” by irene Zoe Alameda or the well-known “Tomboy” directed by Céline Sciamma, Hua Wei Meithat through a light and charming touch, talks about the drama of sex childhood confusion.
Despite the exiguous budget and the refusal of the local region (right-side politic orientation) to subsidize the initiative, this year have been screened 140 films during the festival.
The section “Gay in pantofole” (gay in slippers), has been opened by a documentary that throbs of humanity. A Danish film by Nola Grace Gaardmand shot in the Philippines and entitled  “Home for The Golden Gays”, a refuge for elderly homosexuals alone and abandoned. A blend of moving stories and lives on the edge.
The festival also adhered to the day against

bullying (GLSEN, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educational Network) with two events. “Man in the Mirror” by Joel Schumacher, a short-film shot in schools, where the director of ‘Batman Forever’Romeos deals with the issue of bullying of gays or anyone thought to be homosexual. How far will someone go to prove that he is not different? And with “Private Romeo” by Alan Brown, a sort of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ all male story among academy military’s cadets. Reading “Romeo and Juliet” soon becomes an obsession for eight cadets of the Military Academy, and as in Shakespeare’s tragedy, the consequences will be dramatic. Deep and original, suspenseful and tense, the film is strengthened by brilliant acting from the cast.
In continuity with the previous edition, several movies against the problem of homophobia which ranged from the homophobia lived in weekendrepressive countries like Iran to the most insidious one of Western societies. The documentaries, in fact, have been the eye of denunciation of the festival, projecting films like:  “I am a woman now“, focused on the first changes of sex in the early 60′;  “Call Me Kuchu“, a charge to the homophobe and violent Ugandan’s reality. The mentioned “Man In the Mirror” by Joel Schumacher, then  “We Were Here” by David Weissman, that takes a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco on early 80’s, exploring how the City’s inhabitants were affected by, and how they responded to, that calamitous epidemic. Another valuableKeep the lights on documentary is “Becoming Chaz” directed by Fenton Bailey e Randy Barbato, which chronicles Chassity Bono (Sonny & Cher’s daughter) female-to-male transition.
In the section Called “Midnight Madness” we can fid the film “All About Evil“, directed by Joshua Grannell, a tribute to the American B-movies.
To be mentioned, among others: “Hua Wei Mei” (Bad Romance), by skoonheidFrançois Chang, the story of 7 young men and women and their three stories involved with heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual affairs happening in Beijing. Despite the appearance of homosexual freedom advanced in the film, it has been declared illegal in China because the presence of gay love. The movie “Romeos” directed by German filmmaker Sabine Bernardi, that forgoes stereotypes and conventions to offer an honest and humorous examination of the most basic of human conditions by a transgendered person. Besides, “Depois Do Almoco” by Rodrigo Diaz Diaz and “Lesbian Romance (Open Eyes)” by Shamin Sarif.
ParadaThere was also a section about the best GLBT film, awarded at international festivals such as “Sundance” and “Berlin”. Among the most famous, the revelation of the movie “Weekend” by Andrew Haigh, “Keep the lights on” by Ira Sachs (who won the Teddy Award 2012), and “Skoonheid” by Olivier Hermanus, that won the Queer Palm at Cannes Festival.

Winners:

trans

A novela das 8”  by Odilon Rocha, film set in Brazil in the 80s, where  a group of people live under the fierce repression of the military dictatorship. Rocha’s first film as director won the prize for the best screenplay at the Rio International Film Festival in 2011.  “Trans” by Chris Arnold (U.S. 2012), as best documentary; best short Prize for “The Lesson” by Paul Metz (Japan 2011). Special Mention for “Down Here” by Diogo Costa Amarante (Portugal 2011), that won the Festival Internacional de Cinema Gay e Lésbico de Barcelona. Prizes awarded by the Audience to: “Parada” (The Parade) by Sđrjan Dragojević, (Serbia/Slovenia/Croatia 2011); “ Call Me Kuchu“ (U.S. 2012). And as best Short Film: “Tsuyako” by Mitsuyo Miyazaki (Japan 2011).

tomboy

CONDOM

Published April 28, 2012 by Tony

No Condoms as Evidence Bill

Got Rubbers? Police May Arrest You!

To be honest, I was shocked when I read that in New York , for one, it is a crime and I could be arrested and accused of prostitution if police find out I am carrying one or some condoms. Absurd! If I had my car’s hood filled with boxes of condoms, maybe I would understand this charge. For who doesn’t know, currently U.S. police and courts can use the fact that people have or are carrying one or more condoms to prove that they are engaging in criminal activity, such as sex-workers. OMG!
“When it comes to condom possession and use, United Sates’ health and criminal procedure policies are at odds,” as the Senator Velmanette Montgomery says. For decades, city and state agencies have promoted safe sex practices as a public health priority and NYC., in particular, has taken this health campaign to the streets of the five boroughs, distributing millions of free condoms as a way to help combat sexually transmitted diseases and infections…. instead? This absurd regulation brings people to avoid carrying some condom in their pockets.
And this especially strikes those who are typically profiled by the police as possible sex workers, who are afraid of carrying preservatives and thus often engage in sex work without condoms. In the 2010 study conducted by DOMH, 57% of the sex workers interviewed said that they had had condoms taken away from them by a NYC police officer. While, in the 2011 study, 45.7% of sex workers interviewed did not carry condoms at some point for fear of police repercussions. This just is a good way to combat sexual diseases…. compliments!
“Confiscation of condoms for use as evidence of prostitution-related offenses is widespread in New York City and has serious public health consequences for sex workers and members of their communities,” said Katherine Todrys, a consultant for Human Rights Watch. Anyway, in New York, public health experts, human rights activists and advocates for sex workers and the LGBT community, are joining in calling for the passage of the Senator’s Montgomery legislation (S.323/A.1008) that should bar the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution.  The bill has support from various human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, Streetwise and Safe, and the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center. Thanks God!

A different and better news about Argentine government policies instead. Here,  the minister Guillermo Moreno, not only speaks explicitly about condom use, but also made clear that his country needs more. For this he summoned the two leading manufacturers of condoms in Argentina, asking them to increase production to meet internal demand. For contractors, the Argentine government has asked to supply 3 million condoms more per year, to avoid even having to refuel abroad, in China, Malaysia and India.

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Daniel Zamudio

Published April 28, 2012 by Tony

Another victim of the discrimination

Daniel-Zamudio-Vera

Daniel Zamudio Vera, a 24-year-old Chilean man, has died after almost a month in the hospital after a vicious hate attack he suffered at the hands of a group of suspected neo-Nazi on March 3, 2012. It all started on a Saturday early in the morning in a Santiago park, close to a police station and a park secured by guards. A group of thugs massacred Daniel that was hanging out there, beacuse he was gay. They tortured him for six hours and nobody saw anything. Damn, how is it possible?! One out of the four aggressors is said to be a neo-Nazi. The rest, a mixture of ill-bred misfits. But today, all of them are accused of participating in one of the most savage assaults ever seen in Santiago. As the aggressors refer, they hit him  with “kicks, punches in the head, face, testicles, legs, and all over the body”. Then one of them  tattooed three swastikas with the neck of a bottle that they broke minutes before on his head.
The Anti-Discrimination Law that has been stuck in Congress for seven years has come back as a trending topic after the attack on Zamudio. There has even been a request to call it Zamudio Law [es] and to carry on the discussion at the Parliament’s Mixed Commission after the last vote that took place in November 2011.

I’m against death penalty but in such cases my belief wavers!

Daniel Zamudio was the second of four children born in 1987 in the town of San Bernardo, a district located just south of Santiago, the Chilean capital. By the time he was about 13 years old, his family realized Daniel was homosexual. However, he did not openly admit his sexual orientation until age 17. Daniel’s relationship with his family was good, although not free from conflict with his father who apparently did not accept his son was gay. In 2003, after his parents separated, Daniel went to live with his mother and grandmother. At age 17, he fell into a deep depression triggered by the suicide of his best friend. Unable to cope with the tragedy, he became emotionally instable, neglected his studies and finally he quit high school. Until recently in 2012, he was working as a clerk in a Chinese clothing store with the intention of saving some money to resume regular schooling and to take modeling and acting lessons. His goal was to pursue a career in communications and eventually to start a family and become a father. Daniel regularly attended LGBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-sexual) oriented nightclubs and more than once mentioned to friends that he had been harassed by strangers when he was leaving the venues. On March 2, Daniel went to work as usual at 7:30 a.m. He told his family that he would meet a friend in the evening and would be home late. He did not return. On Sunday, his family reported his disappearance to the Chilean Police. They managed to identify him as the young man who had been admitted the day before to Santiago’s Posta Central Hospital. Daniel had been found by a policeman around 4:00 a.m. without ID documents, badly injured and unconscious. He was found in “San Borja” Park which is located along the Alameda, a main thoroughfare in downtown Santiago. Daniel’s injuries were so severe that the medical team at Posta Central decided to place him into an induced coma. His head and body had been brutally beaten. Part of one ear had been cut, his legs were broken and he had cuts resembling swastikas on his chest and back. Several cigarette burns were found in different parts of his body. On March 19 his condition worsened and on March 27 Daniel died.

Despite the vitality of a young man, he probably preferred to leave this world, a world unfair, bad and rotten for a better one. Daniel, forgive us and may God rest your soul!