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Understanding Male Health (75 mins)
 
As I've explained previously (over on the blog), one project we didn't have time to complete and launch before the closure of NHS North West and our equalities team was a new resource aimed at helping commissioners and primary care clinicians to tackle the health inequalities experienced by men and boys as a group.
 
And, as I explained last month, we undertook to complete this resource during April, in our own time.
 
Joint effort
 
The idea for this development began when we had talks with one of our strategic stakeholder partner organisations, the Men's Health Forum (MHF) last year.
 
The MHF were looking for some investment to support running a couple of events to educate NHS commissioners and primary care staff about one of society's greatest areas of health inequality … the shorter life expectancy and poorer health outcomes for men and boys.
 
Rather than simply fund a few isolated workshops we decided to make a film which MHF and others could use. It's another one of our legacy projects.
 
The film is now complete and MHF used it for the first time on 30th April, as part of a facilitated workshop.

They will be running educational events nationwide using the video as part of the overall package.

They will also be teaching GPs and CCG leaders about established best practice ideas for reaching out to men and boys.

But the video material could also be used on its own too, to encourage GPs (in particular) to think differently about how to reach men and boys.

Expert contributions

The 75 minute film includes some great contributions by MHF and European Men's Health Forum President, Professor Ian Banks; MHF Trustee and epidemiologist Professor Alan White; and former MHF Chief Executive, Peter Baker, who now works as an independent consultant in this field.

We hope it will be widely used.

Last month, over on the blog, I explained how we had managed to complete our Disability History Timeline at NHS North West, before the organisation was disbanded as part of the NHS reorganisation on 31st March.

The timeline is similar to our previous Black and Minority Ethnic and LGBT peoples' histories, in that it consists of three parts: a mobile exhibition, a printed booklet and a video.

The booklet was printed in March and the timeline panels were similarly completed in time, as a result of heroic efforts by my colleague Loren Grant. However, although we had also completed the video, we weren't ready to release it at that time, as it needed to go to the specialist organisation who add British Sign Language signing.

The video is now completed … in time for a public launch of the whole resource at the headquarters of Greated Manchester Commissioning Service Unit (GMCSU) on Wednesday 8th May. As NHS North West's online resources are now all closed I have also agreed to host an online version of the film on the Plain Sense platforms.

The film runs for just over 20 minutes and is signed throughout. It is in two parts. In the first section disabled people talk about their personal experiences of the NHS. In the second half disabled NHS staff talk about disability from their own perspective. A short section at the end also explains how we worked with stakeholders to coproduce the whole resource.

Click here to download the booklet.

DTimeline

The draft timeline was first showcased at our
special legacy event in December 2012 

Alice Purnell OBE is an important contributor to the development of the trans community in Britain.

She was involved in founding the Beaumont Society in the 1960's; founded the Gender Trust in 1990; and instituted a groundbreaking series of biennial conferences bringing trans people and clinicians together that same year.

In this extended interview, on her 70th birthday, Alice speaks openly about her own childhood; the experiences which moulded her approach towards community support; and those pivotal developments in which she had a leading role.

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Paris Lees appeared in an earlier edition of Just Plain Sense about the signing of a Memorandum on trans people at Channel 4. Even then she was probably not all that well known outside of a small circle, having only moved to London the previous year. These days she is rapidly emerging as a rising star.

She has quickly established herself as an art reviewer and commentator on issues of diversity. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian and the Independent, in Attitude magazine, and in Pink News. She has regular columns in Gay Times and Diva. She has appeared on Radio One and BBC TV ... and acted as a consultant on several programmes about trans people. Most notably, she launched a unique magazine, META, earlier this year.

Paris recently won the title 'LGBT Role Model' at the National Diversity Awards. This interview was recorded with her the following morning whilst she was still getting used to the recognition.

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A couple of years ago, in March 2009, I recorded a Podcast interview with my own Father, Leslie Burns. I'm glad I did so because, just ten months later, he passed away.

After his death I found a neatly typed manuscript which he had hoped to get published, about a big event in his life that had occurred only weeks before the end of the war.

The story was never taken up by any editors. I'm sure that would have disappointed him. So, instead, I'm providing the opportunity for it to be heard.

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Bookends

In this episode I've been into the archives to retrieve two presentations by myself and the well-known US trans personality Kate Bornstein in June 2007, as we shared the stage opening the UK's first "Transfabulous" conference.

You can read a report about that whole conference here

Kate and I were the 'bookends' to an introductory session, in which the facilitators of each of the day's four workstreams described what they aimed to cover. We both set out in our different ways to set the mood...

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July 16th will mark the thirtieth anniversary of a campaign supporting what became known as the 'Bradford Twelve'.

On that day in 1981 a dozen young Asian men from the United Black Youth League were arrested in dawn raids across the city and charged with conspiracy to make explosives and to cause explosions.

The case was set against a backdrop of racist attacks on black and asian communities in Britain, which the Police had done little to address.

The defendants asserted that "Self defence is NO offence" and the hearing of their case lifted the lid on racism in Britain at that time.

Shahnaz Ali was a teenage girl at the time and was very much involved in the United Black Youth League in Bradford. She was taken for questioning and came close to being charged with conspiracy herself.

Now a senior public sector official, Shahnaz looks back on those events with me, and describes what it was like to almost become the thirteenth defendant.

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Rainbow Voices

This film, produced by my colleagues in the Equality and Diversity team at NHS North West is part of a larger resource (including a bookable exhibition, booklet and online resource) documenting the history of the involvement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in medicine and healthcare through the ages.

On the evening of Monday 14th March 2011 the organisation Trans Media Watch collaborated with Channel 4 TV to launch a new Memorandum of Understanding to an audience of media people, politicians and trans people.

The goal of the memorandum is to help eliminate discrimination relating to trans people in all media by setting out goals that all the parties can aspire towards. Channel 4 were the first organisation to subscribe to the principles.

The MOU doesn't call for censorship but aims instead to give media organisations the tools they need to address endemic problems.

Trans Media Watch say they are guided by the basic principle that they wish to see transgender people and issues treated with accuracy, dignity and respect.

Just Plain Sense was there to capture the atmosphere of the event, including speeches by Minister for Equalities, Lynne Featherstone MP, Stuart Cosgrove from Channel 4 and reactions from the audience.

Listen to the show online with the player below or click one of the options on the right to download into your favourite music player or feed reader. You can also read more background on the Just Plain Sense Blog

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Professor Joan Roughgarden is no ordinary biologist - and no ordinary trans woman either - though there are quite a few high academic achievers within the world wide community of gender variant, transgender and transsexual people.

Joan is perhaps best known for her 2004 book “Evolution’s Rainbow” - an academic work, written in a language accessible to the public. In it she challenges Darwin’s theory of Sexual Selection.

Her subsequent book, “Evolution and Christian Faith: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist”, published in 2006, showed that her willingness to take on controversial subjects was, if anything, stronger and more confident ... despite the inevitable way in which her critics responded to the first.

This interview was originally recorded for another channel in the summer of 2007, but hasn't been aired on Just Plain Sense before. In the course of conversation Joan reveals an unexpected debt of gratitude to former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and talks about her biologist's view of sexual orientation.

Note that this show features a new, alternative, signature tune that I'm trying out. I'd appreciate listeners' feedback on whether you like it or prefer the traditional one. The theme is "New Ways of Seeing", composed and performed by Richard Harvey in 1978

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I’ve covered a lot about crime in various forms over nearly three years of these Podcasts. A lot has been said about hatred directed towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People. We’ve also covered domestic violence, which is mostly directed towards women.

None of these subjects are pleasant. Yet the hatred which seems the hardest to understand is that which is directed towards disabled people and those with Mental Health problems or Learning Difficulties.

The question why people behave so awfully in the first place tends to be brushed aside. And it’s clear that the unease that society as a whole has in this area is perhaps the elephant in the room.

In this episode I talk to Karen Machin, a campaigner in this field. She and her colleagues work to raise awareness about disability hate crime and how to report it.

She also works with the ‘Time to Change’ campaign, educating people about Mental Illness and she’s been involved in setting up the ‘ROLE Network’ - which is open to anyone who has experienced or supported someone through these kinds of distress or mental health issues.

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What do you think about minority groups like transgender people? Unless you actually know someone in person, have you ever questioned where your beliefs and opinions come from? Chances are, like most people, what you believe and think can be traced back to what you've gleaned from media coverage.

The issue of media representation is nothing new. Study the history of any minority which has struggled for equality and you'll generally find that such issues have been of concern to those who were engaged bringing about social change.

Juliet Jacques is a transsexual writer and journalist who has thought a lot about these questions in her own context. She is writing a groundbreaking fortnightly column for the Guardian newspaper, documenting her own transition. She is therefore ideally placed to offer some perspectives on how the communication problems arise, and how to address them.

Since this show was recorded Juliet has blogged some more detailed thoughts about some of the topics we covered. Please also feel free to build on this discussion through the comments below and on her blog

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It feels incredible to reflect that we are coming up to the third Christmas for the Just Plain Sense Podcast. The show has covered so much in the last 80 episodes and I hope to continue for a long time to come.

Usually, as the producer and presenter of these shows, it is my job to ask the questions. With the occasional exception, I try not to be self-indulgent.

The festive season provides an excuse for us all to let our hair down and forget the conventions though. That's why I thought it would be nice to turn the tables and present this recent on-air show where, instead, the questions were coming my way.

Andrew Edwards presents the Saturday Forum on Gaydio -- the Manchester based LGBT FM station that I featured in a recent show. The last half hour of every show features 'the Mix Tape' where a guest selects and talks about four music tracks that mean something special. This was my turn in the hot seat...

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On November 20th or 21st those who care will be coming together in dozens of cities around the world to remember transgender people who have been murdered, often brutally, just because they are different.

The event is held in November each year to honour Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

This audio tribute is our contribution to those events, recorded with the generous assistance of colleagues and local broadcasters.

To find out more about International Transgender Day of Remembrance and a vigil near you visit the web site: http://www.transgenderdor.org/

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The prelaunch for the annual LGBT History Month took place on 2nd November 2010 at Twickenham Rugby Stadium, reflecting an emphasis on the importance of sport in this coming February's month long programme of events.

I was unable to attend the launch. However, having recently been appointed as one of the event's patrons I recorded this speech as a video.

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