LGBTQ* Tumblrs We Wanted To Share
PFLAG Mom and a word cloud describing how she felt when her son came out as Trans*
Lovely Tumblr Family and Friends,
If you are not familiar with PFLAG Mom on Tumblr, I highly recommend you check out her blog. She is a phenomenal ally voice and offers wonderful insight outside of the teen/twenty-something bubble. She is also a constant source of inspiration, passionate dialogues, compassionate love, thoughtful opinions, and acts as an all-inclusive educator.
The KNOWhomo team knows the importance of allies and the community of PFLAG. Tell her hello and feel free to mention that we shared her information with you. We consider her family.
LGBTQ* Resident Assistants Who Are Doing It Right!
Ok. Yes. This is the poster hanging from the door of moderator, Ruth Elizabeth. It may be a bit unfair to repost moderator awesomeness but if it was any other blog on Tumblr we’d repost it from them. We are all really impressed by the working team that makes up KNOWhomo.
LGBTQ* Allies and Support Super Bowl Style!
Brendon Ayanbadejo, linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, plans to bring Gay Marriage to the forefront during the Super Bowl.
“Organically, it was going to happen anyway,” said Ayanbadejo a linebacker and key special-teams player in his 10th season, of the inevitable questions to come after his vocal support for upholding a marriage equality law in Maryland in November.
“There (are) still 47 or so states that don’t have it passed. It needs to be passed federally. Why not be the person to carry that message not only to the United States but to the rest of the world? I have this huge platform. The whole world is watching.
“It’s a message of positivity. It’s a message of equality. And it’s a chance to get it out. It’s not going to affect the way I play football but its going to affect a lot of people’s lives off the field.” (source)
LGBTQ* Support You May Have Missed
Seattle’s Crowd Outside of City Hall
LGBTQ* NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED!
(Needed: Volunteers, Donors, Time, and Love. Click Here for Ali Forney Link)
(Executive Director, Carl Siciliano at Day Center with clients and staff)
Yesterday we were finally able to inspect our drop-in center in Chelsea, half a block from the Hudson River. Our worst fears were realized; everything was destroyed and the space is uninhabitable. The water level went four feet high, destroying our phones, computers, refrigerator, food and supplies.
This is a terrible tragedy for the homeless LGBT youth we serve there. This space was dedicated to our most vulnerable kids, the thousands stranded on the streets without shelter, and was a place where they received food, showers, clothing, medical care, HIV testing and treatment, and mental health and substance abuse services. Basically a lifeline for LGBT kids whose lives are in danger.
We are currently scrambling for a plan to provide care to these desperate kids while we prepare to ultimately move into a larger space that will better meet our needs. The NYC LGBT Center has very kindly and generously offered to let us temporarily use some of their space, and we hope to determine the viability of that on Monday.
We have been deluged with kind offers from people who wish to volunteer and donate goods. Unfortunately, we will have to provide our services in the time being in much smaller spaces that won’t accommodate volunteers or allow for much storage space. The best way people can reach out to help in this very challenging time is by making monetary donations. Please go to our website at www.aliforneycenter.org/hurricanesandy
It is heartbreaking to see this space come to such a sad end. For the past seven years it has been a place of refuge to thousands of kids reeling from being thrown away by their parents for being LGBT. For many of these kids coming to our drop-in center provided their first encounter with a loving and affirming LGBT community. I thank all of you for your care and support in a most difficult time.
- Carl Siciliano
Ali Forney Center/ATTN: Andria Ottley, 224 West 35th St, Suite 1500 NY,NY 10001
New York City can be a brutal place for homeless youth and tragically, many young lives have been destroyed. At the Ali Forney Center (AFC), we are making a difference by rescuing kids from the dangers of the streets and placing them into our safe, homelike environments.
AFC is working hard to provide our youth with the support and nourishment they need to succeed and thrive. We cannot do this work alone. We need the help and support of the broader community to make NYC a safer place for homeless LGBT youth. Thank you for your support and interest.
Carl Siciliano, Executive Director
LGBTQ* Awareness Events Reminder
SPIRIT DAY - OCTOBER (Friday) 19th!
Day 14: Ally Week begins tomorrow! From Monday (October 15th) to Friday (October 19th) this week, GLSEN and students across the country will celebrate Ally Week, a week for students to identify, support, and celebrate Allies against anti-LGBT language, bullying, and harrassment in America’s schools.
Find out how you can take action today! There is a new action every day.
It’s easy! Simply take the pledge to “go purple” on October 19th as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are. You can also download our Spirit Day resource kit, which has ways you can turn your community purple. Spirit Day participants can alsospread the word and tell their friends that they’re standing up against bullying.
Support LGBT youth and stand against bullying! When you text PURPLE to 80888, you are supporting the important work GLAAD, GLSEN and The Trevor Project do every day!
LGBTQ* Allies and Ellen Clips You May Have Missed
Personal Note: Yes, the vandalizing occurred in Virginia. The unified assistance and support of local businesses also came from Virginia.
Don’t be silenced because your community acts out violently. Create and live in the world you want. Thank you, Richard. Thank you, Roanoke. Thank you to all the businesses that stepped in. Thank you for all the allies that stepped up. Thank you to the community that speaks out for their fellow “family.” Thank you, Ellen. Thank you, CoverGirl.
I wish everyone a Happy Roanoke Pride this weekend!
(And Roanoke, I am so happy to be a resident of your city.)
LGBTQ* Insight, Education and Ally Conversations
From Oregon State
— Roommate Questions/Answers (You may want to pass this on to RAs in conversation)
In the residence halls
In a residence hall environment, we interact daily with a wide variety of people. Statistics have shown that at least 10% of the general population consider themselves to be lesbian or gay, and many more consider themselves to be bisexual. It is very likely that you will meet individuals who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) during your time at OSU. This page was developed to hopefully answer some of the questions you may have. Remember, you may ask these questions of your Residence Life staff as well.
Why do they flaunt their sexuality?
“What people do in their own bedrooms is their own business, but I saw two guys walking across campus holding hands.”
One of the worst forms of oppression for a human being is to be denied emotional expression. Curiously, it is called “expressing love” when heterosexuals hold hands, but “flaunting” when LGBT people express their love. How would heterosexuals react if they could not hold hands, kiss, dance together, go to romantic dinners, or be married? LGBT people who are open with their affections are not trying to shock others, but are just doing what is natural to them and others.
What should I do if a friend tells me that he or she is gay? What does that say about me?
Most LGBT people who “come out” would like the same sincere acceptance and encouragement you might want when you tell a friend something special about yourself. Because of many people’s “homophobic” attitude (fear and derision of same sex relationships), many gays are afraid of rejection from their friends. You might first honestly ask yourself how you feel about this news and then discuss it as a caring friend.
Some people who find out a close friend is LGBT wonder “What does that mean about me?” This is a natural reaction. What it probably means is that your friend trusts you very much. However, liking someone gay does not make you gay any more than liking someone smart makes you smart.
If my roommate “comes out” to me, does that mean that he or she thinks that I’m gay too?
There is a big difference between “coming out” and “coming on.” As discussed above, most gay people who come out want to be accepted, not hassled. Sometimes a gay person might “come on” to you, tell you they are attracted to you, or want an intimate relationship with you. You can handle it in the same manner that you would handle a heterosexual approach. Gay love is as serious and legitimate as heterosexual love. Again, you should discuss it with your friend.
If I accept my LGBT roommate, will he or she bring in lots of LGBT friends and push me out?
A formerly taboo subject will be out in the open. You may feel uncomfortable from a lack of experience dealing with gay people who are not “closeted.” The LGBT friends should respect non-LGBT people just as LGBT people expect to be respected. Visits by LGBT folks are a good opportunity to learn about this large and diverse segment of the population. However, be cautious about presuming that all your roommate’s friends are LGBT. His or her best friends may be straight.
Won’t my friends or parents think I’m gay if I have a gay roommate or friend or defend equal rights?
Defending equal rights for gays is often a courageous stance to take. Some people may conclude that such a person has a vested interest to do so. It is up to you whether you feel that the people you are defending are worth the risk of occasional accusations or assumptions by others. Remember that a word from heterosexual friends and allies in defense or support of gay rights can go a long way to help change people’s minds.
Now that I know my roommate is gay, I don’t feel comfortable about nudity, dressing, showering, etc.
More than likely, you have been living together long enough to trust each other. There is no reason for the trust to diminish now. Your roommate has been gay or lesbian all along! Bear in mind that gays are not always comfortable with non-gays, either. Gay people, just like straight people, are attracted to certain types of folks. Most gays and lesbians are not sexually interested in heterosexuals, just as the reverse is true.
LGBTQ* Ally Tips
Graphic from Trinity’s Q Soc (of Ireland)
Following text from UC Davis’ Trans* Ally Tips Page
SOME WAYS TO BE A GOOD TRANS ALLY…
• Don’t ever out a transperson. This is dangerous to their safety & can invalidate their identity. Likewise, be aware of your surroundings when discussing trans issues with a transperson. For their safety & comfort, they may prefer not to discuss these topics in public places or among strangers.
• Always use the pronouns & name the person wants you to use. If you’re unsure, ASK! If you make a mistake, correct yourself, & politely (& subtly, if possible) correct others if they use the wrong pronoun.
• Ask when & where it’s safe to use their chosen name & pronouns (e.g., if a transperson is not out at home, ask them how you should refer to them around their family, etc). Don’t ask transpeople what their “real” name is (i.e., the one they were born with). If you know their birth name, do not divulge it to others.
• Instead of using prefixes like bio- or real- to designate that someone is not trans, use “non-trans” or the prefix “cis-”. Two reasons for this: one, using “real” or “bio” sets up a dichotomy in which transpeople are not considered “real” or “biological.” Two, using the terms trans & non-trans or cis- alters the framework so that transpeople are the default rather than the Other. Setting up trans as the norm can help make transphobia & gender privilege more obvious.
• Instead of saying someone was born a boy (or a girl), try saying they were assigned male at birth (or were female-assigned). These terms recognize the difference between sex & gender, and emphasize the ways in which sex & gender are assigned to individuals at birth, rather than being innate, binary or immutable qualities.
• Don’t confuse gender with sexual preference. Transpeople, like non-trans people, are straight, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, etc. Gender is not tied to sexual preference, & there are a million ways to express desire.
• Don’t fetishize. Transpeople’s bodies are not a public forum. “Creatures with cunts,” “the best of both worlds” & “chicks with dicks” are all inappropriate ways of describing transpeople’s bodies.
• Don’t ask transpeople about their bodies, how they have sex, what their genitals are like, etc. It’s rude & none of your business. It can help to think about whether you would ask these questions of a non-trans person.
• Don’t ask about surgery or hormone status; don’t ask “when are you going to have the surgery?” or “are you on hormones?” Like non-trans people, our medical histories & bodies can be intensely personal & private. If transpeople want to share these details with you, allow them to do so on their own terms.
• Don’t assume the only way to transition is through hormones/surgery, & understand that medical transition is very often based on economic status. Recognize the classism inherent in associating medical transition with “authentic” trans identities.
• Don’t assume all transpeople want hormones and/or surgery, or to transition at all.
• Don’t assume all transpeople feel “trapped in the wrong body.” This is an oversimplification and not the way (all) transpeople feel.
• Don’t assume all transpeople identify as “men” or “women.” Many transpeople and genderqueer people identify as both, neither, or something altogether different.
• Don’t tell transpeople what is appropriate to their gender (e.g., transwomen should grow their hair out & wear dresses). Like non-trans people, we have varying forms of gender expression.
• Recognize the diversity of trans & genderqueer lives. Remember that these identities are part of other identities, and intersect with race, class, sexual preference, age, etc.
• Do listen if a transperson chooses to talk to you about their gender identity. Be honest about things you don’t understand—don’t try to fake it!
• Be aware of places transpeople may not be able to go (pun intended). Be understanding if a transperson doesn’t feel safe using a gendered bathroom or locker room. If your organization is holding an event, designate a gender-neutral bathroom in the building.
• Recognize that not all transpeople or genderqueer folks are out there trying to smash the gender binary. Recognize that it’s not their responsibility. If you want to smash the gender binary, then you do it!
• Don’t ask transpeople to educate you. Do your own homework & research. Understand that there is a difference between talking to individuals about their preferences/perspectives and forcing someone to be your educator. Try not to view individuals as spokespeople; the trans communities are diverse, not one monolithic voice or viewpoint.
• Don’t assume transmen are exempt from male privilege, misogyny, sexism, etc, just because of a so-called “girl past.”
• Recognize that transwomen deal with sexism in a very real way (on top of transphobia).
• Recognize that transwomen deserve access to “women-only” spaces/programs/shelters/etc.
• Recognize your privilege & prejudices as a normatively gendered person.
• Think about what makes you uncomfortable & why.
• Don’t let transphobia slide. Confront it as you would confront all other forms of oppression. Trans issues are rarely discussed & when they are it is often in a negative light. Transphobia is equally oppressive as (& works in conjunction with) sexism, homophobia, racism, classism, etc.
• Talk about trans issues/rights. Engage people in discussions & share your knowledge. The majority of “information” people have about trans issues is based on stereotypes & assumptions. To most people, trans folks are the freaks from Jerry Springer.
• Be aware of the vital role you play as a non-trans person. Remember that the way you talk about transpeople (e.g., using the right pronouns) influences how others perceive us & can make a difference in whether we pass, & whether we feel safe/comfortable. Always remember that people may be more likely to listen to & take cues from non-trans people than from transpeople. What you say & do matters!
• Don’t just mourn or take action when transpeople are murdered. Celebrate trans lives & work at making trans & genderqueer issues more visible on a day-to-day basis.
• Don’t tokenize. Simply adding the “T” to LGB doesn’t make you or your organization hip, progressive, or an ally. Make sure you have the resources, information & understanding to deserve that T.
• Above all respect and support transpeople in their lives & choices.
LBGTQ* News You May Have Missed
Personal Note: Shout out to businesses in ROANOKE, VA! Way to go! I’m proud to say that I moved to a community taking action and moving forward.
(text from HRC’s webpage)
WDBJ reports an inspiring story out of Roanoke, Va., where nearly a dozen local businesses rallied in support of a bullied gay student.
Between March and May of this year, Jordan Addison’s car was vandalized four separate times with homophobic slurs and other hate speech, with damage totaling around $2,500.
Richard Henegar, Jr., manager of Quality Auto Paint and Body, heard Addison’s story and organized ten local businesses to pitch in and repair Addison’s car free of charge. The upgrade included new tires, windows and a paint job, alongside a new stereo and security system.
LGBTQ* Allies You Should KNOW
(This video was filmed in May. It is time you see it if you haven’t.)
John Green of the Vlog Brothers
Note: I, Rebecca, am a Nerdfighter! A Proud Nerdfighter! DFTBA
PS - I would LOVE to make a Sing-a-ma-jig opening theme song to the KNOWhomo vlogs (which start late August/early September). Any ideas or if you record one, send it my way.
LGBTQ* Prides and Education
Ten Colleges With A History of Gay Pride
(Please note: all of the following test and above graphic from The Best Colleges Online’s website. I am aware that Berkeley is not in SoCal.)
Every June, Americans recognize Gay Pride Month via famous parades and other advocacy events promoting marriage equality, adoption, health, teen bullying and suicide prevention, and other social and political issues related to LGBT rights, which directly impact an estimated 10% of the population (and indirectly impact a far higher percentage of loved ones). Because the country is still slowly growing to accept sexual and gender identity minorities, this means many college students head off to their higher education careers isolated, lonely, depressed — or worse. Most campuses these days offer some semblance of a support structure to ensure a safe experience for all LGBT students, and queer studies courses, minors, and majors have started popping up in catalogs across the country. And it’s all thanks to some of the following pioneers, who took a chance on equality when such things still stood as highly taboo.
In 1989, City College of San Francisco revolutionized LGBT and queer studies when Jack Collins established America’s very first department promoting the inchoate field. Founded upon Dan Allen’s pioneering 1972 gay literature course taught in the English department, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Studies Department really wowed students, teachers, and administrators when it launched, attracting hundreds of enrollees for some of its courses. Because the school sits in one of the world’s most LGBT-friendly cities, the classes beneath the organization’s umbrella often benefit from the surrounding communities’ participation and input.
More famous for Alfred Kinsey’s in-depth studies of American sexual habits at a time when such things popped monocles and inspired pearl-clutchings, Indiana University also happens to exist as a largely LGBT-friendly campus. Activist Shane Windmeyer of Campus Pride fame also established the Lambda 10 project here alongside the school’s Greek leaders in 1995. Today, it exists as the only nonprofit fully dedicated to making fraternity and sorority houses safe spaces for LGBT students. Notable, because neither institution enjoys the healthiest reputation for inclusiveness, tolerance, and equitability.
Spring 1970 saw this historically progressive college offering up the nation’s very first undergraduate course in queer theory. Other schools in Illinois, New York, and even Nebraska quickly followed suit, paving the way for an entire academic field. The Gay Bears Collection pulls from Berkeley’s extensive archives — as well as its own inquiries — to provide students, faculty, staff, and visitors with detailed information about both hidden and not-so-hidden names, dates, and faces involved in the campus’ LGBT history.
Many — if not most — colleges and universities these days sport some form of official LGBT outreach, usually through an organization or dedicated student services department. University of Michigan launched the very first back in 1971, inspiring more and more to follow suit and provide comfort and safety to an unfairly marginalized segment of the community. Known as the Spectrum Center, it has spent the past four decades ensuring an equal place for LGBT students, faculty, and staff.
One of the oldest, most inspiring LGBT student organizations in the nation started at Kent State University in 1971, following the precedent set by Berkeley’s groundbreaking undergraduate courses. It started out as the Kent Gay Liberation Front and set about organizing talks, rallies, and even classes on the cause of equality. More than 70 people showed up to the very first meeting scheduled by sociology student Bill Hoover and English professor Dolores Knoll, and the school’s administrators largely supported their banding together and coming out.
6. YALE UNIVERSITY:
When it comes to the more staunchly traditional Ivy League schools, one probably doesn’t think them bastions of LGBT tolerance and equality, though Yale has historically held a more progressive stance on the matter than its associates. It became the first of its type to organize a Gay Rights Week, rally, and dance celebrating sexual and gender diversity in 1977. Three years later, the school established a Gay and Lesbian Co-Op, which continued promoting LGBT rights, hosting lectures, promoting poetry and film, and other events furthering the cause.
Thanks to LGBT Phoenixes, America’s third-largest city enjoyed its very first gay rights organization, which quickly branched out into groups and events not affiliated with an academic establishment. The University of Chicago Gay Liberation Front banded together in 1969, and OutLaw — dedicated to LGBT law students — followed suit in 1984. By 1992, it was offering the very same domestic partnership benefits to lesbian and gay couples as it did heterosexuals.
8. OBERLIN COLLEGE:
Oberlin College frequently lands on lists of the most LGBT-accepting institutes of higher learning in the United States. While its older nature meant at some point it did, in fact, reflect the overarching climate’s prejudices, by the 1960s some semblance of sociopolitical revolution began burbling to the surface at the Conservatory. The 1970s saw more organizations, rallies, dances, and other events bringing the fight to campus, with the Oberlin Gay Liberation Front establishing itself in 1971. More contemporary scholars enjoy the Oberlin College LGBT Community History Project, which offers up first- and second-person accounts of LGBT community history both at the school and the broader social climate.
Yale may be one of the most notable Ivy League schools when it comes to sexual and gender identity equality, but it certainly doesn’t fly solo. Since 1967, the Columbia Queer Alliance has served as a safe haven and political rallying point for its LGBT student community — the very first of its kind in the world. Originally known as the Student Homophile League, organizers had to fight, fight, fight, and bite, bite, bite for years before Columbia officials finally green-lighted their group. It stood as one of the cornerstones of the equality movement before the Stonewall Riots two years later inspired others to action.
10. WILLIAMS COLLEGE:
Thanks to the efforts of Daniel R. Pinello and his 1971 Williams Advocate article “The Homosexual at Williams: Coming Out,” students felt inspired to embrace their sexuality and group together in 1976 as the Williams Gay Support Organization. Reaction to its establishment and subsequent events, which included frank discussions about AIDS, coming out, and even a support hotline, showing love and support to a marginalized minority proved extremely mixed, if not outright hostile. In fact, much of the administration actively shot down attempts to celebrate diversity and promote equality. It wasn’t until 1985, when instances of bullying whipped up a crowd of 300 supporters, that the campus started turning around.