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Posts tagged with "education"

LGBTQ* Insight, Education and Ally Conversations
From Oregon State
— Roommate Questions/Answers
(You may want to pass this on to RAs in conversation)
Questions for Roommates
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* Insight, Education and Ally Conversations

From Oregon State

— Roommate Questions/Answers

(You may want to pass this on to RAs in conversation)

Questions for Roommates

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* Statistics and Graphs


(source - Philly Mag)

Assistance/Hotlines:
  • US Hotlines:
  • Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696
  • Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433
  • LifeLine: 1-800-273-8255
  • Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
  • Sexuality Support: 1-800-246-7743
  • Eating Disorders Hotline: 1-847-831-3438
  • Rape and Sexual Assault: 1-800-656-4673
  • Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272
  • Runaway: 1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000
  • Exhale: After Abortion Hotline/Pro-Voice: 1-866-4394253
  • Child Abuse: 1-800-422-4453
  • UK Hotlines:
  • Samaritans (for any problem): 08457909090 e-mail jo@samaritans.org
  • Childline (for anyone under 18 with any problem): 08001111
  • Mind infoline (mental health information): 0300 123 3393 e-mail: info@mind.org.uk
  • Mind legal advice (for people who need mental-health related legal advice): 0300 466 6463 legal@mind.org.uk
  • b-eat eating disorder support: 0845 634 14 14 (only open Mon-Fri 10.30am-8.30pm and Saturday 1pm-4.30pm) e-mail: help@b-eat.co.uk
  • b-eat youthline (for under 25’s with eating disorders): 08456347650 (open Mon-Fri 4.30pm - 8.30pm, Saturday 1pm-4.30pm)
  • Cruse Bereavement Care: 08444779400 e-mail: helpline@cruse.org.uk
  • Frank (information and advice on drugs): 0800776600
  • Drinkline: 0800 9178282
  • Rape Crisis England & Wales: 0808 802 9999 1(open 2 - 2.30pm 7 - 9.30pm) e-mail info@rapecrisis.org.uk
  • Rape Crisis Scotland: 08088 01 03 02 every day, 6pm to midnight
  • Italian Hotlines:
  • Telefono Amico (for support in case of depression, solitude, all kind of emotional needs):199 284 284 (every day, 10am - 24pm)
  • Telefono Azzurro (for kids and teenagers): 1 96 96 (24h a day, 365 days a year); 114 (for immediate danger, 24h every day)
  • Antiviolenza Donne (for women victims of any sort of violence): 1522 (24h every day)
  • Alcolisti Anonimi (Alcoholics anonymous): 06 66.36.620
Dec 4

Dialogue about consent should be happening in every community. What are you doing to spread the word that CONSENT IS SEXY?

un-birthdayparties:


**Victoria’s Secret may not love CONSENT, but we do.**


Nobody likes to feel like they’ve been duped—least of all a Virgo. And I was. I ain’t even mad, though. In this case, I’d say I did exactly what I was supposed to.

I’ve noticed a lot of rude bear comments floating through the blogosphere aimed towards people who weren’t immediately skeptical of the Pink loves Consent campaign, and I get it, I really do. Victoria’s Secret has been perpetuating negative body image and cultural insensitivity for ages and it was a far stretch from their usual routine to release a body-positive, sex-positive panty-line that promotes *gasp* CONSENT. 

HOWEVER. Notice how many of us were aching to believe that it was true. I would have gone out and dropped the money on consent-is-sexy underwear in a heartbeat. The fact that so many people DID believe the hoax and DID reblog information about the panty line isn’t going to go unnoticed by VS executives. The optimist in me wants desperately to believe that the fact that we all got a tricked by some clever little feminists on a mission (FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture is currently taking credit) means that VS is going to have to take note of the demographics they’ve been alienating. Are you listening, Victoria’s Secret?  

The crafty hoax had a lot of things going for it that I personally would love to see in a panty line (or, you know, in life): gender neutral language regarding both the panty-wearing folk and their sexual partners, plus-sized models, womyn of color as models, sex-positivity, and most importantly, promotion of CONSENT. 

Who wouldn’t want any of that to be trendy? Those who fell for the hoax are the reason the hoax was a good idea in the first place: it got people talking about the importance of consent, it got Victoria’s Secret an email inbox full of demands for the faux-line, and it reminded retailers everywhere to pay attention to the kind of goods their consumers want. Activism like this wouldn’t work if we didn’t show our support, so personally? I’m okay with admitting I wanted those damn panties.

<3 Ruth Elizabeth

(photo/info source)

**Last post about panties for now, I promise. But the KNOWhomo family encourages all of our panty-wearing folks and anyone who loves panty-wearing folks to keep speaking up and demanding retailers start promoting consent.

Sep 1
LGBTQ* Ally Tips
Graphic from Trinity&#8217;s Q Soc (of Ireland)
Following text from UC Davis&#8217; Trans* Ally Tips Page
Trans Ally Tips

SOME WAYS TO BE A GOOD TRANS ALLY&#8230;
•    Don’t ever out a transperson. This is dangerous to their safety &amp; can invalidate their identity.  Likewise, be aware of your surroundings when discussing trans issues with a transperson. For their safety &amp; comfort, they may prefer not to discuss these topics in public places or among strangers.•    Always use the pronouns &amp; name the person wants you to use. If you’re unsure, ASK!  If you make a mistake, correct yourself, &amp; politely (&amp; subtly, if possible) correct others if they use the wrong pronoun.•    Ask when &amp; where it’s safe to use their chosen name &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; gender, and emphasize the ways in which sex &amp; 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, &amp; 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” &amp; “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 &amp; 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 &amp; bodies can be intensely personal &amp; 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, &amp; 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 &amp; wear dresses).  Like non-trans people, we have varying forms of gender expression.•    Recognize the diversity of trans &amp; 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 &amp; 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 &amp; prejudices as a normatively gendered person.•    Think about what makes you uncomfortable &amp; why.•    Don’t let transphobia slide.  Confront it as you would confront all other forms of oppression. Trans issues are rarely discussed &amp; when they are it is often in a negative light. Transphobia is equally oppressive as (&amp; works in conjunction with) sexism, homophobia, racism, classism, etc.•    Talk about trans issues/rights.  Engage people in discussions &amp; share your knowledge. The majority of “information” people have about trans issues is based on stereotypes &amp; 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 &amp; can make a difference in whether we pass, &amp; whether we feel safe/comfortable. Always remember that people may be more likely to listen to &amp; take cues from non-trans people than from transpeople.  What you say &amp; do matters!•    Don’t just mourn or take action when transpeople are murdered.  Celebrate trans lives &amp; work at making trans &amp; 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 &amp; understanding to deserve that T.•    Above all respect and support transpeople in their lives &amp; choices.

LGBTQ* Ally Tips

Graphic from Trinity’s Q Soc (of Ireland)

Following text from UC Davis’ Trans* Ally Tips Page

Trans Ally Tips

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* Safety and Ally Assistance
(photo from University of Richmond&#8217;s Common Ground)
(following text from Youth Pride, Inc)

Ten suggestions for reducing homophobia in your environment
1. Make no assumption about sexuality. If a student has not used a pronoun when discussing a relationship, don&#8217;t assume one. Use neutral language such as &#8220;Are you seeing anyone&#8221; instead of &#8220;Do you have a boyfriend&#8221;. Additionally, do not assume that a female student who confides a &#8220;crush&#8221; on another girl is a lesbian. Labels are often too scary and sometimes not accurate. Let students label themselves.
2. Have something gay-related visible in your office. A sticker, a poster, a flyer, a brochure, a book, a button&#8230; This will identify you as a safe person to talk to and will hopefully allow a gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning youth to break his/her silence. SAFE ZONE campaign stickers and resources can provide this visibility.
3. Support, normalize and validate students&#8217; feelings about their sexuality. Let them know that you are there for them. If you cannot be supportive, please refer to someone who can be. Then work on your own biases by reading, learning and talking to people comfortable with this issue. And always remember, the problem is homophobia not homosexuality.
4. Do not advise youth to come out to parents, family and friends as they need to come out at their own safe pace. Studies show as many as 26% of gay youth are forced to leave their home after they tell their parents. IT IS THEIR DECISION and they have to live with the consequences. Help them figure out what makes sense for them.
5. Guarantee confidentiality with students. Students need to know their privacy will be respected or they will not be honest about this important issue. If you cannot maintain confidentiality for legal reasons, let students know this in advance.
6. Challenge homophobia. As a role model for your students, respond to homophobia immediately and sincerely. Encourage in-service trainings for staff and students on homophobia and its impact on gay and lesbian youth.
7. Combat heterosexism in your classroom. Include visibly gay and lesbian role models in your classroom.
8. Learn about and refer to community organizations. Familiarize yourself with resources and call them before you refer to make sure they are ongoing. Also, become aware of gay-themed bibliographies and refer to gay-positive books.
9. Encourage school administrators to adopt and enforce anti-discrimination policies for their schools or school systems which include sexual orientation. The language should be included in all written materials next to race, sex, religion, etc.
10. Provide role models. Gay and straight students benefit from having openly gay teachers, coaches and administration. Straight students are given an alternative to the inaccurate stereotypes they have received and gay students are provided with the opportunity to see healthy gay adults. You, as teachers, can help by making gay and lesbian students feel more welcome.
Suggestions compiled by Youth Pride, Inc.

LBGTQ* Safety and Ally Assistance

(photo from University of Richmond’s Common Ground)

(following text from Youth Pride, Inc)

Ten suggestions for reducing homophobia in your environment

1. Make no assumption about sexuality. If a student has not used a pronoun when discussing a relationship, don’t assume one. Use neutral language such as “Are you seeing anyone” instead of “Do you have a boyfriend”. Additionally, do not assume that a female student who confides a “crush” on another girl is a lesbian. Labels are often too scary and sometimes not accurate. Let students label themselves.

2. Have something gay-related visible in your office. A sticker, a poster, a flyer, a brochure, a book, a button… This will identify you as a safe person to talk to and will hopefully allow a gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning youth to break his/her silence. SAFE ZONE campaign stickers and resources can provide this visibility.

3. Support, normalize and validate students’ feelings about their sexuality. Let them know that you are there for them. If you cannot be supportive, please refer to someone who can be. Then work on your own biases by reading, learning and talking to people comfortable with this issue. And always remember, the problem is homophobia not homosexuality.

4. Do not advise youth to come out to parents, family and friends as they need to come out at their own safe pace. Studies show as many as 26% of gay youth are forced to leave their home after they tell their parents. IT IS THEIR DECISION and they have to live with the consequences. Help them figure out what makes sense for them.

5. Guarantee confidentiality with students. Students need to know their privacy will be respected or they will not be honest about this important issue. If you cannot maintain confidentiality for legal reasons, let students know this in advance.

6. Challenge homophobia. As a role model for your students, respond to homophobia immediately and sincerely. Encourage in-service trainings for staff and students on homophobia and its impact on gay and lesbian youth.

7. Combat heterosexism in your classroom. Include visibly gay and lesbian role models in your classroom.

8. Learn about and refer to community organizations. Familiarize yourself with resources and call them before you refer to make sure they are ongoing. Also, become aware of gay-themed bibliographies and refer to gay-positive books.

9. Encourage school administrators to adopt and enforce anti-discrimination policies for their schools or school systems which include sexual orientation. The language should be included in all written materials next to race, sex, religion, etc.

10. Provide role models. Gay and straight students benefit from having openly gay teachers, coaches and administration. Straight students are given an alternative to the inaccurate stereotypes they have received and gay students are provided with the opportunity to see healthy gay adults. You, as teachers, can help by making gay and lesbian students feel more welcome.

Suggestions compiled by Youth Pride, Inc.

Anti-Bullying Laws in the American School System
Maps provided by GLSEN

Anti-Bullying Laws in the American School System

Maps provided by GLSEN

LGBTQ* Voices You Should Know
Ryan Sallans, trans* activist/educator/author, speaking at Memorial Park in Nebraska.
Check out Ryan&#8217;s book SECOND SON
Check out Ryan&#8217;s TUMBLR

LGBTQ* Voices You Should Know


Ryan Sallans, trans* activist/educator/author, speaking at Memorial Park in Nebraska.

Check out Ryan’s book SECOND SON

Check out Ryan’s TUMBLR

Jul 2

LGBTQ* Theory Books (You May Want) To Know

  • Feminism is Queer: The Intimate Connection between Queer and Feminist Theory - Mimi Marinucci

  • Mad for Foucault: Rethinking the Foundations of Queer Theory (Gender and Culture) - Lynne Huffer

  • Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity - Judith Butler

  • Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature (First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies) - Qwo-Li Driskill (Editor), Chris Finley (Editor), Brian Joseph Gilley (Editor), Scott Lauria Morgensen (Editor)

  • Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Transgenderism - Patricia Gherovici 


  • Queer Cowboys: And Other Erotic Male Friendships in Nineteenth-Century American Literature - Chris Packard


  • Aberrations In Black: Toward A Queer Of Color Critique (Critical American Studies) - Roderick A. Ferguson


  • Queer Girls in Class (Counterpoints: Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education) - Lori Horvitz 
LGBTQ* Stats You Should Know 
(2012, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force)

LGBTQ* Stats You Should Know 

(2012, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force)

Jun 9

LGBTQ* Surveys and Polls

12 Least LGBT-Friendly Universities/Colleges in the USA (2012)

  • (information from Huffington Post)

    • (12) Boston College
    • (11) Providence College
    • (10) Wheaton College
    • (9) Hapden-Sydney College
    • (8) University of Notre Dame 
    • (7) Southern Methodist University 
    • (6) College of the Ozarks
    • (5) Thomas Aquinas College
    • (4) Brigham Young University
    • (3) Texas A&M University 
    • (2) Grove City College
    • (1) University of Dallas
"Awesome" graphic to increase the greatness of your day

"Awesome" graphic to increase the greatness of your day

May 2

LGBTQ* Polls and Charts

FryDay Poll: LGBTQ* Global Rights


May 2
LGBTQ* Coming Out
WikiHow&#8217;s Weigh-In on Coming Out
Edited byBen Rubenstein  (following from WIkiHow)
In this guide, the term gay has been used to include all forms of homosexuality and bisexuality, whether that be people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or pansexual.
Know if you are Gay. Sometimes people question their sexuality. There are many degrees of sexual orientation, and if you find you don&#8217;t fit easily into one category, perhaps you are bisexual. Don&#8217;t allow yourself to be labeled until, or unless, you are ready and willing to be. If you feel that you don&#8217;t fit, or you can&#8217;t understand why you aren&#8217;t like other people in your life because you are different, remember that you are you, and not anyone else; and that being yourself and accepting yourself for the person that you are is something to be immensely proud of. 
Remember that you didn&#8217;t choose to be attracted to members of the same sex, and that attempts to change your orientation are usually painful and pointless in the end. When talking with heterosexual friends or family members, it&#8217;s sometimes tough to help them understand this, because they have no frame of reference for your experience. Try to encourage others to see your sexual orientation in the same way as they see your eye colour - it is something you were born with and did not choose. It is something that is simply a part of your being, and not something you can change. There isn&#8217;t any need to - being gay is just another way of being, and there is nothing wrong with it at all, neither is there anything wrong with you for being gay. 
Develop and express your individuality - if your preferred way of doing something strays from the mainstream, whatever it may be, then be proud of it - you are the one and only you. Understand that a person who is gay is no different from any other person. Like everyone else, gay people have dreams and goals, and want companionship and love just like anyone else you know. Strive every day to be the best person you can be, and remind yourself of the positive qualities and attributes that make you uniquely who you are.
Tell yourself that for people to accept you, first you must accept yourself. If you can&#8217;t accept your sexual orientation and feel comfortable and confident in your own skin, then other people find it harder to accept you fully. It&#8217;s your right to love; no one has the right to tell you otherwise.Tell yourself: &#8220;I am a person with feelings and intellect and a life, just like everyone else. I am unique and individual, and no one has the right to choose my life for me. The fact that I am gay is just another facet of who I am, just as being creative, or optimistic, or having brown eyes is. I may not be like many of my friends, but I choose to live my life authentically and happily. It&#8217;s my life, and I choose to be happy&#8221;.
Remember that you are not alone. There are many, many gay people in all sorts of communities, and there are many people there for you when you need support. There may be agencies, groups, advisers, family members and friends that you can turn to, even if it is just someone to inform of your feelings. Find a group or a hangout where you feel comfortable, and where there will be other gay people to talk with. Make some new friends, and by doing so, you will establish a new network of supportive and encouraging people around yourself. 
Show people who you are. Coming out of the closet is the boldest step in accepting your sexual orientation, but now that you are able to live &#8220;out&#8221;, it does not mean that you have to change who you are or what you like. Don&#8217;t go trying to change yourself or wishing that you were like the other people in your life to cater to the comfort levels of others - there are over 6.7 billion people in the world, and you can&#8217;t please everyone - and those who care about you will still love you for who you are. If someone can&#8217;t accept the one small fact of who you are that is your sexuality, and can&#8217;t still respect you for the person that you are, then they aren&#8217;t worth your time or letting it bother you, because it&#8217;s not your fault that the person can&#8217;t accept it. 

TIPS:

Be selective. The entire world does not need to know about your sexual orientation. It is not necessary to broadcast who you are, and no one should make you, if you find that telling everyone makes you uncomfortable. Know that, while you want and deserve to live an authentic life, it may not be a good idea to expose yourself to narrow-minded people who may offend you.
Don&#8217;t come out to a particular person if it doesn&#8217;t feel right to you. This is a good rule to follow in general - there could be many reasons why, but if it doesn&#8217;t &#8220;feel right" then it is probably not the right time to come out to that person. The time to tell them may be later, or never. What is most important is that you come out to yourself. Once you are at ease with your own sexual orientation and have a healthy self-image, the when and how of coming out often fall into place naturally.
Don&#8217;t worry about what others think; what is important is that you are true to yourself and considerate of others - that doesn&#8217;t mean you need to cater to the sensibilities of others. If a friend or a member of your family is having trouble coming to terms with your orientation, you may have to give them time and be patient, or in the long term face the end of that friendship.
If you are in a relationship, refrain from using the word &#8220;room-mate&#8221; or words to that effect to describe your partner. And don&#8217;t let your loved ones get away with that, either - if you allow them to pretend by introducing your partner as your &#8220;friend&#8221; or &#8220;room-mate,&#8221; then you&#8217;re allowing them to put a mask on you and your partner, both. Don&#8217;t get nasty about it, just correct them gently, for example:"Well, yes we do live together. Auntie Joan, David is my partner" or "Auntie Joan, I noticed that Jo was introducing you to my girlfriend, Andrea. We dated for a couple of months before moving in together, and we&#8217;ve been together about a year now. I&#8217;m so glad you finally get to meet her&#8230; Andi, come here, sweetie, and meet my Aunt Joan".Once your family get the idea that you aren&#8217;t about to sit back and let them believe that you and David are "just room-mates", or that you and Andi are "just really good friends", they will stop attempting to put a mask on your relationship and be more open, too.

Remember that being gay does not require you to conform to typical gay stereotypes. Most people who are gay are indistinguishable from those that aren&#8217;t, share the same interests, goals and dreams for their lives. Being a homosexual person does not necessarily make you any less masculine or feminine, and there is no need or pressure to conform to stereotypes that don&#8217;t feel right to you - because you are who you are.
Someone who is transgender (*wording changed by knowhomo) can also be gay. There are plenty of FTMs who are gay, who are into other guys and same goes for MTFs, MTFs who are into other girls. Gender and sexuality are not the same thing. It shows that being gay does not make one &#8220;less of a wo/man&#8221;

LGBTQ* Coming Out

WikiHow’s Weigh-In on Coming Out

Edited byBen Rubenstein  (following from WIkiHow)

In this guide, the term gay has been used to include all forms of homosexuality and bisexuality, whether that be people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or pansexual.

  1. Know if you are Gay. Sometimes people question their sexuality. There are many degrees of sexual orientation, and if you find you don’t fit easily into one category, perhaps you are bisexual. Don’t allow yourself to be labeled until, or unless, you are ready and willing to be. If you feel that you don’t fit, or you can’t understand why you aren’t like other people in your life because you are different, remember that you are you, and not anyone else; and that being yourself and accepting yourself for the person that you are is something to be immensely proud of. 
  2. Remember that you didn’t choose to be attracted to members of the same sex, and that attempts to change your orientation are usually painful and pointless in the end. When talking with heterosexual friends or family members, it’s sometimes tough to help them understand this, because they have no frame of reference for your experience. Try to encourage others to see your sexual orientation in the same way as they see your eye colour - it is something you were born with and did not choose. It is something that is simply a part of your being, and not something you can change. There isn’t any need to - being gay is just another way of being, and there is nothing wrong with it at all, neither is there anything wrong with you for being gay. 
  3. Develop and express your individuality - if your preferred way of doing something strays from the mainstream, whatever it may be, then be proud of it - you are the one and only youUnderstand that a person who is gay is no different from any other person. Like everyone else, gay people have dreams and goals, and want companionship and love just like anyone else you know. Strive every day to be the best person you can be, and remind yourself of the positive qualities and attributes that make you uniquely who you are.
  4. Tell yourself that for people to accept you, first you must accept yourself. If you can’t accept your sexual orientation and feel comfortable and confident in your own skin, then other people find it harder to accept you fully. It’s your right to love; no one has the right to tell you otherwise.Tell yourself: “I am a person with feelings and intellect and a life, just like everyone else. I am unique and individual, and no one has the right to choose my life for me. The fact that I am gay is just another facet of who I am, just as being creative, or optimistic, or having brown eyes is. I may not be like many of my friends, but I choose to live my life authentically and happily. It’s my life, and I choose to be happy”.
  5. Remember that you are not alone. There are many, many gay people in all sorts of communities, and there are many people there for you when you need support. There may be agencies, groups, advisers, family members and friends that you can turn to, even if it is just someone to inform of your feelings. Find a group or a hangout where you feel comfortable, and where there will be other gay people to talk with. Make some new friends, and by doing so, you will establish a new network of supportive and encouraging people around yourself.
  6. Show people who you areComing out of the closet is the boldest step in accepting your sexual orientation, but now that you are able to live “out”, it does not mean that you have to change who you are or what you like. Don’t go trying to change yourself or wishing that you were like the other people in your life to cater to the comfort levels of others - there are over 6.7 billion people in the world, and you can’t please everyone - and those who care about you will still love you for who you are. If someone can’t accept the one small fact of who you are that is your sexuality, and can’t still respect you for the person that you are, then they aren’t worth your time or letting it bother you, because it’s not your fault that the person can’t accept it.

TIPS:
  • Be selective. The entire world does not need to know about your sexual orientation. It is not necessary to broadcast who you are, and no one should make you, if you find that telling everyone makes you uncomfortable. Know that, while you want and deserve to live an authentic life, it may not be a good idea to expose yourself to narrow-minded people who may offend you.
  • Don’t come out to a particular person if it doesn’t feel right to you. This is a good rule to follow in general - there could be many reasons why, but if it doesn’t “feel right" then it is probably not the right time to come out to that person. The time to tell them may be later, or never. What is most important is that you come out to yourself. Once you are at ease with your own sexual orientation and have a healthy self-image, the when and how of coming out often fall into place naturally.
  • Don’t worry about what others think; what is important is that you are true to yourself and considerate of others - that doesn’t mean you need to cater to the sensibilities of others. If a friend or a member of your family is having trouble coming to terms with your orientation, you may have to give them time and be patient, or in the long term face the end of that friendship.
  • If you are in a relationship, refrain from using the word “room-mate” or words to that effect to describe your partner. And don’t let your loved ones get away with that, either - if you allow them to pretend by introducing your partner as your “friend” or “room-mate,” then you’re allowing them to put a mask on you and your partner, both. Don’t get nasty about it, just correct them gently, for example:

    • "Well, yes we do live together. Auntie Joan, David is my partner" or "Auntie Joan, I noticed that Jo was introducing you to my girlfriend, Andrea. We dated for a couple of months before moving in together, and we’ve been together about a year now. I’m so glad you finally get to meet her… Andi, come here, sweetie, and meet my Aunt Joan".

      Once your family get the idea that you aren’t about to sit back and let them believe that you and David are "just room-mates", or that you and Andi are "just really good friends", they will stop attempting to put a mask on your relationship and be more open, too.
  • Remember that being gay does not require you to conform to typical gay stereotypes. Most people who are gay are indistinguishable from those that aren’t, share the same interests, goals and dreams for their lives. Being a homosexual person does not necessarily make you any less masculine or feminine, and there is no need or pressure to conform to stereotypes that don’t feel right to you - because you are who you are.
  • Someone who is transgender (*wording changed by knowhomo) can also be gay. There are plenty of FTMs who are gay, who are into other guys and same goes for MTFs, MTFs who are into other girls. Gender and sexuality are not the same thing. It shows that being gay does not make one “less of a wo/man”
Apr 9
GLSEN’S ICEBREAKERS
(read more HERE)
1) Common Ground - Source: Kerry Ashforth
Students and faculty advisors stand in a circle. One person begins by saying, “I’ve got a younger sister,” or some other statement that is true for them. Everyone for whom this is also true steps into the center of the circle. Everyone who doesn’t have a younger sister stays on the outside. You can always choose not to step into the circle. The game often brings up personal and important issues that students may not want to discuss in a more formal setting. This also allows us to recognize our differences and similarities.
2) Gender Stereotypes - Source: Various
Trace a male and a female body on butcher paper, then have a free-for-all where everyone writes/expresses as many gender stereotypes as they can think of, and place those stereotypes on the bodies where they would apply (i.e. “boys are smart at math” would be placed on the head of the male body). From here, you can talk about how gender stereotypes and traits relate to perceptions about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people - as well as how these stereotypes limit our possibilities, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. These exercises can also be done using stereotypes of gay men and lesbians - helping us to recognize that everyone has different traits that don’t define our sexual orientation or gender.
3) Culture Walk - Source: Kerry Ashforth
There are one or two mediators, and they begin by asking a group of people, for example, women, to move to one side of the room. The people who then haven’t identified as women ask questions, and the women give them answers. Then the women get to say what they’d like other people to know about them. You don’t have to “talk” or “walk”.
4) Pretzel, Knots - Source: various.
Group building cooperation game. Everyone stands in a circle. Everyone puts his right hand forward into the middle and grabs the right hand of someone. Then, take your left and hand grab the left hand of someone else in the circle. Thus, with your right hand you are attached to one person’s right hand, and your left hand is attached to someone else’s left hand. You are all now in a tangled ring of bodies. Without letting go, untangle yourselves. You may switch positions of your hands, but do not break the ring.
Sometimes the group is tangled in one big loop, but sometimes it is tangled in several smaller ones.

GLSEN’S ICEBREAKERS

(read more HERE)

1) Common Ground - Source: Kerry Ashforth

Students and faculty advisors stand in a circle. One person begins by saying, “I’ve got a younger sister,” or some other statement that is true for them. Everyone for whom this is also true steps into the center of the circle. Everyone who doesn’t have a younger sister stays on the outside. You can always choose not to step into the circle. The game often brings up personal and important issues that students may not want to discuss in a more formal setting. This also allows us to recognize our differences and similarities.

2) Gender Stereotypes - Source: Various

Trace a male and a female body on butcher paper, then have a free-for-all where everyone writes/expresses as many gender stereotypes as they can think of, and place those stereotypes on the bodies where they would apply (i.e. “boys are smart at math” would be placed on the head of the male body). From here, you can talk about how gender stereotypes and traits relate to perceptions about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people - as well as how these stereotypes limit our possibilities, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. These exercises can also be done using stereotypes of gay men and lesbians - helping us to recognize that everyone has different traits that don’t define our sexual orientation or gender.

3) Culture Walk - Source: Kerry Ashforth

There are one or two mediators, and they begin by asking a group of people, for example, women, to move to one side of the room. The people who then haven’t identified as women ask questions, and the women give them answers. Then the women get to say what they’d like other people to know about them. You don’t have to “talk” or “walk”.

4) Pretzel, Knots - Source: various.

Group building cooperation game. Everyone stands in a circle. Everyone puts his right hand forward into the middle and grabs the right hand of someone. Then, take your left and hand grab the left hand of someone else in the circle. Thus, with your right hand you are attached to one person’s right hand, and your left hand is attached to someone else’s left hand. You are all now in a tangled ring of bodies. Without letting go, untangle yourselves. You may switch positions of your hands, but do not break the ring.

Sometimes the group is tangled in one big loop, but sometimes it is tangled in several smaller ones.