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LGBTQ* News We Are Following Right Now

Move On Petition for Damien

Let Damian Walk for Graduation in Male Cap and Gown

By Torrey Moorman (Contact)

To be delivered to: Barbara Rothweiler, Ph.D. Principal, Principal, https://www.saintpiusx.com/

PETITION STATEMENT
Let Damian Garcia walk in a boy’s black cap and gown for St. Pius’ graduation on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

Petition Background

St. Pius High School administration is refusing to recognize Damian’s gender identity, even though all his classmates, teachers, and family know Damian as a male. The administration says that because he has “female” marked on his birth certificate — despite the fact that he is now legally Damian and not Brandi — he still must walk in a girl’s cap and gown for graduation.

There are currently 23,596 signatures
NEW goal - We need 25,000 signatures
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.

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

"Awesome" graphic to increase the greatness of your day

"Awesome" graphic to increase the greatness of your day

May 8
tyleroakley:

Rights for LGBTQ Americans, a state-by-state guide.

tyleroakley:

Rights for LGBTQ Americans, a state-by-state guide.

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.

Apr 5
PFLAG’S:
What Can I Do to Make My
School Safe for LGBT Youth?



Here are 5 ways you can make your school safer for LGBT students no matter what your role:
If you’re a student:
Doing nothing can be worse than the act itself: Report harassment, bullying, or threats targeted at LGBT students to a trusted teacher or advisor.
Encourage your teachers to address homophobia and transphobia in the classroom by posting safe-space posters, stopping hate speech, and supporting gay-straight alliances (GSAs).
Watch what you say: Don’t use words associated with being LGBT as euphemisms for stupid and explain to friends and peers who do why they shouldn’t.
Ask your school to address LGBT issues by having a Pride Week, bringing a speaker to your school, and talking about sexual orientation and gender identity in class.
Support your LGBT peers by joining a GSA: the A stands for ally.
If you’re a teacher:
Stop hate speech in your classroom. Speak out if you hear a student in your class or in the halls using words like “fag”, “dyke”, or “gay” as put-downs or insults.
Ask your administrator for the opportunity to attend “Respect for All” training for diversity and LGBT issues.
Participate in educators’ conferences, and speak to current and future teachers about being allies for LGBT staff and students.
Post safe-space posters, materials, or just talk to your students about why your classroom a safe-space, free of harassment, bias, and violence.
Support gay-straight alliances, chaperon LGBT positive proms, and help LGBT students and staff advocate for fair school policies.
If you’re an administrator or guidance counselor:
Reach out to both parents and students to help make them aware that peers may be struggling with sexual orientation or gender identity.
Meet with teachers and parents to help them learn about the issues that their students, children, or their children’s peers may be facing as a LGBT person.
Make sure your library, school healthcare workers, and health teachers include accurate information about gender identity, LGBT sexuality, and health.
Ensure that the NYC DOE’s “Respect for All” program and the Chancellor’s Regulation on Bias-Related Harassment and Bullying are known in your school, and that students, parents, and teachers know how to respond to bias incidents.
Let students know that your office is open to them, should they need support speaking about bullying, violence, harassment, or conflict at home.
If you’re a parent:
Understand the issues and terms associated with LGBT issues, and teach your children what you learn.
Talk to your kids about hate speech, bullying, and acceptance. Let them know that not participating in these activities, and standing up for others, earns your respect.
Work with your PTA to create allied groups in your community, focused on making your school safer.
Write to local papers and contact your school administrators to make it known that your family and your community are concerned about safe school issues.
Let your children know that you accept them, their friends, and their peers, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Make your home a supportive and open space.
(image from University of New Mexico)

PFLAG’S:

What Can I Do to Make My

School Safe for LGBT Youth?

Here are 5 ways you can make your school safer for LGBT students no matter what your role:

If you’re a student:

  • Doing nothing can be worse than the act itself: Report harassment, bullying, or threats targeted at LGBT students to a trusted teacher or advisor.
  • Encourage your teachers to address homophobia and transphobia in the classroom by posting safe-space posters, stopping hate speech, and supporting gay-straight alliances (GSAs).
  • Watch what you say: Don’t use words associated with being LGBT as euphemisms for stupid and explain to friends and peers who do why they shouldn’t.
  • Ask your school to address LGBT issues by having a Pride Week, bringing a speaker to your school, and talking about sexual orientation and gender identity in class.
  • Support your LGBT peers by joining a GSA: the A stands for ally.

If you’re a teacher:

  • Stop hate speech in your classroom. Speak out if you hear a student in your class or in the halls using words like “fag”, “dyke”, or “gay” as put-downs or insults.
  • Ask your administrator for the opportunity to attend “Respect for All” training for diversity and LGBT issues.
  • Participate in educators’ conferences, and speak to current and future teachers about being allies for LGBT staff and students.
  • Post safe-space posters, materials, or just talk to your students about why your classroom a safe-space, free of harassment, bias, and violence.
  • Support gay-straight alliances, chaperon LGBT positive proms, and help LGBT students and staff advocate for fair school policies.

If you’re an administrator or guidance counselor:

  • Reach out to both parents and students to help make them aware that peers may be struggling with sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Meet with teachers and parents to help them learn about the issues that their students, children, or their children’s peers may be facing as a LGBT person.
  • Make sure your library, school healthcare workers, and health teachers include accurate information about gender identity, LGBT sexuality, and health.
  • Ensure that the NYC DOE’s “Respect for All” program and the Chancellor’s Regulation on Bias-Related Harassment and Bullying are known in your school, and that students, parents, and teachers know how to respond to bias incidents.
  • Let students know that your office is open to them, should they need support speaking about bullying, violence, harassment, or conflict at home.

If you’re a parent:

  • Understand the issues and terms associated with LGBT issues, and teach your children what you learn.
  • Talk to your kids about hate speech, bullying, and acceptance. Let them know that not participating in these activities, and standing up for others, earns your respect.
  • Work with your PTA to create allied groups in your community, focused on making your school safer.
  • Write to local papers and contact your school administrators to make it known that your family and your community are concerned about safe school issues.
  • Let your children know that you accept them, their friends, and their peers, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Make your home a supportive and open space.

(image from University of New Mexico)

Depression Phone Assistance/Support
Crisis Help Line –Any/All Crisis: 1-800-233-4357
National Adolescent Suicide Helpline: 1-800-621-4000
National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1-800-273-TALK (8245)
Suicide Crisis Line: 1-800-999-9999
Suicide & Depression Crisis Line – Covenant House: 1-800-999-9999
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (2433) –US, U.K., Canada, and Singapore
 
LGBTQ* Assistance/Support
Gay & Lesbian National Support: 1-888-THE-GLNH (1-888-843-4564)
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth Support Line: 1-800-850-8078
The Trevor Helpline: 1-800-850-8078
Lesbian & Gay Switchboard: (UK) 0121 622 6589
 
Youth & Teen Phone Assistance/Support
Child Helpline: (UK) 0800 1111
National Youth Crisis Support: 1-800-448-4663
Runaway Support (Confidential): 800-231-6946
Teen Helpline: 1-800-400-0900
Youth America Hotline: 1-877-YOUTHLINE (1-877-968-8454)
Youth Crisis Support: 1-800-448-4663 or 1-800-422-0009
 
 
 

Depression Phone Assistance/Support

Crisis Help Line –Any/All Crisis: 1-800-233-4357

National Adolescent Suicide Helpline: 1-800-621-4000

National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1-800-273-TALK (8245)

Suicide Crisis Line: 1-800-999-9999

Suicide & Depression Crisis Line – Covenant House: 1-800-999-9999

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (2433) –US, U.K., Canada, and Singapore

 

LGBTQ* Assistance/Support

Gay & Lesbian National Support: 1-888-THE-GLNH (1-888-843-4564)

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth Support Line: 1-800-850-8078

The Trevor Helpline: 1-800-850-8078

Lesbian & Gay Switchboard: (UK) 0121 622 6589

 

Youth & Teen Phone Assistance/Support

Child Helpline: (UK) 0800 1111

National Youth Crisis Support: 1-800-448-4663

Runaway Support (Confidential): 800-231-6946

Teen Helpline: 1-800-400-0900

Youth America Hotline: 1-877-YOUTHLINE (1-877-968-8454)

Youth Crisis Support: 1-800-448-4663 or 1-800-422-0009

 

 

 

LGBTQ* Statistics We Can No Longer Ignore
Irish school polls find 1 in 5 lbgtq* students skip school because they are bullied(picture above)
It is estimate 160,000 students skip school in the US each day because of bullying

LGBTQ* Statistics We Can No Longer Ignore

Irish school polls find 1 in 5 lbgtq* students skip school because they are bullied(picture above)

It is estimate 160,000 students skip school in the US each day because of bullying

Political Cartoons
Steve Sack — artist

Political Cartoons

Steve Sack — artist

Films To Keep On Your Radar

BULLY

Bully Official Trailer #1 - Weinstein Company Movie (2012) HD

This year, over 5 million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus, at home, through their cell phones and on the streets of their towns, making it the most common form of violence young people in this country experience. The Bully Project is the first feature documentary film to show how we’ve all been affected by bullying, whether we’ve been victims, perpetrators or stood silent witness. The world we inhabit as adults begins on the playground. The Bully Project opens on the first day of school. For the more than 5 million kids who’ll be bullied this year in the United States, it’s a day filled with more anxiety and foreboding than excitement. As the sun rises and school busses across the country overflow with backpacks, brass instruments and the rambunctious sounds of raging hormones, this is a ride into the unknown. For a lot of kids, the only thing that’s certain is that this year… (from BULLY’s youtube page)

LGBTQ* Political Cartoons

I know one place that is now open.

LGBTQ* Political Cartoons

I know one place that is now open.

LGBTQ* Books To Keep On Your Radar
One Teacher in Ten: LGBT Educators Share Their Stories
This is a collection of more than 30 accounts by gay and lesbian teachers from schools and universities across the country. Each narrative recounts its author’s experiences either as an openly gay or lesbian teacher or during the period of coming out. Specific school settings, such as the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, are mentioned. Common themes discussed are student/teacher relationships, teacher/teacher relationships, AIDS, support groups, the process of coming out, and community reactions. This book will be useful for studying the culture of schools at all levels. An appendix contains biographies of the teachers who tell their stories, a list of support groups, and, most importantly, an essay on the legal history and current state of gay and lesbian rights across the country. For most education collections.Nancy E. Zuwiyya, Binghamton City Sch. Dist., N.Y.

LGBTQ* Books To Keep On Your Radar

One Teacher in Ten: LGBT Educators Share Their Stories

This is a collection of more than 30 accounts by gay and lesbian teachers from schools and universities across the country. Each narrative recounts its author’s experiences either as an openly gay or lesbian teacher or during the period of coming out. Specific school settings, such as the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, are mentioned. Common themes discussed are student/teacher relationships, teacher/teacher relationships, AIDS, support groups, the process of coming out, and community reactions. This book will be useful for studying the culture of schools at all levels. An appendix contains biographies of the teachers who tell their stories, a list of support groups, and, most importantly, an essay on the legal history and current state of gay and lesbian rights across the country. For most education collections.
Nancy E. Zuwiyya, Binghamton City Sch. Dist., N.Y.

LGBTQ* Advice, Insight and Education

How Educators Can Help:
1.) Treat the topic of sexual orientation as you would an other human difference
2.) Illustrate ways in which diversity has had a positive effect on our culture
3.) Do not allow students to use names such as “fag,” “butch,” “dyke,” “homo,” etc. in a negative fashion. Treat these words the same way you give notice to ethnic or racial slurs. Create a safe space for discussion.
4.) Let others show that derogatory gestures and jokes are not amusing — they cause pain
5.) Be away that some LGBTQ* students are very often uncomfortable, invisible, isolated and need acceptance from you 
6.) Some LGBTQ* students will probably not admit to being LGBTQ* due to denial, need to conform or personal acknowledgement. Don’t confront these students! Be an ally and allow them time.
7.) You can convey respect and show that each student is valued for characteristics within his/her control.
8.) Sexual orientation is a minor (but important) part of a person’s existence and should not be overly emphasized.
9.) When you speak to someone it is important to remember that that person may be indeed related to the “invisible” minority and can easily be hurt. Be a good friend. Do not use a student or fellow peer as examples without their permission.
10.) If a student tells you he/she is LGBTQ*, thank the person for trusting you and keep it to yourself. If a student needs help, the school psychologist or social worker will be available and the information will be kept confidential.

(Taken from a university Safe Haven manual. Picture source unknown.)

LGBTQ* Advice, Insight and Education

How Educators Can Help:

1.) Treat the topic of sexual orientation as you would an other human difference

2.) Illustrate ways in which diversity has had a positive effect on our culture

3.) Do not allow students to use names such as “fag,” “butch,” “dyke,” “homo,” etc. in a negative fashion. Treat these words the same way you give notice to ethnic or racial slurs. Create a safe space for discussion.

4.) Let others show that derogatory gestures and jokes are not amusing — they cause pain

5.) Be away that some LGBTQ* students are very often uncomfortable, invisible, isolated and need acceptance from you 

6.) Some LGBTQ* students will probably not admit to being LGBTQ* due to denial, need to conform or personal acknowledgement. Don’t confront these students! Be an ally and allow them time.

7.) You can convey respect and show that each student is valued for characteristics within his/her control.

8.) Sexual orientation is a minor (but important) part of a person’s existence and should not be overly emphasized.

9.) When you speak to someone it is important to remember that that person may be indeed related to the “invisible” minority and can easily be hurt. Be a good friend. Do not use a student or fellow peer as examples without their permission.

10.) If a student tells you he/she is LGBTQ*, thank the person for trusting you and keep it to yourself. If a student needs help, the school psychologist or social worker will be available and the information will be kept confidential.

(Taken from a university Safe Haven manual. Picture source unknown.)