Advice to Help End LGBT Bullying of Youth
If you are the victim of bullying, it can be hard to speak up due to the fear of repercussions—it takes a lot of courage, but speak up you must. Try to de-escalate the confrontation by verbally expressing to the bully that you won’t stand to be treated in such a way—never resort to violence. Make an adult or someone in authority aware of the situation so that proper punishment and apologies can be made.
If you witness someone else being bullied, looking the other way will do nothing but hamper efforts to make anti-LGBT bullying a thing of the past. Take charge for someone who might not be able to take charge for themselves—you could be saving someone’s life.
- Mark Weikel, who writes about issues in the LGBT community.
Advice for the parent of a LGBT youth
My 13-year-old son came out to us this morning. He plans to tell his brothers in the next few days. We love and accept our son, and this news isn’t surprising (but when will the stereotypical neatness kick in?), but we do have some concerns. He has, apparently, already made the news public at school. Any pointers you can give?
“Simply by giving your son your love and support, you have already significantly increased his chances of living a happy and fulfilling life. The importance of an accepting home cannot be overstated.” (The damage that can be done by a hostile family also cannot be overstated: LGBT youth whose families are hostile are eight times likelier to commit suicide than their straight peers. Hostile parents can’t make their gay kids straight, but they can make them dead.)
“The bad news is that school can be a miserable place for LGBT youth,” says Byard. “GLSEN’s 2009 National School Climate Survey found that nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT teens experienced harassment in school in the past year. The good news is that engaged parents can make a huge difference.”
Read the rest of this advice from the AV Club.
Toolkit to Prepare Teachers for Teaching About Respect in Elementary Schools
The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) today released a new toolkit, Ready, Set, Respect! to help elementary educators ensure that all students feel safe and respected and develop respectful attitudes and behaviors. The GLSEN resource provides a set of tools to help educators prepare themselves for teaching about respect to students at the elementary school level.
Download the toolkit from GLSEN.
A Film for Educators Featuring Students Talking About LGBT Topics
“What Do You Know? Six to twelve year olds talk about gays and lesbians” is a new short professional development film produced by Welcoming Schools for school staff and parents. The film features students from Massachusetts and Alabama discussing what they know about gay men and lesbians, what they hear at school, and what they’d like teachers to do. “Teachers Respond” is a four minute video featuring four teachers sharing classroom stories.
The film, directed by Ellen Brodsky, is currently being used in Welcoming Schools trainings across the country and playing in film festivals in Mobile, Alabama; Spokane, Washington; and Barcelona, Spain. The DVD will be available for purchase in early 2012. A study guide will soon be on the Welcoming Schools website.
Visit the Welcoming Schools website for more information about this film.
JJIE.org Best of 2011 LGBT Stories
Rare is the kid who wasn’t thrown headways into a locker, had an unkind comment throw in their direction, suffered through a disagreement with parents or grappled with friendship issues.
Most of us, though, never faced the challenges of young people who happen to be struggling with their sexual or gender identity. School can be intolerable. Family relations and friendships can disintegrate.
See the amazing stories here.
My It Gets Better Story
I have a crooked smile. In 7th grade, when I was sitting alone at a bench after school one day, two boys came up to me screaming things like “dyke”, “lesbo”, and “slut”. Which in hindsight is pretty ironic, considering I’d never even kissed anyone, and I hadn’t even thought about my sexuality, but somehow I was a slutty lesbian. Anyway, one of the kids held me down while another punched me in the jaw a few times. I smile a bit awkwardly now.
Things like this continued to happen up until I graduated 8th grade. I moved to a high school out of my shitty, conservative, small town and to a bigger, more diverse school. There I found a community of freaks and weirdos just like me.
I got really into art and drama and dance, and I still am! I met amazing people who love and support me for exactly who I am. I found a community where I fit in, and you know what I realized? It’s okay not to fit in everywhere, because you will somewhere.
Even though you may feel different, you might feel like a freak, or you might feel like there’s something wrong with you, there isn’t. You’re going to meet people who support you. You’re going to meet people who love you. You’re going to meet people who celebrate you. But for that to happen, you’ve got to hold on.
High School Girl Discriminated Against for Wearing Tuxedo in Yearbook
Ceara isn’t comfortable in such revealing clothing, and had spent her entire high school career wearing more masculine attire. The photographer took Ceara’s picture in a tuxedo instead of the drape, as she requested, but the principal jettisoned that photo and printed the yearbook without either her photo or her name appearing in the senior portrait section.
Photo Credit: Banana Leaf via Flickr