Day of Silence April 15th 2011
April 14, 2011

Friday, April 15th is the National Day of Silence sponsored by GLSEN. To find out how you can participate go to their website:

http://www.dayofsilence.org/

GLSEN Day of Silence PSA with Lance Bass:

http://youtu.be/T8kNYV5EAVw

Take action. Be a part of the solution. Let’s replace the prejudice and hatred with compassion and Respect for All.

-MsQueer

©2011 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

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Graeme Taylor: 14-year old Rights Advocate Extraordinaire
November 23, 2010

Graeme Taylor, a 14-year old student from Ann Arbor, Michigan, addressed the Howell School Board this past week with an eloquent and impassioned plea on behalf of a teacher who had been put on suspension without pay after ejecting students from his class for what he deemed to be anti-gay remarks.

Taylor’s remarks, which were not prepared, drew the attention of national media through a video first posted by a local news source that quickly went viral. No need to try to describe it, you can view here and you’ll get the picture. This young man is articulate, intelligent and confident in his extemporaneous address.

Here are some additional sources for the original story, and link to the video of his address:

openly-gay-ann-arbor-teens-defense-of-howell-teacher-gains-national-attention

Ann Arbor teenager Graeme Taylor on the Ellen Show

Yesterday he was featured on The Ellen Show and gave her a run for her money while expressing how he has come to be accepting of his identity. Watch here:

By his own admission, Graeme Taylor survived a suicide attempt at the age of 9 years. But he has come back from the bullying that drove him to nearly end his life to becoming a strong advocate for self-acceptance, human rights and fairness.

Most people discount our young people, yet they are far more sophisticated and knowledgeable than we adults give them credit for. The world is smaller today, faster, and with the advent of  the internet connecting people all around the globe, our youth are more informed and cognizant of the diversity of the Human Family, as well as critical issues of the day than I believe many of us were.

What impressed me most about this young man is how much he reminds me of the young people that grew up as part of my extended family. I’ve been privileged to work and travel with some extraordinary youth.

They were all home schooled and they accompanied their parents to many states and countries, participating in cross-cultural programs, and personal development presentations. The world was their classroom and their worldliness reflected that fact.

These young people were raised in an environment where Respect was paramount. Guided by the wisdom and experience a capable Elder, they were treated as capable individuals. They were raised to be responsible, i.e. to “respond with ability” to whatever they encountered. The adults who had the privilege to work with these young people learned a great deal about themselves in the process, their own upbringings, how to heal the past, and create a better present.

When children are raised with Respect, and provided the opportunity to realize their full potential at each step of their development, rather than being sheltered and denying their intelligence and creativity, they are fully capable of delivering a positive contribution to family, community and society at large.

Graeme Taylor is not atypical. When raised in an environment of acceptance and love, and given responsibility, young people will rise to the occasion. This 14 year old’s sexual identity isn’t really the issue here – it’s not the most important part of the story. The real heart of this story is how a young person can evolve into a courageous, forthright citizen when given the opportunity.

We need to encourage and listen to more young leaders like Graeme Taylor. Obviously one organization agreed, in that he was presented with a $10,000 Scholarship by Tonic.com, “a digital media company dedicated to promoting the good that happens around the world each day. We share the stories of people and organizations that are making a difference by inspiring good in themselves and others.”

Right on!  -MsQueer 🙂

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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Awesome “It Gets Better” Project
September 23, 2010

There is a new video project on YouTube that I found through Facebook via The Trevor Project and GLSEN posts – how’s THAT for Social Networking!

So here’s the deal (directly from the description on YT): “If you’re gay or lesbian or bi or trans, and you’ve ever read about a kid like Billy Lucas and thought, “Fuck, I wish I could’ve told him that it gets better,” this is your chance. We can’t help Billy, but there are lots of other Billys out there—other despairing LGBT kids who are being bullied and harassed, kids who don’t think they have a future—and we can help them….”

http://www.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject

Here’s the background from Dan Savage, as it appears in his column “Savage Love” at http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=4940874

I just read about a gay teenager in Indiana—Billy Lucas—who killed himself after being taunted by his classmates. Now his Facebook memorial page is being defaced by people posting homophobic comments. It’s just heartbreaking and sickening. What the hell can we do?

Gay Bullying Victim Who Survived

Another gay teenager in another small town has killed himself—hope you’re pleased with yourselves, Tony Perkins and all the other “Christians” out there who oppose anti-bullying programs (and give actual Christians a bad name).

Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother’s property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body.

Nine out of 10 gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school, and gay teens are four times likelier to attempt suicide. Many LGBT kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids.

“My heart breaks for the pain and torment you went through, Billy Lucas,” a reader wrote after I posted about Billy Lucas to my blog. “I wish I could have told you that things get better.”

I had the same reaction: I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.

But gay adults aren’t allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and churches don’t bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied. Many of these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay children from growing up to be gay—or from ever coming out—by depriving them of information, resources, and positive role models.

Why are we waiting for permission to talk to these kids? We have the ability to talk directly to them right now. We don’t have to wait for permission to let them know that it gets better. We can reach these kids.

So here’s what you can do, GBVWS: Make a video. Tell them it gets better.

I’ve launched a channel on YouTube—www ­.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject—to host these videos. My normally camera-shy husband and I already posted one. We both went to Christian schools and we were both bullied—he had it a lot worse than I did—and we are living proof that it gets better. We don’t dwell too much on the past. Instead, we talk mostly about all the meaningful things in our lives now—our families, our friends (gay and straight), the places we’ve gone and things we’ve experienced—that we would’ve missed out on if we’d killed ourselves then.

“You gotta give ’em hope,” Harvey Milk said.

Today we have the power to give these kids hope. We have the tools to reach out to them and tell our stories and let them know that it does get better. Online support groups are great, GLSEN does amazing work, the Trevor Project is invaluable. But many LGBT youth can’t picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can’t imagine a future for themselves. So let’s show them what our lives are like, let’s show them what the future may hold in store for them.

The video my husband and I made is up now—all by itself. I’d like to add submissions from other gay and lesbian adults—singles and couples, with kids or without, established in careers or just starting out, urban and rural, of all races and religious backgrounds. (Go to www.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject to find instructions for submitting your video.) If you’re gay or lesbian or bi or trans and you’ve ever read about a kid like Billy Lucas and thought, “Fuck, I wish I could’ve told him that it gets better,” this is your chance. We can’t help Billy, but there are lots of other Billys out there—other despairing LGBT kids who are being bullied and harassed, kids who don’t think they have a future—and we can help them.

They need to know that it gets better. Submit a video. Give them hope.

mail@savagelove.net

So if you have a message you want to get through to our young people to give them hope for getting through their school experience, get a YouTube account and submit your video! -MsQueer

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved. (Note: Quoted material from other authors and websites remains the property of the original authors. )

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Are Attacks on Our Allies Attacks on Us?
July 28, 2010

When allies are defamed, why should we care? What’s the first question that pops up in the ensuing conversation? Is she/he gay? Now mind you we’re talking about a conversation taking place between two (or more) LGBTQ persons. So we don’t want to be labeled, profiled, judged, etc….but what do we gravitate to? You guessed it.

How many of us realize that we could not have advanced as far as we have come since Stonewall without the love and support of straight friends, family and associates? Our Allies. How many of us can relate from a very personal place what it means to be unfairly judged, have blatant lies tossed at us; to be defamed to our family, friends, associates, and the public at large? Well, the good news – if you can call it that – is that it’s not just happening to LGBTQ folk these days. The bad news is that it’s still happening at all.

One case in point is that of Parisha Taylor. I have worked with this woman for almost 25 years. I know of NO ONE more inclusive, more of a friend and ally to the LGBTQ community. She has been hounded by a yellow journalist creep, Michael Sangiacomo, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, for over 20 years now. Why? Because she dared to expose their connection to a man who misappropriated funds and goods that were supposed to be donated to an Indian reservation in the southwest. Things were fairly friendly between Parisha and the boy barracuda Sangiacomo up to that point, but after that little departure in ethics, things started to tank.

Over the last twenty years Sangiacomo has periodically harassed Parisha, and the humanitarian organization which she founded and later turned over to the capable leadership of associates.

Grandmother Parisha’s Native heritage, which has been verified, was attacked by Sangiacomo and his rag, with the help of some local AIM boys who jumped on the bandwagon, probably to take focus away from the fact that they were selling CDIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaska Native Blood) Cards for $150 to whoever wanted them, doing drugs and engaging in other criminal activities.

Now Sangiacomo and his yellow press rag are at it again 20 years later. Why? Because Parisha Taylor has become active in Kingman AZ helping to create job fairs and assist out-of-work people to get on their feet and offer the city of Kingman encouragement in economic growth. Wow – that’s sinister, Mike! WTF????

As LGBTQ people we have had lifetimes of being harassed by cretins like Sangiacomo, who has on numerous occasions been exposed for writing “interviews” containing “quotes” from individuals he NEVER SPOKE WITH. They prey on whomever they can to get a sensational story – doesn’t matter if they have to make up the details because all the lawyers will tell you it’s next to impossible to prosecute a libel suit, and it’s next to impossible to get a retraction. So the press gets a free ride at the expense of whomever….Is that what freedom of the press is supposed to be about?

I’m speaking up as a woman who has been out as a lesbian for over 40 years. I believe that we owe support to those who have supported us. We’re all in this together – and when one of us is attacked, it affects the whole.

This is a 20-year old smear campaign that reporter Michael Sangiacomo has carried out despite evidence that all he has “reported” were lies and rumors from uninformed sources. His UNSUBSTANTIATED accusations, blatant lies and attacks are made against people I consider my extended family, people I have been affiliated with for over 25 years in a non-profit humanitarian organization that has always been dedicated to helping people empower themselves through continuing education, personal and professional development and spiritual growth.

Parisha Taylor’s accomplishments speak for themselves. She has dedicated her life to assisting others –as individuals, communities, nations and globally. Mike Sangiancomo is a scumbag who has advanced the practice of yellow journalism into the 21st century where it doesn’t belong. I am encouraging my LGBTQ family to write to the Cleveland Plain Dealer and let them know that wantonly destroying peoples’ lives is not acceptable. This is a call to action. This is an ally who has been there for us. Time to reciprocate.  -MsQueer, aka Deb Adler

Follow these links:

Parisha Taylor

Parisha-On-Line

Parisha’s Circle Blog

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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More Info to Help Save The Criminal Minds Ladies
June 20, 2010

Here’s more ways to make yourself heard. This is about Sexism in its most blatant form. Get on board and help these women out. We will be heard!

1. The petition to keep Paget and AJ on CM full time: http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?cmwomen

And here is contact info for CBS people:

Email CBS http://www.cbs.com/info/user_services/fb_global_form.shtml

Email addresses for:

President and CEO, Les Moonves: lmoonves@cbs.com

President, CBS Paramount Network TV, David Stapf dstapf@cbs.com

President, CBS Paramount Network TV Entertainment Group, Nancy Tellem, ntellem@cbs.com

Executive Chairman and Founder, Sumner Redstone sredstone@cbs.com

The company, it’s divisions and it’s division executives are listed here: http://www.cbscorporation.com/our_company/divisions/index.php

Email or call all the of the affiliates http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/07/31/utility/main517034.shtml

2. Call CBS and tell them or leave voicemail: (212) 975-3241/3247/3245

Call CBS Paramount (323) 956-5000

CBS Executive Comment Line: 323-575-4913 CBS Television City 323-575-2345

3. Contact the Executives at CBS.

Ms. Nina Tassler, President CBS Entertainment 7800 Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90039-2112 (323) 575-2747 ntassler@cbs.com

Mr. Kelly Kahl Senior Exec VP of Programming CBS Television Network 51 West 52nd St. New York, NY 10019 kkahl@cbs.com

Someone in another thread spoke with this woman, Melissa Perez, and she indicated that the flood of calls and emails are making a difference! Email her! melissa.perez@cbs.com

Poster on another site shared this phone number for CBS (212) 975 3247 said they actually spoke to a person.

REMEMBER TO BE RESPECTFUL. Swearing and rude attitudenal language will not help. (You can throw darts at your CBS Eye Target later!) 🙂

For the complete text of the fax letter I sent to CBS President of Entertainment yesterday, see:

http://debadler.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/contacts-to-save-the-criminal-minds-ladies/

Stay Tuned!

-MsQueer 🙂

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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CBS Screws Criminal Minds Actresses
June 19, 2010

This one may look like “fluff” on the surface, but the overtones of sexist bias and discrimination is just too much to look past.

details at http://debadler.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/fans-fight-for-criminal-minds-actresses-unfairly-axeddown-sized-by-cbs/

I will be providing updates here as well at my other blogs. In the meantime, help some talented kick-ass women fight back their employer’s unfair labor practices. Sign the petition to  Keep A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster on Criminal Minds at

http://www.petitiononline.com/cmwomen/petition.html

Thanks! – MsQueer

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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Iowa Supreme Court Grants Same Sex Marriage Rights
April 3, 2009

Here it is “hot off the press” from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force right into my email box 43 minutes ago! Freedom To Marry is Affirmed in IOWA!!!

Iowa Supreme Court Grants Same Sex Marriage Rights

Read the email and follow the link to the NGLTF news release:

http://www.thetaskforce.org/press/releases/pr_040309

🙂 MsQueer

©2009 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Banco Provincia Commercial Promotes Transgender Inclusion
March 3, 2009

NOTE: ORIGINAL STORY at  http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2009/03/bank-ad-teaches-transgender-inclusion.html

THIS IS A TEAR JERKER! (Happy, poignant tears, that is.) It’s short and to the point but, WOW – does it ever pack a wallop!!!!!!

Consider that this commercial was produced by a national bank in South America. HELLO! Okay Citibank, Bank America, whoever is left standing in the current fiasco…care to follow suit? MsQ 🙂

Posted on YouTube by caroldelpozo2008,

 

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YouTube Project-4-Awesome Vids Feature The Trevor Project
January 4, 2009

What better way to tell someone about why they should donate to the nation’s only 24-7 Helpline for LGBTQ Youth, The Trevor Project, than through the video-perspective of two young movie-makers who chose to highlight the non-profit for YouTube’s Project 4 Awesome 2008?

I personally cannot say enough about the work of  The Trevor Project and the urgent and overwhelming need to offer support to our LGBTQ youth, many of whom are bombarded by cruel verbal and physical assaults from classmates and family, not to mention the ignorance of society-at-large.

These two young men are articulate, passionate and focused. When I hear young peope speak about how stupid they think name-calling and prejudice against others really is, it gives me hope for the future of the human family. Witness for yourself:

For more information about this young Film-maker, see http://www.youtube.com/user/r0sewhip137

For more information about this film-maker, see http://www.youtube.com/user/tyleroakley

ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO THE ORIGINATORS OF THESE VIDEOS. I OWN NOTHING!

-MsQueer

The Attic is Philly’s Safe Haven for LGBTQ Youth
January 2, 2009

I love it when you, the readers, take time to share resources such as this one, which I discovered through the sharing of  “the hostess” in response to my “Study Shows Tolerance Lowers Gay Teen Suicide Rate” post recently. (That’s what I want this blog to be all about! So spread the word and contact me with your resources!)

The Attic Youth Center, at  South 16th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102  offers safe space and programs for empowering LGBTQ Youth.

It’s Mission, as stated on the website:  The Attic Youth Center creates opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (l/g/b/t/q) youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promotes the acceptance of l/g/b/t/q youth in society.

It’s Vision: The Attic’s vision is one of inclusion where all individuals are valued and respected — a community where all young people have access to the resources they need to grow into healthy, independent, productive community members. The Attic’s mission and vision are supported by our multifaceted programmatic approach.

♥ PHONE: (215) 545-4331 ♥ EMAIL: info@atticyouthcenter.org   ♥

♥ WEBSITE: http://www.atticyouthcenter.org/index.php ♥

The Attic has published a list of resources for LGBTQ Youth for the Philadelphia area, other cities in Pennsylvania, as well as websites for national organizations and services.   See: www.atticyouthcenter.org/resources/General_Resource_List.pdf

In addition, while researching The Attic, I found an articulate article written by Sharon Cole regarding the decision by the Philadelphia School District to include Gay and Lesbian History Month in its 2006-2007 Academic Calendar.

Here is an excerpt:

The decision did not go unchallenged, however. According to reports in The Philadelphia Inquirer, school district officials received a deluge of irate e-mails and were visited by a few incensed parents who threatened to pull their kids from Philly public schools. But the district stood firm in its final decision stating, “We have our policy that says the district is committed to foster knowledge and respect for all.”

 

Though elated about the district’s inclusion, Carrie Jacobs, executive director and a founding member of the Attic Youth Center, an organization offering support and a safe haven for LGBT youth in center city Philadelphia, said the blatant intolerance of diversity displayed in response to the new calendar, of which 200,000 were distributed, made it all too clear just how far we are from true acceptance of gays and how desperately LGBT-identified youth need our support.

 

“There were people at the school commission reform who were so against gay history being printed on the calendars that it got to the point where some of them called other adults in the room faggots,” said Jacobs. “I was shocked by incredibly mean spirited it all was.”

 

Legacy of Neglected Youth

Shouting the term “faggots” is a pure example of the kind of verbal abuse anti-gay individuals impose upon others to cause fear, Jacobs said. Only when kids are the recipients, that fear can cause long-lasting damage. She explained that the name-calling causes oppression, and when that is coupled with a lack of education and awareness surrounding sexual orientation, social and emotional development can be

stunted for LGBT youth.

To read the article in its entirety, click here:  www.ct.gov/dcf/lib/dcf/wmv/news/protecting_our_kids.pdf

-MsQueer

©2009 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All language from The Attic website is the property of The Attic. All Rights to “Protecting Our Kids” belongs to the author. )

 


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