We’ve Come a Long Way, But Keep Your Hiking Shoes
December 3, 2014

As we approach the ending of 2014, there is a lot for which to be grateful as LGBTQ Persons. Marriage Equality still has its fight on in some states, but the battle has been won in others, and truly – I see this as going the same way the ERA did years ago. Popular opinion of the vast majority of the population in America shows support for Gay Marriage, or at the very least…indifference as to the need to oppose it. We’re almost there.

Of course we know from humankind’s history that you can legislate prejudice away, but eliminating it as a practice is quite another issue. I still believe in Respect and Dignity for All. I don’t expect to change everyone. I just want to co-exist peacefully alongside my neighbors and have the same rights and protections for my family, as they wants for theirs.

I want to know that “community” is not just a campy word used to describe a sub-culture or fragment of the population, but a truly inclusive term that encompasses my neighbors, my fellow residents of state, country and planet.

I received an email from Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force with an invitation to let her know what my concerns were for the coming year. Of course, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only person who got that email, still it was a personable gesture and I took some time to put my thoughts together and share.

Here’s what I sent. I share these with you who have followed this blog, and those who may be checking in for the first time. They aren’t necessarily unique or profound, they are just mine…

 

Dear Rea,

Thank you for this opportunity to communicate with you directly. I have 2 major areas of concern that I would like to see as part of our focus for the coming year.

First, according to the StopBullying.gov site, there are still no Federal laws on the books that specifically address bullying. Although  bullying can be covered under other anti-discrimination legislation, I believe that still permits for a degree of “interpretation” when it comes to schools and other institutions. We have made excellent advances in awareness on this issue, but I would also like the awareness and proactive work to extend to the workplace as well. Again, we have made great strides, and I believe we can go even further to ensure that Everyone is guaranteed their Rights and Freedoms as fellow human beings.

Secondly, I’m not even sure what work has been done in this area, so forgive me if I am asking for something already in progress, but I would also like to see more educational efforts and outreach within the LGBTQ community, as well as with law enforcement and other agencies, in the area of domestic violence within LGBTQ relationships and partnerships. I believe we must first remove the “stigma” and element of denial within our own community, and then help to educate the appropriate agencies so that there can be accurate assessment and help can be given to those in need.

I appreciate all your dedication and work on the Task Force, and this invitation to offer my feedback. May you, your family, your staff and friends and their families have meaningful and joyful holidays. After all, we deserve it! 🙂

Sincerely,

Deb Adler

author, MsQueer blog: www.msqueer.com

website: www.debadler.com

 

 

Cheers,

MsQueer

 

 

©2014 Deborah Adler and MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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Bigotry Takes a Hit
August 6, 2010

Another good article on predictable reactions to latest Prop 8 Ruling.

Bigotry Takes a Hit.

Thanks to author Michelle Goldberg

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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LET CONSTANCE MCMILLEN TAKE HER GIRLFRIEND TO THE PROM!
March 13, 2010

I found this on YouTube from Lizzy the Lezzy. Here’s the video and all the information included on her description of this issue, as well as the links to the ACLU site.

Please contact the people listed below and help to correct this injustice. A lesbian high school girl wants to take her girlfriend to the Prom. So the school cancels the Prom! WOW! Say, is it 2010?

“And the Beat Goes On…..”

This is important! Please spread the word!
LET CONSTANCE MCMILLEN TAKE HER GIRLFRIEND TO THE PROM! — Digg it here, let’s get her story worldwide attention! http://digg.com/d31LOSv

The lesbians are behind you Constance!

Help Constance McMillan go to her prom with her girlfriend by confronting the homophobia standing in her way. Here is what you can do:

Respectfully contact superintendent
Teresa McNeece
tmcneece@itawamba.k12.ms.us
(662) 862-2159 Ext. 14

Respectfully contact school principal
Trae Wiygul
twiygul@itawamba.k12.ms.us
(662) 862-3104

Respectfully contact school board member
Eddie Hood
a082315@allstate.com

Respectfully contact school board member
Jackie Nichols
jnichols@itawamba.k12.ms.us

Respectfully contact school board member
Harold Martin
hmartin@itawamba.k12.ms.us

Respectfully contact school board member
Clara Brown
cbrown@network-one.com

Respectfully contact school board member
Tony Wallace
twallace@nexband.com

Only when you do something will you make a difference.

Taken from ACLU Blog of Rights
Constance McMillen, an 18 year-old senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School, approached her schools administration because she wanted to attend prom with her girlfriend, also an IAHS student, and knew that same-sex dates had been banned in the past. After meeting with school officials, she was told that she and her girlfriend would not be allowed to attend together.
The ACLU have filed a complaint in federal court, asking the court to reinstate the prom for all students at the school and charging Itawamba County School District officials with violating Constance McMillens First Amendment right to freedom of expression.

Join the Facebook group “1,000 Strong for Constance McMillan”
and sign the petition!

See also the coverage of this story at Change.org’s LGBT Rights page:

“Protecting LGBT Students from Discrimination”

PLEASE TAKE ACTION! Whether it’s schools or individuals, treatment of this kind is still “bullying” and WE MUST TEACH OUR CHILDREN A BETTER WAY! Let your voice be heard in favor of respect and allowing. That is what is meant in “Justice and Freedom For All!”

-MsQueer

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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2nd Gay Commercial Banned Gets My Ire Up
February 7, 2010

As much as I celebrate that the guys dating service commercial got rejected…

( see https://msqueer.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/weighing-in-on-the-banned-gay-superbowl-ad/)

I TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH THE BANNING of the Go-Daddy.com “Lola” Ad.

Let’s see…we have a super-sized Afro-American portraying a retired football player who goes into the business of designing and selling specialty women’s dresses.  It shows him with the ladies and the dresses doing the obvious “effeminate” thing (shame on Go-Daddy for stereotyping) but falls short of having him in drag or mounting another guy.

So once again I say… WTF????

BTW…CBS WILL be airing an anti-abortion ad by ultra conservative organization “Focus On The Family” when five years ago it REJECTED an ad  from the United Church of Christ which featured a gay couple, citing their policy of dis-allowing “advocacy ads.”

So can anybody say…”Flip-Flop?”   (Or does that only apply to “liberals?”)

Here’s the contact info for CBS. PLEASE SEND YOUR REACTIONS TO THIS BLATANT DISCRIMINATION! Tell them you’re going to pay very close attention to the sponsors they do run on Sunday and BOYCOTT them.

Chris Ender
Senior Vice President, Communications, CBS Television
cender@cbs.com
818-655-1100

LeslieAnne Wade
Senior Vice President, Communications, CBS Sports
lwade@cbs.com
212-975-5171

PLEASE CONTACT THESE PEOPLE AND REGISTER YOUR OBJECTIONS TO THIS BULL.

-MsQueer

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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D.C. Council Votes to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Performed Elsewhere
April 8, 2009

This is from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force press release issued April 7, 2009:

WASHINGTON, April 7 – The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the D.C. Council for its unanimous vote today to recognize marriages of same-sex couples performed in other jurisdictions. A final vote on the measure is expected next month.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“We commend the D.C. Council’s vote. It marks another step toward the full recognition of same-sex couples, their families and their lives. We urge the council to affirm today’s action during its final vote on the bill, and call upon Mayor Adrian Fenty to then sign this important legislation. It is our hope that Congress will ultimately respect the District of Columbia’s passage of a just measure that will provide fair recognition of our relationships.

“As someone who is legally married in California and resides in the District of Columbia, I am personally grateful to the D.C. Council for moving to do the right thing.”

©2009 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved. (NOTE: Content of NGLTF Press Release sole property of  the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. No copyright infringement intended).

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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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Student Voice of Mental Health for College Students Award
January 20, 2009

Recently, in response to one of my posts about teen suicide and lgbtq teen suicides in this country and resources to help, I received a comment from someone who asked me to publicize a video competition that is coming to a conclusion soon, as well as the organization sponsoring it, The Jed Foundation.

Here are excerpts from the poster’s comments: “I’m writing from The Jed Foundation….We are presenting The Jerry Greenspan Student Voice of Mental Health Award for college students who have had mental health issues like the one’s you write about on your site and wanted for you to help spread the word.

“The award is for a video on their experiences with mental health issues and how they are working to raise awareness and encourage their peers on the issue. The award includes a $2,000 scholarship, a trip to NYC to our annual gala in June 2009, recognition through our site and events and possibly appearing on MTVU. The info is on our site (link below).

We are interested… in having folks write about the importance of doing work like this and show casing, if you will, this award we are presenting.

More information at http://jedfoundation.org/programs/student-voice-of-mental-health-award

NOTE: The Deadline for submitting a video to this project is FEBRUARY 13th!  You can download an application from their site address shown here.  Questions can be directed to studentaward@jedfoundation.org.

From their website, I share with you their Mission, as it appears on their About Us page:

Mission 

The Jed Foundation works nationally to reduce the rate of suicide and the prevalence of emotional distress among college and university students. To achieve this end, the organization collaborates with the public and leaders in higher education, mental health, and research to produce and advance initiatives that:

  • Decrease the stigma surrounding emotional disorders and increase help-seeking in the college student population  
  • Increase understanding of the warning signs of suicide and the symptoms of emotional disorders among college students 
  • Build awareness of the prevalence of suicide and emotional disorders among college students 
  • Strengthen campus mental health services, policies, and programs

You can also find the Jed Foundation, among other places on the net at http://www.youtube.com/thejedfoundation

There, you will find a number of videos on “You Are Not Alone – Fight the Stigma” which feature student sharings as well as educational information from professionals dealing with the issues of student mental health.

I have contacted the Jed Foundation and suggested they network with The Trevor Project, since I did not see any specific references to the LGBTQ population. I hope they follow suit.

Here’s one of  their videos:

[NOTE: ALL RIGHTS TO THIS VIDEO BELONG TO THE JED FOUNDATION.]

The Jed Foundation also has a “Half Of Us” Campaign underway that asks students, “How Are You A Friend?” More information about this can be found at http://jedfoundation.org/about/jed-news/how-are-you-a-friend. -MsQueer.

©2009 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved. [NOTE: All language from the Jed Foundation website is the property of The Jed Foundation. No copyright infringement intended.]

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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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Study Shows Tolerance Lowers Gay Teen Suicide Rate
January 1, 2009

Really? 🙂

And now for the real news…Accredited professionals are publishing credible data relevant to gay teens and youth and how to help them survive the hormone years – as if they aren’t confusing enough! – to make it to adulthood as an LGBT person. BRAVO!

So here’s the scoop, courtesy of an excellent story from NPR: 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98782569&ft=1&f=1001  

 

Credit the Research to Caitlin Ryan, Director of the Adolescent Health Initiatives and her team at the Cesar Chavez Institute at San Fransisco State University.  Well done, Ms. Ryan.  

 

We are coming a long way. For mainstream medical professions and the media to acknowledge the Gay Youth population and its particulars is a huge step out of the dark ages. Of course the reactionaries are protesting. Let them protest. What are they really objecting to…a message of compassion? That’s the basis of tolerance, not “putting up with” but ACCEPTANCE and RESPECT.  

 

Christians beware, lest you protest the message from the one you call Jesus, The Christ.  -MsQueer

 

©2008 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved. (NOTE: NPR OWNS ALL RIGHTS to its published story.) 

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