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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Honor Day of Silence to Stop Bullying in Schools
April 11, 2009

April 17th, 2009 is this year’s official “Day of Silence” – the 13th such annual commemoration.

THIS IS AN ACTION DAY. Supporters are asked to observe a 24-hour period of silence and carry cards with them explaining to others why they are choosing not to speak on this day. The template for this card,as well as Activist Handbook, web badges, buttons and other helpful information can be obtained in English and Spanish versions at www.dayofsilence.org.

Here is what the cards say:

“Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence (DOS), a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT bullying, name-calling and harassment. I believe that ending the silence is the fi rst step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today.” 

Another suggestion has been to wear red on that day, especially for those who may not be able to observe the silence at their jobs. Videos are also being requested to be posted on YouTube. Please see my response video below.

This is a critical issue facing this country. The statistics regarding LGBTQ youth facing bullying and physical harm at school are staggering. THIS IS NOT JUST AN LGBTQ ISSUE! We are talking about our public (and private) schools. We are talking about basic Human Rights.

Tell your friends, family and co-workers. More information can also be obtained at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, www.glsen.org.

Talk to as many people as you can about this so that we can find solutions that will lead to SAFE SCHOOLS FOR ALL YOUTH.

On April 17th, STOP talking…and carry a card that educates people around you as to your choice.

NOTE: This video was produced by Deb Adler, author of MsQueer. I DO own the rights to this vid (woo-hoo!)

PLEASE GO TO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9cSelrTJk8 and leave comments and ratings. Thanks! 🙂

©2009 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved. [NOTE: content of Day of Silence card belongs to www.dayof silence.org. No copyright infringement intended.]

 

 

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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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TO SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG
February 6, 2009

If you are having difficulty subscribing to this blog, copy and paste this address into your address bar:

https://msqueer.wordpress.com

Then you should be able to use the feed button. If not, please let me know in the comments. I am working on a solution to have feed available from the http://www.msqueer.com address as well.

Thanks! – MsQ

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

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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Home For the Holidays
December 17, 2008

After I wrote “For Parents of Gays” I had some additional thoughts regarding family and holidays. See my post at:

http://debadler.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/home-for-the-holidays/

NOTE: the link at the bottom of that post leads back over to the “For Parents of Gays” post here. [Don’t want to get you into a perpetual loop  🙂  ]

©2008 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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For Parents of Gay Teens
December 16, 2008

So, what do you say when your child announces to you that she or he is “gay?” If you’re looking for the ultimate quintessential answer here out of desperation, you can quit reading now. There is no set “one line” or “approved script” of how to handle delicate interpersonal communications with loved ones – especially the “coming out” issue.

Suggestion: DON’T GO CRAZY. If you feel yourself launching into a judgement, take a moment to ask yourself, “Who’s that talking?”  Is what you may be about to spew all over your own flesh and blood something that you really subscribe to? Or might you be about to premanently render your relationship to your daughter or son altered irrevocably as the result of somebody else’s programs???????

What I mean here is that we all tend to act and react through “filters” – attitudes, opinions and automatic behaviors we have acquired throughout our lives, by observation, upbringing and conditioning (family, community, social-cultural influences, etc.) In other words, we as humans tend to interact with our world and each other as the sum total of the parts that we have taken on from other people in our lives  – almost like “valences” that may not necessarily be the real me or the real you.

But given a particular stimulus, BAM – before we can even think through the situation in front of us – up comes one of those “ghosts” – from somebody else’s past – (i.e. parents, clergy, teachers, authority figures) – like one of those annoying pop-ups that invade your computer screen and you really don’t want it, and don’t quite know how to get rid of it.

This is not to make any of those influence wrong. All those people that are part of our personal make-up are not “bad” – they just are not really us. They are “impressions” we hold onto because we don’t know how to release them without judgement and therefore guilt.

Letting go of Aunt Mary’s homophobia doesn’t make Aunt Mary a bad person – it just means she was expressing through her filters and influences in her life that she acquired…AND THE BEAT GOES ON! Making a choice to get free of that cycle and start a new one is choosing personal freedom and greater sanity.

In the case of being confronted with your teen’s “Coming out” – it can mean the difference between tragedy or triumph.

I found this article recently and wanted to share it with you:  Understanding Your Gay Teen,  A Primer for Parents by Katy Abel (see link below).

If you are a parent of a teen or any age daughter or son who has gone through the painful and fearful exercise of “coming out” to you, I implore you to treat this as a HUGE trust. Your child is looking for acceptance, not necessarily approval. You don’t have to understand the “gay experience” to love your child. Your child wants to know that no matter what, you still love them.

Think about it. They’re risking everything to be honest and open with you. They know from other people’s experiences that “honesty is the best policy” hasn’t always led to a “happy ending.”

Here’s some food for thought, and maybe insight into some of my “filters:” My father came from an Orthodox Jewish family. He fell in love with a woman 16 years his senior who was Lutheran. His family rejected her – and him. In fact, when it became clear that he was going to stand by his wife and not leave her as they had tried to convince him to do, they did the traditional week-long mourning period that follows burial of the dead.

For years there was no communication. When I was about 10 years old, a call came saying that his mother was dying of cancer and wanted to see my father and his family. So we went. It was very awkward, and very painful for my father. In the ensuing years, after his mother’s death, when he went to see his father there was a point in the visit where a silence would set in like a deep chasm that could not be bridged.

When my father died, he asked me not to inform his family until after he was buried. He carried hatred of his sister to his grave. And his pain. All I can say is, it is such a waste. There is nothing that should be more important than blood family – no religion, no philosophy, no politics, NOTHING.

Okay, end of soapbox. But you get the point. Looking back on the American Civil War we can all say “what a waste. Families torn apart, fathers and sons killing each other,  siblings against siblings…” So why would it make sense for any other issue? Let’s step away from the question at hand just far enough to realize that “from a distance” – as the song goes – we all are the same, and we all share far more in common than is justifiable in preserving the illusion of separation and “difference.”

See: Understanding Your Gay Teen, A Primer for Parents by Katy Abel

Additional resources are available through:

 PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) at: www.pflag.org

 Resources for Parents when talking to teens about homosexuality and gay teens, including:

3 Simple Things Parents of Straight Teens Can Do About Homosexuality
Parents of straight teens can do a lot to teach tolerance of gay teens.

My Teen Came Out to Me and I Blew It
Article for parents of gay teens who don’t feel that they have handled it well.

What should I say if my teen tells me he/she is gay, lesbian or bisexual?
Simple FAQ for parents of teens, what to say if your teen tells you he/she is gay lesbian or bisexual.

How Do I Accept My Gay Teen?
Don’t let yourself get confused between ‘accepting your teen’ and ‘accepting that your teen has a different sexual orientation’. This article will help.

Gayteens Resources
Support, information, features and chat rooms for young people, their families and those unsure of their sexuality.

http://parentingteens.about.com/od/gayteens/

Additional topics and authoritative compassionate articles are at this webpage for your assistance.

ADDENDUM: “For Parents of Gay/Lesbian Teens” gives an insightful view of what it feels like to be a parent dealing with discovering their teen’s gay identity.

See: http://www.teenhealthcentre.com/?q=node/53

better-gay-than-grumpy1

May your Christmas, Hannakah, Kwanza and other Holiday Celebrations

be filled with Love and Joy this year!

And may we all be able to celebrate each other as we are:

One with the All That IS.

🙂 MsQueer

©2008 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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Join the HRC Party for Equality to Premiere “The L Word” Final Season Opener
December 13, 2008

Human Rights Campaign and ShowTime are teaming up to throw a “Party for Equality” at various locations across the nation featuring the first episode of The L Word’s final season.

Go here to get the details: season_6_logos-hrc

 

TO RSVP for the event nearest you, go to: http://www.hrc.org/11632.htm

from the “About Us” page at http://www.hrc.org/about_us/index.htm:

About HRC

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

HRC seeks to improve the lives of LGBT Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs. HRC works to secure equal rights for LGBT individuals and families at the federal and state levels by lobbying elected officials, mobilizing grassroots supporters, educating Americans, investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials and partnering with other LGBT organizations.

-MsQueer

©2008 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All content from HRC website remains the property of HRC.)

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Trevor Project Accredited by American Society of Suicidology
December 11, 2008

The Trevor Project has been formally recognized as the only accredited crisis and suicide prevention program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth .

Congratulations to The Trevor Project!  🙂 For more information go to www.thetrevorproject.org

From the Press Release issued by The Trevor Project: 
 LOS ANGELES (Nov. 14, 2008)  
 The Trevor Project, the non-profit organization that operates the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, today announced that it is the only crisis and suicide prevention service delivery program specifically serving the LGBTQ community to be officially accredited by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS).  

This month, The Trevor Project was accredited by AAS, thus recognizing it as an exemplary crisis and suicide prevention program performing according to nationally recognized standards. In order to achieve accreditation, The Trevor Project was required to undergo a rigorous evaluation process, focusing on seven areas of performance: Administration and Organizational Structure, Training Program, General Service Delivery System, Services in Life-threatening Crises, Ethical Standards and Practice, Community Integration and Program Evaluation.

“Receiving accreditation from AAS affirms that, clinically, our crisis and suicide prevention services for young people are top-tier, and positions us as a model of program excellence for other crisis centers,” said Charles Robbins, executive director and CEO, The Trevor Project. “As the only accredited, LGBTQ-specific crisis and suicide prevention helpline, we know our services are vital and we will remain committed to expanding our programs and national outreach.”

This year has been one of tremendous growth for The Trevor Project. Call volume on The Trevor Helpline has increased more than 300% in the last year (2007 to 2008). Last month, The Trevor Project launched TrevorSpace.org, an online, social networking community for LGBTQ youth and their friends and allies. In September, The Trevor Project expanded The Trevor School Workshop Program in New York and Los Angeles, which uses a structured curriculum in schools to address topics around sexuality, gender identity, the impacts of language and behavior and what it means for young people to feel different. In addition, The Trevor Project unveiled a new social marketing campaign in September, to coincide with National Suicide Prevention Week, which is annually sponsored by AAS.  

The Trevor Project received accreditation from AAS just one month prior to its largest, annual fundraiser, Cracked Xmas, which is set for Sunday, Dec. 7 at The Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles. The event is an evening of irreverent comedy, musical performances and awards to benefit The Trevor Project’s lifesaving programs, including the now-accredited helpline.

Suicide is one of the top three killers of young people, and LGBTQ youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. The Trevor Helpline receives more than 18,000 calls from young people in crisis each year. Volunteer counselors undergo more than 40 hours of training, learning to listen and understand without judgment.

Call volume on The Trevor Helpline typically increases during the winter holiday season, as many LGBTQ youth face additional challenges with family rejection and feelings of isolation and depression during the holidays. Young callers often call back after speaking with counselors on The Trevor Helpline to thank them. “I just want to thank you guys for having such an amazing helpline,” said one such 18-year-old caller. “I especially want to thank the counselor who talked to me, because his words truly saved my life.”  

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization that operates the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. The Trevor Helpline, 866-4-U-TREVOR, is a free and confidential service that offers hope through its trained counselors. The Trevor Project also provides lifesaving guidance and vital resources to parents and educators in order to foster safe, accepting and inclusive environments for all youth, at home and at school. The organization was founded by three filmmakers whose film, “Trevor,” about a gay teenager who attempts suicide, received the 1994 Academy Award® for Best Short Film (Live Action). For more information please visit TheTrevorProject.org.  

 

 

-MsQueer©2008 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved. (NOTE: Press Release content is the property of The Trevor Project.)

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