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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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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“Day Without A Gay” Positive Action Call for Demonstration of Service
December 10, 2008

National day of demonstration “Day Without A Gay” was proclaimed for December 10th, 2008 – to coincide with the International Human Rights Day, which clebrates the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as adopted by the United Nations.

(for more information see my post at http://debadler.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/universal-declaration-of-human-rights-60th-anniversary/)

The Day Without A Gay advocates for GLBT and allies to call in “Gay” rather than “sick” (because WE AREN’T!!!) as a formal protest of the recent defeat of California’s Proposition 8 as well as other pro-gay legislative efforts this election. It is a “stand up and be counted” demonstration reminescent of similar demonstrations enacted by Hispanic andLatin-American people around the country May 1st, 2006.  An economic boycott has also been suggested.

What I am sooo very proud to see and announce is the CALL TO POSITIVE ACTION.  Organizaers of the day have asked for a massive “volunteer-in” – take the day off from work and go do service at a local vounteer organization to HELP OTHERS!!!!

from the site http://www.daywithoutagay.org:

Gay people and our allies are compassionate, sensitive, caring, mobilized, and programmed for success. A day without gays would be tragic because it would be a day without love.

On December 10, 2008 the gay community will take a historic stance against hatred by donating love to a variety of different causes.

On December 10, you are encouraged not to call in sick to work. You are encouraged to call in ‘gay’–and donate your time to service!”

I COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF! This is the type of action we need to be taking to move our cause forward. This will give us infinite gains in the long run!

Way to go guys! Here’s to the organizers: Sean Hetherington and partner. Congratulations for setting the stage for a new activism that will achieve results, not just token news coverage and angry reactions. (Most fools recognize when you respond to love with anger, it just looks really stupid! :-0)

day-without-a-gay

Contact organizers and share your stories: info@daywithoutagay.org

🙂 MsQueer

©2008 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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Transgender Day of Remembrance
November 20, 2008

I received this as an email from the Communty of LGBT Centers. You can find out more about this organization at www.lgbtcenters.com

centerlink-graphic

The Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memory of those murdered because of anti-transgender prejudice, is recognized annually on November 20. CenterLink mourns the loss of those lost to violence and oppression and encourages you to take part in observances in you local area.

In 2007 the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects reported that 16% of their overall reports were anti-transgender motivated, and that 231 transgender women filed reports of violence. Attacks against transgender men went up 65%. According to the International Transgender Day of Remembrance website, there have been 14 known transgender people murdered during 2008 in the U.S. alone. As murders of transgender people are often underreported, or the identity of transgender murder victims are misreported, there is no way to know accurate numbers.

Local events may vary, so be sure to check with a local LGBT Center, Gay-Straight Alliance or other support group likely to be participating. Click on the links below for more information on observances at local community centers.

Wingspan
Tucson, AZ
http://wingspan.org/content/evt_details.php?event_id=2732

L A Gay & Lesbian Center
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.lagaycenter.org

Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center
San Jose, CA
http://www.defrank.org/cgi-bin/calendar.pl?view=Event&event_id=7194&popup=1&clickday=20

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD
http://www.eqmd.org/tdor

Affirmations
Ferndale, MI
http://www.goaffirmations.org

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center
New York, NY
http://www.gaycenter.org/node/1929

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of Greater Cleveland
Cleveland, OH
http://lgcsc.org/thecenter/articles.php?req=read&article_id=77

Terry Stone
CenterLink
http://www.glbtcenters.org

©2008 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.
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B.R.A.V.O.
August 1, 2008

The Buckeye-Region Anti-Violence Organization’s website offers some excellent links and resources for victims of hate crimes, discrimination, domestic violence and/or sexual assault. This is one of many helpful sites. It’s based in Columbus, Ohio in “the heart of it all.”  -MsQueer

from the homepage (http://www.bravo-ohio.org/) –

BRAVO is your link to survivor advocacy and assistance – regarding hate crimes, discrimination, domestic violence, and sexual assault. BRAVO is a founding member of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). Each year, we document incidences of hate crimes and domestic violence along with similar agencies across the United States. BRAVO is a proud CoSMO Member Agency! Community Shares of Mid-Ohio (CoSMO) is a collaboration of 45 community-based organizations, serving Central Ohio and beyond.

BRAVO Survivor Services: If you or someone you know has experienced violence, threats or intimidation BRAVO can work with you to help ensure your safety and provide the support you need.

Help in Crisis: Hate Crimes Reporting & Documentation Hospital Advocacy Domestic Violence Support Safety Planning Support for Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Housing Assistance in working with your local police, including help filing reports Support Groups Accompaniment and Advocacy if you go to court.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need information regarding any of the services we provide or to report violence. Contact our toll-free number anywhere or at anytime:

1 866 86 BRAVO (1-866-862-7286)

“Serving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Communities since 1996”

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Remembering Lawrence King
July 28, 2008

15-year-old Lawrence King was murdered at school on February 12, 2008.

 

Friends say the reason was his sexual orientation and gender expression. 

 

Since February 15th, at http://www.rememberinglawrence.org,

176 vigils have been posted. And more conitnue….

 

To view tributes by Ellen Degeneres and a young film-maker, Jeremy E. Love, see videos below. To read more about this gentle person who was taken from us, and learn what can be done in your community to prevent another such tragedy, go to

 

http://www.rememberinglawrence.org

 

Help to bring awareness to your community so that all children and youth can live in safe environments, free from hate and prejudice, regardless of their race, color, religion, creed, or sexual orientation. Help us create a safe planet for our children and all people.

 

-MsQueer

 

 

a tribute and appeal from young filmmaker Jeremy E. Love

 

commentary and tribute by Ellen Degeneres


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