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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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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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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2008 National Coming Out Day Video from HRC
October 14, 2008

This speaks for itself…

 

All rights to this video belong to HRC 🙂 MsQueer

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10th Annual “National Coming Out Day” Celebrated October 11th
October 13, 2008

October 11th has been designated “National Coming Out Day” since its origination in 1988 by Jean O’Leary  and Dr. Rob Eichberg in celebration of the Second National March on Washington, D.C. for Lesbian and Gay Rights held one year earlier. On that day 500,000 people marched on the Capitol of the United States on behalf of Equal Rights  for Gays and Lesbians.

(SEE: NY TImes/AP article about Jean O’Leary)

Today HRC (Human Rights Campaign) manages the event in the U.S., but the October 11th date is also observed in a number of other countries around the globe, including Canada, Switzerland, Germany and The Netherlands. The United Kingdom marked “National Coming Out Day” on October 12th

The Trevor Project, the nation’s only 24-7 Helpline for LGBT and Questioning Youth, published a “Should I Come Out? Quick Tips for Young People”

SEE: Should I Come Out?

Additional resources include: 

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Glossary of Terms, published by GLAAD (Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)  

http://www.glaad.org/media/guide/glossary.php

Coming Out: A Guide for Youth and Their Allies, published by GLSEN (Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network)

http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/library/record/1290.html 

HRC Resource Guide to Coming Out, published by Human Rights Campaign

http://www.hrc.org/documents/resourceguide_co.pdf

HRC Coming Out as Transgender Guide, published by Human Rights Campaign

http://www.hrc.org/documents/2071_HRC_Coming_Out.pdf

Transgender Glossary of Terms, published by GLAAD

http://www.glaad.org/media/guide/transfocus.php

There are, of course, many more resources online and in your communities. You will find them when you search online for “National Coming Out Day.” 

It is pure joy for me to see these kinds of organized activities publicly supported by national and international humanitarian groups, reported by national news sources, and recognized by Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered Persons and Allies. We have come a long way from the time of my youth, the 1950’s. I celebrate our progress, and look forward to the day when we won’t need a proclamation of a “Coming Out Day” because to do so will be so mundane as to be almost inconsequential. I look forward to the day when we truly celebrate the diversity that exists within each of us an individuals, as community, and as the global community of Humankind.

-MsQueer

©2008 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.


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