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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Acceptance
February 10, 2011

“What matters most is what’s inside. What matters most is the sense of integrity, of quality and beauty.” –Oprah Winfrey

Two groups of students from the David Lloyd George Elementary and Churchill secondary schools came together recently to stage a “flashmob” scene in a metropolitan shopping mall, Oakridge Centre in Vancouver B.C.. They wanted to do something in support of International Anti-Bullying Day. Their message: Acceptance.

Here’s the phenomenal result:

 

Words from the song they are dancing to include:

“When I see your face

There’s not a thing I would change

Because you’re amazing

Just the way you are.”*

Love and inclusion are the most powerful Forces we have. Respect for All, compassion and allowing are the ways of the Peace Keepers. We have to focus on what we want to create for ourselves, or else we will become the object of our resentments and fears

The best way to accomplish change is to become the change you wish to see in the world.

If we want more acceptance and understanding, then we must be more accepting and understanding. I celebrate the message these young people are communicating and the creative manner in which they chose to broadcast it. May we see more and more of this is the days to come. -MsQueer

 

©2011 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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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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Curing Hate Within the LGBTQ
November 9, 2010

We are at a crossroad as LGBTQ people. We are actively lobbying in the political arena for equal rights. We are also vocal in the socio-cultural arena “demanding” Respect.

We can March, we can Lobby, we can form non-profit Activist groups until we are blue in the face, BUT UNTIL WE ARE WILLING TO LIVE WHAT WE SAY WE WANT WE WILL GET NO-WHERE!

We cannot expect Respect from others when we are not willing to grant it within our own community. Or the Global Community at large. It is not acceptable for us to remain factionalized. We can’t march together for Pride then go off into our little click groups demeaning the others we just walked alongside demanding “Respect for Diversity.”

IF WE WANT CHANGE WE MUST BE THE CHANGE WE WANT!

So if you are a Lesbian and hating Gay Men, or Bisexuals or Transgendered Persons, IT DOESN’T WORK!

If you are a Gay Man who cuts down Lesbians, or Bisexuals or Transgendered Persons, IT DOESN’T WORK!

If you are a Bisexual or Transgendered Person who has made Lesbians or Gays or anyone else the enemy – IT DOESN’T WORK!

If we want to end Bullying we need to stop practicing it. That extends to our Straight Allies. (If we believe that we didn’t choose our sexual orientation then they didn’t either – so let’s not hold that against them!) 😉

I DON’T USUALLY SHOUT THIS MUCH IN THIS SPACE – but I’m tired of the HYPOCRISY.

We need massive change in society – American society in particular, which seems to be way behind the European and some other societies and cultures. If we are going to achieve that then we need to tear down the fences between ourselves as LGBTQ and TRULY live in Respect of one another. We have to heal our “Society” first.

I may not understand everyone’s orientation, any more than I understand everyone’s views or opinions or life experiences. But here’s what I know – I can RESPECT anyone. If I’m going to demand respect for my choices then I MUST be willing to respect those of others – whether or not I agree with or understand them.

Here’s a video that I found on YouTube since the “It Get’s Better” Project took off. It deals with someone within the LGBTQ community who is targeting Transgendered people. Please, let’s put this kind of crap to rest – For everyone’s sake. -MsQ

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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Another 11-year old Commits Suicide over Bullying
April 23, 2009

A second elementary school youth hanged himself last week after enduring anti-gay harassment and bullying at his school in Atlanta, Georgia. As in the case of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, Jaheem Herrera did not identify himself as “Gay.” But his classmates did.

I know I’ve used the phrase “epidemic proportions” here before, but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!

These comments are from GLSEN on YouTube along with some videos shown below:

“Almost 90% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students report being verbally harassed at school because of their sexual orientation. LGBT teens experience homophobic remarks and harassment throughout the school day, creating an atmosphere where they feel disrespected, unwanted and unsafe. Homophobic remarks such as thats so gay are the most commonly heard; these slurs are often unintentional and a common part of teens vernacular. Most do not recognize the consequences, but the casual use of this language often carries over into more overt harassment.

“This campaign aims to raise awareness about the prevalence and consequences of anti-LGBT bias and behavior in Americas schools. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce and prevent the use of homophobic language in an effort to create a more positive environment for LGBT teens. The campaign also aims to reach adults, including school personnel and parents; their support of this message is crucial to the success of efforts to change behavior.”

I’ve got my own plan as to how to counter-act this rising trend in our country’s public and private schools:

Find as many news sites and blogs that are covering this and related stories. TAKE TIME TO MAKE A COMMENT if available. Make sure you check the ability to receive email notification of responses.

Don’t just render an opinion – no matter how passionate it might be – offer web addresses of organizations working to educate and combat this insanity.

The more dialog we initiate, the more we will come together with others who share our concern. THIS IS NOT A GAY ISSUE. This is a SAFE SCHOOLS issue!  It affects all of us. OUR CHILDREN MUST HAVE A SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here’s additional news coverage of this repeat tragedy:

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/dekalb/stories/2009/04/21/boy_suicide_bullying_decatur.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab

 

http://current.com/items/89987540_anti-gay-bullying-blamed-for-another-pre-teen-suicide.htm

 

Some websites that you can refer others to (include these in your comments and/or emails to others, please:

 

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, www.glsen.org

 

Think B 4 You Speak, www.thinkB4youspeak.com

 

The Trevor Project, www.thetrevorproject.org

 

Here’s three great PSA’s from GLSEN and the AdCouncil about “That’s So Gay”  (include the url’s in your comments) – [NOTE: Videos propety of GLSEN. No Copyright infringement intended]

url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWS0GVOQPs0

 

url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C277qAKpUaQ

 

url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEpBYKOs3ys

 

 

DON’T STOP THERE….Contact your local School Board to find out if they have an anti-bullying policy in place.

 

Write an editorial in your local paper…AND SEND IT!

 

 Here’s a statement issued by The Trevor Projects Exec Director, Charles Robbins:

“Everyone at The Trevor Project is deeply saddened to learn about the death of Jaheem Herrera last week in DeKalb County, Georgia. Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with his family and friends during this difficult time.

“Tragically, Jaheem is now the second young person to complete suicide as the result of anti-gay bullying at school in just over two weeks. Although Jaheem did not identify as gay, anti-gay slander was the epithet of choice by his classmates and peers. Defamatory language continues to erode the self-esteem of sexual orientation and gender identity, and its consequences can be fatal as this incident so clearly demonstrates. It is time for both bullying and suicide to be addressed as the public health crises that they are. We are working closely with our colleagues at GLSEN and other national organizations to bring increased visibility and focus to this critical issue.

“The Trevor Project remains committed to supporting public policy and government initiatives that will address suicide prevention programs in every classroom across America. We will also advocate for programs that teach young people to respect one another and learn about the impact of their words and behaviors in the hope of preventing another tragic loss of life. 

“To learn more about suicide prevention, warning signs and resources, please visit The Trevor Project’s Suicide Resources (http://thetrevorproject.org/info.aspx)”

Don’t just shake your head and say, “what a waste.”  MAKE SOME NOISE!!!!! 

 

 NOTE: Videos are sole property of GLSEN and The Ad Council.  The Trevor Project Press Release is sole property of The Trevor Project. GLSEN videos descriptions sole preperty of GLSEN and YouTube. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.

©2009 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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Vermont Legislature Overturns Governor’s Veto to Pass Gay Marriage Law
April 8, 2009

Nine years after the state of Vermont was the first state to intorduce and pass a same-sex civil union law, it became the fourth state to legalize gay marriage. It is the first state to do so through legislative action rather than through the courts.

Details and photos are contained in the following reports:

REUTERS: Vermont Becomes the 4th State To Allow Gay Marriage

Toby Talbot / AP

Toby Talbot / AP

MSNBC: Vermont Lawmakers Legalize Gay Marriage

Toby Talbot / AP

Toby Talbot / AP

YAHOO News: Vermont Legalizes Gay Marriage With Veto Override

You can “Thank Vermont” on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/MarriageEquality

View 17-year-old James Neiley from Charlotte, VT, testifying before the Vermont Senate in favor of Marriage Equality:

NOTE: I recently discovered that this video had been removed from YouTube, but found it here:

http://www.straightgayfacts.com/NATURALGAYNOCHOICE.html

Here is the news release from the National Gay and Lesbian Task force celebrating this historic decision today:

WASHINGTON, April 7 – The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hails the Vermont Legislature’s override today of Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. The Senate passed the measure by 23 to 5 and the House by 100 to 49. Vermont is the first state in the nation to extend the freedom to marry through the legislative process.

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

“Vermont is once again making history. Nine years ago it did so when it became the first state to grant legal recognition of same-sex relationships through its civil unions law; today, it became the first state Legislature to pass and enact a marriage equality measure.

“This is a momentous day and significant turning point in the struggle for the equal treatment of our relationships. The enactment of this bill affirms that only marriage can provide the protections, dignity and respect that the institution bestows. This vote also recognizes that civil unions simply fall short in ensuring same-sex couples are treated equally under the law.

“We salute the courage and commitment of the Vermont state legislative leadership in pursuing this measure’s passage – even successfully overriding the governor’s veto. We especially extend our heartfelt thanks to Vermont Freedom to Marry for its hard work and tireless advocacy for the freedom to marry.”

©2009 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved. (Note: Content of NGLTF press release is sole property of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. No copyright infringement intended.)

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