Amid the continued violence, the need for role models is all the more clear. This guy is golden.
Amid the continued violence, the need for role models is all the more clear. This guy is golden.
Saeed Jones writes on BuzzFeed that "black gay kids need heroes too."
Monday, February 18, 2013
Contact: Rick Rosendall
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., is pleased to announce its 2013 Distinguished Service Award recipients. GLAA presents awards to local individuals and organizations that have served the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the national capital area. The awards will be presented at GLAA’s 42nd Anniversary Reception on Thursday, April 25 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at the Washington Plaza Hotel at 10 Thomas Circle, NW. Tickets are $55 and can be purchased by contacting GLAA at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 667-5139; a range of donor levels is also available.
GLAA’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award recipients are:
Today, February 6, is National Gay-Straight Alliance Day. Stand up against bullying, and for every young person's right to a safe educational environment.
Trayvon Martin would have been 18 today. Jonathan Capehart writes about the viciousness his death at the hands of George Zimmerman last year has provoked in some people.
As I have mentioned before, I am a thesis advisor for HS students in DC who are the same age as Trayvon was when he was killed. As I witness their energy and curiosity and passion and hopes, I keep thinking of him. And I think of the George Zimmermans of this country and say, You are going to lose, because the DNA of this country is with these kids, and you can never kill them all, and those you do cut down will remind those who are left to carry on of what is at stake and of the ancestors who are lifting them up. I normally include some curse words, but I am cleaning this up. The heartbreak at the center of this story is ultimately greater than the anger. But a bottomless pit of anger is there.
I'm a bit late with this, but wanted to bring it to your attention: Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Muriel Bowser on January 8 introduced the LGBTQ Homeless Youth Reform Act of 2013. It was co-sponsored by Alexander, Bonds, Barry, Grosso, Wells, Catania, Evans, McDuffie, Pmendelson. It is always welcome to see pro-LGBT bills co-sponsored by a super-majority of councilmembers.
The bill's stated purpose is:
To amend the Homeless Services Reform Act of 2005 and the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Affairs Act of 2006 to ensure that at least every 5 years the Interagency Council on Homelessness coordinates with the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Affairs to calculate the population of homeless youth in the District who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning, to ensure that the Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Affairs develop and outline policies that will reduce the rate of homelessness in the District among youth who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning, to provide funding to homeless service providers for additional beds that are specifically reserved for homeless youth who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning, and to require homeless service providers to implement best practices for the culturally competent care of homeless youth who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning.
This is consistent with GLAA's call for greater resources for homeless LGBT youth. We look forward to a hearing being scheduled on the bill. Thanks to CMs Cheh and Bowser and their co-sponsors.
(Hat tip: Martin Garcia)
For Release: Monday, January 28, 2013
Contact: Rick Rosendall 202-667-5139
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., today launches its 2013 Election Project and releases both its questionnaire for D.C. Council candidates and its policy brief on local LGBT issues in Washington, D.C., "Agenda: 2013." This updated compilation of local advocacy on a wide range of issues is intended for candidates in the April 23 special election for At-Large Councilmember as well as journalists, activists, and the general public. "Agenda: 2013" is online, in both PDF and HTM formats, at:
GLAA's D.C. Council candidate questionnaire is online at: http://www.glaa.org/archive/2013/cqspecial.pdf
GLAA's Election Project 2013 main page is at: http://www.glaa.org/archive/2013/election2013.shtml
The "Agenda: 2013" policy brief is divided into six broad subject areas: Marriage and Family, Public Health, Public Safety and Judiciary, Human Rights, Youth and Seniors, and Consumers and Businesses. It is prefaced by a two-page Action Item Summary listing specific actions GLAA seeks from D.C. officials. Included are 88 footnotes to provide documentation and to facilitate further investigation of the issues raised.
The following are some of the legislative and oversight actions GLAA seeks from D.C. Councilmembers:
GLAA President Rick Rosendall stated, "It is a tribute to the strength of coalition efforts in the District that 'Agenda: 2013' reflects input from allies across the District's entire LGBT community and its supporters. The resulting policy brief is the most comprehensive single document advancing LGBT issues in D.C."
On January 28, 2013, GLAA will email its questionnaire and policy brief to every candidate in the April 23 special election for At-Large Councilmember. (The filing deadline for the primary was January 23.) The deadline for receipt of candidate responses is March 7, after which GLAA will assign ratings to the primary candidates (on a scale of -10 to +10) based on their questionnaire responses and their records on LGBT issues.
Founded in 1971, the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington (GLAA) is an all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization that defends the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Nation's Capital. GLAA lobbies the D.C. Council, monitors government agencies, educates and rates local candidates, and works in coalitions to defend the safety, health, and equal rights of gay families. GLAA remains the nation's oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization.
A high school senior comes out to his classmates.
Update: Cyd Zeigler tweeted:
Cool kid, but how can someone "come out as LGBT"? He's clearly G, but LBT? A person isn't LGBT - a movement is.
That occurred to me too. It's a bit weird for someone to come out as "LGBT." Please pick one. (Now I'm wondering who will be outraged by this comment.)
Salon reports. (Hat tip: Pam Spaulding)
The above Youtube video featuring Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel is accompanied by a description that begins thus:
As Rhode Island liberals gear up again to attempt to force through same sex "marriage" in Rhode Island - the second most Catholic state in the country - please watch Part 1 and Part 2 of Stop Same Sex "Marriage" in Rhode Island to see the attack that same sex "marriage" is on God, on morality, on religious freedom, on the health of those who engage in homosexual behavior, on the the economy, and on population. And see evidence of how children are being indoctrinated in our public schools through radical homosexualist groups like GLSEN and by Dan Savage, the aggressively anti-Christian bigot and bully's "It Gets Better" campaign.
The promotion of the radical same sex agenda is part of an overall atheistic communistic attack on the United States. It was the communist dictator Joseph Stalin, who said....
Feel free to visit the Youtube page if you really want to see what Joseph Stalin, that great ally of the International Gay Conspiracy, had to say. But one old trope that Barber repeats here interests me: his reference to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) as "a radical homosexual indoctrination organization," which he slams for supporting the Day of Silence in which LGBT students and their non-gay allies show their opposition to bullying.
What's darkly amusing here (and I apologize for my choice of words to my friend, comedian Sampson McCormick, who is "darkly amusing" in an altogether positive context, and speaking of the altogether he's even done a gig at a nudist colony, but I digress) is that people like Matt Barber routinely use the phrase "radical homosexual" to mean, simply, a gay person with the slightest amount of self-respect. Everyone from the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival to Log Cabin Republicans, from Barney Frank to Andrew Sullivan, counts as a "radical homosexual."
The only way to be a non-radical homosexual is to be the most treacherous Uncle Tom, by which I don't mean Barney's long-running description of Log Cabin but the gay version of Samuel L. Jackson's character in Django Unchained. For example, if you're a closet case who overcompensates by touting reparative therapy and attacking gay couples as harbingers of the Apocalypse, you might avoid being tarred as a radical homosexual. But that is mainly because your anti-gay allies will pretend that you are straight.
Speaking of the Apocalypse, if gay folk are its harbingers, shouldn't the far-right loons welcome us? After all, the End Timers seem to crave the Apocalypse more than anything else.
Brian Tashman reports at RWW:
Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition used the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in order to bolster her campaign against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act over the bill’s protections for LGBT employees. While speaking to Janet Mefferd yesterday about the Orange County, Florida, school system’s new non-discrimination policy that is similar to ENDA, Laffery said that just as parents are upset about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and are concerned about keeping their children safe, they should also be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as schools will have “people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.”
Can you say desperate? Follow the link for audio.
President Obama is emotional as he speaks on today's horrific mass shooting in an elementary school in Connecticut.
This wonderful story is of poor children in Paraguay learning to play classical music with instruments made from trash. Watch it. It's amazing. And check out the Facebook page.
Loose Lips has an entertaining piece in which he looks at former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's upcoming book, Radical: Fighting to Put Students First. Here's a great paragraph by LL:
The only person who appears interested in diagnosing Rhee’s unpopularity as chancellor is her husband, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson (also a former point guard for the Phoenix Suns). After campaigning for Fenty east of the Anacostia River and hearing residents complain about the mayor and Rhee, Johnson tells his wife that “you can’t make change from the top alone.” Later, when Rhee is beginning to map out her plans with advisers for Students First, Johnson scolds: “There’s no diversity in this room … What did we learn in D.C.? We can’t make the same mistakes. Why are we here? To build a group that appeals to white, male Republicans? Is that what we are doing?”
Thanks to LL for reading Rhee's book so we don't have to. Her willful political obtuseness and smug know-it-all attitude turned me off instantly, and I have never found reason to change my mind.
Oh, and thanks to LL for sharing this line from Rhee on Fenty: "His head shined. His eyes burned." Fortunately or not, there appear to be no heaving bosoms and bodice-ripping involved.
I have been advising some high school students on their senior theses, and one thing that the teacher asked them to do was to gather questions from their sources (including me) on their chosen controversy. I think this can be useful pedagogically as well as rhetorically, so I am sharing the ones I came up with today for students who chose the subject of marriage equality. Feel free to suggest others. (Note: I have deliberately resisted the impulse to do language policing. The standard movement term is "marriage equality," but these kids and their teachers tend to say "gay marriage." Don't tell Michael Crawford of Freedom to Marry that I said this, but it's really not that big a deal. Getting them to ask questions that will illuminate the issues involved is more important for their learning. Second note: the questions are of course only one part of the overall project. Research is a big part of it, and I gave them a reading list and loaned them some of my own books at the beginning of the school year.)
Good spot, except that the "T" is missing.
NBC reports. That was an awfully fast turnaround. False accusations of this nature can ruin lives. I hope the accuser gets help.
From Marylanders for Marriage Equality. As an advisor to some high school thesis students myself, I know the huge difference that our fight to protect all families has already made for the next generation. Historic wins on ballot measures this election day will be another huge boost. Let's win one in Maryland.
We have posted this video of Fred Rogers's moving 1969 Senate testimony before, but it is timely again in light of Mitt Romney's pledge to cut funding for Big Bird. Mister Rogers was often lampooned over the years, but his straightforward explanation of what his programs did for children shows what a national treasure he was.
Jennifer Livingston, the morning anchor at WKBT News 8 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, responds to a bully. Jonathan Capehart gives her a "You go!"
Thanks to the 49ers. They should have more company.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ron “MO” Moten
Moten Calls on Mayor Gray and DC Council to Address Rapes and Violence at DC Jail
Who: Ron Moten, Friends of Transgender Victims and Members of Check-It
Why: To Address Jail Cover-Up
Where: DC Jail Entrance
When: 12pm Thursday, August 9, 2012
Washington, DC August 8, 2012 – A source close to Ron Moten, Co-founder and former managing partner of the Peaceoholics, a non-profit anti-gang organization, tells Moten that violence and drugs are running rampant in the DC Jail and the Correctional Treatment Facility. Now Moten wants Mayor Gray and city legislators to address rapes of transgender and gay youth with the same urgency that they spoke to the Chic-fil-A matter.
Moten was contacted by a transgender youth who was violently raped while in custody at the DC Jail. Before this incident, another source told Moten that a gay youth was raped by a 32 year old inmate, who has a history of sexual assaults. The source added that the violence against inmates was not limited to other inmates, noting that another transgender youth had been sexually assaulted and one gay youth raped by this alleged serial rapist and another by a CTF staff member.
Moten said he was particularly saddened by the alleged rape of one of the young people, because he had personally worked with this transgender youth who is a member of the “Check It” Gang. Many members are now working and reenrolled in school. This young man was taking a step in the right direction as Mr. Moten encouraged and transported the youngster to turn himself in to authorities due to a warrant for his arrest.
A South Florida pastor, whose sermons include "Bible Says Gays and Sex Addicts Can Change and Should Change," is under review by the Miami-Dade school district for his Sunday services held inside North Miami Senior High School.
After Local 10 reported that Jack Hakimian's sermons compared homosexuality to drug abuse and witchcraft, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho expressed his concern with such use of public school property.
The sermons "appear to be contrary to school board policy, as well as the basic principles of humanity, and I have asked for immediate legal review to seek the termination of the contract that is involved. ... I am making this decision not on the basis of policy or politics but as a rejection of prejudice and intolerance," Carvalho told Local 10.
This minister is entitled to spew his intolerant views. He is not entitled to use public buildings to do it.
The infographic, on which USC partnered with the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, "highlights some of the unique challenges and mental health risks faced by homeless LGBT youth, in addition to some of the solutions being implemented by homelessness non-profits, federal agencies, and LGBT advocacy organizations."
"I am proud to say that today we're taking yet another bold and concrete step toward eradicating bullying in our city," the mayor told the crowded audience of about 70 people. "The Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012 immediately authorizes a task force to develop a citywide anti-bullying model policy that will cover the places where youth are often the targets of bullying. In our schools, parks, libraries, in our public spaces."
The signing occurred in a stifling, crowded ceremonial room at the northeast corner of the fifth floor of the John A. Wilson Building. One of the speakers was new HRC President Chad Griffin, whose staffer Sarah Warbelow was a member of the broad-based coalition that has worked on the bill for two years. Other speakers included Council Chairman Pro Tempore Michael A. Brown, who introduced a precursor bill; Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, whose committee marked up the bill; Director of the Office of Human Rights Gustavo Velasquez; DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson; and one of the city's youth mayors.
The bill, which is now Act 19-384, now goes to Capitol Hill for thirty legislative days (not calendar days) of congressional review. The clock won't run during the summer recess, so it won't become law until some time in the fall. But preparatory work can be done in the meantime. This is not a controversial bill and there will be no congressional interference with it.
Thanks once again to all who worked to get this bill done. Once it is law, it will only mark the beginning of the effort to give it effect for the protection of our city's youth.
Kameron Slade, a fifth grader at PS 195 in Queens, New York, chose to do a speech on marriage equality for a school competition, but his principal barred him from presenting it because she declared the subject inappropriate. Ironically, his speech addresses that very issue. This video was taken by an NY1 news crew, who had the good sense to invite Kameron to read his speech to them.
God bless this wonderful child. The speech and the brave boy who gave it illustrate why we are going to win.
- Over one-half of LGBT youth (54 percent) say they have been verbally harassed and called names involving anti-gay slurs;
- Nearly half of LGBT youth (47 percent) say they do not “fit in” in their community while only 16 percent of non-LGBT youth feel that way;
- 67 percent of straight youth describe themselves as happy but this number drops to 37 percent among LGBT young people;
- 83 percent of LGBT youth believe they will be happy eventually, but only 49 percent believe they can be happy if they stay in the same city or town;
- 6 in 10 LGBT youth say their family is accepting of LGBT people, while a third say their family is not;
- 92 percent say they hear negative messages about being LGBT – 60 percent say those messages come from elected leaders.
- When asked to describe their most important problem, straight teens articulated the usual challenges of grades and college and finances. On the other hand LGBT teens’ worries were directly related to their identity as LGBT including non-accepting families and bullying.
Thanks to all of our coalition partners who did so much work over the past two years to craft the strongest possible bill.
The D.C. City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve an anti-bullying bill on first reading, with Council members expected to approve the measure in a final vote at their next session later this month.
The Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012 calls on the city’s public schools system, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the city’s public libraries, and the University of the District of Columbia to develop comprehensive anti-bullying policies.
The bill, among other things, creates a bullying task force to consist of experts and representatives of various constituencies to monitor the implementation of the legislation. It strictly prohibits retaliation against a target of bullying or someone who reports an incident of bullying.
This has been a long time in coming. We look forward to the bill's final passage, Mayor Gray's signature, and its successful completion of the usual Congressional review period. Thanks to all our coalition partners who worked on this bill.
Yesterday news of the actions of a Tennessee High School principal hit the internet. Dorothy Bond had said gay students are “not on God’s path” and threatened to expel them if they publicly showed affection for members of the same sex which prompted a reply from the American Civil Liberties Union and their Tennessee affiliate.
“Students have the right to be who they are at school,” said Amanda Goad, staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT Project. “LGBT students and pregnant and parenting students have just as much right to complete their education as any other student, but too often they face significant barriers or outright discrimination. It’s appalling to think that a principal would kick students out of public school based on her personal religious views.”
There were loud protests on the internet including a call from columnist Dan Savage to lodge polite but firm protests with the school administrators of Haywood County. It has been reported that Dorothy Bond has now resigned. Typically this is soon followed by complaints of religous persecution and denial of the right to free speech. While Ms. Bond does have the right to free speech she does not have a right to her job. While she has the right to not be discriminated against which includes religious discrimination she does not have the right to create a hostile learning environment for students. She also has not authority to decide who is or is not going to hell nor does she have the sole authority to interpret the Bible. While she may think of herself as expressing 'Chrisitan' values many people disagree with her in this regard.
In response to a complaint from a parent about a flyer from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) Montgomery County Public Schools has reaffirmed their right to distribute materials. According to MyFoxDC:
The group is taking advantage of school board policy in Montgomery County. Based on court decisions, the policy is: if a group can prove it is a non-profit, community entity, it can send flyers home with students on four occasions a year. Most of the time, it is the PTA or the Girl Scouts that send home flyers. There is little or no controversy over those messages.
PFOX maintains that individuals that want to change their sexual orientation can do so, a supposition that is widely disputed. The whole idea of gay conversion therapy has come under disrepute, most notabley with the exposure of George Rekers hiring a "rentboy" to carry his "luggage". Even Exodus International President Alan Chambers has said:
“The majority of people that I have met, and I would say the majority meaning 99.9 percent of them, have not experienced a change in their orientation or have gotten to a place where they could say that they could never be tempted or are not tempted in some way or experience some level of same-sex attraction. I think that there is a gender issue there. There are some women who have challenged me and said, ‘Well that – my orientation or my attractions have changed completely.’ Those have been few and far between. The vast majority of people that I know do still experience some level of same-sex attraction.”
GetEQUAL DC has asked if any response to this is required from the gay community.
Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Equality comments, "Wow. The Obama Administration speaking up for us again."
Bravo to these American servicemembers deployed in Bagram, Afghanistan for making this video. They are: SSGT Steven Procter, SSGT Shelise Harmon, AT2 Erin Jones, SPC James Velazquez, SPC Curtis Robinson.
Key Findings on Gender Non-Conforming Students
- Nearly 1 in 10 of elementary students in 3rd to 6th grade (8%) indicate that they do not always conform to traditional gender norms/roles - either they are boys who others sometimes think, act or look like a girl, or they are girls who others sometimes think, act or look like a boy.
- Gender nonconforming students are less likely than other students to feel very safe at school (42% vs 61%), and are more likely than others to indicate they sometimes do not want to go to school because they feel unsafe or afraid there (35% vs 15%). Gender nonconforming students are also more likely than others to be called names, made fun of or bullied at least sometimes at school (56% vs 33%).
- Less than half of teachers believe that a gender nonconforming student would feel comfortable at their school (male student who acts or looks traditionally feminine: 44%, female student who acts or looks traditionally masculine: 49%)
- Only a third (34%) of teachers report having personally engaged in efforts to create a safe and supportive classroom environment for gender nonconforming students.