This past weekend GSAs throughout California and the nation marked the first annual Harvey Milk Day on May 22nd. After lobbying the California Legislature to adopt Harvey Milk Day for two years, students celebrated their hard won victory by organizing events in their schools and communities. Students held educational rallies, movie screenings, gave out cookies with milk, talked to their peers, served Harvey Milkshakes, and even had birthday cakes for Harvey!
You probably know a lot about Constance McMillen. Constance is the 18-year-old senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi who had the guts to challenge her district’s ban on same-sex couples attending prom. She asked her Vice Principal for permission to bring her girlfriend and to wear a tux. He said no. So she sought help from the ACLU. A federal judge ruled it was unconstitutional for the district to ban same-sex couples. So school officials cancelled the prom.
On Wednesday, the Board of Trustees for the Kern High School District in Bakersfield, California, voted 3 -1 to "... not conduct exercises commemorating Harvey Milk Day... nor encourage or require its schools or their staffs to conduct such exercises." The proposal was introduced by Board Vice President Ken Mettler (who is running for the California Assembly) and is widely seen as a cynical move to toughen up his image and appeal to conservative voters in Kern County.
This weekend Danielle Askini and I were proud to attend the 5th Annual Transgender Leadership Summit, Capitol T: Growing a Movement for Transgender Equality, hosted at the University of California at Davis, and organized by our good friends at the Transgender Law Center. It was a packed weekend with over 20 workshops and 5 plenary sessions with some of the most influential transgender leaders in our movement. The workshops were facilitated by activists on the front lines of efforts to change policies and laws to ensure equality for the transgender community.
Earlier this week, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law HB 2281 which would "ban schools from teaching classes that are designed for students of a particular ethnic group, promote resentment or advocate ethnic solidarity over treating pupils as individuals" according to the LA Times. The bill was specifically passed targeting ongoing efforts in the Tucson School District to provide students of color with culturally relevant history lessons.
GSA Network students were back at the Capitol just 3 weeks after Queer Youth Advocacy Day 2010 to put to usetheir legislative advocacy skills.
Nearly 100 LGBTQ and straight ally youth from all over California helped make history at the 5th annual Queer Youth Advocacy Day on April 26, 2010. They were fierce lobbyists, proud activists, and courageous youth leaders.
LGBTQ and straight ally youth from across California gather in Sacramento for the 5th annual Queer Youth Advocacy Day
On Tuesday, April 13th, the ACLU of Northern California’s Friedman Education Project, held its annual Youth Rights Conference at the Cesar Chavez Student Center at San Francisco State University. This year the theme was “Fresh, Fierce + Fabulous!” because you know queer youth are the freshest, fiercest, and, of course, the most fabulous around!
Central Valley Comes Alive with ENS Pride!
It’s that time of the year again!
What time you ask?
Time to plan and hold the annual Day of Silence at your school!
Every year in the spring, GSAs across the country take a vow of silence to recognize and protest the silence that LGBT people face each day. GSAs in California and throughout the United States have organized around GLSEN'S Day of Silence as a way of raising awareness and fighting homophobia and transphobia in their schools.