LGBT summit on school push out & bullying to draw hundreds of CA youth
Gay-Straight Alliance Network hosts 8th annual Youth Empowerment Summit
on Saturday, December 15, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jill Marcellus, Gay-Straight Alliance Network
Phone: 415.375.9526 (o); 516.313.9659 (c)
Gay-Straight Alliance Network responds to Supreme Court's decision to review Proposition 8; Interviews with diverse couples and youth available
In a much-anticipated ruling and one near-and-dear to the hearts of many in the Bay Area, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday has agreed to take its first serious look at the issue of gay marriage.
If Congress fails to act during the lame-duck session, a series of onerous automatic federal spending cuts and tax hikes will go into effect on January 2, 2013. This budget battle has two major components:
Sequestration in particular would result in draconian cuts to federal programs that support the health, wellness, and livelihood of gay and transgender Americans and their families.
The bullying began in the seventh grade for 17-year-old Calen Valencia.
He struggled through rampant homophobic taunts and other harassment at the hands of his peers after coming out as bisexual.
So much so that his parents transferred him out of his Tulare-area middle school by the eighth grade. “It was a really bad and toxic environment to be in,” said Valencia, a high school senior who adopted the name “Calen” and now self-identifies as a transgender, and as a male.
LGBT History Month ended yesterday, but in California, the campaign for an honest account of history in our schools has just begun.
Education funding is an LGBT issue. It is time to come out about this as students, as parents, and as school and public safety employees. Well-funded schools mean LGBT student safety, learning, and achievement in education. When teachers are laid off, GSA advisors are laid off and safe spaces vanish. LGBT youth, especially low-income LGBT youth of color, are most impacted by decreased funding to public education. Schools often cite the lack funding to implement or enforce safe schools laws. And schools cannot address bullying and harassment without resources.
... Reaching out to GSAs is a relatively recent development in the Greater Palm Springs Pride organization and others like it across the state and nation. However, it should come as no surprise. The number of GSA chapters and members has been on a rapid rise. There are nearly 900 chapters across the state representing some 60 percent of high schools and 1 percent of middle schools, said Yvonna Cázares, policy manager for the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, a California organization that helps students form GSA clubs.
LA MIRADA - Anthony Escobar says he's been bullied for three years at La Mirada High School.
The 17-year-old senior has been shoved in the hallway, called anti-gay slurs and told he's "going to hell" for being gay and wearing makeup.
"School is a nightmare," Escobar said. "I have to keep my guard up."