National Coming Out Day is having a greater presence on high school campuses these days. As with Transgender Day of Remembrance and the National Day of Silence, many high school gay-straight alliances (GSAs) observe National Coming Out Day in hopes of educating faculty and students about the importance of GLBT students’ safety on campus.
This week, the Gwen Araujo murder trial was declared a mistrial because the jury could not decide whether the three defendants were guilty of first- or second-degree murder. According to the Alameda County district attorney's office, none of the jurors was willing to settle for the lesser offense of manslaughter -- despite efforts by defense attorneys in the case to argue that Gwen Araujo's killers were somehow justified because she did not disclose her transgender identity to them.
12/10/02 - Julie Silva was determined. The enthusiastic and intense 17-year-old had decided in May 2001 to start a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club at Clovis High School in Clovis, a medium-sized town in California's culturally conservative San Joaquin Valley.
The first requirement was that she produce a list naming other students who wanted to join the GSA, a significant hurdle in itself, given many students' confidentiality concerns.