April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, an effort to raise awareness around and prevent sexualized violence in our world. While everyone is affected by and can be a survivor of sexualized violence, LGBTQ communities (particularly communities of color) have much higher incidence rates and face more barriers towards getting support.
On Tuesday March 20, GSA Network Executive Director & Founder Carolyn Laub and I traveled to the University of Texas at Arlington to attend the first ever White House LGBT Conference on Safe Schools & Communities. It was an exciting and very busy day for all involved with conference, including the White House, United States Departments of Education and Justice, community partners like GSA Network and the young people in attendance.
"President Obama has made it clear that it only gets better because we make it better."
-Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, at the White House LGBT Conference on Safe Schools and Communities
It’s March, which means schools and communities everywhere are celebrating Women's History Month – and there's no better year for GSAs to step in and lead these efforts! Now that the FAIR Education Act has gone into effect, school social studies classes are required to teach the historical contributions of LGBT and people with disabilities. Since social movements don’t exist in a vacuum, this is a great opportunity to explore the role of LGBT people in women’s history!
GSA Network’s Racial and Economic Justice Manager, Geoffrey Winder, recently testified before the CA Senate Select Committee on the Status of Boys & Men of Color. In its partnership with the California Endowment and six other youth development organizations, GSA Network represents the needs of young gay-bi and trans young men of color in Los Angeles as they try to address the systemic issues that are setting them up to be pre-prison, not pre-college.
For National GSA Day, we asked you to call your Senator in support of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, an important bill that will give LGBT students the federal right to be free from discrimination, harassment and bullying based on a student's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Today, we joined 70 other national and statewide organizations to take that message to the President.
Planning is underway for GSA Network’s Expression Not Suppression (ENS) conference on March 24, 2012! ENS is a free, annual conference in the Fresno area for LGBTQ and straight ally youth (ages 13 to 21) who are dedicated to creating safer schools and building the GSA movement in the Central Valley.
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is February 26 - March 3 this year. LGBTQ people face unique challenges with eating disorders, and often their experiences remain hidden. Author Ryan K. Sallans writes about his experience with an eating disorder and their relationship to his transgender identity.
Not many high school students even get to talk to teachers about queer activism, so I felt incredibly lucky earlier this month to lead two trainings at the third annual Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership (CESCaL) conference in San Diego.