Thanks to Emily Horne and Joey Comeau at A Softer World for this.
Thanks to Emily Horne and Joey Comeau at A Softer World for this.
While I’m on the topic:
As always, thanks to xkcd: a webcomic
In the wake of Chicago’s recently discussed-and-dropped plans for a LGBT high school, this fall will bring a new alternative in the form of an online high school.
Statistics have show that more than 80 percent of all LGBT high school students face some sort of harassment at school, and the students that reported being harassed showed lower grades than their peers on average.
Online high schools have existed for more than a decade, although this is the first one for queer youth.
The new school will be called GLBTQ Online High School.
You can read the whole story here. (I want a varsity sweatshirt!)
The Los Angeles Times has made an editorial endorsement of No On 8, calling the Yes On 8 campaign “sleight of hand” and exposing all the ways the campaign has been engineered to distract from the truth:
Look at anything except what Proposition 8 is actually about: a group of people who are trying to impose on the state their belief that homosexuality is immoral and that gays and lesbians are not entitled to be treated equally under the law.
I highly encourage you to read the entire editorial here.
After listening to weeks of unchecked lies on the radio and television — lies about how same-sex marriage in California (which is already legal and protected by the constitution) will affect children (not true!), change classroom curriculum (not true!), and impinge on the religious rights of the balance of the state (not true!) — I finally heard a sensible ad yesterday. Supported by the California Teachers Association and quoting the state Superintendent of Schools, it pointed out the untruths. (You can see the television ad here.)
But now, get this…
The leaders of California’s “Yes On 8″ campaign are stooping to new lows in their attempt to manipulate the California State Constitution with special-interest (read religious) money.
Businesses who have contributed money to Equality California have received letters threatening to “out” them for their contributions, unless they contribute equal amounts to the proponents of this assault on civil rights.
This action implies the possibility of boycotts and a loss of business for these companies.
Once again this insidious campaign is completely unclear about the state political process. Listen up: The names of these companies, as contributors, are already public record. There is no trick to finding out who contributors are to a political cause. Do the pro-8 folks assume we’ll think they got the mailing list for their blackmail project by direct transmission from God?
The lists includes companies such as Pacific Gas & Electric, Levi Strauss and AT&T.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to see a complete list of the donors that are supporting this initiative, check out the complete annotated list on Californians Against Hate. I encourage you NOT to do business with these individuals, businesses, and organizations that are promoting hate, attempting to remove the civil rights of their follow citizens, wasting taxpayer money, encouraging the spending of private money that could be used for important social causes (like feeding the hungry, or housing the homeless, for example), and co-mingling church and state.
The letter was signed by a representative of the Mormon Church, the executive director of The Catholic Conference, and the lawyer for protectmarriage.com.
A new advertising and public relations campaign produced by the Ad Council in conjunction with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), seeks to target homophobic language in teens. As the campaign points out, there are more than 80,100 on-line sites containing the phrase “that’s so gay,” intended to be an insult. The campaign’s website, ThinkB4YouSpeak.com, contains information for teens, parents, and educators, and hopes to educate about the power of language, and how painful these words can be, especially to a young person struggling with his/her sexual identity. The campaign also extends into social network sites, using mediums such as Facebook and YouTube to spread its message.
This past spring, I attended a fundraiser for GroundSpark Productions, an educational documentary film company that produced the groundbreaking 1999 film It’s Elementary, and the sequel It’s Still Elementary, re-interviewing the original participants. One of the film clips shown that day, from a new film called Straightlaced, featured a powerful segment about Latino boys shopping for clothes. The kids didn’t choose their clothes based on their personal taste preference, instead they intentionally chose clothes that were baggy, that hid the outlines of their bodies, and were in somber colors. Why? Because they didn’t want to look gay or be perceived as gay. The realization that societal homophobia was driving the actions of a group of straight teens was a powerful eye-opener about how hate and prejudice affect everyone, not just the targeted group. Check out GroundSpark’s work here and read more about these films and how you can bring copies to a school or community near you.
Despite the fact that girls are every bit as capable as boys in the realm of mathematics, girls’ math skills continue to suffer disproportionately. A story in today’s NY Times says U.S. kids aren’t getting the math education they could, girls especially.
Since math is a fundamental economic building block for science, medicine, and yes… finance and economics, this begs to ask the question: Can we afford to cheat our children out of something so basic and expect to our country to have a strong future?
The Yale Daily News reports that the university has formed an ad-hoc committee to consider creating gender-neutral house for students who don’t easily fit into the binary gender system. You can read the complete story here.
In recent years, other schools have tackled this topic. The Boston Globe published this story about transmen in the Seven Sisters schools, “When She Graduates As He” and The New York Times addressed it in this landmark article in 2004, “On Campus, Rethinking Biology 101.”
Meanwhile, Chicago Public Radio reported this week that the Chicago public school system is considering opening a high school designed for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students.
A group of educators proposing the school say it will provide a safer learning environment for GLBT students, but would be open to everyone.
Here’s some of the interview:
William Greaves is a spokesman for the group.
GREAVES: We saw many students who were well-adjusted and integrated into their high schools, but we saw just as many who were not integrated, and feeling isolated and at risk.
Bert Cohler is a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago. He agrees that some GLBT students need a more supportive environment for a time. But there’s at least one possible drawback.
COHLER: These kids grow up in a sheltered world and don’t learn to deal, if you will, with the slings and arrows of the ordinary straight world.
Next month a CPS committee will weigh in on the proposal.