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LGBTQ+ Issues: Perspectives from a South Indian Straight Girl

ally lgbtq international Dec 06, 2022

LGBTQ+ Issues: Perspectives from a South Indian Straight Girl

“You there, YOU TWO, How were your hands held while walking right now? Do the same once more!” 

Eli (my friend) and I turned around to notice our Academic Coordinator glaring at us. Eli demonstrated it and told her that I had injured my leg and needed support while getting down the stairs for which she had held my hand. But our Academic Coordinator (who also happens to be a professor of Psychology!) was not pleased, and she kept asking us pointless questions before labeling us as lesbians. I stood there perplexed, wondering what was going on. I was shocked to even say anything, wondering how a highly educated person could be so narrow-minded as to label us as Lesbians simply because we held hands. It might seem weird to even think that when two straight girls held hands she concluded that we were lesbians! Such is the mindset of most people in India. 

Now, this incident occurred in India, a...

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How do you talk to your LGBTQ+ teenager about what happened in Colorado Springs?

I’m not a therapist or a trained mental health professional in any way. And when I find those resources and they help me, I’ll share them. 

What I am is an LGBTQ+ mom with at least one LGBTQ+ kid. And I’m not here to actually give you advice, I’m here to share and also hear from you. I’m here to start the conversation. 

First, thank you for even asking yourself this question. It means you’ve truly internalized your child’s identity. If you thought it was a phase, this event would feel like it happened to “others”, it would feel distant and not so immediate. 

But for those of us in the community, it’s very immediate. It’s right here. There is a mix of anger, sorrow, and fear. This emotional cocktail is normally squashed, we don’t allow it to take up much rent in our brains. When we do, it feels like we’ve let them win.  

But waking up yesterday to the news of what happened in...

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Halloween Is Queer

halloween history lic Oct 27, 2022

 

My favorite holiday is just around the corner… Halloween. I’ll start with my favorite poet, Nickole Brown, who posts this EVERY Halloween on her social media:

Halloween: the best holiday, if you ask me– it doesn’t insist upon wholeness that makes so many feel deficit and lonely; it rarely makes your family feel more broke (or broken) than it already is. Halloween doesn’t care if you’ve been good or bad or what religion you are or not. So bring on the eyelashes and wigs and devil’s horns; take out the pancake makeup and fake blood and those ridiculous heels you thought you’d never wear again. The kids are squealing down the street with pillowcases full of free candy, the drag bars have lines around the corner, and for one night, everyones asking everyone else a pretty great question, 'so, who are you'?” - Nickole Brown's annual Halloween announcement.

I don’t think I have ever skipped dressing up, even if I...

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October is LGBTQ+ History Month!

history lic Oct 06, 2022

If Pride is in June, then why do we celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month in October? 

The reason is because it coincides with the National Coming Out Day on October 11 as well as honors the first marches in Washington for LGBTQ+ rights that were in October of 1979 and 1987. The United States didn’t officially recognize October as LGBTQ+ history month until 1994. Rodney Wilson, the first openly gay public school teacher in Missouri came up with the idea. Wilson was a founder of the first coordinating committee and helped choose October as the month for our history along with early members of Kevin Jennings from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and others. 

If you read about historical moments and tell yourself, If I lived in that time, I would do more to help change things. Well now is the time, you can. We need advocates and allies. 

Here are things you can do today, right now to help make a difference and be a part of history and...

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LGBTQ+ College Resources: Scholarships

School has already begun and the college application season is in full swing for seniors in high school. As a professional in higher education for over ten years, with my formative years in college admissions, I am here to help break down some elements the college application process entails.  Applying for college can be exciting, but can also bring a lot of stress and anxiety, especially around finances. Before getting scared of the sticker price on your favorite school, read on for some helpful information regarding paying for college and special scholarship information for LGBTQ+ students.

First things first though. In order to qualify for financial aid, all students will need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA (good news, the government made it much easier than it was back in my day!) It is highly recommended to do this sooner than later so you can get your information to the schools you are applying for as soon as possible. *Side note: you...

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Join us on Twitch! - Fundraising Campaign

fundraiser twitch Sep 03, 2022

Our very first Twitch fundraiser (September 3-22) is underway and we are SO excited!  Three incredible streamers have offered to raise funds to support our efforts in covering the cost for teachers to take an Inclusive Leadership course, to empower them to hold safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students.

We would love to have you join us! And if it's not your thing, please please share. We are trying hard to support the teachers who support our LGBTQ+ kids at school all day and roll out the amazing work from our creators, Ær Queen (they/them,fen/fens) and Nicholas Prosini (they/them)

Below is the info for some of our streamers and more info on the other schedules will be added soon.  We would love to have you join us! 

Braelyn (she/her) 

Braelyn is a mental health advocate, community manager, public speaker, podcast host and streamer on Twitch TV. Her streams are usually fun chats or she plays games like Sims 4, Mario Kart, Fortnite, Fall Guys,...

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SAFE at School: Meet Mo Bailey

safe at school Aug 30, 2022

Making Your Home a Place Kids Want To Be

For many kiddos, the start of school is the perfect time to meet new students, expand their friend group, or connect more fully with their classmates. As a parent, it can be nerve-wracking to let our kiddo spend time in a new friend’s house. As a parent of an LGBTQ+ human, it can be terrifying. One of the best ways to ensure our kids and their LGBTQ+ friends are spending time in a safe environment is to open our home to them after school and on weekends. Being an ally is the first and most important step to creating a safe space for our kiddos. This guide focuses on the second most important thing: creating an inviting and awesome physical space. 

Co-create a space to hang out.

Kids these days are all about the aesthetics. They want to spend time in a space that feels really good to them, even if it wouldn’t be your design choice. Think of your kid as a partner in curating the space and give them some freedom to be...

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SAFE at School: Meet Josh Covington

safe at school Aug 23, 2022

 

Starting the School Year Off Right: A Guide for LGBTQ Students and Their Allies

For LGBTQ students and their allies, the start of the school year can be both daunting and exciting. There are new classes to take, new people to meet... and – for some students – a new locker room to get used to. For many LGBTQ students, this time of year can also be stressful, as they navigate what it means to be “out” at school and deal with potential discrimination or harassment. Luckily, there are things you can do to make the school year go a little bit smoother. This guide provides tips for both LGBTQ students and their allies on how to make the school year a positive experience. So read on, and let’s make this school year the best yet!

For LGBTQ+ Students:

  1. Find your people. Whether it’s joining the Gay-Straight Alliance, connecting with other out students, or simply making friends with someone who is supportive, it’s important to find your...
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SAFE at School: Meet Jennifer Boudrye

safe at school Aug 16, 2022

Create a Safe Space for YOU 

So You Can be a Safe Space for Your Child

Media messaging would have you believe that back-to-school is a time of jubilant celebration for parents. But for many, it is stressful, beyond hectic, and anxiety-producing. For parents of LGBTQ+ kiddos, there are unique concerns each new school year and the current political climate makes this year especially troubling for many. 

We know that one of our most important jobs as a parent is keeping our children safe - physically and emotionally. We strive to do everything in our power to ensure that they have the best possible opportunities for success (however we measure it). But as parents of LGBTQ+ children, we worry about whether school - the classroom, the bathroom, the locker room, the sports field, the cafeteria, etc. - will be safe spaces for our LGBTQ+ kiddos.  

We stay vigilant as school boards and local and state legislators debate our children's rights, perhaps even their existence. We...

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SAFE at School: A Note from C.

safe at school Aug 09, 2022

When Ron DeSantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” back in March, my heart dropped and I felt ill. Although not a parent, nor a resident of Florida, I am a proud “Titi” to my sister’s four children who range from age 3-11 and they all live in Florida. I also volunteer with LGBTQ+ youth in the state of North Carolina, where similar bills have been proposed. 

Last October, my sister showed me a letter sent home to parents discussing how some of the textbooks in a 5th-grade class needed to be replaced for violating the Florida Department of Education’s new requirements around Critical Race Theory. I witnessed firsthand how quickly the ban on Critical Race Theory went into full effect in my twin nephew’s schools and was appalled. As a nonbinary/transmasculine person with close friends who identify in the BIPOC community, and LGBTQ+, I was scared to know what my nephews and nieces would be taught in their foundational education...

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