Articles and information from non-academic sources (mainstream media, newsletters, blogs, etc.). Some links may require a user account and login for access to content.
Gay-straight Alliances in Schools Reduce Suicide Risk for All Students
International Journal of Child, Youth, and Family Studies
A recent large study in Canadian schools showed that both LGBTQ youth and heterosexual students in schools that had anti-homophobia policies and GSAs had lower odds of discrimination, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts. This was especially true when both anti-homophobia policies and GSAs had been in place for three years or more. More than 20,000 students were surveyed.
What happens when your son tells you he’s really a girl:
Inside the families embracing the new world of gender variance
By Cathy Gulli
January 13, 2014
This is a really interesting article about gender variant children, from toddlers to adolescents, that covers a whole range of issues related to gender identity and expression. It even steps outside the “either—or” binary and talks about kids who claim an androgynous identity, not needing to be either a boy or a girl. It also talks about families responses and institutional supports and barriers.
Preventing the Tragedy of LGBT Youth Homelessness
Check out this great infographic, which highlights some of the unique challenges that lead to LGBT youth homelessness. (The material around the infographic is a little heavy on the promotion of social work as a career – but it’s a noble career). The graphic can be seen here:
Seeking Shelter: The Experiences and Unmet Needs of LGBT Homeless Youth
A report from the Center for American Progress
By Andrew Cray, Katie Miller, & Laura E. Durso
September 26, 2013
In 2010, the Center for American Progress report, “On the Streets: The Federal Response to Gay and Transgender Homeless Youth” explored the forces that lead to homelessness among LGBTQ youth in the US and the experiences they have on the street. That report also proposed federal interventions that could help address the epidemic of homelessness among LGBTQ children and young adults. The goal here is to update that report.
Defining bullying down
By Emily Bazelon
New York Times
March 12, 2013
This is a really thought-provoking perspective on “bullying” that everyone who wants to address the problem of bullying should probably read. At least the cliff notes.
Bazelon’s primary argument is that the word “bullying” is being overused “expanding, accordion-like, to encompass both appalling violence or harassment and a few mean words.” This overuse trivializes serious forms of violence and harassment and makes the real—but limited—problem seem insurmountable.
Read more about this argument and Bazelon’s suggestions for how to deal with it here and here
For the full discussion, check out Bazelon’s book, "Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy"
By Michael Schulman
New York Times
January 9, 2013
If the gay-rights movement today seems to revolve around same-sex marriage, this generation is seeking something more radical: an upending of gender roles beyond the binary of male/female. The core question isn’t whom they love, but who they are — that is, identity as distinct from sexual orientation. Armed with the millennial generation’s defining traits — Web savvy, boundless confidence and social networks that extend online and off — these youths are forging a political identity all their own, often at odds with mainstream gay culture.
A reality-check sort of discussion of changing ideas about and enactments of gender, sexual orientation, and identity in general.
Helping a Child to Come Out
By John Schwartz
New York Times
October 5, 2012
What role should parents play, if any, in encouraging their kids to come out when they “just know” the kids are gay or lesbian? This article discusses that question, taking into account both research and families’ experiences. Nice discussion.
California lawmakers vote to ban gay "conversion" therapy for minors
By Mary Slosson
August 28, 2012
California's state Assembly approved a bill on Tuesday to prohibit children and teenagers from undergoing a controversial therapy that aims to reverse homosexuality, moving the state closer to becoming the first to impose such a ban.
Growing Up LGBT in America: Key Findings
Human Rights Campaign
A new report out this month from the Human Rights Campaign, is a groundbreaking survey of more than 10,000 LGBT-identified youth ages 13-17. It provides a stark picture of the difficulties they face -- the impact on their well-being is profound, however these youth are quite resilient. They find safe havens among their peers, online and in their schools. They remain optimistic and believe things will get better. Nevertheless, the findings are a call to action for all adults who want ensure that young people can thrive.
My So-Called Ex-Gay Life
by Gabriel Arana
The American Prospect
April 12, 2012
This article takes a close look at the “ex-gay” movement, which recently had a major set-back. A prominent psychologist whose article had become a frequently-cited cornerstone of the “ex-gay movement” retracted the conclusions of that article. He now regrets having published it—and acknowledges that there is no evidence that so-called “conversion therapy” works to change sexual orientation.
Changing the Culture: Ideas for Student Action
Feb. 23, 2012
The purpose of this document is to provide positive action items that students can take to make their schools and communities healthier places and to challenge meanness and cruelty. It is presented as a list of ideas. While none of these initiatives have been evaluated, they are grounded in a research-driven understanding of interventions, practices, and actions that can be helpful in improving school culture.
Coming Out as Gay Can Have Health Benefits if Family is Supportive
Feb. 15, 2012
Coming out of the closet is good for your health -- if your family members are supportive, that is. Researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health interviewed almost 6,000 LGB adults and found that two thirds of them experienced significantly less mental health and substance abuse problems if they received positive support from their parents after coming out – this was especially true for women.
The study was featured in the Huffington Post, April 12 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/coming-out-gay-health-benefits-study-_n_1418761.html
The full article was published in the Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 59, no. 2. - http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00918369.2012.648878
Welcoming Schools: A project of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation
Welcoming Schools offers tools, lessons, and resources on embracing family, avoiding gender stereotyping, and ending bullying and name-calling in elementary schools. It offers an LGBT inclusive approach that is also inclusive of the many types of diversity found in our communities.
Administrators, educators, and parents/guardians can find materials here necessary to create learning environments in which all students are welcomed and respected.
Facing History and Ourselves has released an official guide to the film, BULLY.
The facilitator's guide helps students and adults confront the stories in this film and explore the meaning for their schools and communities.
A brief discussion of the film and a link to download the guide are at http://safeschools.facinghistory.org/content/about-facing-history-and-bully
BVSD Guidelines for the Support of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students
Attached is the final version of this document, which has been developed with significant input from BVSSC and other interested parties. This document will be going to CASE (Colorado Association of School Executives), so it will be available statewide.
Safe and Caring Schools for Two Spirit Youth: A Guide for Teachers and Students
This resource is intended to provide a brief but informative window into the challenges that many Two Spirit students face within educational settings and to contribute practical suggestions that teachers can use to begin addressing these issues.
I am UndocuQueer – A Young, Undocumented, Gay Artist Advocates for the DREAM Act
The DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who came to the US as children and have grown up as Americans. For undocumented LGBTQ youth, the combination of being undocumented and gay produces a daunting mix of barriers, and a second coming out. Self-proclaimed artivist Julio Salgado, co-founder of DreamersAdrift, has been cartooning his way through such anguished and uncomfortable topics.
Missouri School District Questioned Over Anti-Gay Web Filter
by Michael Winerip
New York Times
March 26, 2012
A judge has ordered Camdenton school district in Missouri to replace a filter that puts pro-gay sites in the sexuality category, but allows antigay sites, which are often classified as religious. This story also has some interesting information about website filters in schools nationally.
Minnesota School District Reaches Agreement on Preventing Gay Bullying
by Erik Eckholm
New York Times
March 7, 2012
We’ve been following the story of the Anoka-Hennepin school district in Minnesota (see articles below). Now, after years of accusations that it had failed to stop antigay bullying and a spate of student suicides, Minnesota’s largest school district has agreed to sweeping changes designed to prevent harassment based on sexual orientation in a plan that federal officials call a national model.
Playgrounds and Prejudice: Elementary School Climate in the United States
A survey of teachers and students conducted on Behalf of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) by Harris Interactive
Previous research has documented the prevalence of biased language, name‐calling and bullying, as well as supportive resources, at the secondary school level. Yet, the precursors to secondary school climate are less understood. This study examined school climate, student experiences, and teacher practices at the elementary school level. The study examined biased remarks at school, bullying and school safety, teachers’ beliefs and practices, and school-wide efforts and professional development.
LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance
Movement Advancement Project
This new report shows how children living in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families of color have become collateral damage of antiquated laws, social stigma, and discrimination.
The report offers a snapshot of how racial and ethnic discrimination, anti-LGBT social stigma and outdated family laws intersect to hurt children living in LGBT families of color. Driven by the need to shed light on the double jeopardy faced by these children and families, the report brings together a coalition of public policy and family advocacy organizations: The National Black Justice Coalition, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, UNID@S, the Fighting Injustice to Reach Equality (FIRE) initiative, the Family Equality Council, the Movement Advancement Project and the Center for American Progress.
The report can be downloaded at: http://lgbtmap.org/lgbt-families-of-color-facts-at-a-glance
It is also available online at: http://www.lgbtmap.org/file/lgbt-families-of-color-facts-at-a-glance.pdf
Childhood Gender Nonconformity: A Risk Indicator for Childhood Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress in Youth
By A. L. Roberts et al.
February 20, 2012
Children in the U.S. whose activity choices, interests, and pretend play before age 11 fall outside those typically expressed by their biological sex face increased risk of being physically, psychologically, and sexually abused, and of suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by early adulthood, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health.
Abstract available for free at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/02/15/peds.2011-1804.abstract
The complete article can be purchased at the above site, or it will appear in the March print edition of Pediatrics, available at the library.
Anoka-Hennepin school board approves new policy addressing sexual orientation
By Sarah Horner
Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN
February 14, 2012
The Anoka-Hennepin school board in Minnesota has voted to end a policy some say contributed to the bullying of LGBT students. A new policy aimed at fostering a respectful learning environment for all students replaces one that required teachers to adopt a “neutral stance” on issues of sexual orientation.
What Shields Gay Youth from Suicide? Love from family and friends offer most protection, while bullying causes highest risk
Northwestern University - Press release
February 14, 2012
What protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youths from considering suicide and, conversely, what makes them most vulnerable to it? The first longitudinal study to look at suicide ideation and self-harm in this population shows support from friends and family offers the most protection in preventing youths from thinking about suicide. Adolescents who know they can talk to their parents about problems and know they have friends who care about them are less likely to consider ending their lives, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.
The full press release is here: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2012/02/gay-youth-suicide.html
The full article by Richard Liu and Brian Mustanski, titled “Suicidal Ideation and Self-Harm in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth,” will appear in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, March, 2012, and is available online here: http://www.ajpmonline.org/webfiles/images/journals/amepre/AMEPRE_3315-stamped.pdf
Seven-year-old transgender child joins Denver Girl Scouts
Bobby Montoya was initially refused membership in the Girl Scouts. But once the story reached the office of Colorado Girl Scouts, they quickly issued the following statement:
“If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout…. In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach. She contacted her supervisor, who immediately began working with the family to get the child involved and supported in Girl Scouts. We are accelerating our support systems and training so that we're better able to serve all girls, families and volunteers."
This decision by Colorado Girl Scouts has elicited a range of responses around the country, including boycotts of Girl Scout cookies in protest (http://articles.cnn.com/2012-01-13/living/living_girl-scout-boycott_1_gsusa-cookie-boycott-troop-leader?_s=PM:LIVING ) and pleas to increase orders of Girl Scout cookies in support (http://www.imatyfa.org/girlscouts/index.html ).
Young Activists Plot the Future of the LGBT Rights Movement
This article discusses youth involvement in the recent Creating Change activist conference sponsored by The Task Force (a.k.a, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, NGLTF). It looks at current youth involvement in a variety of settings and also talks about the push for more direct youth involvement, including a youth-led movement. Signs of the future …
Safe and Caring Schools for Two Spirit Youth: A Guide for Teachers and Students
From the Introduction: Before first contact with European colonizers, most Indigenous people recognized the importance of Two Spirit individuals and the special responsibility bestowed on them by the Creator. Nevertheless, the impact of colonization has been long lasting, suppressing Two Spirit traditions and roles and leaving generations of Two Spirit people suffering from multiple layers of discrimination and stigma. Two Spirit youth are particularly at risk. This resource hopes to provide a brief but informative window into the challenges that many Two Spirit students face within educational settings and to contribute practical suggestions that teachers can use to begin addressing these multi-layered issues.
It's Ok to Be Neither: Teaching that supports gender-variant children
By Melissa Bollow Temple
An elementary school teacher talks about how she included conversations about gender and gender stereotypes in her classroom.
Led by the child who simply knew
By Bella English
December 11, 2011
The twin boys were identical twins, but from the start each had a distinct personality. Jonas was all boy, and Wyatt was a girl to the core. “Dad, you might as well face it," their father recalls Jonas saying. “You have a son and a daughter." This article traces the trip the family took after that momentous declaration. It’s a great discussion of the process of a child’s transition and of parents’ personal process en route.
High School Gay–Straight Alliances (GSAs) and Young Adult Well-Being: An Examination of GSA Presence, Participation, and Perceived Effectiveness
By Russell B. Toomey, Caitlin Ryan, Rafeal M. Diaz, and Stephen T. Russell
Applied Developmental Science, 15(4)
This recent publication from the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University shows that the presence of a GSA, participation in a GSA, and perceived GSA effectiveness in promoting school safety were associated with young adult well-being and, in some cases, reduced the negative effect of school victimization on well-being.
High School Students Crowned America’s First [reported] Lesbian Homecoming Couple
by Olivia Katrandjian
Oct 30, 2011
The times, they are a changin’! Two California high school students became (one of) the first lesbian couples crowned homecoming king and queen in the nation. Adams and Arellano both came out their freshman year of high school, and they began dating in February of their sophomore year. They say their parents were supportive both when they came out and when they started dating.
All Children Matter
Report Documents How Children Have Become Collateral Damage of Anti-Gay Laws
Oct. 25, 2011
A groundbreaking new report released today shows how two million children have become collateral damage of decades of ideology, laws, and policies designed to hurt lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.
Full and condensed versions of the report are available online at www.lgbtmap.org/lgbt-families
A year after teen suicide spate, more gay students are speaking out, schools taking action
Associated Press (in the Washington Post)
Oct. 22, 2011
School officials across the country are responding to recent media attention about anti-LGBT bullying and teen suicides with new policies aimed at encouraging bullied students to report harassment. Students are also getting involved, according to this article.
A Separate Peace?
By Kayla Webley
Oct. 13, 2011
Special schools for LGBTQ youth: Are they the answer to the problem of harassment, fear, and isolation that many queer youth experience? Or are they more problematic than helpful. This article introduces a variety of perspectives on this complicated issue.
Minnesota Public Schools: Dealing with gay students, bullying in very different ways
by Chris Welch
Oct. 12, 2011
In January, the Minneapolis school board unanimously passed a unique resolution instructing administrators to track bullying incidents related to the harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. The measure also requires all staff to be trained on LGBT issues. It injects LGBT topics into the curriculum, which includes adding an LGBT component to sex ed. They will eventually add an elective high school course on LGBT history.
Just a few miles away, another Minneapolis-area school district has attracted national attention for its policy that deals with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students much differently. The Anoka-Hennepin School District’s curriculum policy, adopted in 2009, bars teachers from taking a position on homosexuality in the classroom and says such matters are best addressed outside of school. It's become known as the neutrality policy. But many argue that I leaves LGBT students without protection from harassment.
The Freedom to Choose Your Pronoun
by Jennifer Conlin
New York Times
Oct. 2, 2011
A growing number of high school and college students who are questioning the gender roles society assigns individuals simply because they have been born male or female.
With NY Teen's Suicide Come Spotlight, Caution
Sept. 28, 2011
After a 14-year old gay boy committed suicide, activists, journalists and Gaga herself seized on the suicide, decrying the loss of another promising life to bullying. But the incomplete and conflicting portrait of this boy’s life did not convey the complexities of the teenage mind and the reality that bullying is rarely the sole factor at work. It also highlighted the risk of creating an icon at the price of glamorizing suicide as an option for other bullied or attention-seeking teens. "If we portray it as something that is admirable and very sympathetic, vulnerable youth may hear that as, 'Look at the attention this case is getting and everyone is feeling sorry and praising this individual,' and it can form a narrative that can be compelling," said Ann Haas, senior project specialist at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Transgender kids: Painful quest to be who they are
by Madison Park
Sept. 27, 2011
When children insist that their gender doesn't match their body, it can trigger a confusing, painful odyssey for the family. And most of the time, these families face isolating experiences trying to decide what is best for their kids, especially because transgender issues are viewed as mysterious, and loaded with stigma and judgment. This article also has an embedded video.
Bullying as True Drama
by Dannah Boyd & Alice Marwick
New York Times
Sept. 22, 2011
Ready to re-think your ideas about bullying prevention? This article suggests that if the goal is to intervene at the moment of victimization, the focus should be to work within teenagers’ cultural frame, encourage empathy, and help young people understand when and where “drama” has serious consequences. The key is to help young people feel independently strong, confident, and capable without first requiring them to see themselves as either an oppressed person or an oppressor.
In Minnesota Suburb, Battle Goes Public on Bullying Gay Students
By Erik Eckholm
New York Times
Sept. 13, 2011
This sprawling suburban school system is caught in the eye of one of the country’s hottest culture wars — how homosexuality should be discussed in the schools. In July, six students brought a lawsuit contending that school officials have failed to stop relentless antigay bullying and that a district policy requiring teachers to remain “neutral” on issues of sexual orientation has fostered oppressive silence and a corrosive stigma.
Eight Suicides in Two Years at Anoka-Hennepin School District
By Erik Eckholm
New York Times
Sept. 13, 2011
The eight student suicides in two years have been a painful challenge to the Anoka-Hennepin school district. A group of parents, teachers and former friends of the dead students, in contrast, say that at least four of them were definitely gay or bisexual and had struggled with harassment.
On the Team: Equal Opportunity for Transgender Athletes
Co-sponsored by National Center for Lesbian Rights and Women’s Sport Foundation
This extensive and very readable report explores the obstacles and opportunities for transgender high school and college athletes. It presents policy recommendations, best practices, and additional resources for issues related to transgender students’ participation in sports. Excellent information for schools, parents, and community activists.
California lawmakers pass bill to teach gay history
By By Leidhra Johnson
July 5, 2011
A bill to require California public schools to teach the historical accomplishments of gay men and lesbians passed the state Legislature on July 5, 2001, in what supporters call a first for the nation.
‘Coming Out’: Gay Teenagers in Their Own Words
By Sarah Kramer
New York Times
May 20, 2011
Bullying and suicides of gay and lesbian teenagers are in the headlines, the military's “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy has been repealed, and the debate over same-sex marriage continues to divide the country. Against this backdrop, many LGBT youth wonder how accepting society will be. The project was initiated as an effort to better understand this generation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youths, and to explore its realities and expectations.
Read the article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/us/23out.html?_r=1
Watch related, reader-submitted videos at: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/23/us/20110523-coming-out.html?hp
Former Villanova Athlete Reveals He Is Gay
By Dana O'Neil
May 16, 2011
Four years after his Villanova basketball career ended, Will Sheridan feels compelled to talk about being gay because he just doesn't get it anymore. The big deal. The turmoil. The stigma. He's proud of who he is, confident, comfortable, borderline arrogant even. And although it wasn't easy, his wasn't the torturously impossible and lonely road so many presumed it would be.
A Sports Executive Leaves the Safety of His Shadow Life
By Dan Berry
New York Times
May 15, 2011
Rick Welts, 58, the president and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns, has spent 40 years in sports, rising from ball boy to NBA executive to team president. Until now, he had not felt comfortable enough in his chosen field to be open about his sexuality.
Two Straight Athletes Combat Homophobia
By John Branch
New York Times
May 13, 2011
Ben Cohen is a world-class English rugby star, and Hudson Taylor is a three-time college all-American wrestler. They live on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. They barely know each other. But they have something quite unusual in common. They may be the only two high-profile heterosexual athletes dedicating their lives to the issues of bullying and homophobia in sports.
Gay immigrants need asylum from persecution at home
By Melanie Asmar
May 4, 2011
Immigrants seeking asylum in the United are fleeing their countries and must convince the government that they should be allowed to stay because they fear persecution in their native country based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. But asylum claims based on sexual orientation are not always clear-cut, especially when the facts get tangled up in bias.
Who Opens the Door? Coming Out in the Age of Social Media
By Serena Yuan Volpp
April 27, 2011
“Although there are more gays and lesbians in the media, reality shows, and the Internet have transformed contemporary notions of privacy and are affecting the ability of individuals to control their path of coming out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. This can have harmful effects, some intentional and some unintentional.”
Teens — gay or straight — more likely to attempt suicide in conservative towns
By Lindsey Tanner
April 18, 2011
Suicide attempts by gay teens — and even straight kids — are more common in politically conservative areas where schools don't have programs supporting gay rights, a study involving nearly 32,000 high school students found.
Those factors raised the odds and were a substantial influence on suicide attempts even when known risk contributors like depression and being bullied were considered.
Kobe Bryant’s Gay Slur
Several stories and commentaries have appeared in recent days about basketball superstar Kobe Bryant’s anti-gay comment at a recent televised game. Here’s one of the first columns on what followed.
If you’re interested in how seriously the pro basketball and the mainstream media have taken this event, follow the stories on Google News.
The “pink toenails for boys” controversy
A J. Crew in which a mom appears to be enjoying a pink-toenail moment with her son created a stir that spilled over into the John Stewart show. Read about the ad and it consequences here:
And check out John Stewart’s comedic take on the flap here:
New research counts the cost of rejecting, benefits of accepting LGBT youth
By Pam Mellskog
March 22, 2011
This is an excellent article about the upcoming Boulder-area visit by Caitlin Ryan and her research on the importance of family acceptance of LGBTQ youth. Nice quotations from local folks (info about one of Ryan’s public presentations is included in a sidebar).
Clashes Pit Parents against Gay-Friendly Curriculums in Schools
By Gerry Shih
New York Times
March 3, 2011
Education about gay issues has expanded dramatically in recent years around the country, but experts suggest that the battle over what should and should not be a part of public school curriculums has just begun. California is poised to take a step sure to sharpen the debate. A bill introduced in December by State Senator Mark Leno, Democrat of San Francisco, would require all of the state’s history textbooks to include figures and events in gay history and portray them “in a positive light.” Some say Leno’s bill was another step in what he labeled a long-running gay political agenda to “queer” the schools.
The softening of masculinity in English sixth forms
By Marc McCormack
March 1, 2011
How has a decrease in the stigma attached to homosexuality impacted the lives of boys in English schools, their self-images, and their relationships with one another? This is a really interesting article and echoes trends we’ve also been seeing in the US.
Also, the analyses in this article are very reminiscent of Suzanne Pharr’s book, “Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism” (1988, Chardon Press), arguably the best book ever written on the intersection of gender normativity and homophobia (which you can now download for free!):
More Students Seek Avenues to Gay-Friendly Colleges
By Sergio N. Candido
New York Times blog
January 20, 2011
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students are increasingly looking for a college or university that is “gay friendly.” This column discusses the reasons and the resources.
Gay or Straight, Youths Aren’t So Different
By Jane E. Brody
New York Times
January 3, 2011
This article has a nice balance, examining both differences and similarities between LGB teens and heterosexual teens. Good internal links to other information, including links to related studies and to a (free, online) video with concrete information for parents of LGB teens.
In Isolated Utah City, New Clubs for Gay Students
By Erik Eckholm
New York Times
January 1, 2011
This story is an indication of the progress of LGBTQ rights and the gradual recognition of LGBTQ students, even in the most conservative corners of the country. At three local high schools in conservative, heavily Mormon southern Utah, dozens of gay students and their supporters finally convened the first Gay-Straight Alliances in the history of the city of St. George. It was a turning point there and for the state – and a sign of changes nationwide.
Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey
National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Hundreds of dramatic findings on the impact of antitransgender bias are presented in this report. Despite all of the harassment, mistreatment, discrimination and violence faced by respondents, study participants also demonstrated determination, resourcefulness and perseverance. Furthermore, in the face of extensive institutional discrimination, family acceptance had a protective affect against many threats to well-being including health risks such as HIV infection and suicide.
Transgender Literature for Young Adults
It's not easy to locate young adult books with transgender characters or topics using the library catalog, so the ESSL Children's Literature Blog has put together a bibliography of these resources. Included are guides to YA transgender literature as well as fiction and nonfiction about transgender characters and people.
Parenting Queer Youth of Color—and Saving Their Lives
By Kyle Bella, ColorLines
December 23, 2010
The Family Acceptance Project aimed to generate a wide range of data on specific actions families take in support or rejection of their child’s sexual orientation and gender identity. Among the things the project discovered is a profound lack of broad, communal support for LGBT youth and their families in communities of color. With over 8,000 pages of interview transcriptions, researchers were able to show over 100 different specific actions that parents or guardians have taken toward the acceptance—or rejection—of their child.
A Joint Statement about Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the DREAM Act – LGBT and Immigrant Communities Continue to Stand Together
December 21, 2010
This week, the U.S. Senate passed legislation ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," a major victory for LGB rights. But on the same day, the same Senate blocked the "DREAM Act," which would have provided a path to citizenship for many undocumented youth. Several local organizations joined in issuing a statement about these events.
A debate on the issue of suicide among gay youth
By Kathleen O’Brien
(New Jersey) Star Ledger
December 19, 2010
The recent focus on LGBT youth suicides has also highlighted a debate about the actual incidence of such suicides and about the messages conveyed by so much focus on them. Some argue that the data on LGBT youth suicide are misleading this focus on the idea of suffering queer youth conveys a dangerous message. Others argue that the statistics are real and that the focus is crucial to helping LGBT teens. This blog/article is a cursory overview of that controversy.
New research challenges common ideas about mental health and suicide in LGBT youth
By Brian Mustanski
Psychology Today online
December 15, 2010
This link will take you to a summary of a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. This study found that the rates of depression and suicidality in LGBT youth were comparable to those for similar representative studies of urban heterosexual youth. Still, the authors emphasize that the prevalence of mental disorders and suicidal behaviors are sufficiently high to warrant special attention to the needs of LGBT youth. (For the full study: Mustanski, B. S., Garofalo, R., & Emerson, E. M. (2010). American Journal of Public Health, 100, 2426-2432.)
NCAA Considers Transgender Policy
By David Moltz
Inside Higher Ed
December 15, 2010
A working group of the National Collegiate Athletic Association has proposed an interpretation of existing policies to create paths for transgender athletes to compete on teams. This is the first time that the NCAA, in any capacity, has offered advice on this issue. Read the details here
Bold Crossings of the Gender Line
By William Van Meter
New York Times
December 8, 2010
This article is not great in terms of its use of terms; especially, it fails to distinguish among transgender, transsexual, cross-dressing, and transvestite (for definitions of all those terms, go to the Glossary page on this site. Despite this concern, we included it here for two reasons: (1) it gives an idea of how widespread the topic of gender variation is becoming in the culture, and (2) it talks about experiences of youth and how important it is to them to see themselves and their experiences reflected in the broader culture. So read with a critical eye, and consider the broader messages it carries for youth and for trans people of all ages.
Pink Boys with Puppy Dog Tails: Three ways to think about little boys in pretty dresses.
By Alice Dreger
December 6, 2010
This is an excellent, easily understandable discussion of various ways of thinking of gender non-conformity in children. It challenges some common assumptions, is respectful, thoughtful, thought provoking, and very informative.
Gay and lesbian teens are punished more at school and by police
By Donna St. George
Washington Post Staff Writer
December 6, 2010
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual teens in the United States are about 40 percent more likely than their straight peers to be punished by schools, police, and the courts, according to a study just published in the journal Pediatrics, which found that girls who identify as lesbian or bisexual are especially at risk for unequal treatment.
New Task Force on LGBT Youth Suicide Prevention by Dept of Health and Human Services
By Dana Rudolph
Keen News Service
November 19, 2010
A national task force dedicated to suicide prevention among LGBT youth will be part of the new National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. The Alliance, launched by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in September, is a public-private partnership supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Acceptance of GW transgender basketball player a good life lesson
By Dave Zirin
November 16, 2010
So what happens next? George Washington's Kye Allums made history last weekend by becoming the first openly transgender player in NCAA hoops history to suit up in a game when the Colonials played a pair of games in a tournament in Minnesota. The original story about Kye is also posted here (See “Transgender Man Is on Women’s Team,” by Katie Thomas, New York Times, November 1, 2010). This follow-up story talks about what’s ahead for trans folks in sports.
New Published Report Finds 0% of Adolescents Raised by Lesbians Have Been Physically or Sexually Abused by Parent
The Huffington Post
November 10, 2010
New findings from the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), the longest-running study ever conducted on American lesbian families (now in its 24th year) found that none of the 78 NLLFS adolescents report having ever been physically or sexually abused by a parent or other caregiver. This contrasts with 26% of American adolescents who report parent or caregiver physical abuse and 8.3% who report sexual abuse.
Critical Study Finds Direct Link between School Victimization of Gender-nonconforming LGBT Youth with Depression and Quality of Life in Adulthood
By Russell B. Toomey, Caitlin Ryan, Rafael M. Diaz, Noel A. Card, and Stephen T. Russell
New research to be published in the print edition of Developmental Psychology has found that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth who do not conform to societal gender norms have compromised mental health that is clearly linked to the bullying and harassment they receive in school.
'Princess Boy' at Center of Gender Debate: Can a Male Child Have Fun in a Tutu?
By Leanne Italie
October 29, 2010
Cheryl Kilodavis self-published "My Princess Boy" about the sometimes cruel reaction 5-year-old Dyson faces when he wears sparkly frocks, twirly skirts and jewelry. She shared it with his school and hopes it will be used as a tool for teachers, day care centers, summer camps and afterschool programs to address bullying and promote tolerance. What the Seattle mom hadn't anticipated was that her family's appearance on local TV … would land on YouTube, light up Twitter and produce both snappish doubters and loving support from around the world.
Let’s make BVSD a stronger, more welcoming community
By Chris King, BVSD Superintendent
October 22, 2010
BVSSC Superintendent’s Chris King's blog Oct. 22, 2010 addressed the rash gay suicides that had filled the national news in the weeks before. Read Dr. King’s blog, which was posted on the BVSSC website.
LGBT suicides: End homophobia, save lives
By Glenda Russell, PhD
Counseling and Psychological Services, CU-Boulder
October 7, 2010
In an Op Ed piece published in the Colorado Daily and in the online Daily Camera, psychologist Glenda Russell discusses what lies behind LGBTQ youth suicides, and what the press coverage misses. She also reminds us of the challenge that all of this poses for all of us.
On the Team: Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student Athletes
By Dr. Pat Griffin and Helen J. Carroll
October 4, 2010
This report is the product of a national think tank whose members gathered to develop model policies and identify best practices for high school and collegiate athletic programs to ensure the full inclusion of transgender student athletes. The purpose of this report is to provide clear and specific guidance to high school and collegiate athletic programs about how to ensure transgender student athletes fair, respectful, and legal access to school sports. Specific best practice recommendations are provided for athletic administrators, coaches, student athletes, parents, and the media.
From: Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center
Life can be tough for LGBT students in rural schools. But, like for youth in more urban schools, that can change with the right kind of support from parents and teachers. This article introduces the stories of a number of rural LGBT students, and also provides school and community resources addressing the special issues of LGBT youth living in rural areas.
When your kid is the bully
By Lylah M. Alphonse
February 18, 2010
Parents are wired to see their kids’ behavior as socially acceptable. Except sometimes, it’s not. An article about bullying, with some thought-provoking tidbits for us to consider as we think about anti-bullying programs in the schools and their value for LGBTQI kids.
Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Families with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Children
by Caitlin Ryan
Family Assistance Project, San Francisco State University (2009)
This booklet is addressed to families with LGBT children, This booklet was written for families like yours to help strengthen and is intended to help them provide support to these children and to decrease these children’s risk for serious health and mental health problems in adulthood. The information in this booklet comes from research with families with LGBT adolescents and young adults conducted by the Family Assistance Project at SFSU.
Snapshot: Advancing Transgender Equality
This report from the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) examines the particular obstacles faced by transgender people and illustrates these through stories of the lives of trans folks. The report then and offers ideas and recommendations about how those who want to be allies to the trans community can take effective action toward that end.
Coming out in adolescence
By Brian Van De Mark
October 9, 2008
Study shows teens are coming out at younger ages – but are our schools equipped to keep them safe?
Do Schools Discount Gay Parents? Gay Parents Get Shut Out
By Barbara Axelson
LGBT parents are very actively engaged in their children’s education, yet are often still not accepted by school communities.
Read article or download referenced report
Study Finds Half of Principals Deem Bullying a Serious Problem at Their School, Yet Appear to Underestimate Extent of Problem for Gay Students
By Cathy Renna
May 12, 2008
A new study of public school principals released today by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, in collaboration with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) finds that half of principals view bullying as a serious problem at their schools, yet they appear to underestimate the extent of harassment that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students experience.
They’re Here, They’re Queer, and They Don’t Need Us... Or Do They?
By Kenji Yoshino
May 07, 2008
The warp speed at which gay rights has moved in this country has left me—along with many LGBT adults -- feeling hopelessly out of touch with LGBT youths.
By Maximillian Potter
The very idea that toddlers and preteens, like Lucia, are transitioning, and that moms and dads would assist them, has prompted plenty of passionate theories that have pitted doctors against doctors, polarized communities and families, and generally fostered an environment that quite literally has made it difficult for transgender children to survive. Meet a local family supporting a child transitioning in a Boulder public school.
Issues of Racial Justice and Inclusion
Issued by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), this primer is a starting point for addressing matters of race within the LGBT movement. It begins from an awareness that the LGBT movement’s lack of substantive work on issues most relevant to people of color leaves it vulnerable to irrelevance and division:
• Not fully serving a third of its constituents
• Using tactics and messages that inadvertently alienate LGBT people of color and their allies
• Facing a dearth of relationships that enables opponents to use wedge politics to divide LGBT/POC advocates and voters
*Disclaimer: These articles are provided for informational purposes only. Any opinions, findings, or recommendations expressed in these articles are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Boulder Valley Safe Schools Coalition or its affiliates.
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