When I first met Tabby, I wasn’t sure if I was more struck by her bold sky blue hair or by her huge smile as she shouted a greeting across the road. I vividly remember her head sticking up from the other side of the car almost as soon as it had stopped, greeting me as though I was an old friend. This meeting had arrived after four months worth of emails and texts back and forth across the country, and I’m not sure who was more excited.
Tabby Besley is the sole founder of InsideOUT, a national organisation which works with youth, whānau, schools and communities to make Aotearoa a safer place for all young people of minority genders and sexualities to live and be in, and she was in Napier to run a workshop for Hawkes Bay youth, on running QSA’s (Queer Straight Alliance) and promoting awareness of LGBT+ issues within New Zealand's schools. This workshop was attended by six different schools and the information that came out was eye opening. Two male students from a private school described the environment at their school, explaining physical fights and bullying occurring for students just for ‘looking gay’.
While talking with Tabby I soon discovered that the portrayal of the LGBT+ community to everyone else is often quite warped and inaccurate. Unlike what many seem to believe, such as student Josh from Havelock North High School stating “only around I think 8% is (sic) gay”, earlier this year a survey released by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) showed
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[The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) organization at my high school, which meets twice per month, generated a list of concerns that they shared with school administration. The focus was specifically about gender identity, the lack of support from school staff, and the daily scrutiny they face as a result of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Through collaboration with my colleagues it was evident that there had been an increase in teacher and student referrals surrounding gender identity. The feedback from GSA clearly identified that as a school we are not meeting the needs of our LGBT students and those struggling with sexual orientation. Members of the GSA clearly feel that teachers ignore negative comments like “gay” and “faggot” when they hear them in class, that teachers may not clearly understand gender neutral language, and that our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) students do not feel safe and protected in school. Students needed support advocating for their right to use a restroom, correct pronoun, etc., requiring district, community, parent, and colleague
Whilst facilitating an enrichment project for KS4 learners, it was my pleasure to work in collaboration with a ex-pupil of mine (who had left the school two years previous.) in order to explore the issue of homosexuality, homophobia and briefly touch on stereotypical views in society.
In this group project, I had a major role in ensuring that it came together in a unified way. Generally, I usually take a leadership role in group projects so I was the central person coordinating group meetings and ensuring sufficient communication. To begin the project, we divided up the work by assigning people to work on the case study, find literature, summarize the textbook, and talk to key informants. My assigned part was to summarize the textbook, which also ended up lending itself to finding some additional sources to build on what the textbook was lacking. In regard to the group literature and informant summary, I ended up writing most
In “We must celebrate gender and sexual diversity in our schools” published in The Conversation, February 16 2016, Lucy Nicholas argues that the current commentary on the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) community against schools and the SSC (Safe Schools Coalition) is extremely out of touch. Many of youths already understand their sexuality, whether it be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.
I am very proud to say that I have helped to reintroduce our school's Gay Straight Alliance club. My freshman year our club shut down due to lack of interest and most LGBT students at Evansville High were uncomfortable coming out since there was not a lot of them. By my sophomore year, I thought it would be appreciable to reintroduce this club. I wanted to create a fun safe place where students to join as one. I worked hard finding information so I could relate to all, since we had all types of people. A large challenge at my school, which is awful, is students making fun of other people for simply being different.
Most LGBT youth become happy with who they are which gives them room to thrive during their adolescent years. Attending a school that has a safe and comfortable environment for every student is especially important. Positive environments can help all youth achieve good grades and maintain good mental and physical health. However, some youths are more likely than their straight peers to experience bad health and life outcomes. Experiences with violence, compared to other students, come easy to LGBT individuals that can cause increased risks for unfortunate circumstances.‘Violence’ includes behaviors such as teasing, harassment, and physical assault. It is important that students at risk have access to resources and support to deal with any questions or challenges they may have or face as they mature. Surveyed LGBT students reported 10% were threatened or injured, 34% were bullied, and 28% were bullied electronically.
GSA groups have been around since the 1980’s and according to the Gay-Straight Alliance Network there are currently over 4,000 school based groups throughout the United States (Currie, Mayberry, and Chenneville, 2012; Tommey, Ryan, Diaz, and Russell, 2011). GSA groups came out of the Gay Rights Movement during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Adolescents identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) or align within the context of this spectrum have been victims of bullying, discrimination, prejudice, persecution, and hate within the school system. For one decade, between 1999 and 2009, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in the United States asking students to describe their high school milieu. According to the findings, 61% of LGBT students feel unsafe, 72% report hearing degrading comments, 85% are verbally harassed, and 40% are physically harassed (Fetner, Elafros, Bortolin, and Drechsler, 2012). The statistics for minority high school students including Latinos and African Americans had slightly elevated rates in both verbal and physical harassment. It was not until the realization that LGBT adolescents, like other adolescents, spend the majority of their time within the confines of the American public education system and suffer, did acknowledgement of creating a safe space for LGBT students develop (Toomey et. al, 2011).
The increasing debates amoungst politicians and community members about the ‘All of Us’ program run by the Safe School Coalition has people questioning the appropriateness of the program being displayed to teens. In the opinion article ‘Safe Schools Coalition: what is the Christian Right afraid of?’ published in ‘The Conversation’ on the 25th of Febuary 2016 Timothy W Jones a senior lecturer of History at La Trobe University contends that, sex education and anti-bullying programs are put into place to help young adults who identify as LGBTI feel safe and that the Right are stuck on old ideologies. In a passionate, balance and riduculing tone, Jones targets the Australian public and the Christian Right to understand the legitimacy of the program.
To expect greatness in any field of life, it all starts from a place of quality education and that's what America has constantly strived for. School is the place where everyone is given equal opportunity to learn and shape himself or herself into contributing members of society. At the same time each individual’s academic success defines what it means to have a good life. Unfortunately, schools face lots of problems trying to do the right thing. Among major challenges that schools face, bullying has a strong attribution to the poor academic experience among student victims. Today, students still risk being bullied everyday. This paper studies bullying in secondary school with
When 11% of Australia’s population as a member of the LGBT community, having 61% of these people facing homophobic abuse is a real issue and it needs to be solved now. Since it’s first appearance in 2010, the safe schools program has helped gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender kids to feel acceptance and combat against homophobic bullying. Although the ‘Safe Schools’ program has showed extremely positive outcomes when it came to reduction of bullying and overall happiness of students, however, the current Australian Government
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community is a marginalized and vulnerable population. According to Cornelius and Carrick (2015) the population identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered ranges from three to ten percent. As one is forming a research question, the “so what” factor is considered; while ten percent can seem to be an insignificant amount to some, this population deserves quality and unbiased healthcare. Human dignity and flourishing should not be based on one’s sexual identity or gender. The question to be answered is: in registered nurses does an online educational offering on LGBT health care affect nurses’ knowledge or attitudes in caring for the LGBT population?
Humans in America who choose to identity as members of L.G.B.T.Q.I.A community have been chastised and mistreated for years, specifically Black Americans. Thousands of people who identify as members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual community have been suppressed of the ability to love freely without being ridiculed. Every human around the world deserves to be loved, regardless of their sexual orientation. Identifying as a member of the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A community does not make you abnormal. There is nothing wrong with liking the same sex, it does not classify you as anything less than a man or woman. Furthermore, society has created this negative notion about identifying as an L.G.B.T.Q.I.A member, we are all humans, with emotions. Homosexuality amongst the African American community is prevalent; it has its detriments and burdens on individuals. The effects of how Blacks are ostracized amongst the Black community is disheartening and is displayed through homophobia, violence, and acceptance.
Learning about the LGBTQ population was an interesting experience for me. I have many family members as well as friends who identify as homosexual. Understanding the difficulties associated with being a homosexual are always so astounding to me. I realized during last week’s class, that, it must truly be difficult to be a minority and then on top of that be an out casted homosexual. I began to truly feel that there were so many disparities in this world and that if you do not fit in to a box within society, you are somehow not worthy. Many LGBTQ people are homeless, without support, and depressed. It is quite sad.
The battles that the LGBT community faces every day are something most people aren’t familiar with. For me however it’s a different story. The LGBT community is a community looking for wider acceptance and understanding. Every morning someone who is lesbian, gay, transsexual, or transgender has to wake up and face the daily battles of living this lifestyle. They have to fight for equality and have hope they won’t get shorthanded just because of how they live their life. It’s becoming easier for people to be okay with what they are, but it’s still not fully accepted. It’s a constant battle in the minds of people who don’t feel supported by their loved ones, or they feel like they can’t be who they truly want to be. In reality of the whole situation, we’re all human, rich or poor, straight or part of the LGBT community. So why is there still fear in people? And why can’t we all just let everyone be happy?