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Bill Protecting LGBT Students in Nevada from Bullying Heads to Governor Brian Sandoval's Desk

An anti-bullying bill that includes protections for LGBT students has passed the Nevada Assembly and now heads to the desk of Gov. Brian Sandoval, who sponsored the legislation.

SandovalHRC reports:

“Far too many of our nation’s youth suffer from verbal and physical harassment or assault from their peers based on something as basic as who they are,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Thanks to the strong support of Governor Sandoval and those who advocated for this crucially important legislation, school districts in the Silver State will finally have the tools they need to implement protections for LGBT youth.” [...]

Once signed into law, twenty states plus the District of Columbia will have state laws that specifically protect LGBT students from bullying. These laws are vital because LGBT students face an increased risk of school bullying which can result in greater absenteeism, lower self-esteem, school pushout, lower grades, and lower educational aspirations for such students.


'Brokeback Mountain' Writers to Pen Film Based on Father's Cross Country Walk in the Wake of Gay Son's Suicide

Joe

A drama based on the true story of Joe Bell, the Oregon father who began a trek across the country to educate young people about the effects of bullying and homophobia after his 15-year-old son Jadin hanged himself in early 2013, is currently being penned by Brokeback Mountain screenwriters Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, Deadline reports

JadinJadin, a 15-year-old openly gay sophomore in Oregon, took his own life after being both bullied at high school and struggling for acceptance from the people closest to him. In the wake of Jadin’s suicide, Joe is plunged into a sea of remorse and regret and sets out on a walk across America, hoping to promote awareness about the consequences of prejudice to anyone he encounters along the way.

A24 is producing with Fukunaga’s Parliament of Owls production company, Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Riva Marker of Red Crown Productions, and Eva Maria Daniels of VisionChaos Productions. Red Crown’s Daniel Crown will executive produce.

Joe was tragically struck and killed by a semi truck while on his nation-wide walk in October of 2013. 

Ossana and McMurtry have teamed with True Detective producer Cary Fukunaga for the currently untitled project. 


Transgender Game Developer Commits Suicide After Enduring Persistent Cyberbullying

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.08.48 AM

A transgender game developer committed suicide by jumping from the George Washington Bridge last Thursday after enduring abuse from online trolls, Vocativ.com reports

Developer Rachel Bryk, who suffered chronic pain from rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, published a comment on a 4chan forum saying that she chose to withdraw from various sites after suffering persistent transphobic comments from fellow users. 

Just days before her death, Bryk wrote several suicide comments with other users mockingly responding to her with comments such as "jumping off a bridge isn’t rocket science," and, "good riddance." Bryk's work on Wii emulators earned her a supportive following online; her followers created memorial posts online in her honor with tributes to her work and prompting discussions of transphobia in online communities after Bryk's death. Bryk’s suicide follows the suicide of Fallbrook, Calif. trans teen Taylor Alesena on April 2 who posted a video to YouTube addressing the transphobia she faced at school.

(Photo via Facebook)


Montana Finally Joins 49 Other States as Governor Signs Anti-Bullying Bill into Law

BullockMontana Governor Steve Bullock on Tuesday signed an anti-bullying bill that has been in the works for more than a decade, the AP reports.

The new law defines bullying as any repeated harassment, hazing or threatening in person, or in writing including electronic communication. As proposed, it would have directed public school districts to adopt certain policies addressing the issue of bullying. The final version simply prohibits students and teachers from bullying any student in a public K-12 school. It does not explicitly refer to cyberbullying, but the law would forbid it under the general bullying ban.

Bullock signed the Bully Free Montana Act at Jefferson Elementary School in Helena flanked by Rep. Kim Dudik, Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau, students and their families.

Montana was the only state in the union to have no legislation passed to fight bullying. It's about time.


Photo of Toronto Cop Who Dyed His Hair Pink to Oppose LGBTQ Bullying Goes Viral

Toronto

Toronto police officer Luke Watson's desire to see an end to anti-LGBTQ bullying burns with a hot pink intensity. To mark yesterday's Day of Pink, an international day against "bullying, discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, and transmisogyny across the world," Watson dyed his hair pink and pledged to keep it that way for an entire week if the Twitter photo of his new 'do was retweeted 1,000 times.

The photo has since been retweeted over 3000 times.

Global News reports that Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also took part in the Day of Pink, albeit without any body modifications. 

More on the day via the official website:

PinkThe International Day of Pink was started in Nova Scotia when 2 straight high school students saw a gay student wearing a pink shirt being bullied. The 2 students intervened, but wanted to do more to prevent homophobic & transphobic bullying. They decided to purchase pink shirts, and a few days later got everyone at school to arrive wearing pink, standing in solidarity. The result was that an entire school took a stand and began working together to prevent homophobic & transphobic bullying.


Dad's Video Goes Viral: My Boys are Being Assaulted at School Because I'm Gay— WATCH

Franklin

Joshua Alameda Franklin, a 31-year-old gay dad in Hilo, Hawaii posted a video this week to Facebook which is going viral on the social network. In the clip, Franklin talks to his 10- and 9-year-old sons Alae'a Stevens-Alameda and Joshua Poha Stevens-Alameda about the bullying, harassment, and physical assaults they endure at school because their dad is gay.

2_franklinSays Alae'a: "People would ask me about my father if he was gay and I would say, 'Yeah, there's nothing wrong with that.' I tried to walk away from this kid; he jumped on me and he slammed my face to a pole and gave me a black eye...They would call me gay, they would call me stupid, retard..."

Franklin's younger son Josh later tells a horrifying story of his own:

"I was walking up the stairs and someone called me gay and then I was trying to walk away, but they kept on talking and then I turned around and I said, 'Why are you calling me gay?' I knew he was going to cause a fight, so I was trying to walk away and he choked my neck and slammed me to the ground."

Franklin says he has witnessed the kids being called "faggot" and other names while teachers and supervisors stood by and do nothing. He says they have already had to change schools because of the harassment and inaction by administrators.

Franklin told KITV4: "The school is telling the perpetrators that are doing this to my children that they need to tolerate us, and they're using the word tolerance or tolerate in a way where it's very exclusive. So, basically what's being stated is that they're not willing to tell the kids that are doing this to my children, 'Hey, you know what, there's nothing wrong with being gay.'"

The news station adds: "A phone call to Hilo Union Elementary School Principal Erin Williams was not returned Thursday, but Department of Education communications director Donalyn Dela Cruz said the alleged bullying is being looked at."

Franklin said he's ready to start homeschooling his children, and made the video to make people aware of the issue.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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