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Study: LGBT Youth Report Online Harassment Three Times More Often Than Heterosexual Peers

  Same difference

A recent study by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network shows that nearly three times the amount of LGBT youth respondents reported bullying and harassment online as compared to their non-LGBT peers, reports The Advocate.

Additionally, the report demonstrates that LGBT youth were twice as likely to report being harassed via text message.

Based on a national survey of 5,680 students in middle and high school, effects of bullying reported included lowered self-esteem, higher likelihood of depression, and lowered grade point averages.

However, noting that respondents reported increased peer support, access to health information, and opportunities for civic engagement, Michelle Ybarra, the president and research director of the Center for Innovative Health Research said that the Internet “does not serve to simply reinforce the negative dynamics found offline regarding bullying” but “also offers LGBT youth critical tools for coping with these negative experiences."

The study found LGBT youth nearly twice as likely to research medical information online, with transgender youth proving particularly proactive in that area.

In April, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed an anti-bullying bill into law strengthening protections for LGBT students and students with disabilities.

Previously, 'Same Difference': Documentary Film Looks at LGBT Youth - VIDEO


Wisconsin Superintendent Apologizes For Pro-Gay Video After Three Parents Complain - VIDEO

Kidsreact

Responding to complaints from three parents, Superintendent Karen Schulte of the Janesville School District of Wisconsin apologized for showing a video entitled "Kids React to Gay Marriage" at Craig High School on April 11 during the national Day of Silence against LGBT-bullying.

Even though students from the school's Gay-Straight Alliance chose the video and  had it approved by faculty advisers and the principal, the parents who complained felt that it was biased because it only presented one-side of the same-sex marriage issue.

Nick Crow of The Janesville Gazette writes:

Three parents wrote letters complaining that students shouldn't have been shown the video, but the majority of parents didn't have an issue with it, Schulte said…

She said board policy 6021, which regulates controversial issues in the classroom, was not followed in this instance because both sides weren't presented. The video focused on same-sex marriage but didn't make a connection to harassment and bullying, Schulte said.

... but she believes the student group who chose the video was "well intentioned" and that this is a "teachable moment" for those students.

In truth, the video starts with a focused on gay marriage and then moves onto bullying, hate crimes and anti-gay criminalization.

Watch the video in question AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Wisconsin Superintendent Apologizes For Pro-Gay Video After Three Parents Complain - VIDEO" »


Teacher Suspended For Comparing Gay-Straight Alliance To Drug-Users Club

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David Foggin, a teacher at Parkersburg South High School in West Virginia, has been suspended for four days by the Wood County School District for posting an image on Facebook comparing his school’s gay-straight alliance with a club for drugs, drunks and deer poaching.

FogginHis post had an image advertising the GSA’s next meeting and the following text written by him:

“Club meeting at PSHS!! Rally around them and show ur support. We are also considering a drunks-t totaller club, drugged/sober club, smokeless tobacco vs smokes club, street racing, and deer poaching clubs. Please donate and support us. Thank u!!! I think I hear the drag already zinging.”

The county school board is investigating the matter and considering whether or not Mr. Foggin’s will be paid during his suspension.


Pride House Introduces Same-Sex Hand Holding Initiative For Olympic Athletes In Sochi

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The IOC's recent announcement that it plans to crack down on all forms of pro-LGBT protest and activism has obviously sparked strong reactions from members of the international LGBT community. Some athletes still plan on making statements, regardless of the consequences. Pride House, an international coalition of LGBT sport and human rights groups, has a new solution to offer, one that encourages participation from LGBT athletes as well as their straight allies. It's also relatively simple, and requires no special equipment, wardrobe, or paraphernalia. 

The group is proposing the "Same Sex Hand Holding Initiative, which encourages all Olympic participants: athletes, coaches, spectators, staff, media, regardless of their orientation or background, to hold hands with as many members of the same sex as possible as often as possible. That's it.

Lou Englefield, Director of Pride Sports UK and PHI coordinator, talked about the genesis of the idea with Pink News:

“The very first thing the members of the Pride House International coalition did was to ask our Russian counterparts for their leadership on our campaign. Any response, no matter how well-meaning, would be inappropriate without the input of LGBT sportspeople in Russia." 

Holding-hands-One such Russian sportsperson was Konstanin Yablotskiy from the Russian LGBT Sports Federation, who was among those responsible for coming up with the concept:

"The Same-Sex Hand-Holding Initiative enables everyone to get involved with a simple yet iconic gesture. We know from gestures like Usain Bolt’s lightning stance the impact of such images that are simple, replicable, and identifiable."

Les Johnson of the Federation of Gay Games also weighed in:

"There are extreme restrictions on the uniforms and other items worn by athletes at any Olympic Games. Flags, badges, or pins are not allowed without IOC approval, a near-impossibility, and wearing something as seemingly innocuous as pink socks or shoelaces is very difficult for athletes to do, and complex to organise for other participants and spectators. But everyone can hold hands with their neighbour. Indeed, raising your rivals’ hands in camaraderie is an image we see on every podium at every sporting event."

Johnson raises a very interesting point. Since the initiative encourages participation from all those in attendance at the games, not just LGBT people, the gesture could theoretically pass by Russian authorities as purely innocuous. Nevertheless, Pride House still encourages those participating in the Same Sex Hand Holding Initiative to do so in a public place where there are plenty of spectators (and potentially press). 

For those still wishing to make  statement with actual concrete materials such as posters, shirts, pins, and so on, Pride House has also announced that it will be making those materials available starting in October on its official website


Bisexual Teen Fights for Gay-Straight Alliance in Florida as Homophobic Parent Compares it to a Gang: VIDEO

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14-year-old Bayli Silberstein is leading the charge to get a Gay-Straight Alliance in place at Carver middle School which she attends because she says anti-gay bullying is out of hand. The Lake County School Board had a meeting on Monday afternoon, the Orlando Sentinel reports:

More than 100 parents, students, residents and a few pastors showed up at a Lake County School Board meeting Monday afternoon, many wearing red shirts to show support for a proposed Gay-Straight Alliance club at Carver Middle School in Leesburg...

The American Civil Liberties Union is supporting Bayli, saying that under the federal Equal Access Act schools can not discriminate among clubs based on what they think students should or should not discuss. If a school allows any student group that's not directly related to school curriculum to meet, then it cannot deny other student groups the same access.

Others spoke out against the alliance, saying the real issue is bullying. Students, they said, would not find the support they need in a gay-straight group.

"It's like gangs," said Lori Pitner, a Tavares resident who spoke in opposition. "More kids in gangs end up killed than are not in gangs. I don't see this as any different."

Watch the Orlando Sentinel's interview with Silberstein, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bisexual Teen Fights for Gay-Straight Alliance in Florida as Homophobic Parent Compares it to a Gang: VIDEO" »


Beautiful 'Everyone is Different' Dutch PSA Highlights Challenges, Promotes Acceptance of LGBT Youth: VIDEO

Eid

A beautiful PSA for a Dutch LGBT youth support group highlights the challenges faced by LGBT youth, telling the stories of several kids as they struggle to find acceptance among their peers while facing the individual realizations that they are, and can be different.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Eid2Wat

Continue reading "Beautiful 'Everyone is Different' Dutch PSA Highlights Challenges, Promotes Acceptance of LGBT Youth: VIDEO" »


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