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Campus Pride Releases 2013 ‘Top 25 LGBT-Friendly Universities And Colleges’ Listing
via Huffington Post
Campus Pride, a nationally-recognized organization dedicated to making colleges and universities safer, more inclusive spaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, released its annual list of the “Top 25-LGBT Friendly Colleges And Universities” in the country today.
Each campus included in the final listing achieved 5 stars overall in the index, plus 5 stars in sexual orientation and 5 stars in gender identity/expression for an LGBT-friendly campus. In addition, the campuses had to have 4.5 stars or above (or the highest percentages) in all eight LGBT-friendly factors.
Free of charge, any college or university is invited to participate in the index by self-assessing their campus climate through a set of 50+ questions, corresponding to eight different LGBT-Friendly factors:
1. LGBT Policy Inclusion
2. LGBT Support & Institutional Commitment
3. LGBT Academic Life
4. LGBT Student Life
5. LGBT Housing
6. LGBT Campus Safety
7. LGBT Counseling & Health
8. LGBT Recruitment and Retention Efforts.
Here is the list of Top 25 LGBT-Friendly Universities in U.S.
- Case Western Reserve University
- Connecticut College
New London, CT
- Ithaca College
- Carleton College
- Macalester College
Saint Paul, MN
- Oberlin College
- Portland State University
- Princeton University
- Rutgers University
- Southern Oregon University
- Stanford University
- The Ohio State University
- University of California, Riverside
- University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- University of Maryland, College Park
College Park, MD
- University of Massachusetts, Amherst
- University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
- University of Minnesota - Duluth
- University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
- University of Oregon
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
- University of Washington
- Washington State University
Eighth-Graders Surprise Gay Teacher With Heartwarming Video
By Jase Peeples - The Advocate
An amazing story from a gay eighth-grade teacher in the Canadian province of Ontario is making the rounds on the Internet after being posted to Reddit.
The teacher recounts how two students in his “tough class” planned a surprise for him by playing the pro-equality song “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for the rest of their peers as a tribute to him:
I teach Grade 8 (13-14 years old) in Ontario, Canada. I am gay, and my students have known this for about a month or so. I am in my first year of teaching, and I teach something of a “tough” class.
In particular, I have one group of boys that can be a bit of a pain in the neck. Never keep their hands to themselves, always talk out of turn, have gotten in fights, etc. There is one boy in this group (he will be known here as Harry) who is a little quieter than the others, but very popular. He’s a bit tough to get close to, and seems like the type to be resistant to new ideas and different people. He hangs out with another tough kid (let’s call him Mark), who is loud and boisterous and often rude.
Now that it’s so close to the end of the year, I do a “YouTube of the Day” with them every morning. Kids can send in a short YouTube video for me to show to the class, I preview it, and if it’s appropriate, I play it. So this morning, Harry comes up to me and says, “I have a video I want to play.”
Now, I preview things for a reason. There are enough horror stories out there of teachers accidentally showing their kids porn for me to be very careful what I show my class. So I tell him to send it to me because, y’know, them’s the rules.
“I really want to show it,” he says back. “You’ll like it, I promise. It’s a music video.”
Given what Harry listens to, I’m wary. He listens to a lot of rap and hip-hop, and that’s fine, but I’ve heard some non-school-appropriate language come out of the music he listens to. So I ask him if it’s appropriate for school; he tells me yes.
This kid is many things, but he has never lied to me, that I’m aware of. Not once. So… I take a deep breath and tell him okay. What the heck.
(Note: I did read the lyrics, and they were beautiful, but what came next was unexpectedly awesome.)
So he goes on over and pulls it on up, and on comes a song I have never heard before. The artist is rapping about growing up gay, about the struggles of being gay, and about standing up in the face of hatred and homophobia. “Same Love,” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The video (linked) was beautiful.
And there’s Harry, proudly watching along with the rest of the class as the artist stands up for those gay kids who struggle, and the video shows a difficult, lonely life culminating in a fabulous wedding. Harry. My “tough kid.”
The video finishes, the kids applaud, and I thank him, and he says to me, “I told you you’d like it.”
And then his loud, rude friend Mark says: “That was for you, Mr. K.”
The whole class applauded again – for me this time – and then I cried. I cried the proudest tears I have ever shed.
Harry and Mark… they might tick off every teacher they ever have, but today they gave this teacher a moment he’ll never forget.
Picture from imgur:
"We just got back from the prom." "Did you have dates?" "Um, yeah."
Umm, isn’t this incredibly cute? :)
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Some Findings from GLSEN National School Climate Survey 2011
GLSEN’s annual poll — which comprised 8,584 student respondents from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia — aims to “consistently examine the experiences of LGBT students in America’s schools.”
Here are some findings from the survey:
- 81.9 percent of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 38.3 percent reported being physically harassed and 18.3 percent reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
- A considerable number of students reported discriminatory policies or practices against LGBT people by their school or school personnel. Students indicated the most common discriminatory policy or practice was related to treatment of LGBT relationships (e.g., related to dates for school dances and public display of affection).
- 60.4 percent of LGBT students never reported an incident of harassment or assault to school personnel.
- 84.9 percent of LGBT students heard “gay” used in a negative way (e.g., “that’s so gay”) and 71.3 percent heard homophobic remarks (e.g., “dyke” or “faggot”) frequently or often at school.
- Transgender students experienced more hostile school climates than their non-transgender peers — 80 percent of transgender students reported feeling unsafe at school because of their gender expression.
- Six in 10 LGBT students (63.5 percent) reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation; and four in 10 (43.9 percent) felt unsafe because of their gender expression.
- LGBT students reported feeling unsafe in specific school spaces, most commonly locker rooms (39.0 percent), bathrooms (38.8 percent) and physical education/gym class (32.5 percent).
- The reported grade point average of students who were more frequently harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression was lower than for students who were less often harassed (2.9 vs. 3.2). Increased levels of victimization were related to increased levels of depression and anxiety and decreased levels of self-esteem.
- Nearly one third of LGBT students (29.8 percent) reported skipping a class at least once and 31.8 percent missed at least one entire day of school in the past month because of safety concerns.
- Being out in school had positive and negative repercussions for LGBT students - outness was related to higher levels of victimization, but also higher levels of psychological well-being.
LBGTQ* Safety and Ally Assistance
(photo from University of Richmond’s Common Ground)
(following text from Youth Pride, Inc)
Ten suggestions for reducing homophobia in your environment
1. Make no assumption about sexuality. If a student has not used a pronoun when discussing a relationship, don’t assume one. Use neutral language such as “Are you seeing anyone” instead of “Do you have a boyfriend”. Additionally, do not assume that a female student who confides a “crush” on another girl is a lesbian. Labels are often too scary and sometimes not accurate. Let students label themselves.
2. Have something gay-related visible in your office. A sticker, a poster, a flyer, a brochure, a book, a button… This will identify you as a safe person to talk to and will hopefully allow a gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning youth to break his/her silence. SAFE ZONE campaign stickers and resources can provide this visibility.
3. Support, normalize and validate students’ feelings about their sexuality. Let them know that you are there for them. If you cannot be supportive, please refer to someone who can be. Then work on your own biases by reading, learning and talking to people comfortable with this issue. And always remember, the problem is homophobia not homosexuality.
4. Do not advise youth to come out to parents, family and friends as they need to come out at their own safe pace. Studies show as many as 26% of gay youth are forced to leave their home after they tell their parents. IT IS THEIR DECISION and they have to live with the consequences. Help them figure out what makes sense for them.
5. Guarantee confidentiality with students. Students need to know their privacy will be respected or they will not be honest about this important issue. If you cannot maintain confidentiality for legal reasons, let students know this in advance.
6. Challenge homophobia. As a role model for your students, respond to homophobia immediately and sincerely. Encourage in-service trainings for staff and students on homophobia and its impact on gay and lesbian youth.
7. Combat heterosexism in your classroom. Include visibly gay and lesbian role models in your classroom.
8. Learn about and refer to community organizations. Familiarize yourself with resources and call them before you refer to make sure they are ongoing. Also, become aware of gay-themed bibliographies and refer to gay-positive books.
9. Encourage school administrators to adopt and enforce anti-discrimination policies for their schools or school systems which include sexual orientation. The language should be included in all written materials next to race, sex, religion, etc.
10. Provide role models. Gay and straight students benefit from having openly gay teachers, coaches and administration. Straight students are given an alternative to the inaccurate stereotypes they have received and gay students are provided with the opportunity to see healthy gay adults. You, as teachers, can help by making gay and lesbian students feel more welcome.
Suggestions compiled by Youth Pride, Inc.