Cathedral Building

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Posts tagged lgbtq

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randallh227 asked: I've been thinking about this for a while and I've come to the point where I've formulated a bunch of pros and cons for doing this and I thought that it would be a good idea to message an educational blog and get perspectives from actual teachers. I am LGBT and want to be a high school teacher. My question is: would it be a good idea to come out to my students or not?

girlwithalessonplan:

teamteachers:

Aaaaaaand while I do sponsor an LGBT club, I’m going even going to try to lend my straight voice to this discussion.

I’m going to throw this out to my LGBT readers to pipe in.  I have some LGBT teacher followers that are out, so they can share their experiences.

Go, LGBT readers, go! 

Cross posting to my main blog.

This is the kind of decision that is difficult to make before you get to that time and place, because everything has context, and because often we make plans but being in the spot to do them feels very different from what we’d imagined.

I’ve been in placements where there were other out teachers, even in a subtle way, and it wasn’t a big deal.  I’ve also been in places in which I wasn’t allowed to use a picture book with same-sex parents in the grand scheme of a family unit in a class in which a child had two mommies.  The places where we feel it is needed most can be the places where it is the most dangerous to us.

So here is my advice to you:

Get a feel for where you are.

Get to know your students.

Decide whether being out is a state of being for you or an action or event, and decide whether it is for you or for them.

If it’s an action or event, think about whether it’s necessary to your students’ getting to know you.  Is it about the fact that you’re LGBTQ?  Is it more that you want to be able to talk about a spouse without fear?  Is it to be a role model or to be more open in general?

My advice would be — if you’re going to be out, make it a state of being and not an event.  By that, I mean, do so through ways that feel natural to you and to the kids - by mentioning or having a photo of a spouse, by connecting to or talking about an experience that is relevant to them as your students.  Does it have to be specifically about being LGBTQ? Not even.  It could be about being called this or that or the emotions around hiding or coming out or learning who to trust — but it could also just as easily, just as easily be a matter of telling a story about a funny thing a partner did once, or how you totally relate to having a broken heart or wanting to talk to your girlfriend boyfriend etc. all the time in the halls because you want to talk to your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband/partner/etc. all the time too but everyone has to focus.

If you’re going to be out to your students, make it natural, and that will make it meaningful.  It may not be something that even occurs to everyone right away but I can guarantee you that the students who need you will know, and that if there is ever a time where you need to pull off the glasses and the suit jacket and be the superhero in a moment of homophobia, transphobia, cis- or heterosexism, that you will be more ready if you are natural about who you are than if you either put it out first thing (where some students or parents or staff may read it as a political statement and, then, anything you say thereafter on the subject as such) or hide it entirely, unless you have to do so for your safety.

And that’s the other thing — put your safety at the forefront of your considerations.  Please.  We want you to work with your kids for a long time. 

Filed under education lgbtq randallh227 teamteachers girlwithalessonplan

20 notes

It’s National Coming Out Day!

This is your annual PSA: coming out should be a personal choice — whether it’s when, to who, where, how, or why — and should be respected.

How can you celebrate National Coming Out Day?

Be proud of the ones you love if they are out today.  Love them.  Celebrate them.

Be proud of the ones you love if they are not out today.  Love them.  Celebrate them.

Be proud of the ones you love if they are out to some but not to others, if they are out at work but not at home or out to their parents but not to their uncles or aunts or out to their teachers but not to their Math Club or if their boss knows but their coworker doesn’t.  Love them.  Celebrate them.

Acknowledge that being out or not being out comes in a thousand shades and in-betweens, with more reasons for each than we can count, and that a person is neither good nor bad for any one of them.

Have conversations with yourself and others about how we can all create environments in which people feel safe being who they are.

Do not disrespect people who don’t feel they can, or have to, or want to, be out.  Take issue with conditions that make it unsafe for those to do so, whether the risk is losing friends and family, losing housing, losing jobs, losing a feeling of physical safety, or losing one’s life.

For many people, being “out” is an act of bravery.  For many others, being “out” is not an option.  For some it is just a natural state of being and for others it’s a nonsequitor to the rest of themselves.

Never sacrifice an individual for the sake of their struggle; give them love, support, and understanding to aid in it.

On National Coming Out Day, celebrate progress, think about how to work toward making it safer for those who aren’t out to be so if that’s what they want, and above all, respect people regardless of whether they are or aren’t.

Filed under lgbtq national coming out day

75 notes

adcouncil:

glsen:

LGBTQ youth! Have you taken GLSEN’s 2013 National School Climate Survey? Did you know that it’s the only national survey to examine the educational experiences of LGBTQ youth, and that it’s used to inform education policymakers and the public about the right of all students to be treated with respect? Learn why it’s so important in this video, and please take the survey now! www.glsen.org/2013survey

Please help spread the word about this survey!

Hey all —

If you’re LGBTQ and in school and you’re reading this, if you feel comfortable doing so, please take this survey.  I can vouch for the fact that educators, administrators, researchers, rights advocates, and mental health professionals alike — sometimes even politicians and related groups, individuals, and institutions — often look to this survey for a picture of the school experience and environment for students who are LGBTQ.

They may not know what’s really happening if people don’t tell them.

So, again, if you feel comfortable doing so, go ahead and follow the link.  It’s one of a few different regular surveys from a few different organizations that lead to reports that are meant to help us make positive changes in our schools (and other environments) for people who are LGBTQ.

Filed under education lgbtq

12 notes


First of all, kudos for taking that leadership position AND that initiative.  It’s a tricky one that involves tackling a lot of potentially sensitive issues, and not everyone is up for that challenge.
Leadership and initiative are always good qualities, and ones to highlight on a resume.  However, as you said, no matter how proud we are of who we are and what we’ve done and what we’ve stood for, we need to recognize — whether with preventative action or just bracing for the consequences — that not everyone will appreciate it.
I have three separate resumes: 
One lists my work (founding & president) with the LGBTQ group on campus very straightforwardly. 
The second lists my position vaguely — as a co-founder of a student support organization, and senator in the student government.  This is the perfect middle ground if you’re in a situation where you’re not sure whether the alphabet soup will raise red flags (in my case, for elementary positions versus middle grades or general youth positions).  You can still outline some of your skills and achievements in a context that will allow you to talk about the positive traits you can bring to the classroom, like being aware of diversity and student needs, organizing, being pro-active, handling paperwork, etc., without taking that risk that whoever sees the application may shuffle it aside for fear of toying with sensitive subjects.
The last doesn’t list it at all, for those situations where I know that it could outright lock me out of a position (i.e., when I was applying to a school in a very, very Christian small town in the south).  Sometimes introducing those issues slowly will be fine, but if you do a quick google search of the location and “LGBTQ” and end up with news articles about it being one of the “least gay-friendly places in the state,” it’s better to protect yourself.

Some people may be wondering why you’d even apply in a situation where you can’t put this on your resume and be “honest” — but there are so many misconceptions, prejudices, and discomforts, especially still in the teaching field.  While planning for and teaching about diversity in the classroom in general is something to be encouraged, there are many out there that feel that even considering LGBTQ populations in all this means that someone is out to “convert” the children or destroy religious and cultural institutions or a whole host of other things.  And, while someone may be dedicated to supporting all students of all backgrounds, highlighting work with topics of sexuality and gender sometimes seems to send the message that this is your overarching “agenda,” even when that is not the case.

Above all, do your research before you apply anywhere, just like you would with any other issues to see if somewhere is a good fit.  If the school you’re applying to has a GSA or similar organization already, it might be safe to keep similar clubs as-is on your resume.  If you think it might be a touchy subject in general — and/or it isn’t necessarily something others might think would (or “should,” though that’s a whole other subject) come up in your position (for example, there is a general misconception that LGBTQ issues shouldn’t come up at the early elementary level because it means you’re talking about sex for some reason) — or the district or area has a spotty record with issues regarding the LGBTQ community, try something more neutral.

And, if there are legal battles over questionably-fired staff or turned heads over anti-LGBTQ bullying, weigh your decision carefully.  For some people, that reads as a challenge, an opening to really “make a difference” to youth who may need support in a hostile environment.  For others, it may read as too hostile to risk, or too much to work against as one person on the inside, or more than they would be able to cope with.  Everyone is different, and there is absolutely no shame in knowing that you are one or the other.

First of all, kudos for taking that leadership position AND that initiative.  It’s a tricky one that involves tackling a lot of potentially sensitive issues, and not everyone is up for that challenge.

Leadership and initiative are always good qualities, and ones to highlight on a resume.  However, as you said, no matter how proud we are of who we are and what we’ve done and what we’ve stood for, we need to recognize — whether with preventative action or just bracing for the consequences — that not everyone will appreciate it.

I have three separate resumes: 

  • One lists my work (founding & president) with the LGBTQ group on campus very straightforwardly. 
  • The second lists my position vaguely — as a co-founder of a student support organization, and senator in the student government.  This is the perfect middle ground if you’re in a situation where you’re not sure whether the alphabet soup will raise red flags (in my case, for elementary positions versus middle grades or general youth positions).  You can still outline some of your skills and achievements in a context that will allow you to talk about the positive traits you can bring to the classroom, like being aware of diversity and student needs, organizing, being pro-active, handling paperwork, etc., without taking that risk that whoever sees the application may shuffle it aside for fear of toying with sensitive subjects.
  • The last doesn’t list it at all, for those situations where I know that it could outright lock me out of a position (i.e., when I was applying to a school in a very, very Christian small town in the south).  Sometimes introducing those issues slowly will be fine, but if you do a quick google search of the location and “LGBTQ” and end up with news articles about it being one of the “least gay-friendly places in the state,” it’s better to protect yourself.

Some people may be wondering why you’d even apply in a situation where you can’t put this on your resume and be “honest” — but there are so many misconceptions, prejudices, and discomforts, especially still in the teaching field.  While planning for and teaching about diversity in the classroom in general is something to be encouraged, there are many out there that feel that even considering LGBTQ populations in all this means that someone is out to “convert” the children or destroy religious and cultural institutions or a whole host of other things.  And, while someone may be dedicated to supporting all students of all backgrounds, highlighting work with topics of sexuality and gender sometimes seems to send the message that this is your overarching “agenda,” even when that is not the case.

Above all, do your research before you apply anywhere, just like you would with any other issues to see if somewhere is a good fit.  If the school you’re applying to has a GSA or similar organization already, it might be safe to keep similar clubs as-is on your resume.  If you think it might be a touchy subject in general — and/or it isn’t necessarily something others might think would (or “should,” though that’s a whole other subject) come up in your position (for example, there is a general misconception that LGBTQ issues shouldn’t come up at the early elementary level because it means you’re talking about sex for some reason) — or the district or area has a spotty record with issues regarding the LGBTQ community, try something more neutral.

And, if there are legal battles over questionably-fired staff or turned heads over anti-LGBTQ bullying, weigh your decision carefully.  For some people, that reads as a challenge, an opening to really “make a difference” to youth who may need support in a hostile environment.  For others, it may read as too hostile to risk, or too much to work against as one person on the inside, or more than they would be able to cope with.  Everyone is different, and there is absolutely no shame in knowing that you are one or the other.

Filed under education lgbtq resume ask shapefutures caitology

4 notes

Last month was Pride, and I didn’t do much for it. So, I owe you guys some.

It took me a surprisingly long time to process the DOMA decision, in part because I wanted to remind myself that it was only one step of a large process and didn’t address a lot of the more immediate needs of the LGBTQ community, but also because…it honestly seemed almost too good to be true, it was so big and so impactful in a lot of ways itself.

But since that was an unfortunate oversight when I’m usually a big advocate and voice for these things, I’m keeping an open ask-box not only for the usual school-related issues, but additionally and especially for anything LGBTQ-related, whether it’s educational or general advice, from students or teachers or anybody.  This includes personal questions about myself, a gender-wonky lesbian youth-worker/teacher-turned-mental-health-clinician and aspiring counselor/therapist.  I’ve even turned on anonymous, which is a little anxiety-inducing, but we’ll call it a grand experiment.

Because of the holiday in the US, I’ll try leaving anon open for…about a week, and we’ll see how it goes.  Answers will include references or helpful resources as needed.  Feel free to reblog if you know someone who might have an ask!

I’ll also consider answering (additionally) with video if it’s requested and/or if I get some good batches.

Filed under education lgbtq LGBTQ teachers LGBTQ students gay lesbian

1,085 notes

jekoh:

pewresearch:

Same-sex marriage (top) and acceptance of homosexuality (bottom) around the world.

I know that this is likely a comparison for the sake of this specific comparison, and that some things are far easier to put into measurable data than others, or at least remotely accurate or reliable data.

But I want to point something out here.

In these images we’re looking at acceptance as measured by survey and marriage.  Not evictions.  Not physical violence.  Not deaths.  Granted these things are, as I mentioned, far less easy or certain to measure in some respect, since if someone lives in a place where people believe homosexuality should be punished by death there may not exactly be anyone counting how many people are beaten or murdered for that exact reason.

But we’re perpetuating that the only way to look at acceptance of homosexuality, or at least the best way to do so, is marriage.  And so we’re helping to create a population of people who may believe that marriage is the most important issue facing LGBTQ populations, as opposed to basic safety — and, in fact, that we’re beyond needing to worry about issues of basic safety.  My own friends and family have on occasion expressed shock and disbelief that we might still have to worry about being fired or evicted or abused because of who we are.  Because it’s all about marriage, right?  We’re there!

We’re not there yet.  We’re closer.  We’re better than we were in some places and in some respects.  But do not let these images, this focus, these statistics, make you think that everything is fine and that our biggest issue is marriage.  It’s not.

Thought this might also be relevant to the education side -

because there are teachers still afraid being themselves will destroy their careers and students still afraid being themselves will destroy their school years

and for discussion in classes lucky or daring enough to have those discussions.

(I’ve been in two of the three of these groups, and it’s not the ones I’d have wanted at the time.)

Filed under lgbtq education

30 notes

Satisfactori: Are you a trans*, gender nonconforming, or nonbinary TEACHER?

teamteachers:

satisfactori:


I recently decided to be a teacher, but I also identify as agender. I was wondering if you could help me out by answering a few questions. These include:
How do you identify yourself?
ex. genderqueer, femme, avid reader, left handed, tall, tough, sparkly, gender creative, gay, fun,…

Click through for the rest.

Boosting.

These are some great questions.  If folks like me follow folks like me, go on and give it a click through.  And if you aren’t in this category, click through and read anyway, to get an idea of all the extras we have to think about on the daily.

And in general…let’s be there for each other.  Because for some people this might be a non-issue, while for others it might make the experience more difficult.

(Source: excitatori)

Filed under education lgbtq

2,873 notes

Tennessee "Don’t Say Gay" bill now requires teachers to inform parents if their child is gay

positivelypersistentteach:

fivecentwisdom:

think-progress:

They’ve found a way to make a horrible idea even worse.

Well. This is terrible.

This breaks all boundaries.

There is so little and so much to say about something like this all at once, and I’m saddened and stunned and incredibly concerned.

Those of us who don’t live in Tennessee can hope this dies a quick death.  Those who do: Call.  Your.  Lawmakers.


And now that I think about it, I was lying; those of us who don’t live in Tennessee CAN do something about this politically (aside from educating ourselves to be sure that we never fall prey to terrible ideas like any of these):  we can still call all of our elected officials and ask them, "Is ____ familiar with the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, SB 234, in Tennessee? I just wanted to call and let ____’s office know that if he/she/they were ever to draft or support a similar measure in my state, I would never be voting for them again."


Make your voice heard.  Flood the phones.

And just to reiterate how out of touch Senator Campfield is about any of these issues, he also thinks that, “bullying thing is the biggest lark out there,” in regards to LGBTQ teen suicide, and claims that it is, “virtually, not completely, but virtually impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex.”

This is what happens when we put bigots in office, everyone.  Forgot being knowledgeable or looking at facts and statistics (or, in the case of AIDS, even the most basic information - this is why real sex education is important) — some people can rely on old-fashioned hate to make any claims they want.  And the most frightening thing is, people believe them.

Filed under education lgbtq don't say gay call your politicians tennessee

6 notes

ussrosalind:

 sirken said: Speaking of R + J, what are the odds of a return for Queer Side Story? :D?

Well, good Sir, I have no idea what the odds are. Mostly, I still find it very hard to watch the tapes to write down even a loose script. This is partially because “Ahhh I don’t want to see high school me” and partially because it is on tapes and the only VHS player I have only works about 5% of the time. 

At this point I would LOVE to do it again, absolutely love to, but I would pretty much only agree to do it if we could just start over entirely. It was a great little show the first time we did it, but it was also a show done in improv by about 20 different teens. I also feel like I would need the permission from the majority of the original casties, some of whom are very protective over the story and are reluctant to give up their characters to someone else. (Or so it was last I checked.) 

Still, I DO love the show. I DO have a terrible obsession with EVERY version of “Romeo and Juliet” and the one I envisioned, got funded for, and directed that stood a tiny area in Western Massachusetts on its ear? I love it more than others. It was a great experience to see people really grasp for the first time that by either denying the existence of or vilifying another person’s love you are only asking for tragedy. It goes for any kind of love, I think, and that’s why the story of R&J is such a beautiful template. It got people talking about racism in “West Side Story” and in my show it got people really thinking about homophobia. (Not just bragging, there is proof! We had a guest book and a lot of our guests were really, really emotional about it and wrote us amazing messages. I think a guest book would be REQUIRED if anyone were to do the show again. Give people a place to talk about their experience and they WILL use it and it will give you a great idea of how powerful the play is.)  (It’s like a tumblr for people who don’t use tumblr.) 

So yeah, no crystal ball here, but if the stars align to preform this play about two ladies who are star-crossed lovers once more… I would be happy to help. 

Also, if you have no idea what Sir Ken and I are talking about, here’s one of the few articles about the original show that is still on the internet:

http://shakespearemag.blogspot.com/2004/08/gay-shakespeare-roils-town-shelburne.html

It’s possibly the coolest thing I have ever done and I am still coming to terms with that and trying to come up with more different things to do that can at least be equally, if not more amazing. 

P.S. Regarding our “transgender villain’ — those are their words, not ours. Tybalt in any version of R&J is angry, confused, and misguided. Here Ze happened to be a perfect example of interlocking forms of oppression. I would never call Tybalt a villain, ever.  

Reblogging on the #education side because there is so much good stuff here (R+J commentary, youth empowerment, intersectionality) that I don’t even know where to start.

I almost bolded the PS, but there was so much here I also could have bolded — AND, if she gets permission from the person who originally played Tybalt, she’s going to do a further writeup specifically about that character, which I’m looking forward to very, very much.

Filed under shakespeare romeo and juliet ussrosalind education lgbtq

27 notes

katy-mylady:

Oh how I wish I could show this in my religion class and not fear for my job.

There’s something especially important to me, in this video.

Yes, they get married.  That’s a blip in this, an important one as the artist says — “a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all but it’s a damn good place to start.”

It’s a damn good place to START.  It isn’t going to solve it all — it means that we need to look at the all.

Look at what else is represented in this.  Look at what they go through to get there:

A little boy justifying himself as not being gay because he still does things a man is supposed to be good at.

A teen out of place during slow dances at prom, wandering around by himself and hiding in the bathroom.

A couple being jostled on the street for holding hands.

A young man sitting at the table while his parents get up and leave.

By the time the wedding hits, the mother is back, but that doesn’t happen for all LGBTQ youth.  When they bump shoulders with the other man on the street it’s just a hostile motion, but for many other LGBTQ youth that isn’t where it stops.  Not all LGBTQ youth make it to that house, to that wedding, to that old age.  Not all of them make it through the games of spin-the-bottle with their hearts in tact.

I wish anyone could show this to any of their students.  I’m sorry that people can’t.  I’m sorry that someone was already punished for trying to do so.  I’m sorry that for all these reasons there are still students — and teachers, and parents, and other adults — who still have to hide who they are from so many people.

But if you can, show this to someone, if you haven’t already.  Even if you can show it to one student, teacher, friend, classmate, anybody, you don’t know where it will go from there and you don’t know who it might be reaching.

And for those of you out there watching this and feeling like it fits and doesn’t fit, not every person gets married, or comes out, or holds hands on the street, or isn’t accepted or is accepted.  Not everyone wants the same things.  No one is the same.  There is no one trajectory to life.  You don’t HAVE to choose to do the things other people before you do.  Not everyone is the same kind of person even when they identify the same way.  You have to do what’s best, what’s happiest, for YOU. 

"Live on," this song says, "and be yourself."   And if you can, do what you can, to be sure that everyone has that right.

Filed under education lgbtq someone is cutting onions I'd say I want a redo on prom but I don't actually have a woman to go with so it's a bit moot Instead of a wedding one day I'll just have a big happier prom