I finally got candy to give you guys for sharing events, so bring something to talk about!
Also, please please please if you have any money you could donate to our pastry fund bring it tomorrow, or just plan to bring pastries on Friday. I could really use your help. It reflects really well on our GSA to participate in school wide events like Teacher Appreciation week.
Lady Gaga’s recently announced Born This Way Foundation for youth empowerment will launch on February 29 with a kickoff event at Harvard University. The Harvard Graduate School of Education is among many organizations that will work together on “BTWF” to reach out to youth and promote self-acceptance and self-confidence.
“BTWF, a non-profit charitable organization, will address issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development and advocacy,” the release said. “With a focus on digital mobilization to create positive change, BTWF will lead youth into a braver new society where each individual is accepted and loved as the person they were born to be.”
This week, GLSEN is sponsoring No-Name Calling Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness about bullying in schools and finding constructive solutions to problems among and between kids.
The site linked above has tons of information about what this week means and what you can do to get involved. An especially cool link discusses how to get a NNCW event off the ground at your school, including tips on involving administration and students.
Sometimes it seems like there are a lot of planned days, weeks or even months that demand our attention for a particular cause, and it gets overwhelming (not to mention how you should never name-call). Pay attention to this one anyway. I don’t need to tell you guys that bullying is out of control in a lot of schools in this country, especially against LGBT kids. A week of events like the ones suggested here could truly make a difference in how kids treat each other.
This week, I’m going to speak out against bullying among my peers. What will you do?
In the United States, openly gay Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger’s campaign has fallen by the wayside in media coverage and political attention. But in Finland, another openly gay candidate is still going strong.
Pekka Haavisto is the first openly gay person to run for head of state in Finland, and he’s doing quite well. He came in second place in the first round of voting in the election, securing him a place in a February runoff against conservative candidate Sauli Niinisto.
A smooth-talking political veteran, Niinisto is viewed by many Finns as the most statesmanlike of the candidates.
But Haavisto also has strong resume. The 53-year-old former environment minister has held several positions in EU and U.N. operations helping to solve crises in Sudan, Darfur and the Middle East.
“He’s extremely cultured and civilized. We need a member of a new, educated generation who hasn’t been corrupted by politics,” said Laila Halme, a retired graphic artist, as she walked her dog through thick snow to vote in a Helsinki suburb.
According to analysts quoted in the Huffington Post article linked above, it’s unlikely that Haavisto can beat his opponent in the runoff. But to have made it this far is a huge accomplishment, proving once again that things are getting better every day for LGBT people in the public eye.
Our big bake sale fundraiser is next week, and we need to find a new place to bake on Sunday. If anyone could offer their kitchen to us, they’d be doing us a big favor! We’ll also probably have one of the newspaper photographers come to take some pictures of us.
Our current schedule for who will be there in the morning for the bake sale is:
Monday- Erin and Ryan
Tuesday- Jon and Ananda
Wednesday- Olivia and Natalie
Everyday- Kaylin, Savannah, and Ri
If you cannot make that day anymore or would like to sign up for another, please let us know.
Rossville Christian Academy, a K-12 school in Tennessee, has banned the promotion of or association with homosexuality via speech or action, and one parent believes the move is targeted at one gay student out of 300 kids at the school.
The policy is legal because there is no state or federal law protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and because the Christian academy may receive additional protection since it’s not a public school. The policy states:
“Homosexuality is forbidden in scripture (Romans 1:27, Leviticus 18:22). A staff member or student who promotes, engages in, or identifies himself/herself with such activity through any word or action shall be in violation of this policy. Should the administration determine a violation of this policy, the person involved will be subject to disciplinary action with the possibility of permanent dismissal. Any applicant who is not in compliance with this policy will not be admitted.”
This is wrong on so many levels I can’t even point them all out. I’m appalled. Permanent dismissal for being gay? Targeting one kid in a humiliating, homophobic manner? And this is all perfectly legal? Really?
Toronto students cheered, chanted and pledged to end school bullying at a raucous rally held at the Ricoh Coliseum on Thursday.
The day-long event featured 9,000 students from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and a series of motivational speakers, athletes and entertainers.
The rally was designed to spotlight bullying, much in the news following the death of 15-year-old Ottawa high-school student James Hubley. Openly gay, and tormented by depression and his peers, Hubley committed suicide on Oct. 15.
Click the link above to watch the video and read the full article.
If you get a chance over the break, you should try to purchase the book we’re all reading, Boy Meets Boy! It’s really short, so it should be no problem reading it. I’d really like to discuss it when we get back from the break if possible. (:
Tomorrow, Oct. 20th, has been designated as memorial day for all of the young LGBT members who have committed suicide due to bullying, with emphasis on those six who have taken their own lives in the past month.
Erin and I both feel like this is kind of sneaked up on us…
INFO AND SUCH:
Meet in the Pope parking lot at 11am on Sunday, October 17th
We will depart from Pope NO LATER than 11:10am. If you’re not there by then, tough bananas
We will carpool to the North Springs MARTA station and take MARTA to Midtown
From there, we will walk to Piedmont Park and have our picnic lunch
The walk starts at 2pm
After the walk, we will stop at Outwrite for a bit
Then, we will take MARTA back to the North Springs station. We should get there around five-thirty(?)
From there, we will carpool back to Pope
Once we get back to the Pope Parking lot, you’re on your own
MONEY: Bring at least $10 for MARTA. Bring extra if you want to donate to the walk and/or buy something at Outwrite.
MORE IMPORTANT THINGS: If you get separated from the group at any time, don’t be stupid and wander off trying to find us. Instead, stay where you are. We will hand out a contact sheet on Sunday with Erin and I’s numbers. Call one of us. We will keep the group together while someone comes to get you. Really though, just try to stay with us.
I know most of you don’t go on here very often, but I made up a list of famous LGB people in History… It would be awesome if each of you could look one or two up and maybe make up a page for them. Were supposed to be discussing them next week. Thanks everybody!!! :D
So, it’s Taylor here :) and I am your stand-in secretary until Laura returns :D
Today at our wonderfully prideful meeting we talked about GLBT rights. We came up with some such as marriage, hospital visitation, and others that I really can’t remember right now, seeing as how I am almost brain dead. :D
We had a wonderous discussion, with MOST people putting in their opinions here and there. Erin of course was our devil’s advocate. Jenna and Erin are doing wonderfully as our new president and vice-president, if I do say so myself. :D
Remember to bring some gay news for next week to share with the group. Food is also welcomed and celebrated :D
So as you’ve probably noticed, Erin and I are not so good at updating the tumblr. She’s got a lot on her plate right now and I’m pretty much in a constant tizzy over doing well in my classes and applying for colleges. Still, that’s no excuse for us to neglect this blog. So, here’s a recap of the last two meetings:
Talked about gay marriage, the meaning of marriage, marriage vs civil union, Prop 8, federal laws vs state laws, and various opinions
Watched Prop 8 the musical
Continued the family theme by discussing gay adoption, adoption vs surrogacy, the merits of mother/father figures, the adoption process, adoption laws, and various opinions
Played the Snowball game
Talked about AIDS Walk and the possibility of attending Pride
AIDS Walk is on Sunday, October 17th. Burn that date into your memory. The plan is for us to meet in the Pope parking lot, where parent volunteers will drive us to the Marta Station. After we take a nice little ride on Marta, we will have a picnic lunch in the park. After the walk, if we have time, we will stop by Outwrite and browse in there for a bit before taking Marta back. Parents who drove us to Marta will pick us up and take us back to Pope. Erin and I will have more specifics for you all at the next meeting.
If you believe your parents can provide transportation, ask them about it and then contact Erin and me.
Also, thanks to everyone who contributed something to the Suggestion Box. Erin and I have looked at the suggestions, and we think we have a pretty clear idea for topics for the next couple of meetings.
Once again, I’m sorry for the late update. We will do better.
As the TWENTY-TWO PEOPLE who showed up know, this week’s meeting was a way to get to know everyone, go over the rules, talk about plans for this year, etc.
The most important (and pretty much only) official rule of the club is our Tolerance Policy. As a GSA, we can hardly expect people to be tolerant towards us if we do not extend the same courtesy. This means respecting anyone who walks through that door, regardless of their sexuality, gender identity, religious affiliation, opinions, etc. It also helps us to avoid spending entire discussions bashing one group for their beliefs. If you believe that someone is breaking the Tolerance Policy in any way during the meeting, simply say something along the lines of, “Hey, Tolerance Policy against blahblahblah.” If you get called out on breaking the policy, just apologize and try not to let it happen again. Don’t feel too bad; we all do it sometimes.
This year our plans are still going to include AIDs Walk and Day of Silence. We would also like to try and do something with Youth Pride, and perhaps even attend Pride whenever it rolls around. Our lovely new president Erin has also stumbled a program called “No Place for Hate” that she shared with us at the meeting.
On the subject of future plans, we have to keep in mind that all of this costs money. While we will not ever require dues to be paid in order to join GSA, we would very much appreciate it members could donate $5 to $10 dollars so we can do fun things.
Last but certainly not least: THE SUGGESTION BOX. We had two people put something in at the last meeting, and that’s just not gonna fly. Erin and I want to know what you guys want us to discuss/do/improve upon. We are new at this, and we would really appreciate your comments on how we’re doing.
On a final note, it was absolutely wonderful seeing so many people there. Towards the end of last year the meetings gradually grew smaller, and yesterday it was amazing seeing twenty-two people packed in a classroom just for GSA. Thank you all so much for coming. We hope to see you again.
Next week we will be discussing gay marriage and the recent overturning of Prop 8 in California. Your GShomework is to simply form an opinion on the subject and be prepared to back it up. If you wish to bring in articles, that’s good too.
I meant to make this post earlier, but do not forget to bring a tee shirt and $10 ($5 for Austin, $5 for the gift) tomorrow! Sierra and I will have only a very small amount of extra shirts, so please, PLEASE bring your shirt if you want one! Remember, preferably white, and it’d be nice if you’d write your name on the tag.
We will be talking about things to do next year, so please bring fresh ideas!
Tuesday, we had a rather disappointing number of people at the meeting. It saddens me to say that this has become the trend lately. I don’t rightly know where all of our people are going Tuesday afternoons, but it’s certainly not GSA. Well, those people are missing out, and I thank all of my faithful children that show up every week.
So, Day of Silence is coming up. What day is it? OH FOUR ONE SIX ONE OH; April 16th.I will repeat, as ever, that you guys need to burn that date into your brain. We have two meetings until. Next week’s meeting, on the 30th, will be our t-shirt party. Please do not forget your plain t-shirt if you want to decorate one. Sierra and I will not provide shirts for you. We will, however, provide markers and fabric paint, and maybe some music to keep us company. There will be NO glitter. NONE. AT. ALL. I do not trust you guys with glitter anymore.
And now, a recap of the rules/guidelines:
If a teacher or administrator calls on you, or asks you to speak, or anything, you must reply.
While there will be an email sent to all the staff, it would be wise to warn all your teachers a day ahead, in case they did not get the email, or they are bad at checking their inboxes. But, if I teacher is uncooperative and will not allow you to remain silent throughout class, you must acquiesce.
You may hand out flyers a day ahead, or something, to tell people what DoS is all about, but you may NOT put any on the walls or anything. Do not attach anything related to Day of Silence to any part of school property.
In fact, you may not implicate the school in any way. Day of Silence is a youth movement with which the school has absolutely no involvement, and will not tolerate us any longer if we push our luck. The fact that students participate in DoS is not school sanctioned, and for all intents and purposes, completely under the table.
If someone provokes you, says or does anything derogatory, or tries to do anything bad to you in relation to your silence, go tell an administrator immediately. Break your silence, and go tell them. Even though they are not connected to DoS, they will protect your rights, and will help you. Do NOT retaliate. As I stated in the meeting, bullies live to see you get angry, so don’t give them that satisfaction. Do not react in any way to their jabs. You will only hurt yourself, your cause, and the GSA.
I know my GSA kids are dedicated, but there will be students outside of the GSA participating in DoS, and those students may not be able to make it throughout the entire day without speaking. As unfortunate as this is, there are people every year that give up halfway through. While I would prefer, if they are just going to give up eventually, that they not try to participate at all, I cannot change this. Pay them no mind, just do your best to make it through the whole day.
If you see a DoS-participator doing something that has a distinct lack of common sense to it, take note of it, and tell them politely what they did wrong, and why it was wrong, after DoS is over. For example, I have seen students trying to force others to participate in Dos. This is the kind of behaviour the GSA works to prevent.
I know I am probably forgetting something. I have such a bad memory. Just keep in mind all the things we discussed at the meeting.
Can’t wait to see you next week! Bring t-shirts! I love you!
So, JD just got home from meeting with Fred Sanderson’s assistant. Apparently, she loved the plan Austin and he came up with, and absolutely adored Austin. The new policy is going to be presented to the school board, and there is a good chance that it’s going to pass. For those of you who follow JD on tumblr, he should be making a long more in-depth post about this on his blog when he isn’t so tired.
So yeah, this is all pretty awesome, right?
Unfortunately, with good news comes some bad news. There was one point omitted from the policy: the one that involved gender identity and expression. The board expressed some iffyness on it back when JD and Austin first got to talk to them, and I guess there was just no chance of it passing right now. I know, I know, one thing sacrificed for the safety of many might not seem like a ‘big deal’ to most people. But gender identity and expression is a very important part of the LGBT community, and concerns a few of our club members as well.
But despite that setback, let’s celebrate the rest of the policy hopefully getting passed. After all, this certainly isn’t the end.
So today in GSA we revisted an old topic: bullying. In light of the shiny new ennumerated bullying policy that’s in the works, Erin and I thought it would be good to do some reasearch. Since quite a few of you decided not to show up (hint hint) and since Zoe and Sierra weren’t there, I’ll list some of the finer points of what we found out about Georgia anti-bullying laws:
We have the 12th most strict anti-bullying policy in the nation. If bullying is reported three times from the same school, that school can lose funding.
However, because the law is so strict, many schools cover up or do not report bullying, as they want to keep their funding.
Also, the law only protects 6th through 12th grade students, leaving elementary students open to attack
We also talked about a nice new piece of legislation being introduced into the House of Representatives: a Non-Discrimination Act, which is a bill aiming to protect LGBT students from bullying. Cool stuffs.
Then we started up our discussion, sharing stories about bullying incidents and what we can do to raise awareness and try to combat bullying. And we came up with an idea:
A seminar or assembly to be presented to the entire school on the subject of bullying. Ms. Bagley thought it was a good idea, and encouraged us to get a plan together. We can also use petitions to get our point across to the administration.
SO. This weeks GSA homework: Come up with ideas/topics and reasearch guest speakers for a possible seminar.
It was nice to see you guys this week, after the horror of last week (you guys really don’t understand; it was so terrible), and we had a great meeting.
talked about substance abuse and suicide amongst LGBT youth
had a great discussion
HAD THE AMAZING HONOUR OF HAVING THE LASSITER GSA VISIT US! This honestly made my day. They were wonderful and polite, and I hope they think well of us. I hope they come back someday, and if they do, I hope you guys behave as well as you did today.
So, just a few things to wrap this up:
Juuuust in case, the National Suicide Hotline number is 1 800 784 2344, and the Georgia number is 770 422 0202.
Within our own school, we have an (little-known) organization called Sources of Strength. I happen to be a peer leader for it. It’s a great thing that lets kids know that their teachers are always there to listen to you if you or a friend is having problems. You might not think it, but most of the teachers at Pope are wonderful people who really care about you. Come ask me about it, or check out some of the SoS posters in the hallways.
Remember that I have the Gay Community Yellow Pages if you want to look at it.
I mentioned Liberation 2010, an LGBT spiritual conference. If you want to know more, ask Hannah for a brochure, and check out the website.
I didn’t get to say it at the meeting, but I wanted to thank the people that participated in the St. Valentine’s Day event hosted by Hannah’s church.
I just wanted to let the GSA know that there will be a peaceful demonstration on valentines day for marriage equality at the East Cobb park. This is an activity being put on by my very liberal UU church (just so there are no surprises). Around 2PM a group dressed in red (and possibly pink?) will march out to the front field in single file line where they will make a big heart. It’s really fun, I participated last year— you might have seen it in The Southern Voice. if you wouldn’t mind telling the GSA about this event I would really appreciate it— i think this would be a great opportunity for the GSA to take a field trip for something they feel passionately about!
I know this started to just be an information hub for my school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, but there are quite a few people following it, for whatever reason (thank you all so much!), and I’d like to attend to the wants of the followers as well as fulfilling the original purpose of the blog.
So, what would you like to see more of on Pope Pride?
I know things have been pretty crazy these past couple weeks, with my mouth surgery, and then being completely mowed down by a severe cold, and I am really sorry. Hopefully, I won’t miss too many more meetings. It really breaks my heart to do so. Luckily, I have the most amazing vice president in the world, and she’s been holding down the fort without me. I hope you’ve been giving her the same, or more respect than you give me.
These past two meetings, we:
Spoke about Mr. Harvey Milk, the things he contributed to our cause, and the sheer strength he had to have possessed to do the things he did
Talked about what normal people, with seemingly no power, can do to cause change
Discussed our own beliefs. This is particularly important because you cannot try to persuade others and move them to feel for your cause if you yourself are not strong in your beliefs. You must always have faith in your own convictions, or you will do nothing to make others have faith. I hope you guys take this lesson to heart. It’s so important; I can’t really impress the magnitude of it upon you.
Sierra will be posting up some posters for the GSA, so hopefully, that’ll bring in some new members. To help her along, I’m going to assign you some GSomework: please ask at least two new people to attend our meetings. I just know that there are more people out there that would come to the meetings, if only they knew about them, or were asked to come. You would be surprised how many people don’t come because they think they wouldn’t be allowed or something. So just gently prod a couple people into coming. Just don’t be too pushy. You guys know what I mean.
I’m sure I had something else to say, but I can’t quite remember what it was. If I remember, I’ll post it here.
I look forward to seeing you all next week! I love you all, and believe in you.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates will reveal a plan to repeal the controversial ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, at a hearing on Tuesday.
"Gates will discuss options for more ‘humanely’ implementing the current ban, for example, according to a senior Pentagon official. The secretary asked his general counsel’s office for options six months ago including how to possibly not expel personnel whose homosexuality is revealed by third parties, the source said."
The party is this coming Tuesday at Erin’s house! Be there or be square! And don’t forget to bring yummy foodstuffs or something else.
What I really wanted to say is that I am so sorry, but I forgot that I have an oral surgeon consultation that day, and I will miss most of the party. I suppose it depends on how long the party goes on, but the office is in Woodstock, and I don’t know how long the actual appointment will be. So, I suppose you’ll just have to deal without me for a while. Sorry!
Have fun, my dears. I can’t wait to see you there.
We’ve been doing such hard work since Sept 09, when we originated, that we just want something back. One moment of Transpride-y selfishness. You see, we want to be recognized properly. So, we need someone to come up with a logo that we can use as our Tumblr icon! If you want to do this, please submit your finished logo!
This will be running until Xmas Eve! I’m excited to see what our followers will produce :3
Happy Holidays! - Tony.
YOU GUYS. This would be a fantastic thing to do over the break! C:
In any case, the last meeting of our semester covered marriage vs. civil union. Sierra did a fantastic job with that. C:
The big thing, though, is our GSA Holiday Party! It’s being held Tuesday, December 22nd at Erin’s house. You guys should arrive sometime around 12:30pm. For more info, and her address/directions to her house, Erin’s email address is email@example.com. Please make sure to let her know who it is that is contacting her (i.e. put your name and stuff), as she doesn’t want to give her address out willy-nilly to people.
And remember, people, to please bring a beverage or food item, or maybe cups/plates/napkins/utensils. We would really appreciate it, since throwing a party with food for a bunch of hungry high-schoolers is hard work for just a few people. So everyone, please bring something. (Remember, vegetarian options are always nice, since we do have vegetarians in the club.) And please remember to bring your dish back HOME after the party. Erin doesn’t want a bunch of random platters and leftover food lying around her house.
So yeah. Contact her. I love you all. I hope you all do well on your finals and have an amazing holday break!