This week's topic is Queer Heroes: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Straight Allies who inspire YOU.
What to do: Challenge everyone to come to the GSA meeting with one Queer Hero - and of course, you're welcome to discuss the ones I highlight below!
Remember, a Queer Hero doesn't have to be a PERFECT person or role model, just someone that it's really cool to know that they're part of our GLBTQ&A community!
Here are some of my heroes and heroines, as a starting point for your discussions (I've blogged about most of them, and provided links for more information as well):
GAY HEROMatthew Mitcham, Gold Medal-winning Olympic Diver, and OUT gay man. The only OUT gay man at this summer's Bejing Olympics, Matthew won Gold, and was there with his mother and his partner!
Also, I love how he helps debunk the whole "if you're a gay man you can't be athletic" stereotype!
Okay, I'm a little Olympics-happy, but Gro Hammerseng and Katja Nyberg are a couple who are so sweet - and the fact that they play Handball together on Norway's team, and won GOLD together at the Bejing Olympics, just makes me so happy!
And I love that they challenge the stereotypes about lesbians as well - Gro and Katja are great athletes, AND also very feminine and beautiful women!
Who knew? Did you know? I only found this out recently. But check this out! The incredibly famous "Bard" was Bisexual, and loved woman AND men!
Georgina Beyer was born a Maori boy in rural New Zealand. How she came to be the first transgender woman elected mayor and then elected MP in the New Zealand Parlament is an incredible story.
QUESTIONING HERO & HEROINE
Anyone who is brave enough to explore their true nature, and wants to live their truth, is a hero. Figuring it out is sometimes a journey. Always remember, your sexuality is not a choice. Being honest (with yourself and others) about your sexuality is.
STRAIGHT ALLY HEROINE
Ellen Wittlinger, author of Sandpiper and Parrotfish.
Ellen's a straight woman who is not afraid to write novels about lesbian and transgender Teens. In fact, she sees including Queer characters in all her books as an important matching up of the fictional world of her novels with the REAL world Teens are in today - a world that includes Queer people! Her books are banned and challenged so much, but she keeps writing them! She does her research, is full of respect for members of our community, and opens hearts and minds.
some ideas to continue the discussion:
How about Clay Aiken, coming out last week as a gay man?
Or Lindsay Lohan, coming out earlier last week as a lesbian?
Does being a celebrity who is part of our Queer community automatically make them Heroes and Heroines?
For more Queer Heroes, check out GLBT HISTORY MONTH over at Equality Forum, where they're celebrating October 2008 as Gay History Month. They're going to feature 31 GLBT Role Models - one for each day of the month!