Monday, September 22, 2008

GSA Mondays: Sparking Discussion & Building Community! "Does This Make Me Look Gay?"

Hi everyone, and welcome to a new feature of this blogsite,


It's the start of the new 2008-2009 school year, and as GSA clubs all over are gearing up, I thought I'd contribute to the conversation by offering up a weekly topic, something to spark the creative fires and get Teens (and the rest of us) thinking and talking and listening to each other.

For those of you lucky enough to be part of a GSA club at your school, feel free to use these ideas to start off your meetings. Of course, these are just my suggestions, and you can certainly choose to do your own thing - that's cool, too!

For those readers who aren't part of a physical GSA club, I invite you to consider this blog another kind of SAFE SPACE, an internet-based Gay Straight Alliance community where you can be part of the discussion and the community (add your thoughts in "comments.")

And of course, even if you ARE part of a GSA club at your school, you can join in the conversation here as well!

I am also really interested in your suggestions for topics for upcoming weeks, so feel free to add those ideas in "comments" as well.

THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: "Does This Make Me Look Gay?"

Watch this short video:

Some questions to discuss:

1. Was it funny or offensive?

2. How many definitions are there for the word "gay"? What about other words we use to describe/label people in our community? How about making a list... (Look how many words in your list have the word "sex" in them. i.e., homoSEXuality. Is that helping?)

3. How much of the prejudice against GLBTQ people in our culture is a result of people not following the rigid gender roles that are expected of us all? (i.e., a boy wearing pink is called "gay" or a girl who is good at certain "boy" (read: aggressive) sports is called a "dyke.")

Bonus book connection: If you like the idea of superheroes who actually ARE gay, check out these two great YA books:

"Hero" by Perry Moore

And "Masks: Rise of Heroes" by Hayden Thorne

I'm really excited about GSA Mondays, and I thank you all for being part of it!




Anonymous said...

I organize the GSA at my Highschool and am very excited about GSA Mondays! I hope you continue! Unfortunately we do not have a projector (Being a small group that runs in a secret room down a secret hallway), so I'm going to try and adapt this as well as I can. Thankyou VERY much!

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Hi Jessica, I'm so glad to hear you think GSA Mondays will be used and appreciated! As far as not being able to show the clip at the beginning of the meeting, you could either send out an email in advance with a link, or you might want to just bring in a couple of images of Superman, Wonder Woman, and any other superhero dressed in revealing tights... and just talk with your group about "Do they look gay?" It would lead into the whole discussion of gender roles, and the word "gay" as well.
Good luck with it, and I'd love to hear how it goes,