Monday, April 20, 2009

GSA Monday Topic: What's the opposite of Silence? How can YOUR GSA make your school a "safe" space for Gay Students?

If Friday was about Silence, What's the best way to effect change?

Here are 7 ideas to get you started:

1. Show the 7 minute (or even just the first 4 minutes) of the newsclip video about Carl Walker-Hoover's bullying-provoked suicide in your classes. Then talk about it.

2. Organize a short film screening during a lunch-hour. What movie would you want everyone to watch?

3. Put up posters around the school campus. What would they say?

4. Create an anonymous survey asking kids in your school what they'd say to a friend if the friend came out as gay to them, and then share the statistical results with the whole school.

5. Figure out what are penalties and consequences for bullying? How does your school not tolerate racial slurs but allow slurs based on perceived sexual orientation? See if that can be changed by talking to school administrators.

6. Bring in a speaker or a panel. Who would you choose? Someone with a personal connection to a student or the school, or someone famous?

7. How do you break down stereotypes? You can tackle them head-on. Pick one stereotype a week or a month and de-bunk it with reality. (Like the myth that "gay men are no good at sports" - and then giving the examples of Billy Bean (an out gay man who played Major League baseball) Esera Tuaolo (an out gay man who played in the National Football League) and John Amaechi (an out gay man who played in the National Basketball Association) and Matthew Mitcham (who won a gold medal for diving in the Olympics in 2008!)

Add your ideas for how to make your school a "safe" space for Gay (GLBTQA) students in comments, below!

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