Friday, June 29, 2012

High School Coach, Fired For Being Gay, Speaks Out

Check out this great interview with Mitch Stein by Kergan Edwards-Stout.  Mitch was an assistant coach of junior varsity water polo, and was fired after a parent (who'd never met him) complained about some facebook photos Mitch had posted that showed him hanging out with drag queens.

I love what Mitch's daughter (who goes to the school where he'd coached and then been fired for being gay) said to her dad when he asked if she wanted to change schools,

"Dad, I don't want to change schools. And besides, if we change schools, they win."
and then Mitch said,
"That's when it clicked in my head that we needed to fight this."

Wishing Mitch and his family good fortune with the suit (and with their newly adopted baby!) and hoping he'll be back coaching at the school next year!


ps - there's even a petition you can sign to tell the school to re-hire Mitch here!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Christian Chavez And Anahi Rock It With "LIBERTAD" - A Spanish-Language Gay Anthem!

Love this!

I found out about out gay singer Christian Chavez in this fun article, 21 Great Gay Moments in Music at

The lyrics translate as (thanks to Baby_Girl_!):

Libertad / Freedom

El silencio se va, / The silence goes away,
Junto a mi ya no esta, / It's no longer next to me,
El dolor se marcho, / The pain has left too,
Y me alma es libre del temor. / And my soul is free from fear.

Comprendí que si estoy aquí, / I understood that if I'm here
Es porque yo así lo decidí, / it's because that's the way I decided,
Conocer y reconocer, / Knowing and admitting,
Que nada es perfecto, / that no one is perfect,
Y el defecto es bello también. / And the defect has also a beautiful side.

Libertad, libertad, / Freedom, freedom,
No voy abandonar mis sueños. / I will not give up on my dreams.
Libertad, libertad, / Freedom, freedom,
Es tiempo de vivir sin miedo, / It's time to live without fear,

Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom
Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom
Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom
Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom

Deja atrás el disfraz, / Leave behind the disguise,
Quema ya el antifaz. / It's time to burn the mask.
Tu destino es vivir, / Your destiny is to live,
Y sentir dejando de fingir. / and to feel without pretending.

Puedo amar, no hay oscuridad / I can love, there is no darkness
Hay nuevos horizontes que buscar / There are new horizons to search for
Hoy mi fe me hace creer, / Today my faith makes me believe
Que tengo mil razones para tocar el cielo y gritar. / That I have a thousand reasons to touch the sky and to scream.

Libertad, libertad, / Freedom, freedom,
No voy abandonar mis sueños. / I will not give up on my dreams.
Libertad, libertad, / Freedom, freedom,
Es tiempo de vivir sin miedo, / It's time to live without fear,

Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom
Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom
Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom
Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom

Libertad / Freedom
Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom
Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom
Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom

Libertad, yo vivo en libertad / Freedom, I live free
No tengo que ocultar mi personalidad / I don't have to hide my personality,
Libertad, yo vivo en libertad / Freedom, I live free
No me voy a frenar / I will not stop
Yo busco libertad / I'm searching for freedom

(Vive y suena en libertad, / (Live and dream freely,
Tu decides a quien amar, / You decide whom to love,
Hoy tu voz no van a callar, / Today your voice will not be quiet,
Grita fuerte, quiero escuchar). / Shout it out loudly, I want to hear).

Libertad (libertad), / Freedom (freedom),
Libertad (libertad), / Freedom (freedom),
No voy abandonar mis sueños, / I will not give up on my dreams,
Libertad (libertad), / Freedom (freedom),
Libertad (libertad), / Freedom (freedom),
Es tiempo de vivir sin miedo. / it's time to live without fear.

Yo quiero libertad / I want freedom
Libertad / Freedom
Yo quiero libertad / I want freedom
Libertad / Freedom
Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom
Yo solo quiero libertad / I only want freedom

Libertad / Freedom
Solo quiero libertad (libertad) / I only want freedom (freedom)
Libertad, libertad, libertad / Freedom, freedom, freedom

In any language, singing about the freedom to be yourself as a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer person is awesome.

Enjoy, and
Happy Pride!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Transgender Punk Rocker Laura Jane Grace of the band AGAINST ME!

Check out this MTV interview with transgender punk rock singer Laura Jane Grace (formerly known as Tom Gabel), who came out this May in an interview in Rolling Stone about her transition.

Get More: Music News

I found this video clip in the article 20 great gay moments in music.

I love this line:

"I try to make a step, every single day... where I feel like I'm moving myself forward."

and this one, too:

"This is me, if you have a problem with this, get out of my life."

And the Rolling Stone article is fascinating, including bits like this lyric from the song "The Ocean," off AGAINST ME!'s 2007 album, New Wave:

If I could have chosen I would have been born a woman
My mother once told me she would have named me Laura 
 I would grow up to be strong and beautiful like her 
One day I'd find an honest man to make my husband
And how it still took all this time to come out.
How Laura's wife Heather reacted to the news is heart-warming.
And Laura's struggle over how the transition would affect their young daughter, coming to the conclusion:
"And the thing I keep coming back to is that there's no better example I can set as a parent than being true to myself."

It's an inspiring story, and one I had to share.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Glenn Burke was the first openly gay Major League Baseball Player... and a petition to honor him

The petition at reads:

Glenn Burke was the first, of only two Major League Baseball players, to "come out" as gay. Burke also started the tradition of high-fiving players after they had just hit home runs.

Considering the significance of Glenn Burke being the first Major League Baseball player to come out, his legacy is comparable to that of Jackie Robinson. As baseball is our National Pastime, it is incredibly important that the Baseball Hall of Fame acknowledge and promote diversity within the sport itself.

Considering this, we ask that the Baseball Hall of Fame create a permanent exhibit to honor the legacy and memory of Glenn Burke.

“They can't ever say now that a gay man can't play in the majors, because I'm a gay man and I made it." - Glenn Burke

Very cool to know this piece of gay history!

Add your voice to the petition, and the next time you high-five someone, think of Glenn Burke!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Highlighting Resources: A New Monday Summer Series! Our Kick-Off: Building an inclusive classroom and school library

On her blog, Pat Zietlow Miller interviews Abigail Swetz about the benefits of including GLBTQ books in middle school classrooms and collections, and Abigail speaks beautifully about it.

I like the challenge of making sure you're representing all the letters in LGBTQ as a starting point, and especially saw the truth of teens both needing to see a reflection of themselves and needing to read about others who are different from themselves.

It's inspiring, and makes me want to ask all my educator and librarian readers...

Are the books in your school doing enough for ALL your teens?


ps - Make sure you check out Pat's recommendations of YA books to the characters on GLEE, If I Were A "Glee" Librarian!  Clever, funny, and spot-on!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Malinda Lo Celebrates YA Pride... and we all get to join in!

Malinda Lo, author of the queer YA novels Ash (a lesbian re-telling of Cinderella) and Huntress (its sequel), is doing some great posts over at her website this month to celebrate GLBTQ Pride.

She's doing great interviews, among them:

Alex Sanchez (author of Rainbow Boys series, "The God Box" and "Boyfriends with Girlfriends)

Daisy Porter (librarian and Queer YA book review blogger at Queer YA!) It's called "FROM PROBLEM TO PRIDE: A SHORT HISTORY OF QUEER YA FICTION"and is very well done,


Kirstin Cronn-Mills (who wrote the upcoming "Beautiful Music for Ugly People" (forthcoming this October from Flux), which tells the story of an 18-year-old trans guy.  It's called "AM I ALLOWED TO WRITE THIS?" - an excellent exploration of the issues about writing an "other" minority character when you're not part of that group.

Malinda is also compiling a list of all the Queer YA fiction published first in the USA in 2012!  It's an excellent celebration of YA Pride, so go enjoy!

Thank you, Malinda!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Candy Everybody Wants - A Gay Teen 'I'm Gonna Be Famous' Adventure

 Candy Everybody Wants by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Jayson is 14, and is writing a Dynasty/Dallas crossover with himself as the female lead.

He's tired of worshiping pop culture; he wants to be part of it.

So he's off, accompanied by an ever-changing cast of quirky extended family members, on an extremely bumpy journey from rural Wisconsin to a New York escort agency for Broadway chorus boys, to a Hollywood sitcom set.

Somewhere out there his destiny awaits—along with the discovery of first love, some unusual coincidences, a kidnapping mystery . . . and the sobering truth that being America's sweetheart can leave a very sour aftertaste. 

 Add your review of "Candy Everybody Wants" in comments!

My thanks to Daisy Porter for mentioning this book in her excellent essay, From Problem to Pride: A Short History of Queer YA Fiction.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gender 101, Episode #34: Lucy, Nenu, Emmi and B J on the "T" in GLBT

Our Gender-Queer friend Lucy (a.k.a. Benji) talks with Nenu, Emmi and B J about how Transgender and Gender Queer people are treated within the "Gay Community," both by individuals and organizations. 

It's a fascinating discussion...

My thanks to Lucy, Nenu, Emmi and B J for sharing so openly about their experiences!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Miseducation of Cameron Post - a debut lesbian literary novel

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to live with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone (as her Grandmother might say), and Cam becomes an expert at both.

Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship—one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self—even if she’s not quite sure just who that is.

There's a great interview with the author at Malinda Lo's site here.

"The Miseducation of Cameron Post" is Emily's debut novel.  Add your review in comments!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Secret Gay Agenda... An Excellent TED Talk by LZ Granderson

LZ Granderson was named Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, and this speech is GREAT!

He covers the "Super Duper Evil Gay Lifestyle" and the reveals the actual "Gay Agenda"... and gave this talk at TEDx Grand Rapids in May 2012.


You can follow LZ on Twitter: @locs_n_laughs.


Friday, June 15, 2012

More To Learn... LA Gay Pride 2012

At Los Angeles GLBTQ Pride, I saw these three flags being flown.  I knew the RAINBOW PRIDE flag, but the other two I didn't know...

So I ran over and asked these guys.

Turns out the flag on top - Pink, Purple and Blue - is the BISEXUAL PRIDE flag.

"The deep pink or rose stripe at the top of the flag represents the possibility of same gender attraction; the royal blue stripe at the bottom of the flag represents the possibility of opposite gender attraction and the stripes overlap in the central fifth of the flag to form a deep shade of lavender or purple, which represents the possibility of attraction anywhere along the entire gender spectrum." - wikipedia

And the Blue-Pink-White-Pink-Blue flag is the TRANSGENDER PRIDE flag.

It was created by Monica Helms (a transgender woman) in 1999, who describes the meaning of the flag as follows:

"The stripes at the top and bottom are light blue, the traditional color for baby boys. The stripes next to them are pink, the traditional color for baby girls. The stripe in the middle is white, for those who are intersex, transitioning or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender. The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our lives." - wikipedia

I love that there is always more to learn about this amazing community of ours!

Oh, and here's one more photo I love from Los Angeles' Gay Pride (check out the marquee!)

Namaste, and happy Pride for all of us (and our Allies, too!)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Brooklyn, Burning - Teen Life On The Streets And Beyond Genders

Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff

Kid is 16, a drummer and painter, and spends summers on the streets of Brooklyn.

Kid's gender is never revealed, nor is the gender of the object of Kid's affection, Scout, a musician. 

It's a world of street kids, punk rock, and life beyond labels.

Add your review of "Brooklyn, Burning" in comments!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gender 101, Episode 33: Benji, Nenu, Emmi and BJ on Being "Enough"

Benji (a.k.a. Lucy) continues the conversation about being Gender Queer, asking Nenu, Emmi and B J to discuss the concept of being "Enough," exploring situations where they confronted issues of being trans-enough, or enough of one gender or the other, when really just being themselves should be enough.

My thanks to Benji, Nenu, Emmi and B J for sharing, and just being themselves.  Each one of you is enough, just as you are.

Are so are all of us.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wade Davis, former NFL player, comes out about being gay and helping LGBT Youth

Wade Davis, who used to play in the National Football League, is interviewed by SB Nation about being gay in the NFL, coming out as a gay man, what he'd tell a closeted gay NFL player today, and his work at New York's Hetrick-Martin Institute helping GLBTQ youth.

It's well worth watching:


ps - My thanks to my husband for the heads-up on this!

Monday, June 11, 2012

As Apologies To The Gay Community Go, This One Works: Jason Alexander "Gets It"

As published on Outsports and GLAAD, Jason Alexander's recent TV appearance where he mocked Cricket for being a 'gay sport' was met with tweets that expressed hurt and offense. 

And instead of a laughing 'that's how the world is' and 'I'm sorry if I ever offended anyone' type of apology that we're seeing recently (Like Mitt Romney's disappointing comments when asked about an episode of high school bullying when he attacked a fellow student), Jason actually took this as a moment to reflect, re-consider, and learn.

Here's an excerpt from his apology:

I asked a few of my gay friends about it. And at first, even they couldn’t quite find the offense in the bit. But as we explored it, we began to realize what was implied under the humor. I was basing my use of the word “gay” on the silly generalization that real men don’t do gentile, refined things and that my portrayal of the cricket pitch was pointedly effeminate, thereby suggesting that effeminate and gay were synonymous.
But what we really got down to is quite serious. It is not that we can’t laugh at and with each other. It is not a question of oversensitivity. The problem is that today, as I write this, young men and women whose behaviors, choices or attitudes are not deemed “man enough” or “normal” are being subjected to all kinds of abuse from verbal to physical to societal. They are being demeaned and threatened because they don’t fit the group’s idea of what a “real man” or a “real woman” are supposed to look like, act like and feel like.

For these people, my building a joke upon the premise I did added to the pejorative stereotype that they are forced to deal with everyday. It is at the very heart of this whole ugly world of bullying that has been getting rightful and overdue attention in the media. And with my well-intentioned comedy bit, I played right into those hurtful assumptions and diminishments.

...So, I would like to say – I now get it. And to the extent that these jokes made anyone feel even more isolated or misunderstood or just plain hurt – please know that was not my intention, at all or ever. I hope we will someday live in a society where we are so accepting of each other that we can all laugh at jokes like these and know that there is no malice or diminishment intended.

But we are not there yet.

So, I can only apologize and I do. 

I'm glad Jason now gets it.  And I think it's fascinating how social media (like Twitter) can create more accountability for those in the media spotlight.  


Friday, June 8, 2012

President Obama's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month Proclamation!

Check this out: President Obama included support for gay marriage in his 2012 Pride Proclamation...


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 1, 2012



From generation to generation, ordinary Americans have led
a proud and inexorable march toward freedom, fairness, and full
equality under the law -- not just for some, but for all. Ours
is a heritage forged by those who organized, agitated, and
advocated for change; who wielded love stronger than hate and
hope more powerful than insult or injury; who fought to build
for themselves and their families a Nation where no one is a
second-class citizen, no one is denied basic rights, and all of
us are free to live and love as we see fit.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)
community has written a proud chapter in this fundamentally
American story. From brave men and women who came out and spoke
out, to union and faith leaders who rallied for equality, to
activists and advocates who challenged unjust laws and marched
on Washington, LGBT Americans and allies have achieved what once
seemed inconceivable. This month, we reflect on their enduring
legacy, celebrate the movement that has made progress possible,
and recommit to securing the fullest blessings of freedom for
all Americans.

Since I took office, my Administration has worked to
broaden opportunity, advance equality, and level the playing
field for LGBT people and communities. We have fought to secure
justice for all under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr.,
Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and we have taken action to end
housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender
identity. We expanded hospital visitation rights for LGBT
patients and their loved ones, and under the Affordable Care
Act, we ensured that insurance companies will no longer be able
to deny coverage to someone just because they are lesbian, gay,
bisexual, or transgender. Because we understand that LGBT
rights are human rights, we continue to engage with the
international community in promoting and protecting the rights
of LGBT persons around the world. Because we repealed "Don't
Ask, Don't Tell," gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans can serve
their country openly, honestly, and without fear of losing their
jobs because of whom they love. And because we must treat
others the way we want to be treated, I personally believe in
marriage equality for same-sex couples.

More remains to be done to ensure every single American is
treated equally, regardless of sexual orientation or gender
identity. Moving forward, my Administration will continue its
work to advance the rights of LGBT Americans. This month, as we
reflect on how far we have come and how far we have yet to go,
let us recall that the progress we have made is built on the
words and deeds of ordinary Americans. Let us pay tribute to
those who came before us, and those who continue their work
today; and let us rededicate ourselves to a task that is
unending -- the pursuit of a Nation where all are equal, and all
have the full and unfettered opportunity to pursue happiness and
live openly and freely.

United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in
me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do
hereby proclaim June 2012 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the
United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists,
and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve,
and of the Independence of the United States of America the
two hundred and thirty-sixth.

Happy Pride, everyone!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Drummer Girl - High School Identity Politics!

Drummer Girl by Karen Bass

Sidney, a shop-class-loving girl who plays drumkit, is surprised when she's at a party and a gay girl from her class, Joanne, wants to get together. She isn't upset about it, just surprised - she genuinely didn't know that was what people thought.

As the school's best drummer, Sid wants to get into its most popular band, but they have a whole raft of problems with her - starting with, once they learn she isn't gay, deciding that means she'll break up the band just by being a girl. Although she's allowed in and has the makeover they demand to make her 'girly', the band never really accepts her, and the makeover means suddenly she's meat market material. It seems girls get to be only 'gay' or 'slut'.

Sid's best friend Taylor - who hates the compromise she's made - is struggling with his own sexuality, and it all builds to a final, horrible crisis with the band...

Add your review of "Drummer Girl" in comments!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gender 101, Episode 32: Nenu and Frankie on Being Gender Queer AND Persons Of Color

Benji (a.k.a. Lucy) continues our discussions on gender, asking Nenu and Frankie to share about being both Gender Queer and People of Color.

What amazing latin@s!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth - An Incredible Non Fiction Book about Bullying and "outsider" status

I cannot say enough good things about The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins.

If you're a teen dealing with the pressures to fit in... read it.

If you're a parent wanting to support your child... read it.

If you're a teacher or educator and you want a deeper understanding both of what's going on with teens and bullying, and how you can help make things better... read it.

The book is nonfiction, but reads like a great story, following five main individuals from among the thousands of interviews Alexandra did.  It also includes a lot of great research and supporting points.  My copy from the library ended up with tons of sticky note markers and scribbled scraps of paper bookmarks throughout, so I could share just a taste of how great it is. 

Here are some of the moments that really jumped out at me:

"Nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit."
- J.K. Rowling, as quoted on page 7

“Elementary school taught us that variety is what makes the world beautiful. In high school, variety is weird and conformity is survival.”
- High School Junior Beth Ann, as quoted on page 313

“Being gay sucks because you’re forced into silence. People assume that straight people fall in love and gay people have sex. Even my mother says, ‘I don’t understand why gay people have to come out. It’s none of anyone’s business what you do in bed,’ as if being gay is a fetish or something and only pertains to the bedroom.”
Regan, as quoted on page 93

“At school, Einstein wrote, being bullied gave him “a lively sense of being an outsider.” Although he earned good grades, he was so uncomfortable with the “mechanical,” militaristic teaching style, which was devoid of creativity, that his obvious aversion to it led teachers to push him out of school before graduation... Being an outsider helped Einstein immensely: because he wasn’t accepted into the physics establishment, he had nothing to lose by challenging the status quo… Einstein developed the theory of relativity precisely because of his different way of thinking…”

She quoted a Wired article by Isaacson, “What made Einstein special was his impertinence, his nonconformity, and his distaste for dogma. Einstein’s genius reminds us that a society’s competitive advantage comes not from teaching the multiplication or periodic tables but from nurturing rebels. Grinds have their place, but unruly geeks change the world.” pg. 162-163

“I’m happy to be part of a culture where the guys who were made fun of in high school are now the ones the jocks go to see onstage.” - Pete Wentz, frontman for Fall Out Boy, who said of his high school, “I was pretty outcast, but a lot of it was by choice. I was kind of a geek… I looked weird."  He has been open about his depression and stints in therapy. “I like the idea that everyone can get depressed and that there is a way to get through it.” Said Wentz. pg. 167

And the research Alexandra cites is amazing.

Like this fascinating discussion of group favoritism, and the 1954 Robbers Cave State Park study in Oklahoma. They divided a bunch of eleven year old boys into two groups and how, pitted against each other, the groups became enemies. And perhaps even more interesting, how, after that, once the boys from both groups were teamed up for collaborative projects, they became friendly with each other. pg. 233.

She discusses the special dynamics at work in middle school, when “social circles are most homogenous” and students are “more likely to adhere to group norms and to demand that other group members conform," and when “cyberbullying peaks.” She quotes Concordia University psychology professor William Bukowski as warning, “As this consensus is elusive, the struggles for power within groups may provide nearly perfect conditions for some group members who upset a tenuous consensus to be victimized.” And then add in the complications of puberty on top of all that…
Pg. 246-247

Alexandra also explores “reputational bias” – As she quotes one expert explaining, “popular children acquire a ‘positive halo’ and unpopular children acquire a ‘negative halo,’ which color how their behavior is perceived, evaluated, and responded to by others.” Pg. 252-253

The book is loaded with insights,

Like this quote from Quentin Crisp
“The young always have the same problem – how to rebel and conform at the same time. They solve this problem by defying their parents and copying one another.”

and suggestions of solutions,

“The best way to get a kid to be a leader is to give him something to lead.”
Pg. 303, a Connecticut teacher

“If schools celebrated student scientists the same way they celebrate student athletes, more students would be encouraged to pursue the subject. Instead, science is considered nerdy because schools help students to paint it that way... Schools effectively control which students are eligible to achieve the visibility and recognition that pave the path to perceived popularity. Too often they glorify the wrong people.”

And the book concludes with a gold-mine of suggestions that are so good I have to share just the titles... but you should read the explanations yourself!

What Students can do: 
Know that being different doesn’t mean you’re flawed,
Give everyone a chance,
Keep in mind that loneliness won’t last forever,
Try humor and confidence,
Stop trying to conform,
Find an ally, and
Pursue non-school activities.

What Parents can do:
Remove social status from your list of worries,
Don’t assume you know what your child wants,
Encourage individuality,
Have faith in your child,
Consider switching schools,
Lobby for changes in school

What Schools can do: 
Don’t try to “normalize” outcasts – they’re not in the wrong,
Respect the significance of the cafeteria,
Encourage teachers to offer safe havens,
Create superordinate goals,
Monitor for both kinds of aggression,
Employ social norms strategies,
Treat all groups equally,
Make credit requirements equitable,
Encourage upperclassmen to support new students,
Encourage unexpected introductions,
Facilitate connections rather than imposing friendships,
Offer teachers/advisors of marginalized students the chance to be visible,
Rock the vote,
Don’t punish individuals by rewarding groups,
Reach out,
Fight to promote creativity,
Improve clique relations – among staff,
Confront issues head-on, and
Have a well-known anti-bullying procedure and contact person.

(pages 376-39)

Alexandra finishes with this summation
“Outcasts may be persecuted or shunned, but they are also free… Cafeteria fringe status liberates them from the confines of rigid teen boxes, saving a student the time, energy and frustration of trying to be someone he’s not… Undoubtedly the loneliness that may accompany this freedom can be a heartrending price to pay. But most people are lonely at times. As countless students – like Whitney, like Blue – have indicated to me over the years, just because a student has company doesn’t mean that she’s not lonely. Better to be lonely and real than to hide constantly behind a mask of self-deception. The loneliness will pass.” Pg. 395

"Better to be lonely and real than to hide constantly behind a mask of self-deception.  The loneliness will pass." 

Such wise words.

"The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth" is an excellent, excellent resource for all of us wanting to end bullying and show kids how to not just survive, but thrive.

I want every teacher (and administrator) in this country to read this book over the summer, and if I could, I'd require it! 


Monday, June 4, 2012

JC Penney's Gay Dad Ad for Father's Day... make that "Fathers' Day"

The ad features “real-life dads Todd Koch and Cooper Smith with their children, Claire and Mason," and reads:

First Pals: What makes Dad so cool? He’s the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver — all rolled into one. Or two.

Pretty awesome.

And even more laudable, since the company got a lot of flack (and a boycott called against them) for signing Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson back in February of 2012.

Back in 1997, after Ellen's character on her sitcom came out as a lesbian, JC Penney's did pull their advertising from the show in response to anti-gay-equality pressure.

It's great to see how things are changing for the better.


ps- I found out about this via LGBT Authors.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Everybody Wants To Say I Do - an awesome music video by Town & Country

For my husband,

15 years!  And every day I still want to say...

 I do!

And for everyone else, enjoy!

To find out more about Town & Country's singer/frontman Rob Shapiro and songwriter/producer Brian Woodbury, check out their website here

And my thanks to Suzanne for sharing this with me, so I could share it with all of you!