Tag Archives: LGBT-Supportive Organizations & Companies

Florida drawn in chalk on green school chalkboard
Bill Mathias Official Photo

School Board Member Bill Mathias finds it “odd” that I write about Lake County, since he is “sure there is injustice in [my] part of the world.

The long-running dispute over the right of students to form a gay-straight alliance (GSA) at Carver Middle School in Lake County, Florida, is headed to trial in federal court this week before a Nixon-appointed judge, the Honorable William Terrell Hodges. For some background on the saga, check out the short local news video and the list of earlier Youth Allies posts (below).

It’s certainly frustrating that the school board, after all this time, is still fighting this club. (Some readers may recall that one Lake County School Board member told me in a ridiculous email almost two years ago that the board had “not blocked the GSA.” That statement, evidently, was false. Around the same time, another school board member inappropriately questioned a middle school student’s sexual orientation in an email to blogger Katy Bourne.)

Nevertheless, I am inspired by the tenacity and courage of the students, their families, their attorneys, and their many other allies. I wish them much luck (though they shouldn’t need it) as they continue their work to overcome the misunderstandings, misinformation, unfounded fears, hostility, and bias that have run rampant in Lake County over this issue. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post.

ICYMI: PFLAG China’s 7-Minute Film of Gay Man Coming Home

Posted by MK on Feb 26, 2015 @ 10:53 am

In case you missed it, here’s a short film released by PFLAG in China, which tells the story of a young man’s coming out to his parents. News reports indicate that as of last week, the video had already been viewed 100 million times, which is a hugely encouraging sign.

Struggling? Need Help? You’re Not Alone – Reach Out!

Posted by MK on Jan 2, 2015 @ 11:27 am
Cartoon images of person with phone headset and word 'Support'

After seeing the widespread news coverage of Leelah Alcorn’s tragic death, I updated this site’s resources page for suicide prevention.

The updated page, available here, has links to resources from the Trevor Project, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the International Association for Suicide Prevention, and other organizations; it also lists ways to seek support by phone. (La página incluye información en español también.)

For information on Leela Alcorn’s story, check out this post from the Human Rights Campaign, this story from CNN.com, and this blog post on Slate.

Carl Siciliano speaking at rally on LGBTQ youth homelessness

As part of a broader effort to update and expand the Youth Allies Resource Library, I am building a new page with information for and about LGBTQ homeless youth and those who advocate on their behalf.

The first version of this work-in-progress appears here. Feel free to send along requests and suggestions at any time.

MK

Follow Youth Allies on Facebook, Twitter & Google Plus.

Additional Recent Resource Update: Envisioning Equality: LGBT Maps & Infographics.

Rally participants

This is the third of three posts with videos from the June 2 rally organized by the National Campaign for Youth Shelter in Washington Square Park (New York City).

In the first post about the rally, I included videos of Edie Windsor, Chris Bilal, the Reverend Melvin Miller, and Jennifer Louise Lopez. In a second post, I included videos of David Mixner, Cathy Marino-Thomas, Emanuel Xavier, and Martin Boyce. This third post has videos of Wade Davis, Carl Siciliano, Mark Herrington, and Jerry Jones. I’ve also included a video of some dancers who took the stage right before the rally began. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post and to see the videos.

Rally participants holding sign for LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent

As I noted in an earlier post, I attended and took videos at a rally this week organized by the National Campaign for Youth Shelter in Washington Square Park (New York City).

In that first post about the rally, I included videos of Edie Windsor, Chris Bilal, the Reverend Melvin Miller, and Jennifer Louise Lopez. In this second post (below), you’ll find videos of David Mixner, Cathy Marino-Thomas, Emanuel Xavier, and Martin Boyce. In a third post, you’ll find videos of Wade Davis, Carl Siciliano, Mark Herrington, and Jerry Jones.

Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post and to see four of the videos.

Edie Windsor speaking at rally

This past Monday evening, I attended a fantastic rally in Washington Square Park (New York City) organized by the National Campaign for Youth Shelter (NCYS). NCYS, a collaborative project of the National Coalition for the Homeless and the Ali Forney Center, aims to bring greater national attention to youth homelessness.

A diverse and impressive group of speakers—including Edie Windsor, Carl Siciliano, the Reverend Melvin Miller, Wade Davis, Chris Bilal, Jennifer Louise Lopez, and David Mixner—spoke passionately about the challenges faced by homeless youth, including those who are LGBTQ, and about the need to protect and provide care for them. Junior Labeija, pictured above with Edie Windsor, emceed the event. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the rest of the post and to see the first four of the my thirteen videos from the rally.

Envisioning Equality: LGBT Maps & Infographics

Posted by MK on Jun 4, 2014 @ 3:27 pm
Rainbow Color World Map with south facing Up on Black Background and white border

This summer, I’m developing a new Youth Allies page with links to useful LGBT “equality maps” and other infographics from all around the web. The page will focus first and foremost on youth issues, but will also link to maps and graphics about employment discrimination, marriage equality, censorship and more.

I’ll also publish an occasional blog post on the maps and graphics—particularly where I spot a discrepancy among them that requires some explanation.

Click here or on “Read More” to check out the first iteration of the new page. And feel free to send questions, requests, and other ideas!

MK

Follow Youth Allies on Facebook, Twitter & Google Plus.

[Update: Give Out Day has been extended to 11:59 p.m. Friday May 16.]

Today, on National Give Out Day, I’ll be donating to a couple of organizations that work to support homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer youth (and to prevent homelessness among LGBTQ youth). As the Give Out Day website explains, “every donation you make to your favorite LGBTQ charity” before 11:59 p.m. gives that charity “a chance to win MORE MONEY through awards and prizes.”

Please consider giving to an LGBT cause today. Equality opponents are well funded, but less than 5% of the LGBTQ community gives to LGBTQ-related charities. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to learn more and to see an additional video.

Martha Coakley, Attorney General of Massachusetts


There was great news last week for safe-schools and LGBT-equality advocates in Massachusetts, where the governor signed a measure strengthening the state’s anti-bullying law.

The many advocates who worked for the bill’s passage—including the organization Mass Equality and state Attorney General Martha Coakley—deserve wholehearted thanks and congratulations from those who believe in safe schools for all youth. Still, it’s worth pointing out an inaccuracy that appears in statements issued by the law’s supporters as well as in the media. Some advocates, journalists and bloggers have suggested that the law requires schools to single out specific groups, including LGBTQ students, for special protections. This is incorrect, though I recognize that the law may appear ambiguous on this point, at least at first glance.

Clarifying this issue may help prevent confusion among those who must work to implement the law; it may also help ensure that, moving forward, safe-schools advocates who favor inclusive policies don’t inadvertently feed into anti-LGBT talking points. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post.

[Update: The legislation has been approved and signed by the governor.]

Take action to support safe schools in Minnesota!

The Human Rights Campaign reports that Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk will bring the Safe and Supportive Schools Act to a vote this Thursday. As HRC explains, “[t]he vote in the Senate has been seen as the key hurdle to this essential legislation being signed into law. In the last legislative session the bill was blocked in the senate in the final hours after passing the House.”

The legislation would significantly expand the state’s anti-bullying law, currently one of the weakest in the nation. Among many other things, the bill would specifically require schools to address bullying based on actual and perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.

In its blog post, HRC provides a way for folks in Minnesota to contact their senators (click on the “quick and effective tool” link within HRC’s blog post).

OutFront Minnesota provides additional information about the bill, and about the organization’s safe schools work, at this link. Outfront also produced the video above. [Update for Safari and iOS users: I’ve just gotten reports that the video does not play on Safari, including Safari on some iOS devices. But it should work on Chrome and Firefox, as well as Chrome for iOS. You can also see it by visiting YouTube at this link.]

MK

Follow Youth Allies on Facebook, Twitter & Google Plus.

Arkansas on Green School Chalkboard

I was disappointed to read that gay Arkansas student Taylor Ellis has faced increased homophobia after speaking out against his school’s anti-gay censorship. Administrators at Sheridan High School, south of Little Rock, are refusing to include an interview with Ellis in this year’s yearbook, because the interview discusses Taylor’s coming out as gay. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post—and to learn how to help.