Is California’s New Transgender Equality Law Really “Unique” and “Unprecedented”?
California’s new transgender student equality law, which took effect on January 1, ensures that all public school students, including transgender students, have access to sex-segregated facilities and programs consistent with their gender identity.
Media reports and commentaries tend to describe the law as “unique,” “groundbreaking,” “unprecedented,” and the “first of its kind.” Are these exaggerations, or does the new law, often called AB 1266, truly adopt a novel approach to transgender issues?
I’ve published an answer to this question in an update to an earlier post, California’s New Transgender Equality Law & the Effort to Repeal It: Frequently Asked Questions. Here’s a teaser:
AB 1266 is, in limited but important respects, unique. But media reports and commentaries often exaggerate the extent to which the law breaks new ground, because they overlook similar legal developments at all levels of government and in different parts of the country. Authorities charged with enforcing federal, state and local non-discrimination laws have increasingly recognized the right of all students, including transgender students, to access programs and facilities consistent with their gender identity.
October 17: It’s Spirit Day! (Updated with Video of Marcel Neergard)
Today, October 17, is Spirit Day, sponsored by GLAAD and supported by countless others. Wear purple (and/or turn your images or logo purple on-line) to show your support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and their allies.
You can find an app to turn images purple in the iTunes and Google Play stores.
New GLSEN Video Gives Voice to LGBT High School Students
The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) posted this video on YouTube today, again giving voice to young people who have faced anti-LGBT bullying and other mistreatment at school.
More October Events! Coming Out Day
October Events for LGBT Students & Their Allies: Bullying Prevention, Ally Week, Spirit Day & More [UPDATED 10/16]
Two Videos: What Can We Do? Bias, Bullying and Bystanders
What Can We Do? Bias, Bullying and Bystanders, a new professional development film from the Welcoming Schools project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, premiered yesterday in D.C. You can order a DVD copy here. Click here or on Read More to learn more and to see another video.
New Infographic: What To Do If You’re LGBTQ & Bullied
Lambda Legal has a great new infographic for youth who face bullying or harassment because they are or are perceived to be LGBTQ, or because they associate with people who are or are perceived to be LGBTQ.
Click here to view the full infographic. (Or click here to see it on Lambda Legal’s website.)
Lambda Legal also provides information and resources for LGBTQ youth through the Know Your Rights section of its website. And here at Youth Allies, we’re in the process of putting together a new page with resources related to bullying & harassment: It’s still a work in progress, but you are welcome to check it out (and to send suggestions).
Our Newly Designed (and Rapidly Expanding) Resource Library
Video: Missouri School Board Continues Anti-LGBT Censorship
Missouri’s Rutherford County School Board is refusing to allow an LGBT-supportive poster back on the wall at a local school. Administrators recently required a teacher to take the poster down after a parent complained.
The poster, created by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, reads: “This is a safe and inclusive space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and their allies. All students deserve a safe and welcoming school environment.” It also includes some statistics about LGBT youth, noting, for instance, that 9 out of 10 LGBT youth face harassment at school based on their sexual orientation, and that many LGBT youth do not feel safe at school. You can view the poster here.
Rutherford school officials and their representatives have offered various, shifting excuses for the anti-LGBT censorship, all of them terribly weak.
We’re expanding the resources available through the website.
Most recently, we’ve been updating these pages:
- National LGBT-Supportive Organizations (U.S.);
- Regional, State & Local LGBT-Supportive Organizations (Within U.S.);
- International LGBT-Supportive Organizations; and
- LGBT Blogs, News Sites & Other Links
We’ll be adding more information about foreign (non-U.S.) organizations in the future as well.
Think we’re missing something? Have other suggestions? Complaints? Let us know!
Know Your Rights as an LGBT Youth or an Ally
Have questions about the legal rights of LGBT youth and their allies?
Several websites can help you learn the basics when it comes to discrimination, bullying, proms, gay-straight alliances, free speech, transgender issues, and more.
Video: Vogueing in Highland Park!
MLive.com has published two stories (here and here) about the Ruth Ellis Center, a social services agency in Highland Park, Michigan, that provides “short and long-term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless, and at-risk lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender, and questioning youth.”
Youth and young adults visit the center for all sorts of reasons—including to dance, as you can see in the videos above and below.
Quist: A New LGBTQ History App
The Communicationist recently launched a new mobile app, Quist, that brings users a bit of LGBTQ and/or AIDS/HIV-related history each day. One of the app’s purposes is to “[l]et LGBTQ youth know that others have shared their struggle.“
Each day, the app displays “events of note” that took place on that day in history. Today, for example, Quist teaches about four Spanish men who were burned for sodomy on July 29, 1519; it also notes that Panama decriminalized same-sex sexual activity on July 29, 2008.
The Latest LGBT-Equality Legislation: Info & Links
As some readers are likely aware, members of Congress have recently introduced important legislation affecting the LGBT community.
I hope to blog more in-depth about the legislation in the near future. In the meantime, I’ve added a page about federal legislation to the Resources section of this website. This new page, which I’ll continue to expand, now includes basic information about the Student Non-Discrimination Act, the Safe Schools Improvement Act, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, along with links to additional resources related to those bills.
The new page also includes an optimistic statement from Freedom to Work’s Tico Almeida about the prospects for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the Senate this year. The Senate last voted on ENDA in 1996, when it failed on a vote of 49-50. Stayed tuned for additional updates.