Texas Teen’s Fight Serves As Important Reminder:
Federal Law Protects Trans Youth (Updated w/Video)
[November 15 Update: Jeydon has prevailed, and will appear in a tuxedo in the yearbook. The original 11/14 post about Jeydon and the SPLC continues below.]
A dispute unfolding in Texas serves as another important reminder that the federal Constitution and federal civil rights statutes, if properly applied and enforced, protect public school students from anti-transgender discrimination regardless of what state and local laws might provide.
Yesterday, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) sent a demand letter to the school board in La Feria, Texas, on behalf of a transgender student, Jeydon Loredo, who was denied permission to wear a tuxedo in a yearbook photograph. The district’s superintendent, Rey Villarreal, told Loredo’s mother that the yearbook would include her son’s picture only if he wore traditionally feminine clothing, like a “blouse or drape.”
The SPLC’s letter says the organization will take legal action if the district doesn’t change course.
Click here or on Read More to read the full post and to see the video.
How to Help Children & Others in the Philippines
A major typhoon named Haiyan (local name Yolanda) hit the Philippines three days ago, causing widespread devastation.
CBS News provides an update in the first video below. In the second video, a UNICEF Ambassador urges the public to donate to the relief efforts. UNICEF is the United Nations agency devoted to serving the world’s children.
You can support UNICEF’s efforts in the Phillipines by donating on-line. The American Red Cross is also accepting donations at this link. USA Today has published a list of additional charities.
Click here or on Read More to see the videos.
Video: Gay Teen Scientist Jack Andraka Appears on Colbert Report
Videos from the GLSEN Respect Awards in L.A.
Check out these videos from the Respect Awards, hosted this past weekend by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in Los Angeles.
One of my favorite quotes from the videos is the following from Student Advocate of the Year Laila Al-Shamma: “If no one around you knows that you’re an [LGBT] ally, then you can’t claim that you’re an ‘ally’ at all. Our friends, our parents, our teachers, our political leaders, [and] our celebrities need to make their support well known.” She says this about 4 minutes and 18 seconds into her acceptance speech, which is the last video below. The comment rightfully earns her some applause.
Click here or on ‘Read More’ to see the videos.
“The Day We Won”:
Celebrating Marriage in New Jersey:
A Video & Collection of Quotes
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has dropped his challenge to a lower court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality. As a result, any lingering doubt about the current or future status of same-sex marriage in New Jersey is gone: Marriage equality is here to stay in the Garden State.
Fourteen states plus Washington D.C. now recognize same-sex marriage.
What have LGBT-equality advocates, politicians, and others had to say about the New Jersey developments? Here’s a short collection of quotes (and a video).
Click here or on ‘Read More’ to read some quotes (and to watch a video).
Video: New Safe Schools Project in Victoria, Australia
Safe Schools Coalition Victoria (SSCV) in Australia is working on (and seeking funding for) a new video project to help schools create safer environments for all youth, including and especially lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender youth.
Click here or on ‘Read More’ to learn more and to see the video.
Betty White & Cast of Hot in Cleveland Support Spirit Day & LGBT Youth
Betty White and other Hot in Cleveland cast members appear in a new video to support Spirit Day and lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender youth. You can learn more about Spirit Day (and Ally Week, which is also coming up) in this post from last week.
Saying Goodbye to Corey & Finn
On Thursday, Fox will air a much-anticipated Glee episode to pay tribute to Cory Monteith, a talented actor and singer—and an ally of LGBT youth. Monteith played the character Finn on Glee before his tragic death this summer. According to reports from the British Columbia Coroners Service, Monteith’s accidental death was due to a lethal mixture of heroin and alcohol.
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]
Watch Six-Year-Old Ask Former Australian PM About Marriage Equality
In the video, a six year old boy asks former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard why she opposed marriage equality. She goes off on a bit of a tangent in response.
Unfortunately, the current PM opposes marriage equality as well, even though Australians broadly support it.
Click here or on Read More to see the video.
Videos for LGBT History Month
LGBT History Month begins tomorrow.
Each day in October, this post will feature, in the video below, a different lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender icon, as selected by Equality Forum.
Click here or on Read More to learn more and to see the additional video.
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.