Tag Archives: Videos

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.


Follow Youth Allies on Facebook, Twitter & Google Plus.

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

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.

[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.

This brilliant video from the comedians at Heck Bender is a bit edgier than the stuff I usually post, and I hesitated before posting it, as I worried that some people might think that I (or the video) was making light of violence. But after giving it more thought (and talking with others), I’ve concluded that my initial worries were misguided. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post and to see additional videos.

[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.]


Follow Youth Allies on Facebook, Twitter & Google Plus.

Though the school officials’ behavior infuriates me, the young boy at the heart of this news story moves, impresses and inspires me.

A courageous and well-spoken nine-year-old, Grayson Bruce, is standing up publicly to school bullies—and to his school—after facing vicious bullying for his supposed gender nonconformity. Some of the other kids in his North Carolina school district have attacked him verbally and physically because they think his My Little Pony bag is for girls.

School officials have dealt poorly with the situation, to say the least: They reportedly blamed the mistreatment on Grayson and his bag—and told him not to wear it—rather than focusing their punitive action on the bullies. (They called the bag a “trigger for bullying.”)

The bag, it should go without saying, does not harm anyone. Nor does it harm anyone that a young boy happens to like toys or cartoons that have traditionally been marketed toward girls. The “triggers for bullying” here were small-mindedness, immaturity, ignorance and gender stereotyping. Not My Little Pony. By treating kids like Grayson as the problem, schools empower bullies and reinforce narrow and oppressive notions of gender that stifle young people’s creativity and their freedom to be themselves. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post and to learn how to support Bruce Grayson on Facebook.

Artist and subject in Becoming More Visible

This morning I donated on Kickstarter to a film project about transgender homeless youth.

As the film’s co-producer and director Pamela French explains, the film, Becoming More Visible, will “tell the compelling stories of five, homeless transgender teens” in New York City “[f]rom behind the lens of photographer Josh Lehrer.” The teens’ “backgrounds are diverse,” she says, “but their stories are strikingly similar. Rejected by their families and lured to New York City with the hope of finding connection and love, many of these trans teens instead find themselves again rejected and homeless.”
Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post (including a video) and to learn how to support the project.

Eastside Catholic School near Seattle

A group of protestors hand-delivered a petition with nearly 21,000 signatures yesterday to the Archdiocese of Seattle, and received a surprise in-person response from a church spokesperson.

The petition and protesters oppose the firing of a popular gay Vice Principal, Mark Zmuda, from Eastside Catholic School; the school asked Zmuda to leave after learning he had married his male partner.

In the video, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese, Greg Magnoni, speaks to the protestors, claiming among other things that the school “had no intention to be discriminatory toward anyone.”

Say what? Click here or on ‘Read More’ to see the video and read the full post.