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

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.

There’s No Parental “Liberty” to Dictate Discrimination

Texas on Green School Chalkboard

There’s been a bit of a flap in Lumberton, Texas, where school officials suspended transgender school teacher Laura Jane Klug after parents complained that she was a “distraction.” Fortunately, the school district appears now to have reinstated Ms. Klug, though the district says it has not made a final decision, and it has asked her not to come back right away to minimize distraction during a student testing period.

One parent concerned about Klug’s presence in the classroom reportedly said, “Each parent has the individual liberty, individual rights to determine at what age it is appropriate for their children to be exposed to certain things.”

Actually, no. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post.

School Takes Action Against Bullied Student with My Little Pony Bag

Nine Year Old Bruce Grayson

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.