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.

Becoming More Visible:
A New Film Project About Trans Homeless Youth Seeks Support on Kickstarter

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.

Seattle Archdiocese Spews Some Nonsense, Saying Eastside Catholic School Had “No Intention to Be Discriminatory” when it Fired a Gay Employee who Married his Partner

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.