March 01, 2011

>Cross-posted at blog.glsen.org.

The Rev. Peter Gomes, an openly gay American Baptist minister and theologian at Harvard University’s Divinity School, passed away Monday at the age of 68. Gomes, whom GLSEN honored as a Black History Month hero last month, was a strong advocate for wider acceptance of LGBT people in America.

Said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard, who met Rev. Gomes while working on the award-winning documentary Out of the Past, which Dr. Byard co-produced:

"I am deeply saddened to hear of Reverend Gomes' passing. Reverend Gomes is featured in Out of the Past, discussing Michael Wigglesworth, a 17th century minister, author and Harvard professor whose Day of Doom was a bestseller of the time. Reverend Gomes brought his trademark mix of thoughtful gravitas and wry humor to the interview, and his dramatic reading of selections from the Day of Doom has always been one of my favorite parts of the film.

"I was also privileged to hear him preach on several occasions. His death is a loss for all of us who value respect and have an appreciation for difference."

March 01, 2011

>March is Women's History Month, an important time to pay special attention to the contributions of women to our societies, cultures, and history. As a part of GLSEN's Days of Support, we encourage GSAs and other student organizers to take the time during March to recognize the contributions of women, particularly to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Below are a few things you can do:


Women's History Month Heroes


Learn.
Throughout March on the Day of Silence Blog we will be recognizing women who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movement. Click here and keep reading all month long for new additions!

Share. Our Women's History History Month Heroes downloadable flier has information about six notable Women's History Month heroes. It's perfect for sharing. Print off copies and pass them out to members of your GSA, teachers and fellow classmates. Click here to download.

Post. We want to know who your heroes are! If you know a woman who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENWHM hash tag!

NEW! Women's History Activity Zine!

Zines, self-published mini-magazines, have played a big part in the Women's movement, and that's why we created a Women's History Month Activity Zine, filled with information and activities. Download this resource for yourself or print out lots of copies for all the members of your GSA, fellow classmates and school faculty and staff! Click here to download.


Join The Conversation

Go to the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page and @DayofSilence Twitter (don't forget to use #GLSENWHM) and tell us what you're doing for Women's History Month!

Have questions about organizing Women's History Month activities in your GSA? Email us at info@studentorganizing.org!

February 28, 2011

>GLSEN is proud to honor Black History Month by celebrating the contributions of the African American community to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout February we will be recognizing the African American heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!


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Audre Lorde (1934 – 1992) was a self described "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet" and daughter of Caribbean immigrants. Lorde was a major contributor to the early American LGBT culture fostered in the bars of NYC. Her poetry was published regularly during the 1960’s, and the first volume of her poems The First Cities was released in 1968. Her work deals with the topics of love, betrayal, childbirth and her life as a lesbian and is politically focused around gay and lesbian rights as well as feminism. In 1980 Audre co-founded Kitchen Table, the first U.S. publisher for women of color. Lorde shocked even other feminists of her time with her progressive theories that racism, sexism, and homophobia were all linked in that they all come from an inability to respect difference.



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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know an African American person who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENBHM hash tag!

February 26, 2011

>GLSEN is proud to honor Black History Month by celebrating the contributions of the African American community to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout February we will be recognizing the African American heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!


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Michael Franklin (b. 1985) is a community organizer who works on the intersections of racism, heterosexism and other forms of oppression. As a leader in GLSEN Baltimore, Michael is very committed to supporting the safe schools movement in being inclusive. This year he played a central role in organizing a local summit to support LGBTQA students of color in taking leadership in and advancing the safe schools movement, and is planning to build upon the event’s foundation with similar programs and actions in the future. He is also co-planning a major training initiative for educators in the Baltimore City School District, which serves a high population of low-income students of color. Outside of GLSEN, Michael will be providing works of poetry to the Black Male Identity Campaign of Art on Purpose, a program that uses art to bring people together around issues and ideas, specifically to challenge and reframe the discourse on black males. He hopes to bring light to the value of including gay, bisexual, and transgender men of color within that collective discourse. Michael’s ongoing work is a testament to the importance of recognizing the multitude of identities that all people hold and engaging in organizing that is inclusive of all of those identities and the issues that are connected to them.



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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know an African American person who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENBHM hash tag!

February 24, 2011

>GLSEN is proud to honor Black History Month by celebrating the contributions of the African American community to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout February we will be recognizing the African American heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!


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Daayiee Abdullah (b. 1954), an openly gay Muslim Imam, grew up in Detroit, MI in a Southern Baptist family. Daayiee was politically active from a young age. He worked for California Gov. Jerry Brown’s office in San Francisco and in 1979 he was one of the San Francisco coordinators for the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Abdullah found Islam during his tenure at Beijing University. In 2000 Daayiee joined an online community of gay Muslims and he quickly became a leader in this community. Daayiee soon after became an Imam, and stepped forward to offer funeral prayers for HIV/AIDS victims and perform same-gender wedding ceremonies that no other Imam would do. Abdullah is proud to be one of only two openly gay Imams in the world, and is happy to discuss his beliefs that LGBT people should in no way be excluded from the Islamic community.

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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know an African American person who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENBHM hash tag!

February 22, 2011

>GLSEN is proud to honor Black History Month by celebrating the contributions of the African American community to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout February we will be recognizing the African American heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!


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Peter Gomes (b. 1942) is an openly gay American Baptist minister and theologian at Harvard University’s Divinity School, despite the fact that his church still openly condemns the "gay lifestyle." Since coming out in 1991, Gomes has remained a strong advocate for a wider acceptance of gay and lesbian people in America. He offered prayer at the presidential inaugurals of both Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He is also a well published author on theology. His work includes the national best-selling books The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart and Sermons, the Book of Wisdom for Daily Living.
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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know an African American person who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENBHM hash tag!

February 17, 2011

GLSEN is proud to honor Black History Month by celebrating the contributions of the African American community to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout February we will be recognizing the African American heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!

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Bayard Rustin (1912 – 1987) began his career in activism when he was just a child by protesting against segregation alongside the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Throughout his life Rustin was involved in countless boycotts, protests, and initiatives aimed at protecting the civil rights of all minority groups. He was an expert in non-violent resistance having studied in India with leaders of their independence movement and organized many demonstrations of his own. Bayard played a pivotal role in the Black Civil Rights movement as an advisor to Martin Luther King Jr. Leaders of the movement asked Bayard to stay out of the public spotlight, for fear of being associated with what was at the time his “illegal” life as a gay man. Rustin continued to advocate for civil rights until his death in 1987, including LGBT rights, a cause he adopted in the later part of his life.

 

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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know an African American person who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENBHM hash tag!

February 15, 2011

>GLSEN is proud to honor Black History Month by celebrating the contributions of the African American community to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout February we will be recognizing the African American heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!


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"We need to ensure that all of our children are protected. I know that the only way to achieve this goal is to find common ground. We need to teach our children the simple message of respect for all. And we must do it now."

- Sirdeaner Walker

Sirdeaner Walker is the mother of 11-year-old Carl Walker-Hoover, who died by suicide after enduring constant bullying at school. Carl, who attended New Leadership Charter School in Springfield, Massachusetts, was frequently taunted by anti-gay slurs even though he did not identify as gay. Since this tragedy, Sirdeaner Walker has campaigned ferociously against anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in K-12 schools and in support of GLSEN. In July of 2009 she testified in front of the House Subcommittees on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education and Healthy Families and Communities in support of the Safe Schools Improvement Act (federal legislation to require that schools adopt anti-bullying policies).

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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know an African American person who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENBHM hash tag!

February 11, 2011

>GLSEN is proud to honor Black History Month by celebrating the contributions of the African American community to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout February we will be recognizing the African American heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!

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Kye Allums (b. 1989) is the first publically transgender person to play NCAA Division I college basketball. Kye, a student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., announced in November 2010 that while he identifies as male, he will continue playing on the women’s basketball team. Kye recognizes that the media attention around his coming out can provide visibility for the trans community. “I am trying to help myself and others to be who they are.” And Kye’s school supports him. Although the team is certain they’ll face difficulty from other communities when they travel, they’re committed to supporting Kye, says teammate Ivy Abonia, “As long as we’re united…we’re a team and we’re a family, we’ll be okay” (AP).

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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know an African American person who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENBHM hash tag!

February 08, 2011

>GLSEN is proud to honor Black History Month by celebrating the contributions of the African American community to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Throughout February we will be recognizing the African American heroes who have made significant contributions to the LGBT and safe schools movements. Click here for more information, and keep reading all month long for new additions!

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Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967) was a novelist, playwright, writer and columnist. In a time when blackness was looked down upon in American Society, Hughes was unashamed and proud of his heritage (a theme that can be seen throughout his collection of work). While it is unclear that he identified as LGBT, some academics agree that there are gay undertones present in Langston’s poetry, citing many of his unpublished works which may have been written a male lover. Hughes was never open about his sexuality; he instead chose to focus on the struggle of his people in the African American community. Hughes is now recognized as one of the key figures in the Harlem Renaissance. He was honored with countless awards both during and after his life, has a middle school named in his honor and has even been included in a series of Black Heritage postal stamps. Langston served as a mentor for many young black writers of the 50’s and 60’s, one of whom described him as having "set a tone, a standard of brotherhood and friendship and cooperation, for all of us to follow.”

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We want to know who your heroes are! If you know an African American person who has contributed to the LGBT and safe schools movement, post about them on the Gay-Straight Alliances Facebook page. You can also tweet your heroes to @DayofSilence using the #GLSENBHM hash tag!

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