Dallas, Texas. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Cobb County, Georgia. Anoka-Hennepin, Minnesota. These places are probably not the first that come to mind when you think of progress on LGBT issues, but they each have been the site of significant victories in the past few months.
In each case, GLSEN supported local advocates who fought hard for LGBT students and won. Each of these jurisdictions has now voted for effective, LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying policies. If Dallas and Oklahoma City can do the right thing despite resistance, I have to believe that it is possible to win these essential protections for students everywhere.
At the same time, GLSEN's Safe Space Campaign, launched in October, has already engaged thousands of schools and individual supporters in our common cause: to provide visible support for students who are suffering, and engage every school community in the effort to promote true cultures of respect
for all. We recently received the most amazing note from an official in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), an official partner of the Safe Space Campaign:
"Since the Safe Space Kits were distributed, I've been receiving a steady stream of gratitude from those voices we don't otherwise hear. In addition to principals, teachers and counselors, I've heard from students, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers, thanking GLSEN and LAUSD for taking a stand on behalf of them and their families. There's a groundswell in our schools - and for this, we thank GLSEN and the Safe Space Campaign for bringing us together in a united cause."
I am so very grateful to everyone who has joined this crucial campaign, speaking up for students everywhere and lending their voice to the fight. Together, we are investing in a better future for every child and every community in this country. A future in which no child skips school out of fear and no parent has to worry about their child's safety. In which no child loses out on the opportunities dependent on getting a good education, and in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. All of our communities will be stronger, all of our schools and workplaces safer and more productive, when we reach that day.
Through both public policy campaigns and individual advocacy, we can make this vision for the future a reality. Thank you to all of our partners in this work for your investment in GLSEN. And, if you have not already, please join the Safe Space Campaign - for just $20 you can help make one school safer for LGBT students. Visit www.safespacekit.com today.