In December 2016, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released its biennial "2015 National School Climate Survey,” its flagship report on the experiences of LGBTQ students “including the extent of the challenges that they face at school and the school-based resources that support [their] well-being.”

They also produce state specific snapshots for 30 states, including Connecticut. This provides organizations like Triangle Community Center (TCC) with a concrete understanding of where we are and where we need to go locally as allies to LGBTQ youth.

Good news first…

In 2015, LGBTQ students in Connecticut typically reported having at least a handful of supportive staff and access to an active GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) where they could find support and community in their peers. 

As an organization, staff at TCC meet and collaborate with educators dedicated to the success and well-being of their students all of the time. What is heard most often, though, is that there is still work to be done. GLSEN’s snapshot of LGBTQ students in Connecticut supports this call to action. Notable findings in the 2015 report are eye-opening and are as follows. . .

“The majority of LGBTQ students in Connecticut regularly heard anti-LGBT remarks” including 14% of students who heard school staff make homophobic remarks and 29% of students who heard negative remarks about someone’s gender expression.*

“Most LGBTQ students in Connecticut had been victimized at school,” and half never reported the incident. Unfortunately, only 32% of those students who did make the often difficult decision to report an incident said it resulted in impactful staff intervention.*

Also notable, GLSEN found that the majority of transgender students (62%) had been unable to use the school restroom that aligned with their gender.*

These statistics are important reminders to adult allies and educators that inclusive legislation and policy on the state level and even the presence of an active GSA on campus are often not enough to ensure the lived equality of students in Connecticut schools.

GLSEN also includes in their biennial report key recommendations for how to implement impactful change in schools. For Connecticut, GLSEN recommends the implementations of comprehensive anti-bullying and harassment policies, the support of GSAs, professional development for staff on LGBTQ student issues, and increased access to LGBT-inclusive curricular resources.

The Connecticut sample was majority White/European American and suburban with only roughly a third of students of color submitting responses to the survey. Statistics show LGBTQ people of color face higher rates of discrimination across the board**. Thus, we must understan

Our work as allies to LGBTQ youth is imperative. Through its Cultural Competency program and youth programming, TCC staff are able to hear from students and dedicated educators every day. These competency trainings offer educators a chance to become acquainted with complex understandings of LGBTQ identities and ways to relate to and support the experiences of students in the classroom, hallways, and through existing counseling and health services.

Being an ally to LGBTQ youth can be an act as small as passing along information about local LGBTQ-affirming resources such as TCC or Circle Care Center (CCC) to people who may not know these resources exist to support LGBTQ individuals.

 

 

President Trump has accidentally helped fund an LGBT rights group that has threatened to battle his administration’s agenda.

The incoming President commissioned a special cake for his inauguration on Friday from Buttercream Bakeshop in Washington DC.

The cake, which appeared to be a direct replica of Barack Obama’s inauguration cake, is thought to have cost around $1000 – and was personally cut by Trump and VP Mike Pence.

The bakery, owned by Tiffany MacIsaac, confirmed in a statement that they had made the cake – and that all of the profits will be going to the Human Rights Campaign, to fight for LGBT equality.

They wrote: “Excited to share the cake we got to make for one of last night’s inaugural balls. While we most love creating original designs, when we are asked to replicate someone else’s work we are thrilled when it is a masterpiece like this one. [Celebrity baker] Duff Goldman originally created this for Obama’s inauguration 4 years ago and this years committee commissioned us to re-create it.

" The Best part is all the profits are being donated to Human Rights Campaign, one of our favorite charities who we have loved working with over the years.

“Because basic human rights are something every man, woman and child~ straight, gay or the rainbow in between~ deserve!”

HRC has vowed to resist any attempt by the Trump administration to pare back LGBT rights protections enacted by Barack Obama, while the group has also vowed to battle the anti-LGBT First Amendment Defence Act, which Trump has pledged to sign.

Commenting after the inauguration, HRC President Chad Griffin said: “When Donald Trump took the oath of office, he vowed to be a servant for all Americans. We will hold him to that oath.

“It is more important now than ever before for us to organize, mobilize, and fight in solidarity against hate and any attempts to roll back the rights of LGBTQ people.

“No matter who sits in the Oval Office, HRC won’t back down an inch in the fight for full equality and the equal dignity of each and every American.”

He added: “If President Trump truly believes in uniting the country, now is the time to make clear whether he will be an ally to the LGBTQ community in our struggle for full equality. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to protect our community and our progress.”

A study show high rates of a range of negative experiences in the education and health sectors

A report found a large percentage transgender people said they suffered mistreatment at the hands of school officials, healthcare providers and police.

The transgender advocacy report, which is based on 2015 surveys of nearly 30,000 transgender people in the U.S., detailed a series of hardships transgender people faced in various aspects of life.

More than three quarters of respondents reported experiencing some form of mistreatment in K-12 schools, including verbal harassment (54 percent) or being physically attacked (24 percent).

Seventeen percent of respondents said the mistreatment was bad enough that they left a K-12 school.

To see more figures from the study, check out the slideshow!

Attitudes toward police were also negative, with more than half of respondents (57 percent) saying they would feel uncomfortable asking the police for help and police reportedly frequently assuming they were sex workers, particularly black transgender women.

In healthcare, a third of respondents who saw a healthcare provider in the last year said they had at least one negative experience related to being transgender, with higher rates for minority and disabled transgender people.

Nearly a quarter of respondents (23 percent) said they did not see a doctor when they needed to because of fear of being mistreated, while a third of respondents said they didn’t see a doctor because they couldn’t afford it.

“As the national conversation about transgender people continues to evolve, public education efforts to improve understanding and acceptance of transgender people are crucial,” the study’s authors wrote. “Despite policy improvements over the last several years, it is clear that there is still much work ahead to ensure that transgender people can live without fear of discrimination and violence.”

The National Center for Transgender Equality funded and published the survey. Founded in 2003, the NCTE is a social justice advocacy organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people.

Comedian Colin Mochrie revealed online that he and wife Deb McGrath have a transgender daughter when he went online to defend LGBT rights.

The “Whose Line Is It Anyway” funnyman made the announcement Sunday when he questioned people who can’t accept transgender people.

“My 90-yr-old mother-in-law and 87-yr-old mother love and acceptance of our trans daughter warms me. Wonder why some who are younger can't,” Mochrie tweeted.

 
“The negative is that my mom refers to the community as BLT. It's a learning curve.”
 
Mochrie hasn’t spoken publicly about his daughter, but he and McGrath performed in May at an event to fund the Welcome Friend Association’s Rainbow Camp, a one-week camp for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer questioning, and allied (LGBTQA) youth that “honors creativity, individual choice, and social justice while having fun.”

A study has revealed that San Antonio, Texas, could loose out on $234 million in sports revenue alone over the states version of the anti-LGBT bathroom bill.

The study predicted the loss would come from the 2018 Final Four matches which predicts that a total of $135 million would come to the city in direct spending by organisers, with the rest of the total being made up by tens of thousands of visitors to businesses.

The Sabér Research Institute carried out the study which projected a state tax revenue of $9.5 million and municipal tax revenue of $4.4 million being accumulated from the event.

Senate Bill 6, a replica of HB2, was proposed at the beginning of the year.

The bill, which is being fronted by Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, stipulates that transgender people must use bathrooms in government buildings, public schools and universities that correspond to the sex given at birth, rather than their current gender identity.

The predicted loss was obtained by The New York Times who verified it with a spokeswoman for the local organising committee.

 

 

Texas’ version of the bill does contain a loophole which allows venues “privately leased to an outside entity” an exemption.

North Carolina has suffered multiple boycotts from businesses, sports events and performers which has led to a loss of $562 million in the state.

Currently, $245.6 million has been lost on large sporting games after big name games such as the NBA and NCAA pulled out of the state.

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association announced in August that it would relocate 10 championships; its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments alone earned Charlotte $55.6 million in 2015.

Cancellation of conventions cost $18.4 million with at least 13 conventions due to be held in Charlotte were cancelled by early April

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