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Tag Archives: Youth

Midwest College Conference for LGBT students and allies February 2nd, 2013
Midwest College Conference for LGBT students and allies

Next week is a conference that if you're within driving distance of Michigan, you're going to want to attend.  It is MBLGTACC, or the Midwest Bi Lesbian Gay Trans Ally College Conference.  It's the 21st annual meeting, and it is hosted at a different midwestern college or university every year. There are going to be about 1,700 college kids there and over 90 sessions you can participate in.  According to the event website, "workshop topics are about the intersections of LGBTA identities and race; religion; gender; sex; disability; history; education and schools; health; politics; allyship; homelessness; professionalism; leadership; HIV/AIDS; and more."  This year's event theme is "Mosaic: Putting the Pieces Together." You don't have to be from the midwest to attend (although it is easier, since Michigan at this time of year is covered with snow.)  Next year's conference is in Missouri - definitely plan ahead so you can be there.  Often, the college groups that organize the event also help people find a place to crash while in town, so don't let cost be an object. Why attend MBLGTACC?  "Many people in the LGBTA community do not have families that are similarly-identified, so we learn about ourselves primarily from our peers and the ...



Hate-crime Trial Underway July 6th, 2011
Hate-crime Trial Underway

"There were no words exchanged. He just pulled out the gun and did it. The victim didn't even see it coming." I still remember when the facebook remembrance groups started appearing online after news first broke about the murder of 15-year-old Lawrence King back in 2008. He was a small child who wore makeup and heels to class - someone who was completely comfortable being himself no matter what others thought.  He identified as openly gay during his life and friends say he started dressing "like a girl." King was shot point-blank in the head twice by classmate Brandon McInerney, who was 14 at the time of the shooting. Jurors heard opening statements Tuesday in King's trial. McInerney  who is being tried as an adult, stands accused of gunning down his classmate "execution-style" in their Southern California junior high school classroom. Considering there were at least two dozen students and the teacher present in the room when the shooting took place, I expect this to be a quick trial. We'll keep you updated as the story develops.



LGBT Authors Rate Their Top 5 Queer Books July 6th, 2011
LGBT Authors Rate Their Top 5 Queer Books

When I look back on my life, some of my most important moments of identity formation took place while I was reading books for English class. I had no concept of what it meant to be "gay" - let alone what the word itself meant. I fed on the subtle and more overt undertones of gay relationships found in books such as A Separate Peace, The Catcher in the Rye and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. These books were assigned to the class for their literary merit - there was rarely a discussion in the class of the queer themes that I thought were so blatantly obvious. I saw myself reflected in these pages, their emotions, their confusion and struggle. As a frightened young boy, I can tell you there is nothing more magical than knowing you are not alone. I had no idea where to find books by queer authors - too afraid to go to the local library and search. How would I even know which ones I would enjoy and want to read over and over again? Once I entered college, my boyfriend told me about Christopher Rice, the gay son and author of Ann Rice (that woman we have to ...



FabuList: Cyrus Sinai July 1st, 2011
FabuList: Cyrus Sinai

At this year's Trevor LIVE, three extraordinary queer youth received the Colin Higgins Youth Courage Award.  The Colin Higgins Foundation established the Youth Courage Awards in 2000 to further the spirit and life of Colin Higgins, the acclaimed  screenwriter and director whose films celebrate honesty and integrity in the face of adversity. Over the last decade, the Foundation has issued 41 awards to activists hailing from 17 states and Puerto Rico. The following is an excerpt from the Trevor LIVE program book. An 18-year-old from Santa Clara, Cyrus Sinai comes from an Iranian immigrant family and was actively attending the Mormon Church as a young person. Cyrus describes the battle over his sexuality as a young person and the countless hours spent trying to "pray the gay away." As with many young people in such painful times, Cyrus was convinced his homosexuality was a disease and considered suicide. Cyrus eventually left the Mormon Church and took a life-changing trip to West Africa when he was 16 - finally coming out to his family, friends and school. Under Cyrus' leadership as he GSA president in his school, the membership more than tripled in size and has become one of the most prominent clubs on his ...



FabuList: Daunasia Yancey July 1st, 2011
FabuList: Daunasia Yancey

At this year's Trevor LIVE, three extraordinary queer youth received the Colin Higgins Youth Courage Award.  The Colin Higgins Foundation established the Youth Courage Awards in 2000 to further the spirit and life of Colin Higgins, the acclaimed  screenwriter and director whose films celebrate honesty and integrity in the face of adversity. Over the last decade, the Foundation has issued 41 awards to activists hailing from 17 states and Puerto Rico. The following is an excerpt from the Trevor LIVE program book. Daunasia Yancey, 19, is self-described as an "African-American, Aggressive-Femme, Lesbian open to other possibilities, peer sexual health educator, public speaker, poet and activist." Daunasia was born to a sex worker and  an incarcerated man in Boston, MA. At the age of four, she lost her mother to AIDS. She came out in 8th grade and mobilized support fr a GSA in her school - the first GSA in a public middle school in Massachusetts. Daunasia was sexually assaulted by a family member when she was 15 and was kicked out of her house shortly following reporting he incident. Despite the lack of support both at home and at school, Daunasia's community activism continued when she became a safe sex educator ...



Born This Way Blog June 27th, 2011
Born This Way Blog

I've known about the Born This Way Blog for some time, but I am happy to say that I finally have the opportunity to do a write up on this site. It first came on the scene several months back; around the same time that our little website was, well, born - for lack of a better word. Paul V., a DJ based in California, is the creator of this project and originally conceptualized these sociological accounts as a coffee book back when Prop 8 was first passed in 2008. Since the site launched in January of this year, Paul V. has received a massive amount of submissions from gay men and lesbians wanting to share their stories - and those submissions aren't just restricted to the ol' US of A.  One quick look at the tags section, you'll find stories from Ecuador, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines to name a few. My one small criticism of Born This Way Blog is something that Paul V. doesn't really have any control over. I wish the website had more trans stories (at the posting of this article, the site only has 10 stories tagged as trans compared to 115 lesbian). I ...



FabuList: “Pretty Amazing” Nina Montgomery Creates National Anti-Bullying Initiative June 14th, 2011
FabuList: “Pretty Amazing” Nina Montgomery Creates National Anti-Bullying Initiative

Here at BornLikeThis, we are proud to announce that Margarita “Nina” Montgomery is the first person to grace our FabuList! I recently had the opportunity to speak with humble, sweet and amazingly motivated teen after learning that she is one of the finalists for Seventeen Magazine’s “Pretty Amazing” contest. This contest, sponsored by Neutrogena, allows the public to vote on one of five real girls for the grand prize.The winner will be featured on the cover of Seventeen Magazine’s October issue and receive $10,000. Nina, a 19-year-old native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, has done some pretty amazing things to raise awareness about cyber-bullying in her young life. Most recently, she spoke at the US Senate about her anti-bullying initiative, “Don’t Stand By, Stand Up”. Nina’s campaign, which launched October 6th 2011 on Dr. Phil, is unique in the fact that it specifically engages bystanders and encourages them to intervene when they witness acts of bullying. She hopes to utilize social pressure as a way to eradicate social ills – a concept that Nina later discovered holds some academic substance.  Not surprisingly, the facebook page for her initiative has already garnered well over 10,000 “likes” at the posting of this article and I expect ...



Capturing the Experience of LGBTQ Homeless Youth June 3rd, 2011
Capturing the Experience of LGBTQ Homeless Youth

Novo Novus Productions is capturing the stories of homeless LGBTQ youth in a new web series. Here is an excerpt from the synopsis: Fade In is a webisodic documentary series featuring inspiring stories from homeless LGBTQ youth.  These 3-5 minute clips are not only designed to bring awareness to the fact that 35-40% of runaway or homeless youth in New York identify as being LGBTQ, but also to provide and promote a positive light forward for teens struggling with their identities due to personal, social, and familial factors.  Each segment will be based around a different virtue (e.g. beauty, acceptance, compassion, faith) and will feature up to three youths discussing an uplifting story that relates to said virtue.  Through smiles and laughter, tears and heartbreak, these touching stories shine a light on the truths of those forced to live in darkness. Check out the webisodes here.



ScandaList: Dan Gordon April 6th, 2011
ScandaList: Dan Gordon

We have a new addition to the ScandaList: Rhode Island Rep. Dan Gordon. I just recently stumbled across Gordon’s statements about the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at one of the public schools in his district, Tiverton High. This Republican (why am I not surprised?) publicly condemned the GSA and threatened to defund the school in order to shut the GSA down – a club that he so intelligently called a “sexual meet-up group” where students go to get “sexed up.” Because, clearly, that’s what a GSA is all about – providing a place for students to have sex on school property. It has nothing to do with creating a safe space for marginalized students who experience bullying. No, of course not. That’s just crazy talk. Besides, if bullying is SUCH a big issue in our education system (it’s not like Obama had a massive Anti-Bullying Summit at the White House on March 10th or anything), Gordon’s got an easy solution to solve a problem that there have been countless individuals working on. Gordon’s solution: “Perhaps if they weren’t flaunting their sexuality or advertising it, there might be less of that bullying," No, Gordy. There would be less bullying if "taboo" topics such as ...