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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » LGBTQA Relationships » HELP!

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Author Topic: HELP!
MickyDomino
Activist
Member # 45984

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Okay, I have decided to try my first step in changing things for the better and try and start and LGBT Club at school. For other kids wo are nervous or need help with thier sexuality. I already have a teacher who could help us, the music teacher, he is gay and I think he could relate to us. My friends gay and straight want to do this too. However, most don;t want to because they are worried about hurting thier reputation. Thats when I said, "If you don;t want to fight for this, or rsik something to help people, then maybe you should just let us, the one's who want to help people, do it." They felt bad, but they I was serious.

So the problem. I live in the south, and there aren't many LGBT-related School clubs in the tate of North Carolina. Plus, I have no idea how to do this, my friends and I are still planning on how to pitch the idea to the principle.

My friends say that they will diregards ut, and say it is to risky to start an LGBT club. The only legidimate reason I could think was because they don;t think there will be enough members. If no other than that, then they should consider it right? My friends say it would be really contravertial (I can't spell today, I'm sorry!). They are afraid we will have to fight for it, what do you think we should do?

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Harvey Milk is my hero.

Posts: 63 | From: NC | Registered: Feb 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
evilstrawberry
Activist
Member # 39129

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Hey there! Kudos for wanting to try to get something like this off the ground, it can sometimes be a challenge to be the one leading a new controversial idea but it is such a worthwhile cause [Smile]

One thing that some groups choose to do is promote themselves as not just "LGBT" but as "LGBTA," including the A for Allies. This way, the club is clearly NOT just for gay people, and people who might otherwise be hesitant to join can be assured that they too can be included. Feeling able to drop in on a first meeting might be that step some people need to overcome that bit of apprehension they have to acknowledging gay rights and awareness.

You can check with your school to see what the specific regulations are for creating a club. It sounds like you already have an adviser of sorts, so that's great. Once you get approval you can brainstorm what you plan to do as a group, and eventually hold an interest meeting for potential members (though if you have issues with getting approved with administration, that's a whole other animal to deal with...).

If the focus on GLBT is too much for your principal to bear (which would be unfortunate) you could still consider expanding your club to be a sexual safety/awareness group. Not only could you still touch on GLBT issues, but you can also promote safer sex, healthy relationships, and other more general sexuality topics.

It might seem controversial, but framing it as a group that will stand for awareness of relevant issues (whichever you choose to focus on), tolerance, education, and as a safe place for students to discuss sensitive topics makes it sound pretty darn important and positive.

Good luck [Smile]

Posts: 117 | From: U.S. | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Micky, I'm heading off for the night, so will come back to this tomorrow, but this sounds like a great potential plan, and I applaud your proactive energy here.

One thing to bear in mind is that doing this will most likely effectively out you a lot more widely (including probably to your Dad, who you've voiced concerns around this with), so you have to decide if you're up for that right now or not.

I'd make sure you get a good idea of what that means for your personal safety and that of anyone else if you are currently living in a very unaccepting area or community. I'm perhaps obviously so with you about forging change, but always: safety first. None of us can change very much if we aren't safe first. Harvey Milk is one of my heroes too, but I sure wish he had lived a lot longer than he did, for all of our benefit, and I think making sure young activists like you have a real eye on safety would have been something he'd have advocated for now, were he able.

If you're not up to that, or it doesn't feel safe enough yet, that doesn't mean you can't do activist work, just that you might want to look at different ways to do this so you aren't moving in your own process of coming out in a way that's too fast or might wind up being more painful than comfortable.

(Something to also bear in mind when talking to others about things like this: it's so important to be patient with everyone and respect everyone's needs for their own privacy, safety and their own pacing in coming out. Cut some of your friends a break, eh? You were in their shoes only a few weeks ago, really.)

evilstrawberry gave some great tips there, but also know this isn't something you'd have to start -- if you decide it really is something you're ready to -- from the ground up. You'll also want to get pretty organized in advance of taking things to a principal, something your teacher may also be willing to help you do. There are tools and resources for starting GSAs available from GLSEN and other orgs: this isn't something you, your friends and your staff need to reinvent the wheel to do. [Smile]

Here are a couple links to start with, why don't you explore them for a few days to get a clearer sense of what this kind of student organizing involves?

http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/news/record/2226.html
http://gsanetwork.org/
https://www.studentorganizing.org/login/index.cfm

[ 04-13-2010, 11:47 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MickyDomino
Activist
Member # 45984

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Thanks Heather and youu too evilstrawberry. I think you're right. I should cut my friends some slack, I forgot how hard it is to come out. I will explore, but I'm this is the way to go. Despite what my dad thinks, I think its time he knew anyways, I haveprepared myself for thr reprocutions that it'll have. Than you again you two!

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Harvey Milk is my hero.

Posts: 63 | From: NC | Registered: Feb 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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