Category Archives: Resources

Some of my best friends are gay…

If you’ve never met my boyfriend, you’d like him.  He’s good people.

Jeremy’s starting a new project called “The Allies Project” that helps gay folks see that there are tons of straight people who love and support LGBT folks.

Basically, he’s asking LGBT people to share a story about how a straight ally has helped make their journey easier. The idea is that “When you share a story about how a straight person has made a difference in your life, your ally becomes our ally.”  Pretty brilliant, right?!

Read a story written by an LGBT person about how an ally has made a difference in their life.

Read a story written by an ally about why they love and support the LGBT community.

When LGBT youth “come out,” they already know that the gay community will love and support them.  Duh.  What they don’t always know is that there are TONS of open minded, loving, compassionate, straight people who will support them as well.

These kids need to know that not all straight people are against them!

If you’re LGBT, share a story with The Allies Project about how a straight person has made a difference in your life and make your ally our ally.

If you’re one of our straight allies, tell a story about why you love and support the LGBT community.

Help LGBT youth know that they’re not as isolated from the straight world as they sometimes feel.  Support The Allies Project!

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Filed under Encouragement, Partners, Resources, Role Models, Supporters & Allies

Church Bullies?

A few days ago, a friend of mine on Facebook posted the following update:

“Today, I’ll try not to track down a bully, take a 2 by 4, sharpen it, & pound it up his rear with a croquet hammer. For I’m a man of peace. I will, however, rattle a few cages of some elected representatives who create anti bullying websites with NO ADEQUATE LAWS to back it up.”

My friend obviously isn’t Gandhi… but can you blame him?  Wouldn’t you also be tempted to find a few creative uses for a croquet hammer if a kid at school was making your kid feel like his life wasn’t worth living?

It’s been almost a year since the suicide of Tyler Clementi – a Rutgers student who jumped off of the George Washington Bridge after his roommate posted a live internet video of him having a sexual encounter with another man – brought increased national attention the “problem” of bullying among LGBT youth.

Those of us who work with (or are) LGBT youth didn’t need the death of Tyler Clementi – or any of the dozens of other youth who commit suicide due to bullying every year – to remind us that words can be even more dangerous than sticks and stones.  Dozens of studies – including this report from the Journal of Youth and Adolescence – report the effect of discrimination and harassment on LGBT youth:

40% of youth who reported a minority sexual orientation indicated feeling sad or hopeless in the past 2 weeks, compared to 26% of heterosexual youth… [the data] also showed that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were more than twice as likely as heterosexual youth to have considered attempting suicide in the past year (31% vs. 14%).

Adolescence should be a time of hopefullness, not hopelessness.  The church – one of the primary vehicles God has given us to communicate His hope to the hopeless – should stand as a sanctuary of peace and safety for LGBT youth.

Does yours?

Our friends at Lutherans Concerned/North America have developed a super anti-bullying curriculum that’s designed for churches who want to make both their congregations and communities safe(r) places for LGBT folks.  According to the promo literature, Where All Can Safely Live “was developed with the help of the staff at the Pacific Violence Prevention Institute, from the pioneering research on bullying by Dan Olweus, and materials created by the United States government.”

Interested?  Download a free copy of the anti-bullying curriculum (“Where All Can Safely Live”) here.

Reference:

Almeida, J., Johnson, R., Corliss, H., Molnar, B., & Azrael, D. (2009). Emotional distress among LGBT youth: The influence of perceived discrimination based on sexual orientation. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38, 1001 – 1014.

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Filed under Church, Ministers, Research, Resources