compiled by Heather Cassell
The following is school tools and resources for parents and kids alike.
This year COLAGE, the organization for children with queer parents, created something fun for kids to wear to show their pride for their LGBT families. COLAGE created a T-shirt that reads: "You know what's SO gay? ... My family."
The T-shirt is a part of its new focus to have children of LGBT families "come out" and was inspired by the now-defunct Youth Leadership and Activism program, which developed a set of diverse learning tools from a mural of their family trees to a play "Myth Smashers," which focuses on ant-gay myths. Other items include a "That's so gay" traveling art exhibit, a film, In My Shoes, and other tools children of queer families can use to educate their peers and schools. COLAGE is working on reformatting the program.
Executive Director Beth Teper was raised by her lesbian mother in San Francisco. Teper told the B.A.R. that in spite of being raised in the "gay mecca," she experienced severe harassment about her mother's sexual orientation in school. "And what it was like to carry a secret and carry shame about something that really shouldn't be considered shameful at all," she said.
Teper added, "Mother's love and being a lesbian provided the new idea about who and how people can love and provided a community as well as a launching pad for activism."
For more information, visit www.colage.org.
Youth Safety Project
Community United Against Violence is adding a youth component to its speakers bureau to train youth on how to create safety within their schools.
District Attorney Kamala Harris helped CUAV secure $150,000 from the city's general fund to support its existing programs. The Youth Safety Project received $58,000 of those funds, according to Jovida Guevara-Ross, CUAV executive director, who already has youths signed up for a two-day training in September and expects to launch a pilot of the program sometime this fall.
For more information, visit http://www.cuav.org/trainings.php.
Rainbow report card
The rainbow report card is a tool developed by Family Pride to assist LGBT parents with helping their children's schools become culturally sensitive to their families to create a safe learning environment. The report card generates a personalized assessment of individual parents' experiences with their child's school after they fill out a questionnaire. Parents who fill out the questionnaire will receive tips on actions they can take to help their schools on things from implementing new school policies to getting books into their libraries to creating trainings with teachers, according to Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Pride.
Chrisler hopes the report will "[teach] parents and families to be their own advocates."
Chrisler told the B.A.R. that the report card, which was activated online at the end of June, would be re-launched in October after receiving suggestions from LGBT parents who are already using a beta version. For more information, visit http://www.familypride.org/reportcard/