‘I wanted to make a cultural change’ – So So Gay talks to Christian Webb
It’s been an incredible 12 months for LGBT rights all things considered. Its barely a month since Ireland made history by being the first country to legalize equal marriage by means of a popular vote, in addition to the wave of excitement that swept the world this weekend when the US Supreme Court made a landmark ruling that legalized equal marriage all 50 states of America. That said, even though equal marriage has been enshrined in England, Wales and Scotland for over a year, it doesn’t mean that the battle for the LGBT equality has been won. Indeed, there seems to be a very real danger of some sections of our community being lulled into a false sense of equality by the progress that we have made in recent years. There are still very real problems both facing and within the community, most definitely in the realm of trans issues; activism is just as, if not more, important in 2015. We caught up one with a new breed of young activists making a real difference for LGBT people – Christian Webb, recently jointly awarded Stonewalls Young Campaigner of the Year alongside fellow activist Sirina-Monique Pescod-Sebastian.
Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
Canada Listeni/ˈkænədə/ is a country in North America consisting of 10 provinces and 3 territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. At 9.98 million square kilometres in total, Canada is the world’s second-largest country by total area, and its common border with the United States is the world’s longest land border shared by the same two countries.
The land that is now Canada has been inhabited for millennia by various Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French colonies were established on the region’s Atlantic coast. As a consequence of various conflicts, the United Kingdom gained and lost North American territories until left inthe late 18th century with what mostly comprises…
Celebrating 10 Years of Making Change in People’s Lives
Personal Note:I would like to personally introduce “Make A Change Canada” the organization that helped me get my idea flying in the right direction, my idea was solid but the complete skills I lacked, this is where ‘Make A Change Canada”, assisted with Making my change.
On a Scholarship, Nov 2013 I enrolled in their “Web Essentials/Web Advanced program”, graduating in May 2014 with a certificate in “Web Design and Technologies” the rest is history, my gratitude is endless to all the staff and volunteers of “Make A Change Canada” and a personal thank you to Executive Director for “Make A Change Canada/Faire un Changement Canada” Madame Anne-Marie Edgar, many successes. Terry.K
NELSON, BC–(Marketwired – June 10, 2015) – In honour of our 10th anniversary, Make A Change Canada will be hosting an extravaganza on October 8, 2015, broadcast live from the Shambhala Performance Hall at Selkirk College in Nelson, B.C. The extravaganza will feature prerecorded appearances by individuals who have benefited directly from our services. We will be contacting our current and former students, as well as community partners, volunteers, supporters, and other important individuals who have been instrumental in furthering our organization, to ask for their involvement.
The live extravaganza will feature success stories from graduates of Make A Change Canada‘s Business Abilities and Web Essentials/Web Advanced programs. Through story and song, this will be a celebration of people from across Canada overcoming their challenges, and a celebration of the organizations and people who support them.
“The true success stories you will hear at the live extravaganza will not only inspire you, they will demonstrate the innovation, creativity, and determination of individuals who have been successful in embarking on a new or revitalized career despite facing considerable hurdles,” said Anne-Marie Edgar, Executive Director of Make A Change Canada. “To date over 1900 clients have participated in the Business Abilities and Web Essentials/Web Advanced programs. Eight staff members support the delivery of our programs, and I know they join me in congratulating our dynamic program participants in their achievements.”
One of the first graduates to volunteer his story for the event is Patrick Jarvis, owner of Ancient Hermit Drums. “I plan to get the camera and some fellow drummers out in the yard, and we will jam it up,” said Jarvis. “Business Abilities from Make A Change Canada helped me get my business further off the ground than I ever could have myself, and I was thrilled to be asked to participate in the extravaganza,” Jarvis added.
Members of the media and current and future program participants, aspiring entrepreneurs, career practitioners, funders, and supporters are invited to join us in this live extravaganza in celebration of our 10th anniversary.
SOURCE: Make A Change Canada/Faire un Changement Canada – June 10, 2015 14:58 ET
“The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.” *Mother Teresa*
This report summarizes findings from the 2014 LGBTQ Homeless Youth Provider Survey, a survey of 138 youth homelessness human service agency providers conducted from March 2014 through June 2014 designed to better understand homelessness among LGBTQ youth. This report updates a similar report based on a survey conducted in 2011 (see the previous study).
This new survey was designed to obtain greater detail on the similar and distinct experiences of sexual minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning) and gender minority (transgender) youth experiencing homelessness.
This study highlights the need to further understand the differences in experiences between LGBTQ youth and non-LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, as well as between cisgender LGBQ youth and transgender youth. The data suggest staff training, targeted programming, and an environment of inclusion have helped providers better serve LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, yet, these strategies also appear to need further examination and evaluation.
Additional key findings include:
Housing was the number one need for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, as identified by providers. Transition-related support was also identified as a critical need for transgender youth.
Transgender youth are estimated to have experienced bullying, family rejection, and physical and sexual abuse at higher rates than LGBQ youth.
Survey respondents cited staff qualities and characteristics, such as LGBTQ-inclusion and staff competencies, and program qualities, such as targeted programming for LGBTQ youth, as reasons for success in serving LGBTQ youth who are homeless. Many respondents also point to lack of training in serving LGBTQ needs as a barrier.
ORGANIZATION: The Williams Institute; True Colors Fund – PUBLICATION DATE: 2015
The Tyler Clementi Foundation was created in honor of a Rutgers student who committed suicide after his roommate outed him as gay.
The Tyler Clementi Foundation was honored by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles recently with the 2014 Inspiration Award at the GMCLA Voice Awards.
The award is given to individuals who have transformed a difficult personal experience into a positive force of hope and change, Michelle Clunie from the show “Queer As Folk” said at the awards ceremony.
Clementi killed himself in 2010 by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after his Rutgers University roommate posted a encounter of Clementi and another man on the Internet.
Presenter George Takei said that Joe and Jane Clementi, and their foundation, has accomplished in the nearly five years since Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge in 2010 “deeply inspirational.”
“Somehow, as they struggled with personal grief, these individuals were able to turn their attention to helping other young people, like Tyler,” Takei said.
The Clementis posted a statement on the foundation’s website: ”Thank you for giving us a voice and platform on the west coast to share Tyler’s story and help heal the pain of bullying known by too many.
“Thank you so much to George, Michelle, Steven, Justin and Sierra for your friendship and support. We are so grateful and humbled.”
“What we’re trying to do is end online and offline bullying – in schools, workplaces, and faith communities,” said Sean Kosofsky, head of the foundation.
Day 1 encourages people to stand up on their first day of work, school, or any new social situation and promise to not treat anybody differently because of who they love, how they dress, or what their body looks like.
Article By DANIEL HUBBARD (Patch Staff) June 23, 2015
Beautiful: Columbus Children’s Choir and the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus
The Columbus Children’s Choir and the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus from Ohio join together to raise their voices for the It Gets Better campaign. Reflect as they sing the lyrics, “Cause we are beautiful no matter what they say. Yes, words won’t bring us down” Please support the It Gets Better Project and The Trevor Project.
L, B, G and T are different communities — communities in a big, diverse and complex world of communities. We deserve to be treated as such, not lumped together as “Other.” Nancy Ruth
Three years ago, I fell into a depression. This should not have surprised me, as I started a website called “The Long-term Effects of Bullying”. Unfortunately, I knew that what I wrote was true, but thought that I had been recovered. But it wasn’t so. As anxiety and then depression overwhelmed my whole being, I truly realized, even 5 years after starting this website, that I still needed help myself.
I did have choices. I could continue to do nothing and blame my low self-worth and my anger and resentment on the bullying that happened to me as a youth. I could take medicine that would mask many of the symptoms, but never fully cure me. Or I could seek true help from both books, groups who deal with the same thing, and professionals who knew ways to help people like me.
Bystander Revolution is an anti-bullying organization founded in April 2014 with a mission to inspire and motivate people to take the power out of bullying with simple acts of kindness, courage, and inclusion.
I am so excited to share the news that I am a now Youth Ambassador for Bystander Revolution! Bystander Revolution is an anti-bullying organization founded in April 2014 with a mission to inspire and motivate people to take the power out of bullying with simple acts of kindness, courage, and inclusion. Through their website, bystanderrevolution.org, the organization is a source of direct, peer-to-peer advice about practical things anyone can do to stop bullying. The site also encourages anyone to share their own perspective by submitting a personal story in the form of a video, written story, or short tip. The Bystander Revolution website is a place where you can get information and advice about the problems AND the solutions for targets, bystanders AND bullies.
I became involved with Bystander Revolution when I spoke at We Day Seattle with one of their celebrity Ambassadors, actress and activist Lily Collins. We co-hosted the segment, Social Empowerment, and we talked about equality and inclusivity. Lily talked about her high school experience as a leader for a peer to peer support group where students gathered to talk openly about issues that they were dealing with. She said, “No topic was out of bounds, whether it was grades, bullying, depression — anything. And what I found was pretty incredible…when people opened up, everyone listened. Over time, things began to change. Barriers between different groups started to break down.” For Lily, it was all about creating a safe and supportive space and that’s what drew her to become an Ambassador for Bystander Revolution.
But Lily is not the only celebrity that supports the mission and work of Bystander Revolution. Demi Lovato, John Green, Olivia Holt, Neil Gaiman, Jared Leto, Shaiiene Woodley, Monica Lewinsky, Ansel Elgort and Lucy Hale. The website includes videos from all of these people sharing their own brushes with bullies and they also give their advice.
I believe in the power of community, compassion and kindness. I believe that when these things have a big and active presence, there will be less bullying. I believe that through friendship and awareness, we might see a world one day that doesn’t require anyone to have to stand up against bullying. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
You might have seen my social media support recently for a the Bystander Revolution initiative Stand Kind. The call to action is to be kind through social media by giving compliments with the idea that compliments are contagious. The goal is to create a ripple effect that would see more people saying thank you, you inspire me and great job. I would love to see you join us and Stand Kind. It’s easy! Here’s how:
I am so proud to be a Bystander Revolution Ambassador and hope that you’ll join me and Stand First, Stand Up, Stand Proud, Stand Out, Stand With, Stand Strong and Stand Kind.
“The common mistake that bullies make is assuming that because someone is nice that he or she is weak. Those traits have nothing to do with each other. In fact, it takes considerable strength and character to be a good person.” Mary Elizabeth Williams
A comic strip in which many of the antagonists are people who both suffer from and are identified primarily by physical deformities will take aim at bullying.
Okay, okay, that’s not fair. Dick Tracy has actually been doing its part to remove stereotypes from its pages for a while — and now they’re taking it to the next step.
Strip writer Mike Curtis and artist Joe Staton reportedly went for help to an 11-year-old and his mother, as well as a home-grown superhero.
“Bullying is a part of life no one wishes to relive, but Joe and I have wanted to take a look at the subject for some time,” Curtis said. “Tracy would take no guff from a bully, so the sequence features his tweenage granddaughter, Honeymoon. She’s going through a lot of changes in her life and they’ve come to the notice of a couple of her former friends. This leads to the appearance of two of Tracy’s advisors.”
Collin Engler, an 11-year-old living close to Curtis, shared his thoughts and experiences with the creative team. “It’s real and it’s happening everyday in schools and other places,” he said.
Engler has organized an anti-bullying club at his school with the help of his mother Millie, who says, “Collin has taken bad experiences and turned them around into a force for good in his own world and I am very proud of him.”
“Last year, Joe and I did an epic giving [Little Orphan] Annie an ending to her adventures, which had disappeared from newspapers mid-crisis in 2010,” Curtis said. “We feel Annie and her cast are part of the Tracy world and we’ve added her to the story as a friend of Honeymoon’s. Annie has dealt with bullies in her own way many times in the original Harold Gray strip, and she’s ready to stand up for her friend Honeymoon.”
Also involved will be The Cardinal, for 25 years the star of a superhero strip by Kurt Kolka, who is vocal and active in anti-bullying causes. The Cardinal, like Dick Tracy and Annie’s strip, are all hosted online at GoComics.
The sequence in Dick Tracy begins Sunday, June 21 in newspapers around the world and on GoComics.com.
When we started to think about the world we would want to see in 2030, we first envisaged hover cars and jet packs and all sorts of cool technological advances.
Then we thought it might be a good idea to make 3-day weekends, and homework illegal.
After more contemplation we realized that the most beautiful 2030 we can imagine, is a world in which we can all feel safe, respected, healthy and happy.
We would love to see an end to pollution, a cure for incurable illnesses and food for the hungry.
We want to see people treat each other equally, no matter their race or religion. We would love to live in a world where people can talk out their differences rather than fight over them.
The funny thing is, the majority of our vision of 2030 could really be achieved today if we all put our minds and hearts into it.
So we ask you grown-up types, to make an effort to take small steps every day so that by 2030 the grown-up types of tomorrow – that’s us – will see these goals accomplished.
And our future set in perfect harmony.
You share, they give: Each time you ‘like’ or share this post via the social media icons on this post or comment below, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per action) up to $325,000, to improve the health and wellbeing of moms and kids worldwide through MAMA, Shot@Life, U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Girl Up. $1 means one day of school for a girl in Guatemala through Girl Up.
‘What we’re doing here is saving lives and by saving lives, we’re giving kids hope. Bullies are cowards’
On the ice, they were used to avoiding and dishing out violence, but at a Toronto residence Monday, a group of former NHL players joined together to speak out against it.
The Canadian Safe Schools Network hosted its second annual Night for Change with Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke at the home of hockey fan Mike Wilson. Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan and former players Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey were also on hand to lend their support.
“What we’re doing here is saving lives and by saving lives, we’re giving kids hope,” said Wilson. “Bullies are cowards. It’s despicable and it can be dealt with.”
Burke has been raising awareness about bullying and homophobia since his son Brendan, who came out as being gay, died in a car accident in 2010.
Burke said he was never bullied himself because he “would fight at the drop of a hat,” but remembers seeing a mentally disabled boy being victimized at high school.
“They threw his books on the ground and kicked him,” Burke said. “I had to stick up for him and I ended up throwing a kid through a display case window.”
Monday’s event served as a fundraiser for the Canadian Safe Schools Network, a charity that works to reduce youth violence and make schools safer for students. More than 60 guests paid $1,000 each to attend, and a silent auction drew in tens of thousands in donations. The winning bid to play golf with Gretzky was $15,000.
As a player, Gretzky was never known to resort to violence on the ice, and he developed a reputation for his leadership and politeness. He said he’s taught his five children to be the same way.
“I always told my kids: you treat kids with respect,” Gretzky said. “I’m so proud of the fact that if you met my kids, you’d walk away saying they’re very polite, and that’s the proudest thing you can say as a parent.”
Gretzky said he was never bullied as a child, but noted that social media has it easier for more children to be victimized.
“I always say to my kids, life is tougher now with social media,” he said. “It’s hard on parents and it’s hard on kids.”
Burke, who will serve as the grand marshal in the Calgary Pride parade, said he saw some of the negative reaction on social media, even from athletes, when Michael Sam, an openly gay CFL player, was drafted into the NFL.
“There’s stupid people in every workplace,” Burke said. “I saw some of those comments and I feel sorry for people if they’re that stupid.”
Cyberbullying sometimes leads children to commit suicide, and Burke said it breaks his heart every time that happens. There were 41 suicides in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia related to cyberbullying from 2003 to 2012.
“To actually push someone to the point where they take their own lives, I don’t know how these people sleep at night,” he said.
Burke met Wilson at an LBGTQ event. Wilson, a huge hockey fan with a collection of more than 2,000 pieces of memorabilia, approached Burke following a presentation and offered to help the anti-bullying cause.
Wilson said he expected the second annual Night for Change will raise more than $100,000. But he said he would rather not see such events, because that would mean bullying had been dealt with.
Burke has also worked to involve the Flames association in his advocacy. Captain Mark Giordano marched in the Pride parade with him last year.
Other NHL players have also become involved. Last year, Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, former Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis, and Elisha Cuthbert attended the first Night for Change.
“I ask our players to have an accepting workplace, not tolerance,” Burke said. “I hate when people talk about tolerance. You tolerate rain, pedestrians, cats, you don’t tolerate human beings. You accept them.”
That’s what he did when his son told him he was gay. Five years after Brendan’s death, Burke knows his son would be proud of him.
“I don’t think Brendan would accept anything less. Irish families stick together. And the fact that he’s no longer with us doesn’t mean we can’t stick together.”
Article for National Post by Victor Ferreira | June 8, 2015
A video production by Crucial Pictures. Images courtesy of Edie Windsor and Getty Images. The word Pride implies the basis for human dignity.
This is what WorldPride means to us. What does WorldPride mean to you? Check out Visit Toronto For Pride.com to join the celebration and learn more about WorldPride.
WorldPride 2014 is coming to Toronto THIS summer. June 20-29, 2014. And we can’t wait! This international ten-day celebration of global LGBTTIQQ2SA communities will be the first WorldPride ever held in North America, and the fourth such festival in the world.
Photo credit: Terkin By Design To prepare for this one-of-a-kind event, we asked trailblazers like Kyle Rae and Laverne Cox — plus the Pride Toronto staff and volunteers on the ground — what WorldPride means to them. Listen to their stories and find out for yourself why Torontonians are so proud to be hosting WP14TO this June.
The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all *Walt Disney Company, Mulan*
He was called a girl, bullied by classmates, and even offered money to cut his hair by a family friend – but nothing would stop this boy’s philanthropic mission.
Because 8-year-old Christian McPhilamy was determined to help children in need, and was growing his hair to donate to those who had lost theirs through gruelling medical treatments.
Kind-hearted Christian, from Florida, USA, was inspired to launch his good cause after watching an advert for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital when he was just 6 years old.
Two years and many schoolyard taunts later, he was able to donate four 10-inch sections of blonde tresses to Children With Hair Loss, an American charity that provides free hair pieces to kids with medically related hair loss.
“Two years ago my son saw a St. Jude commercial that changed his life forever,” his proud mother, 28-year-old Deeanna Thomas, wrote in a Facebook post after Christian chopped his locks last month.
“He chose to do his own research and find a way to help. He has endured an awful lot of criticism, and yes, even bullying, throughout this time. From his peers calling him a girl to even coaches and family friends telling him he should cut it or offering him money to.”
Despite facing such adversity, the youngster’s determination never wavered.
“He has never once strayed from his goal and always took the time to educate others on why he made the choice to grow his hair. I am one proud mommy as always,” wrote Thomas.
But this is not Christian’s first foray into charitable acts – along with his 3-year-old sister he regularly donates toys and clothes to those in need and performs random acts of kindness, such as hiding dollar bills in discount stores.
“Never do a wrong thing to make a friend–or to keep one.” *Robert E. Lee*
Nearly five years after their son’s suicide, Tyler Clementi’s parents say they are not even close to “healed,” according to an interview scheduled to air Sunday.
Jane and Joe Clementi talked about the aftermath of the high-profile death of their son with reporter Erin Moriarty from “CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.”
Tyler jumped off the George Washington Bridge in 2010. A few days earlier Tyler learned his roommate at Rutgers University used a webcam to share video of the freshman in an intimate encounter with another man.
“Not even near healed,” Jane Clementi said in excerpts of the interview released Thursday by CBS. “I don’t know what ‘healed’ will be like. I don’t even know that there’s a word for healing. I think it’s learning to live through the pain.”
The foundation is starting a new anti-bullying campaign, according to the CBS report. The “Day One” initiative will ask people to declare on the first day of school or work that they will never treat others differently because of their faith, sex, dress or looks.
In their interview, the Clementis talk about what they should have done differently when Tyler revealed to his parents that he was gay.
“I think a lot of parents hide,” Jane Clementi said, according to the interview excerpt. “And they don’t talk about their gay children. And they don’t share what’s happening in their gay children’s lives. And, I know when Tyler told me he was gay, what I really wanted was a person of faith, another Christian mom, to go and talk to. But, you know, no one in my faith community ever talked about having a gay child. No one had a gay relative – there was no ‘gay’ in our church.”
The family said they have not planned what they will do on Sept. 22, the fifth anniversary of Tyler’s death. But, they continue to talk about the lessons learned from their experience.
“Don’t underestimate what your child is going through,” Joe Clementi, Tyler’s father, said in the interview. “Even though you may not think it’s a big deal, they may think it’s the end of the world.”
The interview airs Sunday at 9 a.m.
Article posted By Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com on June 04, 2015
Just in time for #Pride month, United Nations Human Rights Office released report on discrimination based on sexual orientation. – Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Just in time for Pride month, the United Nations Human Rights Office yesterday released a much-anticipated report on discrimination and violence against individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Mandated by UN Human Rights Council, the UN’s top human rights organ, the report notes significant global advancement in protecting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex(LGBTI) persons since the UN’s first groundbreaking report on LGBTI violence and discrimination in 2011. Developed with inputs from across the UN human rights system, UN member states, and grassroots advocates, the report provides an update on the international LGBTI human rights landscape as well as lays out best practices “to overcome [LGBTI] violence and discrimination.”
Positive developments in global LGBTI rights range from strengthening anti-discrimination laws to repealing criminal penalties for consensual same-sex relationships to expanded legal recognition for same-sex relationships. Among other examples of progress in the report, new “specialized hate crime prosecution units” in Brazil, Honduras, Mexico, and Spain, as well as a new national task force on LGBT-violence in South Africa are spotlighted.
On the other hand, the report notes much of this momentum is “overshadowed by continuing, serious, and widespread human rights violations perpetrated too often with impunity, against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.” It also highlights that “hate-motivated killings of LGBT individuals have been documented in all regions.”
Accordingly, the report offers 20 specific recommendation targeted to UN member states to address LGBTI violence and discrimination,
Repeal laws that criminalize consensual same-sex relationships and restrict LGBTI people’s right to freedom of expression;
Enact hate crime laws covering sexual orientation and gender identity;
Allow access to legal documents that take into account a person’s self-identified gender;
End so-called “conversion therapy,” targeted to LGBTI persons, and other abusive treatments; and Legally recognize same-sex relationships.
Finally, the report recommends that the UN Human Rights Council be “regularly informed” of patterns related to LGBTI violence and discrimination. This echoes the call of many human rights experts who have called on the Council to establish a new regularized reporting mandate on LGBTI human rights issues. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also declared, “We need to document [homophobic violence and discrimination] and share information with States on a regular basis for discussion and action”
The report marks the latest in UN leadership to advance LGBTI human rights, including the recent release of the UN Free and Equal Campaign’s viral Faces video, marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
Article By Ryan Kaminski UN Foundation – Jun 02, 2015
What Wisdom can you find that is greater than “Kindness”? *Jean-Jacques Rousseau*
VICTORIA — Carol Todd said it was on a shopping trip to a Port Coquitlam mall that she realized just how much pain her daughter Amanda was suffering
“She got out of the car, walked to the doors and she couldn’t go in,” Todd said. “She turned white as a sheet and said her stomach hurt. I just stood there and watched her change.
“I had never really believed her until then. I would say something like, ‘Take a sip of water and get on with it.’”
That trip to the mall was in June 2012, less than six months before Amanda’s Oct. 10, 2012, suicide at the age of 15. Before she died, she made a video and posted it on YouTube, where it’s now been viewed 31 million times. In a series of flash cards, she explained how she had been tricked into revealing her breasts online and subsequently harassed, beaten and socially cast out at school.
Todd was in Sidney, B.C., at the Mary Winspear Centre on Thursday for a musical by the Mountain Dream Production, a drama group of teens and pre-teens. The play, called Like Me! Unlike Me?, was a dramatic call-out to young people to stop harassing and picking on each other.
Two of the actors, Samantha, 13, and Hailey, 11, said they didn’t fully understand just how permanent Internet images and posts are before the play.
“It’s like they are a fingerprint,” Samantha said. “I had sort of thought there was some sort of deep way you could get it out, but no.”
Hailey said the play drove home for her that retaliating when bullied or harassed is just not acceptable. “If someone is being mean to you it doesn’t mean you should be mean back.”
After the play, performed for middle school students, Todd stayed behind to warn the audience about the dangers of cyberbullying and stalking.
She is at the end of a six-week tour that has taken her across Canada and to Arizona and Ireland, warning of Internet dangers and discussing Amanda’s story.
At one point, she asked the audience for a show of hands of students who had used a cellphone after 10 p.m., or gone online to play games without their parents knowing. In both cases, more than half raised their hands.
Todd told the young people that both are dangerous habits, and warned of the dangerous anonymity the Internet offers.
The person who first contacted Amanda and coerced her into revealing her breasts had pretended to be a teenager, but was actually a man in his 30s living in the Netherlands. He has since been identified, arrested and jailed.
Todd said she discussed Internet safety with Amanda and even warned that she would check up on her. The family kept computer passwords in an envelope taped to the refrigerator. But it didn’t stop Amanda from being hurt.
Todd told the students not to be afraid to take fears, worries or even bad news to trusted adults. It might be parents, a teacher, someone at church or a youth group. Just don’t suffer alone, she said.
Todd urged the teens to reach out to each other, noting Amanda was harassed, tricked and even beaten by other teens before she killed herself. Changing schools several times didn’t work, since there was always someone, including the original perpetrator, who would put the word out.
Todd also warned the students about the enduring nature of material posted on the Internet.
As they grow up, she said, they will be applying to schools, programs, scholarship committees and for jobs. Almost certainly one of the first things people will do is search online records.
Todd said the Internet is not necessarily a bad thing. But everyone needs to understand, teach and talk about its dangers and how to best use it safely.
“It needs to be in our schools, in our families and our communities.”
In her 15 years, Amanda dealt with learning disabilities, a cyber predator, online bullying, social ostracization, assault, depression and anxiety, Todd said. When she killed herself, it was on World Mental Health Day.
“Amanda had a story and she had a message, and if I stay quiet about it, who is going to tell it?” Todd said. “I’ve always advocated for her as a child with learning needs and I think I’m still advocating for her.”
ARTICLE BY RICHARD WATTS, VICTORIA TIMES COLONIST MAY 30, 2015
Moose Jaw minister Jim Tenford gets big response to letter he wrote for Pride Week
A letter asking the LGBT community for forgiveness by a United Church minister has touched a nerve with thousands of Canadians.
Rev. Jim Tenford, of St. Andrew’s Church in Moose Jaw, Sask., posted the article on the community’s Pride website on the weekend.
“Another important part of Christianity is forgiveness and so I ask you something which maybe I have no right to ask. I ask that you forgive the church and those of us who claim to follow the way of Christ. As in so many other matters of civil rights that humanity has struggled with, the church has often been slow to get on board, but once we do, we can be powerful allies.”
Tenford said he posted the article to mark Pride Week in his city. Now, he is hearing from people across Canada about the letter. So many people clicked on it, the website went down.
“They found it refreshing to see that church is not only welcoming, but we’re willing to stand up and publicly declare we’re welcoming,” he told CBC Saskatchewan’s Blue Sky.
One poster on the Moose Jaw Pride Facebook page wrote: “I am really moved by this letter. As someone who has experienced a lot of rejection from my home church(es), it is incredible to be supported in this way!”
Tenford says his church has worked hard to become a welcoming place.
“It bewilders me, it seems that churches being welcoming is an odd thing. In my mind it should be normal.”
He hopes churches in general and the LGBT community can come to some sort of reconciliation.
Article By Amanda Marcotte, CBC News Posted: May 28, 2015
Mr. Garneau suffered from a birth defect that affected him both mentally and physically and also manifested in his physical appearance and weight. He disclosed this disability to the employer when it assumed ownership of the store in 2008. Mr. Garneau had worked at the store since 2001. Mr. Garneau was also gay, but was not public about his sexuality. He testified that the new owners called him “faggot”, “idiot”, “retard”, “fucking stupid”, “fatty” and that he was harassed and constantly asked “are you gay, are you gay, are you gay”? In addition, Mr. Garneau testified that he was physically assaulted by another employee, and had personal property damaged and stolen.
What did the Tribunal say?
The Tribunal found that Mr. Garneau established that he has both a mental and physical disability and that the employer as aware of this. Mr. Garneau also established that the employer perceived him to be gay. The Tribunal said:
I accept Mr. Garneau’s testimony that he was bullied, harassed, assaulted, and discriminated against by the Sumals and find that such treatment had significant deleterious effects. His self-esteem was affected; he testified to feeling depressed and suicidal; he found the constant name-calling, in front of customers and co-workers, hurtful and offensive. These slurs, exacerbated by the physical assaults and threats, had a profound impact; it made him powerless and, as he testified, to feel less than human. His repeated requests to the Sumals to desist was mocked and ignored; they were apparently oblivious, willfully ignorant, and/or indifferent to the impact of their behaviour upon Mr. Garneau.
In all instances – mental disability, physical disability, and sexual orientation – I find Mr. Garneau’s characteristics are protected from discrimination. It is apparent that the Sumals had little regard for Mr. Garneau and undoubtedly saw him as someone who could be mistreated with impunity. I find this treatment to have affected him profoundly and adversely.
What does this mean for employers?
The nature of the harassment in this case went “beyond the pale” and was “egregious”. The decision is a serious reminder to all employers that workplace harassment based on human rights protected characteristics is not acceptable. Employers must have policies and training in place to ensure that all parties in the workplace understand human rights and what types of behaviour is unacceptable at the workplace.
Article By Lexology & Stewart McKelvey – Lisa Gallivan and Alison Strachan
The seven areas of wellness are: Emotional, Environmental, Intellectual, Occupational, Physical, Social & Spiritual. From people offering support, to products that improve the betterment of your life, the environment, animals, awareness and education, we here at The Wellness Universe strive to find the best of those resources and list them in a directory for you.
Tap into the power of your deepest self in this interview featuring Cheryl O’Connor! We’ll explore dream analysis, self reflection, and the journey that can lead you from where you are now to where you’re destined to be.
Click play below to watch now…
The World Is My Country, All Mankind Are My Brethren. And To Do Good Is My Religion. “Thomas Paine”
An apology that one man received from an old classmate reminds us all that it’s never too late to right your wrongs.
“There were times I’d walk down the hallway and groups of guys would follow me, threaten me, humiliate me, push me,” Morrisette, who now works as a brand consultant and visual designer in West Hollywood, California, told the outlet.
But earlier this month, about 20 years after the bullying occurred, Morrisette received a message from Louis Amundson, one of those bullies. This time, it was far from cruel.
The Apology Message
The apology had a huge effect on Morrisette
“It unlocked something in me I didn’t realize I’d been holding onto,” the visual designer told Yahoo. “I cried a little bit. It was so moving.”
Morrisette replied, thanking his former bully for the redeeming act and accepting his apology.
More of Morrisette and Amundson’s conversation.
Amundson was relieved by the forgiveness he received and says that though it took a while for him to go forward with it, it was worth it.
“You can’t change your past, but you do still own it,” he told Yahoo. “I can’t take back the names I called him, and the threats I made toward him, but I can apologize. It doesn’t excuse my behavior as a child in any way, but as an adult it’s the best I can do to try to make it up to him.”
Article BY The Huffington Post | BY Kimberly Yam Posted: May 19 2015
I’m re sharing this post originally posted April 27 lets not forget as May 22nd approaches and also to reconfirm The New B.P’s solidarity with Ireland’s LGBT community. #VoteYES on the marriage equality referendum!
Irish LGBT youth and parents coalition call for a Yes vote in the forthcoming marriage equality referendum.
The BeLonG To lead coalition call on everyone to talk to their family and friends about why marriage equality is so important and to work for a Yes voteThe coalition includes: Barnardos, Headstrong, Youth Work Ireland, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre, EPIC – Empowering Young People in Care, Children’s Rights Alliance, Childline – ISPCC, Foróige, Loving Our Out Kids, Yes Equality
Cast: Brian Gleeson, Aaron Heffernan, Ruth McCabe, Steve Wall, Elva Trill, Kelly Campbell, Denise McCormack, Eric Lalor, Alan Archbold, Chris Newman, Scott Graham, Sarah Jane Seymour, Emily O’Callaghan
If you have experienced or witnessed bullying in the workplace you are probably aware of the devastating impact that verbal and psychological abuse can have
All too often I meet people whose health, wellbeing, engagement or job performance have been affected by the behaviour of bullies. It is equally common to encounter people who are able to share stories of family or friends being subjected to extraordinarily unfair and inappropriate treatment at work. Driving bullying from our workplaces will happen when we all make it a priority. Employers have a legal obligation to provide a healthy and safe work environment, but creating a bullying-free workplace involves everyone doing their part. Leaders play an especially important role, however, in setting the standard and holding people accountable.
Here are six things every manager needs to know about dealing with bullying:
A respectful culture is the key to prevention. Demonstrate and inspire respect, kindness and sensitivity. Expect every member of your team to act with compassion and give reasonable consideration to how others feel. Reward and recognise people who demonstrate sincere regard for their colleagues and the desire to support everyone to succeed.
Culture starts from the top. A leader’s behaviour sets the tone for the conduct of others. Lead by example: behave respectfully and demonstrate that bullying is never tolerated. Set a high standard to hold yourself and others accountable. Exhibit the behaviours you want from others through your decisions and actions.
Action is necessary. Meeting your obligation to provide a healthy and safe work environment requires that you take proactive steps to protect not only your team’s physical safety but also its psychological wellbeing. Complaints of bullying must be investigated thoroughly and impartially. Appropriate outcomes need to be applied.
Consequences are essential. Regardless of the position anyone holds in terms of power or influence, no one should be allowed to bully anyone else. It takes discipline and a consistent approach to applying a zero-tolerance policy to drive bullying from an organisation’s culture. If an investigation concludes that a member of your team is guilty of bullying, appropriate consequences must follow through disciplinary action.
Acting early matters. It can be tempting to sit back and hope the issue will take care of itself. However, unless the bully leaves your business, that is unlikely. Take steps to address the issue as soon as you become aware of it; at times you’ll be able to nip brewing issues in the bud. Be responsive and quick to investigate complaints. Avoid the tendency some managers have to dismiss those perceived as coming from overly sensitive people.
Tough love can work. Honesty delivered with respect is critical to building awareness and influencing the behaviour of a bully. Expect bullies to demonstrate greater regard for others and the ability to regulate their conduct to stay with your business. Ensure they clearly understand what behaviours are required of them and the consequences of inappropriate conduct. Balance this firm approach with compassion and sensitivity. Express confidence in their ability to change and ensure the support will be provided to them.
Chantal Drake would like to see a community that’s more open and accepting of people no matter their sexual orientation.
That’s why she’ll be in attendance at a flag-raising ceremony at Stephenville town hall today as part of Western Pride NL’s celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). May 17, 1990 was the date the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.
Drake said the level of discrimination against people who are homosexual still exists, so the importance of a town that’s more accepting of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community matters a lot to her.
She said if she had to put a label on herself, she’squeer, but that through the years she hasn’t had dealt with many issues of discrimination.
“The most I’ve experienced was getting certain looks during “the first Pride Parade held here in Stephenville”…