Garden State Equality’s Andrea Bowen honored with Pride of Essex Award


leslie-knope-gif “Don’t mistake people who don’t understand for people who aren’t willing to learn.” — Georgia Baber — Girl Up Leadership Summit teen participant

Garden State Equality Executive Director Andrea Bowen, center, celebrates following the Supreme Court’s June ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationally Andrea Bowen
Garden State Equality Executive Director Andrea Bowen, center, celebrates following the Supreme Court’s June ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationally Andrea Bowen

Happy-Smiley-smiley-10682479-390-222It’s been a busy year for Garden State Equality Executive Director Andrea Bowen.

This weekend, Bowen will celebrate her first anniversary at GSE, having joined the Montclair-based civil rights organization after starting her career as a social worker and transgender rights activist in Washington, D.C.

Garden State Equality Executive Director Andrea Bowen, center, celebrates following the Supreme Court’s June ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationally Andrea Bowen BUY THIS PHOTO

A year in, Bowen describes New Jersey as a complex environment, one with many hardworking individuals looking to make a difference in their communities. Much of the past year has been spent meeting with community activists, including youth leaders, Bowen said.

Buy this image
Buy this image

She credited New Jersey students for bringing issues such as the need for LGBT-inclusive materials in health classes to GSE’s attention.

Bowen said she counts LGBT-sensitive training at schools, working with hospitals to provide LGBT-competent care, and training homeless shelter staffs to develop programs to work with homeless LGBT youth among the initiatives she is most proud of so far.

Essex County officials showed that they are proud of Bowen’s work, too, presenting her and state Sen. Teresa Ruiz with Pride of Essex County Awards during last week’s Essex County LGBTQ Pride Month Celebration.

Essex County Freeholder-at-Large Brendan Gill, a Montclair resident, said that the recognition of Bowen was well-deserved.

“I think she’s continued to hold up the legacy of Garden State Equality as an organization,” Gill said of Bowen. “Under the leadership that Andy has shown, GSE continues to be a real force and advocate for lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual issues … I think we’re lucky to have Andy in that leadership role and [GSE] in Montclair.”

Gill told The Montclair Times that Essex County is unique in that it is one of the few New Jersey counties to have a LGBT advisory committee. He said the LGBT advocacy community is a large part of the fabric of Essex County.

Gill credited Bowen and GSE for its civic engagement and advocacy efforts, along with for Monday’s GSE-organized protest outside the Glen Rock office of U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett [R-5], in response to Garrett’s support of the First Amendment Defense Act, which prevents the federal government from taking action against individuals who claim to be acting in accordance with their religious or moral beliefs.

“I was really honored that they were excited about the work Garden State Equality is doing now,” Bowen said of the award. “This is an award that is partially for GSE’s legacy. [GSE founder] Steven Goldstein, [former Executive Director] Troy Stevenson, staff and volunteers built this. I was proud to carry the mantle.”

th_smiliesleepingBowen said she is focused on GSE’s future work. In the coming year, she hopes to address insurance discrimination against transgender individuals, provide better resources to shelters that serve homeless members of the LGBT community, particularly young people, and support LGBT youth in schools.

GSE is conducting an informal survey to see what New Jersey schools are doing to address bullying, establish gay/straight alliances, incorporate LGBT-inclusive health classes, and allow students to use the restrooms for the gender they identify with.

“If, in a year from now, we have changed the policies in schools to be more LGBT-friendly, I’d be a very happy woman,” Bowen said.

Bowen said she was also excited to have the support of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, along with several New Jersey congressional representatives, for the Equality Act, which bans discriminatory practices against members of the LGBT community.

“I can’t wait to see it move through Congress and finally become law,” Bowen said. “In so much of the country, you can get married one day and fired the next.”

Praise for Bowen

MiLGgL7pTSince GSE helped pave the way for marriage equality in New Jersey two years ago, rallying public support has been a challenge, according to Steve McIntyre, a member of GSE’s board. Marriage equality was the clear focus of GSE’s first decade of existence, he explained.

“In the post-marriage climate, it was important for us to get a leader that was completely dedicated to the non-marriage issues,” McIntyre said. “To find a leader like Andy, who is trans herself, and who’s young and energetic and she’s been in the trenches … We’re thrilled with her accomplishments in her first year.”

GSE’s board remains committed to advancing LGBT initiatives through both legislative and judiciary channels, McIntyre said, and is proud to have Bowen’s work recognized.

“We are happy that she is being recognized for the important work she is doing – taking the lead on trans advocacy in addition to youth homelessness issues and eldercare issues in the community,” McIntyre said, referring to the Pride of Essex Award.

In an email to The Montclair Times, Brian Edwards, coordinator of The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Center at Montclair State University, lauded the county for honoring Bowen.

“I am a huge fan of Andrea Bowen’s work and commend the Essex County Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Advisory Board for recognizing her with a Pride of Essex Award this year,” Edwards wrote. “Andy is a change agent, and LGBTQ+ New Jerseyans are so lucky to have her at the helm of Garden State Equality.”

On the campus of MSU, one of the major focuses for this year has been removing transgender restrictions from student health insurance plans, Edwards wrote. Effective Aug. 15, MSU students will join students at TCNJ, Kean and Rowan in having accessibility to gender confirmation surgery, he said in the email.
The LGBTQ Center is working with campus administrators on developing inclusive policies regarding chosen first names and gender markers, Edwards added.


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Bullying: ‘It’s all a power game.



Good habits formed at youth make all the difference —Anistotle —


Providing basic mediation training to managers would resolve a lot of interpersonal conflict in the workplace

103Adults feel too weak and ashamed to admit they’re being bullied because they think an adult should be able to cope with it,” says Dr Genevieve Murray, a specialist liaison officer for workplace mediation with the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland (MII).

The MII is the professional association for mediators in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
While bullying in schools is often discussed, Murray conducted research in schools but focused on staff rather than students. She examined workplace bullying in post-primary schools and says bullying can come from any direction – superiors, peers or subordinates.

Increased levels of testosterone in boys can contribute to greater anger and aggression.

Ideally, all prospective parents should seek professional health screening at least six months prior to a planned pregnancy.

What emerged from her research was that disputes usually started over something small and eventually got out of control. Mediation came too late, if at all, after bitterness and resentment had already set in.

“By that time, there was far too much anger between the two and far too many people involved,” she says.
A member of staff might have withheld information, not given someone credit for their work or shouted at a colleague.

love-song-smiley-emoticonSevere criticism, hurtful teasing, setting unrealistic work targets or depriving someone of responsibility are other ways co-workers bully each other. One of the most common ways, according to Murray, is spreading rumours.

“It’s all a power game. Power is a huge element of workplace bullying. Other reasons are envy and fear.”

Bullying can leave employees feeling depressed, anxious, sleep-deprived, unable to concentrate and socially isolated.

“Studies have shown that workers who experience bullying over a lengthy period may develop symptoms similar to those of post traumatic stress disorder,” Murray says. “People isolate themselves when they feel that uncomfortable. That’s a very lonely space for an individual to be in.”

Interpersonal conflicts

smiley-face-loveIn situations like that, absenteeism increases. Employers might not realise the impact interpersonal conflicts have on productivity, she says.

“When a teacher is out sick due to the stress of bullying, a substitute teacher has to be brought in. Therefore, they’re paying two people for one job. There is also a break in the continuity of teaching. Students would have to adapt to another teacher. What a waste of money and resources. These are some of the hidden effects of workplace bullying.”

It stresses out not only the victim, but the entire workplace, causing a “psychological ripple effect. It affects everyone. Therefore, if mediation was brought in at an early stage, where both people could have at least communicated with each other before it

Early intervention

troubled-old-man-smiley-emoticonMurray says providing basic mediation training to managers – in this case, school principals – would resolve a lot of interpersonal conflict before it becomes bullying and results in a stressful aftermath. They would learn to improve communication, narrow outstanding issues, defuse emotions and set out areas of agreement.
Her research showed that managers frequently mishandle conflict.

“A lot of people find it very difficult. Managers might be good at their jobs, but when it comes to interpersonal relationship issues that arise in the workplace, they can find that very difficult to handle,” she says.

angry-old-man-smiley-emoticon“There are skills and language one uses to come across as a neutral party, even though you know both people very well.”

Murray’s work with the MII focuses on intervention and prevention. She wants to make employers and employees aware of what workplace bullying is, how to identify it and what to do if they feel something is wrong.

She advises employees to learn what they are entitled to and talk to their employers. Often, mediation is written into an employer’s workplace harassment policy, continue reading »»»

Article by Erin McGuire for The Irish Times – Thu, Jul 30, 2015


Bullies: the Reality Show

Tips for preventing and dealing with workplace bullying

We have finally gathered enough evidence from our cyber bullying survey with an added focus on school bullying. With over 200 respondents, the results are sure to shock you. Explore the interesting results from NoBullying’s cyber bullying survey, click here.


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Gmail messages can now self-destruct

The New Bullying Prevention:

Now here’s a feature to get excited with, excellent Gmail :-)

Originally posted on

NEW YORK — Gmail just went all Snapchat on us.

Dmail, a new Google Chrome plugin, gives you complete control over how long your recipient can view your email.

This can prove a great asset for more secure communications or when discussing personal information.

The Chrome extension adds a “Send with Dmail” button next to the regular “Send” button in any email you compose. This gives you complete control to revoke sent emails.

But wait, doesn’t Gmail allow users to revoke sent emails?

Well, yes and no. Gmail’s “undo send” button only works for up to 30 seconds. Dmail gives you as much time as you like.

You can preset timing such as “in 1 hour” or “in 1 week” and the message will self-destruct accordingly.

If you don’t have a predetermined time frame, pick “never” as your time frame. If you need to revoke it at a later date…

View original 97 more words

Right Writer


LOVE-SMILEY-FACE“One word Frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.”
— Sophocles —

pointing-fingerI want to take you back to 1993 when I attended “Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology”, I was enrolled in the Business Administration program, first I want to introduce you to one Professor and explain how he came to help me conquer my Fear and Anxiety, well for a short time anyway.

I will try to make this as short and descriptive as possible, I took a number of courses, one of which was “Social Studies”, we were a class of fifty students, the first class we were all just chatting with each other, waiting for the professor to arrive, once he entered the room we all just took random seats. The classroom was set up with five rows of ten seats per row of tables. The professor first introduced himself, after which he then said; now I want to get all your names so when I point at you, I want you to just say your first name only, and don”t speak until I point at you. Knowing that he started on his far right, after he pointed at the student in that chair, she said her name after which he just stood there with his eyes rolling around in his head. After about twenty seconds he pointed at the second student to her right and did the same thing, eyes rolling around in his head and kept going until he reached the end of the first row of ten students.

confused-nerd-emoticonAt this point we were all starting to look at each other strangely, I for one was beginning to ask myself, is this guy for real? Then he moved to the second row and pointed at the student immediately behind the tenth student, and did the same thing, now moving to the left, he just stood there in the same spot, not moving and never saying a word, until he reached the very last student in the back row, number fifty.

Then he finally spoke and said Okay let me see now if I got this right, starting at the very last student in the back row he said his name, and continued moving to the right, pointing at each student as he went saying their name until he reached the first student he started with.

We were all in a state of shock because he got all fifty names “RIGHT”, after he finished he said , once you finish this course, each and everyone of you will be able to do that. You know what the funnest thing is about that story is? I don’t remember his name. :-)

Smiley_Angel_Wings_HaloNow lets move on to my English class, which again had fifty students but not the same students. About half way through the first semester, the English professor gave us an assignment, a oral presentation to be exact. The presentation had to include, a topic of our choice, the assistance of a fellow classmate, it had to be presented with visual effects such as slides with a projector, the student was required to do their presentation in front of the class, the presentation had to be at least thirty minutes long and no more or less than two thousand words. The professor also said she would be posting a schedule with the date and time for each student to do their presentation and she would sit in the back of the class to observe for grading.
Just the thought of getting up in front of fifty other students, having all eyes peeled on me caused me great anxiety, so much that it interfered with my other studies. When I was three days away from my turn to do the presentation, I still had not picked a topic and now very desperate and thinking about just giving up, a classmate whom I hung out with at college suggested I go see the Social Studies professor or guidance counselor. I decided to go to the social studies professor’s office after class that day, told him my dilemma and he said I can help you if you want, just do what I say, I agreed.

downloadHe told me to close my eyes and listen to his voice, then he said now picture the “Michelin Tire man” then he said once you can see him, in your mind push him away, making him smaller until he disappears, it took a while to visualize him but eventually I did, then the next thing I remember is him saying now open your eyes, and you can go now.
I am not sure what he did and he never did tell me, but I felt different somehow and the anxiety was gone, so to make a long story short, the college just recently received a new computer program called “RightWriter”, I believe it’s similar to what we now know as “Grammar and Spell Check”, it was more complicated back then, it wasn’t just clicking an icon, it involved a series of commands, but because no one in the college actually knew how to use it yet, it wasn’t being used.
I now had three days left so I decided to study the manuals that came with the program, and learnt how to use it which also had a compliment of slides.

c271a915deba72d8659e8eaa1db588acIn closing, When the day arrived to do my oral presentation I proceeded with great confidence and scored 98% leading to a request from the Campus Director to volunteer some time to visit all the other classes and teach them how to use the program, I accepted. Follow this link I’m not sure if this is the same program but it looks to be.

Article originally posted July 24, 2014 The New Bullying Prevention by Terry.K


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Top tips on LGBT- inclusive sex edcation


cheating-on-test-smiley-emoticon“We declare our right on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” — Malcolm X —

LGBT young people too often miss out on vital information and support at school. Inclusive sex and relationships education (SRE) can help to remedy their isolation

up-7DRA9P1KRRK8EUUHAll young people should have access to high quality, age-appropriate sex and relationships education (SRE) in school. But all too often this isn’t the case and LGBT young people are missing out on vital information, putting their emotional and physical wellbeing at risk.

More than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people say they are not taught anything about lesbian, gay and bisexual issues, suggests research by the University of Cambridge for Stonewall. Research by the National Union of Students earlier this year also found that less than a fifth of all university students were taught about LGBT issues in SRE at school.

Stonewall’s School Champions programme works with primary and secondary schools to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and to support LGBT young people. Based on the many examples of good practice we’ve seen, here are some top tips on LGBT-inclusive SRE.

Don’t make assumptions

Don’t assume that all students are heterosexual or that there are no trans students in your class. Think carefully about the examples and language used when talking about relationships. Use gender neutral terms such as “partner” and embed examples of LGBT people and relationships. Be explicit in your school’s policy that SRE is there to prepare all students for the future, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Ensure all young people learn about LGBT people and relationships

Communication-with-your-teacherAll students should learn about key concepts such as sexual orientation, gender identity and the difference between biological sex and gender. Embed positive examples of LGBT people and relationships and discuss relevant LGBT rights and equality (for example, that LGBT people can marry and have children). This ensures that all students understand the diversity of people and relationships in 21st century Britain and that young people who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity get the information they need.

Include information that is relevant to LGBT young people

Make sure you include specific information where relevant – for example, on sexual health or coming out. At the same time, avoid promoting the stereotype that all LGBT people have certain types of sex and relationships. The easiest way to do this is to talk about the similarities and differences there might be across different types of relationships.

A lot of the information that LGBT young people need to know will be the same as their heterosexual peers (what a healthy relationship looks like). Using LGBT examples will signal that the information you are giving is relevant to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and will help to tackle assumptions about LGBT people and relationships more generally.

Challenge gender stereotypes

Challenge these both in the content of SRE and in the way the lessons are delivered. Think carefully about whether to separate students by gender for SRE. Trans students or those questioning their gender identity may feel uncomfortable or miss out on vital information if classes and lesson content are divided (for example, a trans man who may need to know about cervical screening). If students are separated, deliver the same content across groups. All students will gain valuable information and skills by considering situations from the point of view of different genders.

Encourage students to understand and celebrate difference and diversity

visage_de_smiley_darc_en_ciel_autocollant_rond-ra7f833b0e82744f5953ad8c2b6739b75_v9waf_8byvr_512SRE can be a great opportunity for discussion, for students to learn about difference and to develop respect and understanding towards others. This should include exploring and challenging stereotypes about LGBT people and feed into the school’s wider work on tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. SRE is also the perfect opportunity to encourage every student to feel positive and confident about themselves.

Staff will need training, alongside an updated SRE policy to deliver effectively across these areas. As well as Stonewall’s resources and training, the Sex Education Forum and Gendered Intelligence and Allsorts Youth Project look specifically at LGBT relationships and sexual health.

Article by Fran Hall | Jul 18, 2015 – Visit for more information



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(n.) a person with a preternatural ability to apprehend the emotional state of another individual. One who feels the emotions of others.

love-laughNow check this one out, mostly out of curiosity, I made a decision that I think I feel good about, but then again……anyway I decided to do something I’ve been procrastinating over for sometime now, I took a series of test form selected websites and completed their Empath Test, and much to my surprise but relieved I may finally have some of the answers to questions and concerns I’ve often wondered about.

When it was first suggested a few months ago that I may be a empath, suggesting I get tested and to be totally honest, my first thought was “how silly” but that have since changed.

So after doing my own research, looking at a few websites that has a mountain of information on the subject, whom was also offering the test (free). I found each and all test were similar and they did surrender basically the same results.

Below is the results for one of the empath test I completed, I will say though, by only answering a series of questions, they were able to analyze me so precise, the results gave me a eerie feeling, on the scary side and startled me because without a doubt, the following is 99% accurate, HOW’D THEY DO THAT? anyway check it :-)


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Why I believe Teaching of LGBT issues are Important and Should be Mandatory in Schools


“The single most power-full element of youth is that they don’t have the life experiences to know what can’t be done” —Adam Braun—


Some have said, I’ve forgotten all about my friends, or warn me not to forget my friends, well that’s not possible now, we are one, on the contrary everything I do, every-time I stick my neck out and speak up for what I believe to be right, Every post I share, I share for a reason, it’s important to me and I think it maybe to you as well, some post take hours depending on how much design and talent is required, some only get half completed because there is a time restraint, yes I read everyone to decide which ones to post, so I do my share of reading.

Moderating a Anti-Bullying website, not an easy or simple task, plus three other related social media sites, the List contains 6 sites total, I don’t do this for any type of personal gain nor am I expecting any future reward other than my own personal satisfaction, “I Love What I Do”.

I started approximately 3 1/2 years ago with a lone facebook page then called “Legislation For Bullying” which is now better known as “The New Bullying Prevention” in case your wondering, right from the start it was never about money and never will be.

Untitled-1I don’t do what I do for me, but rather for you, one thing is for sure though, I have certainly consumed a wealth of knowledge that I shall treasure for the remainder of my days. I can say that at the end of the day same sex marriage will probably not be any benefit to me now, neither will bullying or new harassment & discrimination legislation, once we are finally recognized as a society within a society, will we be free.

I also believe the mandatory teaching of (LGBT) issues & history in schools one day may help show society that teaching about LGBT acceptance is not about teaching about a “sexual lifestyle” rather about their sexual identity and self awareness, to make it easier for them to self identify, embrace self acceptance and enjoy their right to peace & life.

When I first began to realize I was different or strange at a very young age, I new nothing about being “Gay, Homosexual etc” as a matter of fact I had no idea these words existed or what they even meant. So if the solution lays within self awareness and knowing who you are, which may eliminate and or reduce or render sexuality issues non-existence resulting in the ability for all youth to safely learn and be themselves in a safe and accepting school climate, there by the mandatory credit requirement of LGBT issues awareness in all schools, will not only benefit LGBT youth but all youth.

20121127-elton-john-picture-x306-1354042387To begin at a young age would be a important asset to the improvement of life for kids, namely, improving youth relations among one another, increasing grade point averages, enabling more graduates there by increasing the number of entries for college, increasing self-esteem, and also reducing or even eliminating levels of anxiety and depression, not only for today’s youth but for future generations alike producing a more educated and respectful community of youth if given the ability to reach their full potential.

So it’s not about me and I have not nor will I ever be able to forget those who stood with me the last few years “YOU” adults & youth alike, friends and followers, my wish for you is to live life in a safe, respectful & welcoming environment but most importantly the security & safety of future generations of youth to thrive.

In closing my only motive these last few years has been to assist and to shed light on the incredable number of LGBT youth Suicide’s and clear the air on the important issues surrounding the LGBT community, a non violent, law abiding community guided by “LOVE” so as long as I can make a difference and or save one life, young or old, or just make that someone’s day brighter and feel Just a little bit better, that’s enough for me…it makes it all worth while, peace & love.

Article posted July 17, 2015 The New Bullying Prevention by Terry.K

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Justin’s Gift to screen Same Difference, an anti-bullying documentary



Life is a series of pulls back and forth…..a tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band, Most of us live in the middle, A wrestling match….which side wins? Love wins…love always wins
—Mitch Albom—


Justin’s Gift, a nonprofit in the Anoka-Hennepin School District area dedicated to youth and anti-bullying, will screen the documentary Same Difference at an event on July 17.

clipart-big-hug-smiley-emoticon-512x512-e690Same Difference is a documentary project “that shows the difference between learning in a supportive school climate versus an oppressive school climate” by tracing the paths of two gay teens, one of which is Justin Aaberg, a student in the Anoka-Hennepin School District who took his own life in 2010.

The other, Graeme Taylor, came out in high school and found acceptance in a supportive school district.

The film examines the differences in those two stories, and how a supportive environment influences LGBT youth, and how an unsupportive environment, such as the Anoka-Hennepin School District, can have catastrophic consequences. That school district continues to be embroiled in controversy as religious conservatives work to prevent any positive changes in school climate for LGBT youth. It took a lawsuit and a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice to get even minimal changes in the district, and even those have been ferociously fought by the Parents Action League, a “hate group” that opposes “the homosexual agenda.”

Same Difference will screen twice on July 17 at the First Congregational UCC of Anoka, with a viewing at 6:30pm and another at 9:30pm. Each screening will be followed by a panel discussion. The panelists will include Tammy and Shawn Aaberg, the parents of Justin Aaberg; Katie MacDonald, a close friend of Justin Aaberg; Jefferson Fietek, a teacher who spoke out publicly against own school district’s policies after losing a student to suicide; and Kyrstin Schuette, a former student who was plaintiff in a lawsuit against Anoka-Hennepin.


Tammy Aaberg told The Column that the important thing about screening a film like Same Difference is that people will understand the difference a respectful climate for LGBT youth can make in a school.

809353991_1795044“It is important for those who advocate safety and acceptance for LGBT youth because referencing this film — and the stories of Justin’s and Graeme’s coming out experiences at a young age and growing up in different school districts, but both accepting homes — can help show people that [teaching LGBT acceptance] is not about teaching a ‘sexual lifestyle,’” she said. “It’s about knowing who you are at a young age, being able to talk about it and not be shamed and picked on, but instead to be able to safely learn and be yourself in a safe, accepting environment.”

She added that it can help create a world where “stories for our youth are more like Graeme’s story and a lot less of Justin’s story.”

“With the right administration and policies being made — and actually enforced in the schools — and ALL children being accepted and treated equally, we can have a lot more of our students surviving and thriving like Graeme and not buried in the ground like Justin.”

She hopes it will help residents pay more attention to who sits on local school boards such as Anoka-Hennepin, and spurs support for bills like Sen. Al Franken’s Student Nondiscrimination Act.

Article by Andy Birkey July 14, 2015

The Column is a community-supported non-profit news, arts, and media organization. We depend on community support to continue the work of solid LGBT-centric journalism. If you like this article, consider visiting Give MN to make a contribution today.

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Call For Proposals: Toronto Homelessness Research Symposium


image“Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend.” – Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose –


The City of Toronto, in partnership with the Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, are calling for proposals for presentation at the inaugural Toronto Homelessness Research Symposium:

Connecting Research to Practice:
Developing Toronto’s research agenda to solve homelessness

Monday, October 19, 2015

The event aims to bring together a diverse range of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to inform development of a homelessness research agenda for Toronto. The purpose of the research agenda will be to clearly identify the research questions that will help in developing effective policy and program solutions to homelessness. The research agenda will support implementation and evaluation of the City’s Housing Stability Service Plan, as it transforms the homelessness service system from one that is reactive and focused on temporary, emergency responses to one that is responsive, flexible and focused on permanent, preventative Housing First solutions.

More details | Early Registration

Call for Proposals – Submission Deadline: Friday, July 31, 2015

Online Submission Form




Four themes have been identified to guide the symposium:

  • Preventing homelessness;
  • Helping people to exit homelessness;
  • Creating options for housing with appropriate supports; and
  • Developing coordinated systems responses.

Each theme presents different challenges and possibilities for solving homelessness in Toronto.

Symposium structure

The symposium will consist of a number of concurrent panels, guided by the four themes. Presenters will each be assigned to a panel which will be followed by a theme-specific discussion. There will be a moderator present to facilitate the workshop and assist delegates and presenters to identify future research questions related to each theme area.

The final session of the day will see presenters and delegates come together to share the learnings of each workshop and examine other research avenues for solving homelessness in Toronto. This information will contribute to development of a comprehensive research agenda for the coming five years.

Early Registration »



Who should submit a proposal?

Presenters from a broad range of research, practice, and policy arenas are encouraged to submit a proposal. We also encourage those with a lived experience of homelessness to submit a proposal based on their experience within the homelessness system, or their involvement in research.

Presenters will be placed in panels based on themes with the aim of creating a balance between research and service delivery. If there are specific presenters who you would like to be on a panel with, please nominate them on the proposal form (ideally this person is someone with different experience than you – for example, you’re a researcher and they’re a service provider).


The presentations will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Length: 15 minutes
  • Purpose: To share effective approaches, new research on innovative models, or policy alternatives to solving homelessness in Toronto. Each presentation should briefly address what future research questions may arise from material presented. In addition to presenting research finding, the emphasis in presentation proposals should be on encouraging dialogue and making connections between researchers and policy makers and/or program delivery organizations.
  • Theme: Proposals should fall under one of the four symposium themes. Possible topics for each theme are described below, however the list is not exhaustive. We encourage those whose presentation doesn’t neatly fit within any one topic to submit a proposal, if it relates to an innovative solution to homelessness in any area not identified below.


Symposium Themes

Preventing homelessness

  • Effective program and support models for eviction prevention
  • Effectiveness of rapid re-housing programs and other models of targeted financial supports for at-risk households
  • Characteristics of households at risk of eviction and how to target interventions
  • Shelter diversion strategies
  • Systems solutions for eviction prevention
  • Improving hospital discharge processes to avoid discharging into homelessness
  • Preventing homelessness among youth leaving care
  • Early intervention solutions to prevent youth homelessness
  • Post-incarceration interventions to avoid homelessness

Helping people to exit homelessness

  • Characteristics of long-term homeless, short-term homeless and episodically homeless, and differences in housing solutions and service approaches
  • Housing First case management approaches
  • Housing assessment tools
  • Effective service models for ending homelessness for specific populations (e.g. youth, seniors, families, Aboriginal people, recent immigrants, LGBTQ2S)
  • Housing First in emergency shelters
  • Transitional housing in a Housing First context

Creating options for housing with appropriate supports

  • Innovative models of housing with supports
  • Effective housing support models for specific populations (e.g. youth, seniors, families, Aboriginal people, recent immigrants, LGBTQ2S)
  • Working with landlords and opportunities for supportive housing in private market rental
  • The role of permanent supportive housing in Housing First
  • The role of social housing providers in solving homelessness
  • Strategies for people who are not successful in scattered site Housing First programs
  • Effective approaches to improving housing stability and economic reintegration after homelessness
  • Effective models of high support housing for people with complex health issues
  • Harm reduction and housing

Developing coordinated systems responses

    A grownup female person with long ponytailed blonde hair, looking so dirty, wearing a dark gray ragged sweater over a maroon greased sweater, tattered jeans, graying socks without garter, and black shoes, leans down to check and rummage several garbage material inside a green trash can, beside two tied garbage bags, looking to get some food, she throws a blue tin can at her back
    A grownup female person with long ponytailed blonde hair, looking so dirty, wearing a dark gray ragged sweater over a maroon greased sweater, tattered jeans, graying socks without garter, and black shoes, leans down to check and rummage several garbage material inside a green trash can, beside two tied garbage bags, looking to get some food, she throws a blue tin can at her back

  • Enhancing systems coordination
  • Integrating health supports and housing
  • Long term care models for homeless populations
  • Improving coordinated access points to housing and homelessness services
  • Quality assurance and performance measurement systems for housing and homelessness service systems
  • Training and capacity building for front-line staff
  • Engaging people with lived experience
  • Peer support models of service and support
  • Building public and political support for solutions to homelessness

Submission details

Your proposal will include the following information using the proposal form:

  • Name, position, organization, address, phone, and email
  • Title of your presentation
  • Nomination of the theme your presentation falls under
  • Presentation description (maximum 1 page) (this will be used in the symposium program if your proposal is accepted)
  • Brief biography (1/2 page)
  • Names of any other presenters submitting a proposal who you would like to sit on a panel with
  • Suggested future research directions related to your presentation (1/2 page)

Online Submission Form »

Article by Canadian Observatory on Homelessness – July 10, 2015


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How Bullying Ruins the Lives of LGBT Kids


Chipper-smileyEveryone’s focused on the next LGBT battle — e.g., employment, housing, poverty, transgender rights — but what about our incredibly beleaguered youth?

youthStepping onto Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis to watch the annual Pride Parade this year, you could just feel the crowd’s heightened excitement stemming from the Supreme Court’s ruling for marriage equality just days before. Thousands waved rainbow flags, confetti spilled from tall buildings, and love reigned. Another step toward “a more perfect union,” as President Obama said about the marriage ruling, and truly it was.

As I took in a group of teenagers enjoying the festivities, I couldn’t help but think of all the LGBT kids who don’t have a reason to celebrate, like Nick, a sophomore from a small town near Chattanooga, Tenn., who last year was harassed, bullied, and threatened with death by stoning at his school for simply being gay. It reminded me of Val in New York, who shared, “Girls gave me the death stare … the word ‘faggot’ was repeatedly whispered into my ear and students threatened to knife me if I told anyone.” It reminded me of my friend’s son, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, who took his own life at 11 after enduring relentless anti-LGBT bullying at his school in Springfield, Mass.

kiMn44oaTWhile we will never know his sexual orientation, we know what words were being used against him.

Amidst all the progress we have made against anti-LGBT discrimination and for marriage equality, our LGBT kids continue to suffer great harm — with greater consequences. According to the latest National School Climate Survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, the leading organization on the state of LGBT kids in schools, the stories of Nick, Val, and Carl are all too representative of the experience of LGBT kids across the country. American schools remain unsafe and unwelcoming for the vast majority of LGBT students, according to the survey. Eighty-five percent of LGBT kids were verbally harassed in the past year, and one out of three skip a day of school because they feel unsafe in the classroom. Most schools don’t have comprehensive antibullying policies, and a majority engage in discriminatory practices. How can our kids learn and reach their greatest potential if they are afraid to show up to school?


All of this has grave consequences for LGBT kids, their families, and society as a whole. According to the GLSEN research, LGBT students as a whole have lower grade point averages, are less likely to go to college, have lower self-esteem, and increased levels of anxiety and depression. LGBT teens have higher rates of suicide than the general population. By failing to support our LGBT and other diverse kids, we are preventing hundreds of thousands from ever reaching their full potential; from being contributing members of society instead of a burden on it; from believing that they could be the next great scientist to find a cure or business leader who will create thousands of jobs or even president of the United States.

Progress is being made in many schools thanks to the hard work of organizations like GLSEN and courageous teachers. Still, as people of the LGBT community, as parents, relatives, and friends of LGBT kids, as school teachers and administrators, as legislators, as religious and community leaders, and as Americans, the responsibility falls to us too. This is a joyous time for LGBT people, but we can’t allow our kids to get lost in this moment. In fact, let’s not forget any kids, no matter their race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, station in life, or any other factor that might make them unique and special. Speak up, get involved, and make a difference. Take an additional step toward creating a more perfect union, something we can all celebrate with pride.




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A photo of a young, gay American went viral this weekend. Here are the best responses—including Hillary Clinton’s

Originally posted on Quartz:

Last week, the internet-famous New York City street photographer Brandon Stanton posted a poignant picture of an unnamed young boy sharing his fears about being gay.

“I’m homosexual and I’m afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me,” the boy told Stanton for his wildly popular Humans of New York project.

Stanton takes photos of people around New York, and posts the photos on his website and social media feeds, along with a quote from the subject. With 13.8 million Facebook followers, his posts often travel far on the internet. But this one has been exceptional: With more than 600,000 likes, it was shared more than 58,000 times from the Facebook page.

It also caught the attention of a few…

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Why I Love What I Do: Changing Lives One Program at a Time


No matter what happens in life be good to people, being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind -Taylor Swift-

summer-vacation-emoticonOwning a small business can be challenging. Let me rephrase, owning a small business will cause the following side effects: stress headaches, large consumption of wine, inability to explain what happened to your cash flow, sleepless nights, long work days, long work day weekends, an incomprehensible addiction to your email, an obsessive disorder over clients, inability to let go of how many “likes” you get on your company social media page, insurmountable amounts of admin work, and the list goes on…

File-Jun-26-3-17-53-PMMy mantra is: if owning your own business was meant to be easy then everyone would do it. However, not everyone is as nutty as me. I started Bulldog Solution almost 6 years ago. I had a dream to deliver training, team building, leadership programs, and develop social emotional learning programs for schools as well as corporate. Then unexpectedly, I tragically I lost my younger brother to violence. I was devastated, beside myself, hanging onto a dream with a dark cloud over me. One day, a dear friend told me that I should take my pain, take my talent, and focus on developing anti-bullying as well as anti-violence programs. It was a conversation that profoundly touched my soul. That evening, I took all those raw painful emotions and I started writing curriculums, developing lesson plans, as well as designing programs to reduce violence and bullying in schools. I was determined to dedicate my work to my late brother. I told myself: if I could save one life by his story, it would keep him with me and give his life more meaning. So in the next 4 years, I worked and grew Bulldog Solution. It has been an uphill battle with many mistakes, loop holes, and challenges. I learned a ton and I am still learning.

zcXogE5niIt is not until last week that it all hit me. We ran the Chicago Park District bully prevention and group management training for 1,500 people. As I presented to over 200 participants in the first session, I saw how the hard work was paying off. I am making a difference one program at a time. I have these “AHA” moments ever so often, and those are the moments that keep me going. Over the years, Bulldog Solution has grown and sometimes schools don’t want to use us. Some principals think that by using our services they are admitting that they have a problem. They don’t see that we are all about prevention. We are about teaching the social emotional skills needed to succeed not only in school, but also in life. This year we did leadership programs, curriculums on social emotional learning, team building events, teacher trainings, meeting facilitation, and digital citizenship workshops. We are client focused. We are about providing the schools with what they need for success without adding work to their plates. My work is meaningful, I see it. I hear how I have touched lives, and every time I am so grateful! I am passionate about what I do and my goal is to make an impact. But, it was only recently that I saw it all come to life.

File-Jun-26-3-23-44-PMThis year, we brought in a teen as part of our internship program. Taylor is a beautiful, smart, funny, and a driven young woman. She spent two years in our Bully Proof/Leadership program and we helped to change her life. Believe me, I worked with her and she did not like me (to say the least) our first semester together. Honestly, she gave me the evil eye each day I saw her. Over the weeks and within two years, she shifted. Taylor became a leader and she opened up. She put down her guard and shared. It was in those moments that I saw her beauty, her struggles, and her true self. So now, we brought her into Bulldog and she’s helping with programs. She was on the Chicago Park District Program, and we all were teary eyed with pride watching her be a Bulldog. She truly shined as a facilitator. These are the moments that I hold close to my heart. These are the times when I know that this business is worth the fight. It is in these programs when I get the opportunity to see my staff shine, when we connect with the audience, when we teach them, that I can see that we are making a difference.

61LwcEaM3aL._SY300_I will leave you with this: If you believe your work is worth fighting for, don’t give up. You never know who you are impacting or how many lives you might be changing.

Be Brave*Be Strong*Be a Bulldog – If you like what you read, please like Bulldog Solution on Facebook and visit our websiteArticle By Kortney Peagram, June 29, 2015


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How do teens think about body image, beauty and bullying? 3 perspectives from around the world

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Body image, beauty and bullying. In TED-Ed Clubs, students are guided through the process of making a presentation on an idea they feel passionate about — and dozens of students in clubs around the world have boldly chosen to talk about how to combat negative body image, distorted images of beauty and the bullying that springs from rigid rules about appearance.

Watch — but more important, listen — to these three inspiring perspectives on body image, beauty and bullying from teenagers in three different countries.

Julia Takata TED-Ed Club presentation

A presentation on body image: A competition with yourself

Julia Takata starts her presentation by recalling an experience she had in dance class. The short story: She started comparing herself to a classmate. “Because I was younger, I was very susceptible to what other people had to say about me. [I kept wondering], ‘How I could change myself?’” says Takata, a student in the…

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Call for teaching of LGBT issues to be mandatory in schools


th_emoticons_aduA NEW campaign to make the teaching of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues in schools statutory has been described as one of the “most inspiring” since the referendum.


weight-room2school-bus-smiley-emoticonLiam Stevenson, 36 and Jordan Daly, 20, met after the referendum vote last year, having been involved in different branches of the Yes campaign.

Yesterday the two came together to call for an end to something that had affected one of their lives drastically, while the other had not even previously considered it.

The Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign calls for the statutory teaching of LGBT issues in all schools across the country, due to statistics showing disproportionately high rates of self-harm and attempted suicide amongst LGBT students.

According to the statistics from LGBT Youth Scotland and campaign group Stonewall, 54 per cent of LGBT students who have experienced direct homophobic bullying are regularly deliberately self-harming. One in four of those who are bullied attempted suicide at least once in their time at school.

tie2-310x165The petition to the Scottish Parliament demands a reform of the mandatory school curriculum, recommending the teaching of the equal rights movement, sexualities, gender identity and a more comprehensive sexual health education.

If the Scottish Government follows through on the reforms, it will be the first government in the world to have LGBT education as a statutory requirement. The only subject that Scottish schools currently must cover by law is religious education.

Father-of-one Liam had not previously had any involvement in gay rights issues. It was only after meeting Jordan, who told Liam he was gay, that the 36-year-old became aware of the struggle LGBT children face every day in schools.

at-school-smiley-emoticonInspired by the referendum campaign, the pair decided it was “no longer enough to just write to your MSP” and are now making their first foray into the political world.

“Had it not been for the referendum I wouldn’t have realised that you can actually get out and make a difference yourself,” said Jordan. “There would have been no TIE campaign.”

“Despite not getting the Yes vote another Scotland is still possible – we just have to shape it ourselves,” said Liam.

“The campaign gave me the confidence to go and stand up at meetings and approach subjects like this.”

As a youngster, Jordan was frightened to be gay, and tried to change his sexuality, even contemplating suicide, because he felt he could not speak to anyone about it.

s9911The situation Jordan faced is not uncommon. Fifty-three per cent of LGBT students feel unable to talk openly to any adult within their school about their sexual orientation, and 71 per cent regularly play truant.

When Jordan told Liam he had considered suicide as a teenager, the 36-year-old had to go to the bathroom to compose himself. Although he had read the statistics, he didn’t expect to hear about it first-hand.

Moved by his account, Liam decided to join with Jordan in trying to change school life for future students.

Since the launch, Scottish Greens co-Convenor Patrick Harvie, human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar and Unite’s Bryan Simpson have all backed the TIE campaign, as have leading LGBT groups.

Encouraging others to sign the petition to make teaching of LGBT issues mandatory, Anwar said the freedom to love who you want was “one of the most fundamental human rights”.

“When people are being murdered because of their sexuality, or forced to live a lie for fear of attack, it is essential that our schools take the lead in exposing and tackling such discrimination,” he said.

Cat Boyd and Jonathon Shafi from the Radical Independence Campaign and Common Weal’s Robin McAlpine have also spoken in support of the movement.

McAlpine described the campaign as one of the “most inspiring to have emerged from the recent political awakening of Scotland”, while Boyd said that “education absolutely must be accessible to everyone”.

Jordan said: “Education is one of the big last dominoes which need to topple, and I would like to see Scotland being the first to set an example and tackle this.”
The petition will be live online for six weeks before it goes to a parliamentary committee at Holyrood in August. More than 300 people signed it on the first day.


The National Union of Teachers conference backed a resolution calling for moves to tackle homophobia in schools


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Christian Webb, joint winner of Stonewall’s “Young Campaigner of the Year”



‘I wanted to make a cultural change’ – So So Gay talks to Christian Webb

christian3It’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 Untitled-1that 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.

Jon B talks with Christian Webb, joint winner of Stonewall’s ‘Young Campaigner of the Year’. In part 1 Christian talks about his award and work to date.

Article by Jon B. So So Gay Magazine – 30 JUN 2015


Gok Wan crowns Stonewall Young Campaigners of the Year


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{Bonne Fete} “Happy Birthday “Canada”

The New Bullying Prevention:

Have an Awesome Day one and all

Originally posted on The New Bullying Prevention:


Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.

canadianflagCanada 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 inCanadian-smiley-facethe late 18th century with what mostly comprises…

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Make A Change Canada to Host Live Streamed National Extravaganza This October 8, 2015



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 thank_you_happyfacewith 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

welcome-sign-two-smileys-theatrical-curtains-40835295NELSON, 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. tanzend_0062“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.

stand-up-emoticon-comedyMembers 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



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Serving our Youth 2015: The Needs and Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth Experiencing Homelessness


Praise-You-nun-pray-saint-smiley-emoticon-000709-huge“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).

storeThis 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.
  • visage_de_smiley_darc_en_ciel_autocollant_rond-ra7f833b0e82744f5953ad8c2b6739b75_v9waf_8byvr_512

  • 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


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Gay Men’s Chorus of L.A. Honors Ridgewood’s Tyler Clementi Foundation





The Tyler Clementi Foundation was created in honor of a Rutgers student who committed suicide after his roommate outed him as gay.

WELLDONEThe 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.”

The foundation rolled out a new campaign this month called Day 1.

“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.

Superman-Superman-man-of-steel-Clark-Kent-smiley-emoticon-001040-facebookDay 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.

The Clementi Family accepts a Voice Award from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. The Tyler Clementi Foundation was created to prevent tragedies like Tyler’s by putting an end to online and offline bullying. GMCLA honors the Clementi Family for transforming their personal tragedy into action.

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


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Changing the Bad into Good

Originally posted on Bullying Stories:

A Ladder in the Dark bookThree 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.

I think you know that I took the…

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Will You Kill Me Now – Anti-Bullying film


mh900437992My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain. *Charlie Chaplin*

Anti-Bullying film stars Peaky Blinders actor and Chris Kamara
Anti-Bullying film stars Peaky Blinders actor and Chris Kamara

4667307-Smiling-balls-taking-photographs-in-studio-Stock-Vector-smiley-face-cameraA Peaky Blinders star and footie pundit Chris Kamara are among the big names recruited for a gritty anti-bullying film by two former Bromley schoolboys.

George Cowin, 22, and Sam Ewen, 21, teamed up to write and direct “Will You Kill Me Now”.

Access worker George said: “The feedback has been incredible.

He added: “We thought if we can make a film that people like we can get the message across. You want people to enjoy it first and foremost.”

While they were students at Ravensbourne School, George admitted the pair didn’t always mix in the nicest circles.

He said: “You don’t always realise what you are saying. When you leave school, you realise what you were doing.

“We thought if a bully realised what his victim was going through, would he still do it?”

Will You Kill Me Now? uses that question as its basis – a bully and his victim swap bodies and have to walk in each other’s shoes.

3D-Movie-female-girl-happy-smiley-emoticon-000533-hugeShot in Bromley, Woolwich and Ravenswood, it stars Jordan Bolger from Peaky Blinders, Top Boy’s Malcolm Kamulete and Jeff Stewart, better known to many at The Bill’s Reg Hollis.

The film has been distributed to 150 schools across Europe and is now available to watch online.

Check out the movie below:

Article published Friday 19 June 2015 in Film & TV by Jim Palmer, leisure editor


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Stand Up to Bullying With Kindness #WUVIP


smilies-foto-06Bystander 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.

bystandI 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,, 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.

smiley dancingI 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.

stand2But 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:

clipart-friends-forever-smiley-emoticon-256x256-9a70I 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.

Article By Hannah Alper 12-Year-Old Blogger, Change Maker, Activist, Eco Warrior, Animal Lover, Motivational Speaker


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Dick Tracy Comic Strip To Take On Bullying, With Guest Star Little Orphan Annie


emoticon gif animated smile glitter 56“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


images (1)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.”

bacCollin 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.”

bouncing-a-basketball-smiley-emoticon“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

Article By Russ Burlingame- June 2, 2015


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People Loving People


images (10)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.

PS22 Chorus Staten Island elementary school students

PS22 Chorus Staten Island elementary school students

shopping-spree-smiley-emoticonThis post is part of the Global Moms Relay. Every time you share this post, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per action), up to $325,000, to four causes helping improve the health and wellbeing of moms and kids worldwide: MAMA, Shot@Life, U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Girl Up. You can follow this link to The United Nations Foundation facebook page and share the post.

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.

smiley-face-graduate-5430190So 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.

stock-illustration-26854617-cute-smiley-face-with-cameraYou can also use the Donate A Photo* app and Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 when you upload a photo for Girl Up or UNICEF, up to $100,000. You can help make a difference in seconds with the click of your mouse or snap of your smart phone. Share this post with the hashtag #GlobalMoms, and visit to learn more. The United Nations Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, BabyCenter and The Huffington Post created the Global Moms Relay with a goal of improving the lives of women and children around the globe.

Article By Winifred Pritchett June 10, 2015


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Wayne Gretzky joins other hockey legends at Toronto event to speak out against bullying


hockey-team-smiley-emoticon‘What we’re doing here is saving lives and by saving lives, we’re giving kids hope. Bullies are cowards’

Hockey great Wayne Gretzky with President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames Brian Burke during The 2nd Annual Night for Change in Toronto on June 8, 2015. Kevin Van Paassen for National Post
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky with President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames Brian Burke during The 2nd Annual Night for Change in Toronto on June 8, 2015. Kevin Van Paassen for National Post
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.

smileys-cz-2Burke 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.”

Hockey great Wayne Gretzky has his picture taken with a fan as president of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames Brian Burke looks on during The 2nd Annual Night for Change in Toronto on June 8, 2015. Kevin Van Paassen for National Post.
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky has his picture taken with a fan as president of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames Brian Burke looks on during The 2nd Annual Night for Change in Toronto on June 8, 2015. Kevin Van Paassen for National Post.

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.

icehockeypuckAs 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.

1010Wilson 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.”

smiley-91That’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


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