What is the only thing your sex absolutely makes you or forces you to do (in a certain way) on any given day?*
Urges or Performances? SSSSex DDDDress (clothes, make-up, style, etc.) MMMMannerisms or behaviors BBBBeliefs or attitudes RRRRoles PPPPlay football? GGGGet a manicure? NNNNot help around the house? NOT! NOT!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXI9w0PbBX Y http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXI9w0PbBX Y Transgender and Gender- Nonconformity 101
Being stared at or being moved away from Being asked intrusive questions about their identities, behaviors, and/or practices Being referred to using inappropriate pronouns or names Lack of gender-neutral facilities such as bathrooms and locker rooms Being medicalized or pathologized by school personnel and/or other students Being sexually objectified by peers Being treated as strange, marginal, or awkward by peers and school personnel Being singled out based on physical characteristics Being treated as “invisible” or aberrant by peers and personnel who divert their eyes Failure to discuss transgender people in positive ways as part of school curricula, or only in negative ways (or not at all) *Microaggressions are not figments of anyone’s imagination, they are specifically experienced by transgender and gender-variant youth
Absence of informational displays, resources, and representations related transgender people and identities, or an imbalanced abundance of such materials about cisgendered people Deployment of out-dated information, misuse of pronouns, or dissemination of inaccurate information about transgender people by school personnel, whether intentional or not Self-advocacy as the only viable option for transgender students to gain support, safety, equality, or recourse Lack of peer understanding or knowledge about what to call transgender students Being asked to speak on behalf of all transgender students or people during school Lack of systematically inclusive discourses about student identities in all school-level materials and communications
Being called derogatory terms such as “gay,” fag,” “dyke”, or “queer” whether for conscious or non-conscious reasons Being harassed, mocked, or publicly humiliated for holding hands or showing affection with a same-sex partner at school Hearing “that’s so gay” in a classroom or on school grounds without intervention by authority figures, even when authority figures clearly witnessed and recognized the behavior Exclusion of stories about or written by LGB people from classroom curricula, and/or failure to discuss LGB people in positive ways (or only in negative ways and even in some cases not at all) Absence of informational displays, resources, and representations related LGB people and identities, or an imbalanced abundance of these such materials about heterosexual people and identities Asking an LGB student to speak on behalf of all LGB students or people LGB Microaggressions
Absence of a gay-straight alliance organization in the school Self-advocacy as the only viable option for LGB students to gain support, safety, equality, or recourse Lack of systematically inclusive discourses about student identities in all school-level materials and communications Explicit statements against LGB identities and lifestyles, and/or sanctions for students who exhibit such identities and behaviors
9 out of 10 LGBQGV students experience harassment during school 84.6 % of LGBGV students reported being verbally harassed 40.1% reported being physically harassed 18.8% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation For Trans youth 100% experience harassment over 50% reported being physically harassed 25% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation or gender expression 61% reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and reported avoiding places like school bathrooms and locker rooms Kosciw, Greytak, Diaz, & Bartkiewicz, 2010 Alarming stats for LGBQTGV youth
Relational Bullying Nine in ten experienced some sort of relational aggression 89% reported being the target of rumors or lies 92% felt deliberately excluded or “left out” by other students Material Bullying 67% reporting their property (e.g., car, clothing, or books) was stolen or deliberately damaged at school Cyber-digital bullying 62% compared to 52% of LGB
almost half (47%) of transgender students reported skipping a class at least once in the past month 46% reported missing at least one day because they felt threatened 29.1% of LGB students reported missing a class at least once 30.0% LGB missed at least one day of school in the past month because of safety concerns GPAs of students were lower for those who were more frequently harassed LGBTGV are two to five times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual students* School-related consequences for both groups
59% of transgender students heard teachers or other staff make negative comments about a student’s gender expression 33% heard school staff make homophobic, sexist, or otherwise negative remarks about someone’s gender expression Less than a fifth (16%) of transgender students said that school staff intervened either most of the time or always after witnessing abuse of a student’s gender expression 47% of the time teachers and other school staff did not intervene at all, ever Among other student identity groups, 60.4% reported hearing homophobic remarks from teachers or other school staff 41.4% of the time teachers and staff did not intervene when witnessing bullying of students based on sexuality or gender presentation. Teachers “Responses”
1996, Lambda Legal, an LGBT legal advocacy group, took the case, Nabozny v. Podlesny to a federal appeals court, which—for the first time in U.S. history—ruled that public schools can be held accountable for ignoring, tolerating, and/or failing to prevent or stop the abuse of homosexuals.* Nabozny v. Podlesny (not to fret)
996% of students who were open about their identities and orientations also enjoyed higher levels of psychological well- being* SO, What can we learn from all of this? What helps LGBTGV students?
Educate yourselves about gender non-conformity and transgender people/rights and lack thereof Use inclusive language (e.g., be mindful of prejudicial comments or microaggressions): exclusion of ANY type is a form of bullying Do not assume someone is cisgender, heterosexual or homosexual Educate yourself about the differences between sex and gender-don’t be afraid to ask for support Be an ally for all of your players/students/clients: gender, ethnicity, age, social class, ability, disability, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, color, height, weight, size, accent, first language and/or appearance Suspend judgment- things may not always as they seem Get involved in the local and school communities and try to change policy so it supports LGBTGV students Reach out to the campus gay straight alliance and if there isn’t one, help start it Work with faculty to ensure there are gender inclusive/affirming/ bathroom and locker rooms Normalize LGBTGV discourse and topics Study the non-discrimination policy in your state/school/district Put up safe zone placards and no bully zones Work with office personnel about making sure forms are chosen gender/pronoun/name inclusive For my coaches ( Put your team/students through some type of anti-bullying program and set a policy for bullying, work to establish gender neutral bathrooms/locker rooms, check in with your students/athletes/clients- have one-to-one conferences, don’t assume someone is happy or isn’t struggling- let them know you care) Be Proactive: Self Awareness….
Looking Ahead into Bullying Reform Bullying could be extinct if it were… (1). Legislatively bound and if every school in the country had a systems-based anti-bullying program in place; (2). Possible for all schools to implement an anti-bullying curriculum in which students took anti-bullying classes every year during their pre-K-16 preparation; (3). Possible to have a federally appointed official to serve as a "Minister of anti-bullying” who studies and reviews successful models of anti-bullying programs for use in local systems (based on models such as those found in the U.K., and Sweden); (4). Fund anti-bullying programs at the federal level and reward states and schools that show reductions in bullying; and (5). Possible to tie anti-bullying into preventative mental health and health care screenings so that prevention/intervention becomes a standard aspect of our citizenry’s annual check-ups. *
References Kosciw, J., Greytak, E., Diaz, E. & Bartkiewicz, M. (2010). The 2009 national school climate survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in our nation’s schools. New York: GLSEN. Lamda Legal. Retrieved December 15, 2009 from http://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/http://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/ nabozny-v-podlesny.html. Miller, s. (2012). Mythology of the Norm: Disrupting the Culture of Bullying in Schools. English Journal, 101(6), 107-109. Siebers, T. (2008). Disability theory. Michigan: University of Michigan press. Sue, D.W. (Ed.). (2010). Microaggressions and marginality: Manifestation, dynamics, and impact. Hoboken: Wiley.