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The Intersection of Racism, Heterosexism, and Transphobia: School Leadership Opportunities Jim Hanson, M.Ed. Jeffrey Poirier, Ph.D. Candidate, M.A. Miriam.

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Presentation on theme: "The Intersection of Racism, Heterosexism, and Transphobia: School Leadership Opportunities Jim Hanson, M.Ed. Jeffrey Poirier, Ph.D. Candidate, M.A. Miriam."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Intersection of Racism, Heterosexism, and Transphobia: School Leadership Opportunities Jim Hanson, M.Ed. Jeffrey Poirier, Ph.D. Candidate, M.A. Miriam Bearse, M.A., M.Phil., MACP National Association of School Psychologists Convention February 13, 2013 Seattle, Washington

3 Introductions Jim Hanson, Co-Chair, NASP GBLTQ Committee, National Association of School Psychologists Jeffrey Poirier, American Institutes for Research (AIR), Coordinator of SAMHSA’s National Workgroup to Address the Needs of Children and Youth Who Are LGBTQI2-S and Their Families Miriam Bearse, King County (Greater Seattle) Mental Health, Member of SAMHSA’s National Workgroup to Address the Needs of Children and Youth Who Are LGBTQI2-S and Their Families

4 Welcome, Bienvenido NASP frameworks & position papers Native American LGBT, two-spirit youth Latina/o youth How this fits in school practice Strategies and recommendations Discussion

5 Native American Communities Strengths Resilience Generations Traditions Cultures Languages Spiritualities Land Indigenous ways of knowing Wisdom of the Elders: Discovering Our Story (2012). Portland, OR. Author

6 “Michael Red Earth describes his time as a youth at the Sisseton-Wahpeton reservation where his step-grandmother permitted him to learn her beadwork and elders described him respectfully as a winkte. Yet during adolescence he encountered homophobic messages from Native peers [who said that] LGBT people had no place in Native communities. Yet after learning from two-spirit organizers about historical Native sexuality and gender diversity he felt able to return to their rural and urban Native families and communities to seek renewed acceptance.” (Morgensen, 2008) Osh-Tisch (Finds them and Kills Them) Crow bade, 1877 Youth Voice

7 Latino Community Strengths Five prominent values in Mexican and many other Hispanic cultures: Education Family Helping family and friends succeed Loyalty to people Religion From Discovering and Developing Talents in Spanish-Speaking Students, by Smutny, Bolanos, Haydon, and Estrada, 2012 by Corwin Press

8 LGBTQI-2S Community Strengths LGBTQ youth are capable of developing methods to keep themselves safe and find support from their environment. School psychologists should work to identify and build strengths and resilience in LGBTQ youth. National Association of School Psychologists. (2011). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth (Position Statement). Bethesda, MD: Author

9 8 8

10 Diversity in development and learning  Knowledge of individual differences, abilities, disabilities, and other diverse characteristics; principles and research related to diversity factors for children, families, and schools, including factors related to culture, context, and individual and role differences; and evidence-based strategies to enhance services and address potential influences related to diversity Examples: Provide culturally competent and responsive services Promote fairness and social justice in school policies and programs Foundations of School Psychological Service Delivery

11 Cultural and Linguistic Competence Combination of capacity (e.g., knowledge, skills), attitudes, and commitment to work effectively in different contexts A focus on enhancing equitable access to quality services/care for all cultural groups. 10

12 NASP Position Statements Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth (2011) Racism, Prejudice and Discrimination (2012) Bullying Prevention and Intervention in Schools (2012) Effective Service Delivery for Indigenous Children and Youth (2012)

13 An Indigenous Conceptual Framework: Guiding School Psychology Practice with Native American Youth, Families and Communities

14 Native American LGBTQI / Two-Spirit Youth

15 Two-Spirit Identity Two-spirit was a term created by Native American LGBT people in 1990 as an “umbrella term” to include many of the tribally specific terms used to refer to those who are “not male and not female” or who “take on” the other gender as well as those Native Americans who identify as LGBT. It comes from a Northern Algonquin word “niizhmanitoag” (two-spirits). (Anguksuar, 1997) Some identify as Two-Spirit, others identify themselves using traditional terms, others identify as Native and LGBT, or LGBT and Two-Spirit… Tribal histories, languages around “Two-Spirit” people vary greatly, and individual family/clan histories and responsibilities as well as personal spiritual experiences may contribute to how people choose to identify themselves, and to whom.

16 Some Traditional Terms and Roles: Nadleeh (Navajo) Kwido (Tewa) Winkte (Lakota Sioux) Dubuds (Pauite) Aayahkwew (Cree) Ogokwe (Ojibwa) Nadleehe (Dine’) Winkte (Lakota) Alyha (Mohave) Ihamana (Zuni) Mexoga (Omaha) Achnucek (Aleut/Kodiak) Ira’muxe (Zapotec) He Man Eh (Cheyenne) It is estimated that 168 (remaining) Native languages have terms for people who are not exclusively male or female (Garrett 2003) Many cultures had or have distinct spiritual or social roles for individuals who are two-spirit, including marriage brokers, preparers of the dead

17 Pine Leaf (Crow) 1800s Dressed as female; Warrior with four wives Running Eagle (Piegan) 1800s Warrior woman; belonged to a men’s society; had a spiritual vision that forbid her from marrying a man; had a woman partner Lozen (Apache) 1850s-1889 Dressed as male, was a prophet; healer, warrior; had a vision to live as a man; could detect movement of enemies (NACE webinar K. Walters 2/18/12)

18 Contemporary Two-Spirit Definition The term is a “contested compromise to move forward the debate in eliminating culturally inappropriate terms,” and includes a wide variety of Native persons: “cross- dressers, transvestites, lesbian, gay, transgender, or “those otherwise ‘marked’ as ‘alternatively gendered’ within tribes, bands, and nations where multiple gender concepts occur” (Jacobs and Thomas 1994:7)

19 “But gay people, being both male and female, were seen as both warriors and caregivers. Gay people could do anything. They were like Swiss Army knives! My grandmother had no use for all the gay bashing and homophobia in the world, especially among other Indians. "Jeez," she said, who cares if a man wants to marry another man? All I want to know is who's going to pick up all the dirty socks?” ― Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (p. 155)

20 Example: Mojave Hwames The Hwame“was said to have dreamed her role in the womb and took up the lifestyle of a boy during her childhood. Hwames were generally respected as good hunters, warriors, shamans and sexual partners… The role of the Hwame was so fully accepted that Mojave society institutionalized it, providing an initiatory ritual that included the conferring of a name along with marriage rights (the Hwame’s wife retained the ordinary female status). It was not until the effects of colonization had taken root that the Hwame’s status began to decline” (Smith 1999)

21 Colonization: ‘Two-Spirit’ People When the colonists arrived on Turtle Island and began killing Native Americans, many missionaries and colonists targeted two-spirit individuals in tribal communities for death since they were considered offensive to the church’s sensibilities. Many Native communities hid their two-spirit individuals from the colonists. In some communities two-spirit people and their roles went underground, in other communities they were destroyed. Many anthropological texts record two-spirit life prior to colonial alteration or destruction, and in some communities elders still recall the old traditions. Conformity to European and Christian norms around gender and sexual identity were enforced in reservations and boarding schools.

22 Historical Trauma and Healing Many communities now are not aware of their own two-spirit people and traditions, or have adopted a colonial or missionary perspective shared by the dominant society that sees two-spirit people as shameful. This has created loss and trauma not only for individual two- spirits, but also for communities. Providing acceptance to people who are two-spirit and recalling their traditions helps strengthen communities and reclaim traditional values.

23 Multiple Discriminations Racism in non-Native LGBTQI communities Objectification or eroticization of Native images Invisibility in community settings Heterosexism in Native communities Denial of history and existence Belief that same-sex relations and gender differences are only a part of White European culture Shunning or being kicked or harassed out of communities or ceremonies Avoidance of the topic


25 “I heard that (Aboriginal Trans-people) were teachers, medicine people, artists, counselors, dream interpreters, people with open arms who don’t push anyone away. I was reading that some of them were wives of chiefs and accepted. I thought I was the only kid like me and everyone says that. None of us knew about two-spirit or trans stuff” (Two-Spirited People of the First Nations 2008) Youth Voice

26 Youth Risks Homelessness More than 50% of the homeless and runaway youth population identify as LGBT Urban centers attract youth who are two-spirit from reservation communities, who run away or are thrown out of their homes These cities are also often relocation areas from the federal Indian relocation program (1960s, etc.) Foster care Native Americans: twice the rate of non-Natives Non-straight youth in foster care (70%) report increased levels of physical violence (Mallon, 2001).

27 Mental Health Risks LGBT/two-spirit identity and their Native identity; both groups experience higher rates of violence exposure compared to the general U.S. population. Comparing two-spirit and non-Native LGBT persons, higher rates of physical assaults (36% vs. approx. 7%) and sexual assaults (29% vs. approx. 4.5%). 6,7

28 Mental Health Risks As a result of historical trauma, bias, stigma and abuse or isolation that can result from these experiences, many youth who are two- spirit have mental health and wellness needs. In one study, Native men under age 25 who identified as “not heterosexual” had a high risk of suicide (25% versus 8%). 4 Two-spirit adults surveyed reported lifetime attempted suicide rates by over 50% of respondents, more (66%) if they had been in foster care, or experienced boarding school (82%) (Walters, Simoni, and Horwath, 2001) Because Native American youth as a whole have an increased risk of suicide (5-14 times the risk) and LGBT youth have an increased risk of suicide (twice the risk) = youth who are two-spirit are particularly vulnerable compared to non-Native youth.

29 Trans Native Americans Injustice at Every Turn (2012): National Transgender Discrimination Survey: American Indian and Alaskan Native transgender and gender non-conforming people: ◦ 3.24% reported being HIV positive and an additional 8.53% reported that they did not know their status. ◦ 2.64% for transgender respondents of all races, and 0.60% of the general U.S. population. Fifty-six percent (56%) AI/AN transgender attempted suicide compared to 41% of all study respondents.

30 Who Are Two-Spirit People Today? We are relatives, friends, partners, brothers, sisters, clients, co-workers, community members

31 Two-Spirit Life Today Retraditionalization: In urban settings in particular, participation in two-spirit groups and in accepting Native groups has helped strengthen identity and connection to cultural heritage. Identifying as two-spirit can be a part of that retraditionalization process. (Straus and Valentino 2001). There are groups in almost every urban area, either formal or informal, and Internet support resources. 70% of Native people live off reservation or off tribal lands, with 65% living in cities; some two-spirit individuals reside in cities, some in reservations, and some move “back and forth.” Some are still recognized and raised in traditional ways as two- spirit (or related term) in their tribal community.

32 “When you’re two-spirit you’re different and unaccepted and everybody in the family wants to make sure that fact is hidden. The only way you can be yourself is to leave the place, essentially [stop being] Native, which is to leave your family and try to find something elsewhere. Or you try to abandon that part of you, you drown it. And literally drown it. I think a lot of people drown themselves in alcohol, to try and suppress it and not to think.” (two- spirit focus group participant, Brotmanet al 2002) Youth Voice

33 Challenges in Identifying Native youth often have particular challenges speaking openly about their identity, due to: Potential rejection from family, and therefore exclusion from the extended family unit of support and identity Concerns about violent reactions Word getting around in a small community Lack of positive two-spirit role models as well as negative images of Natives in LGBT subculture and negative stories/images of LGBT people in Native communities



36 National Native American Aids Prevention Center (NNAAPC) “It Gets Better” Video UMDkdo&feature=player_embedded UMDkdo&feature=player_embedded

37 Native Youth Visionaries Heather Purser, a 29-year-old seafood diver for Washington's Suquamish Tribe, spent four years pushing for her tribe to adopt a law recognizing same-sex marriages. Out since she was a teen, Pursser decided after college to approach her tribal council and ask for the change. Members said they'd consider it. Years later, she returned and asked again — this time reportedly demanding a voice vote, according to the Associated Press. Associated Press "Everyone said aye. No one said nay," Purser told the AP. Her family was in the audience, beaming proudly. On August 1, 2011, the Suquamish Tribe extended marriage rights to same-sex couples on its reservation (more than a year before the state voted on marriage equality). It was only the second tribe in the U.S. to do so (Oregon's Coquille Tribe first recognized same-sex marriages in 2005), and everyone admitted it wouldn't have happened without Purser standing up for her beliefs. (11/12)


39 wing/tribal_equity_toolkit/ wing/tribal_equity_toolkit/

40 Latinos comprise approximately 17% of the U.S. population; this proportion will grow Latina/o youth experience challenges with issues of racism and bias because of gender identity/expression and sexual identity Latina/o LGBT Youth

41 Family may be very important to the coming out process within Latino culture “Familism”: Cultural emphasis on responsibility to provide economic and emotional support to immediate and extended kin Family can be a significant strength for LGBT Latina/o youth Partly adapted from Bienestar Human Services, Inc., “Coming Out—A Family Affair, A Latina/o Perspective, presented at Creating Change 2013 Latina/o LGBT Youth: A Cultural Lens

42 Experience of gender expectations and roles that are culturally rooted (Marianismo & Machismo) Collectivist cultural values versus individualistic social values Sexuality is rarely discussed in Latino families, especially in the presence of women Partly adapted from Bienestar Human Services, Inc., “Coming Out—A Family Affair, A Latina/o Perspective, presented at Creating Change 2013 Latina/o LGBT Youth: A Cultural Lens

43 Race and Sexual Identity 10-15/local/35502731_1_groups-form- alliance-civil-marriage-gay-rights-groups 10-15/local/35502731_1_groups-form- alliance-civil-marriage-gay-rights-groups /08/maryland-advocacy-groups-partner- on-same-sex-marriage-dream-act/ /08/maryland-advocacy-groups-partner- on-same-sex-marriage-dream-act/ 42

44 Research on coming out LGBT youth of color…some commonalities and differences with White LGBT youth* How would a more culturally responsive, healing coming out process look for an LGBT Latina/o student? * See; Latina/o LGBT Youth Coming Out Process

45 There is deep diversity within Latino culture, for example: ◦ Level of acculturation ◦ Language ◦ Country of origin/ancestry ◦ Generation in the U.S. ◦ Experience of stigma ◦ Geographic location and rural/urban differences ◦ Socio/economic status ◦ “Mixed” racial/ethnic identity Rich Diversity Among Latina/o LGBT Families and Students

46 Latina/o Family Story: Somos Familia

47 Latino Youth Coming Out Story “When I decided to come out I was really nervous. I wanted to tell my two sisters first since we have a very strong relationship; I consider them my best friends. If I were to tell anyone I was gay it would be them since we talk so much. When I did tell them, it was fine. I am still uneasy about telling my parents. My mom and I have always been extremely close and she is the nicest person, so I don’t anticipate a horrible reaction. I feel my dad is more unpredictable. He still holds some conservative ideas about gender and sexuality, but has become more open. I’m not sure if would be okay with his son being gay. I know they are both extremely proud of my academic and career accomplishments, so I know regardless of their initial reaction they will still love me. It’s my own uneasiness or fear that holds me back from telling them I’m gay, not necessarily their reaction.” 46


49 Strategies for Implementing Standards of Care for LGBT Youth 1. Assessment and quality improvement 2. Nondiscrimination policies 3. Staff knowledge 4. Processes: Intake, data collection, information sharing 5. Safe, supportive environments 6. Practices that support identity 7. Healthy, supportive peer connections 8. Family connections 9. Access to affirming services and supports 10. Community outreach

50 Assessment and Continuous Improvement Efforts Conduct a school/community needs assessment May be part of a PBIS survey Understand capacity of teachers and staff to provide culturally competent supports to LGBT students Aim to determine teacher and staff strengths and needs Don’t stop with the assessment…infuse results into school improvement efforts

51 Develop Staff Capacity Build staff capacity by using training curricula that effectively inform them about LGBT youth and address: ◦ Key terms/concepts ◦ Myths/stereotypes ◦ Developmentally appropriate concerns ◦ Importance of supporting students (e.g., safe spaces,.) ◦ Approaches to working with families of LGBT youth ◦ School and community resources Involve all staff, including bus drivers, security staff, and cafeteria staff

52 Infuse Knowledge/Skill Development into.. PBIS Anti-bullying efforts Suicide prevention Character Traits Education Equity work LGBT History Month Day of Silence National Coming Out Day 51

53 Ask Students Too… 52

54 Lincoln High School Climate How many times per day do you hear a comment that would be offensive to: ◦ Ethnic/racial groups ◦ Individuals who are not heterosexual (“sexual minorities”) ◦ Women ◦ Individuals with different abilities

55 Student Survey Results 200320082012 Race/ethnicity3.53.13.3 LGBTQ9.04.23.4 Women4.02.82.5 Different ability3.03.12.1

56 Promote a Safe, Supportive and Culturally Responsive Environment Encourage LGBT students to participate in enhancing school policies, procedures, and practices Involve LGBT students and student allies on school-based teams Display symbols that positively represent the LGBT community, including racial/ethnic groups, throughout the school Foster and identify “safe spaces” Lincoln Gay Straight Alliance Members Day of Advocacy in Salem

57 Compared with LGBT young people who were not rejected (or were only a little rejected) by their parents/caregivers because of their LGBT identity, highly rejected young people were how many times as likely to: Family Acceptance Project Findings o Have attempted suicide? o Report high levels of depression? o Use illegal drugs? 8 6 3

58 Strengthen Family Connections Share information about LGBT identity with families; access and provide resources in Spanish and other languages as needed Increase family knowledge about needs and perspectives of LGBT youth and the importance of family connections for their child’s well-being Encourage families to allow students to participate in family activities—especially important where cultural identity/connection is prominent in a student’s life Work with cultural brokers as needed

59 Family and Community

60 Cardinal Families Health Action Network Courageous Conversations Compassionate communication Designer drugs Marijuana and the teen brain Race and ethnicity Sexual orientation/identity Stress and anxiety Suicide prevention Transgender identity

61 Honor Youth Identity Ensure confidentiality Support youth efforts to integrate their multiple identities Respect what youth term themselves (queer, transgender, intersex, two-spirit, etc.) Don’t assume gender pronouns Don’t assume a trauma history Use culturally appropriate trauma screens as needed Connect youth in a positive way to their culture and cultural history

62 Recommendations Become familiar with local tribes and Latino communities (cultures, beliefs, practices and history) Participate in local tribal (open) and Latino community events Meet/consult with nearby tribal social service agencies Counter isolation/stigma/bias by offering opportunities for students to connect with others like themselves in positive settings that reflect their multifaceted cultural identity

63 Recommendations Examine personal biases and stereotypes Remember cultural and historical trauma, not just trauma to the individual Recognize cultural diversity and strengths Integrate cultural healing approaches as appropriate Ask about spiritual beliefs and practices (but recognize that some students may not want to speak about this to you) (adapted from Pruden, NETSS, 2010)

64 Recommendations Pay attention to the issue of family when working with individuals who are two-spirit. In Native tradition(s) there is a strong emphasis on “honoring one’s obligation with regard to becoming a parent.” Consider issues of parents/kinship (birth and by choice) as well as the youth’s plans for parenting or role in their family in relation to younger siblings or cousins (Garrett 2003). Facilitate access to traditional health practitioners, “most Aboriginal concepts of health are holistic and consider an individual as being in good health when the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual aspects of being are in balance…health professions need to know that when negative experiences [such as bias] are not addressed appropriately in health care, it can result in limited use of or avoidance of health services altogether.” (Two-Spirited People of the First Nations, 2008)

65 Youth Voices: Recommendations I want my teachers to teach about people of color and other cultures, and about gay and lesbian people and about women and the prejudices people have faced and, like, how they overcame them, something I haven’t seen before. But they should do it to help stop the problems, and the violence. What are we learning about every time except for what white people do? Teachers should mix it up, for real, like, queer it up, gay it up, black it up, whatever it up. – marcus They might think, well why should I do that? Because most people are not that way. They probably don’t want to seem too liberal and like they are doing, I don’t know, something off the track instead of the real, the regular history. – marcela I feel that racist speech would be reacted to much more forcefully than anti-gay speech at my school. It would be a really big deal. Whereas this—how people talk about queers—gets more like a mild warning or it is ignored completely. – amanda Queer Youth Advice for Educators How to Respect and Protect Your Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students (2011)

66 Triangle of Support Programs 5% 15% 100%

67 DISCUSSION How can you best provide leadership in your school and profession to support Native and Latino/a LGBTQI2-S Youth? 66

68 Resources Advocates for Youth: Bienestar: (based in Los Angeles) Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN): Safe Schools Coalition: Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health:; and The Trevor Project:

69 Thank You, Muchas Gracias Please feel free to contact us: Jim Hanson: Jeff Poirier: Miriam Bearse:

70 AIR’s Human and Social Development (HSD) Program Purpose: We promote well-being and improve outcomes for children, youth, families, and communities by building individual, workforce, and organizational capacity. Approaches: We work within and foster collaboration across systems–mental health/substance abuse, juvenile justice, child welfare, health, and education–strengthening their capacity to use evidence-based strategies. Using research and data, we plan, transform, and evaluate policies and practices and design new studies to measure impact and generate new knowledge. We engage stakeholders and consumers, enabling their voices to shape the policies and services that affect them.

71 References 1) Braveheart, 2000 2)Spirituality: A Pathway to Well-Being among Two-Spirit Native Americans (2006, March). Fieland, K. C. Paper presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology, Vancouver, B.C. 3)Saewyc, E. M., Skay, C. L., Bearinger, L. H., Blum, R. W., & Resnick, M. D. (1998). Sexual orientation, sexual behaviors, and pregnancy among American Indian adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 23(4), 238-247. 4)Paul, J. P., Catania, J., Pollack, L., Moskowitz, J., Canchola, J., Mills, T., et al. (2002). Suicide attempts among gay and bisexual men: Lifetime prevalence and antecedents. American Journal of Public Health, 92(8), 1338-1345. 5)Balsam, K. F., Huang, B., Fieland, K. C., Simoni, J. M., & Walters, K. L. (2004). Culture, trauma, and wellness: A comparison of heterosexual and lesbian, gay, bisexual and two-spirit Native Americans. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 10(3), 287-301. 6)Walters, K. L., Simoni, J. M., & Horwath, P. F. (2001). Sexual orientation bias experiences and service needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and two-spirited American Indians. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 13(1/2), 133-149. 7)Herek, G. M., Gillis, J. R., & Cogan, J. C. (1999). Psychological sequelaeof hate-crime victimization among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67(6), 945-951. 8)Monette, L., Albert, D., & Waalen, J. (2001). Voices of two-spirited men: A survey of aboriginal two- spirited men across Canada. Toronto: 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations. Design on two-spirit slides (beaded belt):

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