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Allies Network Training Pitt - Greensburg

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1 Allies Network Training Pitt - Greensburg
Presented By Gayle Pamerleau, MSW, LCSW and Sheila Confer, MA August 19, 2014 We introduce ourselves, welcome group. Have others introduce selves. What department, why here, etc.

2 Training Outline Welcome and Introductions What is an Allies Network?
Training Ground-Rules GLBTQ 101/Symbols of Pride Class Participation! Assessing Sexual Identity/Coming Out/Homophobia/Heterosexism/Myths Student Panel Discussion-1 Being an Ally Student Panel Discussion-2 Campus and Community Resources Contracts and Closure Sheila answers the ? What is an Allies Network

3 What is an Allies Network?
The Allies Network at Pitt-Greensburg provides a visible source of support and information for sexual minorities. While other minority individuals usually can identify role models and mentors, the relative invisibility of sexual and gender diversity makes it more difficult for GLBTQA (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and allied) members of a university community to figure out where they can safely turn for similar support. The Allies Network identifies individuals who can provide those resources. Upon completion of the training, staff and faculty can choose to take an Allies Network sign for their office wall or door.

4 Training Ground-Rules
Use “I” statements and personally own any comments Maintain confidentiality related to everything that happens during this training. Be willing to ask questions and take risks should the need arise. Demonstrate respect for the presenters and other participants. Exercise your right to leave at any point in the training if you feel so compelled. Do not interrupt others when they are speaking. Reserve the right to change your mind about people and issues and about whether or not you want to participate in the Allies Network. “Reserve right to change mind…” Even if you decide not to participate in the Allies Network, we hope the information shared today will help you when working with individuals in this population.

5 Allies Network Permission Slip
I ______________________________________, am attending this workshop of my own choosing and have in no way been pressured to become an Allies Network member. I am attending this workshop fully aware of the fact that I may have prejudices (ideas) about lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans-gendered persons. I do hereby give myself permission to set aside my pre-conceived ideas about non-heterosexuals in order to potentially expand my knowledge base related to LGBT people and issues. I also give myself permission to freely ask questions about things I do not understand or agree with. I agree to the Allies Network Training ground rules listed below. My purpose for attending this workshop is to learn more about the Allies Network. I understand that at the conclusion of the workshop, I can make a decision about whether or not I wish to participate in the Allies Network.

“I” taken out because it is a sexual disorder and is something you “have” not something you “are” H A O A

7 GLBTQ 101 It is very important to respect people’s desired self-identifications. One should never assume another person’s identity based on that person’s appearance. It is always best to ask people how they identify, including what pronouns they prefer, and to respect their wishes.

8 Sexual orientation: A person’s emotional, physical and sexual attraction and the expression of that attraction with other individuals. Some of the better-known labels or categories include “bisexual” (or “multisexual”, “pansexual”, “omnisexual”), “lesbian”, “gay” (“homosexual” is more clinical), or “heterosexual”.

9 LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQA, TBLG: These acronyms refer to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Ally. Although all of the different identities within “LGBT” are often lumped together (and share sexism as a common root of oppression), there are specific needs and concerns related to each individual identity.

10 Ally: An ally is a person who is a member of the dominant group who works to end oppression in his or her own personal and professional life by supporting and advocating with the oppressed population.

11 Bisexual: A person who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to more than one gender. Also called “bi”. Biphobia: The fear or hatred of bisexual people. This term addresses the ways that prejudice against bisexuals differs from prejudice against other queer people. There is often biphobia in lesbian, gay and transgender communities, as well as in straight communities.

12 Understanding Bisexuality
King: "Are you a non-practicing bisexual?" Paquin: "Well, I am married to my husband and we are happily monogamously married." King: "But you were bisexual?" Paquin: "Well, I don’t think it’s a past-tense thing." Larry King: "No?" Paquin: "No. Are you still straight if you are with somebody -- if you were to break up with them or if they were to die, it doesn’t prevent your sexuality from existing. It doesn’t really work like that."

13 Heterosexual: A person who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted and committed to the members or a gender or sex that is seen to be the “opposite” or other than the one with which they identify or are identified. Also called “straight”. Homophobia: Thoughts, feelings, or actions based on far, dislike, judgment, or hatred of lesbians, gays and bisexuals. Homophobia has roots in sexism and can include prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and acts of violence.

14 Homosexual: A person who is primarily and/or exclusively attracted to members of what they identify as their own sex or gender. A clinical term that originated in the late 1800s. Some avoid the word because it contains the base word “sex.” The terms “lesbian, bi and gay” are preferred by many in the LGBT community. Gay: A homosexual person, usually used to describe men but may be used to describe women as well.

15 Lesbian: A homosexual woman.
Queer: Used as an umbrella identity term encompassing lesbian, questioning people, gay men, bisexuals, non-labeling people, transgender folks, and anyone else who does not strictly identify as heterosexual. “Queer” originated as a derogatory word. Currently, it is being reclaimed by some people and used as a statement of empowerment. Some people identify as “queer” to distance themselves from the rigid categorization of “straight” and “gay”. Some transgender, lesbian, gay, questioning, non-labeling, and bisexual people, however, reject the use of this term due to its connotations of deviance and its tendency to gloss over and sometimes deny the differences between these groups.

16 Gender expression: Refers to the ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, hairstyle, voice and emphasizing, de-emphasizing or changing their body’s characteristics. Gender expression is not necessarily an indication of sexual orientation.

17 Ash Beckham on Gender Expression

18 Gender identity: The sense of “being” male or “being” female
Gender identity: The sense of “being” male or “being” female. For some people, gender identity is in accord with physical anatomy. For transgender people, gender identity may differ from physical anatomy or expected social roles. It is important to note that gender identity, biological sex, and sexual orientation are not necessarily linked.

19 Cisgender: A person whose gender identity and expression matches the gender typically associated with their biological sex. For example: a female who identifies as a woman.

20 Genderqueer: A term which refers to individuals or groups who “queer” or problematize the hegemonic notions of sex, gender and desire in a given society. Genderqueer people possess identities which fall outside of the widely accepted sexual binary. Genderqueer may also refer to people who identify as both transgendered AND queer, i.e. individuals who challenge both gender and sexuality regimes and see gender identity and sexual orientation as overlapping and interconnected.

21 Transgender: This term has many definitions
Transgender: This term has many definitions. It is frequently used as an umbrella term to refer to all people who deviate from their assigned gender at birth or the binary gender system. This includes transsexuals, cross-dressers, genderqueers, drag kings, drag queens, two-spirit people, and others. Some transgender people feel they exist not within one of the two standard gender categories, but rather somewhere between, beyond or outside of those two genders.

22 Transphobia: The fear or hatred of transgender people or gender non-conforming behavior. Like biphobia, transphobia can also exist among lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as well as among heterosexual people. Transsexual: A person who, through experiencing an intense, long-term discomfort resulting from feeling the inappropriateness of their assigned gender at birth and discomfort of their body, adapts their gender role and body to reflect and be congruent with their gender identity.  

23 In the closet: To be in the closet means to hide one’s LGBT identity in order to avoid negative social repercussions, such as losing a job, housing, friends or family. Many LGBT individuals are “out” in some situations and “closeted” in others, based on their perceived level of safety. Coming Out: To declare and affirm both to oneself and to others one’s identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. It is not a single event but instead a life-long process.

24 Definitions have been modified from the following websites:

25 Symbols of Pride

26 Human Rights Campaign


28 Class Participation What did you learn when you were growing up about sexual and gender minorities from: Parents Friends and family who are gay Religion Media (TV, Movies, Print Ads) School Sheila introduces icebreaker

29 What words do mainstream society use to refer to:
What We Hear What words do mainstream society use to refer to: Gay men Lesbians Other sexual or gender minorities Discussion after icebreaker

30 What stereotypes do mainstream society have that they apply to:
What We Hear What stereotypes do mainstream society have that they apply to: Gay Men Lesbians Bisexuals Other sexual or gender minorities

31 Assessing Sexual Orientation
The Kinsey Scale Gender and Sexuality Paradigm Klein Sexual Orientation Grid Sexual Identity Development and Coming Out Gayle explains what they are and how they can be a resource for allies as well as students questioning their sexuality

32 Sexual identity (how people think of themselves) sometimes has little to do with their sexual behavior. Three different people may have the same distribution of sexual behavior in the past and/or present, but have three different sexual identities: homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual

33 Sexuality is Complicated
People’s identity, behavior, or fantasies may change over time. Research, such as Klein and Kinsey, shows significant fluidity in self-identification. BREAK

34 Coming Out Wouldn’t it be great if this was the norm?

35 Stages of Coming Out Everyone is unique and not everyone will follow these stages exactly. It is perfectly normal to go through the stages in a different order, skip stages entirely or even go through multiple stages at one time.

36 Stage One – The Identity Question
Beginning to question one’s heterosexual identity, by asking self  "Am I really straight?"  “Am I gay?” It can take years to answer that question. People are often shocked and scared to think that they are not straight and, as a result, may deny their sexuality. Some people never move on from this stage and live their lives as heterosexuals.

37 Stage Two - Internal Identity Acceptance and Education
A person accepts the fact that they are lesbian, gay or bisexual. This does not mean that a person in this stage is happy or proud of being gay, only that they realize it. It is common to feel scared or nervous during this stage. Accepting your sexuality is a big step that will most likely mean many changes in your life. Feeling scared of how society, family, friends, co-workers, and members of your religious community will react to your sexuality.

38 Stage 3 – Support Typically people begin to first come out to a very selective group of extremely close friends or by telling someone they know is gay, lesbian, bisexual or an ally if they don’t think any friends will be supportive. It is important to be thoughtful and careful during this stage, especially if the person is unsure of how individuals may react.

39 Stage Four – Pride Individual may feel happier than they have ever felt once they have the freedom to talk openly about their sexuality with someone. Feelings of depression, sadness, fear, etc. common in the earlier stages, will start to disappear. Instead of "yes, I am gay." In this stage, pride, a person says to themselves "yes, I am gay, and I like it." It may seem like a small difference between the two stages, but really it is a big step. Will begin to feel more comfortable talking about sexuality and will most likely come out to more friends.

40 Stage 5 – Relationships Begin dating and forming romantic relationships Sexual exploration – can be a tendency to “let loose” after living in the heterosexual closet for years. Unfortunately, it is not safe to be out and affectionate with a partner in many places. This can be a continued frustration.

41 Stage Six - Telling the Family
This can be the hardest stage. Most likely raised by parents who assumed you would be heterosexual. Can take time for parents to adjust and realize marriage and children are still a possibility. Parental reactions of concern can be misconstrued as a lack of acceptance.

42 Being lesbian, gay or bisexual becomes just a part of who you are.
Stage Seven – Balance Being lesbian, gay or bisexual becomes just a part of who you are. Will always need to come out to new people so the process never really ends. Transgender folks can relate to a number of these stages, but the coming out process can be very different and in many ways more difficult. From

43 National Coming Out Day (NCOD)
Saturday, October 11, 2014 NCOD was founded in 1988 by Robert Eichberg, a psychologist from New Mexico and founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O'Leary, an openly gay political leader from Los Angeles and then head of the National Gay Rights Advocates. The date of October 11 was chosen because it was the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights Source: Wikipedia

44 What is Homophobia? Homophobia is the term used to describe the irrational fear, hatred, aversion to or discrimination against people who are homosexual, or same-sex attracted, or who are perceived to be homosexual or same-sex attracted. From

45 Forms of Homophobia Internalized Homophobia: Fear or hatred of homosexuality that exists inside one’s own mind. Examples include: Making a determined effort to dress or act in such a way as to not appear to be queer Having low self-esteem because of concerns around being queer  A gay man discriminating against another gay man for acting ‘too feminine’ or ‘too gay’

46 Interpersonal Homophobia:
Homophobic speech and or actions of an individual towards others who are, or who are perceived to be lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender or queer. Examples include: Violence, physical harassment, name calling, anti-queer hate crimes Jokes that misrepresent or put down queers, the suggestion that we should ‘understand’ when we are treated differently

47 Institutional Homophobia: The ways in which government, business, churches and other organisations discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other queer (LGBTQ) people. Examples include: Policy or legislation that actively prevents same-sex couples from being able to adopt or marry Ignoring sexuality as a category on data collection sheets Being prevented from career opportunities or being fired from a job for being queer or being perceived as queer Being prevented from taking a same-sex partner to a school dance or prom. From

48 What is Heterosexism? Heterosexism refers to the social and cultural “norms” that support the idea that heterosexuality is inherently 'right' and anything else isn’t. This is also known as ’hetero-normativity’, the assumption that heterosexuality is the norm and that everyone is heterosexual.

49 Examples of heterosexism include:
Asking a woman “do you have a boyfriend?” rather than “do you have a partner?” Failing to include positive queer role models in mainstream media Assuming that all feminine men are gay, or that all gay men are feminine. Or assuming that masculine women are lesbians, or that all lesbians are masculine The most obvious example of heterosexism is the fact that we have to 'come out' as same-sex attracted. There is an assumption that everyone is heterosexual unless we prove otherwise. From

50 On Heterosexism

51 Myths and Oppressing Facts
We take turns

52 Fact OR Fancy? GLBTQ People have many more sexual partners than heterosexuals. People who are GLBTQ can usually be identified by certain mannerisms or physical characteristics. The majority of child molesters are heterosexual men.

53 Fact OR Fancy? Transgendered people face the similar types of discrimination as Gays and Lesbians. Transgendered people identify as heterosexuals. Ellen Degeneres is gay because her 2nd grade teacher was too. If gay people adopt or have children they will raise them to be gay. Bisexual people just “can’t make up their minds.” More info on myths and realities for Bisexual people in manual knowledge section, pp 16-19

54 Fact OR Fancy? Christians are united in their opposition to homosexual people and homosexuality. All GLBTQ people are depressed and this proves that they are going against all that is natural. Homosexuality can be cured with psychotherapy.

55 Student Panel Who am I How do I define myself
My Experience at Pitt - Greensburg Sheila introduces panel and ask them to answer the questions. Questions from group regarding Pitt experience?

56 2012 Statistics – HRC Youth Survey







63 It gets better, but… LGBT Men Experience High Rates of Street Harassment” – June 4, 2014 “Department of Justice Indicts Man for Hate Crime Attack Against Gay Man” – March 20, 2014 A “Kill the Gays” bill was thankfully just ruled unconstitutional by the highest court in Uganda, but gays in Africa are still persecuted.

64 Hitting Home 73% of Pennsylvanians are not covered by a non-discrimination ordinance which covers discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in employment, housing and public accommodations. 



67 What Is An Ally? Ally: Someone joined with another for a common purpose. Ally: A person who is a member of the “dominant” or “majority” group who works to end oppression in his or her personal and professional life by supporting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. Ask panel to jump in during the next several slides and offer input. Sheila goes over the four “being an Ally slides”

68 4 Steps to Becoming an Ally
Awareness is the first level. Knowing who you are and how you are different from and similar to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people is important. You need to be able to think about who you are and how you live your life. Gayle: (for each step:) What have you done already to achieve this step, if anything? Also how you are privileged, what you take for granted about how you live your life.

69 4 Steps to Becoming an Ally
Knowledge/Education is the second step. Learning about sexual orientation and what the experience is like for gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender people is necessary. Understanding the effects of laws, policies, and practices as well as educating oneself about the culture and norms of the gay community enables a strong alliance.

70 4 Steps to Becoming an Ally
Skills are the third level. Being comfortable with and able to share this new knowledge is an important step in being an ALLY. Being able to let others know your status as an ALLY means communicating this new knowledge. Confronting someone’s homophobic joke is an example of using the newly acquired skill. This is where you become visible as an ally – where you stick your neck out – most frightening stage.

71 4 Steps to Becoming an Ally
Action is the final stage. This stage involves actually initiating action to end the oppression against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people. If this new found information is kept to oneself, then others are deprived of what has been learned as well as how to develop new insights and understandings about the gay community. Marching in a gay rights parade or wearing a pink triangle are actions one can take at this stage.

72 Ten ways to support LGBT persons:
Don't assume everyone is heterosexual. Do not ever out anyone. Just because you might know, don't assume that others do. Avoid anti-gay jokes and conversations. Create an atmosphere of acceptance. Use all inclusive language. Use "partner" instead of "boyfriend" or "girlfriend."

73 Actively pursue a process of self-education. Read and ask questions.
Acknowledge and take responsibility for your own socialization, prejudice and privilege. Educate others: one-on-one, group programming, teachable moments. Interrupt prejudice and take action against oppression even when people from the target group are not present. Have a vision of a healthy, multicultural society.

74 An Ideal Ally Is Someone Who...
Uses gender neutral terms, such as partner or significant other, instead of gender specific terms like boyfriend or girlfriend Doesn’t preface a statement on LGBT issues with “I’m straight, but…” Doesn’t expect an LGBT person to speak for the entire LGBT community Doesn’t assume someone is straight...or wants to be

75 Treats partners of LGBT friends the same as they would a straight friend’s partner
Doesn’t think of people as “my gay student” or “my lesbian friend” Objects to homophobic jokes in all situations Doesn’t tolerate homophobic comments Understands the basics of LGBT issues but is not afraid to ask questions Avoids stereotypes and makes clear that stereotypes don’t represent the entire LGBT community

76 Ash Beckham on One Tiny Thing You Can Do That Will Make You A Super Awesome Ally

77 Student Panel What would you expect from an ally?
Situations that might call for an ally. Sheila asks panel if they have anything to add in response to these two questions. Questions from group?

78 Other things to keep in mind
Have a good understanding of sexual orientation and be comfortable with your own. Be aware of the coming out process and realize that it is not a one-time event. The coming out process is unique to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people and brings challenges that are not often understood. Time to read “Assessment of Personal Homophobia”, Action p.5

79 Remember that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people are a diverse group. Each community within the larger umbrella community is a unique person with different goals, needs, opinions and values.

80 Campus and Community Resources

81 Educate yourself… Groups on Facebook Pitt-Greensburg Allies Network
Pitt-Greensburg Gay Straight Alliance Straight for Equality Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook

82 Other websites… The Human Rights Campaign
Equality Pennsylvania The New Civil Rights Movement NOH8 Campaign

83 Questions, Comments and Closure

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