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LGBTQ Language and Identity 101

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1 LGBTQ Language and Identity 101
Presented by Em Elliott, Field Organizer

2 Supporting LGBTQ Youth
Exercise: What are the five most important things/people in your life? 1min per partner Demonstrates struggling with being authentic and having to communicate integral parts of one’s self

3 What Are We Here For? Photo is of queer students from GSA Summit 2012
Go around the room and ask about why they came today, what do they hope to gain from this event? “I Love My People Who…” activity if there is time.

4 What about Georgia? FACT: The vast majority of LGBT students in Georgia regularly heard homophobic remarks, sexist remarks, and negative remarks about gender expression 33% regularly heard staff make negative remarks about someone’s gender expression and 26% regularly heard school staff make homophobic remarks. Nearly all heard “gay” used in a negative way and 9 in 10 heard other homophobic remarks (e.g., “fag” or “dyke”) regularly at school 9 in 10 regularly heard other students in their school make negative remarks about how someone expressed their gender, such as comments about someone not acting “feminine” or “masculine” enough Students also heard biased language from school staff. 33% regularly heard staff make negative remarks about someone’s gender expression, and 26% regularly heard school staff make homophobic remarks. From GLSEN’s National School Survey 2011

5 What about Georgia? FACT: Most LGBT students in Georgia had been victimized at school. The majority of these incidents were not reported to adult authorities. The majority experienced verbal harassment (e.g., called names or threatened): nearly 9 in 10 based on their sexual orientation and nearly 7 in 10 based on the way they expressed their gender (see Figure 2). Many also experienced physical harassment and physical assault: 4 in 10 were physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) based on their sexual orientation and 1 in 10 was physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) based on the way they expressed their gender (see Figure 2). Students also reported high levels of other forms of harassment at school: 89% felt deliberately excluded or “left out” by peers; 84% had mean rumors or lies told about them; 70% were sexually harassed; 57% experienced electronic harassment or “cyberbullying”; and 47% had property (e.g., car, clothing, or books) deliberately damaged and/or stolen. 52% of students who were harassed or assaulted in school never reported it to school staff, and 51% never told a family member about the incident. Among students who did report incidents to school authorities, only 35% said that reporting resulted in effective intervention by staff. From GLSEN National Safe Schools report 2011

6 Bullying & Safe Schools Movement
For all students, bullying can lead to: Academic difficulties Truancy Acting Out Self-Defense Mental Health Consequences Dropping Out or Being Pushed Out of School Academic difficulties – Bullying distracts students from the most important part of their school experience – their education. Students who face bullying and harassment are more likely to see their GPAs and other indicators of academic success drop. Truancy – For victims of bullying who are not supported by their school, regularly skipping classes or entire school days out of fear can become a survival mechanism. Acting Out – Frustrated with the lack of support from peers and educators, students who face harassment and bullying may act out in class or on school grounds. Self-Defense – Students who are bullied and do not have access to supportive series or safe interventions often find that fighting back is their only option. Victims of bullying may turn to physically defending themselves against bullies, carrying weapons, and other survival tactics that endanger the school community. As a result, all students are at greater risk of physical harm, while the victims of bullying are more vulnerable to being suspended, expelled, or even arrested. Mental Health Consequences – students who face bullying and harassment are at greater risk of suffering from depression, loneliness, anxiety, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts. Dropping Out or Being Pushed Out of School - A safe and nurturing school climate is vital to retaining students in schools. Bullied students who are deprived of that environment are at higher risk of dropping out or, in many cases, being pushed out of school by unsupportive students and adults. A note on suicide: the media has created a lot of problems from the way they have covered suicides of students. Bullying does not CAUSE suicide, but it is another risk factor and can be the straw that breaks the back so to speak. Other things to consider are: how accepting the family is, friends and social support, if mental illness plays a role, self-harm, and if there have already been attempts, even looking at personality types and individual levels of resiliency play a role. These are all risk factors to consider, not individual causes. The point is that suicide is a sensitive and complex issue that can’t be boiled down to a single cause. Media coverage has simplified the issue and we need to be careful about avoiding broad generalizations.

7 School to Prison Pipeline
Link to the online video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5bNDlUFqk0 Created in response to the National Week of Action Against School Pushout in Oct 2013

8 What is the School to Prison Pipeline?
This is a term that describes the trend where students are “funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.” (ACLU) This more often than not targets students of color, LGBT students, and students with disabilities. This is a term that describes the trend where students are “funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.” (ACLU) This more often than not targets students of color, LGBT students, and students with disabilities. Zero tolerance policies often lead to severe punishments for minor infractions, and cops in schools often contribute to this. The police used in schools are not necessarily trained to deal with students—they deal with criminals. Because of this, the students end up getting treated like criminals instead of kids. Disciplinary actions in the state of Georgia contribute greatly to lowered test scores on standardized tests, and students may also be more likely to drop out and engage in criminal behavior. (Dignity in Schools)

9 LGBTQ Youth need to SUCCEED; and our communities need us to too...
We need, not just bully free but violence free schools and communities No Zero Tolerance! It does not fix the problem, and makes things worse for all youth Six statements on safe schools and educational justice developed by LGBTQ youth. More School-to-Prison-Pipeline resources:

10 LGBTQ Youth need to SUCCEED; and our communities need us to too...
We need schools, that are QUALITY safe schools in order to graduate. We need safe schools that want to keep ALL students in school and not push them out And that don't punish youth because of homophobia, transphobia, classism, and/or racism

11 LGBTQ Youth need to SUCCEED; and our communities need us to too...
LGBTQ Youth need and deserve to learn: Our History! It's about seeing where we came from and being proud of our identity, and not feeling alone; it's about our people that DID LIVE! Our Health and Sex Ed.! It's about learning how to stay healthy and safe; it's about making sure our people get to keep on LIVING. Health and Sex Ed links: - by youth for youth sex ed resources – hundreds of sexual health lesson plans that are inclusive and age appropriate. LGBT History links:

12 What can we do about it? The Big Three:
Visibly supportive adults in the school – safe zone and training LGBTQ clubs and organizations – GSAs! Inclusive enumerated policies – both for students and staff Having these three systems in place has been shown to reduce violence in the school, not just for LGBTQ students, but for the entire school population!

13 We can change our schools!
Georgia Safe Schools Coalition provides Safe Zone trainings to teachers and counselors in Georgia. Contact the GSSC if you have a school or group that would like LGBTQ 101 and Safe Zone training. We provide training as close to free as possible and only ask for gas reimbursement. GSSC if you would like some safe zone stickers.

14 We can change our schools!
A Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a student-run club, which provides a safe place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and work to end homophobia and transphobia. Support Social Activist GSA Advisors Handbook: https://www.gsanetwork.org/advisor-handbook How to start a GSA: https://www.gsanetwork.org/resources/building-your-gsa/what-gsa If you are in a GSA make sure it is registered with GSA Connect! GSAs Provide Support Many GSAs function as a support group and provide safety and confidentiality to students who are struggling with their identity as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning or those who are experiencing harassment at school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. These groups often provide one of the few safe spaces for students to express themselves. GSAs Build Community GSAs are also social groups. They provide a sense of community and a space for LGBTQ and straight ally youth to build a social network where their identity is respected. Lots of GSAs organize barbeques or movie nights, organize field trips to a local LGBT prom or an LGBT pride parade, and attend conferences together. GSAs are a great way to build community at your school and lessen the isolation that LGBTQ students might otherwise experience. GSAs Take Action to Create Change In addition to support, some GSAs work on educating themselves and the broader school community about sexual orientation and gender identity issues. They may bring in outside speakers to cover a particular topic such as LGBTQ history. They may organize a "Pride Week" or "LGBTQ Awareness Events" and offer a series of educational workshops, panels, and pride celebrations. Some GSAs organize a "Teach the Teachers" staff development day, which focuses on teaching school staff how to be better allies for LGBTQ students. There are many other types of educational and activist events that GSAs can do. No High School GSAs in Valdosta! GSA at VSU for college.

15 We can change our schools!
Campaign for Safe Schools District-level implementation of non-discrimination and anti- harassment policies covering actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. 42% comprehensive coverage 7% sexual orientation only 16% cyber bullying only 65% of all Georgia students! Passed a statewide anti-bullying law in 2010 that included enumerated categories. However the LGBT inclusive language was stripped out before it passed. We began the district level work after that bill and continue to work with school districts today. Adding these policies is shown to reduce violence in schools for everyone and is considered best practice by leading educational and psychology associations.

16 Why Enumeration? Reduced violence in schools Increased implementation
Support for teachers Reduced truancy and fear Already a precedent in GA Reduced lawsuits Local support already in place Great need for LGBTQ and LGBTQ-perceived students Why Enumeration? Reduced Violence in Schools - Schools with policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity report lowered levels of bullying, not only for students who self-identify as LGBT, but for the entire school body (33% vs 44%). The strength of enumerated policies is that it underscores not only that ALL students are protected but also those students that research shows are most likely to be bullied and harassed and least likely to be protected by generic safe school laws. Enumeration provides students greater protections across the board. Increased Implementation – History and the Supreme Court tell us that enumerating policies is necessary. Girls would not have sports and our schools would not be integrated if policymakers had not specifically addressed these inequities by enumerating categories like race and sex. As the Supreme Court noted in Romer v Evans, “Enumeration is the essential device used to make the duty not to discriminate concrete and to provide guidance for those who must comply.” Support for Teachers – Enumeration gives teachers and other educators the tools they need to implement safe school policies that protect each and every student. Students reported that teachers were more likely to intervene always or most of the time in states with enumerated policies, as compared to states with generic policies or no policies at all (25% vs. 15% vs 12%). School personnel often fear that they themselves will be targeted for intervening on behalf of LGBT students, especially since Georgia still lacks workplace protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Having explicit language they can point to provides clear protection for all students and teachers feel more comfortable and supported enforcing the policy. Reduced Truancy and Fear – Students from schools with a comprehensive policy are more likely to feel very safe at school (54% vs. 36%). Students without such a policy are three times more likely to skip a class because they felt uncomfortable or unsafe (16% vs. 5%). In Georgia specifically, 30% of LGBT students reported skipping at least one day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable, compared to only 6.7% of a national sample of secondary school students. Already a Precedent in Georgia – The Board of Education passed a sample model policy that school districts could choose to adopt following the passage of the 2010 anti-bullying bill. While the legislation did not include any requirements for enumeration based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, the model policy the board provided did include enumeration for sexual orientation. Additionally, over 43% of Georgia public students already attend school in districts that include comprehensive enumeration listing both sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Such districts include: Cobb, Gwinnett, Athens-Clarke, Atlanta, Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Paulding, Colquitt, City of Decatur, Harris, Griffin-Spalding, Thomaston-Upson, Troup, and White Counties. Additionally, many more districts include enumeration based on sexual orientation only: Brooks, Calhoun City, Cartersville City, Savannah-Chatham County, Commerce City, Early, Floyd, Lee, Mitchell, Oconee, Pike, Turner, Valdosta City, and Walton Counties. Finally an additional 16 school districts have enumerated categories for sexual orientation in their cyber-bullying or dress code policies: Barrow, Bartow, Catoosa, Coffee, Dougherty, Douglas, Evans, Henry, Johnson, Madison, Marietta City, Murray, Peach, Randolph, Towns, and Whitfield counties. These policies are not controversial, rather they are best practice and are already being adopted across the state. Reduced Lawsuits – Since the landmark case Nabozny v. Podlesny, which found that a public school could be held accountable for not stopping anti-gay abuse, there have been many lawsuits from students or parents suing schools for failing to protect students from anti-LGBT bias and harassment. Public schools that ignore or inadequately respond to harassment and bullying of LGBT students have paid damages awards or settlements as high as $1.1 million. Flores v. Morgan Hill Unified School District. School districts with these policies are more likely to stop harassment before it escalates to this level, potentially saving school districts costly lawsuits. Local Support Already in Place – There are organizations dedicated to training teachers and counselors on how the best support LGBT students in culturally competent ways. The Georgia Safe Schools Coalition provides training, consultation support, and resources for Georgia schools in order to develop safe, more positive school climates. The Georgia Safe Schools Coalition can be used as a local resource for school districts that may not know how to best implement inclusive policies. Great Need for LGBT and LGBT-perceived Students – As we shared in Samantha’s story, anti-LGBT bias and violence is still a major problem in our schools. In a survey of LGBT students in Georgia, nearly all (98%) heard “gay” used in a negative way and 9 in 10 heard other homophobic remarks (e.g., “fag” or “dyke”) regularly at school. 9 in 10 regularly heard other students in their school make negative remarks about how someone expressed their gender, such as comments about someone not acting “feminine” or “masculine” enough. Students also heard biased language from school staff; 33% regularly heard staff make negative remarks about someone’s gender expression, and 26% regularly heard school staff make homophobic remarks. The majority experienced verbal harassment (e.g., called names or threatened): nearly 9 in 10 based on their sexual orientation and nearly 7 in 10 based on the way they expressed their gender. Many also experienced physical harassment and physical assault: 4 in 10 were physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) based on their sexual orientation and 1 in 10 was physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) based on the way they expressed their gender. Students also reported high levels of other forms of harassment at school: 89% felt deliberately excluded or “left out” by peers; 84% had mean rumors or lies told about them; 70% were sexually harassed; 57% experienced cyberbullying; and 47% had property (e.g., car, clothing, or books) deliberately damaged and/or stolen. 52% of students who were harassed or assaulted in school never reported it to school staff. Among students who did report incidents to school authorities, only 35% said that reporting resulted in effective intervention by staff. These statistics of school bullying and violence toward LGBT youth are alarming when considering that research has shown a decrease of school bullying and violence in general. Researchers conclude this increase of bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity is due to school personnel (e.g., teachers, counselors, psychologists) “looking the other way” when incidences of anti-LGBT bullying occur. In a qualitative study of urban service provider’s responses to LGBT bullying incidences, advocates reported school personnel asserting that there were not LGBT students who attended their school; therefore, there was not a “problem” of LGBT-bullying. In addition to denying the existence of LGBT students, school personnel did not hold students perpetrating LGBT bullying accountable because anti-gay sentiments—such as “that’s so gay”—were socially accepted norms in the schools. Harris Interactive and GLSEN (2005). From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America, a Survey of Students and Teachers. New York: GLSEN. Kosciw, J. G. and Diaz, E. M. (2006). The 2005 National School Climate Survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in our nation’s schools. New York: GLSEN. Ibid GLSEN. (2009). School Climate in Georgia (State Snapshot). New York: Georgia: GLSEN. Georgia Department of Education. Dr. John D. Barge, State School Superintendent. September 9, 2010·Revised August 24, Policy for Prohibiting Bullying, Harassment, and Intimidation. Retrieved Dec 2013. GLSEN. (2013). School Climate in Georgia (State Snapshot). New York: Georgia: GLSEN. Youth Risk Behavior Survey as cited by Orpinas & Horne, 2006 Mahan et al., 2007; Singh, Orpinas, & Horne, in press. D’Augelli, Pilkington & Hershberner, 202; Mahan et al., 2007; McFarland & Dupuis, 2001; van wormer & McKinney, 2003.

17 Identities and Language

18 Anatomy, chromosomes, hormones
Sex Anatomy, chromosomes, hormones Intersex Male Female Biological Sex: A term used historically and within the medical field to refer to the chromosomal, hormonal and anatomical characteristics that are used to classify an individual as female or male. Intersex: A general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a chromosomal, hormonal, and/or anatomical attributes that do not fit the “typical” definitions of female or male. Intersex Society of North America Bending The Mold 13 18

19 Gender Identity Two-Spirit/Third Gender/Genderqueer Man Woman
Psychological sense of self Two-Spirit/Third Gender/Genderqueer Man Woman Gender Identity: A person’s internal sense of being male, female, or another gender. Gender identity may be affected by a variety of social structures, including the person’s ethnic group, employment status, religion, and family, however research indicates that most individuals are conscious of their gender identity between the ages 18 months and 3 years. Transgender: A person whose gender identity does not match the gender they were assigned at birth. Cisgender: A person whose gender identity matches the gender they were assigned at birth. The majority of the population is cisgender. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health, Inc. - Gender Public Advocacy Coalition - Gender Spectrum – 14 19

20 Gender Expression/Presentation
Feminine Communication of gender Androgynous Masculine Gender Expression: This term is used to describe the things we do that communicates our gender identity to others. This may include: clothing, hair styles, mannerisms, way of speaking, roles we take in interactions, etc. 15 20

21 Physical/emotional attraction to others
Sexual Orientation Physical/emotional attraction to others Bisexual/Pansexual Opposite Gender Attraction Same Gender Attraction Gay: Men who are emotionally and/or sexually attracted to other men. Lesbian: Women who are emotionally and/or sexually attracted to other women. Bisexual: A person emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to individuals of the opposite gender and the same gender. Straight: A person emotionally and/or sexually attracted to individuals of the opposite gender. Pansexual: A person who is attracted to all or many gender expressions. Pansexual attraction is more focused on individuals not conforming to a certain gender identity. Asexual: A person who does not desire intimate emotional and/or sexual relationships with other people. American Psychological Association - 16 21

22 Intersecting Identities
Sex (Anatomy, chromosomes, hormones) Intersex Male Female Gender Identity (Psychological sense of self) Two-Spirit/Third Gender/Genderqueer Male Female Gender Expression (Communication of gender) Masculine Androgynous Feminine While these different identities certainly intersect, it’s important to note that they are not interdependent. One does not dictate or depend on another. Sexual Orientation/Identity (Physical/emotional attraction to others) Bisexual/Pansexual/Queer Attracted to Women Attracted to Men 22

23 Queer An umbrella term which embraces a matrix of sexual orientations and behaviors of the not-exclusively-heterosexual majority. Lesbian women Gay men and women Bisexual people Trans people Intersex people Queer is a reclaimed word that was formerly used solely as a slur but that has been semantically overturned by members of the maligned group, who use it as a term of defiant pride. It is important to note that today, even those for whom the term might apply , some still see the word as a hateful insult.

24 Gender Non-conforming
2424 Are there terms here that you’ve never seen/heard before? Questions about what they mean? What terms do you think tend to be more affirmative or positive words with regard to the LGBTQ community? Which ones are not? Spend some time going over any terms people are unfamiliar with. Sexual preference: in the positive context refers to behaviors – not identity. (i.e. WHAT you like, not WHO you like.) Origin of Hermaphrodite: Son of Hermes and Aphrodite was fused with a nymph, Salmacis, resulting in one individual possessing physical traits of both sexes. Today seen as an inaccurate and offensive term. No Homo video: Language Asexual Bisexual Butch Cisgender Down Low Drag Queen Drag King Dyke Fag Family Femme Gay Gender Gender Non-conforming GenderQueer Hermaphrodite HeShe Heteroflexible Homosexual Intersex In The Closet Lesbian Lifestyle Lipstick Lesbian Metrosexual No Homo Omnisexual Pansexual Partner Queer Same Gender Loving Sexual Orientation Sexual Identity Sexual Preference Straight Tranny Transgender Transsexual Transvestite Two-Spirit 24

25 LGBTQ Language Generally Speaking…
Positive Sexual Identity Queer Transgender or Trans GenderQueer Lesbian & Gay Bisexual or Bi Intersex Same gender loving Omnisexual & Pansexual Ze/Hir Cisgender Asexual Drag Queen/King Gender Sexual Orientation Transsexual Two-spirit Proper name and pronoun usage -Gender non-conforming Gray Areas (depends on intent) Family Transvestite “In the closet” Metrosexual or “metro” Lipstick lesbian Pre, Post, Non-Op MTF or FTM Negative Lifestyle (Homosexual Lifestyle) Preference (Sexual Preference) Homosexual or Homo Hermaphrodite Fag/Faggot Tranny SheMale Dyke A Gay or the Gays HeShe Transgendered “No homo” So, maybe you’re asking yourself, so what? What’s the big deal? They’re just words – they don’t really mean any harm… 25

26 Are You Ready to Make a Change?
Ask for leader to coordinate volunteer efforts. Team leaders. Head, Heart, Hands activity – each person shares one of the following: something they learned (head), something they felt (heart) OR something they are planning to do moving forward (hands)

27 Resources Georgia Safe Schools Coalition - Counselor Hand Manual PFLAG - GLSEN - Health Initiative - Lambda Legal - GSA Network -

28 Questions? Contacts! Em Elliott, Field Organizer Georgia Equality x3 Georgia Safe Schools Coalition


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