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Broward County Public Schools Cultural Competency for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth: 101 – Awareness and Sensitivity January.

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Presentation on theme: "Broward County Public Schools Cultural Competency for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth: 101 – Awareness and Sensitivity January."— Presentation transcript:

1 Broward County Public Schools Cultural Competency for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth: 101 – Awareness and Sensitivity January 23, 2015 WEBINAR De Palazzo LGBTQ Coordinator, Staff Facilitator Diversity, Prevention & Intervention Department

2 Goal To raise awareness and provide introductory information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth as a population, as well as the psycho-social dynamics related to being a young person who identifies as LGBTQ

3 Our Agenda for Today Beginning with Oneself
Emerging Issues, Needs and Challenges for LGBTQ Youth ~ Nationally and Locally Our LGBTQ Homeless Youth The Paradigm of Sexuality Family Challenges: Rejecting, Ambivalent, Accepting? Resources and Terminology

4 What, So What, Now What? What?
What are the unique challenges LGBTQ and gender nonconforming youth face, and why? How do these challenges relate to LGBTQ youth in Broward County Schools elementary, middle and high schools? So What? How do I help to ensure support and foster resiliency for LGBTQ and gender nonconforming students? How can my present role enhance respectful and inclusive climates at my within my school community?

5 What, So What, Now What? Now What?
What have I been reminded of, or what have I learned that will ensure deeper sensitivity and awareness toward LGBTQ and gender nonconforming students?

6 Bring harmony to this world, one at a time, one at a time it will work---with a teacher, a parent…it will work. I know that it will. It has to.” - Jamesly Louis, 19 year old South Florida youth of Haitian identity

7 Group Agreements: PROCESS
P - Participate, pass R - Respect (one another’s ideas and comments) O - Open and honest communication C - Confidentiality E - Experiment with new ideas/challenge established assumptions S - Step forward/step back S - Seek to understand - or agree to disagree Latin derivative for respect: Respeto To create space for physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually

8 As humans being… Glasser reminds us… Sense that we belong Respect
A sense of recognition

9 Class: socio-economic
Dimensions of Diversity Gender Race Age Religion Class: socio-economic Ability Sexual Orientation Ethnicity Language Appearance Geographic location Education Learning style Work background

10 Emerging Issues… Societal shifts regarding the recognition and/or acceptance of LGBTQ people United States government has issued a “call to action” regarding the safety of LGBTQ youth in our schools Biased language Personal experiences of harassment and assault The emergence of gender nonconforming and transgender youth Students coming out younger (and bolder) Significant increase in Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Clubs across the country

11 Strengthening ALL Students’ Success Trajectory
In pursuit of becoming well-rounded individuals, both academic success as well a social-emotional needs High quality instruction---college or career ready Proficient 21st century critical thinking, world class citizens Reduce and eliminate achievement gaps Overall: Stability and opportunities for exemplary, positive youth development BCPS inclusive and culturally competent services offered to enable LGBTQ and gender nonconforming youth to SOAR

12 Intersections, stressors, identity…
Intersection of societal challenges and “isms” How do issues of race, ethnicity, economics, gender, language, etc. intersect with a student’s LGBTQ identity? Minority Stress… related to stigmatization, societal attitudes—correlation to explicit and implicit bias, etc.

13 Our Charge, as Professionals
As professionals, it is our legal, ethical and professional expectation that all our youth - from varying identities, cultures, backgrounds, life experiences, abilities, languages and beliefs - be given exemplary inclusive and culturally competent services to help ensure their physical, mental and emotional well-being, and to help ensure stability in their lives

14 Three Pillars of Social Support for Personal Identity
Family Place of worship School Our professional and ethical obligation to ensure the safety, respect and value for ALL youth, in particular marginalized youth with barrier intersections

15 Issues Facing LGBTQ Youth

16 Common Reasons for harassment in schools
Source: From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America, A Survey of Students and Teachers

17 Bias Based Language in Today’s Schools
Homophobic remarks are the most common type of biased language heard at school: Approximately 72% (seven out of ten) of students hear “that’s so gay” or ”you’re so gay” frequently. Approximately two thirds of students hear other homophobic remarks (e.g., “dyke” or “faggot”) frequently. 53% (one in two) hear homophobic remarks from teachers or other school staff. Source: 2013 GLSEN School Climate Survey-8400 mid and high school students

18 Personal Experiences of Harassment and Assault in Schools
Sexual orientation and gender expression were the most commonly targeted characteristics: Sexual Orientation Almost Two thirds of students had been verbally harassed, almost a third physically harassed, and nearly a fifth (18%) physically assaulted in the past year. Nearly one third of LGBT youth skipped at least one day of school in the past month because of safety concerns Gender Expression Just under half had been verbally harassed, a quarter (26%) physically harassed, and 12% physically assaulted in the past year. Source: 2013 GLSEN School Climate Survey, 8400 mid and high school youth

19 A Qualitative Survey-50 LGBTQ Students, Broward County, Florida
Is it accepted by your parent/guardian? Have you ever left your house, stayed at someone’s or been told to leave your home due to tension because of your orientation, gender identity or expression? If you asked for help at school related to LGBTQ needs, were you ever given pamphlets, palm cards, etc. that had support or outreach info on it? Yes, it’s satisfactory: 63% Yes, minimally supported: 21% Not at all supported: 15% Yes: 32% No: 68% Yes: 19% No: 23% Did not ask for assistance: 58%

20 Surgeon General’s Report
The 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention

21 At a Higher Risk for Suicide…
A meta-analysis of adolescent studies concluded that LGB youth were three times more likely to report a lifetime suicide attempt than heterosexual youth, and four times as likely to make a medically serious attempt. Across studies, at least 30 percent of LGB adolescents report attempts, compared with 8 to 10 percent of all adolescents.

22 HRC 2012 Study of 10K LGBT Youth
LGBT, when asked to describe the most important problem now… Non-accepting Families School Bullying Fear of being out or open Understanding non-tolerance and hate Where I live/who I live with Non-LGBT, when asked to describe the most important problem now… Classes/exams/grades College/career Financial pressures related to college or jobs

23 Source: GLSEN School Climate Survey 2013 (1999-2013)
Yet… An analysis of fourteen (14) years of data finds little change in LGBT youth harassment in schools, with LGBT students’ experiences with more severe forms of bullying and harassment remaining relatively constant, with a slight drop in mistreatment. Source: GLSEN School Climate Survey 2013 ( )

24 So What? Major Barriers Rejection from Key Relationships
Loss of Support and Fear of Harassment and Invisibility This---Contributes to internal conflict… How Do I Manage a Stigmatized Identity?

25 Identity and Conflict at Home…
Between per cent of all homeless students identify as LGBTQ Most LGBTQ students become homeless because of conflict over their identity, family abuse, or family neglect Two-thirds (66%) of 400 LGBTQ homeless youth reported having been in a child welfare placement in the past LGBT homeless students are more likely to attempt suicide (62%) than their heterosexual homeless peers (29%). Van Leeuwen, Boyle, Salomonsen-Sautel, Baker, Garcia 2006

26 Research has shown that LGBTQ students, and particularly youth who have left home due to conflict over their sexual identity, are more likely than their heterosexual peers to be at risk for substance use, sexual behaviors that lead to HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections, and attempted suicide CDC 2009, Ryan 2009, Van Leeuwen, Boyle, Salomonsen-Sautel, Baker, Garcia 2006

27 Our transgender youth…
Transgender youth – particularly misunderstood in general Transgender youth are regularly targeted for harassment and assaults are not offered appropriate resources are expected to use the restroom that is incongruent with their core gender identity called by their names assigned at birth rather than preferred names expected to be incongruent in dress/gender expression from their gender identity

28 Mean Age of Coming Out Researchers have observed that the average age of sexual attraction is about age 10 for both heterosexual and LGBT identified youth (McClintock & Herdt)

29 Responses to Coming Out
Recognize the importance of this process for the LGBTQ student. Recognize the choice to tell YOU.  Respect the risk the child is taking by coming out to you and assure confidentiality. Show your appreciation and support of her/him. Help to make it a happy occasion. (Smile and relax!) Listen, listen, listen - and listen some more. Be prepared to give resources for emotional support, if the youth so desires. Also - remember to never out a young person to parents, caregivers, guardians or others due to possible severe ramifications for the youth. “In school, we know who to go to, we know who not to go to.” Alex, 17 year old student

30 What Not to Say… I knew it! Are you sure? Are you confused?
Is this just a phase? You just haven’t found the right woman/man. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.  You can’t be gay, you’ve had relationships with people of the opposite sex. You know I need to tell someone else (parent, leadership, etc.) about this in order to keep you safe.

31 Paradigm of Human Sexuality
Sexual Behavior Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Gender Role

32 Sexual Behavior Sexual behavior is a choice.
Behaving homosexually does not necessarily mean that one’s sexual orientation is homosexual. Likewise behaving heterosexually does not necessarily mean that one is heterosexual. Significant numbers of people have engaged in both heterosexual and homosexual behavior.

33 Sexual Orientation Sexual orientation seems to be formed at a very early age. Adolescence and early adulthood are an unfolding of that orientation. The development of sexual orientation does not seem to be a choice.

34 Gender Identity Gender identity is the core “within” sense of “I am male” or “I am female.” Formed at a very early age and not subject to choice. Gender identity is revealed by feelings, dreams and fantasies about one’s body, one’s core self and genitals.

35 “What the heck, ________!! Sit like a man, would you please?”
Gender Role Gender role most often reflects the ways in which our culture invites us to behave depending on our genitals. Gender role is similar to sexual behavior in that it is a choice. “Be a man” “Act like a lady” Comment to a middle school boy who was not portraying typical gender role cueing: “What the heck, ________!! Sit like a man, would you please?” Several others chime in humiliatingly with agreement. Numerous others laugh. (Incident in Broward Middle School summer camp program.)

36 Families: A Unique Challenge for LGBT Students and Relatives

37 Families: A Unique Challenge for LGBT Youth and Relatives
LGBT youth who reported high levels of family rejection during middle and high school were: Approximately eight times more likely to reporting to have attempted suicide. Almost six times more likely to report high levels of depression. Three and a half times more likely to use illegal drugs. Three and a half times more likely to have engaged in unprotected sex. (Ryan, et al., 2009)

38 Keisha, mother of 7 year old son Darnell
“Darnell came up to me and said ‘Mommy, I like boys.” At first I didn’t pay much attention. I wasn’t sure what he meant. A couple of weeks later, he said it again: ‘I like boys. You know, like you like Daddy.’ I said “Darnell, we’re going to read Scripture.’ So I picked up the Bible and read him a passage. I did that every time he tried to talk with me, and then I realized that his eyes were just looking off. He didn’t understand what I was saying, but he knew I wasn’t listening. So then I asked him to talk with me and tell me what he felt. I was really afraid of what he was saying but he is my little boy. And I love him.” Keisha, mother of 7 year old son Darnell

39 Leading with Love…

40 Caitlin Ryan, Family Acceptance Project, 2010
Family behaviors that INcrease an LGBTQ child’s risk for health and mental health problems Hitting, slapping or physically hurting your child because of their LGBT identity Verbal harassment or name-calling because of your child’s LGBT identity Excluding LGBT youth from family and family activities Blocking access to LGBT friends, events and resources Blaming your child when they are discriminated against bc of their identity Pressuring your child to be more (or less) masculine or feminine Telling your child that God will punish them because they are gay Telling your child that you are ashamed of them, or how they look or act will shame the family Making your child keep their LGBT identity a secret in the family and not letting them talk about it Caitlin Ryan, Family Acceptance Project, 2010

41 Caitlin Ryan, Family Acceptance Project, 2010
Family behaviors that REDUCE an LGBT child’s risk for health and mental health problems and promote their well-being Talk with your child or foster child about their LGBT identity Express affection when your child tells you or when you learn that your child is gay or transgender Support your child’s LGBT identity even though you may feel uncomfortable Advocate for your child when s/he is mistreated bc of their LGBT identity Require that other family members respect your LGBT child Bring your child to LGBT orgs or events Talk with clergy and help your faith community to support LGBT people Connect your child with an LGBT adult role model to show them options for the future Welcome your child’s LGBT friends or partners to your home. Support your child’s gender expression Believe your child can have a happy future as an LGBT adult Caitlin Ryan, Family Acceptance Project, 2010

42 Family’s Acceptance…

43 Now What? Designing Respect and Inclusivity for All Schools

44 Safety ‘markers” and safety “actions”
Visibility Post Safe Space stickers and/or Posters Display LGBT Supportive Materials Make Yourself a Visible Marker as an Ally Let Other Educators Know You Are an Ally Actions Make No Assumptions Use Inclusive Language Respond to Anti-LGBT behavior


46 What are “best practice” and culturally competent school community skills and actions that will enable LGBTQ and gender nonconforming students to stabilize their lives?

47 What are YOUR Local LGBTQ Resources and Organizations?
Broward County Public Schools Department of Diversity, Prevention & Intervention Tab, Diversity, tab LGBTQ See “ LGBTQ Health and Safety Critical Support Guide” for many district and community resources, updated summer 2014 Broward County Public Schools Student Services Department SunServe ( Rap Groups, Education and Outreach Programs for Youth Counseling and Psychotherapy Programs for Youth and Adults Family and Youth Programs YES Institute An excellent knowledge source on gender and orientation New satellite office in Broward County PFLAG Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays Helps families and friends who struggle with LGBTQ issues Local meetings held monthly

48 A Community Organization Educating about LGBTQ Needs and Resilency

49 Our Next One Hour Webinar: LGBTQ 201—Going Deeper
What skills, toolkits and systems of support do we need to create inclusive classrooms and school communities that ensure safety, support and inclusivity for students who are LGBTQ? What are BCPS policies, as well as state and federal policies and guidelines as it pertains to the rights, safety and support of LGBTQ students, including but not limited to “out” students, proms, and students who identify as transgender? When an LGBTQ student is in need, what are the correct channels of support to utilize at your school site so the child receives appropriate help, prevention or intervention? How does a school staff person intervene on the spot when LGBTQ exclusion, harassment or mistreatment take place?

50 THANK YOU for your passion, time, and commitment as we ensure-together-that all BCPS students are safe, valued, connected and respected in every elementary, middle and high school in our county!

51 De Palazzo Department of Diversity, Prevention & Intervention, BCPS
For school-based or individual questions or consultation, please contact: De Palazzo Department of Diversity, Prevention & Intervention, BCPS  We are here for you! 

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