Hi, I’m Hallie, the new intern for the Communications Department here at GLSEN! I’m incredibly excited to be joining such an amazing team, and I’m looking forward to connecting with all of you across the internet too!
Everyone has their own path to discovering what they are passionate about, and in many ways, I’m still at the beginning of mine. But my involvement in activism and human rights started my sophomore year of college, after I had lived with depression for many years and was finally diagnosed with an eating disorder. BED (Binge Eating Disorder) is something that many people struggle with but isn’t widely discussed. I felt a lot of shame and fear and became more depressed. By a stroke of luck (and a lot of time spent on the internet) I found the body positive feminist community. For the first time in my life, I was seeing images of people with a huge amount of diversity: size, race, gender identity, ability, and more. I started to realize that there is beauty in differences, and I didn’t have to be ashamed for not looking the way I thought I was supposed to. This mentality spread across my whole life, and I wanted to bring the acceptance of differences into the lives of as many individuals as I could reach: both those struggling with being different, and those who struggle to accept differences.
I graduated from Binghamton University last May, and while I was there I was part of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies department. This gave me the opportunity to learn from an academic standpoint about historical and global approaches to countering and embracing diversity. I am very passionate about trans rights, size acceptance, intersectionality and inclusivity among all activist and social justice circles, ensuring that minority voices within the LGBTQ+ community are heard (such as the sometimes quieter bisexual, genderqueer, or asexual voices) and in general, human rights. However, to me, the most important thing is ensuring that everyone knows they matter. As a human being, as an individual, as one’s self I just want to say: you are important. Diversity and difference are what make the world interesting!
I’m still coming to terms with my own struggles and recovery, but I believe that everyone has obstacles in their path, and in my case, those obstacles actually helped divert me onto the right path. My life has shaped me into a person who wants to be there to help others the same way others were there to help me. I hope that during my time at GLSEN I can share stories that inspire, encourage, and enlighten those who feel different or help to open the minds of those who don’t yet see the beauty of difference. GLSEN helps create safe spaces in schools and society, and I’m happy to be a part of that mission.
Hey, GSAs: It's time to show your GLSEN spirit by participating in a GSA Challenge! Here's what you need to know about GSA Challenges.
- GSA Challenges will be announced periodically throughout the school year, giving you a chance to do cool stuff with your GSA in exchange for cool stuff from us.
- Why participate? GSA Challenges help us stay in touch with you and see what your GSA is up to! Plus...
- ...as a bonus, after each challenge, we'll randomly choose a few GSAs to win awesome prizes.
- To participate and enter your GSA into the drawing, complete the challenge and share a picture of it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #CaughtBeingKind.
- Only registered GSAs are eligible to win. Don’t know if your GSA is registered? Register now to make sure you’re eligible!
Ready for your next challenge?
THE CHALLENGE: Have your GSA do a super fabulous random act of kindness.
- Include as many GSA members as you can.
- Coordinate something kind you can do for a person or group of people, the cooler or sweeter the better!
- Do your random act of kindness!
- Take a picture or Instagram video to document your act of kindness and share it using the hashtag #CaughtBeingKind.
THE WINNINGS: Each day, one registered GSA will be selected to get a gift box from GLSEN, filled with items from our GLSEN store!
THE DEADLINE: The challenge runs throughout No Name-Calling Week. We'll pick a GSA each morning beginning Tuesday, Jan. 20 and ending Friday, Jan. 23. Submissions will be accepted until 11:59PM EST Friday, Jan.23 and we will notify the winning GSAs!
Time to show us what your GSA's got! Good luck!
Why silence? Aren’t we trying to fight against silence?
A silent demonstration can be a peaceful way to bring urgent attention to an important issue. Silence as a method of organizing is much different than silence that is coerced or forced through oppressive bullying, harassment and intimidation. A silent demonstration is active, rather than passive, and causes people to pay attention. Silent demonstrations can:
- Bring attention to an issue and encourage reflection on the issue;
- Simulate the how others are silenced;
- Focus the attention on the issue or cause and not the protester;
- Demonstrate that the demonstrators desire peaceful resolution;
- Spark discussion and dialogue.
Through your active silence on the Day of Silence you will send a message that bullying and harassment faced by LGBT and ally youth affects you, your school and community. And remember, the Day of Silence is a moment to open the conversation on this issue. Follow up your participation with a Breaking the Silence event. You can plan a rally at your school, facilitate a workshop for students and teachers about LGBT issues or throw a party with your GSA or host a discussion group with DOS participants. For more info on how to organize a Breaking the Silence event, check out the Breaking the Silence info sheet.
"Why silence? Aren’t we trying to fight against silence?” Saad, a 2010-2011 GLSEN Student Ambassador, shares how silence on the Day of Silence is used as a powerful tool for direct action and social change:
Are you participating? Make sure you’re registered so that we can support you and your school. Register today and join the movement!
Today is the culmination of GLSEN's Safe Schools Advocacy Summit, a weekend of learning and lobbying in Washington, DC. Right now, more than 40 GLSEN activists are urging their representatives in Congress to make safer schools for all students. If you're sad that you can't be at the Capitol today - don't be! We've got live updates and videos to transport you from the halls of your school to the halls of power. Here's what's happened so far today: 10:38 am After breakfast, Emma and César filmed a message as they got ready for their first meetings:
11:45 am Emma had a great meeting with the office of Senator Dick Durbin:
12 pm César might have been super nervous before his meeting with Senator Kay Hagan's office, but it went perfectly!
1:15 pm Emma met with the office of one of the co-sponsors of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, Senator Mark Kirk. What a great chance to say, "Thanks!"
2:30 pm That's a full day for Emma! Three meetings down, three great opportunities to discuss safer schools. Check out her video:
3 pm César is heading into his next meeting...
3:30 pm ... and leaving the meeting:
5 pm César rounded out the day with a late visit to Senator Burr's office:
The Day of Silence is approaching! On April 19, students around the world will take a vow of silence to draw attention to the bullying and harassment that too many LGBT students face each day. Student ambassador César Rodriguez created a video about why you should register. Check it out!
Early registrants will get free Day of Silence gear. Plus, everyone who registers will be sent tips and resources to help your Day of Silence activities be the best they can be! Click here to register!
As you have probably noticed, news headlines have been filled with stories of coaches and athletes talking about LGBT issues. Some stories have spotlighted brave straight allies like GLSEN supporter and star NBA player Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets. Yet, it’s still far too common to read about homophobia in Physical Education and sports, including the story about Alabama high school coach’s anti-gay rant during class. But tonight, GLSEN is part of a different and uplifting storyline about coming out in the world of sports. GLSEN partnered with USA Network’s sports drama Necessary Roughness that follows the story of one player on the New York Hawks football team coming out as gay to his fellow teammates and fans. Tonight’s episode also includes a PSA with Necessary Roughness actress Callie Thorne calling attention to GLSEN’s work to create safe and affirming Physical Education and sports environments in K-12 schools. The episodes and PSA are part of USA Network’s Characters Unite month to combat hate, intolerance and discrimination and GLSEN is a proud partner of the award-winning public service program created to address the social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. Tune in tonight at 10/9 central to watch this heartening storyline unfold. And while this story was made for TV, all of us at GLSEN are working hard to ensure that one day this may be a reality for the next generation of professional athletes.
The second annual GSA is today, February 6th, 2013!
GSA Day is a day to encourage GSAs to be visible, celebrate their successes, and raise awareness in their school about how they are an effective tool in combating hostile and unsafe learning environments for all students. Use GSA Day as a mid year reminder to students about the amazing work your club is doing at your school! Check out more resources and ideas for participation here. Are you planning on participating? Let us know in the comments below! Get connected with other GSAs around the country by participating in a LIVE Tweet chat with GLSEN, GSA Network, Campus Pride and Iowa Pride Network at 3PM PST today! Join the conversation here!
Thank you so much for your support of No Name-Calling Week 2013! It is because of our partners and supporters that No Name-Calling Week has such an impact on schools, providing them with the tools to start an ongoing effort to end name-calling and bullying. Each of you have made a huge contribution to GLSEN’s anti-bullying efforts by participating. This year, educator participation has increased with 13,655 educators registered and over 18,000 fans on Facebook. With hundreds of thousands of educators visiting our website for resources, we know you are making a difference. Brock Road Elementary especially made a difference to their students by having a Spirit Week type theme for NNCW. Each day of the week was a theme dress up day reminding students of the impact of name calling and bullying. For example, on Tuesday, students wore two different shoes to remind them what it is like to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”. Students learned empathy for others and thought about how someone else feels when they are being disrespected. Laurel Springs School in Ojai, CA showed their support for No Name-Calling Week by hosting a variety of activities including a book club discussion centered around The Misfits by James Howe. Laurel Springs also hosted a live interactive webinar for their 6th through 12th grade students about bullying prevention. The 10th No Name-Calling Week is nearing an end today, but that doesn’t mean that we should forget the messages of respect and inclusivity for all young people. Continue building a safe school climate throughout the year with GLSEN’s resources and don’t forget to let us know how you participated!
As a professional athlete, Megan Rapinoe knows that negative and hurtful language is commonplace in sports. That’s why she supports GLSEN’s efforts to “change the game.” Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project was developed to help K-12 schools create an athletic and physical education environment based on the core principles of respect, safety and equal access for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Megan Rapinoe is a game changer and you can be one too by showing your support for Changing the Game! All you have to do is complete and submit the form on this page, telling us why you want to join Megan in this effort to support GLSEN. We will be featuring many of these stories on our website and if we select your story, you’ll be eligible to win one of the many items Megan has provided us including signed soccer balls or t-shirts or a $500 NIKE Gift Certificate. Tell us why you want to change the game!