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October 21

It could get even better

Filed under: issues,media — posted by Breakup Girl @ 6:27 am

I know that not everyone thinks It Gets Better is the best response to anti-LGBT bullying. I understand the criticism — it’s facile, it’s privileged, it misplaces responsibility — and even agree with much of it. But I’m still a fan of IGB, not as the response to anti-queer bullying, but as a response among what needs to be more and more, at individual and societal levels. That’s why I like Hillary Clinton’s contribution (h/t Andrew Sullivan) as an addition to the mix. She (appropriately, for her position) makes it not about you the sufferer versus them the mean kids, but about civil — American — society, how far it has come, and what it demands. Yes, it’s on the bullies to desist and the queer kids to keep it real, but more than that, it’s on all of us.

And it’s on all of us not just to give miserable kids hope for magical “later” land when they get to graduateĀ  and move to Seattle. It’s on us to help them — and continue changing the culture — now. Some less in-the-headines folks who are working to make it better, today:

Do Not Stand Idly By: A Jewish Community Pledge to Save Lives (more/interesting context here)

Responsive Classroom (h/t Marjorie Ingall)

WeStopHate (h/t I Heart Daily)

This list is the opposite of exhaustive. What other great anti-queer-bullying and pro-tolerant-society work should we all know about?

Oh, and here you go:

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August 6

Comfort station

Filed under: News — posted by Amanda @ 6:25 am

transgender bathroom signYou thought the Ally McBathroom was controversial? While such progress is, in many parts of the US, stalling, the BBC reports that the Kampang Secondary School in Thailand — a country known for its tolerance, if not warm fuzzy embrace, of men who dress and live as women — is now providing its student body with girls’, boys’, and transgender bathrooms. (See super-keen sign at right; call it the international symbol for “adolescence just got a liiiiittle bit easier.”) Kampang is not the first Thai educational institution to set up such a system, though it may be the first secondary school to do so, reports FOX. This news has stirred not controversy but discussion in other schools now wondering if they should follow suit.

As for Kampang itself, head teacher Sitisak Sumontha estimates that “in any year between 10% and 20% of his boys consider themselves to be transgender.” (No word, it should be noted — and perhaps explored in a complicated socio-cultural dissertation — on girls who roll as boys.) He explains that the boys who desire to be girls are uncomfortable in either girls’ or boys’ restrooms, and that often, the girls and boys are uncomfortable there with them. So perhaps there’s still room for some diversity education, but at least in the meantime, these boys will be that much freer to heed the call of nature.

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