Day of Silence Reflection

For the Day of Silence on Friday, I didn’t speak for the whole day, to represent the silence that the LGBT community faces. Being silent for the whole day was a bit difficult, but I’m glad I did it. At the end of the day, at about 4:00, I attended LGBT youthgroup, where we broke the silence and discussed our experience taking part in this day. After, we went to the Day of Silence March. Here are some pictures:

This is what we did to end the silence, to show our opressers what we stand for. What did you do to end the silence? Comment below and let me know!

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How Racism Plays Out

Once again, this is from the camp I went to, CLI. This is what we came up with:

How Racism Plays Out in Schools

  • Deragatory terms towards racial groups
  • Racist jokes
  • Assumptions made my looking at your skin color
  • Teachers expecting white kids to be smarter and acting shocked when a person of color knows the right answer
  • Seperation in social groups
  • Teachers trying to help white students get their grades up, and not the students of color.

How Racism Plays Out in the Community

  • Racial Profiling
  • Negative comments about biracial couples
  • Seperated social groups
  • Gang injunction

What we Can Do:

  • Talk to the administration about whats going on
  • Help the administration focus on equity
  • Come together
  • Be friends with people of all different races
  • Educate community members
  • Stand up to people saying racists comments
  • Raise awareness about whats going on in different ways

Maybe this will give you an idea of how to stop racism in your community and notice how it plays out. Comment below and let me know your expiriences with racism in the community! Photo from Google Images (:

How Heterosexism Plays Out

First of all, I am going to define heterosexism. Heterosexism is a system of advantage which favors heterosexuals. Institutionalized homophobia, the assumption that being heterosexual is inherently better, more moral, or more natural than being gay, bi, lesbian, pansexual, etc. Like racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression, heterosexism awards power to members of the dominant group (straight people/heterosexuals) and denies privileges to members of the subordinate group. (LGBTQQA community).

At the camp I went to, CLI, we discussed how heterosexism plays out in different enviorments in our lives. This is what we came up with:

How Heterosexism Plays Out At School

  • Health classes directing sex education towards a heterosexual audience
  • PDA from heterosexual couples and little to none from queer couples
  • The basic assumption that everyone is straight
  • Asking “Do you have a girlfriend?” (to a guy) or “Do you have a boyfriend?” (to a girl), rather than, “Are you with anyone?” or “Do you have a partner?”.

How Heterosexism Plays Out in the Community

  • Assumptions from people in general that everyone is straight
  • Queer couples being treated differently, shunned, or looked down upon

Image from: Google Images

My top 5 movie and book recommendations for the activist (:

1. Book: The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler – This is a book that has stories from women all over the world! I read it, and it was so amazing and eye-opening! It is a book that you will love if you are interested in feminism and body acceptance. You don’t have to be a woman to enjoy this book, it’s great for anyone to read! Its educational in a fun and engaging way.

2. Movie: Paris is Burning Directed by Jennie Livingston- According to Wikipedia, it is “Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African American, Latino, gay and transgender communities involved in it. Many members of the ball culture community consider Paris Is Burning to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the “Golden Age” of New York City drag balls, as well as a thoughtful exploration of race, class, and gender in America.” It is a great film to watch if you are interested in LGBTQQA history, gender,or  people of color in the queer community. It is a powerful, educational film.

3. Book: I am an Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler (again)- Eve Ensler is an AMAZING author. This book is about the “secret life” of girls, all over the world. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it is a book that almost everyone can probably relate to. It is powerful and well-written. It is a great book to read if you are interested in gender, feminism, or women’s studies. Once again, this book isn’t only for women, it is educational and it can speak to anyone.

4. Movie- Save the Farm Directed by Michael Kuehnert- This is a short documentary about the nation’s largest urban farm in Los Angeles. It is a great film to watch if you are interested in farming, being environmentally friendly, nutrition, and environmental activism. It also shows poverty in a big city, so if you are interested in classism, watch! This movie almost made me CRY!! I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s really inspiring.

5. Movie: Boys Don’t Cry Directed by Kimberly Peirce- Saddest. movie. ever. But it is a movie that I think everyone should watch. It is about a transgender teen who is biologically female, trying to pass as male. I think it really shows the hate that is directed towards the queer community and it is based off of a true story. Its educational, and it will  help you have a better understanding of how it is to have to hide who you are. If you are interested in learning about gender, hate crimes,or  the LGBTQQA community, you must watch this movie!!

If you have seen any of these movies or read any of these books, comment below and let me know what you think of them! Also, let me know your favorite books and movies for the activist! Thanks (:

How to: Start a social justice ORGANIZATION

Strategy Chart

1. Goals and objectives

2. Organizational Considerations

  • List the resources that your organization brings to the action.

For example:

  • money
  • members
  • reputation

List the ways you want your organization to be strengenthed by your actions. For example:

  • Build membership
  • Expand into new groups
  • Raise more money

3. Focus community/Targets

Primary focus-community/person/group

  • Who has the power to give you what you want?
  • Who has power/influence over the people with the power to give you what you want

4. Constituents, Allies, and Opponets:

As you think about members in your group, allies and opponets, think about:

  • Who will activley support you?
  • Who will actively oppose you?
  • Who will be neautral to you?

5. Tactics- For each focus group, list the strategies that each participating group can use to be effective.

Tactics include:

  • Media events
  • Educational programs
  • Action for information and demands
  • Public hearings
  • Boycotts, walk outs, strikes

If you want to start an organization or club involiving social issues, hopefully this will help you get started! Thanks for reading (:

The DJ of ABILITY!!

Yesterday morning, at about 7:45, I got on the bus like I usually do, but yesterday was different than most days on the bus. I met a man named Chris or “The DJ of ability”. I have met him before because he came to do an assembly at my school. He is a very friendly 29 year old, and he is also a DJ! When I got on the bus, he said “Goodmorning, how are you doing?” and we had a conversation until I had to get off the bus. There is something different about Chris, he has a disability, and he uses a wheelchair. He did an assembly at my school about disability awareness, and he was the DJ at lunch. When I talked to him on the bus, I told him about my brother, and he was very interested and caring. He asked me how my brother is doing and how he likes Santa Barbara High School. Talking to Chris made my day. I am writing this post because I want to raise awareness to the fact that people with disabilities are nothing to be afraid of. They are the same as the rest of us!! Don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with someone with a disability. If you need any tips about how to talk to someone with a disability, I wrote a post about it earlier! There are things you can do in your community to be an ally to people of all abilities. Here’s what you can do:

  • Volunteer at a local organization that provides activities for people with disabiltities.
  • If your school has a club, join it! My school has a club that meets once a week, to spend time with the students that have disabilties.
  • Go out of your way to make conversations with people who are different from you!
  • Educate your friends about disability awareness.
  • When you hear someone use the word “retarded” to mean stupid, tell them that it is offensive!

Do research and see what resources are available where you live! I know my brother loves to meet new people, and if someone were to spend  time with him he would be so excited!! Thanks for reading!!

Groundbreaking news for the LGBTQQA community!

The ninth circuit has just ruled that proposition 8, the California marriage amendment, is unconstitutional. For those of you who do not know what prop 8 is, it is the law in place that makes it so that gay couples cannot get married, but heterosexual couples can. This is great news, because now there is a greater chance of gay marriage being legalized. It shows that we are getting closer to gaining our rights! Love is a personal matter, not something the goverment should be able to control. This is a big step for the LGBTQQA community, and for me personally, it’s motivating! The fact that more and more people are becoming educated about same-sex relationships makes me want to reach out and do all that I can. In the past few years, the LGBTQQA community has been getting a lot more publicity. For example, there was a character,Adam, a transgendered boy, on the popular teenage show Degrassi. Another example is the character Emily, on Pretty little liars, who is lesbian. In an interview, she said “I get feedback from people from all around the world.Young girls and guys just come up to me on the street and say things like, ‘Thank you, I related to your character unlike any other, especially when she was first discovering who she was and then come out to her dad—it gave me courage and strength to come out to my parents.’ That’s amazing, I couldn’t imagine playing a better character. I am very fortunate.” In my opinion, it is becoming more socially acceptable than it used to be to be gay. I think we are making great progress, and I will follow up with an update on the 9th circuit!

$ 7500 REWARD

On new years eve, two men walking out of the wildcat who were suspected of being gay were attacked violentley by three white males, all with shaved heads. The Santa Barbara Police Department says that one victim ended up with a broken jaw and a head injury. With the information collected so far, it appears that the two men were attacked BECAUSE they were perceived as gay. The suspects muttered a homophobic slur during the attack. Crimes like this are called hate crimes, and they are horrible in every way (or any crime, for that matter.) Hates crimes will NOT be tolerated in our community. It is so upsetting to hear about something like this taking place. Out of all places, Santa Barbara doesn’t seem to be a place where an event like this would occur, but it did, and we need to do something about it! If you have ANY information, contact Detective Claytor at (805) 897-2346 for a reward of $ 7500. This is not the only way you can help, though! Be an ally to members of the LGBTQQA (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual) community. Educate your friends! A lot of people might think “I’m straight and cisgender, it doesn’t affect me, so it doesn’t matter”. But think about it. How would you feel if you were discriminated against, put down, and in this case, even ATTACKED, for something that is beyond your control. This is not just an issue of what happened on new years eve, but an issue of ignorance and homophobia. Homophobia is ingrained into our society. Growing up, most of learn that being with the opposite sex is whats “normal” and “right”. Even if we aren’t directly taught these things, we see it everywhere in the media. Something to think about is: If all sexualities and gender identities were shown in the media, would it still seem “different” to you? Don’t let yourself get brainwashed. Don’t agree with what everyone else thinks because its easier. Have your own voice. Is there really anything wrong with two people loving eachother? Do you think anyone really need to be put down for that? Next time you hear someone say something homophobic, think about that. If we all learn how to be accepting and caring towards one another, we can make our community stronger, and prevent crimes like this from happening!