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A2Z – Community

blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - community

 

One of the very best things you can do for yourself is to build community.  Having a “family by choice” will provide you with the supports we all need and don’t always get after coming out to our family by blood.  Even in those instances where your family is fabulous and supportive, it always helps to have a community of people who really understand what you are going through and who have either been there, or are currently right with you.

The internet is an amazing resource when it comes to finding a sense of community.  These days, even individuals with severe, life-limiting anxiety disorders can still find others and build camaraderie.  We can find a global community, always ready and waiting thanks to things like email lists, online forums, and FB groups.  But I do encourage you to also seek out local individuals, because there are times when we all need to reach out and actually FEEL another person whom we can trust and know will be there for us.

Here in Saskatoon I can’t recommend the ACC any more highly than I already do.  They run a number of excellent programs for individuals of almost every age range in almost every situation.  You can find them online at http://avenuecommunitycenter.ca/.  PFLAG is also another amazing resource, and there are branches all over North America.  Check them out at http://www.pflagcanada.ca/ and http://pflag.org/.  For those of you in high school, talk to your guidance counselor to find out if there is a GSA you can join.  And for more information on resources in your neck of the woods, check out http://www.gaystraightalliance.org/ which includes a directory that is world wide.

There is no reason to feel you have to go it alone.  You aren’t alone.  Far from it!  No matter how you identify, even if you aren’t sure how exactly you fit into the whole spectrum, you can be sure there are others out there just like you.  And now you’ve got some tools to help you find them.

A2Z – Bullying

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Bullying

For those who don’t know, we are currently celebrating Pink Revolution, which is a Saskatchewan initiative that got it’s start from the Day of Pink.  Pink Revolution is a week long anti-bullying campaign in it’s very first year, beginning on March 30th it will finish up on April 5th.  The Day of Pink follows on April 11th.  If you haven’t gotten your Pink Revolution T-shirts yet they are available through The Avenue Community Center or Diva’s for only $5.  Day of Pink shirts can be purchased through their website.

In contrast to what some think, bullying is everyone’s responsibility.  And homophobic bullying is putting many of our youth to the test.  We read the stories, over and over again.  Youth that were harassed to the breaking point, unable to handle the torment, looking for any way out.  Youth that needed to know they weren’t alone, youth who needed someone – anyone – to step up to the plate.

Some people wonder why I’m so vocal on issues of bullying.  The fact of the matter is we never know who we may reach.  I refuse to stay silent.  Our young people need to hear from adults and other youth who get it, who have their heads on straight, and who get just how wrong homophobic bullying is.  We need to speak out in support of our gender creative children and our gender variant youth.  It is our responsibility.

Be visible.  Wear a flag pin, put on a Pink Revolution t-shirt, join your school’s GSA – make some noise.  Be heard.  Make a difference.  You just may be that light in the dark someone needed to see.

the april a to z blog challenge

Way to go Rick Mercer!

Rick Mercer throws his voice behind the throngs protesting against the anti-GSA stance taken in Catholic Schools.

GSAs save lives, and that alone makes them a valuable part of any school.

http://www.xtra.ca/public/Toronto/Rick_Mercer_appalled_Catholic_schools_deny_gaystraight_alliances-10746.aspx

For all the gender-variant and sexual-minority youth…

For my campers, the Alumflies of Camp fYrefly 2011 (both Saskatoon and Edmonton), and for all the gender-variant and sexual-minority youth heading back to school.  Hold your heads high.  Be proud of the incredible, beautiful people you are.  Shine a light in dark places for all those who have none.  Know you are loved, you are treasured.  Build a community around yourself.  Find safe spaces.  Identify the supports in your school or on your campus, and if there aren’t any, then come find adults like us who will support you in the greater community.  Know that IT GETS BETTER!

Be brave!  Be strong!  Be safe!

 

For my fYreflies:

*jumping up, arms thrown wide over my head, tossing glitter far and wide*

TA DA!!!!

 

 


 

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