QUOTE: LGBT Students Need More Than Purple And Anti-Bullying Campaigns To Feel Safe

I’m all for solidarity and visible allies, but really – is a gay kid safer in school today because half of his peers wore purple? Will the trans girl in 9th grade start feeling safer now?… What does it mean for LGBTQI kids to be safe at school? Does school safety only mean protection from physical and verbal assault?

From early childhood through high school graduation, schools seem a little more committed to the [gender and sexual identity] development of [heterosexual, cisgender children]… School life from age 3 to 18 has images of what it is to be boys and men and what it is to be girls and women in our society. If you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, intersex or even gender non-normative (the butch girl or effeminate man), don’t count on having your gender or sexual identities represented, let alone celebrated, like those identities of heteronormative students.

…Invisibility is a way of fragmenting people, of preventing them from integrating the different components of their identities and feelings and ideas. …years and years of invisibility of one group and visibility of another unconsciously establishes a hierarchy – why wouldn’t a straight, masculine student (who sees himself and his relationships celebrated daily) feel his identity was more valid or “better” than the effeminate bisexual male student (whose sexual and gender identities have never even been discussed in school)?

– Sebastian’s must-read article at Autostraddle discussing what else needs to be done to protect and foster the well being of LGBT students.

Image via krossbow