Monday, January 23, 2012

No Name-Calling Week At Schools Should Start At Home

This week, January 23-27, 2012, schools in the United States will participate in the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network’s(GLSEN)eighth annual No-Name-Calling Week. With GLSEN’s mission of ensuring safe schools, No-Name Calling Week has become one of the most used and celebrated bullying prevention programs in the country. 
Schools participate by using special lesson plans at www., hosting assemblies and hanging art work that promotes diversity. Bullying is considered a public health crisis in this country; a 2005 Harris Interactive/GLSEN report, found that 69% of junior and middle GLBT high school students reported being assaulted or harassed in the previous year and nearly a third said that school staff did nothing to intervene. Bullying is so pervasive that GLSEN is now using No Name-Calling Week in all grade levels.
While GLSEN’s efforts in the schools are laudable, shouldn’t the parents who are preaching hatred of diversity by referring to someone as a “faggot” or “light in the loafers” also watch their tongues? The children who are harassing at school are most likely copping their parents’ attitudes at home. The media is also responsible for ingraining into the viewer’s brain the stereotype of the gay  person:  weak, effeminate, with an over-the-top sense of drama. 
Let’s portray acceptance of minority groups not only in our schools, but at home, and in the media. And not just for a school week!The Golden Rule we learned in school should be practiced every day, everywhere!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Celebrate Humility Day, Jan. 3, 2012, but keep the Humble Pie Recipe

Have you, the straight parent of a gay kid, burst into volcanic eruptions over your gay child’s pronounced sexual identity? Maybe it’s time you ‘fess up that you don’t have all the answers. It’s never too late to apologize - the time to start is now to mend the relationship.
Recipe for Humble Pie
Unconditional love. Sure you may be disappointed that your child is not living up to your expectations, but doesn’t he/she deserve the unconditional love he experienced before he/she told you he was gay.
A generous compliment. Your child, risking rejection, has revealed his true inner self to you. Consider it the ultimate compliment. Think of the discovery as a gift.
                                Make Amends by:
Showing interest in your child’s friends and lifestyle.
Discussing his fears for the future, disappointments in not leading the life you perceived for him/her.
Tell your child that it may take you some time to digest his “coming out” and to adjust your thinking about his sexual orientation.
Remain open. This is not a time to exercise parental authority. It is your child who is educating you. Listen.
Don’t believe the famous adage from the movie “Love Story”(1970): “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Admit when you’re wrong and your kid will be more apt to view you as human, approachable and loving.