Tag Archives: Reduce Homophobia

Sticks and Stones | Seven Days

Sticks and Stones | Seven Days.

Seven Days article explores how “Outright Vermont teaches kids that words do hurt.”

“89% of LGBT students heard the word “gay” (e.g., “that’s so gay”) used in a negative way frequently or often at school.

85% were verbally harassed at school because of their sexual orientation.

53% were harassed or threatened by peers via electronic media such as text messages, e-mails and Facebook.

From the 2009 National School Climate Survey of LGBT youth conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.”

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“Better Together: Racial Justice and the LGBT Community”

This report “prepared by the Applied Research Center (ARC) in partnership with the Arcus Foundation, this study examines the relationship between racial justice organizations and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities, finding the lack of resources, funding, and community support are obstacles to engagement between the two communities.”

“Showing Gay Teenagers a Happy Future”

Anthony, an Outright Vermont board member suggested that the ERC should check out Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project.

“A new online video channel is reaching out to teenagers who are bullied at school for being gay. The message: life really does get better after high school.” Tara Parker Pope, New York Times

Anthony’s story is actually featured on the It Gets Better project.

Read the New York Times article about it [here].

(The project lives on a YouTube channel so watching it from a BSD computer might not be an option-so remember to watch it at another location before/after school!)

“GLAAD releases report on LGBT representation on TV”

By Jos | Published: July 26, 2010

Cover of the GLAAD 2009 to 2010 Network Responsibility Index“GLAAD has released their fourth annual Network Responsibility Index, “an evaluation of the quantity, quality and diversity of images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on television.” GLAAD reviews the programming on all the major broadcast networks and 10 major cable networks and gives each a grade of Excellent, Good, Adequate, or Failing.

As I’ve argued before, media representation is important to humanize LGBT folks to a wider audience and to show queer and trans folks, especially youth who may not be a supportive environment, that other people like them exist and can be OK.

This year’s report shows a marked improvement in the representation of LGBT folks on TV. Some key findings:

  • This year, MTV becomes the first network, cable or broadcast, to receive an “Excellent” rating in this report due to the quality and diversity of its many LGBT impressions. Of the 10 cable networks evaluated, MTV posted the largest increase and ranked highest for LGBT-inclusive original content. Out of 207.5 total hours of original primetime programming, 87 (42%) hours included LGBT impressions. In addition to the racial and ethnic diversity of its characters, MTV also represented a broad cross-section of the LGBT community in its programming.
  • After three years in second place, The CW is now the top broadcast network in this report with 198.5 (35%) LGBT-inclusive hours out of 570 total hours of original programming. This is the highest percentage ever recorded for a broadcast network since this report’s inception, though it should be noted that The CW airs less total primetime programming hours than the other broadcast networks.
  • For the first time since GLAAD began this report, all of the five major broadcast networks posted  an increase in LGBT-inclusive primetime programming hours. However, CBS continues to lag behind its competitors, once again earning a “Failing” grade.

I’m not surprised to see better representation on cable, where shows can be targeted at a smaller market and content that’s censored on broadcast stations is allowed. This becomes an issue of access to representation – we didn’t have cable growing up, which means I missed out on some of the few queer characters on TV at the time. It was impossible to figure out who I was when I saw no positive examples of transgender folks reflected back at me anywhere.

I’m also not surprised to see the CW move to the top of the broadcast list – the network’s programming is aimed at young folks, who have higher rates of acceptance for LGBT folks and support for LGBT issues than other generations. The CW was also mentioned in the index for having the most racial/ethnic diversity of any broadcast network.

I appreciate the nuanced take on representation in this report. FOX is commended for overall improvements in their programming but criticized for offensive humor in their Sunday cartoons. ABC is called out for representing overwhelmingly white LGBT characters. All networks did poorly representing Asian Pacific Islander LGBT folks.

One thing I would like to see emphasized more in the index is the need for transgender representation. Trans TV characters and personalities are mentioned in the report, like repeats of the America’s Top Model cycle featuring Isis, a trans woman, helping the CW’s rankings. But I would like to see GLAAD call for deliberate and positive representation of trans folks on TV.

I think the major take away from the index this year is how much better networks are doing. There really does seem to be a marked improvement in the representation of gays and lesbians on television, and even slow growth in representation of bisexual and transgender folks.”

This blog was taken from Jos over at feministing.com. Many thanks to Jos for the great analysis!

10 Ways to Reduce Homophobia

This list comes from our friends at Outright VermontThe Mission of Outright is to build safe, healthy, and supportive environments for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth (ages 13-22). Their goal is to make Vermont the safest, most supportive and empowering state for queer youth in America.

Follow this link 10 Ways To Reduce to see the bounty of suggestions about each point on the list.

10 Ways to Reduce Homophobia

1.) Make No assumptions about sexuality

2.) Have something gay-related visible in your office.

3.) Support, normalize, and validate youths’ feelings about their sexuality.

4.) Do not pressure youth to come out to parents, friends, or family.

5.) Guarantee confidentiality with youth.

6.) Challenge Homophobia, kill stereotypes.

7.) Combat heterosexism in your program.

8.) Learn about and refer to community resources.

9.) Encourage schools, agencies, businesses, and organizations to adopt and enforce anti-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation.

10.) Provide positive role models.