Support LGBT Youth on Spirit Day- Updated Flyer

NEW LOCATION Due to the Rain Forecast
NEW LOCATION Due to the Rain Forecast
Peace family,

In 2010, several gay youth committed suicide due to bullying.  In response, a high school student named Brittany McMillian started Spirit Day.  On this day, millions of people wear purple to show support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. 

LGBT youth are heavily burdened and face many challenges for simply being who they are.

According to the 2011 National School Climate Survey, conducted by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), 84.9% of students heard "gay" used in a negative way frequently or often at school; 63.5% of LGBT students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and 43.9% because of their gender expression; 81.9% were verbally abused because of their sexual orientation; 63.9 because of their gender identity; 38.3% were physically abused because of their sexual orientation; 27.1% because of their gender expression.

Experiencing such rejection and violence at crucial developmental stages can lead to internalized homophobia and internal conflicts regarding self acceptance.

The late, Harvey Milk once said that all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.  It is very important that LGBT youth feel supported by caring adults, parents, teachers, organizations, etc.

I wanted to show our local LGBT youth that they are not alone in Athens so I started the Spirit Day Speak Out last year.  I want our young people to know that they are loved and appreciated for who they are.  

At the 2nd annual Spirit Day Speak Out, we will gather on Thursday, October 17. There will be speakers from local organizations and free food.  If you are able, please bring a cash donation to support local LGBT youth.  This event is free and is sponsored by Under the Rainbow;  sapph.fire; Our Hope Metropolitan Community Church; UUFA Social Action Committee; Athens Pride and UGA GLOBES.

I want to thank our friends at Ben & Jerry's for stepping up to show their support!  On Wednesday, October 16, Ben & Jerry's (105 College Ave.) is hosting a percentage night (6-8pm) in honor of Spirit Day.  Please stop by for a delicious ice cream treat and they will donate a portion of the proceeds to support LGBT youth.

Please do what you can to get involved.  There are many organizations you can donate to or volunteer with to support LGBT youth.  Here are just a few: Georgia Safe Schools Coalition; Georgia Equality; Trevor Project; It Gets Better Project; GLAAD; GLSEN; Gay-Straight Alliance Network.

Please watch and share the video: "Keep Being You" by Ricky Simone

See you on Spirit Day,
Ricky Simone

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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