PFLAG shared this video as part of their beautiful project A Note To My Kid, which “gives the parents, families’ friends, and allies of the LGBTQ community the opportunity to share their unconditional love.” We’re touched by Debi Jackson’s message of love to her daughter and the calm words she uses to shatter myths and stereotypes. We thought this post (and the rest on the site!) would make a lovely complement to Note to Self.
If you want to share a note with an LGBTQ loved one please visit www.anotetomykid.org or send your note/photos/videos to email@example.com.
If you’d like to write a letter of self-love to your younger self, please do so right here at Note to Self!
Two projects we love.
Dear High School Karen,
It’s going to be okay. I know, that’s so trite that it almost holds no meaning. You like to think of yourself as a good writer, so I imagine you’re annoyed that I’m speaking in clichés. I mean it though, that pain will end.
I still remember how it feels to truly believe that I’m fundamentally unlikeable. Your friendships drifted away into the woodwork. It happened so quickly that you missed and blinked the fall out. It happened so slowly that you’re still not sure whether or not they’re truly gone. I know. You write passive aggressive poetry and publish it in the school’s literary magazine. They’re all on the board and you’re not sure whether or not they notice that you are too. You’re physically present though they never seem to quite acknowledge you.
Cameron Esposito from Uncivil Union in NYC!
This summer’s TACreps sent us their current favorites for a playlist, and, as always, they did an amazing job. Thank you all for your great work!
GLSEN’s 2011 School Climate Survey found that a curriculum that includes positive representations of LGBT people, history, and events has a significant impact on the well-being of LGBT students. Students with an inclusive curriculum heard fewer homophobic remarks and reported a greater sense of connectedness to their school community. Fewer students felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation (43.4% vs. 67.5%), fewer LGBT students had missed school in the past month (17.7% vs. 34.8%), and more students reported that their classmates were somewhat or very accepting of LGBT people (66.7% vs. 33.2%).
While an inclusive curriculum is clearly successful in promoting respect, only 16.8% of students reported positive representations about LGBT people, history, and events in their classrooms. Less than half of students reported that they could find information about LGBT-related issues in their school library, and only two in five with Internet access at school reported being able to access LGBT-related information online via school computers. We’d like to take time to feature some artists who actively encourage inclusion and respect to youth through the mainstream media.
Janelle Monáe’s voice is a really popular one around the office, both for her incredible albums and for her eloquent support of LGBT equality. Based on some of the lyrics in her most recent album, Electric Lady, and her signature black and white suits and suspenders, Janelle has answered interview questions about her sexual orientation. She hasn’t identified herself as straight, gay, or bisexual, but has come out strongly as an advocate for the LGBT community.
Janelle’s latest album is part of a multi-album project based on the 1927 dystopian sci-fi film Metropolis and starring Janelle’s android alter-ego, Cindi Mayweather. In these songs, Mayweather falls in love with a human and fights against the authoritarian Great Divide for android equality. Janelle explains her conceit in this interview with Pride Source:
“The android represents the form of the new other. You can parallel the android to someone who has been ostracized or discriminated against or marginalized, like you would of a gay man or woman. Or African-Americans during slaveries, even post slavery. Immigrants. The excommunicated. The untouchables. And the Negroids. There are so many parallels to the android — and it’s important to speak about the future, as well — so it’s just my way of communicating to my audience and anyone listening that these people, they walk amongst us. As an artist and as a human rights activist, I feel it’s my duty to speak out against any discrimination or marginalization of people who might not have the power to gain control of their rights.”
Needless to say, we love her music and her message, and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves: “With more compassion for one another, we will be more united and able to look past our religious beliefs and sexual preferences and realize that we came into this world together and we’ll leave together, and so we have to protect each other and protect ourselves while we’re here. […] We have so many things in common, and we sometimes don’t know it when we allow small things to get in the way.”
"As an entertainer, I have a very unique responsibility, because I’m in front of a camera, which means I have a voice. And I’m going to decide to be a really loving, caring, encompassing person. Love everyone, spread that love, and that’s what I’m going to do on camera whenever I get a chance."
We sat down with Carrie Keagan, the host of Uncivil Union, to talk about LGBTQ equality and her role as an entertainer. Her message about bullying is below; if you see bullying at your school and want to work to combat it, consider starting a GSA: http://glsen.org/gsa