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Survey finds rampant homophobia in Ga. schools

The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network released a "snapshot" today of what life is like for LGBT students in Georgia schools, and it's not a pretty picture.

Some 92 percent of Georgia middle and high school students surveyed reported "regularly" hearing homophobic slurs like "fag," while more than 40 percent said they had been physically harassed and more than 20 percent had been physically assaulted based on sexual orientation.

“While we have seen some progress nationally in the 14 years since we started our National School Climate Survey, much work remains to ensure that all Georgia schools are safe and affirming environments for LGBT students,” said Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN executive director, in a press release. “We look forward to working with our Georgia partners to ensure that every LGBT student has equal access to a quality education.” 

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[Video] Anti-bully bill needs revision but finds support in Ga. House education subcommittee

Keisha Waites

Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) fielded questions on her anti-bully legislation, HB 429, today before a Georgia General Assembly education subcommittee.

As written, HB 429 would expand the state's anti-bullying laws and require schools to issue annual reports on instances of bullying where a student is disciplined. Waites is one of three openly gay members of the Georgia General Assembly.

Committee members, including Education Committee Chairman Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth), questioned the need for additional punishments against students who bully, but seemed favorable to the idea of requiring schools to submit annual reports on instances of bullying.

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Pro-gay rugby star Ben Cohen to attend ATL screening of ‘Legalize Gay’ documentary

Ben Cohen, a U.K. rugby star athlete and founder of the Atlanta-based to combat bullying and homophobia in sports, will be in Atlanta June 11 for a screening of “Legalize Gay” as part of Atlanta Pride’s Stonewall month of events.

The screening is a collaboration of the StandUp Foundation, Atlanta Pride Committee and Out on Film, Atlanta’s LGBT film fest where “Legalize Gay” had its world premiere last year. It is also a fundraiser for all three groups, with tickets priced at $15.

A Q&A with Cohen will take place after the movie screening, which is set for 7:30 p.m. at Midtown Art Cinema.

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‘Leave It on the Floor,’ ‘Bully’ coming to ATL

'Leave It on the Floor'

Despite the recent focus on bullying in schools, many LGBT kids face their worst bullying at home. Take your pick from new films about these two kinds of bullying – or see both.

Old school meets new in “Leave It on the Floor,” a refreshing musical set in the ball scene immortalized by Jennie Livingston in “Paris Is Burning,” or at least its West Coast equivalent.

It begins when the mother of the teenaged protagonist, Brad (Ephraim Sykes), finds out he’s gay and throws him out of the house. (It’s OK. He steals her car.) Brad lands on his feet and discovers another kind of house in the ball scene, where his guide is Princess Eminence (Phillip Evelyn) of the House of Eminence.