5 LGBT things you need to know today, March 12

1. A trade newspaper for Chicago's taxi industry is threatening to Uber five alderman out of the closet unless the City Council bans ride-sharing services like that one, Lyft and Sidecar. Luckily our city counc...
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National LGBT groups support efforts seeking federal investigation into killing of Trayvon Martin

More than 30 national LGBT groups signed onto a letter Monday showing support for organizations and community leaders asking the federal government to investigate the slaying of Trayvon Martin after his accused killer was acquitted.

The NAACP, which openly supports marriage equality, has a petition set up at its website and is asking people to sign it to demand the Obama administration file a civil rights case against George Zimmerman. The petition went up on Saturday, the day a 6-woman jury found Zimmerman not guilty in the killing of Martin, an African American teen who was 17 and unarmed and was returning to his family's house after walking to a nearby convenience store for tea and Skittles.

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Ga. LGBT students prepare for National Day of Silence

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Students from across the country will protest anti-gay bullying by remaining silent during the Friday, April 19, school day as part of the annual National Day of Silence.

The event, organized by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) since 2001, is meant to highlight the need for bully-free safe schools for all students, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

According to GLSEN, nearly nine out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment in American schools each year, while 60 percent of LGBT youth report feeling “unsafe” at school because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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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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National Gay-Straight Alliance Day aims to recognize student groups

Gay-Straight Alliance

Today is National Gay-Straight Alliance Day, a day meant to recognize the work gay-straight alliances do in schools across the country to combat bullying, homophobia and transphobia.

Thousands of students now attend colleges and high schools which have gay-straight alliance groups. These groups have become more prominent in recent years, and many have formed in response to instances of bullying or LGBT youth suicide.

LGBT students who attend schools with a GSA are much less likely to suffer bullying or hate speech than LGBT students who do not, according to the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

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Survey: Homophobic remarks, harassment common in Ga. schools

Virtually all LGBT students from Georgia who participated in a recent School Climate survey reported hearing homophobic slurs like "dyke" and "fag," and almost half said they had been pushed or shoved because of their sexual orientation.

The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network surveyed some 7,261 LGBT students across the country for the 2009 National School Climate Survey. The survey — conducted every two years — included 175 high school and middle school students from Georgia. GLSEN released the Georgia-specific results today.

“LGBT students face disturbing levels of victimization in Georgia. We hope this new research will be a wake-up call to Georgia leaders that more needs to be done to ensure that LGBT students are safe and have an equal opportunity to learn,” said Dr. Joseph Kosciw, GLSEN Senior Director of Research and Strategic Initiatives, in a June 27 press release. “Students are clearly saying educators and policymakers are not doing enough to stop anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.”

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Chicago Bulls player forgets Kobe lesson, uses anti-gay slur during playoff game

Chicago Bulls Center Joakim Noah

Chicago Bulls Center Joakim Noah apologized after last night's NBA playoff game for appearing to direct an anti-gay slur toward a fan during the game's first quarter.

The Miami Heat played host to the Bulls in the third game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

Noah owned up to the choice of words, saying immediately after the game that he was sorry for using the slur: “A fan said something, and I said something back. I apologized. I don't know what's going to happen. I got caught up. I didn't mean any disrespect to anybody.”