LGBTQ+ in the News

Here’s some of what I found in the news in the past week concerning LGBTQ youth.

First, a feel-good story. I came across an article from April 15 of this year about a photographer who “highlights trans youth to put a face behind the headlines.” The photographer, Jess Freidin, takes portrait photos of trans youth surrounded by their supportive family members. Freidin will be traveling the country meeting and photographing these youth and their families. “The goals is to really put a humanizing face to the terrible, dangerous, violent effects of anti-trans laws that we’re seeing pop up.” Read more about Freidin’s project here.

Second, there is a wonderful new pamphlet out, free of charge, with the goal of helping parents learn how to talk with their kids about gender identification. The short (1-page) leaflet is easy to read and to the point, discussing gender identity vs. sexuality, sexual preference, or biological sex. It shares why this topic is an important one to discuss, and how to approach the conversations. The authors are Dr. Marcia Matthews, who has a PhD in Human Sexuality and has practiced as a psychotherapist; Robin Matthews, who holds a certification in elementary education and works for a non-profit serving Jewish LGBTQ+ families; and Steve Fradkin, who has a BS in Business Administration. Read and download the pamphlet here.

Third, did you know that it is unlawful to remove books from school libraries just because the books address LGBTQ+ themes or have LGBTQ+ characters/information? The Supreme Court has found that removing books for that reason amounts to “viewpoint discrimination” – and violates the First Amendment. Just as students have the right to form Gay Straight Alliance clubs – and to call them Gay Straight Alliances – students have the right to have LGBTQ+ representation in their school libraries. If you need more information on this topic, please read the comprehensive article by Lambda Legal, “Preventing Censorship of LGBT Information in Public School Libraries.”

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