Hi Trevor. I've sent in a few letters before, but this time I'm doing pretty fine. I just need a little help on some resources to help people understand how words affect people. I recently started going to public school, and today I told my English teacher about how it's upsetting to me that so many kids in class say such mean and homophobic things. He completely understood and he said he'd so what he could to help. I'm hoping you can give me some other resources besides Trevor and GLSEN so that I can do my best to get people to understand? Thank you.
Dear Morgan B,
It's great that you're getting involved in helping your classmates understand the impact of their words and attitudes on others, and how cool that you have an understanding English teacher willing to help! Hopefully your efforts will make a difference not only in your own life, but in in the lives of your peers.
As far as resources go, Trevor and GLSEN are a really good start. You might also want to check out Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" project (http://www.itgetsbetter.org/), which houses a collection of videos made by and for people dealing with bullying. It's an amazing site to better understand the results of intolerance and bullying on gay and lesbian people. Also worth a look are the websites for the Human Rights Campaign (http://www.hrc.org/), the largest gay rights organization in the United States, and for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) (http://www.glaad.org/). Of special interest at the GLAAD site is the page that discusses Spirit Day (http://www.glaad.org/spiritday/19days), which is coming up on October 19, and which might be of interest given what you're trying to do with your classmates.
Hopefully these sites will get you started with some resources you can use as you make the case for greater tolerance and understanding among your school friends. If we at Trevor can help with anything else, don't hesitate to drop us another note. And, congratulations again for what you're trying to do at school. Efforts like yours are what we all depend on to make this a better world for all of us.
Take care, Morgan!