Wednesday, June 11, 2008

SSC's Kyle Rapinan and Beth Reis quoted in article on Alternet today

Even with the law on their side, GLBT students still have to struggle to take same-sex partners to prom.

When I was in high school in the mid-'60s, it never occurred to lesbians and gays to go to their proms with a same-sex partner.
... and
I had a long talk with a 17-year-old Seattle lad named Kyle Rapinan. As a kid who was homeless for a few years (he's with a foster family now), who is out in school and who is a leader in his school's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), he has been the target of a lot of scary bullying, he told me. This has involved everything from obscenities on the school's bathroom walls to mean and threatening postings on social networking sites like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook.

The cyber brutality has been particularly difficult, as Kyle sees academic achievement as his one route out of a difficult life. He's worried about the impact of all this online junk on his professional life in the future. "Getting bullied," he said, "was really depressing. If it wasn't for the GSA at my school, I'd go crazy."

He took his boyfriend to his prom a couple of weeks ago, despite the harassment.
... and
One of the other prominent national organizations supporting GLBT youth is the Safe Schools Coalition (SCC). Co-chair Beth Reis tells me that SSC has provided intervention specialists to work with individual gay kids who become targets of attacks.
... and
The proms organized especially for gay kids are an essential alternative, Reis believes. "We have an obligation as an adult community to bridge the gap until such time as every high school prom feels totally safe and every same-sex date situation there seems totally unremarkable."

However, she admires the kids who stand up to the opposition and attend traditional proms with same-sex partners. "It's incredible that some young people have what it takes to endure sometimes brutal harassment from peers and from the community."
Read this whole article:
GLBT Youth Fight for the Right to Party at Prom
by Sue Katz - AlterNet - June 11, 2008
and please comment on it here and on the Alternet site.

No comments:

Post a Comment