It’s Pride Month, but some pretty unfortunate things are happening for LGBTQ people, especially queer youth.
Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law and other similar legislation popping up across the country have made schools unsafe for LGBTQ students by having non-affirmative environments where students are not allowed to express their full authentic selves. Experts say this is detrimental to their education and mental well-being.
Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, executive director of GLSEN, sees these bills as a way to “attack and take away the most vulnerable part of our community”, namely trans youth.
“They attack children’s ability to be safe and participate fully in school life,” they add, which can turn even the simplest and most positive parts of school into a nightmare, such as going to the toilet or joining a sports team.
But the good news is that we can do something about it!
I spoke with experts about ways to show support for LGBTQ families and students during this time. Here are a few ideas:
Know the consequences: Discrimination can be deadly. The Trevor Project estimates that more than 1.8 million LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 24 seriously consider suicide each year in the United States. Every 45 seconds, at least one tries to commit suicide.
Listen closely: We need to listen to young people about what they need, Willingham-Jaggers said. While youth-driven activism is great, these kids shouldn’t be fighting so hard to be seen and heard.
Click here to read the full story and learn more ways to help.
Why We Didn’t See Amber Heard Coming
This week brought us the verdict in the libel lawsuit between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, which took on a cultural significance that most people weren’t prepared for.
My colleague Alia E. Dastagir investigated what all this could mean for other women who claim abuse. Here is an excerpt from her reporting:
After a much-anticipated ruling Wednesday in which Depp won his defamation lawsuit and Heard partially won her counterclaim, the public entered into a debate about the forces responsible for the live-streamed spectacle, whether #MeToo is dead or alive, and, most importantly, how the trial will affect the survivors who have no fame, little power, and far less money than the celebrities in this case.
“I don’t think when the process started, most people saw it as a significant cultural moment,” said Jaclyn Friedman, co-editor of “Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World.” “But I hate that this has become a referendum on #MeToo. #MeToo was a big media moment. It was a hashtag. It’s an organization now. It’s important, but anti-gender violence has been a movement for decades, so not ages, and it will continue. I’m much more interested in how this will affect the victims.”
Click here to read Alia’s full story.
“My mother-in-law is poisonous. Am I wrong to have removed her from my life?’
In our latest advice column, a reader wrote: “My mother-in-law never really liked me. I’ve been with her son for about seven years, and we’ve married almost a year. We also have a one year old daughter together. Every time my mother-in-law comes over, she comments about me under her breath and gives me a dirty look. For example, she will comment on how I never cook, how lazy I am, and make rude comments about my weight or clothing. She also claimed that I took her son from her and that I was the reason she never saw him again… My husband never does anything about the comments she makes and will apologize to her.
I’ve had enough and told my husband I don’t want to be around her anymore. I don’t care if he spends time with her or takes my daughter to see her; I don’t want to be there. It is extremely painful to have her make these comments every time I see her and to have my husband sitting next to me and ignoring it. When I bring it up to him, he changes the subject and doesn’t take it seriously. Am I wrong because I want to banish my mother-in-law from my life? I don’t know what to do, but I can’t stay in this toxic environment anymore.”
Click here to see how our advisory columnist Morgan Absher responded.
“Blu is a mini Aussie and is our pandemic pup,” writes Jen Heinz.