a note of inclusion
LGBTQ “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer”
Stone Soup Shakespeare is committed to inclusive storytelling and representation. Our production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night features characters and performers that are LGBTQ. Here is some information and resources about the LGBTQ community and how you can be an ally to LGBTQ people.
FACTS ABOUT LGBTQ YOUTH
LGBTQ youth are more likely than their peers to experience negative health and life outcomes. Having a school that creates a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and having caring and accepting parents are especially important. For youth to thrive in schools and communities, they need to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe and supported.
320,000 to 400,000 gay and transgender youth face homelessness each year.
Only 26% of LGBTQ youth say they always feel safe in their school classrooms, and just 5% say all of their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people.
67% of LGBTQ youth report that they’ve heard family members make negative comments about LGBTQ people
LGBT youth who experience rejection from their families are:
HOW TO BE AN LGBTQ ALLY
Be honest: It’s important to be honest with yourself — acknowledging your feelings and coming to terms with them. And it means being honest with the person who came out in your life — acknowledging you aren't an expert, asking them what's important to them, seeking resources to better understand the realities of being an LGBTQ individual so that you can be truly informed and supportive.
Send gentle signals: Showing and sharing your acceptance and support can be very easy. Many people often don’t realize that LGBTQ people keep watch for signs from their friends, family and acquaintances about whether it is safe to be open with them. It can be as subtle as having an LGBTQ-themed book on your coffee table.
Have courage: Just as it takes courage for LGBTQ people to be open and honest about who they are, it also takes courage to support your LGBTQ friends or loved ones. We live in a society where prejudice still exists and where discrimination is still far too common. Recognizing these facts and giving your support to that person will take your relationship to a higher level and is a small step toward a better and more accepting world.
Be reassuring: Explain to someone who came out to you that their sexual orientation or gender identity has not changed how you feel about them, but it might take a little while for you to digest what they have told you. You still care for and respect them. And that you want to do right by them and that you welcome them telling you if anything you say or do is upsetting.
Let your support inform your decisions: It’s about working to develop a true understanding of what it means to be LGBTQ in America and trying to do your part to help break down the walls of prejudice and discrimination that still exist.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS:
Ally - A person who is not LGBTQ but shows support for LGBTQ people and promotes equality
Bisexual - A person emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender or gender identity
Cisgender - A term for someone whose gender identity aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth
Gender expression - External appearance of one's gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, which may or may not conform to characteristics typically associated with being either feminine or masculine
Gender identity - One’s concept of self as female, male, a blend of both, or neither
Gender non-conforming - People who do not behave in a way that conforms to the traditional expectations of their gender or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category
Non-binary - An adjective describing a person who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman
Queer - A term people often use to express fluid identities and orientations, often used interchangeably with "LGBTQ"
Transgender - An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth
You are not alone. If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386. Or text “START” to TrevorText at 678678. Available 24/7/365.
Or contact the LGBT National Help Center, a hotline and online chat service for LGBTQ people of all ages, at 1-888-843-4564 or www.glbthotline.org. Anyone can call or chat, even if they are not in crisis.
Center for American Progress. Gay and transgender youth homelessness by the numbers. www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2010/06/21/7980/gay-and-transgender-youth-homelessness-by-the-numbers/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health. www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/youth.htm
Human Rights Campaign. 2018 LBGTQ Youth Report. www.hrc.org/resources/2018-lgbtq-youth-report
Human Rights Campaign. How to be an LGBT Ally. By Haley Miller. www.hrc.org/blog/how-to-be-an-lgbt-ally
Pediatrics, Vol 123. Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in white and Latino lesbian, gay and bisexual young adults. By Caitlin Ryan, David Huebner, Rafael M. Diaz, & Jorge Sanchez. www.pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/123/1/346
page content compiled by Eric Mercado