Every October 19, GLAAD shines the light on bullying and the effects it has on LGBT youth – generally in school – during Spirit Day. It reminds me personally of “spirit day” back in my high school. It was a time when we would all get together and rally around our football team who was about to take to the football field later in the day for our annual homecoming game.
And on Spirit Day now we rally around LGBT youth who take to the field (school) everyday and have to battle a different opponent: bullies.
As many people know, National Youth Pride Services has teamed up with more than 50 LGBT organizations to work on the National Strategy For Black Gay Youth In America. By the end of the year, about 9,000 black LGBT youth would have completed a needs assessment, detailing what it is like to grow up black and gay in America. Preliminary results show that not only is bullying a issue at school, but in places you rarely hear about: home and the church.
It’s one thing to have to deal with bullying at school, but add having to come home to the equation and you can see why there is such a need for groups like GLAAD, GLSEN, NBJC and NYPS. You expect the black church to use the pulpit to bully LGBT people. Isn’t that where the term “bully pulpit” came from?
Today is a day we encourage people to stand up when you hear someone use anti-gay slurs ANYWHERE, ANY DAY, ANY TIME and ANY PLACE. Don’t just take this pledge on Spirit Day, take this pledge as a life long social justice activity. Below are a few articles that talk about bullying in the black LGBT youth community: