FOCUS: LGBTQ Equality & Safety
GOAL: Celebrate National Coming Out Day
National Coming Out Day, October 11, marks the anniversary of the 1987 LGBT March on Washington. Sometimes people will ask why make a big deal about “coming out?” For one thing, visibility matters, says Jeff Perrotti, the Director of Massachusetts’ Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students. Perrotti describes his thoughts as a 9th grader in sex ed class, when he told himself:
“…you know that you’re attracted to other guys, and you feel like you’re the only one. If and when you get older, talk about it so other young people your age know that they’re not alone and they’re not too young to know what they’re feeling.”
Now Perrotti works to help adults understand what is needed by students who are grappling with issues related to sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
The Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students was founded in 1993 in response to concerns about LGBTQ youth suicides and other risk factors, the program now offers a range of services designed to help schools implement state laws impacting LGBTQ students, including the state’s anti-bullying law, gender identity law, and student anti-discrimination law.
Massachusetts’ Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students provides training, technical assistance, and professional development to school administrators and staff on topics related to gender identity, sexual orientation, and school climate.
You can request training and get more information about services, support, and resources offered by the Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students here.
WHAT YOU CAN ALSO DO:
Support Bill H.1190 “An Act relative to abusive practices to change sexual orientation and gender identity in minors.” This important legislation seeks to prohibit state licensed mental health professionals from subjecting minors to conversion therapy practices to change sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
- Contact the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and ask them to support H.1190.
- Senate Chair: James Welch 617-722-1660
- House Chair: Peter Kocot 617-722-2430
- Contact your State Senator and State Representative in support of H.1190.
For more information on conversion therapy, read this article from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, “#BornPerfect: The Facts About Conversion Therapy.”
ADDITIONAL READING & INFO:
TO REACH YOUR MOCs:
1. Reach MOCs via the Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
2. Look up your elected senators and reps.
3. Use Faxzero to send free faxes from your computer to your Senator or Congressperson.
4. Use Resistbot to send faxes to your senators right from your phon.: Text the word “RESIST” to 50409.