The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network – Central New Jersey
2013 SENIOR HONOR AWARDS
We are seeking to honor the achievements of graduating seniors who have demonstrated a strong commitment toward advancing a positive school climate and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network Central New Jersey chapter, GLSEN CNJ, invites you to apply for our senior honor award.
We are offering two awards of $750 each in June of 2013 to graduates of high schools in the central New Jersey area.
Eligibility: Applicants must be a Central New Jersey resident (must live or attend school in Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Burlington, Ocean or Camden County).
Applications and materials must be e-mailed to
no later than SATURDAY, MAY 13, 2013 (No Exceptions)
New Jersey Scouts stand on both sides of the issue
Written by Susan Loyer for MyCentralJersey.Com
Nearly a quarter of a century after James Dale was expelled from a Boy Scout troop in Matawan for being gay, the Boy Scouts of America may be reconsidering their stance.
Last week, the Boy Scouts confirmed that the organization is considering a dramatic retreat from its controversial policy of excluding gays as leaders and youth members. A decision may come as early as Wednesday, after the Boy Scouts of America’s national board conducts a regularly scheduled meeting, spokesman Deron Smith said. Read More
The West Windsor and Plainsboro News recently printed a letter to the editor in which the authors felt that the work of organization such as GLSEN and others that are working to change the culture of bullying in this country should be stopped.
We responded: "Research shows that one of the most common forms of bullying is based on sexual orientation. Eight out of 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students experience harassment at school, according to GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey. LGBT students also report missing school, poorer academic performance, lowered educational aspirations and poorer psychological well-being when they feel unsafe in school." READ MORE
Students promote end of name-calling
Written by Suzanne Russell and Susan Loyer for MyCentralJersey.Com
HILLSBOROUGH — Carter Altman doesn’t want anyone to be bullied.
“It’s hurtful and unnecessary. It hurts me to know people are being bullied,” said Altman, 13, an eighth-grade student at Hillsborough Middle School and member of the school’s Peers Respecting Individuals Differences Everyday (PRIDE) organization.
Altman said the group promotes awareness of stereotypes and helps students take steps to become someone who doesn’t stand by and accept bullying. READ MORE
Tackling issues of LBGTQ homeless youth leads to movement of change
Forum tackles homelessness among LGBTQ
Written by Cheryl Makin for MyCentralJersey.Com
NEW BRUNSWICK — Recognizing the increasing rate of homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youths — including “throw-away kids” rejected by their families — more than 100 professionals sought solutions at a symposium Thursday.
“This is not only an educational event but also a political action, as well,” said John Mikytuck, director of program resources at Life Ties/Triad House. “I am blown away that there are so many people really focused on this issue. ... Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a huge problem if (the) LGBTQ community were accepted in general.” READ MORE
GLSEN - Middle Tennessee: No Name Calling Week Watch the Video on vimeo.com.
A Video and Story about : Teen Comes Out During High School Awards Ceremony on Out.ComWatch the Video.
9th Annual Conference for Gay-Straight Alliances
Was held on
November 17, 2012
West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, West Windsor, NJ
Read the Forum responses FROM STUDENTS/ADVISERS
GLSEN Central New Jersey and HiTOPS teamed up on November 17, 2012, to bring about 250 students advisors and community members together for the ninth annual New Jersey Gay Straight Alliance(GSA) Forum for gay, bisexual and transgender youth, their allies, and supporters.
A number of students and advisers talked with GLSEN CNJ board member and journalist, Bill Cannaci. Safiyah Chin of Brick High School liked the atmosphere of the Forum.
“It’s really open,” she said. “I didn’t expect it to be like this because I figured it was just going to be like a small group of people. But it’s like so many people – so many different kinds of people and everyone’s really nice. Everyone’s trying to help each other learn and make (everyone) grow and become better.”
With Cynthia was John Hall, also of Brick. “Coming from a very open school, it’s kind of surprising to hear that other schools are actually closed-minded and narrow and not accepting as much as our school. But at the same time, it’s sort of upsetting that they don’t have what we have. That’s why we’re here – to try to work forward and to try to open their schools up to the same (level of acceptance).”
Another Ocean County student stated that she learned a lot at the Forum. “It gave a lot of information to me about how I can encourage other people in my school to be more accepting of LGBTQ rights and possibly join our GSA,” she said. “(I want to convince them that) you don’t have to be gay to be in it because there is a lot of stigma against that in our school.”
She especially liked the workshop “Let’s Talk: Being Transgender/Gender Expression,” which was led by Christine Hamlett, an educator and supervisor at Newark Public Schools. “It was really interesting, because I previously didn’t know that transgender applied to more than just female-to-male and male-to-female issues.”
While some of the students were not seeing any of their peers being bullied at school, they agreed that language is a problem. “There is a lot of use of derogatory terms,” offered one participant. “Sometimes I see teachers that might have heard it and didn’t say anything. I just feel like (that needs to change. It’s not OK for you to say ‘Oh that’s gay’ as opposed to saying ‘that’s stupid.’ ”
How often does she hear someone say “That’s so gay”?
“Every single day,” she said. “Almost every single class. In the hallway. I try to address it as much as I can but I get bullied for addressing it and they say ‘You’re being over-sensitive.’ ”
An Ocean Township High School student leader planned to bring back a lot of information to his school. This student also hears the same “That’s so gay” comments on a regular basis. “At any school you’re going to have things like that being thrown around. I tend to try to correct people when I hear it and say ‘Please don’t say that. That offends me.’ … Most of the time they’ll stop because they don’t want (to create a situation.”
As a member of his school’s GSA one of the things he liked about the Forum is that he met and interacted with other GSA leaders.
Amanda and Alex from Edison High School said the same thing.
“We made a lot of new friends,” Amanda said.
Alex said she wishes other students from her school could have joined them. “But meeting people from everywhere else was really awesome,” she said.
Overall, Amanda had a great day at the Forum. “There was a lot of good and new information that I can bring to our GSA,” she said.
One of her favorites was the “Days of Action: Creating Change in Your School Climate” workshop, which was run by Carol Watchler of the Central New Jersey chapter of GLSEN and West Windsor-Plainsboro High School student Rebecca Rost.
“It gave us new information like the Martin Luther King (Jr.) weekend is a volunteer weekend that we didn’t know about that – so we can bring that to the school. And No Name-Calling Week we can try to enforce at the high school and middle school.”
While both Amanda and Alex are looking forward to returning to the Forum next year, this was the second Forum for Lindsey Brodey, a senior at South Brunswick High School.
“It was so well-organized,” she said. “I loved it. I felt like everybody was so diverse. And I felt like for once everybody fit in. Nobody’s the odd one out.”
Lindsey’s favorite workshop was “You Don’t Look Gay…Being Queer My OWN Way,” run by Don Dyson of Widener University. “(It) touched my heart,” she said. “I’m out as a pansexual, which means gender doesn’t matter to me. And everybody always goes, ‘Oh well you look straight.’ It talked about how I don’t have to be a masculine-looking girl to like other girls or other boys or anybody.”
Lindsey will take back information she learned from other sessions, including The Trevor Project’s Lifeguard Workshop for Youth and FANtabulous: Queer in the Media.
John Marron, the adviser to the GSA at South Brunswick, said he learned a lot throughout the day.
“It was transformative,” he said. “Lindsey went last year and brought back a ton of stuff. And she’s been talking it up. And our president of the GSA, she also attends (the HiTops youth group) First and Third … And so they were the cheerleaders who got me off the dime to actually organize a much larger group. And we’ve been growing quite a bit. We went from 10 to 15 kids to officially 52.”
Another community leader, Matthew Loscialo, who runs the support group GLBT of Hunterdon County of New Jersey, also had a great time.
“I learned lots of great ideas to take to the GLBT (youth) group,” he said. “I liked sharing ideas with other people. It was nice seeing people (getting together and working) as one big happy family. I can’t wait to go to the GSA Forum next year.”