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Back to School for SpeakOUT

It’s definitely that time of year again!

The onslaught of back-to-school commercials are the best indicator that students will be filling the classrooms again very soon. And that means SpeakOUT will be heading into those classrooms as well as we raise awareness about LGBTQ+ lives in the new school year.

According to a 2017 National School Climate Survey administered by GLSEN, 60% of LGBTQ+ youth felt unsafe at school due to sexual orientation and 45% felt unsafe at school due to gender identification. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes clear that for youth to thrive in their schools and communities, they need to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe and supported.

A positive school climate is associated with decreased depression, suicidal feelings, substance use, and unexcused school absences among LGBTQ+ students (trans students were not included).
 Within schools that have an LGBTQ+-inclusive curriculum, students were less likely to hear “gay” used in a negative way often or frequently (62% compared to 78% of other students); and less likely to hear negative remarks about gender expression often or frequently (57% vs. 67%).

SpeakOUT has been sharing our #ProudStories for decades with informal storytelling to help create LGBTQ+-supportive spaces in middle and high schools in our region. We know that our proven style of community engagement works to change the way our audiences see LGBTQ+ people. Sharing our diverse stories in schools opens up dialogue that enhances understanding and positively affects the climate of the schools we visit.

Please consider making a gift today to support our work in the schools as well as in the wider community. SpeakOUT educates about LGBTQ+ lives within public libraries, colleges, faith communities, businesses and much more.

All donors who can give $125 or more will receive the new rainbow Red Sox cap as our thank you!

Ellyn Ruthstrom
Executive Director

P.S. Consider making a monthly donation and spread your gift throughout the year. We appreciate the ongoing support!