The reading for this week which was Safe Spaces by Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August, and Megan S. Kennedy was great. I really liked it, because it made me think a lot about the struggle that the LGBT community goes through. It is unfortunate how they have to be marginalized and ignored. It isn’t fair. Most importantly it made me think about how true this article is, in the sense that in school I never really had the LGBT topic mentioned. As a future educator I do see the need of really having that topic mentioned, to prevent generations of children from discriminating and bullying other classmates or individuals simply because of their sexual orientation.
For this week’s reading I decided to relate it to a hyperlink. Just when I typed LGBT in google trying to find a way to put all of my ideas together, the first thing that came up was this cool website and organization http://www.prideri.com/?page_id=9 it’s called RI Pride, which is an organization that helps the RI LGBT community be represented and not discriminated against. At the same time it also helps them embrace who they are.
Trying to stop the discrimination and marginalization as mentioned in the reading against the LGBT community, in 1976 people who believed in educating the larger community about the struggle and rights of people with different sexual orientations but that at the same time believed in having the LGBT community embrace who they are and what their preferences are, created the first ever pride parade in RI. State and City leaders attempted to block the parade, but they couldn’t. In the first ever pride parade 75 people marched through downtown Providence and eventually they formed the RI Pride organization. Events such as the RI pride parade helped with the “gay liberation movement” and also with the movement to extend civil rights protections to gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals in 1995, and also to transgender individuals in 2001.
Today the RI Pride has over 25,000 members, even though it started with less than 100 members.
RI Pride has a lot to do with Safe Spaces. The way I connect both of them is that in Safe Spaces we learn about how marginalized the LGBT community is, but in the RI Pride website we learn about all of the activities they organize in order to stop that discrimination. RI Pride organizes “seminars, rallies, performances, theme events, art, and literacy programs, and projects” in order to stop the discrimination and bullying against the LBGT community, that as we see in Safe Spaces a lot of the time it sadly starts within the classroom and in schools all throughout America. .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnB6FgDz0Lk This is a link to RI Pride TV which is a series of videos in YouTube to help the public better understand the RI Pride organization and how they help the LGBT community.
As I mentioned before Safe Spaces and the RI Pride organization have a lot in common. In Safe Spaces we learn about how all throughout America students from K-12 are not informed about concerns and issues relating to the LGBT community. Perhaps this lack of information and this invisibility is what causes generations to continue having wrong ideas and opinions regarding the LGBT community, and thus creating a system of discrimination and bullying. Such system causes the death of many people such as “Justin, a promising musician [who] was bullied because of his sexual orientation, [causing him to take] his life after finishing his freshman year”. We continue on learning how the LGBT community is not represented in the curriculum, meaning that they are not represented in school. With a lack of representation in the curriculum they are not like the other students who do actually “see themselves as wise or powerful main characters or heroes worthy of celebration and emulation [and that] will feel validated, included, and safe inside their classrooms”. Typical marriages are they only ones discussed, and at times even teachers with good intentions don’t know how to explain or represent the aspects of the LGBT community. As we see all of this creates students with a lack of understanding of LGBT concepts and thus we create a community who discriminates against their own fellow brothers and sisters. This is where organizations like RI Pride come in, to make a change, and help “individuals in Rhode Island to learn about the issues, concerns and contributions of sexual minorities”. Most importantly trying to help with what sadly goes on in schools “The PrideFest also includes an education and interactive recreational area called theKid’s Pride Zone to provide GLBT parents a place to engage in family oriented activities with their children at the festival” that they organize each year celebrating who they are and what they represent. Thankfully we have organizations like RI Pride who fight for equality.