Sameer Jha is a 17-year-old high school student and LGBTQ activist. He reached out to me via my LinkedIn profile to make me aware of his newly published book titled “Read This, Save Lives: A Teacher’s Guide to Creating Safer Classrooms for LGBTQ+ Students” available on Amazon in Kindle format and paperback. Sameer is a South Asian queer activist, HRC Youth Ambassador, and GLSEN National Student Council leader from Fremont, CA, who founded The Empathy Alliance, a regional nonprofit that supports safety for LGBTQ youth in schools.
Jha notes that, according to the GLSEN National School Climate Survey, 85.2% of LGBT students have experienced verbal harassment at school based on their sexual orientation or gender expression.
It’s so wonderful to live in a time where young people like Sameer are empowered to take action to change the world. Sameer gained the attention of Logo, New Next Now, “Young Leaders 2018: 6 Fearless LGBTQ Activists Who Refuse to Settle for the Status Quo“.
I was bullied throughout middle school because I was a gender nonconforming boy who loved princess toys, singing, and theatre,” Jha explains. “After I came out during my freshman year in high school, my life turned around. I found love and acceptance, as well as a new purpose: to make sure others would not experience the same harassment I did. – Sameer Jha
Read This, Save Lives aims to help teachers create classrooms and schools where gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer students can thrive. This book has deep personal relevance for Sameer, because he was severely bullied for being different in elementary and middle school. As he grew older, he learned more about his own identity and came out as queer and trans. He found acceptance, as well as a new purpose: to put an end to anti-LGBTQ+ bullying in schools.
Today, Sameer is an activist, an educator, and the founder of a non-profit called The Empathy Alliance. He is a Congressional Silver Medal recipient, has been named one of the top 10 trans youth activists in America, and has reached over 1 million people with his message promoting LGBTQ+ student safety. This book tells the story of Sameer’s journey, using specific incidents to illustrate important lessons about LGBTQ+ youth needs and how to meet them.
Find more than a 100 actionable tips created with busy, resource-constrained teachers in mind. An entire chapter is devoted to an extraordinary teacher who has transformed her own school using many of the same principles included in this guide. Read This, Save Lives is brimming with expert quotes, sobering statistics, cutting-edge research, critical terminology, real-world case studies, and resources from some of the best LGBTQ+ rights organizations in the country. Get ready to be inspired by one of the few books on the topic of LGBTQ+ youth safety that has actually been written by an LGBTQ+ youth!
Video interview with Sameer:
Are you aware of an LGBT owned business or community non-profit we should inform our readers about? Contact us with an LGBT owned business lead or news tip.