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Back to School: GLAAD Video of LGBTQ Families in Florida Speaking Out about Legislation Targeting Classrooms

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. and NEW YORK, Aug. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, and Equality Florida are releasing video of LGBTQ families and educators in Florida speaking out about returning to school today with new laws in effect targeting them.

Newsrooms can download the videos, scripts, additional interviews, stills and graphics to include in their back to school coverage.

LGBTQ people and families in Florida speak out about the impact of anti-LGBTQ legislation in class as students go back to school.
LGBTQ people and families in Florida speak out about the impact of anti-LGBTQ legislation in class as students go back to school.

New laws are banning LGBTQ-related conversation in class, books are removed from shelves and state leaders are targeting evidence-based healthcare, despite the fact that every major medical association supports it as safe and lifesaving for transgender youth.

GLAAD’s poll of LGBTQ and ally voters in Florida finds 71% believe the laws’ intent is to attack LGBTQ people; 70% say the laws are emotionally damaging to children.

The poll shows 77% strongly agree it’s more important than ever to vote as human rights for women and LGBTQ Floridians are being taken away by elected state officials, and that 67% are “extremely motivated” to vote in the midterm elections.

77% of LGBTQ and ally voters have an unfavorable opinion of Gov. Ron DeSantis. The 2018 gubernatorial race was decided by 32,463 votes out of 8+ million. LGBTQ and ally voters are positioned to make a decisive difference in Florida’s election this fall. (Read the pollster memo.)

“Florida’s LGBTQ and ally voters must send an unmistakable message that they are not going back in the closet or back in time,” said GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis. “Discriminatory, defamatory and dangerous rhetoric and behavior must stop now.”

“It is imperative that Floridians use the power of their votes to hold Governor DeSantis and his allies accountable for the hate they unleashed on our state,” said Equality Florida Press Secretary, Brandon Wolf.

4.6% of Floridians are LGBTQ; 24% of LGBTQ Floridians are raising children.

About Equality Florida:
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Visit or follow Equality Florida on Facebook and Twitter.

About GLAAD:
GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. Visit, connect on Facebook and Twitter, contact:


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Students and Teachers Warn That Schools’ Use of Monitoring Software Is Harming Students

New research findings have education and privacy advocates calling for urgent action to ensure technology doesn’t infringe on students’ civil rights

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) released new research detailing the concerning impact of software that tracks students’ online activity on devices like laptops or tablets. With 89% of teachers reporting the use of such software in their schools (up five percentage points since last year), the report cites students being targeted for disciplinary actions, law enforcement contact, and being outed without their consent.

“We’ve found that nearly every school in the country is giving devices to students – and monitoring is hurting them,” says CDT President and CEO Alexandra Reeve Givens. “Our data shows that nearly half of teachers say they know of at least one student who has been contacted by law enforcement as a result of student activity monitoring. When you combine the resurgence of violence in schools with the mental health crisis among kids, schools are surveilling students’ activities more than ever. But these efforts to make students safer more often result in disciplining students instead.”

The report cites students being targeted for discipline, contacted by law enforcement, and outed without consentTweet this

The new research shows that 78 percent of teachers whose school uses monitoring software say that students have been flagged for disciplinary action, and 59 percent were actually disciplined as a result. Additionally, 44 percent of these teachers report students have been contacted by law enforcement due to an alert generated by this technology.

“Certain groups of students, like those with disabilities, Black and Hispanic students, and  LGBTQ+ youth, bear the brunt of the unintended consequences of student activity monitoring.” says Elizabeth Laird, Director of the Equity in Civic Technology Project at CDT. “Fortunately, federal laws already exist to protect these students, but they must be enforced–which is why CDT is calling on the U.S. Department of Education to protect students’ civil rights online in the same way they do in the classroom.”

Disciplinary actions that resulted from student activity monitoring fell disproportionately along racial lines, with 48 percent of Black students and 55 percent of Hispanic students reporting that they or someone they know got into trouble, compared to 41 percent of white students. 29 percent of LGBTQ+ students report that they or another student they know has had their sexual orientation or gender identity disclosed without their consent. Finally, students with a learning difference or physical disability were more likely than their peers to suppress their true thoughts online because they know they are being monitored.

Givens noted that student monitoring is also a concern after the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, since students seeking to access reproductive health websites or message friends about abortion options must now anticipate the risk of being monitored or potentially flagged for law enforcement in states where abortion is illegal.

In response to the new research, multiple influential civil society groups have signed a letter calling for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to issue a policy statement that clarifies the ways that student monitoring technology violates civil rights laws, condemns surveillance practices that run afoul of these laws, and states its intent to take enforcement action against violations that result in discrimination.

The letter has so far been signed by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, the Center for Democracy & Technology, Civil Rights Corps, Common Sense Media, the Data Quality Campaign, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Freedom to Read Foundation, InnovateEDU, LGBT Tech, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Next Century Cities, the People’s Economic & Environmental Resiliency Group, and the State Educational Technology Directors Association.

The research was compiled based on surveys of parents, teachers, and students. You can find the full text of the research report and corresponding summary report here.

For more information about the report or to be connected to a spokesperson from CDT, please email or call (202) 407-8811.

CDT is a 27-year-old 501(c)3 nonpartisan nonprofit organization that fights to put democracy and human rights at the center of the digital revolution. It works to promote democratic values by shaping technology policy and architecture, with a focus on equity and justice. The Equity in Civic Technology Project works to advance responsible civic technology use and strong privacy practices that protect the rights of individuals and families.

CONTACT: Elizabeth Seeger, Center for Democracy & Technology | (202) 407-8811

SOURCE Center for Democracy and Technology

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University of Phoenix Employees Celebrate Phoenix Pride Parade

Employee Resource Group leads participation in Phoenix community event

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–University of Phoenix employees support the Phoenix Pride Parade, held November 6, the annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community held in Phoenix, Arizona. University of Phoenix Employee Resource Group (ERG), Allies of Pride, with over 500 members, promotes the event to staff, students and faculty and provides volunteer support.

During the pandemic, many similar celebrations and in-person community events and support opportunities were cancelled or delayed.

“It’s important to remember that Pride is not just a parade or a specific month in which we celebrate. Pride is what we do every day. It’s what’s inside us, how we live our lives open and honestly and how we support each other. Pride is never cancelled,” shares Julie Fink, vice president of Human Resources at University of Phoenix. “However, we are excited to have a visual and in-person celebration of our community and support for each other, which is so critical as we emerge from a very difficult year and a half. This parade is an opportunity to celebrate, be together, and to support our loved ones, family members, and each other.”

The purpose of Allies of Pride employee resource group is to promote awareness within the University and community of LGBTQ understanding and acceptance. Additionally, the goal is to attract “allies” who support LGBTQ causes and rights to create a stronger support network both internally and externally of the organization.

“The University of Phoenix is dedicated to the work of advancing inclusion as part of its focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB),” Fink states. “It has received perfect successive scores on the HRC Corporate Equality Index. This highlights the University’s willingness to review practices to make changes or adapt to evolving nondiscrimination views.”

The HRC Corporate Equality Index is a self-reported system that evaluates workplace equality in regard to specific criteria, including workforce protections, inclusive benefits, supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility, and responsible citizenship. University of Phoenix has received a perfect Equality Index score consecutively over the past four years.

Learn more about the Phoenix Pride Parade here.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit


MEDIA CONTACT: Sharla Hooper

University of Phoenix

Colleges Pioneering LGBTQ Education & Acceptance

HARTFORD, Conn., July 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — From 1994 to 2020, public acceptance of LGBTQ+ people rose from 46% to 72%. This meteoric rise is due, in part, to the pioneering work of American colleges and universities. 

Some began their efforts even before the American Psychiatric Association dropped its categorization of homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973

Given the progress, College Values Online studied and ranked the top 30 colleges that continue to find innovative ways to recognize and include the LGBTQ+ community into society.

“During pride month, we took the opportunity to examine which colleges were finding ways to break down barriers and make their campuses a safer, more inclusive space for their LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff,” said Julia McCaulley, College Values Online Editor. “What we found was very encouraging. Acceptance of diversity is a crucial aspect, not only to those within the LGBTQ+ community but to everybody who works, studies, and lives on college campuses across the country. We are pleased to present the schools that earned top marks for promoting these changes!”

Here’s a sampling of  30 US Colleges That Have Made Great Strides In LGBTQ+ Acceptance

The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Thanks to LGBTQ+ activists at the University of Michigan, the college made history in 1971 when it opened the first staff office for LGBTQ+ students in an American institution of higher learning. The two-person staff created a system of peer advisors trained to help LGBTQ+ students. Today, LGBTQ+ issues are promoted throughout the college. For instance, its medical school ensures that all of its students learn about LGBTQ+ health concerns. Campus Pride names it one of the best LGBTQ+ colleges in America.

University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
This university has led significant achievements in LGBTQ+ rights. Perhaps the earliest indirect accomplishment was the graduation of John Burnside, who later founded the Los Angeles Gay Liberation Front. In the 1950s, a college urologist performed one of the earliest gender-reassignment surgeries. One of its psychologists published research showing that homosexuality was not a psychological disease. Pioneering achievements continue at UCLA. For instance, the college’s health department has been tracking transgender and nonbinary experiences during the pandemic in the hopes of providing better care. 

University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon
The University of Oregon has seen more than four decades of grassroots activism by LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff, and community allies. In 1969, the University became home to the Gay People’s Alliance. The first accommodation that the college provided to LGBTQ+ people took place in 1971, when the college adopted equal employment opportunities, by stating that it would not regard any “extraneous considerations” in hiring decisions. In 1992, the college formed the Standing Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT). Today, the college encourages equality in many ways, such as the John R. Moore Scholarship, which gives students $2,000 for excelling in contributing to the LGBTQ+ community at the college.

Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana
The first LGBTQ group on the Purdue University campus was the Purdue Gay Alliance, formed in 1971. A few years later, the college became home to the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Women’s Alliance. Today, the college’s LGBTQ+ Center hosts a wide range of welcoming activities. Higher Education Today notes that Purdue University has one of the best LGBTQ inclusion policies in America. 

Stanford University
Stanford, California
The Stanford Sexual Rights Forum was founded in 1965. This student organization became the first student group to advocate nationally for civil rights for LGBTQ+ people. In 1968, the college also saw the foundation of the Homophile League of Stanford University, the second homosexual student group in America. It was followed up in 1970 with the Stanford Gay Students Union. More achievements included the first gay studies course in 1973 and the tenured hiring of the first openly gay professor at the college in 1977. More recently, the college introduced the Stanford LGBT Executive Leadership Program in 2016. 

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is home to the second oldest LGBTQ+ center in America, which opened in 1982. It has grown over the years and today occupies an entire building on campus. Additionally, the college’s hospitals are renowned for LGBTQ+ patient care. In fact, in 2018, Human Rights Campaign stated that the hospitals were leading LGBTQ+ healthcare equality efforts. Fastweb names the University of Pennsylvania the most LGBTQ+-friendly college. 

For the complete list and ranking methodology, click here.

Contact: Julia McCaulley, Editor
Phone: 518-496-0845

SOURCE College Values Online

GLSEN Receives $1.5 Million Grant From The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation To Support LGBTQ Inclusivity in K-12 Schools

NEW YORK, June 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In celebration of Pride Month, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has donated $1.5 million to GLSEN. The three-year grant will be allocated between the Phoenix Chapter ($1 million) and the National Organization ($500,000) and will support the organization’s mission to ensure that every member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

“In our personal lives and through The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, one of our overarching goals is to be champions of inclusivity,” said President and Executive Creative Director of PXG Apparel Renee Parsons. “Every person deserves to feel whole, equal and welcome.”

GLSEN research has found that six out of 10 LGBTQ students have felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and nearly eight out of 10 have avoided school functions because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable. The level of harassment these students experience negatively affects their ability to learn due to increased absenteeism and lower educational aspirations. The anti-LGBTQ bias can also have a profound impact on a student’s overall health and well-being.

“Many LGBTQ youth face cruel, often unbearable levels of bullying and discrimination,” said PXG Founder and CEO Bob Parsons. “GLSEN is working to help all K-12 students feel safe at school and accepted for who they are.”

GLSEN has developed four focus areas to help schools cultivate an inclusive, safe and supportive environment for all their students, especially those of marginalized identities. 

  • Activating supportive educators, who are crucial to creating LGBTQ-inclusive classroom environments
  • Advocating for inclusive & affirming curriculum, which not only offers support to LGBTQ students but raises the awareness of all students
  • Passing and implementing laws and policies to ensure that LGBTQ students can learn and thrive in safe, inclusive, accepting schools
  • Supporting student-led clubs because student leaders are integral to creating community and pushing for change

“We are filled with gratitude for this generous grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation,” said Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, GLSEN’s Interim Executive Director. “It is because of allies like Bob and Renee Parsons that organizations like GLSEN are able to work towards making the world a safe and celebratory place for LGBTQ+ children and young people. In addition to financial support, it’s incredible to have partners who focus their power, reach and influence to lift up our community.”

“This transformational gift will enable GLSEN Phoenix to mobilize even more school communities, so that all of our children get to be and become who they ought to be,” said GLSEN Phoenix founding co-chair Madelaine Adelman, Ph.D. “Feeling safe at school means having a sense of belonging, being respected, learning about yourself and others — this is simply the best way to learn.”

In addition to celebrating this grant during Pride Month, GLSEN Phoenix is launching a legacy monthly giving program. To learn more and invest in local efforts to create LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 schools, please visit To learn more about the organization on a national level, visit and follow @glsen on social.

About GLSEN Phoenix
Founded in October 2002, GLSEN Phoenix is part of a national GLSEN chapter network that works to ensure that each student in every K-12 school is valued and treated with respect, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We believe that all students deserve safe and inclusive K-12 schools. LGBTQ students who feel unsafe and unsupported at school are more likely to have been victimized and discriminated against at school, and thus, more likely to have high absenteeism, more likely to have lower GPAs, less likely to participate in school activities, more likely to have lower self esteem and a lower sense of school belonging, less likely to graduate from high school, and less likely to consider going to college. We invest the community’s time, talent, and treasure into four evidence-based interrelated areas of activity: supportive teachers, protective policies, inclusive curriculum, and empowered, student-led Gender/Sexuality Alliance (GSA) clubs. To learn more about our local programs, visit:  

GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Over nearly three decades of work, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ students across the United States and launched an international movement to address LGBTQ issues in education and promote respect for all in schools. Find more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, school-based programs, research, and professional development for educators at

About The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation
The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation offers support to nonprofit organizations successfully working to empower, educate, nurture and nourish people during what is often the darkest time of their lives. Founded in 2012 by philanthropists and business leaders Bob and Renee Parsons to provide hope and life-changing assistance to the country’s most vulnerable populations, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation offers critical funding at critical times to those in need. The Foundation’s giving is driven by the core belief that all people – regardless of race, religion, roots, economic status, sexual orientation or gender identity – deserve access to quality healthcare, education and a safe place to call home. Follow @WeDealInHope on social media or visit, to learn more about partner organizations and the important work being done in the community.

Local Media Contact: GLSEN Phoenix | Madelaine | 602-920-1025

Contact: Kara Watkins-Chow,

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Point Foundation Announces 2021 Flagship Scholarship Recipients

During 20th Anniversary Year, Organization to Award Record Number of Scholarships

LOS ANGELES, June 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Point Foundation (Point), the nation’s largest scholarship granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students, announced its 2021 Flagship Scholarship recipients. Since its founding in 2001, Point has invested $43 million in supporting college educations. Each Point scholar receives financial support, access to multiple leadership development programs, mentorship or coaching, and the support of a community of scholars and alumni to help them succeed.

20th Anniversary Logo for Point Foundation
20th Anniversary Logo for Point Foundation

In this, its 20th anniversary year, 21 new Point Flagship Scholars were selected from a pool of more than 2,000 applicants; they will join 38 current recipients. Over the final two weeks of Pride Month, Point will also welcome 58 students to their Community College Scholarship Program, award 45 BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Scholarships, and another 60 students will receive Opportunity Grants. Overall, Point plans to award more than 320 scholarships in the 2021-22 academic year ahead.

“We received more than 2000 applications for the Flagship Scholar program this year, and it was one of our most competitive selections ever,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and CEO. “We know these scholars will succeed and we’re here for them every step of the way. I’m also excited to announce that in the coming weeks we will award more Community College and BIPOC scholarships than ever before – more than doubling the number of students we supported last year.”

The 2021 Point Scholars, including their area of study, degree, school, and Named Scholarship (where applicable) are as follows:  


  • Sofia Arlen, Yale UniversityEthics, Politics, and Economics
  • Morgan Beaven, Arizona State University, Public Service and Public Policy, Wells Fargo Scholarship
  • Andreas Copes, Temple University, Communication and Journalism Studies
  • Donnavan Dillon, University of Kansas, Political Science, Alfred A. Cave Scholarship
  • Manny Faria, Stanford University, Neurobiology, Jeff Ogle & Jeff Stearns Scholarship
  • Isaac James, University of Texas at Austin, Government, Plan II Honors, and LGBTQ Studies, Patti Sue Mathis Scholarship
  • Felix Kiene-Gualtieri, New York University, Photography and Imaging, Wells Fargo Scholarship 
  • Jo Lew, Southern Methodist University, Political Science, Public Policy, and Human Rights
  • Arianna Peró, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Physics and Human Rights, Synchrony Foundation Scholarship
  • Marc Ridgell, Washington University in St. Louis, African and African American Studies, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, & Sociology
  • Yvin Shin, Columbia University, Political Science and Neuroscience, Stacy R. Friedman Scholarship
  • Jenna Smith, Duke University, Political Science, Wells Fargo Scholarship
  • Erin Wilson, Spelman College, Theoretical Astrophysics, Michael J. Jeffrey and Jeffrey J. Mitchell Scholarship  

Graduate School 

  • Davy Deng, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health,  
  • Adriann Dolphin, Harvard University, Business
  • Jessie Garcia Gutiérrez, University of California, Berkeley, Social Welfare & Public Health, Victoria’s Secret Scholarship
  • Em Kuo, Northwestern University, Business
  • Kelvin Moore, University of California, San Francisco, Medicine
  • Sydney Rinehart, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Social Work, Rand Skolnick Endowed Scholarship
  • Mikiko Thelwell, University of California, Los Angeles, Medicine, Anchor Trust Scholarship
  • Jamar Williams, Harvard UniversityPublic Policy & Business

This year’s scholarship awards are made possible because of the generosity of lead supporters which include (in alphabetical order): Coach Foundation, DTS, FedEx, Lands’ End, Katy Perry, MacKenzie Scott, Toyota, Victoria’s Secret, Wells Fargo, and more.

About Point Foundation  
Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society. Since 2002, Point has awarded more than 400 scholarships, making it the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit. Point Foundation promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development and community service training.|||

SOURCE Point Foundationmt

CONTACT: Andrae Vigil-Romero,

Related Links

Fastweb highlights new resources to support LGBTQ+ students as they pursue their college goals

WESTON, Mass., June 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Fastweb, the leading website for scholarship and financial aid information and a member of the Monster network, supports Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBTQ+) students during Pride month with important resources to help them meet their college goals.

Fastweb’s newest resource, LGBTQ+ Community Scholarships & Internships, connects LGBTQ+ students with relevant scholarship and internship opportunities to help pay for school. Students will find scholarship opportunities now accepting applications in various areas of interest totalling more than $120,000. Students will also find internship opportunities to help them build experience in their chosen career field.

Additional information on scholarship and internship opportunities, college options, and financial aid can be found in these Fastweb resources:

Fastweb’s Scholarship Directory for LGBTQ+ Students. New and largest scholarships for LGBTQ+ students and students involved in promoting equal rights and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.

10 Best LGBTQ+ Friendly Colleges. New article highlights LGBTQ+ supportive institutions that focus on awareness and inclusivity.

National Scholarship Directory. All encompassing directory provides all students an efficient way to view scholarships by school year, major, state, and many more categories.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To start the federal student aid process, students should complete the FAFSA for this year before June 30, 2021.

For more helpful free online resources, visit or download the Fastweb app.

About Fastweb:
Fastweb, a top site in the Monster network, is the nation’s recognized leader in helping students pay for school, by providing scholarship and financial aid information, as well as information on jobs and internships. As the oldest and most popular free online scholarship matching service, one out of three college-bound seniors use the site and more than 50 million users have benefitted from Fastweb’s information and services. Fastweb lets students create personalized profiles that can be matched against its expansive databases of colleges and scholarships. To learn more about Fastweb, visit and follow Fastweb on social media for the latest on paying for school all year long: Twitter (at @PayingForSchool); Facebook; Instagram and Pinterest.

About Monster
Monster is a global leader in connecting the right people to the right jobs. Every day, Monster aims to make every workplace happier and more productive by transforming the way employers find talent and candidates find careers. For 25 years, Monster has worked to transform the recruiting industry. Today, the company leverages innovative digital, social, and mobile solutions to enable employers and candidates to find the right fit. Monster is a digital venture owned by Randstad North America, a subsidiary of Randstad N.V., a $26 billion international provider of flexible work and human resources services.

Fastweb Logo (PRNewsFoto/Fastweb)

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SOURCE Fastweb


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LGBTQ+ Student Resources

There are many resources in the United States that US and international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual, intersex, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) students should be aware of during their time on U.S. campuses. This more important than ever since the number of American young adults ages 18-23 who self-identify as LGBTQ+ is 15.9% according to a February 2021 Gallop Poll study. In that study, 7.9% of all respondence chose not to answer the question of sexual orientation so the actual number could be statistically much higher. Further, a study by the University of Surrey found that 29% of American’s between 18-30 years old who self-identify as heterosexual self-report having same-gender sexual experience occasionally.

The below links and information is meant to provide prospective international LGBTI students with a better understanding of the resources available to them at U.S. colleges and universities and through LGBTI organizations in the United States. Many individual campuses also have LGBTI student services and associations that maintain further information.

OutBüro: OutBüro is an LGBTQ online community for LGBTQ professionals and entrepreneurs. It is NOT like Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, or a hookup site. It is more like LinkedIn, only queer. recently a former Facebook head of Human Resources said in an interview with OutBüro that 80% of jobs are filled through connection networks. Start building your LGBTQ professional network on OutBüro through groups. There is a group for LGBTQ students, industry groups, entrepreneur groups, local groups, and more. Consider starting a group for your school to interact with current students to over time build an alumni presence. You can even search for LGBTQ professional who has indicated they are open to being a mentor. As employers come on to the site and share all they do for their LGBT employees and the community. Additionally, check out the growing number of current and recent past employer ratings/reviews from LGBTQ employees right alongside job listings by those employers.

Campus PrideCampus Pride is a national non-profit organization that assesses the LGBTQ student environment of universities and colleges.

Consortium of Higher Education Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Professionals: The combined vision and mission of the Consortium of Higher Education Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Professionals is to achieve higher education environments in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni have equity in every respect.

Point FoundationPoint Foundation empowers promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society. Their website includes a host of resources, including scholarship information. See our article: Point Foundation: LGBTQ Students Apply for Scholarships

CenterLink: Many cities and towns in the United States have large LGBTI community centers that often work on specific LGBTI rights issues and provide a safe space for all LGBTI persons. CenterLink is a U.S. member-based organization that supports the development of strong, sustainable LGBT community centers.

LGBTI Health Resources: The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides information on LGBTI health issues and a listing of health clinics and service providers that serve the LGBTI community in particular.

Crisis InterventionThe Trevor Project is a the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTI youth. Call, text or live chat with trained persons who can help.

Legal Status of LGBTI Issues in United States: The legal protections for LGBTI persons vary from state to state; the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has created digital maps to illustrate these.

Consular Questions: For more information on consular issues for LGBTI students who are planning to apply for a student visa and their spouses or partners, please check the State Department’s Consular Affairs page on student visas.

PFLAG: Does your parent, guardian, or family members need support? Suggests Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. They have lots of information on their website and hundreds of local chapters.

Important Notice: Same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), along with their minor children, are now eligible for the same immigration benefits as opposite-sex spouses. Consular officers at U.S. embassies and consulates will adjudicate their immigrant visa applications upon receipt of an approved I-130 or I-140 petition from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. For further information, please see the Consular Affairs Frequently Asked Questions page.

National Anti Bullying Policies Protecting LGBTQ Students - GALE - Global Alliance for LGBT Education - Peter Dankmeijer - Gay Lesbian Transgender Queer Professional Community OutBuro

National Anti-Bullying Policies – Protecting LGBTQ Students

This is the third of three articles covering this topic written specifically for OutBüro. Please share your comments, thoughts, and ideas in the comment section.

1. When Is An Anti-Bullying Policy High Quality?

2. Scoring Schools On Anti-Bullying Policy

Over the years 2018-2020, a European partnership of 16 organizations (7 NGOs and 9 schools) worked together on an antibullying project which aimed to develop a method high schools can use to review their antibullying policy and to plan improvements. The project was called the “Anti-Bullying Certification” project (ABC, because the original aim was to develop a certificate for good antibullying policy.

One of the aspects that we encountered was that a school antibullying policy is partly dependent on the national policy framework. The national legislation or guidelines may determine the possibilities or limits or school policy. In this article, we will reflect on how states/countries organize this and what could be improved – from a European international perspective. We based ourselves on a review of European anti-bullying policies and on a more specific analysis of the five participating countries: the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, Italy, and Greece. In addition, we based ourselves on a range of national strategic workshops that GALE facilitated in about 20 countries.

Centralized states

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There are great differences in how education systems are organized. Some states are centralized and schools are owned and managed in detail by the government. For example, if students in France move from Paris to Marseille, there is no problem in shifting schools because every school offers the same lessons in the same school period. If a class of Greek students wants to go on an international trip for the Erasmus + program (the European international exchange program for schools), they are required to have written permission by the Ministry of Education. In centralized countries, any change should be requested from the Ministry of Education and it will be unclear if a decision will be based on a democratic process. If a change is adopted by the Ministry, it becomes mandatory for all schools at once. However, the implementation of new measures – like national antibullying policy – may not be adopted enthusiastically by all schools because the policy is implemented top-down, and little or no attempt is made to create commitment among the schools. It may be that schools abide by the rule by going through the motions but without much commitment.

For diversity, centralized education policy is a double-edged sword. On one hand, LGBTIQ NGOs can approach the Ministry of Education and convince the ministry to adopt the policy to include (LGBTIQ) diversity. For example, in Greece, the recent HOMBAT project ( focused on developing teacher training on sexual diversity, but also organized national expert meetings and follow-up consultations with the ministries and with the education sector in Lithuania, Greece, and Cyprus. With this sustainability strategy, the partner NGOs stimulated a more inclusive national anti-homophobia and anti-transphobia strategy. In Greece, the government decided to organize an annual school week focused on gender issues. LGBTIQ issues would be integrated in the Gender Action Week. They considered a specific anti-homophobia campaign a bridge too far for the conservative population and feared backlash from the neo-fascist populist “Golden Dawn” party. So in a sense, the action of the NGOs was successful. At the same time, we saw that many schools engaged in the Gender Week only as a (heterosexual) #MeToo topic, despite the initiative coming from the LGBTIQ movement.

Decentralized states

Other states are decentralized. This means that the state only sets a limited number of framing criteria and obligations, and schools are free to implement their own policy within those frames. This policy is often heavily influenced by a more general neoliberal “laissez-faire” policy.

Decentralized states differ to what extent they allow the school’s freedom. In extremely neoliberal states, the state considers the schools as private “companies” who set their own standards and compete with each other in a free market. The free market and competition for students are supposed to create a high quality of education. In practice, this is rarely the reality because the available funding and fees are of crucial importance for the actual quality. Some schools attract rich students and have high fees, and can offer high-quality education. Other schools cater to a poor community, get fewer fees or funding and the coagulation of factors leads to a lower quality of education, often despite the hard work of some persistent teachers and students.

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A student led strategic workshop on LGBTQ education shcool anti-bullying policy in Vietnam

In the case of anti-bullying policy there is a wide difference to what extent states set criteria for schools. In the ABC-project, most states (Italy, Spain, UK, the Netherlands) have a decentralized education system.

In Italy, there is national anti-bullying legislation for schools, and there is additional strong legislation on – for example, cyberbullying and sexual intimidation – and this specific legislation is also covering the education sector. The Italian legislation gives elaborate guidelines and the proper implementation of the guidelines is supported by a national “Adolescent Observatory” and local observatory offices. The observatory monitors youth trends, youth language, and behavior, and offers training and support to teachers and school

to implement various policies. In this way, the anti-bullying policy is always up-to-date and connected to young people’s needs and cultures, and it is also integrated in a wider perspective of pedagogy and community action.

In contrast, in the Netherlands, there is an anti-bullying law that only makes it mandatory for schools to do research, to have a coordinator, and to have a plan. There are no qualifying criteria for the research, the coordinator, or the plan. The national school inspectorate is supposed to check the implementation of this legislation but the lack of criteria limits this to a bureaucratic check of whether the research, coordinator and plan are there at all.

The decentralized nature of the policy implies that external NGOs aiming to raise the quality of anti-bullying policy in schools have to go to all the schools individually if they want to stimulate and support change. The national LGB grassroots organization COC does this by promoting Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) and offering peer education by LGB volunteers. Regrettably, these interventions do not have much impact on school policies. On the contrary, many schools use the existence of a GSA or inviting COC-peer educators as an excuse to not work on structural school safety for LGBTIQ students. The Dutch NGO Edu-Diverse offered schools consultancy to improve the quality of LGBTIQ sensitivity in school policy in a more structural way. Edu-Diverse will redevelop the ABC-self-assessment procedure into a “Gaynergy” label that LGBTIQ NGOs can use to stimulate and support schools to deliver LGBTIQ specific anti-bullying quality. Still, because the Netherlands is utterly neoliberal, the “Gaynergy” label will have to be marketed as a cost-covering product. Moreover, it will have to “compete” with GSAs and LGB peer education. Even the COC views LGBTIQ-emancipation as a free market in which other interventions and strategies are a threat to their own products and marketing.


The ABC-partnership made reviews of the national anti-bullying policies in the participating countries. Based on the specific situations, – if possible – recommendations were formulated to improve the national legislations. The best recommendations for national policies were based on a thorough analysis of how changes in the education system come about, which type of changes are feasible within the timeframe and which actors have to be influenced to stimulate such improvements.

For example, in the Netherlands, the limited anti-bullying legislation we mentioned was adopted in 2015 after an intensive discussion in the parliament. The School Boards Association strongly resisted the original quality criteria in the law (“to use proven effective methods”). Because the Dutch system is so decentralized, the strong resistance of the schools themselves made it difficult for politicians to push quality criteria and it resulted in the three “empty” requirements. In return, the School Boards Association promised to implement a national Anti-bullying Action Plan. The implementation of the Action Plan stalled when the Ministry of Education and the School Boards Association could not agree on who would pay for it. In 2020, there is little political openness to reopen the discussion; politicians cannot “score” on this topic.

Although the anti-bullying legislation was prompted by a series of high school student suicides after they were bullied – and it was clear homophobia played a major role in some of the suicides – the Ministry resisted any mention of diversity in the legislation, let be specific mention of LGBTIQ issues. When asked about this, the responsible State Secretary said that schools had to be sensitive to all diversity issues, but that LGBTIQ issues were already covered by the budget of the department of education (which finances the GSA-campaign and LGB peer education).

In this situation, GALE and Edu-Divers developed five recommendations, which carefully suggested that the original aim of the anti-bullying legislation has not been met. Next to advocating for a new political discussion – which is probably unfeasible, the recommendations also point to more basic practical solutions that could be implemented by the School Boards Association itself. The Association maintains a website where schools can report on their quality. All members of the Association are required to do this, which makes this website a non-formal tool that sets quality standards, simply by the way it requires the school to report. GALE and Edu-Diverse recommended that the School Boards Association improves its own online framework by being more specific on how schools can prove the quality of their anti-bullying policy. It offers the ABC-self-assessment tool as an example. In addition, GALE and Edu-Diverse asked to resume the discussion on the stalled Anti-bullying Action Plan.

The analysis and recommendations in the Netherlands show how challenging it is for the LGBTIQ movement to improve anti-bullying policies in schools. The struggle in a decentralized and neoliberal context takes place in an often untransparent maze of institutions and procedures and a range of stakeholders with competing interests are pushing their own agendas. Neoliberal governments don’t feel the need to coordinate or guide this. And to some extent, this makes clear that the LGBTIQ movement not only has to fight for specific LGBTIQ visibility or safety that is should also be critical of these larger political strategies and decisions. Semi-dictatorial centralized government policies can be a risk, but hardline neoliberal policies can be detrimental as well.

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Scoring Schools on Anti-Bullying Policy

This is the second of three articles covering this topic written specifically for OutBüro. Please share your comments, thoughts and ideas in the comment section.

1. When Is An Anti-Bullying Policy High Quality?

3. National Anti-Bullying Policies – Protecting LGBTQ Students

Over the years 2018-2020, a European partnership of 16 organizations (7 NGOs and 9 schools) worked together on an antibullying project which aimed to develop a method high schools can use to review their antibullying policy and to plan improvements. The project was called the “Anti-Bullying Certification” project (ABC, because the original aim was to develop a certificate for good antibullying policy.

One of the most interesting dilemmas we encountered was if we should “score” schools for the quality of the antibullying policy, and if so, how.

To score or not to score

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When we started the project and presented to the idea on several international conferences, it became appeared teachers and principals in our panel sessions were not enthusiastic about external organizations coming in to score them. Schools score students all the time, but they are not eager to be scored themselves! On the other hand, some NGOs, like LGBTIQ organizations, were enthusiastic about the idea to make more transparent how schools deal with violence and discrimination. Politicians were also interested in this.

When we were in the finishing phase of the ABC-project in early 2020, we did a survey among all the participants in the nine participating schools and among other stakeholders on the nationals of 5 countries and on the international level. Contrary to our impressions from the conferences, the participating teachers and students were generally enthusiastic about scoring their schools and even were quite positive about mandatory publishing the results. Their opinions were in contrast with the external stakeholders (which were mainly NGOs focusing on school safety and on diversity) who were hesitant to score schools and who emphasized that every school is different, which would make it difficult to score with a single framework. Some were also afraid that schools in deprived areas would score low, which might increase social inequality.

That teachers and students in the project valued scoring higher may be due to the fact that the partnership discussed the possibility and different methods to score several times in international exchange meetings. In these discussions, the teachers and students also had the opportunity to give suggestions on how to do this, or what not to do. This may have increased their insight in the positive aspects of a diagnostic test of the quality of the antibullying policy, and in the advantages of being transparent as a school and willing to enter in the open discussion with stakeholders like students and parents.

Even though at the end of the project a majority of students and teachers indicated they were willing to have their test results published, during the project we decided to work with a draft scoring system in which the scores were determined in dialogue with the school and in which the school had the final say whether they want to publish them or not.

An Anti-Bullying Energy Label

Another question that came up was whether we should offer schools an assessment in the form of a A-D label (levels), or one like an ISO-certification (adequate or not).

In Europe, a lot of products are regulated by the European Union and are awarded an “energy label” levels A through D, with “D” being an insufficient level of energy-saving. Since most products are nowadays “A” level and still getting better, products can also be awarded A+ or A+++ levels. We wondered if we could develop an “antibullying energy label” for schools.

The problem is and of course how to define which level would count as “D” or “A”, or even as “A+”. In one international exchange with teachers and students, we discussed this. We explained different scientific criteria that might be used as distinguishing between levels. One spectrum could be the number of interventions, another one could be a combination of the number and the quality of the interventions. A different way could be to score the school on a sliding scale from a fully punitive approach to a fully restorative/no-blame approach, which would indicate to what extent the school has a positive and supportive school culture. A third way would be to take the perspective of organizational change and adopt a scale measuring commitment to the policy and cooperation on its implementation.

Based on the commands of teachers and students, and also on our own impressions of scientific research, we decided to use a scale of commitment. Such a scale would distinguish between a paper policy that may not have a commitment and may not be fully implemented and a policy that is a heartfelt part of the school culture. We also incorporated the notion that organizational change happens in phases. The final scale we developed has four levels: (1) only individuals are supportive of a coherent antibullying policy, (2) the management agrees on an antibullying policy, (3) the majority of the staff agrees and implements the antibullying policy, and (4) the majority of the students agree with the antibullying policy and try to implement it. It was suggested to add a phase where also the majority of the parents agree and cooperate with the antibullying policy, but at this time we did not include that. We considered that this project is about high schools; in many countries, the link between the parents and the high school of their kids is not very strong. This weak link, and the focus of many schools on academic performance rather than on life skills, non-violent communication, and democratic values, make it unlikely that the school can build a meaningful joint pedagogic community with the parents.

In the final ABC-checklist, 10 checkpoints that are related to antibullying policy and scientific effective elements of the anti-bullying policy are not scored to whether they are present in procedures, but as to how broad commitment to have in the school population.

An ISO-Certificate

Another method of scoring that was suggested was to offer a school of formal ISO-certification. The ISO-system (ISO=International Standards Organization) offers a framework to describe how organizations can frame their quality policy. The key aspect of an ISO-certification is that the organization has watertight procedures to secure that their processes securely lead to high quality. For an ISO-certification, the organization describes in detail how they organize their quality processes. Although there is an ISO-standard for educational organizations (21001:2018), this only describes the need for safety in the school in a very general way. It requires schools to care for the well-being of “relevant interested parties” and it notes “offensive behavior (like bullying)” can be part if this, but it does not give indications on how to do this. In the case of and additional standard for the anti-bullying policy of (high) schools, this would require schools to make a detailed description of the ways they create a safe school culture and how they deal with incidents.

Diversity may be another challenge in ISO-certification. The description of procedures is usually generic unless specific deviations from the general procedure are described for specific groups and for specific circumstances. For example, in the current ISO-standard for educational organizations, there are specific clauses for special needs education (dealing with disability) and for early childhood education. It may be difficult to include needs or standards on how to determine and take into account the needs of specific minorities in a generic antibullying standard.

For example, a typical antibullying procedure would not describe the registration of students in the school, because it is not part of the antibullying procedure. But when a trans student changes gender during the year and wants to change their gender in the school administration, and this is not possible because the registration procedure limits the choice to male and female, this may lead to discriminatory treatment. A solution may be to adapt the registration option (male, female, other) and procedure (being able to change the register during the year instead of only when entering). But the question remains whether the antibullying procedures allow for such changes in the structural makeup of the school.

Certification typically leads to a certificate which states that the organization is organized conforming to the standard. This requires, of course, an international consensus on the standard. In the case of a good antibullying policy, the school would get a certificate that the antibullying policy is conforming to the standard, or it would not get a certificate. Experiments in the Netherlands with certification of LGBTIQ quality of elderly care homes and LGBTIQ quality of schools have shown that this leads to some controversy about whether the said organizations are really offering the quality they promise, or which is stated in the certificate. They may get a certificate by an ISO-organization, but the certificate could be mainly based on the policy framework or procedures rather than on their working practice or organizational culture. In a Dutch experiment with certification of LGBTIQ quality of a high school, the intentions and procedures of the management were considered adequate, but the certification survey among teachers and students showed only a very average level of tolerance, leaving much to be improved. To the frustration of the local LGBTIQ organization, the school still got a certificate and decided further improvement was not necessary since they were now “certified”.

In the case of the ABC-project, our partner EAN (the European Antibullying Network) has decided to follow up on the project with the development of a formal ISO-certification standard of anti-bullying policy in high schools. It remains to be seen whether this will adequately monitor the quality of antibullying policy, and whether it includes diversity in an adequate way.


One of the most important aspects of the ABC-project was the organization of international exchanges between the partners, teachers, and students of five countries (Greece, Italy, Spain, UK, and the Netherlands)n and to discuss how to develop the self-evaluation procedure and how to improve policy. The self-evaluation procedure itself also included participation in a structural way. The procedure started with a review of current documentation of anti-bullying policy, with surveys among students and teachers and then there were interactive review workshops for students and teachers. This structure allowed students and teachers in their own workshops to review the existing policy and the experiences and opinions of the entire school population and to formulate their own recommendations.

The survey results and the reviews showed that students, teachers, and school management often have very different views of their anti-bullying policy. In the first place, students usually experience the school culture as less safe than teachers and school managers, with the school managers commonly having a very positive view of the school, the teachers a somewhat less positive view, and students sometimes much less positive view. Students are not always happy with the school to cater to their needs and they regularly criticize the way teachers and other staff treat students. In many schools it is quite common that teachers perform a kind of “discipline” and “motivation techniques” which include making jokes at the expense of students and “putting them in their place” by making more or less derogatory comments. Such treatment is hated by students. Teachers often don’t see this in the same way and consider their behavior as a professional way of getting the class attention and disciplining unruly students. When students formulate this type of criticism and review, it may be difficult for teachers to deal with it; they are not used to criticism.

For students, diversity is one of the topics that they feel is natural to have attention. For teachers and for managers this is not so obvious. The school is organized in a way that forces teachers and managers to focus on class (group) units, which leaves little space to tailor lessons or strategies to individuals or to diversity. If teachers want to give attention to diversity they are immediately confronted with a “competition” of diversities for the limited lesson time and attention in groups of 30 students. Schools are simply not prepared and teachers, not enough trained to combine a generic wide perspective of openness and tolerance with more specific attention for certain minorities. While specific attention for disabled students, cultural groups of students, and sexually diverse students is already a challenge, sensitivity for students with an intersectional background becomes nearly impossible within traditional school systems.

The same goes for the school managers, who – at the end of the self-evaluation procedure – get all the results and recommendations, and then have to decide about how to improve the policy. Since most school managers have the impression that their school performance is already almost excellent, and because they are not used to democratically manage the school, comments, and recommendations of students and teachers that are different from their own expectations may also be difficult for them.


The antibullying certification project developed a checklist to score the level of anti-bullying policy in a school. It was decided to make a kind of “energy” label with levels rather than just offering a certificate because the partnership thought antibullying policy will always be in development and the success of the policy is probably mainly dependent on the commitment of all stakeholders to it – which changes over the years.

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However, the partnership realizes that the checklist that we developed can be improved.

Although the partnership could have developed a completely external system of assessment, we have opted to offer a participatory procedure of self-assessment. This is in line with the idea that the success of antibullying policy is dependent on the commitment of all stakeholders, and which requires to build in democracy and participation in the development of school policy. To make diversity an integral aspect of this participation, it is necessary to involve and support minority students to raise their voice during the self-evaluation, and to take the recommendations seriously.

In a discussion with the students, we discussed how diversity could be integrated in a structural way. We did a statement game where they had to position themselves on a continuum from “it needs to be a specific item in the checklist” to “it needs to be part of all the checkpoints”. After a thorough discussion, the students preferred the second option but with the caption that specific forms of diversities should be made explicit. In the final checklist, we decided to make the 10th checkpoint on diversity and to ask the management to revise all the previous checkpoints to assess to what extent sex/gender, disability, race, culture, religion, immigration, poverty, Roma, and LGBTIQ were adequately covered. In this way, it seems to cover both position discussed with the students. However, the willingness of students, staff and management to sincerely engage in this exercise remains a key requirement to make the diversity part of the assessment successful.