Related Blog Posts on Bullying

Beyond Marriage Equality

On Wednesday night at the ESPY Awards, Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, named after the African American tennis star who died of AIDS in 1993. In her moving speech, Caitlyn described the struggles trans people face, including bullying, suicide and even murder, and the importance of education and accepting trans people and their identities. Caitlyn’s speech highlighted several of the many issues that the LGBT community and their allies now have to address following the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision.

Protect LGBT Students from Discrimination

Currently, federal law explicitly protects students from discrimination in school based on race, color, national origin, sex and disability. However, no federal law explicitly protects students from discrimination based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or their association with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

At the Consultation: LGBT Equality From Marriage Equality to Trans Rights

On April 26-28, hundreds of Reform Jews will gather in Washington, D.C. for the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience, the Reform Movement’s flagship social justice event. On Monday, April 27 at 2:00 PM, Evan Wolfson, Founder and President of Freedom to Marry, will join Rabbi Denise Eger, President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Jen Kaufman, Chair of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Judith Schindler, Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth El, for a discussion on LGBT equality. A live stream will be available on the RAC homepage if you are unable to join us in person at the Consultation. In the meantime, you can brush up on some of the latest developments in the fight for LGBT equality!

Banning Conversion Therapy is an Important Step Forward

At the end of last year, Leelah Alcorn, a trans teen from Ohio, committed suicide. In her suicide note, she cited her parents’ rejection of her gender identity, their refusal to let her transition and her feelings that things will not get better as some of the reasons for her decision. The final words in Leelah’s goodbye post were “Fix society. Please.” and people listened. A petition on We The People asking the administration to “enact Leelah’s Law to ban all LGBTQ+  conversion therapy” gained over 120,000 signatures and the administration and President Obama responded last Wednesday in opposition to conversion therapy.

Student Non-Discrimination Act Faces Hurdles in the House

Last month, Senator Al Franken and Representative Jared Polis reintroduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (H.R.846/S.439). The Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) would prohibit discrimination in public schools on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Although there have been several setbacks in Congress the past few weeks for SNDA, the bill’s passage is still as important as ever.

For Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Individuals, Gender Expression isn’t a Purim Costume

Jews across the world are getting ready to celebrate Purim. Already, there are many Jews, from young children to grown adults, planning their Purim outfits. Some will be characters from the Purim story. Some will be famous actors. Some will be fictional heroes and villains. And no doubt, many people will cross-dress and dress up as someone of a different gender. Most people will not think twice about whether their costume will be accepted on Purim, as it is almost expected that people will dress up for the holiday.

Addressing Bullying and Harassment in Schools is an LGBT Issue

 Last Thursday, January 29, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) reintroduced the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA), a bill that would address bullying and harassment in K-12 schools, in the U.S. Senate. This bill, originally co-sponsored by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), had almost a majority of sponsors in both chambers in the 113th Congress—208 in the House and 47 in the Senate—as well as bipartisan support. The passage of SSIA is important for all students who face harassment and bullying in schools but it is especially important for LGBT students who are often specifically targeted for bullying and harassment because of their gender identities and/or sexual orientations.

Anti-LGBT Bullying Persists Despite Decreased Media Attention

Seth Walsh. Tyler Clementi. Jamey Rodemeyer. In 2010 and 2011, these names were all over the news as the media reported on a wave of teen suicides as a result of anti-LGBT bullying. In response, columnist Dan Savage launched the It Gets Better Project, a project which highlighted the increasing acceptance for LGBT individuals and featured videos from a wide variety of contributors, from President Obama to the staff here at the Religious Action Center. In the past couple of years, however, news coverage of anti-LGBT bullying and teen suicides has decreased, yet, anti-LGBT bullying continues to be an important and pertinent issue.