Looking for information or support because of recent headlines?

from PFLAG National:

Looking for information or support because of recent headlines?

Many current PFLAG members are parenting a transgender, gender creative or gender questioning youth or are members of the transgender community, and we understand that you may have questions, tools, guidance or just need support. We can and will support you wherever you are in your journey of understanding, acceptance and affirmation, even if you are just getting started.

You are not alone.  

For transgender, gender creative or gender questioning youth:  

  • If you are contemplating self-harm: please call: Trevor Project’s Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386 (toll-free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week). To access instant chat or text supports visit: The Trevor Project
  • Visit Trevor Project’s online community specifically for LGBTQ young people 13-24 (with over 110,000 members) visit: Trevor Space
  • Hear others tell their stories and add your own at: Trans People Speak.

For parents, grandparents, siblings or allies of a transgender, gender creative or gender questioning youth: 

Check for a local chapter in your area or reach out to info@pflag.org for assistance for PFLAG to support you directly. [PFLAG Blue Ridge’s website is www.pflagblueridge.org and you may contact us by email at pflagbr@gmail.com. PFLAG Blue Ridge serves the Central Virginia area (Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, and surrounding regions) and offers monthly support groups.]

Other resources include:

Join PFLAG for Transgender Lobby Day 2014

PFLAG National is proud to be a partner for 2014 Transgender Lobby Day!

Building on PFLAG’s October 2013 National Lobby Day and the historic Senate passage of the fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) last November, PFLAGers from across the country are invited to join with transgender advocates and allies in Washington, DC for 2014 Transgender Lobby Day, July 14-15, to educate their members of Congress and lobby for ENDA’s passage in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Every participant will receive training to ensure our members of Congress listen to our stories of workplace harassment and violence.  With our unique family and ally voices in the fight to make clear that we will leave no family members behind, we can move ENDA forward and ensure all Americans can seek and keep jobs without hiding who they are.

Click here to learn more or to register and attend 2014 Transgender Lobby Day.

If you are not able to travel to DC but would still like to advocate for yourselves and your transgender loved ones, your role back home in your Congressional District is equally important.

Click here to register to receive special materials for the Local and Virtual Transgender Lobby Day this July, when PFLAGers will visit, email, and call Representatives in their home offices.

 

Take action on behalf of youth: Contact your legislators about SSIA and SNDA

The following action alert is from PFLAG National:

Dear PFLAGer:

It’s time to make clear the needs of LGBT students and youth by seeking support for the two key active bills that merit your U.S. Senators’ and Representative’s attention, and no voices for our future leaders matter more than those of PFLAG families’. All students, including those who are LGBT or gender non-conforming, should experience learning at school without the harm or fear of bullying or harassment, and The Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) and Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) both protect children’s well-being at school, delivering an environment where they can learn without discrimination or fear.

Here’s a quick recap on the bills:

Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) and Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA). As Congress moves toward agreeing upon the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in the 113th Congress, these two bills–either by inclusion with exact language or by expressed intent with similar language–are needed. Please urge your legislators to move both of these bills forward for the sake of safety without bullying or harassment for our student youth as they wish merely to learn as their peer students do now.

Your suggested PFLAG message:

As your constituent and as a member of PFLAG ______ (chapter name), I urge you to prioritize the well-being of all students and children, including those who are LGBT or gender non-conforming, to make their school life free of bullying and harassment — with SSIA and SNDA.

PFLAG’s values are America’s values, and that includes treating all of our youth equally. Thank you if you already support these bills. If not, please do so to honor the integrity of our great country.  Thank you.

REMEMBER: Please tell your legislator your name, address and zip code. Reach your two Senators and one Representative by clicking here.

 

More information about SSIA, the Safe Schools Improvement Act:

Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2013

Bill Number:
The bill was reintroduced in the 113th Congress in the House as H.R. 1199 by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA) on March 14, 2013, and in the Senate as S. 403 by Senator Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA) on February 28, 2013.

What this Bill Will Do:
The Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) would amend the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act – part of the No Child Left Behind Act – and instruct school districts to implement a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that includes specific enumeration for sexual orientation and gender identity as well as require states to include bullying and harassment data in the statewide needs assessments, which will help collect important statewide data measuring and understanding the full scope of bullying, harassment and discrimination at school.

What You Need to Ask For:
Ask your Members of Congress to support this bill and to vote for it if it goes to the Floor. If they are not a cosponsor of the bill, ask them to become a cosponsor. Be sure to encourage them to include SSIA in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization bill. If you work for or with a local school community, please contact the PFLAG National Office to learn how you can help advance this important legislation.

PFLAG Talking Points:

  • Bullying and harassment plague our nation’s schools. According to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)’s 2011 National School Climate Survey, more than 8 of 10 LGBT students experience some form of harassment in school, and yet only 10 states have comprehensive legislation that protects students against anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.
  • Comprehensive anti-bullying and harassment policies work. Enumerated anti-bullying policies are the most effective at addressing anti-LGBT and bias-based bullying. In fact, the 2011 National School Climate Survey also reported that students in states with school policies that don’t specifically include sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (in other words, enumerated policies) are no more protected from bullying than students who live in states without any anti-bullying and/or harassment laws.
  • The bill cultivates respect which will create safer schools. The bill provides language ensuring that all students have a safe learning environment which helps reduce the nation’s growing drop-out rate. Research shows that bullying and harassment are serious problems that impede students’ academic progress and overall mental health. GLSEN research has also found that nearly one-third of all students are bullied at least once a month and that one out of every ten high school drop-outs left school because of repeated bullying.

Important Notes:

  • As of October 2013, the House version of this bill has 170 cosponsors and the Senate version has 42 cosponsors.
  • The bill has been referred to the House Education and Workforce and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
  • A broad range of educational and non-educational organizations have continued support for SSIA, including the American Library Association, the National PTA, the American Federation of Teachers, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, GLSEN, and the National Council of La Raza.

source

More information about SNDA, the Student Non-Discrimination Act:

Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2013

Bill Number:
The bill was reintroduced in the 113th Congress in the House as H.R. 1652 by Congressman Jared Polis, (D-CO) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) on April 18, 2013 and will be introduced in the Senate soon, led by Senator Al Franken (D-MN).

What this Bill Will Do:
The Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) would establish a comprehensive federal prohibition of discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. SNDA would provide protections for LGBT students and ensure that all students have access to public education in a safe environment free from discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation, and violence. SNDA would also provide meaningful and effective remedies (loss of federal funding and legal cause of action for victims) for discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, modeled after Title IX – to learn more about Title IX, please visit PFLAG National’s Claim Your Rights web resource center.

What you Need to Ask for:
Ask your Members of Congress to support this bill and to vote for it if it comes to the Floor, especially if they serve on the House Education and Workforce Committee or the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Be sure to encourage them to include SNDA in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization bill. If they are not a co-sponsor of the bill, ask them to support it by co-sponsoring. If they are already a co-sponsor please thank them. If you work for or with a local school community, please contact thePFLAG National Office to learn how you can help advance this important legislation.

PFLAG Talking Points:

  • Discrimination harms our students and our education system. Every day, students who are, or who are perceived to be LGBT are subjected to pervasive discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation, and violence, which is harmful to both students and our education system. Surveys indicate as many as nine in ten LGBT students have been bullied, and that LGBT youth are bullied two to three times more often than non-LGBT students.
  • LGBT students lack legal protections. While federal civil rights statutes expressly address discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin, they do not explicitly include sexual orientation or gender identity and, as a result, LGBT students and parents have often had limited legal recourse when they experience discrimination. Having explicit non-discrimination policies protecting students who are or are perceived to be LGBT gives teachers and administrator the tools they need to protect all students.
  • The bill cultivates respect which will create safer schools. The bill provides language ensuring that all students have a safe learning environment which helps reduce the nation’s growing drop-out rate. Research shows that bullying and harassment are serious problems that impede students’ academic progress and overall mental health. Left unchecked, discrimination can lead, and has led, to life-threatening violence and to suicide. When school officials engage in discriminatory treatment, or are indifferent to harassing behavior, LGBT students’ constitutional rights are infringed upon.

Important Notes: 

  • As of early October 2013, the House version of this bill has 157 cosponsors and the Senate version has 37 cosponsors.
  • The bill is in the first stage of the legislative process where it is being considered in the House Education and Workforce Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee where it may undergo significant changes in markup sessions.
  • A broad range of social service, professional and advocacy organizations have expressed support for this legislation including the American Civil Liberties Union, the American School Counselor Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the NAACP, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Education Association, the National Women’s Law Center, and the School Social Work Association of America.

source

PFLAG Action Alert on ENDA

Sharing the following from PFLAG National:

Dear PFLAGers,

Please Call or Email Your U.S. Representative to bring ENDA to the House Floor for a vote

Contact your U.S. Representative to tell them to vote YES on ENDA when it comes up for a vote, to cosponsor if they have not and to thank them if they are already a co-sponsor of this important bill for workplace equality. Take action on ENDA today by clicking here.

Your PFLAG message: “As your constituent and as a member of PFLAG I’m asking you to cosponsor and help bring ENDA to the House floor for a vote. PFLAG values are American values, and workplace discrimination is not a family value.  If you have already cosponsored ENDA, I thank you for supporting workplace equality for LGBT people and their families.”

Please review this critical September 2013 report that bolsters the need for a fully inclusive ENDA

PFLAG National is committed to ensuring that ENDA stays inclusive, as drafted, providing for non-discrimination on the basis of gender identity as well as sexual orientation.  Please check out this very important resource for reference in case there is push back as ENDA moves forward in the House:

A Broken Bargain for Transgender Workers, co-authored by The Movement Advancement Project (MAP), The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), The Center for American Progress (CAP), and The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in partnership with Freedom to Work, The Task Force, Out and Equal Workplace Advocates (Out&Equal) and SEIU. This report reveals staggering statistics about how unemployment and poverty disproportionately affect transgender workers in the American workforce.

A small sample of the findings is:

  • Transgender workers report unemployment at twice the rate of the population as a whole (14% vs. 7% at the time the workers were surveyed).

  • More than four in 10 transgender people (44%) who are currently working are underemployed.

  • Transgender workers are nearly four times more likely than the population as a whole to have a household income of under $10,000 (15% vs. 4% at the time the workers were surveyed).

These findings exist despite CAP polling showing that 73% of voters support protecting transgender people from discrimination in employment.  Passing an inclusive ENDA matters.

 

Please Call or Email your Representative about ENDA for Workplace Equality

PFLAG Action Alert:

Contact your U.S. Representatives today and tell them to urge House Speaker John Boehner to bring ENDA to the House Floor for a vote; also ask your Representative to vote YES on ENDA when it comes up for a vote, and thank them if they are already a co-sponsor of this important bill for workplace fairness, which passed the Senate November 7th with a bipartisan vote of 64-32.

This bipartisan, bicameral bill promotes workplace fairness, and prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Your PFLAG message: “As your constituent and as a member of PFLAG (name of your chapter), I’m asking you to urge Speaker Boehner to bring ENDA to the House Floor for a vote, and I urge you to vote YES when ENDA does come to the House floor for a vote. PFLAG’s values are America’s values, and discrimination is not one of America’s values.”

More information about this House bill can be found here.