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25 Sunday
CPNA Oscars Party to benefit GLSEN
Time: 5 to 11 p.m.
Cost: $15 ($10 goes to the GLSEN Youth Development Fund)
Hosts: Jay Hostettler and Vic Flessas
Address: 3255 N. Leavitt, # 2
(between Western/Damen and Belmont/Addison)
Phone: 773-755-0297 (Jay) and 773-381-2489 (Vic)
Or email


7 Saturday
Speakers Bureau Training
DePaul University
Rm. 5D, Schmitt Academic Ctr.
2323 N. Seminary
9:00am - 12:30pm
10 Tuesday
Youth Scholarship Night
Sulzer Library
6:30pm - 10:00pm


On February 13 at the Sulzer Library, teachers Pam Liebing and Bonnie Beach of New Trier High School presented a program which focused on making the high school sports arena a more welcoming place for GLBTQ students and staff. Liebing and Beach have worked for a number of years on the New Trier Safe School Committee, which was formed in response to letters received from gay and lesbian alumni calling for an end to the anti-gay bigotry which they had had to endure during their high school years. The February GLSEN program incorporated information gathered by the Safe School Committee, as well as theory and ideas from a variety of other sources.

The New Trier educators began by pointing out that participation in sports puts everyone involved on display in a public arena in very intense competition, and the lessons learned in sports transfer to other endeavors throughout a lifetime. Therefore, coaches need to be aware of how much influence they can have on the athletes in their charge. The great importance attached to athletic success has fostered some unfortunate stereotyping of gender roles, and the student athlete who steps outside the rigid gender boundaries often does so at the risk of ridicule, harassment, and even violence. Too rigid gender definitions often form the basis of hostility toward gays and abuse of women, and various sociologists are calling for a re-examination of Americans' ideas about gender roles. Coaches need to become aware, at a minimum, of how the use of misogynistic language or anti-gay epithets on the playing field can escalate to violence both on the field and off.

The program presenters offered several typical scenarios and conversations that might occur in the sports arena, and suggested possible responses that would show due respect toward everyone involved. Emphasis was placed on educating teachers and coaches to become good role models for their student athletes to follow. The presenters also offered a list of actions that must be taken for schools to become safe and affirming places for all students and staff. Of top priority on the list is the need to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the nondiscrimination clause of the teachers' contract and the school's anti-harassment policy. Additionally, staff development activities should provide adults in the school with the necessary language and training to stop derogatory language, abusive gestures, and name-calling as soon as they occur, since ignoring these activities always results in escalation to more serious or violent levels of harassment.

As a bonus to the evening's presentation, Liebing and Beach made available a packet of information including a summary of coaches' responses to survey questions, a format for assessing the athletic climate at your school, suggestions for coaches who want to change the climate, segments of articles, helpful websites, suggested videos, a bibliography, and a list of "coming out" suggestions for gay and lesbian educators. As is customary at the monthly programs, audience members had the chance to ask questions, offer their own commentary, and stay after the program to talk individually with the presenters.

For additional information or copies of program materials, please feel free to contact Bonnie Beach at

If you have a comment about the February GLSEN program or would like to suggest a topic for a future program please call 312-409-1835 or write to




GLSEN National in New York City is seeking proposals for presentations by youth, for youth and/or about issues facing youth to be conducted at the 5th annual conference, "Teaching Respect for All." TRA is a national forum for those concerned about the damaging forces of anti-LGBT bias, discrimination and heterosexism to share, interact, learn and build strategies, skills and networks that support them in their efforts to create safer and more affirming school environments in their local communities.

"Teaching Respect for All 2001" will build the capacity, conviction and number of activists working to create a future in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

GLSEN will not consider proposals, the sole purpose of which are to promote, advertise, sell and/or distribute commercial products or programs. All proposals must be educational in nature in accordance with the guidelines set above.

Diversity: GLSEN will not consider proposals that are exclusionary in nature or that evidence bias based on race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, culture, ability, age, gender identity or sexual orientation. GLSEN encourages proposals that integrate and acknowledge as many of our human communities as possible. Presentations that work to create safe spaces for particular groups are acceptable.

Submissions: All proposals must be submitted by April 1, 2001. Submit your completed application form on-line at or mail, fax or e-mail it to GLSEN Workshop Proposals, 121 West 27 Street, Suite 804, New York, NY 10001, Tel: (212) 727-0135 x109, Fax: (212) 727-0254,

Notification of final selections will be made by May 15th. Presenters must confirm attendance at TRA 2001 by June 1st. Online submission form can be found at:

Cost: All presenters are expected to register for the conference by June 15, 2001, at the presenter rate of $135. Only 2 presenters may use the discounted rate per presentation. Financial assistance for youth presenters (23 and under) will be made available if needed, if a request for assistance has been made, and the proposal is accepted. In order to ensure this reduced rate, please do not register prior to notification of proposal acceptance. This cost permits entrance to the entire three-day conference, including the Friday Institutes, a presenter reception on Saturday, and the Pathfinder Awards Brunch on Sunday. Presenters are expected to provide for their own transportation, housing, and meal costs. Financial aid for presenters is available on a limited basis, and should be requested in writing with confirmation by April 1st, 2001. GLSEN regrets that conference costs make it impossible to provide complimentary registration for presenters.



It's that time again -- GLSEN's annual youth scholarship fund is kicking into high gear (see details below). We have about $500 of the $1000 needed to launch the Rustin Legacy Scholarship for African-American students. Anything you can do to help will be most appreciated, and is totally tax deductible.

Want to see and applaud the younger generation of LGBT activists? Then you don't want to miss our annual GLSEN Youth Scholarship Night, this year to be held Tuesday, April 10. As with all GLSEN programs, it's free, open to the public, and will include a sign language interpreter. But since it's a special night, the program will be begin at 6:30 instead of 7:00 and go until 10:00 rather than concluding at 9:00. There will be a reception with refreshments following the awarding of the scholarships. Location: Sulzer Library, 4455 N. Lincoln (at Montrose) on Chicago's north side.

Each year, GLSEN Chicago honors students who have made outstanding contributions to promoting LGBT visibility and equality in their own high schools, plus acknowledges (with the GLSEN Chicago Pathfinder Award) the contributions of an adult/organization who has helped fight homophobia in the local K-12 schools. GLSEN Chicago gives out two $1000 youth scholarships. Additionally, we work with community groups to facilitate theirs &endash; notably CPNA's Brian Philpot Award and Rainbow Youth Leadership Awards; Amigas Latinas Aixa Diaz Scholarship (for a Latina); and the Barajas-Reese Scholarship (for a Latino). New this year will be the FUEL Creative Arts Scholarship (for someone pursuing a career in the creative arts); and the Rustin Legacy Scholarship (for an African-American). The night is made infinitely nicer by sweet ambience-enhancing donations (including flowers for parents of scholarship winners, candy, and gift certificates to Women and Children First Bookstore) from TNT (The Northern Trust gay bankers).

Donations to the scholarship fund are tax-deductible. Remember that the sexual orientation of the student is never an issue -- anyone who's been working on GLSEN-related issues in the schools is invited to apply.



by Joel Johnson

This past January, Bill Drudge trekked through the Andes Mountains, hiking, camping, and often climbing distances equal to the height of the Sears Tower. The Andes experience helped to fulfill his "craving for adventure, " and it also helped to satisfy his great interest in Latin culture.

Bill's other travels have included a summer with Habitat for Humanity in Nicaragua; a three-week stay at a gay bed and breakfast in Cuernavaca, Mexico; the Language Immersion Program in Costa Rica; and a trip to Cuba that landed him in paradise. Bill's travels have helped him better understand his students at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Chicago, where 80% of the students are Latino.

During his seven year tenure, Bill has worked diligently to end homophobic name calling in his school. He notes that students often respond to his admonitions with comments like "I'm just playing." Bill, however, knows that anti-gay epithets are not something to be so casually brushed off, and he constantly works to emphasize this to his students. He tries to reach them by telling them they are going to know a lot of gay people in their lives, and that it's important to learn to respect and interact appropriately with everyone.

Bill's work with GLSEN began six years ago. He remembers how "nice it was, shocking almost" to talk about gay issues professionally with teachers and then switch over to chatting socially. As a native of Flint, Michigan (and a close friend of Michael Moore&emdash;the me of "Roger and Me"), Bill has found that the "gay part" of his personality was a gift.

The gift that makes him so valued by other members of GLSEN Chicago, however, is his financial savvy. Bill may feel that GLSEN makes him "feel more optimistic," but what makes co-chairs Betty Lark Ross and Dave Larson optimistic is knowing that the chapter's finances are in sound hands.





Training for Members of the GLSEN Speakers Bureau will cover information designed to prepare them for making presentations to groups of students, faculty, administrators, parents and interested organizations. Three sessions are planned, covering the following topics: "It's Elementary" (February 3), "Telling Your Story" (March 3), and "GLBT Youth, Who Are They and What Do They Need?" (April 7).

Sessions are scheduled from 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Room 5D at DePaul University's Schmitt Academic Center, 2323 N. Seminary (actually on Belden, between Kenmore and Halsted).

Parking is available in the garage associated with the Dominick's at Sheffield and Fullerton (about $4/hour) or in a 4-story parking garage on Clifton. If you can find it,parking is free on the east-west streets near the campus, and some metered spaces are available nearby.

Public Transportation: Take the Red Line, getting off at the Fullerton stop. Walk two blocks west on Fullerton to the Amoco station. Go left to get into the campus.

Access to the Schmitt Center is a little complicated due to some construction, but the easiest way to get into the building is to walk into the campus quad and follow the signs to the Schmitt Center. You can also enter the Schmitt Center through the library. Just ask for directions once you get into the library building.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the GLSEN Speakers Bureau, please contact Sue Bell at



Every year, the Midwest's largest GLBT civil rights organization, Equality Illinois, coordinates a lobby day to bring people down to Springfield to lobby legislators for the passage of pro-gay legislation. This year we are lobbying for the passage of HB 34, the GLBT non-discrimination bill that will protect all GLBT Illinois citizens from housing and employment discrimination.

We ask that you join us on Wednesday March 28th 2001 to help ensure that passage of this legislation. We are extremely close to passing HB 34 and it may be your personal experience communicated effectively to a legislator that will help him or her vote in favor of the bill.

The cost of the trip is absolutely free!! Coach buses transporting people down to Springfield will leave the Equality Illinois office (3444 N. Halsted) at 7:00 a.m. and return around 9:30 p.m.. We will also have buses stopping in Bolingbrook off of I-55 exit 267 in the Denny's parking lot.

Throughout the entire day, people will get a chance to lobby legislators undecided or opposed to HB 34. Also, a noon rally in the state capitol rotunda is planned with a performance by the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus. The day will end with a cocktail reception where people will get a chance to meet with and speak to legislators already in favor of the bill.

Seats will be held on a first come first serve basis. Please call 773-477-7171 to reserve your seat. (Children are welcomed)



Gary W. Kopycinski

On Friday, February 9, 2001, we were very happy to welcome Ms. Vernita Gray of the State's Attorneys Office to Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, IL. With the help of Betty Lark Ross of GLSEN, we invited Ms. Gray to address our faculty and staff on the subject of harassment. This is a subject that we have been trying to address in many different ways through the years, and Ms. Gray was very helpful in providing our faculty with an opportunity to learn about harassment and the harm that words can do on many different levels.

At first, it appeared that some in our faculty were a bit uncomfortable when Vernita "came out" at the very beginning of her presentation. She told that she came out as a lesbian 30 years ago. Her initial honesty, however, served to put the faculty at ease with some of the more difficult issues she intended to discuss. She spoke about harassment against African Americans, Jews, and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered individuals. Ms. Gray was able to help us understand exactly what a hate crime is. She indicated that an actual physical act of violence against another individual is not necessary in order for a crime to qualify as a hate crime. The simple threat of physical violence in conjunction with words that targeted at an individual because of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or national origin constitutes a hate crime.

Vernita put our faculty at ease with her very warm sense of humor. She was extremely articulate, knowledgeable, and honest. She made her point that the law does not work like most television shows. She referred to one case in particular where individuals accused of a hate crime received no special treatment, in spite of the fact that they showed up in court well dressed and "well-lawyered." She indicated that a hate crime is a felony, and felons are not looked kindly on by the judicial system.

I was particularly impressed with the openness with which Ms. Gray was received by our faculty and staff. Our people literally lit up with questions in a way we've seldom seen here. Ms. Gray was comfortable engaging our faculty and staff in a very productive dialogue that served to answer many questions and concerns. She spoke about language, and the harm that words can do, and how language leads to action. One of her strongest points, in my opinion, was an observation that perpetrators of hate crimes at one time started out by simply calling other people names. Among other things, she suggested that when we hear such language in our hallways or classrooms, we address it immediately. She offered some very convincing arguments as to why so-called "innocent remarks" are inappropriate.

All in all, we were very pleased and grateful for her presentation. We wish to express our thanks to Ms. Gray, and to Betty Lark Ross of GLSEN for putting us in contact with Vernita. We hope to have her over again sometime to talk with some of our students.



About Face Youth Theatre is the award-winning, nationally recognized youth development initiative of About Face Theatre, one of the country's leading theatres dedicated to the exploration of gay and lesbian lives, histories, and experiences. The Youth Theatre is designed to promote positive youth development for at-risk LGBTQ youth and their allies through an innovative program that includes theatre training, leadership development, adult-youth mentoring, and community development. The program culminates annually in the professional production of a new play based on true stories gathered from LGBTQA* youth and developed by the ensemble. The production is toured to area schools in an abridged format, reaching up to 10,000 Illinois youth annually.

In 2001, About Face Youth Theatre seeks to create a performance that reflects issues facing LGBTQ youth and their allies from a broad cross-section of American society, using the Internet as a medium for communication and story gathering. The Youth Theatre will include personal testimonies and stories submitted by youth from around the country about their lives and personal experiences. The project of collecting stories willbe facilitated by the Youth Theatre Website (, an on-line interactive site that will include the capacity for youth-directed interviews through on-line "chats", anonymous story submission, and publication of stories developed by the youth ensemble. Youth Theatre ensemble members will serve as leaders in the story collection process, by conducting interviews with other youth on-line, processing material submitted through the website, and performing stories based on submitted materials as well as their own personal experiences.

The Youth Theatre is supervised by the Youth Theatre Artistic Staff, a team of eight professional artists and one social worker who together guide a community of up to fifty young people through the creation of an original play that reflects issues facing LGBTQ youth.

Performances of the About Face Youth Theatre 2001 will begin June 21, with performances Thursday through Sunday evenings at 8:00pm. About Face Theatre is located at 3212 North Broadway in Chicago, Illinois. For more information, please visit the About Face Theatre website at or call the About Face Theatre Box Office at 773-549-3290.

*lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, questioning or allied




For those who asked for them, here are the talking points on the Boy Scouts issue from GLSEN National headquarters in New York City.

According to a 1997 Boy Scouts of America publication (Join Scouting/Scouting Guidebook), the BSA "really doesn't have any packs or troops, just a unique program chartered to local organizations that deliver Scouting to boys of the community." The organization's 1991 annual report stated that each troop is "locally owned and operated by its [sponsoring] organization." In other words, over 10,000 public schools "own and operate" scouting troops. According to another Boy Scout of America publication (Publication 02-179), in 1999 public schools ranked third among all chartering organizations in the nation.

The Boy Scouts of America is a private organization. The Supreme Court ruled that the BSA has the right to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Public schools, however, do not have the right to discriminate. Yet in owning and operating scout troops, public schools are doing just that. They are utilizing taxpayer resources to run programs that reject students based on sexual orientation. Public schools must never discriminate and they have no business owning and operating programs that do.

Public schools exist to serve every member of every community. Studies show that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students already face pervasive harassment and isolation at school. By owning and operating scout troops, public schools are adding to the chorus of voices that are already telling these youth they do not belong.

Instead, it is discrimination that does not belong. While the BSA, as a private organization, has the right to leave certain youth behind, our public schools do not - and they must not be in the business of owning and operating programs that do.

GLSEN's campaign will not take issue with troops that are owned and operated by private organizations - recognizing that it is their right to discriminate. Nor will GLSEN's campaign take issue with these troops having equal access to school facilities. (Emphasis on EQUAL - many scout troops have special access to school mailing lists, special training days, etc.)

GLSEN suggests that public schools shift their support away from the Boy Scouts to one of the many other programs that do not discriminate - like the 4 H Council, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the Campfire Boys and Girls. In so doing schools will continue to meet community needs, while avoiding the damaging message that certain students need not apply.



The Teaching Tolerance project of the Southern Poverty Law Center offers grants of up to $2,000 to K-12 classroom teachers for implementing tolerance projects in their schools and communities. Proposals from other educators such as community organizations and churches will be considered on the basis of direct student impact. For more information, contact:

Annie Bolling
Teaching Tolerance Grants
400 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36104



A non-profit, toll-free hotline is available to help you with anti-gay incidents. The National GLBT Hate Crimes Hotline, 800-616-HATE, is answered by trained volunteers. It offers information, documentation, and referrals. They can help you if you have been threatened or attacked, or if you feel you were discriminated against, harassed, or hurt some other way. Regardless of where you live, you can also tell us about what is happening to you online. If you are being harassed or have been threatened or attacked at school, work, or home, go to -- anytime, 24 hours/day.

You can also use your computer and email to directly help in the effort stop hate violence -- and support others who have survived such incidents. To volunteer or get more information, go to or just email this address:

Tell us about any harassment, name-calling, vandalism, and other abuse done to you. No one deserves to be treated badly or hurt because someone thinks they are gay/bi, or because of their gender, race, religion, national origin, HIV status, etc. (from anywhere in the world)

1-800-616-HATE (from anywhere in the U.S.)




Here are several sites to visit the next time you are online.

The full text of National Education Association President Bob Chase's keynote speech at the recent GLSEN conference in Arlington Heights has been posted at

You can view an Education Week article on the controversy regarding schools' relationships to the Boy Scouts of America at

An LGBT resources site put together by the federal government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be found at






Do you know someone who has a weapon?
Are you depressed and need to talk to someone?
Are you afraid?
Do you feel threatened?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes,
Call toll-free 1-888-881-0606
Available for any student or family member
7 a.m. - midnight Monday through Friday
7 p.m. - midnight Saturday and Sunday


We are excited to introduce GLSENTeach. GLSENTeach is a discussion-based forum for educators. Teachers will be able to discuss curricula, teaching strategies, resources and everyday advice with their peers. They can also share classroom experiences, lesson plans and suggest ideas for research projects. This list will also provide information about GLSEN's in-school programming work.

GLSENTalk is a discussion-based list intended for GLSEN chapter organizers and allies. Subscribers share information on the programmatic successes of their chapters and the strategies they used to counteract resistance to their work. Subscribers will also receive information about the best activist practices in both schools and communities and links to helpful resources. Expect an e-mail from this list roughly three times a week, in addition to a weekly digest.

GLSENAlert, GLSEN's most widely-read on-line information service, is an announce-only listserv by which media releases and action alerts are distributed to GLSEN members and allies around the country. Generally, GLSENAlert members receive three or four e-mails per month.

StdntPrideAlert, similar to GLSENAlert, is an announce-only list intended for student activists and anyone interested in GSA work. This is an announce-only list that shares media information and action alerts. E-mails are sent approximately 3 times per month.

GSATalk is a discussion forum for student activists participating in Gay/Straight Alliances that offers networking opportunities and troubleshooting tips. Students discuss issues involved in running a GSA, post questions to a helpful audience, and learn about the programs and practices undertaken by GSA members in high schools around the nation. GSATalk subscribers share messages between 5 and 10 times per week.

AdvisorTalk is a discussion forum targeted toward advisors of GSAs. Advisors discuss resources, share support ideas with other advisors, and find new and better ways to help their students run successful alliances. E-mails are shared approximately 3 times per month.

To subscribe or unsubscribe to one of these listservs, please follow these instructions:

Address an e-mail message to:

Leave the subject line blank.

In the message text, include one of the following commands (insert the actual list name where it says list_name):

subscribe list_name

unsubscribe list_name

For example, if you want to subscribe to GLSENAlert, send an email to with the message text: subscribe GLSENAlert

A list_name should be entered like this:









We are excited to introduce GLSENTeach. GLSENTeach is a discussion-based forum for educators. Teachers will be able to discuss curricula, teaching strategies, resources and everyday advice with their peers. They can also share classroom experiences, lesson plans and suggest ideas for research projects. This list will also provide information about GLSEN's in-school programming work. To subscribe, send an email to with the following as the first line of your email message: Subscribe GLSENTeach.


TELL YOUR STORY - Join the Speaker's Bureau

Why haven't you signed up for the Speaker's Bureau yet? GLSEN/Chicago is proud to be in the process of organizing the first LGBT speaker's bureau for the Chicago area. If you have a coming out story to tell or have specific knowledge you'd like to pass along, and if you are willing to meet with teacher, student, or administrator groups at the elementary, high school, or university levels, or if you are willing to talk with religious groups, private companies, community groups, union groups or just about any other group you can imagine, call GLSEN and request an application for the Speaker's Bureau. We're a fledgling group of speakers trying to build a strong enough list of speakers so we can begin advertising and promoting speakers to schools and other groups around the Chicago area. GLSEN currently receives an average of about one speaker request every month, and this is without any form of advertising. We feel certain that once we begin letting schools (as an example) know that we have speakers available to come to classes, faculty meetings, school board meetings and so forth, we'll get an amazing response.

We at the Speaker's Bureau still believe that a personal connection between a speaker and audience continues to be our greatest asset in eliminating homophobia in our schools. If you think you might be interested, please call or email us for an application. Or just contact us for more information. GLSEN's phone number is 312/409-1835. Our email address is




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