Queer Youth Updates

A weekly e-newsletter resource for Queer/Ally Youth of Santa Cruz County. A program of the Safe Schools Project.

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“What Is Spirit Day? The Anti-Bullying Event Encourages People To Stand Up For LGBTQ Youth” – Bustle

“Inspired by Canada’s anti-bullying event Pink Shirt Day, McMillan encouraged her friends to raise awareness for the high rates of LGBTQ suicide by wearing purple. It wasn’t hard to get people interested in her cause. All she needed was a blog post, a few poster boards, and a willingness to ask people she knew to support and promote her campaign. And with that, Spirit Day was born.

Now every year on the third Thursday in October, people around the globe wear purple to show their support and encourage discussion about mental health and suicide among LGBTQ youth.”


“The History Behind Why We Say a Person ‘Came Out of the Closet’ “ – Time Magazine

“Scholars say the first uses of the term “coming out” didn’t refer to gay people coming out to the wide world, but rather, gay people coming out to other gay people. The phrase itself had long been used, and still is, to describe when well-bred young women were introduced to society and the world of eligible bachelors. So it was that, before World War II, an elite group of gay men “came out” at drag balls modeled after the debutante balls in the nation’s biggest cities, according to historian George Chauncey’s Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World.


“Watsonville students, teachers celebrate National Coming Out Day” – Santa Cruz Sentinel

“At Pajaro Valley High, students have been celebrating National Coming Out Day with a public party for seven years. Leading up to this year’s party, some of the 35 members of the high school’s Genders and Sexualities Alliance gathered to blow up balloons to decorate tables.

As soon as classes let out for lunch, music flowed from the speakers to draw students in Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” played on repeat as students flooded the quad, curious about what was going on.”


“Don’t Overlook LGBTQ History in High School” – US News

“California became the first state in recent years to incorporate LGBTQ history into its curriculum, while earlier this year, the superintendent of Houston Independent School District – one of the nation’s largest school systems – expressed his desire for students to learn about LGBTQ history.

“They don’t think this is a radical thing to talk about it, and that’s been just beautiful to see,” says Alicia Guzman, a history teacher at Santa Cruz High School in California, of her student’s response to learning about LGBTQ history. She started teaching her students about the topic last year while working on a committee to shape her district’s LGBTQ history curriculum.”

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