Creating safe space for GLBTQ youth: a toolkit

Toolkits & Guides
Chicago, IL
Washington, DC
Girl's Best Friend Foundation
Advocates for Youth
83 p.

The goal of this toolkit is to enable staff of mainstream youth-serving organizations to create a safe and welcoming environment for GLBTQ youth by directly addressing homophobia and transphobia among staff and youth. To that end, the toolkit guides youth-serving organizations and professionals in: 1) assessing the organization’s internal climate and staff’s personal attitudes regarding sexual orientation and gender identity; 2) developing pro-social and proactive policies and procedures; 3) taking a stand for the rights and dignity of GLBTQ youth; and 4) developing among staff and youth positive attitudes and behaviors regarding GLBTQ people. Part One includes background that may be useful in building support for policies and programming to create a safe space for all youth, irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Materials include: an overview of how the homophobic and gender-rigid climate in the United States affects GLBTQ youth and a newly revised fact sheet, GLBTQ Youth. Later in the Toolkit, you will find: Practical tips and strategies (Part Two) for assessing and, when necessary, changing climate in your organization; Lesson plans (Part Three) intended to sensitize program youth, staff, and volunteers to homophobic and transphobic sentiments and actions and to get all program youth into action, either as straight allies of GLBTQ youth or as activist GLBTQ youth; Additional resources on sexual orientation and gender identity (Part Four), including select organizations, Web sites, books, and videos; a glossary, information on abstinence-only-until-marriage education, answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and a Definition Match-Up, which you can use to assess your familiarity with terminology related to sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

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