“We’ve known students who’ve been bullied and even kicked out of their families for coming out,” he said. “Things are getting better. However, we’re not there yet.”
It has only been recently that Ruhrer-Johnson, Eastman and school adviser Jess Fielding began working on a gender pronoun chart for teachers to use.
“Some students identify as a ‘he’ or a ‘she,’ but what happens when they don’t identify as a male or a female?” Fielding asked. “Then, it is OK to use a term like ‘them’ as opposed to one related to a specific gender.”
This is a breakthrough, according to Ruhrer-Johnson.
Citing statistics from the Trevor Project, a national organization devoted to crisis invention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning individuals, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for individuals under the age of 25.
“Somebody who is LGBTQ is almost three times as likely to contemplate suicide,” Ruhrer-Johnson said. “Nobody wants to be a part of those stats.”
Which is why GSA groups are so important.
“And it isn’t just about being gay,” Ruhrer-Johnson said. “We talk about grades, friends and activities that have nothing to do sexual identity.”
Originally Appeared Here