May 03, 2013

Wilson Cruz: We need a new normal

Earlier today Wilson Cruz, an actor and activist who recently joined our Board of Directors, wrote an email to GLSEN supporters. It was so touching that we want to share it here with you. As a teenager, growing up in the early 90s, homophobic language wasn’t something most schools dealt with, let alone educated teachers or students about. The needs of LGBT students were minimized at best and often times overlooked entirely. But thanks to the work of GLSEN, significant progress has been made. Schools are safer than ever before. But we are far from the finish line. In too many schools, anti-LGBT bullying is still the norm and many students have no place to turn for help. This is not okay. It has to change. We need a new normal! With this in mind, GLSEN has embarked on an ambitious campaign to put Safe Space Kits in schools throughout America. Our immediate goal is 1,000 kits by the end of the month before school recesses for the summer. With your help, GLSEN has already put kits in over 14,000 schools and completely covered 14 states. But we need to go further — every school in American has at least one LGBT (or questioning) student who needs our help — we need a kit in every school! I donated a kit today. Will you? Sincerely, Signature Wilson Cruz GLSEN Board of Directors PS: Earlier this week at the Respect Awards – NY, I had the pleasure of meeting GLSEN’s Educator of the Year, Janet Sammons, who told me a truly remarkable story. She had a student come see her two years after graduating. He told her how he struggled with his sexual orientation and while he wasn’t ready to come out in high school, the Safe Space poster that hangs in her classroom was a great comfort to him. That it was helpful to know someone who understood was there. This story reaffirms for me the necessity of having a kit in every school. Help us make this a reality today!

Brian Murphy

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