February 14, 2011
>Happy Valentine’s Day from GLSEN and the Claim Your Rights Campaign
>Valentine’s Day offers a special time to celebrate the people in your life whom you love and care for. Whether you choose to express it through candies, gifts, cards, words or simply a nice gesture, today is a day to remind all of the people in your life that they are important to you and you value your relationships with them, whatever their form. Love and appreciation can transcend gender and sexual orientation and are worth celebrating.
GLSEN and the Claim Your Rights Campaign encourage you to celebrate Valentine’s Day in ways permissible to the general student body in your school. Students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or gender nonconforming have the right to participate in any Valentine’s Day school activities that their heterosexual and cisgender classmates are allowed to take part in.
If you experience any discrimination because of your real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, please consider filing a report with the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Education Department. The report can be filed online and your confidentiality is assured.
Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love and compassion, and we hope that if you choose to celebrate it, you have an excellent day. This can also be a great opportunity to have conversations with classmates about how to make sure the holiday is inclusive and respectful to all, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Have a happy Valentine’s Day, and if you need support with filing a Claim Your Rights report, please contact Shawn Gaylord, Director of Public Policy, at email@example.com.