Sexual Identity and Gender | Not in Our Town

Sexual Identity and Gender

When Quality Auto Paint & Body owner, Richard Henegar, hears that a local college student is the victim of an anti-gay hate attack, he decides to help. Not only does Richard repair Jordan Addison's vandalized car, he brings his entire community together. After painting over the anti-gay slurs and replacing windows and tires, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres learns of this act of generosity and invites the two men to talk about their experience on national television. Richard is also honored by his alma mater, Lord Botetourt High School when they create The Richard Henegar Kindness Award to highlight how one person can make a difference.
  Janet Miller, a teacher at Hoover Middle School, was blown away by district-wide statistics that revealed the risk of violence that transgendered youth experience. Moved by the statistics, Miller stated to her colleagues that it was their responsibility to create a safe learning environment for ALL students and that any type of discrimination should not be tolerated. This video is part of a series produced by Not In Our School's parent company, The Working Group, for the Institute for Advancing Unity. This series focus on extraordinary people whose personal choices have inspired others to join in tremendous collective achievements.    Get the Quick Start Guide to start a Not In Our School Campaign in your school   Series Executive Producer:  Edith Crawford Concept Designer:  Stephanie Francis CEO, Institute for Advancing Unity:  Dr. Robert M. Harris, Ph.D.
When teacher Janet Miller learned that transgender youth in her district were the most at risk of attempting suicide, she wanted to make sure that her students felt safe. After sharing the alarming statistics with the school community, teachers and students worked together to create a Gay Straight Alliance at Hoover Middle School in the San Francisco Unified School District. The GSA brings students together to talk about differences and acceptance.
Out in the Silence captures the remarkable chain of events that unfold when the announcement of filmmaker Joe Wilson's wedding to another man ignites a firestorm of controversy in his small Pennsylvania hometown. Drawn back by a plea for help from the mother of a young gay teen who is being brutally abused at school, Wilson's journey dramatically illustrates the universal challenges of being an outsider in a conservative environment and the transformation that is possible when those who have long been constrained by a traditional code of silence summon the courage to break it. The film portrays the ongoing struggle for justice and equality in communities across the country and depicts the change that is possible when people search for what they have in common rather than what that set them apart. Not In Our School features an excerpt from this inspiring film about CJ, a 16-year-old boy and his mother, who challenge the community and school board in their small town to create an environment where all students feel safe and included. For more information visit http://wpsu.org/outinthesilence. You may also download a discussion guide for Out in the Silence here.
Gunn High School in the Palo Alto Unified School District has held a Not In Our School campaign at their school for nearly a decade. The objective of the weeklong campaign is to “promote acceptance, awareness and identity within the PAUSD community” and “to help the Gunn community increase understanding and encourage discussion about the diversity and race relations Gunn.”
After transgender teen Gwen Araujo is killed by local youth in the Silicon Valley suburb of Newark, the town's residents and civic leaders must acknowledge and deal with this brutal and preventable crime. Through their local high school production of The Laramie Project, the students and Newark residents begin to see parallels in their own community.   This is an excerpt of Not In Our Town Northern California: When Hate Happens Here.
When anti-gay extremist Fred Phelps announced his hate group he calls Westboro Baptist Church would picket Newark Memorial High School's production of "The Laramie Project," community members like Gail Nelson couldn't sit quietly. Borrowing from a scene in the play, concerned citizens dressed as angels to block from view Phelps' followers and their hateful placards. (2:04)
When the Kansas hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps' family) announced they would picket Bay Area schools and Jewish institutions, Lowell High School students in San Francisco decide to rally to show their love for their diverse, inclusive community. 
When the Kansas hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps' family) announced they would picket Bay Area schools and Jewish institutions, students at Gunn High School decided they could not sit quietly. With the support of their teachers and administrators, they chose to respond with song and positive messages of love, peace and acceptance. (3:34) Discussion Questions
Palo Alto High School students urge their peers to take action in response to the school shooting of 15-year-old Oxnard, CA student Lawrence "Larry" King, who was perceived to be gay. Some of these students are members of the school's Gay and Straight Alliance (GSA) and also performers in the Palo Alto High production of "The Laramie Project," a play about Laramie, Wyoming's response to the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard. (2:56)