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.

 

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.

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.

Activity Guide: Sample Not In Our School Week from Gunn High School

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.”

Grade Level: 
high

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

Activity Guide: Addressing "That's So Gay" In Your Classroom

If interested in modeling this dialogue in your own classroom, please use the following guidelines to assist in ensuring a positive and productive discussion.

Age-level: middle and high school students

Grade Level: 
high