I love this Ted Talk by iO Tillet Wright. iO launched the Self Evident Truth project where she photographed nearly 10,000 people who identify as anything other than 100% straight. It is a fact in the US that in over half our states, people can be fired, or denied housing because of their sexual orientation. In iO’s Ted Talk below, called Fifty Shades of Gay, she tackles the question of equality.
And if your up for another Ted Talk, this one by Geena Rocero, a fashion model from the Philippines, called Why I Must Come Out is great. She talks about the fluidity of gender, and she is also an advocate who founded Gender Proud. Did you know that the suicide rate for transgender people is nine times greater than that of the general population? Isn’t it time we treated people the way they say they want to be treated?
The US Departments of Education and Justice issued joint guidance yesterday (05/13/2016) regarding the civil rights of transgender students. The guidance explains how current laws prohibit discrimination, including discrimination of transgender students. The Department of Education also offered examples of policies and procedures to guide school districts in implementing the recommendations.
A particularly absurd example in my opinion, is the question ‘How does a school confirm a student’s gender identity?’ I wonder, ‘Why does a school need to confirm a student’s gender identity?’ Seriously, why do some people think they need to know? How about ‘I identify as a human’. Shouldn’t that be enough? And should’t there be restrooms for each and every human to use?
I’m so proud today of my professional organization; The American Counseling Association. They have decided to move the 2017 conference out of Nashville, TN because of the recent law that permits counselors to refuse services to LGBTQ clients based upon their own beliefs. This law is in violation of the ACA’s code of ethics, and as such, we will not be meeting there!
By the way, this is the code of ethics that I adhere to as a counselor. Section C.5 clearly states that:
“Counselors do not condone or engage in discrimination against prospective or current clients, students, employees, supervisees, or research participants based on age, culture, disability, ethnicity, race, religion/spirituality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/ partnership status, language preference, socioeconomic status, immigration status, or any basis proscribed by law.”
I am proud that my professional organization stands behind it’s code of ethics and so that counselors can stand with their clients, each and every one.
Here is another favorite poem of mine by Mary Oliver called Wild Geese:
If you would like a copy of this poem, you can find it on On Being’s website, where you can also listen to Oliver read this poem herself.