June is Pride Month

Happy Pride Month

June is when we celebrate our pride in the diverse ways people connect to one another. You may be seeing a lot of rainbow flags and images wherever you look. The rainbow has been a symbol for quite some time now for those who are part of the LGBTQIA2+ community and is often referred to as the Rainbow Community. And those who are showing a rainbow symbol are letting others know that they either identify as LGBTQIA+ or they are an ally, a support, and a safe person to be with for those who belong to this community. 

However, it is a lot of letters and many people are not even sure what the letters stand for, let alone what it means to be an ally or a safe person to be around. This is a great opportunity for us all to learn how knowing just a little bit can have a significant impact on others. 

First, what are the letters? 

  • L = Lesbian
  • G = Gay
  • B = Bisexual
  • T = Transgender
  • Q = Queer or Questioning
  • I = Intersex
  • A = Asexual
  • 2 = Two-spirit
  • + = To represent other variations
Each one of these could be its own separate blog and I encourage us all to take some time to understand each. 

What is an Ally?
To be an ally means that you are someone who is safe to be with for a person who identifies as LGBTQIA+. This could be as simple as being a good listener, holding a non-judgmental space for others, accepting another person for who they are, or being a friend. It really isn't any more difficult than that. For some reason, we humans have a long history of marginalizing those with whom we don't identify or who are different from us. This results in conflict and controversy. The person who is marginalized is the one who is hurt and separated from the larger community.

We know that part of being resilient is being an accepted member of a community. Everyone gets to belong to our community. If they live here, they are welcome. However, that isn't how humans typically treat others who are different from us. If you are not a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, can you imagine not being accepted for who you are, just because you are different? Imagine living your whole life and never feeling accepted for who you are. This is very real for many people.

How do we help? 
One of the chief aims of our education community is to be accepting of everyone and to create safe spaces for all students to learn and grow. It is repeated numerous times in our school board policies which are the pillars of our educational system. That is the first step--acceptance. As we care for each child in our classrooms or cafeterias, show that each child is accepted for the diverse person they are. Invite students to share with you what is difficult for them. Listen. And most importantly, affirm them that they are just right, that they are special, and that you are here to help them grow into the best version of themselves.        

When we say, "We Are GP! We all belong!" We really need to mean that. Being different from each other is normal and healthy--isn't each one of us a unique person? Accepting others for who they are is critical to building a strong and thriving community. Our diversity as human beings is what makes us resilient. This month, let's show our Pride for our LGBTQIA+ community members and create all spaces on our GP campuses as safe spaces. 

Below are just some of the many educational resources that may be helpful to you:

We Are GP! We All Belong! This month, let's take one step closer to ensuring that ALL of our staff and students are accepted and in a safe space. 

Take care, 

Todd Bloomquist


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