The Gender Spectrum Conference focuses on creating gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens.
The Gender Spectrum Conference is a special place where you can:
- meet other parents and caregivers raising gender nonconforming children and teens
- offer your gender nonconforming child the gift of meeting other children in similar circumstances
- attend over 40 workshops for adults around relevant topics in the fields of medicine, mental health, education, the law, social issues, and more
- allow your 5-8 year old a fun-filled weekend at Kids Camp
- give your 9-12 year old a time to play and learn with other tweens at Tween Camp
- have teens experience a unique weekend full of age-appropriate workshops and events solely dedicated to them and their peers at our Teen Conference
- schedule one-on-one time at our Family Support Center with experienced professionals in the areas of medicine, mental health, the law and spiritual guidance
Our workshops and other programming are designed for newcomers and experienced attendees alike. Wherever you find yourself in your journey, this conference welcomes you with open arms.
(early bird pricing ends April 30)
Challenges of LGBT youth:
LGBT youth report double the rates of sexual abuse before age 12.
LGBT youth who experienced a negative reaction from their parents when they came out: 1 in 2
86% of surveyed gay and lesbian students report being verbally harassed at school due to their sexual orientation.
22% of surveyed LGBT students report being physically attacked in school; of those 60% did not tell any authority figure about the incident because they believed no one would care.
78% of transgender youth are harassed in K - 12.
19% of transgender people experience homelessness.
From the Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign
'Strengths and Silences: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students in Rural and Small Town Schools'
Rural lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students feel less safe, face heightened victimization and have fewer supportive resources than LGBT students in suburban and urban areas, according to Strengths and Silences: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students in Rural and Small Town Schools, a new study released today by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
Hostile School Climate and Student Victimization
- 87% of rural LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 45% reported being physically harassed and 22% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
- 68% of rural LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 31% reported being physically harassed and 16% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their gender expression.
- 91% of rural LGBT students heard “gay” used in a negative way (e.g., “that’s so gay”) and 79% of LGBT students frequently or often heard other homophobic remarks (e.g., “dyke” or “faggot”) at school.
- 3 in 5 (61%) rural LGBT students heard remarks about students not acting “masculine” enough; 42% had heard similar comments about students not acting “feminine” enough frequently or often at school.
- Rural LGBT students reported feeling unsafe in specific school spaces, most commonly locker rooms (45%), bathrooms (44%) and physical education/gym class (37%).
Presence of Interventions and Support
- 11% of rural LGBT students reported having an LGBT-inclusive curriculum (i.e., having been taught positive things about LGBT people, history, or events in their classes), significantly less than the 18% of suburban and 20% of urban students.
- 39% of rural LGBT students whose school computers had Internet access said that they could access LGBT-related websites, compared to 44% of suburban students and 44% of urban students.
- 27% of rural students reported having a GSA at school, compared to 55% of suburban students and 53% of urban students. But when there was a GSA at school, rural students were more likely to attend than urban and suburban students.
- 25% of rural LGBT students reported having a school administration supportive of LGBT students, compared to 35% of students in suburban schools and 36% in urban schools.
- 28% of rural students reported that other students in their schools were accepting of LGBT students, compared to suburban (33% accepting) or urban (46% accepting) areas.
Key Differences By Locale
- Rural LGBT students reported feeling less safe than students in suburban and urban areas and rural students living in the South and Midwest were more likely to feel unsafe based on sexual orientation than were students in rural areas of the Northeast or West.
- Rural LGBT students heard most types of biased language more than urban and suburban students, particularly with homophobic remarks being particularly significant.
- Rural LGBT students were more likely to feel unsafe at school due to their sexual orientation (71% vs. 62% of suburban and 58% of urban school students) and gender expression (49% of rural students vs. 42% of suburban and 42% of urban students).
- Rural students were more likely to report discriminatory policies or practices against LGBT people by their school or school personnel compared to suburban and urban students.
- Rural LGBT students were significantly less comfortable talking about LGBT issues to school personnel than either urban or suburban students.
- 36% of rural LGBT students had missed class and/or a day of school in the past month due to feeling unsafe, compared to 30% of suburban LGBT students and 30% of urban LGBT students.
The above content is from GLSEN’s ’Strengths and Silences: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students in Rural and Small Town Schools’ study. Click on the title (link) above or click here to read more.
To download the full report, click here [PDF File].
Ellen DeGeneres helped me survive high school & become a strong woman (by Elliot London)
Ali, a teen from Arkansas shows us what it is like to grow up in small town America. She is a role model to LGBT youth. Ali talks about realizing her gender identity, being bullied, & how her role model inspires her. We want to tell her story in a scripted film called FRIEND. FRIEND is about overcoming bullying in 2012.
Know Your Rights: LGBTQ Rights in New York’s Schools (by nycluclips)
This video was made by the youth of the Teen Activist Project (TAP) at the New York Civil Liberties Union in collaboration with Extraneous Noise, a video production company. TAP set out to create this video in an attempt to combat bullying and empower New York’s LGBTQ students to know their rights.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth often face harassment and discrimination simply for being who they are. Just the thought of entering the school doors can be a nightmare for many students.
But the law requires school administrators and teachers to:
Protect LGBTQ students from bullying and harassment.
Treat LGBTQ students fairly and equally.
Respect LGBTQ students’ free speech and free expression rights.
Respect LGBTQ students’ privacy rights.
Unfortunately, many school officials don’t know enough about how the law requires them to protect LGBTQ students. That’s why it’s so important for youth to educate themselves about their legal rights and what they can do if their school isn’t treating them or other students fairly.
TAP into your rights. Empower yourself and your friends. Pass it on!
If you have questions about your rights in New York’s schools, contact the NYCLU, www.nyclu.org.