Tracker Pixel for Entry

Gay/Straight Alliance Initiative: A call for stories

by Faye Seidler | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Culture | April 5th, 2017

The GSA Initiative is designed to create guidelines for founding new LGBTQ+ support and activity groups within the middle and high school settings in North Dakota. This initiative exists because of the lack of resources I had while going to school in this area and the current lack of resources that our students report.

Our aim is not only to create startup guidelines, but to create a standard policy and procedure for these groups to give them the tools necessary to thrive. Beyond all of that, we hope to create a plethora of resources and materials for the LGBTQ+ students -- things such as how to come out to your family, various activities for fun, LGBTQ+ history workshops, how to be safe in school and at home, and other similar topics.

The Initiative was originally going to kick off with a focus group on the 23rd of May, but that has been canceled due to lack of participation by our school system. For the numbers, the initiative emailed over two hundred principals within North Dakota. It also networked with guidance counsellors throughout our state using the ND School Counsellor website.

Given those numbers we received one response from one principal who only responded to ask to be removed from the email list.

We did have more luck with guidance counsellors, but only heard from four. Each guidance counsellor we heard from was from a rural community and each indicated a desire for this information, citing lack of local resources or guidance.

Based on that response, I don’t think the need for this initiative can be more clear. This is a setback, but we’re not giving up, but we’ll be refocusing our direction. So, instead of doing a large focus group, we’ll be doing individual interviews either through email, phone, or in person, depending on the person’s ability and preference.

While we believe a larger focus group to be very useful and something to explore in the future, we don’t have the numbers today.

Our last article talked about needing people’s help and we still do, but this time we need stories and perspective. We’d love to hear from any LGBTQ+ student in our state about their experiences and what they want from a GSA.

We want to hear from any counsellor, educator, principal, or parent to get their perspective and to establish contact, so we can keep them up-to-date about what we’ve learned.

Finally, If someone is a parent of an LGBTQ+ student, we recommend talking to school counsellors and the principal about taking proactive measures to make sure their child has the support they need in school to thrive.

We encourage people to be directly involved by volunteering their time and talents with this initiative. While it is intended to be a project with a clear start and finish, there is always room for more minds and more skills to continue building on it after its completion. We could especially use individuals gifted at website design to host our finished project as an interactive website rather than a large pdf.

If anyone would like to be involved by sharing information, stories, perspective, talent, or time, please email me at fayeseidler@gmail.com. Given our shift in direction, we hope to develop a rough draft for our comprehensive guide by the middle of June. We will then distribute that guide to anyone interested in editing. After we get our edits back and finalize our project, we’ll be sending it out to every school before the start of the new school year, to make sure they have the tools necessary to address LGBTQ+ needs.

Finally, independent of the project, anyone is welcome to contact me currently for general information about how to start their own GSA. While I don’t have all the information, I’d likely be able to point someone in the right direction.

Aside from that, I also offer transgender cultural competency training for teachers or counsellors and my email is always open to any question related to transgender issues, whether an individual is questioning their gender, looking for resources, or a family member wants to understand the condition better and doesn’t know how to ask.

[Faye Seidler is North Dakota Safe Zone Project Spokeswoman]

Recently in:

FARGO – The day Tiffany Abentroth stood up before a thousand and more Trump-loving Republicans, she knew the GOP blessing was not within reach. She wasn’t even nervous about it. Still a Marine Corps staff sergeant, she squared…

Last week we talked about my lack of photographic skills and then what the heck am I going to do with all of these bad pictures that I take. Storage options for those pictures continues this week:RAIDAnother storage option is a…

Wednesday, April 25, 9pm-howlingThe Aquarium, 226 Broadway, FargoYou may have heard their sick beats on 95.9 lpfm on Friday's from 5pm-midnight. Now you can dance your pants off in the presence of the minds behind ”The Riverside…

According to Greek mythology Hades is to blame for the Earth’s mournful state of winter. The story involves Persephone the goddess of nature and Hades the god of the underworld in a classic caper of obsession, abduction, and…

Does That Old-Time Religion Signal The End Of Rational Thought?An incident about gender identity in the Maryland Legislature last week magnified a microcosm of what we are going through in the United States about religion in the…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

All About Food

​Oysters

by HPR Staff

By Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comAs a North Dakota native, raw oysters are just not a food staple that I think about. We are about as far from the coasts as we can get and we have a backyard full of tasty local cuisine, like walleye…

Record Store Day is all about music artists and fans celebrating “the culture of the independently owned record store.” A variety of unique and special releases are pressed for Record Store Day and those are only distributed to…

Leveraging whatever name-brand clout it might carry with the target demographic, “Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare” -- the onscreen title for the pre and post-credit sequences -- won’t make the kind of impact previously enjoyed by…

There are so many cool places to be in Austin during the South by Southwest Festival -- like the Flatstock Market, which displays the works of the world’s top gig poster artists. The show features posters of varying styles,…

By Nathan Roybardsdream@gmail.comYou are absolutely right. The title is not “To be or not to be” from the famous Shakespeare soliloquy in "Hamlet." I won’t be talking about Shakespeare particularly. I will expound the…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

I consider myself an avid wine drinker, but I recently found out there are more than 10,000 varieties of grapes, and about 1,500 of those are used to make commercial wines. I don’t know about you, but I could probably name about…

A few months ago, I was introduced to the concept of probiotics and how they work with our bodies. I would never have guessed the change that occurred after their introduction into my system.I always considered myself a fairly…

By Melissa Martin melissamartincounselor@live.com “I’m sorry” are two vital words to be used in relationships because human beings are imperfect people living in imperfect environments. Ask yourself the following…

Calm was the day in late JulyAnd bright was the sun across the skyBut inside his chest the calm had brokenGovernor Sinner had started croakin’.I laughed the first time I read that, and I’m still laughing every time I think…