Helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer adults share their stories of resilience at every school nationwide.

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Jessica Went Back To Her School!

Our featured alum today is Jessica, who sent letters to her high school and superintendent’s office of her old school district in central New York.

In the nearly two weeks since Back To Your School’s launch, thousands of LGBTQ adults and straight allies have visited the site, shared the names of their elementary, middle and high schools and colleges, and pledged to go back to these schools with a unified message: I am an alumni of this school, and I care about what happens to the LGBTQ and questioning youth that attend now.”

Will you go back to your school with this message too? Visit our post How To Go Back To School for some ways you can start and resources that you can share with your old schools.

There are only 140,000 schools in the United States, and millions of LGBTQ and straight allied adults that once attended them.  Use your influence!  Go back to your school!

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How To Go Back To Your School

Thank you for being one of the thousands of visitors to Back To Your School in the week since our launch. We’re part of a strong movement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer adults and straight allies. We’re making it safer and easier for LGBTQ and questioning youth who are sitting in the same school chairs where we once sat.

If you’re ready to go back to your school, there are a number of ways you can start.

We’ve heard from LGBTQ adults who have placed calls to every school in their old school district, those who have offered to organize a panel of LGBTQ alums to speak and answer questions at their high school , and those who have contacted their school’s gay-straight alliance to be a mentor to the students involved.

Some steps could include:

1) Call the principals of your elementary, middle and high schools. Introduce yourself as an LGBTQ alum or straight ally alum of the school, and ask what the school does for LGBTQ and questioning youth. Tell the principal that, as a former student and as an adult who cares about your community, you know how important it is that schools have gay-straight alliances, anti-bullying policies, and faculty/staff trainings on issues facing LGBTQ youth.

2) You can direct schools to any of the very comprehensive resources below:

GLSEN’s Anti-Bullying Resources for Schools

The ACLU’s Safe Schools Project

The Trevor Project

3) Be sure to tell your schools that you’ll be staying involved, telling other alumni, and following up… then do it!

4) If you are interested in doing more, ask your old schools if they would consider having you, or a panel of LGBTQ alums, speak. You can organize a few alums to sit on a panel together, asking each other questions about what it was like to be out, in the closet, or just coming to discover your sexuality in school, and where your lives have gone in the years since you graduated.

5) Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, identifying yourself as an LGBTQ alum of the school district. Share a memory or two of your time in school, and call on readers to be involved in changing the climate for LGBTQ and questioning youth in school today by advocating for gay-straight alliances, robust anti-bullying policies, and faculty/staff trainings on issues facing LGBTQ youth.

The most important thing to remember is that, as an LGBTQ alum or straight allied alum, you know these schools best. We each have a unique contribution to make, and we can start with just a phone call.

There are only 140,000 schools in the United States, and millions of LGBTQ adults. Let’s make sure every school hears from its LGBTQ alumni this year!

Jake went back to school!

Our featured alum today is Jake:

“I just want to let you know the progress that I have made. First, I left a phone message and wrote an email to the principal of my middle school and am awaiting her reply. Then, I spoke with the principal of my high school who was very responsive. I am now sending him all of my information, which he will then share with the student LGBTQ group. I hope they will contact me. I also mentioned that I would be willing to go back to Milwaukee to do a workshop, if that was ever wanted/needed.”

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Jake!

Have you gone back to your school yet? Share your story.

Put Your School on the Map!

LGBTQ alums: put your school on the map! Tell us where you went to elementary, middle, high school or college. We’re building a map of schools nationwide that have LGBTQ alums ready to take action.

Where will you start?

Back To Your School helps gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) adults make a unique contribution to the lives of LGBTQ kids. We’re ensuring that every one of the 140,000 elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools in the United States hears from and meets their gay alumni.

Nearly one thousand people have visited this site in the 24 hours that Back To Your School has been live. We are delivering the message that we, as LGBTQ adults, care about what happens to those that come after us, and that we’ll hold our schools accountable.

It could start with a phone call to the principal of your middle school or superintendent of your school district to let him or her know that you’re an LGBTQ alum who is interested in what the school is doing for LGBTQ students.

It could start with a stop in at your elementary school over Thanksgiving to introduce yourself to the principal as an LGBTQ alum.

It might be a letter to the editor of your old hometown paper that asks readers to push for a GLSEN chapter at the high school.

Where will you start?

Share your ideas in the comments section. And remember to subscribe to this blog using the box on the right, and retweet/repost.

Welcome!

Back To Your School has had hundreds of visitors in our first hours of existence.

We hear that you’re ready to do something to prevent the loss of more lives. We hear that you are ready, as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer adults, to let your schools know that alums are watching, and taking responsibility.

Please subscribe to Back To Your School by entering your email in the box to the right, so that over the next several days we can begin to take these steps together. Please friend us on Facebook by searching for “Back To Your School.” And, most importantly, please share this link with your friends/repost/retweet/follow us on Twitter @back2yourschool.

There are 140,000 schools waiting for our phone calls, letters and visits!

Go Back To School With Us.

Five teenagers killed themselves in the past two weeks. The oldest was 19 years old, and the youngest was 13.

They were among the thousands of students victimized each year because they are or are perceived as LGBTQ, and among the thousands of others who consider killing themselves rather than coming out.

There’s at least two forces at work here. One is the unacceptable climate of bullying that LGBTQ youth and youth perceived to be LGBTQ have faced for decades, and continue to face. Many of you reading this now were victims when you were in school.

The second is the lack of perspective that any young victimized person experiences about the hopefulness of life.  That’s not a perspective we can expect children to have on their own. It’s our job to show them.

Dan Savage got the ball rolling earlier this week with the “It Gets Better” project, and The Trevor Project works every day to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth. But the deaths of four boys just this week shows us we’re not there yet, and we, the members of the LGBTQ community who got out of high school and never looked back, are not doing enough to take care of our family still there.

Every LGBTQ kid in America (whether they know it yet or not) needs a LGBTQ adult to stand in front of them as incontrovertible proof that a good life is possible and waiting for them. You know the town you came from and the people that live there. You walked the same elementary and middle school hallways as these kids. You remember what it feels like on your college campus. You, who came from right where they are, have built a life that you’re proud to live, and they need to hear it from you. Go back to your school.

There are 133,000 elementary/secondary schools and less than 7,000 colleges in the United States. LGBTQ people have passed through the doors of every single one, and most of us through at least three.

140,000: we’ve got more LGBTQ friends than that on our Facebook lists combined. 140,000 is a small number compared to the number of LGBTQ adults that care about our youth. Together, we’re going to figure out how to go back through those doors with our own stories of resilience.

Will you go back to school with us?

More information to come: like us on Facebook by searching for “Back To Your School,” and enter your email address in the subscription box to the right of this post so that we can keep you updated.

Leslie (leslie@backtoyourschool.org)

Sangeeta (sangeeta@backtoyourschool.org)

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