2009 National School Climate Survey: Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT Students Experience Harassment in SchoolFound at GLSEN.org: http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/news/record/2624.html
By definition, to harass some one is to trouble by repeated attacks, or to torment. When you look at the word harass and you read the definition, nothing about it seems appealing. No one wants to be harassed and in my opinion, not one person should ever have to be harassed for something that is not their fault. When I first saw this article title, I was so drawn to it because I watch the show Glee on the fox network (channel 11) every week and it made me think of one of the characters on the show. This one particular character began being harassed by a football player because his sexual orientation wasn't "normal or socially acceptable." The harassment began to be so bad that eventually the boy switched to a different school. When I was watching the show, I was disguisted about what had happened. Never in my life had I seen something so awful.
I did not just experience that through the show. At the time of the show, I was attending the University of Rhode Island, and I don't know if anyone has heard anything in the news lately, but URI is having a very hard time controlling and putting a stop to the hate crimes towards the gay community. While I was there just last semester, a boy (who lived in the GLBT Dorms) was threatened and began to feel very unsafe. The University did everything in their power to catch the person who did this, and they fortunately did catch the kid, however, they still are not able to stop every one. This past week there was a small news clip about more hate crimes towards the gay community occuring. It takes an effort like URI (who has a zero tolerence policy towards crimes like this) to help lower this statistics on this survery. The gay community is only expanding.
For those of you from RI and those who are not, Rhode Island is proudly making strides to help. Once a year, the state has a "Gay Pride" day/night where the state house is lit in rainbow colors, and there is a parade with a night full of dancing, vendors, and plenty of people who come out to show their support. It is great to see that even the state makes an effort to show their support.
With all of the controversy going on in the news today about gay marriage and gay rights, I think there is one thing we all need to remember...they are people too. They are brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, friends, etc. and they need support.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
When I was reading "Aria," I began to think about my family and my boy friend's family. Both of us come from strong families who still speak their native language. My family is full blooded Italian and we still speak Italian on and off when we are all together. When my great grandmother came to America, she had to learn English to help understand the people she was working with and the people she had to interact with. However, just because she became bilingual, she never let go of speaking Italian. Now that the family has grown, I have noticed that we speak less Italian but it is still present. I never wonder what to call my grandparents or my aunts and uncles. We have adapted to our surroundings but we still try to hold on to where we came from. On the other hand, this reading made me look at my boy friends family. I spent the entire day with them today (hence why I am writing this blog so late), and by doing so I was able to connect some of the things that Rodiriguez was saying. My boy friend is Portugese and his family speaks very very little English, in fact, the only thing that his grand parents can say is "Hi" and "Thank-you". This to me was very annoying because I couldn't handle the language barrier, I felt like I was being rude by not speaking to them. All day I had wished that I knew one maybe two words of Portugese. But as I sat there and listened to them speak, I realized that it was amazing that they could live in America for so long and still speak next to no English. I also that it was amazing that they kept their family so close together. It is refreshing to see a family that holds onto its past. To them, family and religion are the two most important things and if holding onto their native language helps to keep those bonds close than more power to them. They have refused to change and let go of what they know so that they could bring a piece of their old home to their new home. I loved being able to read "Aria" and being able to spend a day with another family who believed in speaking their own language. It definitley helped me to understand where Rodriguez was coming from.