DAVID MACK HENDERSON | Fairness Fort Worth
Junior high. High school. Funny how quick those little words can raise the hair on the back of your neck if you grew up struggling with your identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. No matter the challenge — whether internal acceptance or finding your place in an unwelcome, sometimes hostile environment — nearly all of us wish we’d had the chance to reach out for help when the world felt like it was against us and we didn’t know if there was anyone, anywhere we could turn to.
And now there is.
In five days several local leaders will be teaching a three-hour LGBT Awareness class to nearly every counselor and intervention specialist in the Fort Worth ISD. It’s practically unheard of in this part of the country. Yet, we’ve been building a relationship over time — and then the call came.
Then it dawned on us. Wow, here’s our chance to implement the incredible “Safe Places” program created by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network). Each school kit only runs $20. They contain useful training manuals and resources for on-site counselors and educators, awareness posters, and maybe most important — “safe place” stickers for understanding teachers and administrators to place on their doors signaling to LGBT students in need that their room is an immediate harbor to escape bullying and harassment, or simply to find someone who’ll lend a kind ear and offer guidance.