I had a few PFLAG schools this week in the Bronx and in West Harlem. In the Bronx, to be honest, it was a tough school - all transfer students who had been removed from or left their previous school. The school psychologist was a great support for me as he helped facilitate the conversation about equality, bullying and respect. Some students shared very vulnerable stories and as a result, I visibly witnessed a change in their peers' attitudes. At Columbia Secondary School, the kids were so talkative, adding such interesting elements to our dialogue. We talked about the trend that high school lesbians can be more accepted because "girls don't care and the guys think it's hot." Very interesting. We also had great discussions of how they define the word "gay" or when the first time they remember hearing it. In each class (5 groups of 60) they defined "gay" as happy, as when a man loves another man, as a derogatory term used as an insult, or as an umbrella term for LGBT. It was fascinating to hear about their introduction to the word. I think it continues to educate me as I speak to more groups of diverse ages, cultures and relations.
|I must have been charging them with something very serious...wow intense look.|
And then another fun appearance - I judged one of the Karaoke World Championship NYC preliminaries! It was awesome! There is so much hidden talent in NYC that needs to be discovered. Thanks to Michelle Kinney for the great opportunity.
The weekend will be in the next blog...so much to write about! Pics coming soon too -- I'm posting this from my phone on the train.