youth projects

Parents Give Words of Affirmation to Their Transgender Children

“Say ‘I am Epic.’”

“Say ‘I am Loved – Deeply and Unconditionally, JUST AS I AM.’”

“I am Hope.”

“I’m a Boy.’”


“I am Courageous.”

“I am Magic.”

“I’m a Drummer.”

“I can get Back Up again.”

“I am Ferocious.”
“Rawr.”


Watch the video at The Scene.

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Tiffany Pollard’s Gay Dating Show Is Raising Funds For Queer Youth

The “Flavor of Love” star is planning a small screen comeback with “The Ex,” and wants make sure her gay fans feel loved as they grapple with an uncertain future following Election Day.

Black History Month 2017

Planned Parenthood strives to create a world where sexual and reproductive health care is accessible, affordable, and compassionate — no matter what.

Black women have always championed reproductive freedom and the elimination of racism and sexism as an essential element of the struggle toward civil rights. This Black History Month, Planned Parenthood honors the resilience of Black women like Dr. N. Louise Young and Dr. Thelma Patten Law,  two of the first Black women health care providers at Planned Parenthood — and the resistance of women like Angela Davis who continue to fight for the full dignity, autonomy and the humanity of all women.

In commemoration of Black History Month each year, we lift up and celebrate those who have defied their time and circumstances to become Dream Keepers and freedom fighters. #100YearsStrong of Planned Parenthood could not be possible without the vision, tenacity and determination of those who have kept and protected the dream of reproductive freedom, justice and autonomy.

The 2017 Dream Keepers

Ida B. Wells-Barnett
Journalist, Civil Rights Activist

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was the most prominent Black woman journalist of the late 19th and early 20th century. Her research and reporting around the lynching of Black people helped to bring national attention to the crisis and pushed federal legislation to hold mobs accountable.

Marsha P. Johnson
Activist, Stonewall Rioter

Marsha P. Johnson, co-founder of the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), is credited with being one of the first people to resist the police during the Stonewall Riots of 1969. On the commemorative anniversary of the riots in 1970, Johnson led protesters to the Women’s Detention Center of New York chanting, “Free our sisters. Free ourselves,” which demonstrated early solidarity between LGBTQ rights and anti-prison movements.

Former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm
Black Feminist, Former Presidential Candidate

In 1990, Shirley Chisholm — along with former Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Faye Wattleton, Byllye Avery, Donna Brazile, Dorothy Height, Maxine Waters, and Julianne Malveaux (among others) — formed the group African American Women for Reproductive Freedom to show their support for Roe v. Wade, doing so with what we now call a reproductive -justice framework. The former New York representative was the first African American woman elected to Congress. During her seven terms, Rep. Chisholm pioneered the Congressional Black Caucus and was an unwavering champion for women’s reproductive rights and access to health care, including abortion. In 2015, President Obama awarded Rep. Chisholm with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award.

Dr. N. Louise Young

Dr. N. Louise Young, a gynecologist and obstetrician, opened her practice in Baltimore in 1932. She later operated a Planned Parenthood health center that was opened with the assistance of the local Urban League and other community partners.

Dr. Thelma Patten Law

Dr. Thelma Patten Law becomes one of the first Black women ob-gyns in Texas. She provided health care for more than 25 years at the Planned Parenthood Houston Health Center, which opened in 1936.

Faye Wattleton
Author, Advocate for Reproductive Freedom, Former President of PPFA

In 1978, Wattleton became the youngest individual at the time and the first African American woman to serve as president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). During Wattleton’s 14–year tenure, PPFA became one of the nation’s largest charitable organizations. Under Wattleton’s leadership, the organization secured federal funding for birth control and prenatal programs; fought against efforts to restrict legal abortions; and, along with reproductive health allies, helped to legalize the sale of abortion pill RU-486 in the United States.

The Coiners of Reproductive Justice

Black women’s existence has inherently challenged the “choice vs. life” argument. However the creation and coining of reproductive justice ushered in a new framework where women of color could express all of the ways their sexual and reproductive autonomy is systemically limited.

Dr. Dorothy Roberts
Author, Scholar, Professor

Dorothy Roberts is an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and the law. Her books include Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century (New Press, 2011); Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2002), and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997) — all of which have shaped and informed scholarship around reproductive justice.

@DorothyERoberts


Monica Roberts
Historian, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of TransGriot

Monica Roberts, aka the TransGriot, is a native Houstonian and trailblazing trans community leader. She works diligently at educating and encouraging acceptance of trans people inside and outside the larger African-American community and is an award-winning blogger, history buff, thinker, lecturer and passionate advocate on trans issues.


Dr. Iva Carruthers
Past President of Urban Outreach Foundation, General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

Carruthers uses her ministry as a vehicle for addressing social issues, particularly those involving people of African descent both in the United States and abroad. She is past president of the Urban Outreach Foundation, a nonprofit, interdenominational organization that assists African and African-American communities with education, health care, and community development.

@IvaCarruthers



Rev. Dr. Alethea Smith-Withers
Founder and Pastor; The Pavilion of God, Washington, DC; and Chair of the Board of Directors for Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Rev. Smith-Withers has been an active advocate for reproductive justice for many years. She is currently serving as the chair of the board of directors of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). She is the founder and pastor of The Pavilion of God, a Baptist Church in DC.  She hosts “Rev UP with Rev. Alethea”, a BlogTalkRadio show.

@RevAlethea


Rev. Dr. Susan Moore
Associate Minister at All Souls Church Unitarian

Dr. Moore’s ministry has focused upon the challenges facing urban America. An HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy prevention educator and trainer, she has worked with several community and faith-based groups, including the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Planned Parenthood, and AIDS Action Foundation. She actively advocates for a national, coordinated AIDS strategy to reduce racial disparities, lower the incidence of infection, increase access to care, and involve all stakeholders.


Bevy Smith
CEO and Founder of Dinner with Bevy

A Harlem native and New York fashion fixture, Smith is outspoken about women’s empowerment and social justice. She gives back by connecting and engaging a network of top leaders to promote social change.

@bevysmith


Mara Brock Akil
Screenwriter and producer and founder of Akil Productions

Mara Brock Akil is the co-creator of hit TV shows Girlfriends, The Game, and Being Mary Jane.  She is a tireless advocate of women’s health and rights.

@MaraBrockAkil


Tracy Reese
American fashion designer

Relentless PPFA supporter, Reese is a board member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

@Tracy_Reese


Kimberlé W. Crenshaw
Scholar, Professor at the UCLA and Columbia Schools of Law

Kimberlé W. Crenshaw is a feminist scholar and writer who coined the term “Intersectionality.” Kimberlé  is the co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, which developed seminal research on Black women and girls and the school-to-prison pipeline and policing, including, respectively: “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected” and “Say Her Name.”

@SandyLocks

Angela Peoples
Co-Director of GetEqual

Serving as the Co-Director of GetEqual, Angela is working to ensure that Black lives and gender justice is a guiding force in LGBTQ work.

@MsPeoples


Jazmine Walker
Reproductive Justice Leader

Jazmine is a big fine woman who specializes in reproductive justice and agricultural economic development.

Her dedication to public scholarship and activism is driven by a passion to amplify feminist and reproductive justice discourse around Black women and girls, especially those in Mississippi and the broader South.


Amandla Stenberg
Actress, Author

This Black queer feminist makes us look forward to the next generation of feminist leaders and thinkers.

Her YouTube video, “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows,” clapped-back against the cultural appropriation of Black fashion and style and won our hearts.

@amandlastenbergs


Charlene A. Carruthers
National Director for Black Youth Project 100

Political organizer Carruthers is building a national network and local teams of young Black activists.  She is committed to racial justice, feminism, and youth leadership development.

@CharleneCac


Monica Simpson
Executive Director of SisterSong National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

At SisterSong National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Simpson works to amplify and strengthen the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to ensure reproductive justice through securing human rights. She has organized extensively against the systematic physical and emotional violence inflicted upon the minds, bodies, and spirits of African Americans with an emphasis on African-American women and the African-American LGBT community.

@SisterSong_WOC


Deon Haywood
Executive Director, Women With A Vision, Inc.

Haywood works tirelessly to improve quality of life and health outcomes for marginalized women of color.  Since Hurricane Katrina, Haywood has led Women With a Vision, a New Orleans-based community organization addressing the complex intersection of socio-economic injustices and health disparities.  

@WWAVinc


Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
Congresswoman, D-TX 18th District

Congresswoman Jackson Lee has been a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood and women’s health.

This year she has become a valuable champion as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, where she was vocal at both hearings displaying a clear understanding of the important role Planned Parenthood health centers play in the communities they serve. She also came to the floor on several occasions and attended a Planned Parenthood’s press conference, lending her voice in the fight against backwards legislation.

@JacksonLeeTX18


Del. Stacey Plaskett
Congresswoman, D-US-VI

Delegate Stacey Plaskett became a supporter of Planned Parenthood this year when she spoke out for Planned Parenthood health center patients during a Oversight and Government Reform hearing, where she is a member, commenting that she would like a Planned Parenthood health center in the Virgin Islands.

@StaceyPlaskett


Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton
Congresswoman, D-DC

As a fierce, passionate, Black feminist and reproductive health advocate, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has supported Planned Parenthood unwaveringly. She also sponsored the EACH Woman Act and, in 2015, held an event with young women on abortion access.

@EleanorNorton


Rep. Joyce Beatty
Congresswoman, D-OH 3rd District

Rep. Beatty has been an active supporter of women’s health during her tenure in Congress, cosponsoring legislation, signing onto pro-letters and always voting in the interest of women’s health.


Rep. Maxine Waters
Congresswoman, D-CA 43rd District

Since arriving in office in 1990, Rep. Waters has voted in the best interest of the health of women and communities of color, making a career of addressing these issues by closing the wealth gap.    

vanityfair.com
Rudy’s Barbershop Provides Products and Showers for L.G.B.T.Q. and Homeless Youth
As the first in a series of features on beauty brands that give back, we take a look at the Seattle-born barbershop, Rudy’s.
By Nora Maloney

We’ve been partnered with Rudy’s for a long time and couldn’t be more pleased by the launch of their newest hair products (the 1-2-3 Showering System), in which they pledge – for every product sold in the first 90 days, they will donate a week’s worth of the same product to a shelter that serves LGBT youth.

Says CEO Brendon Lynch, “In our work with various LGBTQ organizations, we were made aware that with our products and services we could make an impact for an extremely at-risk segment of this population, homeless youth,” says Lynch. “It Gets Better Projects charity organization was a natural partner given their scale and our previous partnerships with them.”

Homelessness affects LGBT youth disproportionately, with almost 40% of all homeless youth identifying as LGBT – and access to personal care can have a big impact on one’s ability to get back on their feet. 

As the details have been finalized yesterday, I can finally tell you about it : I have spent the last couple of weeks in writing residencies, working on a novel series adaptation of Assigned Male that a big canadian editing house has ordered from me, which is the main reason for my comic hiatus. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support from my fans, which has allowed me to concentrate on writing - a very rare thing for a first novel, especially for this runaway kid!

The last year has been so intense and wonderful. I met so many awesome people all across the globe and got so many great opportunities, first because of my comics, but also because of the trust that people put in me. Thank you so much to everyone who organized talks, opened me their doors, or pledged to my Patreon account. You really make the magic happen!

Talking about talks : I’ll be giving some in Toronto (March 22nd, York U.), Montreal (March 25th, Gerald-Godin college) and Halifax (April 1st, Youth Project), before going back to Europe for a special book launch in Berlin in April (more details to come!). I’m thinking of organizing a new tour in Canada and Europe next fall, so if you’re part of a group or an association who’d like to organize something, send me a message!

xx Sophie

youtube

I want to say to boys out there who are too scared to express their passion for dance, it doesn’t matter what people think, it matters what you want, what your inner passion is. And you should reach for that.”

    OSTARA (EOSTRE) The Spring Equinox

     * Masterpost and helpful information HERE <—*                    
                             
                             DATES: Northern hemisphere  March 20-23
                                Southern hemisphere  September 20-23
   Also called The Spring or Vernal Equinox and Easter. Keep in mind that pronunciation obviously differs between accents but, these are the most popular.
          OSTARA IS PRONOUNCED LIKE “OH-STAR-UH”
          EOSTRE IS PRONOUNCED LIKE “OHS-TRAH” or “ES-TRAH”

If Ostara reminds you of Easter, you’re not wrong! Over the years the name was changed to fit into more standard and modernised systems and while both still represent very similar things, much of the history of the beloved Germanic goddess of fertility, Eostre, aka Ostara has sadly been lost in translation in the eyes of many Pagans. Ostara was represented by things associated with the new light of birth, such as eggs, rabbits, sweets, growth and nurturing compassion which represents the nature of Spring. When it comes to the astronomy aspect of this day, the Equinox is one of the balancing points in the cycle of the seasons. This is because both day and night are of equal length, reminding us of equality and the continuous growth in our lives. 

Ostara is a beautiful spring planting festival that celebrates the return of life to the earth. Represented by fresh flowers, baby animals and eggs, the symbolism paints a welcoming picture for the new energy spirits that have been brought into existence. It is a day to rejoice in the reawakening of the Earth! During this time the God and Goddess are perceived as young adults, projecting youth and innocence before their climb into adulthood. The Goddess, as the Maiden, covers the earth with life and love while the God grows to maturity helping her to make things grow quickly. The Sun God’s strength increases day by day and the Maiden celebrates her fertility. This is a time to plant our gardens, the seeds of flowers, herbs and vegetables and it is a time to honour the masculine and to reflect on what exactly makes us who we are.

The Gods that are associated with Ostara are Adonis, Attis, Ovis, Odin, Osiris, Frigg, the Sun God + more, depending on specific path/cultural background The Goddesses that are associated with Ostara are Eostre, Aphrodite, Isis, Freya, and the Moon Goddesses + more, depending on specific path/cultural background The Colours of Ostara are pretty much all of the pretty pastel colours you can think of. Animals that correspond with this day are Hares, rabbits, snakes, unicorns, Pegasus, lambs fledgelings and other small baby animals. Essences that are perfect for Ostara would be pretty much any type of fresh floral scent, jasmine, violets, roses, sage, strawberry, citrus scents, roses, lotus, magnolia and ginger. Stones that pair perfectly with this celebration are Rose quartz, aquamarine, moonstone, amethyst and jasper Popular things to consume during Ostara are Eggs, honey, bread, seeds, herbal teas, sprouts and green leafy vegetables Decorate your Altar with things like Flowers, seeds, eggs, crafts made from things you’ve found while in nature, images of rabbits and the appropriate herbs and stones. The areas you should put thought into during Ostara include yourself; Ostara is a time to reflect on your accomplishments and progress you’ve made so far in the year and to recharge your energy to continue going down the right path for YOU. It’s a time to continue working that butt off and readjust anything you may need to prevent any snags or problems during the remainder of the year. The key word is MANIFESTATION! Rituals and areas of Magick work are working with herbs and gardens, kitchen/cottage magick, abundance spells and animal work. Some fun activities of Ostara include planting seeds in a magickal or herbal garden, taking walks through gardens, parks, woodlands and decorating eggs.
                                       Video used in .Gif from here

legitimately praying and hoping for the safety of american lgbt+ people and communities. you are valid, you matter, you are not alone, and it will be okay. you are valuable. you are powerful. it is not your fault. i believe you, and i believe in you. the sooner we come together as global communities and protect each other the better, hotlines for the usa are below, please don’t hesitate to talk to me if you ever need someone to listen to you.

we will be okay.


usa suicide hotline: 1-800-784-2433

trevor project lifeline:  1-866-488-7386

suicide prevention services crisis hotline: 800-784-2433

suicide prevention services depression hotline: 630-482-9696

child abuse hotline - support & information: 800-792-5200

crisis help line - for any kind of crisis: 800-233-4357

sexual assault hotline (english and spanish) : 800-223-5001

national domestic violence hotline: 800-799-SAFE

national youth crisis hotline: 800-448-4663

national child abuse hotline: 800-422-4453

suicide & depression hotline – covenant house: 800-999-9999

runaway hotline (all calls are confidential) : 800-231-6946

domestic & teen dating violence hotline (english and spanish) : 800-992-2600

Hatefuck seems a very angry title for a song, and I wouldn’t have been surprised to encounter irate scowling, aggro raging music upon hitting the play button. But I went into it knowing the song comes from Cruel Youth, the soulful pop project formed by Natalia Kills or Teddy Sinclair and her husband, artist/producer Willy Moon. This Hatefuck, despite biting lyrics much anguished and distressed, is a bittersweet melter. Cruel Youth once again evokes Lana Del Rey and Amy Winehouse with their brandy wined, husky deep vocals and their retro crackling 60′s pop charm. At times, I nearly forget I’m not listening to Hatefuck off of an old record player. Hatefuck will be on Cruel Youth’s debut EP, +30mg, out September 16th. The single can be purchased now from iTunes.

Made with SoundCloud
Five You Should Know: Organizing for Change

As we begin Women’s History Month, we are excited to highlight the efforts and the abilities of African American women. African American women have made tremendous contributions toward the freedom, equality and thriving culture of African American communities. However, these stories are often historically lost to us or overlooked within the American story.

The women here represent a continual pursuit of equality through organizing, led by African American women. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and join us in sharing #HiddenHerstory during the month of March. 

1. Hallie Quinn Brown

Photo: Photo from Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction, edited by Hallie Quinn Brown, 1926. 

Hallie Quinn Brown (1849-1949) helped organize the Colored Women’s League in Washington, D.C., one of the organizations that merged in 1896 to become the National Association of Colored Women (NACW). She served as president of the NACW, from 1920 to 1924. Brown is among many other notable founders of the NACW, to include Harriet Tubman, Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells.

Brown also served as President of the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs between 1905 and 1912. During her last year as president of the NACW, she spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Brown had a reputation as a powerful orator. In 1899, while serving as a U.S. representative, she spoke before the International Congress of Women meeting in London, UK on women’s suffrage and civil rights.

2. Madam C.J. Walker

Photo: From Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction, edited by Hallie Quinn Brown, 1926. 

Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919) is widely known for her successful beauty and haircare business, produced by her Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. However, Walker’s life also includes a long history of activism and philanthropy toward racial equality and civil rights. During World War I, Walker was a leader in the Circle For Negro War Relief, in the effort to establish a training camp for black army officers. In 1917, she joined the executive committee of the New York chapter of the NAACP, which organized the Silent Protest Parade on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. More than 8,000 African Americans participated in protest of a riot in East Saint Louis that killed thirty-nine African Americans.

Walker was also a supporter of Marcus Garvey, donating to the mission of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). She was joined by Garvey and others when she founded The International League for Darker People in 1919 in the U.S. The organization aimed to bring together African Americans with other non-European people to pursue shared goals at the Paris Peace Conference following World War I. In particular, the organization made connections between Asian and black communities and for solidarity within their liberation movements. Walker’s life of activism is a reflection of her desire for global equality.

3. Barbara Smith

Photo: Portrait of Barbara Smith.

In 1973, author and lesbian feminist Barbara Smith, with other delegates, attended the first regional meeting of the National Black Feminist Organization (NBFO) in 1973 in New York City. This meeting resulted in the founding of the Combahee River Collective. The Collective’s name was suggested by Smith, who owned the book, Harriet Tubman, Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Earl Conrad. The name commemorated an action at the Combahee River planned and led by Harriet Tubman on June 2, 1863, in the Port Royal region of South Carolina. The action freed more than 750 slaves and is the only military campaign in American history planned and led by a woman. The Combahee River Collective emphasized the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and class oppression in the lives of African American women and other non-white women.

Smith also established the Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press in 1980, an activist feminist press that published several pamphlets and books. Many of these works became widely influential and adopted into many courses of study. Smith continued her work as a community organizer, when she was elected to the Albany, New York city council in 2005. She was an advocate for violence prevention, and educational opportunities for poor, minority and underserved people. Smith continues to be activist for economic, racial and social inequality.

4. Marsha P. Johnson

PhotoMarsha P. Johnson Black & white version of Andy Warhol Polaroid.

Marsha P. Johnson (1945-1992), a drag queen and gay liberation activist, is known as one of the first to fight back in the  Stonewall riots, a series of violent demonstrations among the LGBT against police raids. In the 1970s, Johnson and a friend, Sylvia Rivera, cofounded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), an organization that promoted the visibility of the gay community, particularly through gay liberation marches and other political actions. The organization also worked to provide food and clothing for young drag queens, trans women and other kids living in the streets in the Lower East Side of New York. In the 1980s, she continued her street activism as a, organizer and with the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). 

5. Charlene Carruthers

Photo: Charlene Carruthers, Photo Courtesy of BYP100 Project.

Charlene Carruthers is a black queer feminist activist and organizer. In July 2013, Carruthers with 100 other black activist leaders from across the U.S. were assembled by the Black Youth Project in Chicago for a meeting. The meeting convened with the goal of building networks of organization for black youth activism across the country. However, it was the verdict of George Zimmerman regarding the death of Trayvon Martin, that inspired Carruthers and the other activists to form Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100). The group was created to organize and promote young black activism in resistance to structural forms of  oppression. BYP100 trains youth to be leaders, to empower a younger generation of black activist. 

This is why Alec is so important.

I just can’t explain how much Alec means to me. Being a closeted gay myself, it means the world to me to have a character like Alec in my life. For those of you that have no idea how it feels to be closeted, it’s torture. You go from being absolutely terrified, to just wanting to be yourself and being unable to. There’s so much on the line being in the closet, because it means having to come out and having the risk of losing everything/everyone. You don’t know if your family will accept you, and you don’t know if they’ll disown you or even kick you out. It’s a lot of pain and a large burden to hold all the time. When I read TMI, I identified so much with sweet lil muffin Alec and I loved reading his story. His story shows an accurate representation of the stages of being in the closet, to coming out, to closeted relationships. Seeing Alec in Shadowhunters struggle so deeply about who he is, is so eye opening for people who have no idea what it feels to be gay and/or in the closet. When you’re in the closet you feel shameful, you’ve gone through stages where you hated the fact that you’re gay, you’ve struggled so deeply inside about this. Add the constant fear of someone finding out and never speaking to you again. People who aren’t 100% accepting of gay people, because they don’t understand it will begin to understand it more and accept it more, as they watch Alec struggle so internally. His character is spreading awareness to non-LGBTQ+ people and honestly to homophobes, as well. Alec’s character is also so important on this show, because he is going to give hope to the LGBTQ+ youth. They’ll see Alec struggling so deeply inside and it will resonate with them, because they understand how he feels and then they’ll feel like they’re not alone. They’ll start accepting theirselves a little bit more, because seeing Alec will help them realize that there’s nothing wrong with who they are. Alexander Lightwood is so important to have in not only Shadowhunters, but just on tv in general. To all the LGBTQ+ youth out there, there’s nothing wrong with who you are and you aren’t alone. If you need someone to look up to, look up to Alec. When I read the books he helped me come to be more accepting of myself and made me feel less alone, so I hope he can do the same for you. Honestly, if you don’t watch Shadowhunters for whatever reason, I think the show is worth watching even if you’re just there for Alec.