Thursday, February 18, 2016

You Are, Who You Are

     My name is Deanna Mitchell,10th grade student at Durant Public High School, and youth organizer at Nollie Jenkins Family Center. I am a part of the L.G.B.T.Q program of work. The name of our focus group is Let's Get Back Together Quick, which brings all the allies and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer young people. Having this safe and affirming space allows lgbtq people to express themselves and their feelings. In every focus group youth have the opportunity to open up and engage in real conversations about, gender identify, safe ways to come out, protecting yourself, creating safe spaces in schools and community. Having our monthly focus groups help our lgbtq youth be open up & trust each other and us more. Participating in the lgbtq work has helped to come out of my shyness and communicate my feelings openly. I am an individual who is emotionally, physically, or sexually attracted to members of the same sex and gender. The most important part of this work that I have learned is the use of pronouns.
      You can’t always know what someone’s pronoun is by looking at them. Asking and correctly using someone’s personal pronoun is one of the most important ways to show your respect for a person’s gender identity. When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected or invalidated. It is a privilege to not have to worry about which pronoun someone is going to use for you based on how they perceive your gender. If you have this privilege, yet fail to respect someone else gender identity, it is not only disrespectful and hurtful, but also oppressive. So, be mindful and always ask what pronoun they/he or she may prefer. Just like you or the nickname you would like being called.

      People who identify as LGBTQ are found in all occupations, professions and in all cultures. They also face discrimination at work and even in the society. Having to put your feet in their shoes for just half a day and see how much others judge them just because of their identify will open your eyes so much, just as mine have been opened. I hoped that you all have enjoyed the important information I've shared with you guys and please use it ,Thank you .

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