From the City Paper
Tom Wyse, faculty adviser for Gay-Straight Alliance groups in two Pittsburgh Public high schools, says a new meeting spot in Carnegie Library’s Oakland branch is the start of a community-wide Alliance. The Carnegie’s dedicated teen room will become the “Safe and Respectful Space” every Wednesday after school, beginning with a post-Valentine’s Day ice-cream social. The space was Wyse’s suggestion: He says it’s necessary, pointing to January’s Harris poll that showed sexual orientation was the second-most common reason for bullying in schools, after appearance or size. Teens in middle or high school who identified as gay were three times as likely to report bullying as their straight peers.
Now this is a great idea. GSA’s in general provide wonderful mutal support for LGBTQ youth and their allies. These are some amazingly brave kids who refuse to be intimidated by all the homophobic hate spewing from educators around the country. Such as in Utah where the state legislature is trying to ban GSAs to ensure socially appropriate behavior.
I’d launch into a rant here but this post is supposed to be about the positive things happening in Pittsburgh. Kudos to the Carnegie Library for stepping up on this issue. Good to know that my never-ending late fines are contributing to some good gay stuff.
Safe and Respectful Space, Carnegie Library, Oakland, Wednesdays, 4-6 p.m. beginning with the Ice Cream Valentine’s Party for LGBTQ Youth and Allies, Wed., Feb 15, 4 p.m.