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Content about Persecution

August 19, 2014

Orange Is The New Black star opens up about how she tried to commit suicide in the sixth grade

Trans star, advocate and actress Laverne Cox has said she is so thankful she survived her suicide attempt in the sixth grade.

The Orange Is The New Black actress opened up about when she was being heavily bullied at school.

She speaking on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos to discuss the state of trans rights in America, and the impact discrimination had on her childhood.

‘I was bullied and I internalized a lot of shame about who I was as a child,’ Cox said.

August 18, 2014

LGBTI African Americans are particularly vulnerable to suicide and it’s time to start talking about why

When the first news reports of Robin Williams’ death hit the media, few questioned the report that one of the world’s most beloved comedians had committed suicide.

This reaction stands in stark contrast to the reaction to the 2012 news of the death of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius. Cornelius was found dead in his home after committing suicide with a firearm. Many African Americans believed Cornelius must have been murdered by an intruder, even after the official report.

August 4, 2014

New Stonewall chief, Ruth Hunt, has spoken about the organisation’s future plans to tackle homophobia in schools

In one of her first major interviews since becoming the new chief of UK-based LGBT rights charity, Stonewall, Ruth Hunt has said that she believes educating pre-primary school children that families come in all shapes and sizes – including single and same-sex parents – is vital in helping to tackle homophobia.

Speaking to The Independent newspaper, she said that she wants Stonewall to commission books ‘celebrating difference in all its forms for under-fives.’

July 30, 2014

When bullies attacked Liam Hackett he thought he was going to die – and was secretly relieved. Now his charity is fixing the problem for other kids

You know that awkward feeling you get when you go to a party with your friend without knowing anybody else there and your friend disappears?

Without even realizing, fears of rejection quickly set in and you’re left feeling incredibly self-conscious. As a safety barrier, you subtly pull out your mobile and act nonchalant whilst frantically trying to figure out where your mate went.

Maybe it doesn’t happen to you anymore, but we can all relate to that distinctive feeling of dread mixed with heightened self-awareness.

July 30, 2014

UK charity Ditch the Label is turning Brighton tropical to fight bullying at its first fundraising party

A party to beat anti-gay and other types of bullying is the newest addition to the summer line-up and GSN is delighted to be getting behind it.

Ditch the Label tells young people its ok to be different and works with schools, colleges and online to offer support and create engaging ways to stop kids from being bullies.

Now the UK charity is hosting its first fundraising party on 15 August.

The team will be transforming a popular venue in the seaside town of Brighton into a beach paradise, complete with palm trees and leis.

July 6, 2014

Parents of Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide after his roomate broadcast his sexual encounter, have condemned the repeal of New York's anti-cyberbullying law saying young people are the 'most vulnerable' online

New York's highest court on Tuesday struck down an ordinance in Albany County (New York) which outlaws 'cyber-bullying’ against ‘any minor or person'. The court called the law an overly broad statute that violates the First Amendment's protection of free speech.

July 4, 2014

Fewer than one in five secondary school teachers have received training on tackling homophobic bullying

Schoolteachers in the UK think they are banned from talking about homosexuality, a new report has revealed.

Two in five (37%) primary school teachers, and three in 10 (29%) think they are banned from teaching about lesbian, gay and bisexual people and issues.

This very well may be an echo of Section 28, a law instated by Margaret Thatcher’s government that banned the discussion of LGBTI topics. It was repealed in 2000.

June 5, 2014

California’s Tehachapi Unified School District has come to a settlement of $750,000 with the mother of gay teen Seth Walsh who took his own life after his school failed to protect him from anti-gay bullying

The mother of a California gay teen who committed suicide in 2010 after enduring years of bullying at Jacobsen Middle School has settled a lawsuit with the Tehachapi Unified School District – agreeing to receive $750,000 in compensation for its failure to protect him.

Thirteen-year-old Seth Walsh had already been subjected to bullying before he came out at school but things only got worse and he was subjected to physical and verbal bullying inside and outside of school as well as being bullied online and over the phone by other students.

May 29, 2014

Five college students, aged between 18 and 22, lured their 25-year-old victim on a gay dating site in an attempt to rob and extort money from him

A gay man in Russia was kidnapped at gunpoint and nearly died in a horrific homophobic attack, it was reported today (29 May).

A Chelyabinsk court heard how five college students, aged between 18 and 22, lured their 25-year-old victim on a gay dating site in an attempt to rob and extort money from him.

The students told the gay man they didn’t want his money, but to ‘cleanse the society of gays’, according to the victim’s testimony.

At gunpoint, they went in the victim’s car to a nearby lake.

May 15, 2014

A Nevada seventh grader who brought a pistol to school and shot a teacher and two other students revealed in his suicide note that he was angry about being labeled as gay and ‘retarded’ by bullies

Nevada state authorities have released the details of why they think 12-year-old Jose Reyes brought a gun to school and fired on classmates before shooting himself on 21 October last year.

Reyes wounded two other students and killed a teacher before shooting himself just 10 minutes after being dropped at Sparks Middle School by his mother.

A 1,300 page report into the shooting was made public on Tuesday and reveals that Reyes left behind two suicide notes – one for his parents and one for his teachers and classmates.

May 15, 2014

Thailand’s School Rainbow campaign will seek to draw attention to the plight of young LGBTI people this Saturday with a campaign that will see chalk rainbows drawn on the ground at school gates on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)

A new campaign against the bullying of LGBTI young people kicked off in Thailand yesterday with students at Bangkok’s Thammassat University drawing gay pride rainbows on the footpath to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

The event launch for the School Rainbow campaign saw a colorful performance by a Rainbow All Boy Cheerleaders squad as students colored in the rainbow and wrote messages of support in chalk.

May 12, 2014

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says while he realises homosexuality is a ‘divisive issue’, schools should not turn a ‘convenient blind eye’ to prejudice

Church of England has revealed its plan to tackle homophobic bullying in schools.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has told all Anglican schools in England the Bible should not be used to justify homophobic behavior.

While the guidance recognizes homosexuality is a ‘divisive issue’, schools should not turn a ‘convenient blind eye’ to prejudice.

May 2, 2014

A shocking survey reports how two in five transgender young people have tried to kill themselves, while 80% of gay teens are bullied

Two thirds of young gay people have considered suicide, while a shocking 80% have said they are bullied because of their sexuality.

New research has revealed a further 37% of gay 13-18 year-olds have attempted suicide as a result of bullying.

It is a similar, sad story for transgender teens. Two in five have tried to kill themselves, while a further 62% have considered suicide because of bullying.

For lesbians, two thirds of lesbians were bullied, and more than half contemplated suicide. 36% attempted it.

April 25, 2014

Massachusetts law has strenghtened protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and students with disabilities.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill on Thursday (24 April) that strengthens the state's existing anti-bullying law.

The law has stronger protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and students with disabilities. It also recognizes that certain groups are targeted for bullying and provides new reporting measures and data collection mechanisms for schools to use to identify trends.

April 23, 2014

At least 48 schools were found to have Russia-style homophobic policies with the re-introduction of PM Thatcher’s rule banning the ‘promotion of homosexuality'

Several UK schools have stepped back to the 1980s and introduced Section 28-style bans on ‘promoting homosexuality’, teachers have warned.

At the National Union of Teachers’ annual conference in Brighton yesterday (22 April), delegates warned at least 46 schools still have policies similar to the anti-gay language of the past.

April 10, 2014

'Nobody in this state or this nation should have to feel bad about themselves for being who they are'

Today (9 April) Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed an anti-bullying law that specifically includes LGBT students.

The Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act requires school districts to train staff on how to recognize and prevent bullying.

Prevention programs are to be implemented, and districts must focus more on changing behavior as opposed to punishment.

April 8, 2014

Bristol Pride has started a petition to block the English city’s choice of Lord Mayor after he made remarks understood to be anti-gay

Is the British city of Bristol, a place where LGBTI pride is well established, really about to elect a homophobic Lord Mayor? Or is the current fuss over the possible election of Councilor Chris Windows to this office in June no more than a politically motivated vendetta?

Passions are rising – and with a petition currently up on the council website asking councilors not to vote for him, it’s an issue that won’t be going away any time soon.

March 31, 2014

Five men reportedly raped a 20-year-old gay man in an abandoned house before setting the bed and the room on fire

South Africa police are investigating an anti-gay rape and arson case.

A 20-year-old from Schmidtsdrift, in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, was reportedly gang-raped in an empty housing development in Lerato Park. According to IOL News, the attackers then sit fire to the bed where they allegedly raped the young man.

March 27, 2014

England and Wales is starting gay and lesbian weddings, but 67% of teachers don’t feel ready to talk to their students about it

Two thirds of school staff do not feel adequately prepared to teach about same-sex marriage and LGBTI issues as England and Wales prepares for its first gay weddings.

That’s according to research released today by the Teacher Support Network which also said LGBTI teachers in the UK face ‘severe’ discrimination by colleagues and pupils.

March 27, 2014

Archbishop of Genoa has responded to the Italian government's campaign to stamp out homophobia in schools after a series of high profile deaths and suicides

An Italian cardinal wants parents to fight schools' efforts to prevent anti-gay bullying, saying they are 'brainwashing' kids into being LGBTI friendly.

Archbishop of Genoa Angelo Bagnasco likened anti-homophobia state education in Italy to a totalitarian dictatorship.

He also said the efforts were turning schools into ‘indoctrination and re-education camps’.

March 24, 2014

Bosses immediately laid off the driver as a 'protective measure' to ensure no other gay couple is discriminated against

A French public bus driver sprayed water all over a young lesbian couple for kissing, and immediately got fired.

Transport authorities in the city of Nancy, northern France, said they had laid off a driver ‘as a protective measure’ after he admitted to attacking the couple.

The driver stopped in front of a high school to pick up students around 5.30pm on Friday (21 March).

As one of the girls kissed her girlfriend goodbye, the driver allegedly uncapped a bottle of water he had with him and threw it all over them.

March 21, 2014

New campaign calls on everyone - including gay people - to check their language and ensure they are not a bystander to abuse

Stonewall is going beyond speaking about gay rights in a brand new campaign.

The powerful new ad, voiced by British actor Ian McKellen, examines how the language we use as children can carry on with us into adulthood.

Called ‘No Bystanders’, it opens on a school playground where a chain of insults begins with one child calling another a ‘ginger’.

From ‘fag’ to ‘gender bender’, ‘fatty’ to ‘bimbo’, the chain progresses out of the school gates and into the streets where adults trade bigoted and racist remarks.

March 9, 2014

Catholic and Protestant schools in Ireland will display anti-gay bullying posters in a bid to eradicate homophobia in education

Catholic and Protestant schools in Ireland are to display anti-bullying posters to support gay students victimized because of their sexual orientation.

The Irish Independent newspaper reports the posters will be part of a scheme to crack down on homophobic bullying.

March 6, 2014

Gay Emmerdale soap actress and TOWIE star also share their experiences of being bullied in new film

School bullies threw things at gay British X Factor star Marcus Collins and followed him home from school, he has revealed.

Collins, the openly gay 2011 runner-up in the show, was speaking in an ITV video about homophobic bullying, made in conjunction with leading UK gay charity Stonewall.

Also in the short film, Bobby Norris, star of staged reality show The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE), reveals he was bullied and feared ‘name-calling if I walked down a corridor or went to my locker’.