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Vermont Headlines

Teenage dream: Vt. gay youth struggle for acceptance

By Kevin O'Connor

The 17-year-old Vermont high school junior, hoping to put a face on the
state's population of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, eagerly
agreed to this paper's request to publish his name, profile and photo on the
front page.

"It's a really awesome opportunity," he said.

So why am I masking him here as "Hart" (not his real name) and generalizing
the specifics of a coming-of-age story understood by an estimated 10 percent
of society?

Vermont has advanced as a leader in equality legislation throughout Hart's
life. The state adopted an anti-discrimination law just before his birth in
1993, then became the first to approve same-sex unions in 2000 before adding
full marriage rights in 2009.

But that doesn't mean everyone supports Hart and his peers. Read, listen or
log onto any national news outlet the past several months and you'd learn
about a rash of bullying, harassment and suicides involving teenagers facing
questions about their sexuality. Read more

Young, gay and bullied

High school is tough for any teen. For LGBTQ students, it can be a deadly environment.


For many, the high school years are an emotional minefield. Some manage to navigate it successfully. Others are scarred for life by the experience. And for those who do not identify as heterosexual, the high school years can be pure hell. The recent spate of news coverage of the suicides of six gay youths... Read more

Coming Out Transgendered - Brittany James in Her Own Words

I am writing this to let you all inside my world — my life — as a female who is trapped in a male body: it's a rough journey that is still going on. Read more

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International News

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

On May 17th, 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. European leaders immediately made statements to "stand against discrimination, to defend our fellow human beings and our fundamental principles." The governmental movement continued, and in 2006, at the The Declaration of Montréal, the International Day Against Homophobia was declared, and the date of May 17th was chosen as an annual event. Transphobia was added later.

The International Day Against Homophobia belongs to no one individual in particular. It concerns everybody who hopes for a prejudice-free world that can provide a place at the table for everyone. It is celebrated by different people in different ways in many countries. Schools use the day to teach students about discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender discrimination. Awareness is raised by posters and the rainbow flag. Read more

Photo of the day

Farmhouse in the Snow
Farmhouse in the snow

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National News

White House Announces 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll Date and Theme

The President and First Lady announced today that this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll will be held on Monday, April 25, 2011 with the theme of “Get Up and Go!” promoting health and wellness. The event will feature live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling. All of the activities will encourage children to lead healthy and active lives and follow the First Lady’s ‘Let’s Move!’ initiative, a national campaign to combat childhood obesity. The White House will open its South Lawn for children aged 12 years and younger and their families.

White House Easter Egg Roll tickets will be distributed through an online lottery system, allowing guests from across the United States to participate in a tradition that dates back to 1878. The lottery will open for entries on March 10th at 12:01am and close on March 13th at 11:59pm. Tickets are free of charge and are non transferable. Full ticketing details can be found at www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll

Out in the Mountains hopes that LGBT families from Vermont will consider participating.


Op-ed from ED Assistant Deputy Secretary Kevin Jennings on the White House Conference on Bullying

ED Assistant Deputy Secretary Kevin Jennings Op-Ed on Bullying
For Carl

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover was a sixth grader in the Springfield (Mass.) Schools in the 2008-2009 school year. School was an awful place for Carl, a place where he was relentlessly bullied as “gay” by his peers because he was a good student who dressed neatly and didn’t fit the gender stereotype assigned to him as an African-American male. On April 6, 2009, Carl decided he couldn’t take it any more and hung himself.

Carl was eleven years old when he decided he’d rather die than go back to school.

On March 10, 2011, I sat in the Blue Room of the White House and watched Carl’s Mom, Sirdenear Walker, tell her son’s story to President and Mrs. Obama right before the start of the first-ever White House Conference on Bullying. The moment I will never forget was when Mrs. Walker pulled out her son’s 8x11 school photo and handed it to Mrs. Obama. Looking both stricken and moved, the First Lady grasped the picture, looked at intently, and then wrapped Mrs. Walker in a tight embrace. At that moment, I thought that perhaps something good could come out of Mrs. Walker’s loss, that perhaps her son did not die in vain, that perhaps Mrs. Walker’s courage in speaking out about the greatest nightmare that could befall any mother might help bring us to a tipping point where bullying becomes simply unacceptable in America’s schools. Read more

Arts & Entertainment

Movie Review - Patrik, Age 1.5

Patrik, Age 1.5 is a foreign film (with subtitles) about a gay couple in Sweden who try to adopt a baby. The acting of all three main characters is amazing, and the movie takes on a surreal portrayal of suburbia, similarly to Tim Burton's "Edward Scissorhands."

Sven and Goran move to a suburban town and are approved as adoptive parents. Now all they need to do is wait for a baby to become available. But homophobia rears its ugly head and obstacle after obstacle are thrown up in their path to parenthood. Finally, they are notified by the adoption service that a 1.5 year old child is available to adopt, but they get a boy named Patrik who is a 15 year old, homophobic, rebellious orphan and a convicted criminal. Read more