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Oops… I think I’m an activist

November 23, 2008

I’ve always wanted to do stuff; help the lgbt movement forward. I think I’m finally in a situation where I can advance lgbt issues -especially trans issues- at my secondary school.

Around April, a couple of kids and I founded a Diversity Commission within the Student Center. We didn’t do much throughout the year, but last week –which happened to be the last schoolweek of this schoolyear– was HUGE.

My school hosted a weekful of queer activities, including an art festival, music, plays, workshops, presentations, tons of stuff. It’s the first time something this big and queer takes place in a school. Several journalists and photographers came to see and ask questions. I gave a speech which I’ll post later. It was all organized by Argentina’s two most important LGBTQIA organizations –working separately– and we, from the Diversity Commission, planned some stuff too.

But most importantly, lots of students were interested. Some even want to work with the Diversity Commission in the future. I really hope the visibility helps young people who are questioning or insecure.

Next year, if everything goes well, we’ll seriously change the school atmosphere. On the cultural/social level, we’re planning on student art expos and maybe a few large, conceptual art installations.

On the institutional/political level, I want to push inclusive sex ed. This year, the Student Center managed to make sex ed mandatory within Health class; we need to make sure that kids learn to protect themselves with same-sex partners (at the very least) and that they understand non-heteronormative genders and sexualities (which would be ideal).

And now, for my most cherished project: I want trans students to be able to use their chosen names. The University of Buenos Aires (UBA) already has a nice system we could adopt, where the chosen name is associated to the legal name; but only the chosen name appears on teacher’s lists and stuff. If the principal totally rejects the idea, an lgbt organization already offered their legal support.

I just hope that, by then, I also have my parents’ support.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2008 1:31 am

    That’s AWEsome! Keep up the great work!

  2. November 24, 2008 4:22 pm

    I’ve never heard of that chosen name concept before but I wish we had something like it at my university (in New York). I hope you succeed!

  3. November 24, 2008 7:20 pm

    That is completely awesome! I’m glad that the Diversity Commission and the Queer week are going so well, and wish you all the best on your future ventures.

  4. genderkid permalink
    November 25, 2008 10:49 am

    Thanks, everyone!

    And Andrei, maybe you can suggest some kind of trans-friendly system. It won’t necessarily imply fighting and arguing, especially considering that most college students are over 18.

    I was surprised at how much my school would allow, just by asking politely.

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