Conversations With Twenty- Somethings:Future QPOC Educators of America Creating Change 2012 The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Conference for LGBT Equity Dirk Jonathan Rodricks & Cornell F. Woodson The University of Vermont
Getting started…• Welcome and Introductions• Learning Objectives – Understand issues with respect to QPOC Educators and the students we serve. – Reflect on our stories. – Learn best practices and share strategies. – Network and engage with others.• Community Foundations
Getting started…• Session Overview – Why Queers of Color? – Who’s coming to college? Who do we serve? – What we know about ourselves? – Sharing stories, strategies, best practices! – Questions!
Why Queers of Color? …Why now..?• Less than 1% of all adolescent research is focused on LGBTQ young people, and only 18 studies in the past 30 years have concerned LGB youth of color.• Few of these studies actually accept all aspects of the individual’s multiple identities. [National Youth Advocacy Coalition, 2002]
What we know about… …who’s coming to college?Shared experiences include• Biased language in school – Across groups, two-thirds of LGBT students of color reported homophobic remarks, 70% reported sexist language, and almost half reported racist remarks. – Only about a fifth of LGBT students of color reported school personnel intervening ‘most of the time’ or ‘always’ on hearing these remarks.
What we know about… …who’s coming to college?• Safety and experiences of victimization – Verbal harassment: • Across each group, more than 80% reported because of sexual orientation, while more than 60% due to gender expression. – Physical violence due to sexual orientation: • Native American (54%), African American (33%), Latino/a (45%), Asian Pacific Islander (41%), Multiracial (45%) – Physical violence due to gender expression: • Approx 33% of multiracial, Latino/a, and Native American, and approx. 25% of African American, Asian Pacific Islander
What we know about… coming to …who’s college?Factoring in race or ethnicityMore than half of African American (51%), Latino/a (55%), AsianPacific Islander (55%), and multiracial students (59%) reportedbeing verbally harassed. Native American LGBT students (43%)were somewhat less likely to report racially motivatedharassment.LGBT students of color who were in the racial/ethnic minority intheir school were much more likely to report feeling unsafe andto be harassed in school because of their race or ethnicity thanthose who were in predominately same-race/ethnicity schools.
What we know about… …who’s coming to college?• Impact to academic performance – Feeling unsafe or uncomfortable in school may negatively affect a student’s academic performance, particularly if it results in avoiding classes or missing school altogether. – Students who were harassed because of multiple personal characteristics had increased absenteeism. – Less likely to report incidents of victimization
What we know about… coming to …who’s college?• School resources and support – For all LGBT students, having access to school-based resources, such as students clubs that address LGBT students’ issues, school staff who are supportive of LGBT students, and LGBT-inclusive curricular resources, can make a positive impact on their school experiences and overall school climate. [Source: Gay Lesian Straight Education Network - GLSEN (2009)]
What we know about… coming to …who’s college?Trends and challenges for Queer Youth • More distinctive, evolving culture, vastly different from previous generations of LGBT youth • Coming out at adolescence rather than adulthood experiencing it in real time, as opposed to delayed time decades later which affects risk, life course and development (Boxer & Cohler, 1989). • Coming of age in the shadow of the AIDS epidemic with a more favorable legal and social landscape than ever before. • Increased visibility in media and within the community. [National Youth Advocacy Coalition, 2002]
What we know about… …who’s coming to college?• Anecdotes to share? – In relation to the information we shared, what has been your experience working with queer youth? – What about queer youth of color/young adults?• Best practices or strategies?
Wait…what about us?• Numbers/Data – Very little research, best practices, resources exist for specifically the intersections of race/ethnicity and sexuality/gender expression. – Most of the research also focuses on self-identification with a sexual orientation, and does not adequately speak to coming out in the workplace or to family. – Difficulty in determining numbers - self-identification requires organizations to show support through policy and process.
Wait…what about us?• Challenges - There isn’t much research about LGBTQ in the workplace let alone QPOC. - Recruitment of other staff - Advancement - Basic everyday support - retention! - Disconnect between the coming-out narratives of us as QPOC and those of whom we serve.
Wait…what about us?BOTTOM LINE…How do we find support for ourselves as we arecalled on to support our students? – Personally – Community
Wait…what about us?Personally – Get in touch with local LGBT organizations (Network) – Practice wellness (it can be exhausting work!) – Recognize that you DON’T have to be the face for LGBT concerns at your campus/organization. – Get better educated/informed on the issues. – Continue self-work on being comfortable with yourself – Know where your company/organization stands on LGBTQ issues
Wait…what about us?Community – Be a role model. Visibility is the key – Don’t silo yourself – Intent v. Impact. Be inclusive in your language. – Create an employee resource group (ERG) at work
What we know about… …who’s coming to college?• Anecdotes to share? – As a QPOC, what has been your experience in the workplace? – How and where do you find your support?• Best practices or strategies?