Kaleidoscope’s Postcard Project:
Empowering LGBTQIA+ student and allies to let their voices be heard
This past March and April, multiple Gay Straight Alliances and Diversity Education students across The Help Group participated in Kaleidoscope’s postcard activism project in response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Students were invited to write postcards addressed to the office of Governor DeSantis, voicing support for the LGBTQ+ community and speaking out against harmful legislature that would further restrict the rights of LGBTQ+ students and the educational rights of all students in Florida. Although the Don’t Say Gay bill was sadly passed in the middle of this project, students were given the opportunity to speak out against several other anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and voice their concern and protest. In designing their postcards and participating in this small but meaningful form of activism, students were given a variety of templates to choose from, though the majority of them used their own beautiful words, voicing opinions that all students have rights to education, freedom of speech, and basic human rights.
Statement of Position
In the recent months, we have witnessed a series of nationwide legislative motions that were strategically designed to cause harm to LGBTQIA+ youth and their allies. Most notably, Florida’s Parental Rights In Education bill aka ‘Don’t Say Gay’ was signed into law by their state governor, Ron DeSantis. The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill will prohibit classroom education surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity, and in essence will obligate its teachers to ‘out’ their students (without consent) to their parents. Kaleidoscope condemns the passage of this outwardly discriminative and dangerous bill and others that are similar in nature. For instance, the Texas Senate bill (‘1646’) that would classify providing gender affirming health care to transgender minors as child abuse. As we know, banning discussions around LGBTQIA+ history and limiting supportive services to the community does not stop youth from being LGBTQIA+ youth, in the same way as trying to rid the world of left-handedness was unsuccessful. You are born LGBTQIA+ in the same way you are born left-handed. Oppressive laws and ignorance cannot change this, but what it can and will do is prevent LGBTQIA+ youth from living authentic, safe, and fulfilling lives.
In their National Survey on LGBTQIA+ Youth Mental Health 2021, The Trevor Project reported, “42% of LGBTQIA+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth and 94% of LGBTQIA+ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health.” Kaleidoscope strongly recognizes the notion that supporting LGBTQIA+ youth is not indicative of child abuse; and all allies do, in actuality, is save lives and prevent suicides. NiiLee Cyrus (@jesuisniilee) a trans and queer liberator, educator, and mental health advocate said it best, “My trans agenda is not to turn cis children into trans, but it’s to turn trans children into adults.”
Kaleidoscope stands in solidarity with our allies in Florida and Texas (and, Idaho, Indiana, etc.) who are at the forefronts of fighting the anti-equality bills in their home states. Here in Southern California, Kaleidoscope is teamed up with The Help Group’s nine specialized day schools to help empower their student body in writing post-cards addressed to state legislators in opposition to the various anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation. Legalized, systematic oppression based on archaic cis-hetero ideology and binary thinking is not new. Therefore, we will continue our fight towards sexual and gender liberation by actively supporting and fiercely protecting our LGBTQIA+ youth.
P.S., gay, gay, gay, gay, and gay.
Kaleidoscope offers a range of affirming services; including trainings, consultations, and presentations in community settings. Please reach out to Kaleidoscope to collaborate on their mission to continue improving the quality of life for all LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults. You can email [email protected] to inquire more details.