Posts Tagged ‘Gay bullying’

The Tyler Clementi Foundation’s Innovative New Anti-Bullying Campaign

Blog author Stan Kimer (in the center) with Tyler Clementi Foundation Executive Director Sean Kosofsky and Tyler's mother and foundation co-founder Jane Clementi

Blog author Stan Kimer (in the center) with Tyler Clementi Foundation Executive Director Sean Kosofsky and Tyler’s mother and foundation co-founder Jane Clementi

For this year’s annual October Bullying Awareness Month blog, I would like to introduce a new program being offered by the Tyler Clementi Foundation and rolled out through corporations and organizations. Why is this exciting and innovative? Because most Americans spend the vast majority of their waking hours on the job, so that is the logical place to roll out resources to assist in various aspects of life.

Here are four shorts questions and answers.

QUESTION 1: Who exactly is Tyler Clementi and why is there a foundation named after him?

ANSWER: Tyler Clementi (link to more of his story) was a talented teenager in his first year of college coming to terms with being gay. Without his knowledge, Tyler’s roommate secretly livestreamed him in an intimate act with another young man, and then shared the stream with Tyler’s university peers as well as the roommate’s high school friends and Twitter followers. This act of cyber-bullying was a great embarrassment to Tyler and two days later Tyler died by suicide. After processing the grief of losing their son in this way, Tyler’s parents decided to take proactive action and started the foundation to address cyber-bullying in the hopes that it can be stopped and future harm and even deaths could be avoided.

QUESTION 2: What is my own connection with the Tyler Clementi Foundation?

ANSWER: Last year, a friend of mine from Raleigh, NC, Sean Kosofsky, who is one of the brightest non-profit leaders in the country, was offered the job of being the Tyler Clementi Foundation’s first full time executive director. He returned to Raleigh in early September and helped host a reception with Tyler’s mother Jane Clementi. (See photo at top of blog.) Sean updated us on the latest programs of the foundation and Jane spoke passionately as a mother hoping to bring positive change to America’s cyber-community as a constructive way of dealing with her son’s death. Total Engagement Consulting is proud to have provided a corporate donation to the foundation’s work.

Tyler Clementi, the young man for whom the foundation is named

Tyler Clementi, the young man for whom the foundation is named

QUESTION 3: What exactly is this new program that the foundation will be rolling out via corporations?

ANSWER: Too much of the burden of ending bullying is put on schools. The Tyler Clementi Foundation thinks parents play a key role, and thus has partnered with Workplace Options (WPO) to offer trainings on youth bullying to parents where they are during the day: at work. This training helps educate people about whether the young people in their lives are being bullied or are bullies, and not sharing this information. The focus will be to teach individuals how to identify, approach, discuss and resolve youth bullying issues with their children, and young people in their personal lives. More information can be found on the foundation’s program page. (Scroll about halfway down the page to the heading “Workplace Options / TCF Training

QUESTION 4: Can I provide some links to additional blogs with resources I have previously published?

ANSWER: Certainly!

In last year’s Bullying Awareness Month’s blog, I introduced the Tyler Clementi Foundation.

In my 2013 blog, I wrote about the link between schoolyard bullying and workplace harassment.

In “The Macroeconomic of Gay Bullying” I write about the grave harm to a nation’s well being and economics unaddressed bullying can result in.

Five Important Ramifications of NBA Pro Basketball Player Jason Collins’ Coming Out

… And also I recognize Women’s Basketball super-star Brittany Griner below.

Major LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) news was made last month when Jason Collins became the first

Jason Collins became the first active athlete among the four major US pro sports to come out as gay via a recent online Sports Illustrated article

Jason Collins became the first active athlete among the four major US pro sports to come out as gay via a recent online Sports Illustrated article

active (non-retired) professional among the major four American Men’s pro sports (Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey) to come out publically as a gay man. Link to the Sports Illustrated online article. There was a major media flurry, and like always I like to wait for a month for the hoopla to die down so I can offer an additional thoughtful analysis. Here are my five hopeful long term ramifications of Jason’s coming out:

1. This sends the strong message to our LGBT youth that they can become anything they want and have the talent to do. LGBT youth do not need to be “pigeon holed” into careers stereotypically attributed to gay men and lesbians, but instead can pursue any career they want, including pro sports. And perhaps some day we will have a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender President of the United States!

2. This could help curb gay bullying and gay bashing. Bullies should think twice about picking on an LGBT person; perhaps their gay 7 foot tall, 240 pound muscular friend will come to their bullied victim’s defense. Not all gay guys are 120 pound slim guys. See link to my most recent blog on bullying which contains additional links to blogs and resources.

3. This will help pro sports become much more open to full acceptance of LGBT diversity, and perhaps significantly decrease homophobia in pro sports. The younger generation can aspire to play in pro leagues and also be out and true to their LGBT selves.

This year's first WNBA's draft pick Brittney Griner recently came out as a lesbian.  Here she is cutting down the nets after leading Baylor to their 2012 championship

This year’s first WNBA’s draft pick Brittney Griner recently came out as a lesbian. Here she is cutting down the nets after leading Baylor to their 2012 championship


4. Since Jason Collins is African-American, it helps dispel the myth that homosexuality is a “white person’s thing.” LGBT people are found across all segments of humanity. See also my last month’s blog on 5 Common Misconceptions about Gay People.

5. Finally, this breaks the gay male stereotype of all gay men being feminine and small. The LGBT community is extremely diverse with a wide range of gender expressions, shapes and sizes.

I would like to close this article with a call out to a female basketball star who recently came out as a lesbian; Brittany Griner, who led Baylor to the 2012 Women’s NCAA championship and was this year’s first draft pick in the WNBA draft. Link to the article about Brittany.

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