Hey guys!

Figured I’d post so that everyone who sees the Facebook messages knows that this a) isn’t spam, and b) is worth your time.

Don’t even start with me on the whole “ugh but its sooo0000 muchh werk to hav 2 sign up 4 this shizz cuz i dont wanna type and stufffff” because I know. That’s basically unavoidable; even though it’ll only take a few clicks of your mouse and maybeeeee an email confirm., nobody actually wants to sign up for WordPress, or “follow” or whatever, at first. But it’s the best we (Rainbow Cafe) have for now, and we need your help; so we can grow, so that Rainbow Cafe can become self-sustaining, and truly make a difference in our local LGBTQ youth community.
So you might be wondering what the first step is in making a difference.
And I know you’ve heard it all before. Every campaign, every advertisement for you to “adopt a dolphin”, every Sarah McLachlan commercial (You know… “If this poor puppy could speak, he’d ask you to help him.”…) that makes you change the channel, often puts one point clearly.

Every change that will ever be made, cannot be made without your help.

And while following the R.C. WordPress probably isn’t the most you could do, it’s certainly one of the easiest things you could do. Despite the whole “ugh but its sooo0000 muchh werk to hav 2 sign up 4 this shizz cuz i dont wanna type and stufffff”.
If you follow it, someone might see it and follow it. Or your friends will talk about it. Then they’ll follow it. Then they’ll start commenting, and making discussions, and growing the community, and YES! then we’ve made it to where we need to be.
So please-
Go back, rethink this whole persuasion if you must, and do start making a difference. Get involved.

If you plan on re-reading this or sharing it with friends, please do so while having this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVbkz_3lO3c open in another window.

I have high hopes for Rainbow Cafe!

-Sunny ❤

Gay Won¹t Go Away, Genetic or Not – NYTimes.com

An article was published on Sunday, Jan. 29th which might interest you…

The article can be seen on line at

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/opinion/sunday/bruni-gay-wont-go-away-genetic-or-not.html

A PDF with all the links attached can be fetched from:

http://www.bergenpflag.org/resources/NYT_120129_gay-wont-go-away.pdf

Behind the Scenes: NBA Players Tell Teens to Think Before You Speak

Rather than copy the whole posting to here, just visit this site!

http://www.adlibbing.org/2011/05/16/behind-the-scenes-nba-players-tell-teens-to-think-before-you-speak/

HELP NEEDED: LGBTQ YOUTH – SPEAK OUT ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL

HELP NEEDED: LGBTQ YOUTH – SPEAK OUT ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL
EXPERIENCES!

Help GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) inform
education policymakers and the public about what’s really
going on in our nation’s schools by completing the 2011
National School Climate Survey, GLSEN’s seventh national
survey about the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
and queer youth in school.
If you attended high school or middle school sometime during the
last school year (2010-2011) and are at least 13 years old, tell us
about your experiences in school. (If you did not complete the
entire school year you can still participate in the survey.) The
survey is anonymous.
For more info and to complete the survey online, visit: www.glsen.org/2011survey

Pakistan’s Lesbians Live In Silence, Love In Secret

by Habiba Nosheen
January 17, 2011
http://www.npr.org/2011/01/17/132711102/pakistans-lesbians-live-in-silence-love-in-secret

The names in this story have been changed to protect the women’s identities out of concern for their safety.

Five years ago, Fatima was 23 and studying law in Lahore, Pakistan. She wore blue jeans and a loose shirt and sported short boyish hair. That was the first sign she wasn’t a typical Pakistani woman.

She leaned in to share a secret she had revealed to only a few other people before: “I’m lesbian,” she said hesitantly.

“I think I knew since a very early age,” she said. “It felt quite isolating, I feel. Like, I didn’t see people or kids around me feel the same way.”

In an Islamic country like Pakistan, lesbians can be imprisoned for life. However, Fatima says, it is not the law that gays and lesbians fear — it’s family and neighbors, whom she suspects murder many gays and lesbians in honor killings.

A Secret Teen Romance

Fatima grew up in a house with sisters who were always obsessing over boys, a reality that Fatima says she could never relate to.

“From the time that I’ve known this about myself, every day that I’ve felt that I’d wish I was just like everybody else,” she says.

But her attraction to women became undeniable when she found herself in love with her best friend in high school. She was 18. And she finally worked up the nerve to tell her.

“What was really surprising, I really didn’t expect her to like me back. I really didn’t,” Fatima says. “It was one of the best surprises in my life. I just thought, ‘I am going to tell her and she’s just going to be like, ‘Are you crazy? What’s wrong with you?’ And the fact that she didn’t say that just blew my mind.”

My insides are at war with each other. There are days I wake up and think I should just embrace myself. And there are days I think I should just kill myself.

– Fatima, a fake name to protect the woman who was interviewed The two dated for years, but always in secret.

They would hold hands walking down the street as many women do in Pakistan — it’s simply regarded as “sisterly love.”

And that idea of “sisterly love” allows female lovers to stay under the radar, even more easily than in the West — until they reach the age of marriage. That’s when a lesbian relationship comes into conflict with the very fabric of Pakistani society.

After years of a secret romance, Fatima’s girlfriend suddenly left her, saying there was no future for them in Pakistan. She married a man.

Fatima says she can understand why her girlfriend made that decision.

“I mean, I think from the time that you’re born you’re socialized into believing that homosexuality is unnatural,” she says. “It is a disease, and it is completely prohibited.”

That sense of abnormality, Fatima says, haunts her.

“My insides are at war with each other,” she says. “There are days I wake up and think I should just embrace myself. And there are days I think I should just kill myself.”

Leaving the country, Fatima says, is not an option. She says she thinks it’s her calling to be a human rights lawyer in Pakistan, to change the country, which is in severe crisis.

‘I Hated That Girl’

Fatima recounts the day when she decided to tell her grandmother that she had been in love with her best friend.

According to Fatima, her grandmother said, “That’s why I always hated that girl. I just hated that girl.”

“But miraculously, when she came back from work, [my grandmother] was completely fine — as if that discussion never had taken place,” Fatima says. “The way I looked at it, she was in complete denial of the whole thing.”

Shortly after, Fatima married a man, in an attempt to conform to Pakistani values. She told him before the wedding that she was attracted to women, but like so many others in her life he had assumed it was a phase that she’d get over. But two months into her marriage, Fatima met another woman, Kiran, and the two fell in love.

After months of begging, Fatima’s family finally agreed to let her get a divorce. “I said, ‘I am a lesbian. I am in love with a woman. I need to get out of this marriage, please,'” she says. “All hell broke loose, essentially.”

But Fatima won her battle for a divorce. She says meeting Kiran gave her the strength to fight — gave her something to fight for.

They’re now living together, and Fatima is a human rights lawyer.

But now there were other problems for the couple, Kiran says.

“There were security concerns in that her husband, who was in a bad place, was freely talking about this situation to other people,” she says.

Kiran says that made them scared for a while, with so many people knowing their secret.

But, Kiran says, “it would take some doing” for people to really imagine they are lesbians.

“Yeah, it’s not within the realm of possibility,” Fatima says, holding her girlfriend’s hand as the two giggle. “People don’t usually contemplate two women living together, that they are into each other. Good for us.”

Kiran agrees.

“Because in our society, women don’t have sexual needs, desires, drives, whatever. And those that do, run brothels,” Kiran says. “Either you are a nice girl, or you are a fast girl. So if we are fast girls, it means that men come and visit us. If we are nice girls, it means that girls come and visit us, which works out.”

Student creativity

How students successfully confronted ‘Day of Silence’ with a “Day of
Truth’ Mass Resistance outlines how students at Chelmsford High School in
Massachusetts were ‘bold and unapologetic’  in their pursuit of the
anti-gay Day of Truth. Read more:
http://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen/10c/day_of_truth.html

National LGBTQI Young Adult Tobacco Needs Assessment

NYAC (National Youth Advocacy Coalition)  is happy to announce that the LGBTQI Young Adult Tobacco Needs Assessment survey tool is ready! After the tireless attention of the Tobacco Working Group over the past few months, we have designed a survey and process that we think (and hope) will be very useful in collecting information about behaviors, attitudes, and facts about how LGBTQI young adults are or are not using tobacco products.

Not only will we be able to make programmatic and policy recommendations for the nation, but we anticipate being able to make cross-regional comparisons and make specific regional statistics available to your organizations. In exchange for supporting and promoting this survey initiative, NYAC will donate $125 to the first 50 organizations that sign up to participate.

Each young adult who completes a survey will be entered into a rolling drawing to win one of the following Gift Cards – 10 cards worth $50, 5 cards worth $100, and 1 card worth $150.
Click here for more information or to take the survey online.