Think Before You Speak - TRANNY

1. There was a time when all "tranny" referred to was a transistor radio. Now people use the phrase "hot tranny mess" to describe bad fashion choices, which is really offensive to people who identify as transgender.
2. So please, knock it off.
3. Learn more at

Did you Know?
LGBT students who experience high frequencies of verbal harassment are twice as likely as other LGBT students to skip school, and LGBT students who are frequently physically harassed report lower grades than other students (on average a 2.4 versus a 2.8 GPA).

Internship Opportunity for LGBT Students of Color

The Pipeline Project recruits new, diverse talent to work for and with LGBT organizations at staff and Board levels, including internships and entry-level positions. Our goal is to increase the number of people of color working with the nation's LGBT rights, services, and advocacy sector.

We will provide you with information on all types of internships: paid and unpaid, full-time and part-time. Internships are available for summer 2009, fall 2009, and for all of 2010. Applications are due by April 30, 2009. E-mail for an Internship Interest Form to begin the application process. Possibilities for internship opportunities include, but are not limited to:

CenterLink (opportunities all over the country)
The Equality Federation Institute (opportunities in San Francisco and nationally)
Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (Boston)
In the Life Media (New York)
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (Boston)
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (San Francisco)

Think Before You Speak Campaign

(Posted by Nick, '11)
Hey all!

I hope you had a refreshing vacation full of vegging on the couch, watching bad horror movies, and winning radio contests! I know I did! ;)

ANYway, the month of March (or rather the two and a half weeks of March) is Think B4 You Speak awareness month at the Campus Life LGBTQ Center! You may have noticed the flyers with hateful, derogatory words and their definitions posted around campus. This is our way of calling out people who use those words, and those who stand by and let it happen. It’s a call for everyone to actively combat hate speech here at Vassar and wherever else life takes you.

We’ve adopted this campaign from the Ad Council because we feel that it’s an important topic in modern culture, where phrases like “that’s so gay” have become prevalent.

This Wednesday at noon, we’ll be having another Fruit Salad event – “Labels Are For Cans!” where we discuss we use in the queer community and how they have evolved. Feel free to drop by anytime from noon to 1:00 p.m. to contribute to our discussion, and to grab some free pizza!

Finally, be sure to check out the Think B4 You Speak official website, where you can catch some pretty awesome (and funny) videos, starring the likes of Wanda Sykes and Hilary Duff. Here's the Hilary Duff ad:

Fruit Salad! - WEDNESDAY!

Welcome back from Spring Break!! We have a very exciting Fruit Salad! discussion coming up this week. Here are the details:

"Labels are for Cans!"
A discussion about the words we use in the queer community and how they have evolved.
Wednesday, March 25
12-1pm @ LGBTQ Center (CC 235)


Part of our Fruit Salad! series about diversity in the queer community.

Discussion led by Loghann Rimel, '10 and Sarah Conklin from the Counseling Center.

Think Before You Speak - HERMAPHRODITE

1. An antiquated term used in a derogatory way for someone who is intersex. Does not refer to someone who is confused about their gender, was born "wrong," or is transgender.
2. So please, knock it off.
3. Learn more at

Did you Know?
Almost 90% of LGBT students are verbally harassed, 44% are physically harassed and nearly 1 in 4 are physically assaulted at school because of their sexual orientation. And 2/3 of LGBT students are verbally harassed, 30% are physically harassed and 14% are physically assaulted at school because of their gender expression.

Think Before You Speak - FAGGOT

1. There was a time when the word "faggot" meant a bundle of sticks, but people started using it in an insulting, offensive way and things changed. So when you say things like "homo," "dyke" and "that's so gay" trying to be funny, remember, you may actually be hurting someone.
2. So please, knock it off.
3. Learn more at

Did You Know?
83.1% of LGBT students report that hearing "gay" or "queer" used in a negative manner at school causes them to feel bothered or distressed to some degree. Yet only 18% of LGBT students report that school personnel frequently intervene when hearing homophobic remarks and only 8% report that other students frequently intervene.

Another Vassar Student Highlighted

Casey Katims, a junior here at Vassar, is spending the semester in Washinton DC doing an internship with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Check out this link to see an interview of Casey on the HRC website. Keep up the great work, Casey!

Think Before You Speak - DYKE

1. Be honest with yourself. You're not thinking of "an embankment that holds back and controls water." The problem is, words like "dyke" and "faggot" are so commonly used as insults these days, it's really hard to remember a time when they weren't.
2. So please, knock it off.
3. Learn more at

Did you Know?
54% of LGBT students often or frequently hear negative comments about their peers not acting "masculine" enough and 39% hear comments about their peers not acting "feminine" enough.

Study Abroad Opportunity - Explore Gay Paris

Faculty-Led Summer Session 2009

UW-La Crosse has partnered with CEA to offer you the opportunity to study abroad in Paris, France. Renowned for its intellectuals, artists, writers, and revolutionaries, Paris represents the perfect combination of tradition and modernity. Long known as a city for freedom and tolerance, Paris has become characterized over the past decade by its acceptance of the LGBT community. Discover the Marais district, the location of CEA's GlobalCampus in Paris and the heart of Gay Paris. You will live in an apartment with like-minded students, fully immersed in French culture.

Paris, the city of lights and host of the Gay Pride Parade & Festival that brings close to 750,000 people together in celebration every June - what better place to spend your summer and complete 6 credits of coursework (compare to 2 units at Vassar). As part of the program you will take the course W-S 250: Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Studies taught by Sara Sullivan and William Van Roosenbeek from UW-L and earn 3 additional transfer credits (1 unit) by taking Gay Paris: Culture, Society & Urban Sexual Identity at CEA's GlobalCampus. Participating in this program will provide you with unique opportunities to explore Paris first-hang while earning course credit.

*Open to all students who are 18 or older, have completed one year of college, and have a GPA of 2.75 or higher.

For more information, or to apply visit this website or contact Willem Van Roosenbeeck at or Sara Sullivan at

Think Before You Speak - GAY

1. There was a time when all "gay" meant was "happy." Then it meant "homosexual." Now people are saying "that's so gay" to mean dumb and stupid. Which is pretty insulting to gay people (and we don't mean "happy" people).
2. So please, knock it off.
3. Learn more at

Did you know?
9 out of 10 LGBT students hear the word "gay" used in a negative way often or frequently in school and nearly 3 out of 4 LGBT students report hearing their peers make homophobic remarks, such as "dyke" or "faggot," often or frequently in school.

Notheast LGBT Conference

Northeast LGBT Conference
"Facets of Oppression"
April 17-19th @ SUNY Albany
A conference run by students, for students from across the North East.

The theme of this year's conference envelops the many identities we hold as LGBTQA individuals and how these multiple identities both effect and are affected by our LGBTQA identity. These facets of oppression can feel overwhelming because they are all essential pieces that make up our lives. The 2009 North East LGBT Conference theme "Facets of Oppression" speaks to the spectrum of identites we hold as LGBTQA people. Join us on Saturday for interactive workshops addressing the politics and policies of our diverse identies, such as our religious affiliations, transgender and gender identities, as well as issues of privilege, sexual assault, don't ask don't tell, and the intersection of identies affecting us as multicultural people. On Sunday attendees will be participating in trainings that will help us overcome oppression and work across our many identities, to find commonalities and celebrate the differences within our own community. Learn more at the conference website.

Registration: Cost of attendance is $25 per individual or $20 per person for groups of five or more. Registration includes all conference materials, access to all workshops, and keynotes throughout the weekend. Breakfast and lunch are also included on Saturday and Sunday as well as seat reservation at Saturday night's exciting banquet dinner.

If you are interested and available to attend this conference, contact Julie at by Friday, March 6th! If enough people are interested, the LGBTQ Center might be able to arrange transportation and cover conference costs!

Think Before You Speak

Incase you haven't heard of it yet, GLSEN has launched a campaign called ThinkB4YouSpeak that is aimed towards raising awareness of hurtful phrases against LGBT people. Here is what the campaign is about, according to their website:

"Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teens experience homophobic remarks and harassment throughout the school day, creating an atmosphere where they feel disrespected, unwanted and unsafe. Homophobic remarks such as “that’s so gay” are the most commonly heard; these slurs are often unintentional and a common part of teens’ vernacular. Most do not recognize the consequences, but the casual use of this language often carries over into more overt harassment.

This campaign aims to raise awareness about the prevalence and consequences of anti-LGBT bias and behavior in America’s schools. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce and prevent the use of homophobic language in an effort to create a more positive environment for LGBT teens. The campaign also aims to reach adults, including school personnel and parents; their support of this message is crucial to the success of efforts to change behavior."

Check out Wanda Sykes' commercial in support of this campaign:

We are bringing this campaign to Vassar by raising awareness about words that we often hear misused in a hurtful way by members of the Vassar community. We will be posting on the blog about these words throughout the month of March. Also be on the lookout for our fliers around campus during this Month.