May 30, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In light of the recent anti-LGBTQ+ attacks in Los Angeles area schools, GALAS LGBTQ+ Armenian Society, Somos Familia Valle, and glendaleOUT, express our collective concern at the spread of homophobic and transphobic sentiments, and we call attention to the importance of our collective need for safety and action.
Parents of students in various schools are protesting the inclusion of LGBTQ+ content within school programming and curricula. These acts are directly harming LGBTQ+ students and the larger LGBTQ+ community, while undermining the responsibility of schools to provide a safe and supportive environment for all diverse students and families.
As LGBTQ+ community organizations, we have been doing the local work of advocating for the equal treatment of LGBTQ+ individuals for decades. We know the harm that these attacks will cause today and in the future, endangering our students and reinforcing discrimination faced by all marginalized communities.
LGBTQ+ people exist in all cultures and communities. Our treatment as equal and contributing citizens is not a subject of discussion, but a civil right that was fought for and gained through brave and exemplary LGBTQ+ activism.
School curriculum should continue to be inclusive and celebrate the diverse lived experiences of all students rather than erasing references of LGBTQ+ people. Denying the existence of LGBTQ+ people harms all students by reinforcing the dangerous misconception that everybody’s lived experiences are all identical. Right now, students are seeing an organized movement against an already disenfranchised community. If we care about what they are learning and seeing, we need to showcase respect, acceptance, and celebration of our differences.
We are in full support of our public schools' acknowledgement of diverse families and acknowledgment of LGBTQ+ identities. We ask our community members and allies to push for safer and welcoming schools for all students to be seen.
GALAS is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit based in Los Angeles, providing resources and programming for the LGBTQ+ Armenian community and beyond. Since 1998, GALAS has been the leading voice in advancing equality for LGBTQ+ Armenians worldwide.
glendaleOUT is a grass-roots organization dedicated to building, evolving, and moving forward queer voices in the narrative that is Glendale.
About Somos Familia Valle
Somos Familia Valle is our local San Fernando Valley community organization led by trans queer people of color dedicated to support, empower, train, and mobilize our families, and allies for racial, gender, environmental, and economic justice.