[Safety Underneath the Rainbow]


Some useful definitions.
Using Language to support LGBT youth

Basic Definitions

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Transsexual. This acronym only covers a portion of sex-and-gender diverse communities. Other acronyms may include a "Q" for questioning, an "I" for intersex, a "2" for two-spirited.
Rainbow Flag
The rainbow is the most universal symbol to represent the GLBTT communities. However, it is important not to clump all sex-and-gender diverse communities together as they each have their own unique history and culture.
Double Female Symbol
Symbolizes two women in an intimate relationship.
Double Male Symbol
Symbolizes two men in an intimate relationship.
Transgender Symbol
Symbol for trans-identified communities.
Leather Pride Flag
Symbolizes the leather/fetish communities.
Domestic Abuse
The attempt, act, or intent of someone within an adult to adult (18 year+) relationship, where the relationship is characterized by intimacy, dependency or trust, to intimidate either by threat or by the use of physical force on another person or property.
The act of trying to hurt or control another person often through making threats, name-calling, gossip, or physical threats or abuse.
A person who is emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and sexually attracted to members of the same-sex. Often referring to males.
A woman who is emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and sexually attracted to other women.
A person who is emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and sexually attracted to members of either sex.
An umbrella term for someone who does not fit into the traditional or assigned role of "male" or "female". Someone who transcends gender.
A person who does not identify with the physical sex they were born with. Transsexual individuals may go through sex reassignment surgery, take hormones or simply live at the opposite gender they were born.

These definitions give an overview, however, in the end the individual must choose for themselves how to define their unique identity.

Domestic Violence

Taken from the Calgay Domestic Violence Committee

Domestic abuse is the attempt, act, or intent of someone within an adult (18+ years) relationship, where the relationship is characterized by intimacy, dependancy or trust, to intimidate either by threat or by the use of physical force on another person or property. The purpose of the abuse is to control and/or exploit through neglect, intimidationand inducement of fear, or by inflicting pain. Abusive behaviour can take many forms, including verbal, physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, spiritual, economic and the violation of rights. All forms of abusive behavious are ways in which one human being attempts to have control and/or exploit or have power over another.

1 in 10 people (10%) identify as either gay or lesbian - Based on several different studies done throughout history, the most famous of which being the Kinsey Report.

In a city of 1,000,000, 10% identify as gay or lesbian.

Of 100,000 gay and lesbian people, roughly half of them are in a relationship at any given time.

Of 50,000 gay and lesbian people in relationships, 25% to 33% say they witness of experience domestic violence.

These stats do not include transidentified or bisexual individuals.

Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Relationships:

Victims experiencing domestic violence within same sex relationships are equally at risk of serious injury or death and are often more isolated because of lack of support and acceptance of their sexual orientation. Also, the victim may not want to access services because they will have to out themselves in order to receive effective support. However, if a person comes out they may lose their job or their children and/or they may lose family and friends. Coming out can be harder than enduring the abuse.

Persons with Disabilities

People with disabilities are often at greater risk of severe violence. This observation is supported by existing research on the abuse of people with disabilities. It appears people with disabilities are at greater risk of violence and there is some evidence they may be at greater risk of serious violence. This is partly because of their isolation and the lack of available and accessable resources.

Geographically Remote and Isolated Communities

Most people working to prevent violence are aware of the ways that living in geographically remote or isolated locations can increase risk. There are fewer services in such areas. There are few or no neighbours to provide support or to overhear the abuse and call the police. Even if the victim or a neighbour does call the police, response time in isolated areas naturally tend to be longer. Often one or more police officers are responsible for a large geographic area with few inhabitants.

The importance of cultural isolation is not always as well recognized, even though cultural isolation can be as profound a form of isolation as living in a remote area. Cultural isolation can be a risk factor in a densely populated city or town as well as in a rural or isolated region. Women, children and men who are members of a minority cultural, language or religious group may have few or no friends or relatives near them. They may be ignored or rejected by their neighbours because they are different. They may not speak or read the language spoken by most people in their community. All these factors increse their isolation and may keep them unfamiliar with the services and options available to them.

Adapted from "Safety From Domestic Violence: A Resources Manual for Service Providers" ? Public Legal Education Network of Alberta

Homophobic Bullying

Adapted from hatedontbuyin.org and bullying.org and antibullying.net

30% of youth who commit suicide did so because of issues surrounding their sexual or gender orientation.

This statistic is based on notes found or friends of the youth who have come forward after the fact. Given how many suicides are unexplained the actual number is very likely significantly higher.

The irrational fear, misunderstanding, dread, or hatred of homosexual people.
A concious, willful, deliberate, hostile and repeated behaviour by one or more people, which is intended to harm others. Bullying takes on many forms and can include many different behaviours.
The belief that everyone is or should be heterosexual.
Hate crime
A criminal offence against a person or property that is motivated, in whole, or in part, by prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, gender, age, mental or physical ability or sexual orientation of the victim.
Being treated unfairly because of a certain characteristic. The characteristic can be race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or physical disability. Discrimination is based on prejudice.
And attitude or belief which is formed or held without really considering the fact (Alberta Human rights Commission, Human Rights: Respecting our Differences Students Manual at 6). Prejudice means judging in advance.
Gay/Straight Alliance
A Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) is a school organized club where students, regardless of their sexual orientation, are able to find a safe, inclusive space in which to discuss issues faced in the school system when it comes to sexual and gender orientation.

© 2014 : safetyundertherainbow.ca