The Issue: Safe and Supportive Spaces for Queer Youth
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trangender youth are more than two times as likely as non-LGBT youth to say they have been verbally harassed and called names at school, according to "Growing Up LGBT in America," a Human Rights Campaign report based on a survey of more than 10,000 LGBT-identified youth aged 13–17. Outreach programming can bring awareness to the issues these youth face and create more supportive environments at school and in peer groups.
The Campaign: Bringing Outreach Plays to High Schools
If 50 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then About Face Theatre can bring a Diversity Tour, an original play created by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied (LGBTQA) youth, to a Chicago public high school. Each additional $500 raised will bring a Diversity Tour to another Chicago public high school.
As part of About Face Theatre’s outreach program, the organization brings plays based on real-life stories from LGBTQA youth to schools that have struggled with homophobia, violence, and bullying in the past. The plays are meant to spark positive post-show dialogues on gender and sexual identity; this year, About Face Theatre is touring four plays that deal with issues ranging from bullying to the intersection of homophobia and racism.
About Face Theatre
Since its inception in 1995 as a response to the lack of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied (LGBTQA) voices within the American theatrical canon, About Face Theatre has entertained and challenged audiences with innovative plays designed to advance the national dialogue on gender and sexual identity. In 2010, About Face was one of 10 theaters to receive a National Theatre Company Grant from the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards, for its innovation, vitality, and artistic commitment. The staff also uses theater as an innovative tool to address inequalities in social settings through its two-part outreach program. The education outreach program brings the real-life stories of LGBTQA youth to public schools as part of About Face's overall mission to create safer, more supportive spaces for queer youth and their allies, whereas the corporate outreach program helps businesses create inclusive work environments and address workplace insensitivity and intolerance.
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