Many youth will never feel safe enough to attend a drop-in program or actively be "out" by participating in a Gay, Straight, Trans, Alliance (GSTA) in their schools. Those adults who work with LGBTQ youth and their families - educators, health care, behavioral health, mental health, social service, clergy, youth service providers - are the ones who will see these youth in their daily lives. It is critical that these educators and providers understand the challenges faced by these youth and have the tools and referral sources to support and empower them and their families. These educators and providers, who interact with LGBTQ youth on a regular basis, are a critical resource for these youth. They also leverage OUT's limited resources and create a sustainable support system to make communities more welcoming.
In the last three years, OUT has trained over 3500 educators and providers throughout Maine on supporting LGBTQ youth and their families. With your support, we can double and even triple this number as we expand to other rural regions in Maine.
OUT Maine's professional trainings designed for medical, behavioral health, social service, and other youth providers. These are provided either as a three hour regional training or can be designed to meet individual organizations' needs both in content and length from one to three hours.
For regional trainings participants will understand: terminology, pronouns, risk, and protective factors, adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and the impact on LGBTQ youth development, and begin to fashion an action plan to make changes toward more welcoming and affirming offices after the training.
For individual organizational trainings topics will depend on the individual needs of the organization and determined after a discussion with OUT Maine staff.
OUT Maine is also creating a level-two training for clinicians working with these youth over time. Topics will include: the impact of personal biases and understanding in working with this at-risk population; the challenges these youth are facing across a continuum of issues and environments; as well as strategies to navigate the sometimes opposing paths of youth and families with different takes on LGBTQ issues. This level-two training will be available in early 2018.
OUT Maine's series of school trainings designed for educators, school staff, and students. These are provided either as a three hour regional training or can be designed to meet individual school's needs both in content and length from one to three hours. These trainings can be used for in-service days, professional service days, or to provide group discussion. Trainings are also available for students at any grade level.
For regional trainings participants will understand: terminology, pronouns, risk, and protective factors, adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and the impact on LGBTQ youth development, and begin to fashion an action plan to make changes toward more welcoming and inclusive schools after the training.
For individual school or district trainings topics may depend on the needs of the school or district determined after a discussion with OUT Maine staff.
Training topics could include:
Supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Students in Schools
Confused about terms like "trans", as it applies to your students? Wondering what you can do in your clasroom to make it more inclusive? Come to this workshop to get critical information you need to be a good ally to students.
Most important, you will come away with concrete tools you can use to help these at-risk youth and resources available on an ongoing basis to help you do the best job you can as an educator and leader to our youth.
Aces and the Impact on LGBTQ youth
Maine's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth are at very high risk. With high Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) scores, these Maine youth:
- Are being bullied regularly (8 out of 10)
- Have 3 to 4 times the suicidal thoughts and actions of their heterosexual peers
- Make up 25 to 40 percent of Maine's homeless teens
- Have a high risk of skipping school and dropping out
- Have much higher substance usage than their heterosexual peers
Having a high number of ACES (physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect are only a few these youth encounter too much of the time) means that these youth have poor potential for productive, healthy futures.
Learn what can be done to mitigate the impact of ACES on these youth
Gender Identity vs. Sexual Orientation 101
What is the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation? Learn about how the language about sexual orientation and gender identity shifts and changes. Learning how different people use language to create meaning is important, as is using inclusive language.
Do you have transgender students in your classroom or school? Learn about the importance of inclusive language, terminology, pronoun usage, and transgender rights in our schools. The goal of this workshop is to provide faculty, staff and students with information to become allies to the trans population in our schools.
Do you hear terms like FTM or MTF and wonder what they mean? Learn more about being an ally to transgender students by understanding what it means to be transgender, pronoun usage, gender identity, gender expression and other answers.
Making Your Classroom Gender-Inclusive
As educators, there is so much we can do to ensure all students are achieving academically and feeling emotionally and physically safe in our schools. Creating a gender-inclusive environment can help affirm students and allow them to express and expand their interests and build confidence.