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SAGDA Meeting Minutes 07/05/08

Welcome to the new minutes of SAGDA, Pittsburgh’s Teen Sexual & Gender Diversity Alliance. SAGDA’s job is to give a laid-back conversational space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, genderqueer, queer, asexual, questioning, straight-allied, and all the other permutations within the spectrum!

We started with introductions from Angelito, our resident representative from the Persad Center‘s Closing the Gap program. Closing the Gap is a paid opportunity for sexually and gender-diverse teens to do peer counseling and mental health outreach. If you are interested in the program, or if you would like to schedule some time to talk to somebody about what’s on your mind, contact them at 412-441-9786.

We then introduced ourselves and talked about our favorite candy. Candies that received multiple votes included Reece’s Pieces and Chocolate Skittles (ew!). Some of us don’t eat candy, due to health issues.

We then talked about what sort of programs we’re interested in. One person mentioned an LGBTQ teen movie night, which may be possible. How do you feel about it? Which nights do you think would work best? What would you like to see at an LGBTQ teen movie night?

SAGDA teens also got excited over the idea of having a PARTY, in celebration of LGBTQ-related books and reading. This party will likely take place in the Fall in either late September or early October (any suggestions?). SAGDA members expressed the following desires for the party:

  • food (pizza, chocolate anything, drinks)
  • music (have teens bring iPods for cool, diverse music, as well as karaoke)
  • dancing
  • BOOKS! (how can we make this a special celebration for books?)

We then discussed the Advocate article They’re Here, They’re Queer, and They Don’t Need Us… Or Do They?, about the “new generation” of LGBTQ teenagers and their relationship to adults.

SAGDA members had some suggestions for adults looking to make a meaningful difference in the lives of LGBTQ teens:

  • It’s important that adults do not take sexual advantage of teens who are looking to them for support. You should not be their gateway to sexual experiences.
  • Be more subjective in understanding the needs of LGBTQ teens. Don’t assume your experience is the same.
  • Realize that there is a large perspective shift in teens’ lives that offer LGBTQ teens friendship, acceptance, love, and identification in a lot of areas of society. Not everybody is a victim!

Thanks, and don’t forget to attend the next SAGDA meeting on June 19th, on the second floor of Kiva Han (420 S. Craig St.) @ 2:00 PM!

~Joseph
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main

SAGDA Meeting Minutes 06/07/08

Welcome to the meeting minutes from SAGDA, Pittsburgh’s Teen Sexual and Gender Diversity Alliance. For those still not in the know, SAGDA is a meeting group where lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, genderqueer, intersex, questionining, non-identified, and straight/cisgendered teens can come together for information-swapping, discussion, Apples to Apples, and more (whew)! We meet every 1st and 3rd Saturday at the 2nd floor of Kiva Han (420 S. Craig St., in Oakland).

SAGDA posters are finished and feature artwork by Keith Haring (thanks to the Keith Haring Foundation)! Over the next several months, posters will be sent to all the libraries in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Public Schools, are various community organizations and stores around the area.

We’re also going to have a presence at Pittsburgh PrideFest, which will be Sunday, June 22nd from 1:00-6:00 PM @ Liberty Ave., Downtown (directions are at the link above). We plan on having buttons & bracelets. But we’ll definitely have BOOKS!

Come join us!

~Joseph
Carnegie Libray of Pittsburgh, Main

SAGDA Meeting Minutes – 05/03/08

The Carnegie Pittsburgh’s Teen Sexual and Gender Diversity Alliance (find us on Facebook! search “SAGDA”) was back in session on Saturday, with some new members. We talked about stuff. Want to know what? Read on…

First thing on the agenda was checking in with teens who celebrated the Day of Silence, to see how it went. CAPA had one of the sparsest years yet, because people thought 1) it cost money to participate and 2) it was only for “gay kids.” Of course, the answer to both of those questions is “No!” The Day of Silence is free for students in the school to participate, and it’s for anyone who is interested in protesting the many ways in which students are silenced from being themselves, due to bullying and harassment.

Allderdice, on the other hand, had more people than expected, despite having no posters. Like CAPA students were a little confused about who was allowed to participate (yes, it’s for EVERYBODY!). They also thought that they had to put duct tape over their mouths (ouch!), though all you really need to do is hand out cards with a statement explaining why you aren’t speaking. Another interesting aspect limiting interest in the Day of Silence is the belief that the Day of Silence puts teens “back into the closet.” The organizers hope that by bringing attention to harassment and the silence that people already experience in the closet of their choice, that more and more people are going to have space to start fully communicating themselves to their friends, family, and schoolmates.

North Allegheny surprised people with a small but enthusiastic Day of Silence, which spread through word of mouth. People wore all black in mourning.

So how can SAGDA help promote the Day of Silence? Perhaps by making some buttons. Let’s think about it.

Off the topic of the Day of Silence, SAGDA has a budget! We need to come up with events or other projects to spend our money on. Please submit your suggestions to the comments.

We also discussed the story of the pregnant man, as well as how transgender rights organizations have been distancing themselves from the story. The group more or less agree that these organizations should be supporting this man in the decisions he’s making about his body. Fear of a public backlash seems to be against the principles that transgender rights organizations should uphold.

If you have an interesting article you want to share, bring it to our next meeting, which is Saturday, May 17th @ 2:00 PM, on the second floor of Kiva Han.

Notable upcoming dates:

Youth Invasion is Saturday, May 10th @ the Andy Warhol Museum
Pittsburgh PrideFest is Sunday, June 22nd @ Liberty Ave., Downtown

We may be having tables at both of these events, so if you have any ideas of what we should do, post a comment!

Joseph
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main – Teen

CLP Teens <3s David Levithan 4ever

It’s official: David Levithan has been to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and has left a trail of broken hearts and empty ice cream containers in the wake.

Last Thursday was the third and penultimate event into our Behind the Books: Authors Talk to Teens series, and it was quite the experience. After reading from the new short story collection How They Met, and Other Stories and answering questions from the audience, David Levithan joined us for one awesome afterparty, sponsored by our Teen Sexual and Gender Diversity Alliance (check us out on Facebook).

Needless to say, it was a great time. I could go on for hours about what it’s like to meet one of your absolutely all-time favorite authors and be left melted on the floor like an ice cream cone in August, but instead I’ll leave it to the teens.

Tim said:

I really enjoyed how down to earth he was, and that we had the opportunity to talk one-on-one during the after party. He was very personable, and will most likely make me anticipate far too much for the times that I meet someone in my top 3 favorite authors in the future.

Sam said:

Ah! David Levithan is awesome fantastic times a million and two! The party was a lot of fun. You know how awesome it was? John from Canada came all the way down from Ontario to come to it. Yeah, beat that!

We’ve got lots of pictures (via Tim) on the Flickr page, and you can even relive the moments on Youtube (again thanks to Tim).

posted by Joseph, CLP – Main

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