Blog Post #3: Enabling Change Makers

When I started What’s The story this year, I started with a passion that I felt I would make my project and I still believe that. Because all though racism is so prominent in our society, I know that deep in my heart, I wouldn’t be as passionate in a project about racism than I would in a project about gender and sexuality equality and awareness in schools. And so, on that note, I discussed my idea with the two people whose opinions I often turn to, my parents. Their these chill, open-minded people who have never been one to force their own views or opinion on me, and so I trust them with advice. I told my parents the whole schpeel, my idea, where I see it going, and so forth. I talked about how I wanted to talk to LGBTQ+ students and see what they needed from the school system and how the administration was handling this. I especially wanted to look at a range of students, a wide range of age and location. Students in bigger schools are going to have a different experience than students in smaller schools, the same going for students of varying ages. I want to see the whole picture, not just one small portion of this social issue. My parents, both teachers and well, experienced with LGBTQ+ youth, understood what my vision was. Maybe this is because they know what the school system is like and how they handle certain situations, but they both told me that this was an important issue worth looking into. Through discussing my ideas I felt even more passionate about this topic, it seemed more and more like something I wanted to pursue. It made me think about where I could go with this project and how I see it unfolding. My parents asked me if this was about awareness or action. My response was both. For one, I want to spread awareness through social media platforms, but I also want to take action. I want to give teachers the resources they need because they can’t help students if they don’t have the right resources. Also, by talking to administrations I hope to start to help them to see what they are currently doing well in working with LGBTQ+ students and what they can improve on, whether that be better educating their teachers or changing policies. My vision is to join teachers and help them make a better school environment based on what students feel needs to change. My parents also agreed with me that teachers can’t make a change if they understand the issues at hand, it would be like telling someone to write an essay about a topic they don’t understand. But we don’t have to be the only change makers, we can also help people to be change makers in their life, one small step at a time.

Grace Darrow

5 Responses to “Blog Post #3: Enabling Change Makers

  • Dianne Baroz
    4 years ago

    I definitely agree that you will get the most out of WtS this year if you are passionate about your topic. I think you’re off to a great start! I’d like to hear more about your vision for this project. Were you thinking of continuing and expanding some of the work from the Breaking Binary group or did you have something else in mind? I’m sure that developing more resources and tools that can be shared with teachers would be such a worthwhile project. Having a big picture of your idea as you begin your research is great and then see what emerges into more attainable goals. Tackling an issue in one school might be more beneficial and have a greater impact than interviewing students of varying ages at all different size schools. Just something to keep in mind in your planning. Looking forward to hearing how your research continues.
    Best,
    Dianne

  • Grace,

    Yes!!!! I know I keep expressing how much I enjoy your writing, but it makes me think and appreciate your passion more and more every week. You have so many awesome ideas and are willing to work with teachers, who are in a higher position than students, which is amazing in it’s own sense. Your work is going to be so beneficial and I am really excited to be experiencing it with you (through your blog posts :))

    Also! It’s so heartwarming to read about your parents’ support and encouragement. You have such a great support system and you really are going to be a change maker someday. Someday very soon. Your writing always inspires me and I know that you really are going to make a difference in someone’s life, if not many people’s lives.

    -Katelyn

  • Abby Wald
    4 years ago

    Grace,

    Interviewing youth from a variety of schools makes great sense. How will you go about locating the youth in these schools? Many schools do have groups that meet regularly, but in smaller schools these students may be so marginalized that they don’t have a group.

    Interviewing admin and teachers on their perspectives may be helpful, at least in helping them take pause and think through the issue.

    Are there any state organizations or public figures you’d find value in talking to?

  • Hi Grace,

    I’m glad to hear how thoughtfully you’re approaching choosing a topic. I agree with Dianne that going with something you feel passionate about will make the process so much more meaningful. I love your idea about developing resources for schools to support LGBTQ+ youth. Your Breaking Binaries group did such a good job with that, and it would be so cool to see a similar documentary and set of resources be developed around this issue. Are you thinking that teachers and administrators would be your primary audience? It would be interesting to investigate what (if any) training teachers are given about how to support LGBTQ+ youth or to make their curriculum inclusive. Does it fall to LGBTQ+ educators to make change in their schools? If so, what could be done to educate and empower straight allies to take a more active role in addressing these issues in their schools?

    Keep up the great work!

    – Fallon

  • Grace,

    The comments ahead of mine offer you some good jumping off points. I’ll echo a couple here by simply saying that I so appreciate your opening lines in this blog. You thought about another topic, you did some exploration on it, and you came back to your original passion. Great.

    The fact you have experience with this topic — from a variety of perspectives — also gives you an advantage. The difficulty for you is honing it down to something new — perhaps the next step in what you did before or a different angle/perspective or a different approach, strategy or action.

    Again, telling stories of people who are experiencing the difficulties of being LGBTQ+ in society, particularly in school, remains a powerful approach and could be the most important “resources” you give to teachers and administrators.

    I also might suggest reaching out to LGBTQ+ students who went through high school; what is their perspective now? What one thing would they have liked to have seen different when they went through high school? I can help connect you with some students who’d be interesting to interview if you wish.

    Be well. I look forward to working with you.

    geoff

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