Calling In or Calling Out? Jumping the Fine Line

This week has brought me a little bit of clarity in terms of the project. I made connections with Hinesburg Community School, a local middle school that has changed it’s community in the last two years by adopting a GLOW (Gay, Lesbian, Or Whatever) club.  As a middle school, this visibility of queer identities as legitimate from a young age is so incredibly important. Organizations like HCS GLOW help pull apart sexuality from queer identities, helping nervous communities welcome the identities of their queer youth. I’m extremely excited to talk more with some of the kids in GLOW as well as teachers, administration and any parents that are interested. I also got in contact with the big character of our main story, let’s call her K in order to preserve the anonymity she has requested. K’s story is incredibly poignant, outlining the struggles for her family and her young transgender daughter. K’s story reveals something that a lot of Vermonters, including myself are guilty of. Dismissing any friction involving marginalized communities because we are “such a liberal state!”. However much I, as much as the next person, would like to believe that my community is void of sexism, racism, classism, what have you, Vermont has a wealth of social justice issues that too often become hushed by our utopia complex.

That being said, I do not wish to expose and call out every school community in Vermont in order to prove a point! No No No! Rather, I think the balance between the communities outlined in K’s story and the example of the HCS community will show where there are problems in the Vermont community, while in the same breath, show that many communities are making conscious and successful efforts to eradicate these issues. Hopefully this combination of ideas will create a call to action, an invitation to a solution rather than calling out and demonization of a community. The harsh communities that K will be “exposing” with their story will most likely remain anonymous anyways, so there will be no villian-izing of anyone! I think this creates the perfect grounds for a moving piece of work that will create change both locally and nation wide!

Eva Rocheleau

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