Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Out There

Stephen Fry's Out There



I am extremely lucky when it comes to my outreach program because Proud2Be is already a successful nonprofit that utilizes Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook to promote the cause. What I want to focus on are my connections at Columbia College Chicago. Proud2Be could always use help in their global outreach, but I thought, since I am one person, that I should make my sphere smaller. The more close to home an issue becomes, the more interest people seem to have in it. 

My first plan of action is registering with Columbia's LGBTQIA group with Proud2Be so they can be involved with all the conventions, speeches, marches, and projects Proud2Be produces. 

Step two would definitely to make our very own Proud2Be video featuring each of the members individually, to tell us what he or she is proud to be.  The video portion of Proud2Be is very important to us because we pride ourselves on our human interaction, trying to never get too big. 

My role in this outreach program would primarily involve social media. I am relatively proficient when it comes to media marketing because of my time working in Corporate Communications. I have learned how to best utilize tools like Twitter. I currently have 10.8 thousand followers and Twitter considers me to be an influencer (enhancing my outreach by about 30% every 8 months), so that alone could spread the message. Using hashtags like #Proud2Be will increase visibility and hopefully create a sense of cyber community. Facebook has become all but obsolete for anything but event invitations, so that is what we will use it for. We can create a fan page so that our community can remain up to date on new events, legislation, gatherings, or thoughtful conversation. 

Artists of Proud2Be

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Moment of Change

My moment of change happened gradually. In middle school I really looked up to my sister. She was very protective and I loved that. I loved being Emily Evans’s younger sister until high school, when being Emily Evans’s younger sister came with infamy. Emily was one of the first, if not the first, people in my small private school in Texas to come out. She initially just came out as bi-sexual, but as the years went on she was clearly only dating women.  Everyone was accepting, but the overwhelming ignorance of “queer culture” in the schooling system in general really affected my sister. She didn’t feel like the normal 16 year old she was. She felt different, abnormal, and it was a constant struggle to keep up with that label. We learn from an early age that a mom a dad and 2.1 kids is the norm and if you deviate from that you are, in some ways, a deviant. She felt as if she had to live up to this deviant label just because no one told her that it is okay to be exactly who she is. She can still lead a normal life; have a good career, and a healthy family life even though she has deviated from what is seen as normal. I realized that the backbone of a more understanding and progressive society starts at the schools. It is not “indecent” and does not “put ideas in kids’ heads” to teach about alternative lifestyles in school. In fact that education could save a kid’s life.  It is important that from a young age we start accepting ourselves and that is why I joined the Proud2Be campaign with Stephen Fry.  He has suffered with severe depression and anxiety because of the repression he experienced as a child.  The ridicule of being an intelligent, gay man living in a world that is only beginning to accept him almost proved too much for Stephen Fry. During the taping of Out There, a documentary about his life as a gay man in the public eye, Mr. Fry tried to take his own life.  Fortunately for us, he survived and has learned from the experience.  When Stephen Fry was a kid there was no outreach for him to discover his identity and therefore still struggles with it today.