LGBTQ Issues 2015

LGBTQ-Issues-2015What are the biggest LGBTQ Issues of 2015?

My top three:

LGBTQ Youth Homelessness

  • Depending on which resources you reference it is estimated that gender and sexual minority youth make up 40 percent of homeless youth in the United States.
  • At the intersection of race and gender and sexuality diverse young people the fact that the Congressional Research Center shows double the proportion of black homeless youth makes this and the following issues even more troubling.

Law & “Order”

  • LGBTQ youth on the street often face harsher penalties for petty crimes.
  • In some states running away from home (which an intolerant home environment may have precipitated) is considered a criminal offense if the individual is a minor.
  • Survival sex, detailed a bit in this article, becomes a last resource but police may use condom possession in general as evidence of prostitution for transgender women.
  • An inequitable percentage of queer and transgender youth, especially youth of color, are detained or imprisoned.

Safety and Violence

  • In addition to facing heightened police attention for prostitution and other crimes transgender women face the danger of physical violence. With at least twelve trans women of color’s deaths under investigation as hate crimes it is especially frightening.
  • The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs report (2013) indicates that LGBT people of color experience physical violence almost twice as often compared to white LGBT people.
  • Issues of domestic violence in same-sex partnerships do not have adequate resources allocated.
  • According to GLSEN’s 2013 School Climate Survey, while things are improving, there are still large gaps in LGBTQ student safety and support at school.

Other Issues:

There are tons of other issues that remain important. The prior three are just the ones that stand out to me within the United States. Conversion therapy, marriage equality, representation in media, employment discrimination, and the struggles faced by LGBTQ senior citizens are among the big areas of concern. I suppose as an educator and youth advocate I am more aware of safety, homelessness, and police interactions than the others. Outside the United States there are much more intense struggles. The international LGBTQ advocacy scene really interests and frightens me. Even suspicions result in treatment that is beyond anything I could have imagined even in totalitarian societies. Those folks remind us that, as a global society, we have a long way to go.

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Awesome Art/Social Commentary Game Designer

Today I have spent roughly three hours playing with the games and multi-media social commentary gadgets created by Nick Case.Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 10.57.53 PM

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I think you absolutely must check out the coming out story and the parable of polygons. I spent the most time with the parable simply because I enjoyed the way it made me think. There was also the temptation to pull data from different cities and try out the simulation. Case’s work is strongly influencing my own game design ideas. The slew of little projects share is also a bit of a wake-up call. My production certainly lacks.Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 10.58.57 PM

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Bavelier Inducing a Broader Concept in my Game Design Schema!

Today I either watched for the first time, or rewatched with a greater awareness of the content, Daphne Bavelier’s TED Talk on action video games and the brain embed below. The researchers at Bavelier Lab have recently described playing first-person action games as a way to affect perception, attention and cognition.I especially appreciated the information on increasing the perceiver’s ability to search through a cluttered scene. Most middle school passing periods meet that criteria. In addition the researchers were able to determine that action games were able to lead to greater benefits in theses areas than other entertainment games.

Another Photoshop Stick Figure Doodle by RurikUntil this round with the video I was focussing on increasing educator empathetic response to bullying based in part on Greitemeyer, Brauer, and Osswald2 as well as experiments like IfYouCan, and other media experiments such as described in this NPR story. The problem with this was developing a literature review that could frame how empathy impacts players. My solution was to research as many studies of games that seek to achieve an impact on player empathy. What has resulted is a frustration with the complexity of empathy and lack of direction. Bavelier’s research helps connecting games more directly to skills and our brains rather than the more difficult to define, though no less exciting, world of psychology.

Getting down to the details, according to what I have read so far action game players can track more objects. They grow to recognize finer distinctions in what they see. What if one of the keys to increasing educator intervention in the marginalizing of LGBTQ youth is to increase, through an action game, educators’ recognition of and ability to track behaviors that contribute to a hostile school climate for marginalized students?  Often I hear educators describe their retreat from the chaos of a rowdy classroom or noisy hall and being unable to track the multitude of students. If an action game can increase educator ability to track more students would they not feel more comfortable in those situations and more capably intervene. Well – you can see where my thoughts went on this.

Now I just need to continue to keep my eyes open for additional approaches rather than the empathy bog I was falling into.

Daphne Bavelier’s TED Talk:

 

1) Green, C Shawn, and Daphne Bavelier. "Effect of action video games on the spatial distribution of visuospatial attention." Journal of experimental psychology: Human perception and performance 32.6 (2006): 1465.

2) Greitemeyer, Tobias, Silvia Osswald, and Markus Brauer. "Playing prosocial video games increases empathy and decreases schadenfreude." Emotion 10.6 (2010): 796.