search articles: 

   from the issue of September 20, 2007

OutSpeaking group to train, educate on LGBTQ concerns


UNL's Out on Campus Speakers Bureau has joined with Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and Citizens For Equal Protection to develop OutSpeaking, a collaborative effort to share information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally individuals and their communities.

The organizations are united by the common goal of increasing visibility and providing information to foster safe, respectful and inclusive communities, as well as helping families and their gay members understand one another.

OutSpeaking will provide information through personal stories and panel discussions about systems and factors that impact gay people, their families, their children, and their friends. Additionally, educational sessions will foster communication about issues including bullying and institutionalized discrimination.

OutSpeaking will provide training - as well as information on legislative and civil rights issues - for individuals interested in being panelists and/or moderators. Panel members will lead conversations about the impact of misconceptions about sexual orientation, gender identity and legislation, as well as oppression as it relates to people of color, people with disabilities, and others who are included in one or more of these groups. Training sessions will provide panelists with guidelines in clear communication, courtesy, and staying on topic. Moderators will receive training for their role in keeping discussions informative and focused.

The next panel training is 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sept. 22 at First United Methodist Church, 2723 N. 50th St.

Last spring, around the time the OutSpeaking partnership was forming, a bill expanding Nebraska's employment protection laws to include sexual orientation failed in the Nebraska legislature. Community members were particularly disappointed in senators' failure to discuss adding protections for Nebraska's transgender citizens. OutSpeaking organizers believed that comments made by some elected representatives and others demonstrated a need for proactive education and communication about what it is like to be a gay person living in Nebraska.

"The discussion about OutSpeaking and the need for the collaboration started before the bill failed," said Tyler Richard, a CFEP board member. "The failure of the bill and the voices of those upset by it, provided momentum for the collaboration."



Temple Project
Army officer to discuss his Afghanistan experience
Historic Nebraska newspapers to go digital
Multicultural Center progress report to be issued Sept. 26
NU general counsel to retire Dec. 31
Bringing life to environmental science
Event to mark University Libraries' three-millionth volume
OutSpeaking group to train, educate on LGBTQ concerns
Tool helps assess biofuel plant performance