Education, Gender, Philosophy, Sexuality, Society — April 10, 2014 at 9:07 am

A Youth Movement Against Homophobia: Get REAL

by

Dear readers of TabooJive,

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It is my pleasure to re-introduce Get REAL! (TabooJive featured a previous project of ours on their page a few years back) We are a Canadian non-profit and our mission is to empower university and college students across the country to speak to high school and middle school students about unlearning homophobia and embracing everyone, regardless of difference. We began as a campus organization at Western University in 2011, and have since grown to teams at Guelph, Queens, Mount Allison, and Acadia, and we will be at 10 universities/colleges BC all the way out to Halifax in the fall. We have spoken to thousands of students across Ontario and the East Coast.

This is our primary focus because we believe that casual, honest personal stories, told by a team of young students both LGBT and straight, is the most effective method when it comes to unlearning homophobic language and attitudes.

The videos we produce are a means to that end – we use them to reach new supporters, to garner new school invites, and most importantly  we use them as learning tools when we run our presentations. Our videos have been used in teachers colleges as far away as Australia, and featured on CTV, Global and Much Music.

Our favorite challenge is to pick people that the general public might write-off and dismiss as homophobic or close-minded, and empower them; bring them into the conversation in a positive way. Not with a scripted video, but with their own words, and their own stories (much like one of our presentations). Because we believe that’s how a movement grows: breaking down stereotypes and dispelling prejudice bit by bit until a small group of activists translates into a mass movement of the norm. And this in turn requires brave individuals to take the first steps, which is exactly what these fraternity and sorority brothers and sisters did with our project.

We’re relatively new still and, although we are growing fast (in large part thanks to our exciting new partner S-Trip!), this kind of support from TabooJive means an enormous amount. To the frats and sororities – you know who you are – thank you for sharing your stories and for putting your trust in us to produce this project with the same care and respect that you yourselves hold for your own Greek organizations. Oh, and thank you for being first. That takes guts and vision, which you guys have in spades.

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Chris Studer, Executive Director & Founder

We hope that fraternities, sororities, high schools and middle schools across the country and North America join the movement – as many have already – and help us show youth everywhere that the message ‘Love is Love’ can be driven and embodied by truly anybody.

Chris Studer

Join us on Facebook –> Get REAL

Instagram & Twitter: @getrealmovement

Web: www.thegetrealmovement.com

And feel free to reach out! chris.studer@thegetrealmovement.com

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