The dawn of a new school year brings with it a whirlwind of emotions: anticipation, hope, but also trepidation, especially for our queer students. In an era where education laws are increasingly becoming restrictive, embracing one’s identity and navigating the academic space can be fraught with challenges.

However, the tapestry of history and human resilience paints a clear picture: every individual, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, is profoundly loved, wholly accepted, and immeasurably valuable. Here are eight affirmations to keep close to your heart, guiding you like a lighthouse through murky waters:

  1. I am loved and accepted for who I am. The divine spark within you knows no prejudice. And there’s a community out there — both spiritual and earthly — waiting to embrace you for your authentic self.
  2. I am strong and resilient. Your journey has tested you, refined you, and fortified you. Let those challenges be a testament to your strength.
  3. I am worthy of respect. Your intrinsic value isn’t determined by societal standards. Demand respect, not only for yourself but also for those around you. A harmonious community is built on mutual respect.
  4. I am safe. Know that even when institutions fail you, there are guardians, both seen and unseen, who labor to ensure your well-being. Organizations like Safe Schools are a beacon of hope.
  5. I am not alone. For every struggle you face, there are countless others sharing your journey. In unity, find strength.
  6. I am allowed to be myself. Your uniqueness isn’t just tolerated; it’s celebrated. The tapestry of humanity is richer for your colors.
  7. I am making a difference. By embracing your identity, you challenge norms and expand your horizons. Your existence, your truth, reshapes the world.
  8. I am the future. Your queerness is not a trend but a testament. The future is as diverse, vibrant, and beautiful as you are.

Now, while affirmations light the path, it’s equally vital to have practical tools to navigate the intricate maze of present-day educational dynamics, especially in regions like Florida.

Here are tangible steps to ensure safety and champion rights:

  • Engage in dialogue with trusted allies, whether parents, teachers, or mentors.
  • Connect with legal resources primed to defend your rights.
  • Channel your energy into activism. Every voice matters.
  • Contribute to and champion organizations that advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
  • Knowledge is your shield. Stay abreast of evolving laws and counter-strategies.

It cannot be stressed enough: You are not adrift in this vast ocean alone. Your essence, your spirit, and your identity are sources of immense power and love. In the face of adversity, let pride be your compass, guiding you towards a horizon where every individual is celebrated for who they truly are.

By: Harold Marrero
Chief Operating Officer

We encourage you to share this information with friends, fellow teachers, and allies and join us in bringing awareness to our efforts. Your support is essential for our ongoing work to create safe spaces for all students, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or expression. Please consider donating to Safe Schools so that we can continue advocating for inclusivity and diversity within the education system.