As I scrolled through the TV listing recently looking for something to watch, I noticed an episode of Extreme Home Makeover (the ABC show that builds homes for families who do good in spite of — or because of — their own misfortunes) featuring the family of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.
The story of Carl’s suicide resonated with me when I first heard it in April 2009. Carl lived in Springfield, Massachusetts, about a half-hour from where I grew up. Carl was only 11 years old. He was harassed mercilessly. His mother found him.
His mom, Sirdeaner Walker, is now a tireless advocate for kids and against bullying.
This page, this list, is in honor of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, and for his mother, thrust into the role of advocate because of an event that no parent should ever have to face. It’s also to honor the memory of every other child who was bullied to death and whose parents, like Mrs. Walker, face a future without their child.
Olweus.org: A great site with general information about what bullying is and where you can find help and programs in your area.
Define The Line: A great Canadian site that addresses cyber-bullying and social responsibility. I love the social responsibility aspect of this one; it’s applicable EVERYWHERE. [Thanks to my friend, V, for directing me to Vanier College’s (Canada) Facebook page, and to Vanier for having such a great page and a great body of resources.]
The ACLU also has a great section about the rights of gay teens in schools. Worth bookmarking.
The Tyler Clementi Foundation was started by the Clementi family in honor of Tyler, who took his own life in 2010. They will provide grants for organizations supporting LGBT teens and suicide prevention.
Another inspirational and informational site was established by the parents of Ryan Halligan and provides a plethora of information for families in Vermont and nationwide.
An Illinois-based organization that’s chock full of resource for transgender youth is TYRA — national links, too.
Advocates for Youth has a plethora of good information the LGBT community, as well as for allies, including parents, health providers, and policy makers, etc.
For parents, families and friends looking for support or to be a resource for others, as well as a place for information and resource links for parents, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is tried and true. Contacts for local PFLAG chapters can also be found on the national site.
Locally, The Attic, in Philadelphia is a trusted resource in the LGBT community.
I’ll add more as I come across good ones. In the meantime, and even if I’ve posted this before, I leave you with Rick Mercer’s rant. We. Should. All. Be. This. Angry.