City Council Press Conference on Comprehensive Sex Education

Talking Points- Comprehensive Sex Education

October 27th 2015 at 10am

My name is Bryan Ellicott. I am a transgender/ bisexual identified man and LGBTQ advocate/activist born and raised in Staten Island & attended all NYC public schools K-12.

I am here to speak in support of comprehensive sex education in our schools and why it NEEDS too be inclusive of topics of Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression. 50% of all New York public high school students have mentioned they have had sexual intercourse according to the ACLU…this statistic doesn’t say whether the students identified as homosexual or heterosexual.

Almost 75% of NYC public schools report not learning about LGBTQ its 2015…where we have marriage equality across this country, were our Governor gave an executive order to The Department of Human Rights to include Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming people under the Human Rights Law. Celebrities and Icons come out almost every other week

Its time to discuss Sex Education in an affirming way that includes all identities that our children may identify with and continue to review and expand as does our vocabulary for expressing our selves and our potential partners.

These are things that I didn’t learn when I was in school whether it be middle school or high school, that I feel, my teachers should have given me would have benefited the feelings I had about my own gender identity and expression as well as my sexual orientation.

Many people in the LGBTQ community know how they are at a young age. I knew that I was transgender in middle school but didn’t have the words to describe how I felt (I was in fact looking for the word Transgender or Female to Male).I knew I was attracted to both men and women (Bisexual) in elementary school/middle school the word existed but the teachers didn’t know what to do with that knowledge.

Sex Education to youth when they identify with the gender they were assigned at birth and are attracted to the opposite gender is hard.That’s because you’re a kid and everything is a joke and not taken seriously, they are kids it is to be expected.

However sex education when it comes too youth who may identify or be curious if they are LGBTQ is even more difficult. (Not because they aren’t interested or curious) but because they are looking for the words to use.

We need to empower them and give them the tools to figure things out…if we don’t give them the tools we have already set them up to be in situations that can be avoided.

It’s not until you step foot into a LGBT service provider or youth drop in center that you are taught about safe sex and real discussions. I had sex way before I was properly educated on the subject

  • HIV/AIDS
  • STI’s/STD’s
  • Consent and Healthy Relationships
  • Reproductive Health

These are the things I wish I knew about, and that I had an adult that I could talk to at school that may have had the words that I was looking for. My journey may have been a little different and my transition would have started a little sooner.

I want our New York City school children to be more knowledgeable and the ability to make better choices an than I was, more able to possibly live in their own skin more comfortably

Feel included in the classroom…that the most important part to not live a student wondering where do I fit in this conversation. I want our youth to have trusted and trained adults who feel comfortable talking about.

bryan elllicot- sex ed presser

These are just some of the reasons why I am supporting the need for comprehensive sex education in our schools and why it NEEDS too be inclusive of topics including Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression.

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Comprehensive Sex Education in NYC Schools

Thank you Council Member Laurie Cumbo for inviting me to speak at this press conference tomorrow at 10am

On the need for Comprehensive Sex Education in our Department of Education schools K-12, and why it NEEDS too be inclusive of topics of Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression in an age/ grade appropriate way.‪#‎SEXEDNYC‬ ‪#‎LGBT‬
Sex ed facebook post

Governor Cuomo Introduces Regulations to Protect Transgender New Yorkers from Unlawful Discrimination

Last night Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he had directed the Department of Human Rights to create new regulations to protect transgender New Yorker’s from discrimination in public and private housing, employment, credit, education and public accommodations at the Empire State Pride Agenda dinner.

Now, ALL LGBT New Yorker’s will have the support of New York State in the face of unconscionable discrimination. While I  Thank Governor Cuomo and his administration for standing up for equality for transgender New Yorker’s

I congratulate the countless transgender activists and allies across the state who have led this fight – including our own  Melissa Sklarz, LaLa Zannell,Sean Coleman and many others as well as myself for our continous efforts for the passage of GENDA all these years.  Our work and determination in achieving anti-discrimination protections for trans New Yorkers has lead to another step forward in achieving full LGBT equality.

October 22, 2015-- New York City -- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo receives the Silver Torch Award from Lady Gaga's mother, Cynthia Germanottam at the Empire State Pride Agenda Fall Dinner at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel Thursday October 22, 2015. During his acceptance speech, Governor  Cuomo introduced regulations through the New York State Human Rights Law that unequivocally bans harassment and discrimination against transgender people. These regulations affirm that all transgender individuals are protected under the State’s Human Rights Law, and all public and private employers, housing providers, businesses, creditors and others should know that discrimination against transgender persons is unlawful and will not be tolerated anywhere in the State of New York. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)

October 22, 2015– New York City — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo receives the Silver Torch Award from Lady Gaga’s mother, Cynthia Germanottam at the Empire State Pride Agenda Fall Dinner at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel Thursday October 22, 2015. During his acceptance speech, Governor Cuomo introduced regulations through the New York State Human Rights Law that unequivocally bans harassment and discrimination against transgender people. These regulations affirm that all transgender individuals are protected under the State’s Human Rights Law, and all public and private employers, housing providers, businesses, creditors and others should know that discrimination against transgender persons is unlawful and will not be tolerated anywhere in the State of New York. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


Though there is a fear of a future administration coming in and undoing this action by Governor Cuomo, even a passing of GENDA won’t be enough. The only way we can ensure LGBT individuals have full equal rights from their home to the office and everywhere in between is to stand up, stand together and continue to elect pro-equality officials. Without pro-equality elected officials at the helm, fighting for us, our friends, families and communities, there will always be a fear of going backwards.
As we move into the 2016 election year, we will be very focused on who will be our next President. But we can’t forget our Senate, Congressional and State elections. All politics is local. And if we don’t get out the vote to elect pro-equality legislators in every race, we will continue to be held back from achieving full equality in New York State.

 

 

The B in LGBT History- Brenda Howard

Brenda was an important figure in the modern LGBT rights movement. The past couple years that I have my identity both as an individual and as an actvist, I have gotten the pleasure of getting to know and learn about Brenda’s life from her partner Larry Nelson.

Brenda Howard (December 24,1946- June 28, 2005) a well known American bisexual activist. She is known for being a Bisexual Rights Activist, Sex Positive Feminist.

Brend was born December 24th 1946 in the Bronx, and grew up in Syosset, Nassau County. She graduated from Sysisset High School and from Borough Manhattan Community College (BMCC).

In the late 1960s, Howard was active in the movement against the Vietnam War. In 1969 she lived in an urban commune of anti-war activists and draft resisters in downtown Brooklyn New York. Like many other women in the US anti-war movement at the time, Howard became critical of its domination by men, and she soon became involved in the feminist movement as well.

That was the kind of activism and work that helped plan and participated in LGBT rights actions for over three decades, Howard was an active member of the Gay Liberation Front[ and for several years chair of the Gay Activists Alliance‘s Speakers Bureau in the post-Stonewall era.

Brenda is known as the “Mother of Pride” for her work in coordinating a rally and then the Christopher Street Liberation Day March to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969. She and others originated the idea of a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June.

A fixture in New York City’s LGBT Community Howard was active in the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights which helped guide New York City’s Gay rights law through the City Council in 1986 as well as ACT UP and Queer Nation.

In 1987 Howard helped found the New York Area Bisexual Network to help co-ordinate services to the region’s growing Bisexual community. She was also an active member of the early bisexual political activist group BiPAC, a Regional Organizer for BiNet USA, a co-facilitator of the Bisexual S/M Discussion Group and a founder of the nation’s first Alcoholics Anonymous chapter for bisexuals.

On a national level, Howard’s activism included work on the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberationwhere she was female co-chair of the leather contingent and Stonewall 25 in 1994.

In addition to being openly bisexual, Howard was openly polyamorous and involved in BDSM.

Howard died of colon cancer on June 28, 2005. She is survived by her longtime partner Larry Nelson, who wrote in Howard’s obituary, “[W]e forged a bond of mutual bad girl respect…that lasted through the years, including the production of the 1993 March and the work to create Stonewall 25. I miss my colleague in crime. The worst part of growing older is that such missing grows right along with it.”

-Bi, Poly, Switch- I'm not greedy,I know what I want-Brenda Howard

Spirit Day and NYC Goes Purple

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which we can acknowledge by wearing purple. Why purple? Well, in the United States military, the Purple Heart is presented to those who have been wounded while serving. For survivors of Domestic Violence, who may also be wounded both physically and emotionally, the color is meant to be a symbol of peace, courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending violence.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month was first observed in 1981 as a national day of unity. It was established by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to ensure that victims know help is available if they need it. Today, we have made considerable progress toward achieving this goal. However, there is still more work to be done.

Domestic Violence could be done to anyone by anyone a husband, a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or life partner.

A couple months ago I met a man his name was Stevan and it wasn’t horrible from the beginning. It started out really great but as usual I didn’t tell anyone that I was seeing someone. It wasn’t anything yet for the people in my life to know him.

Pride was soon approaching and I knew they would have too meet him. Pride season is also around the same time he started to change. Stevan would say things that made me feel less than to him in regards to my body and he would mock my body in private, public and in random texts during my work day, and he would do things to me sexually that I did not consent too. Stevan would mock what I called my body, and tell me I wasn’t masculine unenough because I was assigned female at birth. He attempted to cut me off from the people who matter most in my life, my best friend, my political friends and even my work with the LGBT Community Center of Staten Island. That’s the short version of this…and as I continue to heal and go thru the emotions of this maybe I will write more about it.

However today, I watched as some of the people who inspire and drive me most wear purple and be Upstanders to Domestic Violence. I find the need to still educate them on something, in 2015 Domestic Violence/ Intimate Partner Violence can happen to anyone of any sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Domestic Violence/ Intimate Partner Violence comes in all forms physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions.

anLily