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Thread: Local Stories of Hope

  1. #1
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Local Stories of Hope

    Things have been so bleak these days. Throw me a bone here, AW.

    A couple of weeks ago, at The Kid's annual physical, we got into a discussion with her pediatrician about school. A lot of The Kid's teachers have been bringing up QUILTBAG issues in class, having circle discussions with the students about it, offering to talk with kids outside of class if needed - basically proactively letting the kids know that no matter what was going on with them, they weren't alone. A number of the teachers have said explicitly if the kids want them to use different pronouns than they've been using, they can let the teacher know, publicly or privately.

    Interestingly, there have been kids who have come out in these discussions. While the class seems to have its typical percentage of 8th grade jerks, The Kid reports general acceptance of the kids' declarations.

    All in all - while the school has its flaws, I'm so glad they're doing this and being open about it. Things are frightening for a lot of children now, and as much as they're able the school is giving them a safe place to be themselves.

    The best part was that The Kid's pediatrician says she has patients from all over the state, and she's hearing similar stories from so many of them. It seems, at least in places, that locally some people really are standing up and walking the walk.

    Anybody else know of good things going on in their communities?
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  2. #2
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    On the environmental front, politicians in Sacramento (California's capital) are showing leadership in fighting climate change, and a bill has been introduced to end the ivory trade in California. Given the number of people living here, these acts are more than just symbolism.

    https://www.sierraclub.org/californi...-inspires-hope
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  3. #3
    Unclear. Unfunny. Delete. Helix's Avatar
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    Not in my community -- and I'm not sure this is the place for the story -- but New Zealand has a nationwide Secret Santa program co-ordinated by NZ Post. If you're on Twitter, browsing the tweets on #nzsecretsanta is an absolute joy. PM Jacinda Arden's present was delayed, so someone stepped in.

    https://twitter.com/jacindaardern/st...79907839172608


  4. #4
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Would a Jew, a Sikh and a black Baha'i dancing a hora in a Christian Church at the end of an interfaith service count?

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  5. #5
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    I certainly think so! I say anytime representatives of four faiths can gather together to have a service and dance is a story of hope! And certainly better than sitting as far apart as they could get, giving each other the beady-eye.

  6. #6
    Dead. Snitchcat's Avatar
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    Don't know if this'd count: But here (HK), it is no longer the tradition to have "shark fin" soup as part of the wedding banquet -- the majority of newly weds are going against their parents and tradition on this. While I've not heard of any huge arguments caused by this change, I can only say it's a good thing. Also, fewer and fewer people have been ordering the soup at restaurants now. Some serve "fake" shark fin soup (it's a type of transparent noodle instead). So, "no shark fin" has been trending for a while now.
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  7. #7
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Yay! Sharks are not being killed for their fins! Or, as I have seen in videos, definned and tossed back into the water to die.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW neandermagnon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizmonster View Post
    Things have been so bleak these days. Throw me a bone here, AW.

    A couple of weeks ago, at The Kid's annual physical, we got into a discussion with her pediatrician about school. A lot of The Kid's teachers have been bringing up QUILTBAG issues in class, having circle discussions with the students about it, offering to talk with kids outside of class if needed - basically proactively letting the kids know that no matter what was going on with them, they weren't alone. A number of the teachers have said explicitly if the kids want them to use different pronouns than they've been using, they can let the teacher know, publicly or privately.
    My daughter came home from school one day and told me about a kid who's not a boy or a girl (a friend of a friend who doesn't go to their school) in a normal tone of voice, no disapproval or any negative emotions. Kids are accepting of people as they are, given the chance to understand and an absence of negative ideas from the adults around them.

    CBBC (children's BBC) has an excellent documentary about a trans boy, Leo and the difficulties he faced and is still facing. He's in year 7 (same age as 6th grade in America) in the documentary... probably a bit older now. It also explains why people's gender can be different from their body's gender (simple, child-friendly explanation), and about hormone blockers that stop kids going through puberty as the wrong gender. My kids have seen it twice now. I don't know if it's available on you tube as the BBC are pretty strict about not letting copyrighted stuff be on you tube. It might be available internationally via BBC iplayer, not sure how that works as in the UK you have to buy a TV license to access it.

    There's also David Walliams's book "The Boy in the Dress" about a boy who likes fashion and wearing dresses and goes to school for a day as a girl. It's a beautiful story and a bestseller here and has been made into a TV film by the BBC. I think books like these really help people learn to accept people for who they are and not expect people to fit into binary gender roles.

    Kids accepting straight-forward, baggage-free explanations, and for adults who cry "but how can we explain it to our children?" - here's a conversation I had with my girls shortly after gay marriage was made legal in Britain:

    They are playing with soft toys.

    Older daughter to younger daughter: they can't get married, they're both boys. (her tone of voice was one of "aww you made a cute mistake" with no shred of disapproval)
    Me: they can. A man can marry a man. And a woman can marry a woman.
    Older daughter: says who?
    Me: says David Cameron. He changed the law last year.
    Older daughter: Oh, okay.

    **they carry on playing and the two male toys get married**

    It really is that simple.
    Last edited by neandermagnon; 12-21-2017 at 01:39 PM.
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  9. #9
    Absinthe O'Malice TerzaRima's Avatar
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    This is a little cheesy, but the story of the Hawkeye football fan tradition of waving to the patients at University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital is a bit hopeful, and makes me feel like humanity isn't entirely dross.
    I tweet at A Town Without Jello.

  10. #10
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Yay, no shark's fin soup for weddings!

    And for frimble and anyone else who's interested, Eugene has had monthly interfaith services, started by a Sikh woman and held in a Christian Church ever since October 11, 2001. And it's spawned other interfaith services in other places. The organization I founded in Salem OR still hosts them twice yearly.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  11. #11
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siri Kirpal View Post
    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Yay, no shark's fin soup for weddings!

    And for frimble and anyone else who's interested, Eugene has had monthly interfaith services, started by a Sikh woman and held in a Christian Church ever since October 11, 2001. And it's spawned other interfaith services in other places. The organization I founded in Salem OR still hosts them twice yearly.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    Good on you and the other Sikh for starting the interfaith services, because sometimes all that's needed is for someone to take that first chance and break the ice. Once others see that it can happen, it gives them the courage to try it themselves.
    It gives them the courage to speak up when doubters say 'It can't be done!'.

  12. #12
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Thanks. And except where prohibited by law (and sometimes even then), cooperation between religions can always be done. My personal observation is that the havoc is caused by the folks with limited understanding of what their religion actually says. People who really do understand their religions invariably get along with others...as long as those others aren't the ones causing havoc.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

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