48th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in NY

On this day in history…

The Stonewall Uprising began at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan. The community remembers this day as one of the first movements towards queer equality.

Please watch this video for more info on the event that changed the course of LGBTQ+ advocacy forever. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B40AHBY4mNM&feature=youtu.be

Please be warned, there is cursing in the video! This is the best video that explains the event and the major figures behind it, so that’s why we chose to feature it. (Note: Janet Mock, one of my idols, speaks for a little bit in this video!)

This is an essential part pf LGBTQ+ history, and we mourn the fact that most times, queer youth have to teach the facts of their ancestry to themselves. There is no chapter on the Stonewall Uprising in school history books.

As Stacy Lentz, prominent lesbian activist and co-owner of the Stonewall Inn, mentions in the video, “You have you Stonewall 1969 moment right now to stand up and come out and march and fight back.”

With love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa

Drew Adams, Friend of the LPP and Transgender Student Advocate, launches new initiative to further LGBTQ+ rights in his school

Hello LPP International Family! LPP Team Leader Alyssa here.

My friend Drew and fellow semi-finalist for the Spirit of Matthew Award is a student trailblazer, embarking on a fight for transgender rights in his school.

Drew was denied the right to use the bathroom that corresponds with his gender, and so Lambda Legal is assisting his family in making this right. Lambda Legal is an organization that makes cases for numerous LGBTQ+ people and those living with HIV.

Historically, Drew stood up for rights of LGBTQ+ kids many times. He’s shared his story with GLSEN, an organization advocating for safety for queer youth in school.

The LPP team sends all of our well-wishes to Drew and his family, and we stand with you in the fight!

Check out this story on Lambda Legal’s website:

https://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20170628_lambda-legal-sues-jacksonville-school-district-trans-student

This Pride Month, we remember that Stonewall began 48 years ago but it seems to not be over. We need to keep speaking in the silent places.

With Love,
LPP TL Alyssa

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Drew The Warrior!!

Update on Susquehann Township High School LPP

The LPPers at Susquehanna Township HS in Harrisburg, PA would like to share their performance info!

The box office is now open! To book seating for a party of 5 or more people, you can email sths.sopa@gmail.com with your name and how many people are coming. You can also call (717) 678-2287 Mondays through Saturdays 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Their Instagram is @sthsschooloftheatrearts.

At this point in time, we are unsure if an LPP representative can attend the reading, but we will most certainly there in spirit!

With love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa

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This week in LPP: Happy 6.26, International Thespian Festival, Spirit of Matthew Award 2017 Winner is LPP Team Leader

Today in history…the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide! While this feat two years ago meant a huge step for the LGBTQ community, we still have a long way to go. The LPP team remembers this day so fondly, and fights daily to spread compassion and awareness among communities. We hope you will too!

In current LPP events…June 19th-June 25th, LPP members took on the International Thespian Festival at the University of Nebraska! Participating LPP troupes, Hoboken HS and Robbinsville HS, were also in attendance! Thespians represent courage, love, and passion, so what better place than the largest Thespian event of the year for these teams to meet up and chat about our mission to #erasehate? LPP Team Leader Alyssa will post a blog soon about her experience.

We are also THRILLED to announce that LPP team leader Alyssa Sileo was chosen as a winner of the 2017 Spirit of Matthew Award. Lyssi’s outstanding dedication to this project and the message behind makes her a more than deserving winner, we could not be more proud to have her take our story to Colorado! She will represent all participating LPP groups as well as her beloved school/troupe, all of Jersey Arts, and International Thespian Society/Educational Theatre Association (her biggest inspiration) at the ceremony on October 14th. Congratulations to Jaimie Wilson as well, fellow winner of the Spirit of Matthew Award- another advocate using his art for great things. She wishes to thank all of the LPP international team for their unwavering support.

With Love,
LPP Team Member Kelly

A note from Alyssa – here is my favorite Jaimie Wilson song, “Soldier” 🙂 ❤ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW2Pqz0UQBs

This week in LPP: Groups in Harrisburg PA and Barnegat NJ

Another group in the works for LPP is the Susquehanna Township HS’s School of Performing Arts (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). They are currently in the process of blocking their performance. This particular group will honor Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz. Here is a picture of them at one of their rehearsals! We are excited to have them onboard!  Shoutout to Jacob Runkel, a STHS senior, who first contacted us about getting their school on board. Their show will be July 29-30.

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Note from Alyssa: This picture brings to mind the Greek Theatre set-ups…this theatre geek loves this 😛

A group of students from the Bengal Theatre Company and Barnegat High School Gay Straight Alliance (Barnegat, New Jersey) just held a stage reading of The Laramie Project on June 13th, 2017. This is a particularly special day because it is one day after the one year anniversary of the Pulse Shooting.  Thank you for helping us with our advocacy project! Also, thanks to Kerry Bollenbach, head of the Bengal’s Thespian Troupe. Below are pictures from their production, honoring Kimberly Morris. 

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The participants of the Bengal LPP…go NJ schools!

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Important info regarding the future of the LPP:
The LPP is proud to have officially committed 46 groups to honor the victims through theatre efforts. There are three other groups that we are in conversation with now. We are confident that all of the Pulse victims WILL be honored by theatre groups within the year. We’ve hit our threshold of 49 groups-interested twice within the last month. Our next mission is to sign on a group to honor the Pulse survivors.
Registration is ALWAYS open at this link: actingout4peaceblog.wordpress.com/starter-kit/

A note from LPP Team Leader Alyssa: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the support regarding the Spirit Of Matthew Shepard Award!

With love,
LPP Team Member Taylor

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Peter will be honored in PA this summer. Rest in peace ❤

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Kimberly, Barnegat loves you ❤

 

 

One Year since the Pulse Shooting

Today is one year since the Pulse shooting that took 49 innocent lives from us forever, and wounded countless others.

Today marks a year since the worst hate crime by shooting in American history.

Today marks a year since many of us said this will not be normal any longer.

The LPP is proud to have officially committed 46 groups to honor the victims through theatre efforts. There are three other groups that we are in conversation with now. We’ve hit our threshold of 49 groups-interested twice within the last month. Our next mission is to sign on a group to honor the Pulse survivors.

Thank you for joining us in this necessary fight. We love and believe in you.
With love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa

LPP at Bodine High School for International Affairs – Philly Represent!

On June 7th, another reading of the Laramie Project took place! A group of students from Bodine High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania read a few selections of the play at two GSA assemblies. A special thanks to Jeffrey Kolman, GSA supervisor, who helped coordinate the event. This reading was a part of an LGBTQ+ assembly at their school. This particular performance was in honor of Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen. The LPP team would like to thank them for being a part of our project! It’s so cool to have a Philly team on board; this city is so important to the team.

Note: we’ll add more pictures to this blog as they arrive!

With love,
LPP Team Member Taylor

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The team at Bodine!

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Drew…we will fight for you ❤