As we scrolled through twitter the other day, something caught our eye. We saw a national LGBTQ program had sent out a link on how to help an anti-bullying program…FOR FREE! All you have to do is submit a picture to this site! PFLAG—A national nonprofit made up of parents, family, friends, and allies of LGBT people with the goal of moving equality forward—has teamed up with Johnson & Johnson to create an anti-bullying program called Care With PRIDE, an ALL-INCLUSIVE PROGRAM that carries an emphasis on offering help to LGBTQ students, their straight peers and allies, as well as anyone being bullied for any reason. They aim to raise awareness of this social issue, and GLAAD points out that, “Bullying among children is connected to a range of problems including a negative impact on academic performance and social and emotional development, with half of all children reportedly experiencing bullying during their school years. THAT NUMBER IS AS HIGH AS 90% IN THE CASE OF LGBT YOUTH.”
They go on to explain the purpose of the program: “[Care With PRIDE] efforts include ‘Cultivating Respect; Safe Schools for All,’ which places trained PFLAG members directly into schools to give them the support, resources, model policies and programs necessary to stop bullying and harassment of youth in its tracks. Last year's campaign was nominated for a GLAAD Amplifier Award, which recognizes groundbreaking images of LGBT people in advertising and public relations.”
Much has been done in the way of countering bullying here in Porterville as of late. Back in May, after our Mayor made some highly controversial comments regarding bullying, we’ve had many wonderful people come forward to shine light on the fact that bullying is an issue in our city.
In the meantime, there is an anti-bullying program out there that is offering $1 donations in the form of PICTURES! Simply submit a picture to their site, and Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 on your behalf! It’s as simple as that! The picture can be anything! A selfie, a picture of your pet, a picture of a flower…whatever you’d like! Just submit the picture, and a dollar is donated to “Care With PRIDE.”
Anything aimed at helping and protecting LGBTQ youth has been met with almost nothing but opposition in the past here in Porterville, and sadly, will likely continue to be met with such negative attitudes. As a matter of fact, the main argument against the infamous Safe Zone debate last month was that they would cater to just LGBTQ students, that they would introduce propaganda, and would be indoctrinating children into a “certain lifestyle.” We would like to point out that absolutely none of those claims were true. Anyone with a sound mind must realize that any anti-bullying program is going to be all-inclusive, and that this false notion that the LGBTQ community has some sort of hidden agenda is harmful rhetoric—it’s Porterville’s anti-LGBTQ attitude at its best. Plus, the Safe Zone program that was aimed to be implemented into our community was not even LGBTQ affiliated. Furthermore, if the Safe Zones had ACTUALLY been aimed at helping LGBTQ children, why would that be a bad thing? It’s all about the children, right? Is there some sort of asterisk to that? Protect ALL children, regardless of sexual orientation. We can’t believe we’re even having to remind people to do that.
Regardless of the oppositions facing anything that would help LGBTQ youth overcome their struggles, We’ve got William VanLandingham of The Trevor Project working tirelessly to provide youth and young adults with helpful resources, help lines, and support for youth and young adults struggling with bullying due to their sexual orientations, or even PERCEIVED sexual orientations. VanLandingham has been putting forth efforts for The Trevor Project for over 5 years now. The Trevor Project is also all-inclusive, and is there for absolutely anyone who needs help. It is a free and local resource.
As Porterville struggles to maintain proper resources for their community, we can at least help other cities in their anti-bullying endeavors. This brings us back to “Care with PRIDE.”
A representative for Johnson & Johnson states that: “In our tradition of caring for families for 128 years, we’ve continued to partner with today’s leading LGBT advocates to make the world a more caring and accepting place for all. This includes taking on issues like bullying, which impacts all families and their children. With our CARE WITH PRIDE initiative, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies seeks to raise awareness about the negative impact of bullying on the overall health and well-being of our youth, with particular emphasis on cultivating respect and equality for all families.”
Alright, get those cameras ready, and help this amazing program garner donations from Johnson & Johnson! Let’s see how much Porterville can raise for their cause!