Rainbow Quest! is PERFECT for your school Gay Straight Transgendered Alliance, community center, support group, or just for fun with family and friends!

Gay Straight Transgendered Alliances (GSTA's) are promoted by education and mental health experts as an important vehicle for helping all youth, many of whom may be questioning or struggling with issues of sexual identity and orientation.  (ACLU, 2014; Hannah, 2011; Miceli, (2005); Miller, 2010; O'Connor, 1995).  

In a recent Ladies' Home Journal article, a Brooklyn College Professor of School Psychology acknowledged that 'despite recent cultural shifts, kids still get the overwhelming message from society that homosexuality is not acceptable.  It's not uncommon to hear fierce condemnation from politicians and preachers as they debate gay civil rights... This trickles down into the schools, where bullying occurs.' (Miller, 2010).

FACT:

LGBT students are five times more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe after being bullied due to their sexual orientation, and about 28% of LGBT students feel their safest choice is drop out of school altogether. Though not all students actually skip school after bullying incidents, an astonishing nine out of ten LGBT students reported being bullied because of their sexual orientation (Bullying Statistics, 2013).

Research by GLSEN, (the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) has found that schools which are fortunate enough to have a GSA not only find that attendance improves for LGBT students, but overall academic measures improve as well for all students  (GLSEN, 2013). 

So where GSTAs make school more productive for all students, establishing a GSTA takes courage, time, and energy. Very often by the time a GSTA gets started, organizers have convinced themselves that they are going to make a big impact, but the truth is that many students are still reluctant to participate, for fear of being bullied if they show up or even speak up in support of the GSTA and its members (Miceli, 2005). 

GSTA leaders want to attract large numbers and provide effective educational and fun programming, but numerous factors impact attendance, and sometimes a solid core group of regulars is seen as a 'failure' if attendance doesn't increase in response to bigger and more expensive programming efforts.  Ironically, one of the criticisms of such groups is that they spend too much time discussing 'issues', passively listening to presentations, or watching films together -- and not enough time doing what they come together for -- getting to know one another to build trusting friendships, share their own thoughts and listen to others'.
 

Another factor that makes GSTA membership, or any type of support group challenging, is that often people seek out support because they've been isolated, marginalized, and denied the same level of healthy interpersonal skills development as their non-queer counterparts.  This can make approaching even a supportive resource like a GSTA  a courageous action, and if the group doesn't find a way to quickly welcome and put new attendees at ease, they may feel unwelcome.  In reality, many group leaders are so busy finalizing agendas, arranging refreshments or taking care of their own responsibilities that a 'welcoming ritual' doesn't get established, such that even when publicity or programming has been successful, people may not return for a second time.

When best efforts at "wonderfully fabulous" programming fails to attract a crowd, organizers may become demoralized and lose motivation, not realizing that there may be another really great event happening at the same time, that weather or the flu may be shrinking attendance, or people may just be 'too busy' in general to have the time to attend.

Rainbow Quest! solves these issues by growing a stronger, more cohesive group experiences which energize the attendees, the leadership, and builds palpable camaraderie that comes from joining together in the Rainbow Quest! experience. 

Rainbow Quest! is like having your own uplifting Pride event in a box, easily adding vitality and fun to any group gathering.  It is a resource that is always ready to go.  If portions of a program are over sooner than expected, a schedule speaker doesn't show, or a dvd player/projector is on the fritz, no worries -- Rainbow Quest! to the rescue!  

Elements of the game are simple to isolate and use for quick 'energizers' during a long meeting or empty moment. 

Rainbow Quest! is your sure-to-please 'Plan B.'  It may even become the "Plan A" of choice!

 

References

American Civil Liberties Union (2014). LGBT             Youth &  Schools.  Retrieved from American Civil   Liberties Union: https://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/lgbt-youth-schools

Bullying Statistics (2013). Gay Bullying Statistics.  Retrieved from Bullying Statistics: http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/gay-bullying-statistics-html

Hannah, D. (2011) Shutting LGBT Students Out: How Current Anti-Bullying Policies Fail America's Youth.  LGBTQ Policy Journal at the Harvard Kennedy School: 2011 Edition. Retrieved from: http://hkslgbtq.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/LGBT_3-14-11_Final-110.pdf

Miceli, M. (2005) Standing Out, Standing Together: The Social and Political Impact of Gay-Straight Alliances.  New York: Routledge.

Miller, K. (2010) Gay teens bullied to the point of suicide. Ladies' Home Journal.

O'Conor, A. (1995) Who Gets Called Queer in School? Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Teenagers, Homophobia, and High School. In The Gay Teen: Educational Practice and Theory for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adolescents.  (pp. 95-101). New York, NY: Routledge.

With Rainbow Quest!, it really DOES get better!

As we reassure LGBT youth, 'it gets better,' we now have a real tangible tool to ensure that it really DOES get better!  Every time you play Rainbow Quest!, you educate and elevate yourself and your community at the same time. 

When you play this madcap game, review and learn about contemporary milestones in LGBT pop culture and history and even build interpersonal skills and relationships

  • Roll the dice to land on one of the nine rainbow spaces and follow the instructions on the color-coordinated card you pull from the box. 
  1. 1. Will you have to draw a picture?

  1. 2. Communicate through pantomime?
  • 3. Answer a trivia question?
  • 4. Invite the other players to guess how you'll respond in a hypothetical situation?
  • 5. Disclose something about yourself to others?
  • 6. Identify the source of an LGBT quote?
  • 7. Advance or retreat along the board when your fate lands you in an 'Un-Pink-Able' situation?!
  • 8. Land in the closet and share a coming out story to get out!
  • 9. Land on the 'rainbow' and you get to choose your challenge!

 

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