84.6% of LGBTQ students in the US have reported being verbally harassed and threatened because of their sexual orientation. In this panel, we will meet members of the LGBTQ community who have professional and direct experience with bullying in school settings. The discussion will examine how schools might be perpetuating bullying, and how teachers and school administration can help address bullying and provide safe spaces.
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Tony Ortuno began his career with the LGBT Center OC in 2012 as a Queer Dream Summer Intern. Tony’s community work began with two leading Orange County grassroots organizations: the Orange County Dream Team and DeColores Queer Orange County. The passion of community activism stemmed from his own marginalized experience as a queer undocumented Latino male. He graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science.
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Alejandra Luna, MSW
Alejandra Luna is a bi-lingual therapist at Western Youth Services in Orange County where she has created safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth in its four clinics located throughout Orange County. Alejandra has done presentations at the agency's all staff meetings to help educate fellow therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, administrators, and upper management on how bullying, peer/family rejection, drug/alcohol use, and high suicide rates have negative impacts on the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth. Alejandra holds a Masters in Social Work from California State University of Fullerton and a BA in Global Studies and Spanish Literature.
Lisandro Alcánder (they/them pronouns) is a queer, trans, Brown immigrant who has worked with the LGBT Center OC’s youth program for four years. They are passionate about changing the experiences of queer and transgender youth for the better through education and advocacy. In that capacity, Lisandro has led trainings on LGBTQ identities, the rights of LGBTQ students, and LGBTQ-inclusive curricula in schools. They actively fought for the implementation of AB1266 in school districts throughout Orange County and were a part of updating the non-discrimination policy in SAUSD. Currently, they organize with a coalition in Santa Ana where they strive to address the criminalization of LGBTQ youth of color.