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The Georgia Tech Shooting: LGBT Leader Killed By Campus Police, Raising Questions on Mental Health Initiatives

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By now, many of us have already heard about the death of Scout Schultz, a Georgia Tech student leader and active member of the LGBT community. Schultz was gunned down by campus police on the Tech campus on Saturday, September 16, 2017. In a cell phone video, Scout, who reportedly identified as intersex, transgender, bisexual, and non-binary, can be seen shouting, “Shoot me!” at campus police officers and walking slowly toward them. The officers can be heard telling Schultz to “drop the knife,” and stating that “nobody wants to hurt you,” and asking, “What’s your name?” When it appears that Schultz does not respond, an officer can be heard shouting, “Speak!”

But it seems that Schultz did not speak and instead, continued to advance, walking towards officers. Gunshots can then be heard ringing out, with a student (either Schultz or another) screaming.

The video, which has been widely shared on social media, is graphic in nature and difficult to watch. Besides the obvious, jarring sounds of gunshots, perhaps the most disturbing moment is when an officer shouts “Speak!” only to be met with silence.

The violence that started with Schultz and continued throughout a memorial vigil planned for them begs many questions; but the two most prevalent questions among students, alumni, and the greater Atlanta and LGBTQ+ community alike are: why are Georgia Tech campus police armed with guns and not tasers or mace? And what is happening with student mental health on the Tech campus?

Schultz was in their fourth year at Georgia Tech, working towards a degree in computer engineering and minoring in biomedical engineering. Schultz was President of the Pride Alliance at Tech, and was, according to their parents, “a very loving and caring and empathetic person.” However, this was not, unfortunately, the first time Schultz’s demons plagued them; two years ago, Schultz attempted suicide by hanging and had to subsequently spend time in therapy for their anxiety and depression.

Now, students – both current and alumni – are hoping that some good will come out of Schultz’s death, and bring to light the oft-inhumane pressures of attending the well-known Public Ivy school.

Marta Correa, a Georgia Tech alum who is now studying law, stated that she was not surprised by the recent events that took place on campus, and confirmed the high-pressure lifestyle and need to achieve that Tech promotes.

“Georgia Tech didn’t start my anxiety and depression, but when you group a bunch of brand-new adults [together]with no supervision, shit bubbles to the surface,” Correa stated.

“I knew I needed to talk to someone about the anxiety that literally controlled everything I did, and I knew from orientation that Tech does have some kind of mental health department. When I called to schedule an appointment, they quoted me a month [out]for a consultation. I thankfully had the resources to seek help elsewhere, but if that was your only option to seek help, those students really suffered.”

Correa went on to state that the administration’s competitive nature leads them into pushing students to “crash and burn out” with “nowhere else to turn.” Georgia Tech wants to compete with schools like Cal Tech, UC Berkeley, and other major institutions known for their academic strengths – but at what cost to its students?

Sources state that Tech has tried to cover up school suicides in the past, and it seems to have worked; in fact, suicides at the school were apparently so numerous that there is an almost-secretive, “little-known” ceremony held for those students that died within that year. Any other information was spoken about in whispers and rumors and in Reddit forums, according to our sources.

Tech does appear to be taking allegations that other students are bringing forth seriously, and President G.P. “Bud” Peterson said that he is implementing “Action Teams,” the purpose of which would be to “identify concerns, issues, and potential solutions” to health and safety issues. The President also stated he is establishing a monetary fund at Tech where individuals and organizations can donate to mental health initiatives and campus wellness programs for faculty, staff, and students, as well as additional training for Campus Police. This initiative has already raised a $1 million endowment, with further monetary gifts being accepted.

The hope at Georgia Tech appears to be one that is filled with good intent; that a student can be asked, instead of commanded, to speak, and that when asked, an answer will be given, as opposed to being silenced forever.

Originally posted 2017-10-12 17:01:22.

Anna Jones is a freelance writer, editor, and producer living in Atlanta, GA by way of Los Angeles. She owns a copywriting agency called Girl.Copy, and an independent film studio called Tiny Park Productions. She has been a professional writer for over 10 years, and four of those years were spent working for famous fashion bloggers and/or corporate fashion giants as a copywriter, like Hautelook and Nordstrom. She loves coffee, traveling, spending time with her family, and taking herself on solo sushi-and-beer dates.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Joe

    October 13, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Please attend any police training day to understand how ludicrous it is to suggest that mace or taser has any real effect on an affected person with a knife who will most probably end up taking your life because you had no real deterrent to them.

    • Lynne Schultz

      October 16, 2017 at 11:37 am

      It’s called Crisis Invervention Training, which you will not see in typical police training because it is optional, not mandatory. Officers with this training disarmed a man with a machete in 2010, in another case it was a samurai sword. Nurses routinely take down mentally ill men twice their size with no guns. If nurses arr not afraid to do it, then police should have the courage of nurses.

      • Lynne Schultz

        October 16, 2017 at 11:45 am

        oops, website is scoutschultzproject.freeforums.net (forums not boards, sorry)

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Tell It Like A Lesbian

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My mother refuses to refer to my partner as anything other than a friend. We’ve been dating for three years and my mother still won’t acknowledge our relationship. Am I crazy for being angry about this and wanting to confront her? I feel insulted and it really upsets my partner. –Clarke

Dear Clarke, You’re not crazy for being upset at your mother. It sounds like you have every right to be angry, especially if after three years your mother can’t even acknowledge your relationship. If talking to her gently about it hasn’t worked after all this time, it may indeed be time to confront her more forcefully, as your partner’s feelings are also being hurt by this behavior. If you decide to confront her and her attitude remains unchanged, it may be time to cut ties. After all, your happiness is what matters most in this situation, regardless of whatever is causing such denial from your mother. You must put the health of you and your partner’s relationship first, and eventually, your mother may come to realize what she is losing because of her denial.

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Dear Tell It, Do you have any suggestions for handling depression? I’ve been really struggling with loneliness and I have no energy for anything, even stuff I usually enjoy. I feel like I have no one to turn to. –Otto

Dear Otto, Depression often causes the loneliness and sense of isolation that you are feeling. It’s important that you recognize this as a symptom of your depression and do your best not to isolate yourself as a result. Because depression can take a lot of energy, remember that your brain and body need time to recover. And remember that focusing on self-care is not selfish. Depression is an illness just like the flu and other diseases and should be treated with the same care.

On bad days, make a warm drink that you enjoy, read your favorite book or watch a show or movie you love. Spend some time by yourself to recharge, and then contact a friend or family member to let them know what you’ve been feeling. Make a plan to spend time with them, even if it’s only for an hour or two, preferably away from your house. Getting outside and into a new environment is an excellent way of resetting your brain. While I wish I could tell you otherwise, depression doesn’t just go away. You will likely go through phases of good and bad, and it’s important to learn the symptoms that are specific to you. If you have suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to ask for help. The suicide hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. Hang in there, and remember that there are people who care.

__________

Have questions for Tell It Like A Lesbian? Let me answer them! Submit your questions below (you don’t have to use your real name unless you want to), and see your question answered on our website!

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Originally posted 2017-10-26 14:10:06.


Also published on Medium.

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In December, This Round-The-World Cruise Visits 35 Countries

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Imagine being able to visit 66 ports in 35 countries over 141 days.  Such a trip has never been offered in the past, but now Viking Cruises, based in Los Angeles, is planning one.  

The Viking Sun will set sail on 15 December 2017. Furthermore, Cruise Critic has named Viking Cruises as one of the top 10 cruise lines for gay and lesbian travelers because it frequently partners with LGBT travel agencies and past travelers have reported good experiences.  In fact, the 2017 CRUIZIE Awards for LGBT Cruise Travel awarded Viking River Cruises the ‘Best River Cruise Line for LGBTQ Passengers.’  

So what is this journey going to look like?  Let’s have a look:  

Day 1: Depart From Miami

Miami

On 15 December 2017, the Viking Sun will leave Miami, the international city in Florida.  If you are embarking on this trip and are here in Miami, appreciate the barrier islands and Miami beach.  Here, find colorful buildings, surfside hotels and white sand.  If this sounds good, then spend a few days here, before making your way to the Viking Sun. 

Days 2 to 20: The Caribbean, Central America and Los Angeles

The Caribbean

On day 2, cruise the Caribbean Sea,  which covers an area of approximately 1,063,000 square miles. The deepest area in this sea is the Cayman Trench between Cuba and Jamaica.  Between day 3 and day 5, explore the city of Cienfuegos in Cuba, where a walking tour is offered.  This traveler explored gorgeous flamingoes, boat houses and more attractions.  

Between days 6 to 17, visit other countries lying in the Caribbean and South and Central America: Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Then briefly visit  Mexico and Los Angeles, before cruising the Pacific Ocean.   

Days 30 to 43: French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tonga and Fiji

Nuka Hiva, the largest of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia

French Polynesia, an overseas French possession, consists of more than 100 stunning islands, stretching across more than 2,000 kilometers. Start cruising the South Pacific and visit Taiohae, the main town of Nuka Hiva (pictured above) in French Polynesia.  You will also visit Tahiti and Bora Bora, known for its scuba diving.  

The 15 gorgeous islands that make up the Cook Islands could provide a hint of paradise.  Warm tropical waters, crystal clear waters and aquatic life are just a few of the treasures that can be found here. Then in Tonga, discover white beaches, coral reefs and tropical rainforest.  Continue this tropical holiday in Fiji, which also has beaches and coral reefs.  

Days 44 to 113: New Zealand, Australia and Asia

New Zealand

In New Zealand, go on an extensive tour that includes the Bay of Islands, an enclave of more than 140 islands with beaches and water activities. Find an abundance of wildlife, including penguins, dolphins, marlin, whales, and gannets.  There’s even a camping ground here.

Go on to cruise the Tasman Sea, and discover several attractions in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef, located in northeastern Australia, consists of golden beaches, thousands of reefs, and hundreds of Islands with dolphins, sharks, and colorful fish.     

Then cruise the Timor Sea and start exploring the culture and beauty of Asia. See Indonesia, and then go on to visit Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, China, Hong Kong , Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and India.  During this journey explore Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, which has beautiful islands topped with rainforests.  

Days 114 to 131: The Middle East, North Africa and the Central Mediterranean

Malta in the Central Mediterranean

Cruise across the Arabian Sea, and tour several countries in the Middle East and North Africa: Oman, Jordan, Egypt, and Tunisia. There is also a stop at Malta, located in the Central Mediterranean.  See wildflowers, plants, prehistoric sites, and walk to discover Malta’s natural beauty.  

Days 132 to 141: Europe

Murcia (Cartagena), Spain

See Portugal, England, and explore the beaches and hiking trails of Sardinia, the Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. In Spain, Murcia is a university city with beaches, water sports, wine, and historical sites.    

Want to explore these countries, and Interested in this cruise? Call Viking at 888-850-6260 or find out more here.

Originally posted 2017-10-26 14:08:07.

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Same-Sex Marriage in the US: A Decade of Change

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On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court announced the decision to make same-sex marriage a right in all 50 states. People all over the country celebrated, pride flags were flown, and for the first time, the White House was lit with rainbow lights. The decision was a landmark victory for the gay-rights movement, but behind it all was decades of litigation, activism, and advocacy.

In 1996, a law called the Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It defined marriage as “the union of one man and one woman” in the United States constitution. Individual states were able to recognize same-sex unions, but on a federal level, the words wife, husband, and spouse, were reserved specifically for heterosexual couples. Same-sex couples were also denied social security survivor’s benefits and were unable to jointly file taxes. For almost a decade, the DOMA remained.

After 40 years of being together, Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer traveled to Toronto to get legally married in 2007. A year later, their union was officially recognized by their home state of New York . In 2009, Spyer passed away at the age of 77. She left her entire estate to her wife, Windsor. Because of DOMA, the federal government did not recognize their union as a marriage and Windsor was required to pay over $300,000 in taxes on her inheritance. Windsor decided to challenge this because she was legally married and should have therefore qualified for an unlimited tax deduction on the inherited estate. After approaching several gay-rights advocacy groups, she was repeatedly denied and was unable to find representation.

Finally, Roberta Kaplan of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP agreed to take on the case. In 2010, her case was filed and made its way through the circuits and in 2013 it had reached the United States Supreme Court. In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled in favor of Windsor and announced that DOMA had been unconstitutional. By the same margin, the Supreme Court would legalize same-sex marriage three years later.

In September of 2017, Windsor passed away at the age of 88. She left behind a legacy of activism and change, and hope. At her funeral, Hillary Rodham read a eulogy. “Because of her, people came out, marched in their first pride parade, married the love of their life. Thank you, Edie,” reported the New York Daily News.“Thank you for being a beacon of hope, for proving that love is more powerful than hate.”

Edith Windsor has helped to change the lives of thousands of LGBTQ couples and her legacy will continue to live on. Do you have a story of how legalizing same-sex marriage changed your life? Tell us in the comments!

Originally posted 2017-10-25 13:58:13.

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