Hi, I'm an openly trans individual on my team but I got a new coach who isn't so accepting of me, my name, and my pronouns. What should I do?
I’m sorry to hear about that. If possible, could you talk with mentors who were on the team before? Maybe you could ask them to talk to this new mentor. If that doesn’t work, you could try to talk with the mentor one on one and just ask that even if they don’t respect your identity, that they at least use the correct name and pronouns as not to confuse the team. I really hope that this helps. You deserve happiness and respect from everyone.
-Staff: Sean 5113
Hello, fellow FIRSTers! All of the admin for LGBTQ+ of FIRST are very excited to be opening our Discord server to the public. It’s open to anyone, student or mentor, LGBTQ+ or ally, to come to for support, advice, and community. Here is the link! If you choose to join, please keep it GP (gracious and professional)!
For anyone who doesn’t know, the mission of the LGBTQ+ of FIRST group is to increase queer visibility in FIRST and the STEM community as a whole by providing resources, both online and offline, to help and educate LGBTQ+ people and their allies. We seek to increase acceptance and tolerance of all peoples and create a community that benefits not only LGBTQ+ people, but everyone.
If you have ideas for what you can do regionally to make FIRST more inclusive, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, hit us up on discord, or message this account. We’ll get you in touch with your nearest admin so collaboration can occur! If you’re interested in supporting us financially to help cover the costs of buttons, brochures, posters, and other promotional items to hand out at events, you can donate directly to us through our paypal (email@example.com).
Another huge thank you to everyone who supports us! This couldn’t happen without you!
Leonard Matolovich served in the United States Air Force as a pilot from 1963 to 1975. It was there that he made history for the LGBT community. In 1975, after twelve years of service, three tours of duty and earning a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, he came out to his officers as homosexual, making him the first person to out themselves in the fight against the military’s ban on gay service members. Before coming out, he’d spent much of his life hiding his identity, even going so far as to mock other homosexuals in an attempt to assimilate. He knew that there were others like him in the military, but the ban kept them closeted in fear of discharge. This was exactly what happened to Matolovich. Only six months following his coming out, a three member panel discharged him from the military because of his refusal to sign an agreement to “never practice homosexuality again”.
Because of the lawsuit, the military’s ban was brought to the media’s attention. Matlovich appeared on the cover of Time magazine, the first openly gay person to be featured on the cover of a US publication. After his discharge, he continued to fight against the military ban and became a public figure in the LGBT community. He helped with fundraising and advocating against anti-gay discrimination, specifically efforts to overturn a gay nondiscrimination ordinance and prevent a ban on gay teachers in California.
Matlovich passed away from AIDS in 1988 when he was only 44. Instead of being inscribed with his name, his tombstone reads “When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.” His bravery to come out in unsure circumstances began the fight for equality for servicemen and women in our armed forces. Today, LGBT people are able to serve our country proudly.
About LGBTQ+ of FIRST
LGBTQ+ of FIRST is a student run organization that advocates awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ+ students, mentors, and volunteers of FIRST Robotics. LGBTQ+ of FIRST reaches out to over 1000 members across the FIRST regions and fronts multiple outreach endeavors.