International photographer, Alan Kaplan, joins Upper Delaware GLBT Center (UDGLBT) in bringing awareness to bullying. Kaplan’s newly released video, Tell Someone, uses his daughter’s speech as the soundtrack to nearly 50 photos taken during “Hear My Silence,” the October, 2010 march held in Milford, PA by UDGLBT.
“We are honored to have Alan Kaplan, his talent and passion join us as we raise awareness about bullying,” said Patty Tomaszewski, Executive Director of the organization. “Alan’s video captures the spirit and message of the day. It is sensitive, very poignant and powerful.”
“Hear My Silence”, the march held by the organization following the highly publicized suicides of Tyler Celmenti and other gay youth, drew nearly 150 to the center of Milford. “The march remembered those who tragically took their lives,” said Amy Ferris, one of the organizers, “and sent the message to young people that they are not alone and should tell someone if they are being bullied – we are here, we care and we want to help.”
Research shows that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Massachusetts Youth Risk Survey 2007). According to the 2009 National School Climate Survey conducted by GLSEN, nine out of 10 LGBT students (86.2%) experienced harassment at school and three-fifths (60.8%) felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation. “These statistics are staggering,” said Tomaszewski, “we need to work together to raise awareness, enact laws and advocate for change that will help all students thrive.”
Kaplan’s video can be viewed online at, http://www.vimeo.com/26793759.