When I was in eighth grade at Smith Middle School in Chapel Hill, I realized I wasn’t a girl or a boy. I then started to identify as gender non-binary. What helped me find a definition for myself, was the Internet, and iNSIDEoUT.
A year before my coming out, my friend and I started Smith’s first Gay Straight Alliance. iNSIDEoUT greatly supported us and helped us start it.
iNSIDEoUT is a youth run organization in the Triangle that creates a safe space for LGBTQ teens and younger kids. We also try to connect QSAs (Queer-Straight Alliances) and GSAs in high schools and middle school across the Triangle.
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I’m in ninth grade at Chapel Hill High School, and I’m on the youth board of iNSIDEoUT. I’m part of iNSIDEoUT because I have been very lucky with the community I’ve grown up in, and it’s made my coming out much easier than other teens’.
I want a space for teens and younger kids to feel safe to be themselves. North Carolina’s legislature and their current laws make safe places even more needed than they were last year.
The iNSIDEoUT youth board is looking for more members. We also have some exciting events coming up!
On Friday, June 3, we will be having our Queer Prom. Rising eighth graders to graduating high school seniors are invited!
On Sunday, June 5, iNSIDEoUT will be holding a banquet and gaiety at the LGBTQ Center of Durham! It will be a public celebration of our 10th year as an organization, where we will give out awards to powerful youth activists and raise funds to support our work! We also will be releasing the Decade Book, about 10 years of queer youth organizing in the Triangle.
People can learn about these events and sign up for our newsletter on our website at insideout180.org.
How disappointing to see another column, this one from Ellie Kinnaird, (CHN, May 17) blaming Israel for human-rights violations in Gaza. Ms. Kinnaird knows the intricacies of influence and power, yet she made no reference to terrorism, anti-Semitism and other factors at play.
The one-sided arguments from Ms. Kinnaird and her colleagues do nothing to advance peace in this beleaguered part of our world. Because she doesn’t trust Israel’s supporters, I urge her to visit Israel and see firsthand how U.S. aid is helping Israel save Israeli and Palestinian lives with shelters and advanced defense systems. She’ll also see how terrorists use tunnels and Palestinian schools and hospitals to put Israelis and Palestinians in harm’s way. It would help if she spoke to Israelis and Palestinians who live and work there.
While some may disagree with Israel’s politics, it is the only democratic nation in the Middle East and serves as a strong ally to the U.S. That alone warrants our respect and support. As a Holocaust survivor, I often wonder whether my family and more European Jews would have survived the Holocaust had we been able to seek refuge in Israel.
It’s hard to appreciate why this content is in Chapel Hill’s local newspaper at all. The columns do little to advance the conversation, and as a supporter of Israel, I find them to be intentionally biased and emotionally draining.
As a survivor of war and anti-Semitism, I am grateful for my safe and peaceful life in Carrboro, and for the support that our country gives to Israel. I will continue to pray for peace between Israel and Palestine.
Rebecca Yomtov Hauser
I would like to respond to Ms. Garwood of Amnesty International (What You’re Saying, May 15), who accused me of providing “wrong information.”
Actually, my information is well documented, and can be verified through various links below. Contrary to Ms. Garwood’s defense of AI, her organization does takes sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and it seems fairly obvious that their mission is to malign the state of Israel.
First, she mentions that AI won the Nobel Peace Prize – 41 years ago. Yasser Arafat, PLO founder, was also a recipient of that prize. Yes, the same man who led a worldwide terror campaign that killed thousands of innocent civilians. Today, AI and the PLO complement each quite well.
There is overwhelming evidence proving that the PLO and Hamas strategy is based on deliberately targeting the Israeli population, using their own civilian population as human shields while luring in the Israel Defense Forces to military action with the hope of killing large numbers of Gaza civilians for their own propaganda purposes. On the Israeli side, there is no army in the history of warfare that has taken greater steps than the IDF to minimize harm to civilians in a combat zone.
Regarding humanitarian aid to Gaza, Israel supplies Gaza with more than 20,000 tons of supplies of which include medical supplies, food, construction materials; and transfers 125 MW of electricity per day and 10 million cubic meters of water. Israel also provides Gaza with 436,000 liters of fuel, including 264 tons of natural gas for domestic use, and approximately 21 million gallons of gas for transportation per year.
Richard Kemp testimony before the U.N. http://bit.ly/1rUd5L7
Rene’ de la Varre
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