Left in Alabama

James Robinson & Sara Couvillion: The Quiet Courage of Ordinary People - Left in Alabama February 29, 2012

For his efforts, Equality Alabama awarded Robinson the “Billy Jack Gaither Humanitarian Award.”  It's given each year in memory of a gay man who was brutally murdered in 1999.

Same Sex Marriages Celebrated in Huntsville – Couples In Other Counties Not So Lucky - Left in Alabama February 9, 2015

Montgomery County and Jefferson County are issuing licenses, but James Robinson of GLBTAYS said this morning that Madison County is the only North Alabama county issuing licenses.

A New Flag Was Flying In Montgomery Saturday - Left in Alabama May 5, 2014 (Photo Credit)

Many thanks to James Robinson, director of GLBT Advocacy and Youth Services in Huntsvile, for sharing this photo.  The rainbow flags were a perfect complement to the theme of the rally: tolerance, inclusiveness, and fairness for all citizens.

Rally For Secular Government Tomorrow In Montgomery – 1-3:30pm - Left in Alabama MAY 2, 2014

2:25-2:30 James Robinson – Founder and Director – GLBT Youth and Advocacy Services (Speaker)

 

Huntsville City Schools: When Teachers Verbally Abuse Students, “It’s Not Bullying” - Left in Alabama August 28, 2012

James Robinson, founder and director of GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services tried for months to resolve this issue amicably.  When he and the student's family finally sought legal help, the Freedom From Religion Foundation stepped in.

GLBTAYS Community Project Eschews Fast Food Frenzy – Helps Local School Instead - Left in Alabama August 5, 2012

Robinson thought that the most Christian way to respond to such pseudo-religious vitriol was with love and outreach. 

Huntsville Made History Yesterday With First Gay Pride Parade - Left in Alabama June 25, 2012

James Robinson, director of GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services, and he has a lot to be proud of.  Although the day was sweltering, it didn't reduce the enthusiasm of the crowd or those working the information tables – including the local Unitarian Church, Madison County Democratic Party, and Why Marriage Matters Alabama - NOTE:  This article was later updated to reflect the fact that people have gathered for Pride rallies for quite a while (the first one I remember was in the 1980's), but Sunday's “Parade” was the first time the group actually marched in a real parade on the public streets.  James Robinson wanted to make sure that people know about and respect the efforts of those who have been active on these issues for decades!

 

Huntsville City Schools Confront Case of Anti-Gay Harassment By Jr. ROTC Instructor - Left in Alabama June 6, 2012

Robinson noted that he's distressed that matters had to go this far: “I didn't want to have to deal with it this way and I tried other options like meeting with the school and talking to central office personnel.”   And, he continued, the real heroes of this story are the young woman and her mother: "I have so much respect for this student and her mother. It takes a lot of courage for a student to report an abusive situation like this and to follow through with trying to see that something is done. I am thankful she knew she could ask for my help and that I could be here.”

GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services: Supporting Teens & Young Adults - Left in Alabama January 13, 2011

James Robinson, executive director of GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services in Huntsville, AL got an early start on that.  Last year, he formed an service and advocacy organization to help “ensure the spiritual, emotional, and spiritual well-being of youth and young adults struggling with sexual orientation or gender identity issues.”

Alabama Is #1……Homeless Youth Fare Worse Here Than In Any Other State - Left in Alabama December 14, 2011

And yet that sort of rejection happens every day.  Just ask James Robinson, founder of GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services.  The Huntsville advocacy & service organization provides emotional support for GLBTQ youth and temporary housing for homeless youth 

“Save Lives! Stop the Bullying!” Event in Huntsville Thursday, 10/20 - Left in Alabama October 18, 2011 (Organizer & Speaker)

North Alabama's GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services organization is partnering with Equality Alabama in an community event to promote awareness & prevent bullying of all types.  The event will also remember the teens & young adults who have committed suicide after being bullied.

GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services Is a Finalist for a $5k Grant. They Need Your Vote to Win! - Left in Alabama February 15, 2011

(My project was eventually one of 5 winners "Transforming 5 Communities Across the Nation). What's remarkable is that James only began his project just over year a ago and kept it running on less than a shoestring throughout 2010.  With a budget of less than $2,000 (mainly his savings), he organized a once-a-week support group for GLBT teens, did weekly outreach work, spoke to groups at colleges and churches, and helped organize the Huntsville vigil for safe schools – one of several held across the state last fall.

Giving Them Hope: “It Gets Better” Vigils for Safe Schools Tonight in Birmingham & Montgomery - Left in Alabama October 10, 2010 (The Huntsville vigil the night before was the agency's first public advocacy event. In 2017 we held the 8th annual vigil)

“I believe people commit suicide because they lose hope, and they're afraid, they don't have someone they know they can turn to.  And when your beaten down and told that something about you is wrong, you don't know what to do with it,” said James Robinson, Executive Director with the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender group of Huntsville.

Who Should Be “Progressive Person of the Year” in Alabama for 2013? - Left in Alabama December 15, 2013

5. James Robinson: During the past several years, there have been all too many ugly episodes in Alabama schools where GLBT kids faced discrimination.  From prom attendance to bullying by teacher, many students have learned from authority figures that it's ok to mockbully, and discriminate against the GLBT community.  Too often, gay teens internalize those attitudes and their self hate leads to much higher than average suicide rates & other self-destructive behaviors like drug use & runaways.

The Truth Hearing Report: Testimony on Healthcare - Left in Alabama August 18, 2013

Community leaders who rose to fill the empty chairs:  Benard Simelton (Alabama NAACP President), Sara Crocker (Huntsville’s Human Relations Commission), Ann Denbo (board member National Alliance on Mental Illness, Alabama), and James Robinson (GLBT Advocacy and Youth Services).

Alabama State Boy Scout Leadership Email Respects “Courage” Of Churches That Evict Scout Troops - Left in Alabama 

June 15, 2013

I am greatly concerned that efforts within the leadership of the Greater Alabama Council of Boy Scouts to subvert this critical message of acceptance and inclusion will lead to bullying, exclusion, and eventually to the loss of lives of children through suicide. Leaders of Alabama’s Boy Scouts carry the responsibility of any damage caused to our children through exclusionary practices while in their care and indirectly through covert discriminatory practices.”

-James Robinson, Executive Director GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services

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