Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington has agreed to meet with GLSEN Executive Director Kevin Jennings this afternoon in Los Angeles to discuss ways Washington can team with GLSEN to ensure America’s youth understand the power of anti-gay slurs like the one Washington recently used to refer to fellow Grey’s star T.R. Knight.
Today marks the beginning of GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week in schools nationwide.
GLSEN, or the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, commends ABC and Washington for recognizing the harm of Washington’s use of the word ”faggot” and reaching out to GLSEN to turn an unfortunate situation into an opportunity to open a dialogue with America’s youth.
According to GLSEN’s 2005 National School Climate Survey, 75 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students reported hearing derogatory remarks such as ”faggot” or ”dyke” frequently or often in school. ‘
‘We are encouraged by the apparent sincerity of Isaiah Washington’s apology and his recognition of the power of a word that, like so many others, has no place in our society,” Jennings said. ”We would like to thank Isaiah and ABC for reaching out to GLSEN in what hopefully will be an important step in the healing process for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people and all those who were offended by the remarks.”
Fittingly, the meeting takes place on the first day of No Name-Calling Week, created in partnership with Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing and supported by Cisco Systems and nearly 50 national partners. The fourth-annual No Name-Calling Week is a time for educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds.