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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality


Jun 21

LGBTQ- Understanding a Community

Posted By iamincontrol | June 21, 2016

LGBTQ: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer. What do these words mean? The LGBT community has many labels and to learn and understand them all may seem overwhelming. Before we can even begin to try to dive into more complicated labels (such as pansexual or intergender), we must first have a firm grasp on the basics.

A lesbian is a women who is sexually attracted to other women. Man and woman in arm wrestlin, rainbow flag patternThe word gay can cover other non-heterosexual lifestyles, but for the sake of simplicity, it describes a man sexually attracted to other men. A woman or man who identifies as bisexual is a person who is attracted to both women and men. Transgender refers to individuals who not completely identify with the gender given to them a birth. The term does not necessarily mean that they are altering their body, but it does mean that there is a disconnection with their biologically determined gender and their chosen gender. Queer is a term formally seen as derogatory but has since been converted into a term of empowerment that has come in encompass all forms of non-heterosexuality (heterosexuality meaning being attracted to the opposite sex). Because of it’s previous negative connotations, to use “queer” casually and out of context is not advised, but it is important to understand the word’s significance within the community.

There is another very important word not always reflected in the LGBTQ title. That word is ally. An ally is a person, of any sexuality, that defends and supports individuals who identify as LGBTQ.

Although the terminology can be complicated and slightly overwhelming, keep in mind everyone is different and uses these labels, or lack of labels, to identify their personal sexuality. Always be respectful. Curiosity is not an invitation to be rude or to invade someone’s privacy by asking overly personal questions. The overreaching goal is acceptance, respect and love for all human beings.

For more info on LGBTQ visit:

Jan 16

NFL Player and Bullied Teen Team Up

Posted By iamincontrol | January 16, 2014

Today we’re sharing a story of hope and overcoming obstacles.  Victor Cruz, wide receiver for the New York Giants, was discriminated against and bullied when he was younger.  Now he’s helping someone else who’s been bullied: a gay teen named Joey.  In the video below, Victor invites Joey to join him in the New York Giants locker room to help him overcome his fear of being bullied there.

It doesn’t matter what it’s for: bullying hurts.  By banding together and standing up to bullying like Victor and Joey and did, we can make it easier to get through it and work to stop it.  It’s important to stay strong and remember that it gets better.  Learn how you can take action and stand up against bullying at

Read about more NFL players who have overcome bullying and are helping others here.

If you want to learn more about Joey’s group, The Equality Project, visit their website or their Facebook page.

You are in control of standing up to bullying.

Jan 2

Hotline Round Up

Posted By iamincontrol | January 2, 2014

You never know when you’re going to need to talk to someone.  Today we’ve put together a list of some numbers you might find helpful when you’re going through something.

Teen Line 1-800-443-8336
You can call the Teen Line 24/7 to ask any questions you have about your health or a problem in your life.  They will answer your questions or connect you with someone who can.  You can also chat online with a counselor 8AM-8PM Monday through Friday.

Your Life Iowa1-855-581-8111
This 24-hour, confidential hotline is available to anyone who wants to find information about how to identify and deal with bullying or the topic of suicide. You can also text 85511 3-11PM everyday or chat online.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
This 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Calls are routed to the nearest crisis center in a national network of more than 150 crisis centers.*

The Trevor Lifeline (for GBLTQ Youth)1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4-U-TREVOR)
Providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.*

National Sexual Assault Hotline1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)
Sponsored by the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN). Online Hotline is also available (click the link).*

National Runaway Hotline1-800-786-2929 (RUNAWAY)
24-hour crisis line. It’s anonymous, confidential and free.*

Love is Respect: National Dating Abuse Helpline1-866-331-9474 (TTY 1-866-331-8453)
24-hour help for teens and young adults. Peer advocates are trained to offer support, information and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned parents, teachers, clergy, and others.*

CDC-INFO 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or TTY 1-888-232-6348
Formerly known as the CDC National STD and AIDS Hotline, counselors at this hotline sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now respond to questions about personal health issues, not just HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Available 24 hours a day, in English and Spanish.*

National STD (STI) Hotline1-800-227-8922
The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm EST. The American Social Health Association website offers information about sexual health, healthy relationships, STIs, and more. Check out – a site developed for teens and their parents.*

Always reach out to someone when you have a problem or just feel like you need to talk.  You are in control of your life.

*Hotline description from

Dec 12

Think B4 You Speak

Posted By iamincontrol | December 12, 2013

LGBTQ heart
By Bobbie Jo

That’s so gay. We hear the phrase so many times that it no longer makes an impact, right? I’m writing this post at nine o’clock in the morning and the word “fag” has been used on Twitter more than 15,000 times. These words do make an impact, a big one. They are hurtful, offensive and damaging to our fellow classmates and peers.

Nine out of ten Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) students reported being harassed at school last year. Part of this is because of the common use of anti-LGBTQ words like gay, fag, homo or dyke. These words are often said carelessly and not intended to be hurtful, but they are hurting many people. These words are not only hurtful to the LGBTQ community, but also the heterosexual/straight community, as many heterosexual students have friends, relatives or neighbors who identify as LGBTQ.

So I challenge you to think before you speak. Sounds simple, right? Imagine how we could change the atmosphere of our school if we all thought before we spoke. We could make it a place where people felt comfortable about who they were. We could also create new and different catch phrases like, That’s so… obtuse, weak, gucci, absurd…the list is endless. So get creative, not offensive!

Take the pledge to Think B4 You Speak!

You are in control of your words.

Oct 3

Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit 2013 & Video Contest

Posted By iamincontrol | October 3, 2013

We’re pulling a switch this month – our Bullying & Suicide post is trading places with our Alcohol, Tobacco & Drugs post (check back next week for that post).  We couldn’t wait to share this information about the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit 2013!  This year’s summit will be held on November 4, 2013 in Des Moines.

Why should you go?

Did you know that according to a 2012 survey, 57% of Iowa students said they had been bullied in school in the last 30 days?  That’s a huge percentage.  The goal of the summit is to talk about what can be done to prevent bullying, including what you can do as a bystander.  Speakers include Emily Bazelon, the author of “Sticks and Stones” , Deborah Temkin, the Bullying Prevention Manager at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, high school students speaking up about bullying prevention, and many others.  You can read the full agenda here.

This would be a great event for you to attend with one of your school’s clubs, so talk to your school administrators or a teacher to see if your group can attend.  If you register by October 19th, you will even get a free t-shirt.  Register here today!

Video Contest

You could win a $500 prize for your school by entering the video contest for the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit 2013.  You have one week left to enter!  The deadline for submitting your videos is Thursday, October 10th, 2013.

Go to this site for full details on the video contest.

Jun 13

We Are The Youth

Posted By iamincontrol | June 13, 2013

Hey IAMincontrol readers,

Today we are highlighting this really cool site for LGBT youth called We Are The Youth.  They have been collecting personal stories from LGBT youth all over the nation since 2010, so we are really excited to share this resource with you.

In addition to stories from youth, you will also find things like:

  • National and local resources for LGBT youth
  • Other blogs to check out
  • Links to their Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr pages
  • A chance to share your story on the We Are The Youth site

In October they made a visit to Iowa, which you can read about here.  This is the beginning of one Iowa teen’s story:

I’m wearing high tops because I just found them again. I’m wearing fishnets because it was cold outside. And I’m wearing the skirt because my friend gave it to me. And I’m wearing a Dead Kennedys shirt because they’re a good band.

Read More

Mar 14

My Experience with LGBTQ Bullying

Posted By iamincontrol | March 14, 2013

By Andrea

Did you know that 9 out of 10 LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning) students have been bullied in the past year?  I am one of those students, and I would like to share my story.

It started in middle school. I was dating my best guy friend, thinking I was in love, happy. Yet I wondered. I wondered why I looked at girls the way I did. I wondered if maybe I was just jealous that a girl was prettier than me. I searched and searched for an answer, and I ran across it in my own group of friends. “Gay.” That word scared me so much. I knew that if you were ‘gay’ then you were hated, that if you even did the slightest thing that made you look, or act ‘gay’, people would shun you.

One of my closest friends was gay. I asked her endless questions, like how she knew, when she knew, and what happened when she told her parents. I also looked online and found so much. I found out that about 9 million people are gay in the world!

I asked out this girl in my school that I knew was bisexual. I realized that I was bi too, and I really liked her, so I held hands with her in the hallways.

The school blew up.

Read More