To this day I do not know a single LGBT person from my youth. I was not privileged to have understanding parents nor to have role models with whom I could connect.
Many youth today find themselves in a similar position. Growing up gay, bi or trans* is never easy and each generation has their own struggles. However no generation has felt the wrath of homophobes quite like the youth of today. There are finally words to describe who we are and worldwide communities to which we can belong but these beacons of light also gaze upon and identify kids to themselves and their peers. All too often LGBT kids experience rejection, isolation, discrimination, harassment and physical violence. And this results in low self-esteem, risky or self-destructive behaviors, homelessness and suicide.
While I cannot reach out to those of my community who are suffering and alone, I am yet another adult who is proud to say that I’m here and queer and it does get better.
- The Trevor Project (http://www.thetrevorproject.org) is a 24 hour help line that is available to anyone who needs a listening ear.
- 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)
- It Gets Better Project (http://www.itgetsbetter.org) is an inspiring collection of 1,000s of user-created videos from around the world that was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years.
- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (http://www.pflag.org) provides support and resources for families and friends of LGBT people.
- Information from the American Psychological Association (APA)