Today we’d like to raise awareness for an important campaign by Safe Schools Action Network: National Safe Schools Day. As you likely know there were quite a few highly publicized LGBTQ youth suicides as a result of anti-LGBTQ bullying clustered around this time last year, which makes this day so important. You probably all know the facts about Health Risks of LGBT kids including the obscene statistics about high suicide rates among LGB, and especially T people.
It’s of some relief to know that the government is starting to respond with supportive policies and recommendations. At a Network we do our best to support LGBTQ youth in our policy advocacy, trainings, supporting you in your efforts, hosting LGBTQ youth initiatives, action alerts, and youth focused funding technical assistance calls. However, sometimes it’s useful to provide resources with what people can do directly, which is just what Safe Schools is doing and why we gladly support their efforts.
The Safe Schools Action Network website hosts many ways to get involved, provides resources for LGBTQ youth, and lists many ways to take action such as:
- Send a Letter/Email to a School, Community Leader or Local Newspaper Editor
- Speak with your representatives in government to support LGBTQ youth
- Work with your schools to educate and create task forces for LGBTQ youth
- Talk with neighbors, friends, co-workers and families
- Be a mentor to an LGBTQ youth
Make it Personal
Some of you already do great work, but we should all push ourselves to do one extra thing this month for the youth. For me, I’ve decided to contact my old school district, asking for them to support LGBTQ youth. Like many LGBTQ people, when I was growing up I was bullied quite a bit. Well before I even came out, peers directed homophobic and transphobic taunts and slurs at me on a regular basis, and I became very depressed and isolated for feeling so different from my straight, gender conforming peers. When I did come out in high school, it felt good to be myself, but bullying got more defined. However, my school’s administration was very supportive of me and were there when I needed them. Looking back, I consider myself lucky to have had such support in a small, conservative town and I’m not sure if I would here today if it wasn’t for that support. Therefore I am resolved to write a letter to my school thanking them for their support and asking them for their continued support of transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer and questioning students.
So whatever you do, whether you’re making it personal or taking action because it’s the right thing, please do something for the youth.
Make it a Commitment
All of October is Bullying Prevention Month too, so for the next few weeks, please make a committment to support LGBTQ youth.