With increased news coverage of bullying of gay and lesbian kids, a lot of people are wonder how to help LGBT youth. There is good reason for this increased attention: LGBT youth (that's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) are far more likely to be bullied in school, and are at higher risk for depression and suicide than straight and cisgendered kids.
These are a few things that you can do to help LGBT youth:
- Submit a video to the "It Gets Better" campaign. This groundbreaking video campaign gives people a chance to help LGBT youth who may be isolated and have few peers and sympathetic adults who they can turn to. If you have personal stories or just some encouraging words, it takes just a few minutes in front of a webcam to reach out and make a difference.
- Help establish a Gay/Straight Alliance at a high school or middle school. If you are a student, or just a concerned member of the community, you can be an ally and help LGBT youth. Gay/Straight Alliance groups gives LGBT kids helps cut down on bullying, gives LGBT kids visibility in their community, and helps establish a support network for kids who need it.
- Speak up when you witness anti-gay bigotry. When you stay silent, you let people think that that sort of behavior is acceptable. You can help LGBT youth by making it known that slurs, discrimination and bullying are not going to fly.
- Vote. More and more states are putting anti-gay marriage amendments on their ballots. You need to show up and make your voice heard to help LGBT youth attain full legal equality.
- Let your congress members know that you support full marriage equality. Those LGBT youth will be grown-ups someday, and you can help LGBT youth have the same opportunities to build lives with their partners that are available to straight Americans. By letting your legislators know that you want gays and lesbians to have the right to marry whom they choose, you can influence their votes when these issues come up as bills in congress.