Five Ways to Support LGBTQ Youth
Pride Month is celebrated every June. It is a time for the LGBTQ community to celebrate how far we’ve come and remind us of the commitment to the work that we all must keep doing to achieve equality for all.
Last June, Starlight launched our “Commitment for Change”—an equity, diversity, and inclusion initiative to deliver Starlight programs to more medically underserved and vulnerable populations.
This year, we want to ensure that we continue our equity, diversity, inclusion work by educating and providing resources to our community while also working on our impact in hospitals.
That is why we are sharing five ways that you can support the LGBTQ youth in your life!
Let them know they are loved. Children need support from their parents and other adults in their life. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to express love—you just need to be supportive, accepting, and loving.
Encourage conversations. Give your child opportunities to open up, share their feelings, and discuss what is happening in their daily lives. Remember, not every conversation has to be deep, but show them that you want to hear what they have to say. Listening is key.
Stay actively involved with their school life. Because kids spend a large portion of their time at school, you can take steps to make sure they feel accepted and comfortable there, too. You can do that by having open communication with teachers in case any issues arise, advocate for inclusive sex education to ensure that LGBTQ students have the information they need, and speak up whenever you feel there is an issue. You are your child’s biggest advocate.
Help them connect with other individuals. Check to see if their school has a Gender & Sexualities Alliance (GSA); if not, advocate for one at be started. Introduce them to online resources and groups that will empower them, like The Q Card Project, Q Chat Space, The Trevor Project, and the It Gets Better Project.
Educate yourself. Do you know what pronouns you should be using when addressing individuals? Or the difference between gender identity and gender expression? Take time to educate yourself. It is okay to make mistakes; accept it, apologize, and learn better for next time.
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