GLBT Youth Need Our Support
GLBTQ youth, are more prone to homeless than their “straight” counterparts. The National Institutes of Health reports, that in Boston alone, this is a growing problem. The average age of these teens, is between 12 to be 24 years old. These young people, are an important part of our community and need our help and protection.
There are so many tragic stories of how these children suffered at the hands of a so-called civilized society. They suffer torment and unbearable bullying from classmate, often leading them to drop out of school.
Often, the abuse stems from family problems, or rejection of their lifestyle. This forces them to flee to a safer environment. Those who find themselves in foster care, are bounced from home to home making it impossible to do well in school.
It is good to know, that there has been an awakening in American society, and realize that support and resources are need if we are to assure a normal life for GLBTQ teens.
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Vulnerability of GLBTQ youth
GLBT teens, also need our protection. In the past, we have seen these young people subject to teasing, bullying and hate crimes, just because of their sexual orientation. , it is our responsibility to make sure that no child or young person, is mistreated for any reason.
While these teen are on the streets, or homeless, they are vulnerable to abuse, neglect an illegal activities to survive. Homeless GLBTQ youth have found early in life that adults can not be trusted and will form their own family peer structure.
The victimization of these young people, adds to emotional trauma, addiction as well as sexual exploitation.In some cases this homelessness is permanent while there are many cases where these homeless youth return home, or move in with relatives until adulthood.
What they Need
If we are to help these children, early intervention and prevention is the place to begin. They are no longer in the shadows, but are an important part of our society! They are our children, or nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. Acceptance is what these young people need and deserve, not mere tolerance. They need to be accepted for who and what they are and that is a part of the human family.
The main thing that can be done is:
- Provide support, mental - Dealing with mental health issues is extremely important, if they GLBTQ teen are to mature and go on to live a productive life.
- Prove family counseling - Family counseling brings the family into treatment to work with the immediate or extended family, in the hopes of creating a safe environment where the child can return.
- Provide health-care - Health-care will address any medical issues the child has stemming from abuse, neglect of sexual exploitation.
- Addiction recovery - Addiction recovery programs, help with safe detox, recovery and addiction counseling.
- Provide safe housing - If the child can not or will not return home, help with safe fostering, transitional housing or placement in a stable home with a relative is encouraged.
The National GLBTQ Youth Foundation - Seeks and funds new solution to support youth and address homophobic discrimination and stigmatization.
The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth - Provide prevention as well an intervention of this community and partners with other agencies in the Miami area to support GLBTQ youth. They also organize education programs to promote understanding and acceptance by the straight community.
Advocates for Youth - Provides support and educational resources on GLBTQ youth.
The Greatest of these is Love
These young people need our love and our support. Each years thousands of these precious children are bullied, assaulted and even killed because they are seen as different or not normal.
These children are our family. They are our children, relatives, friends, classmates. Jesus' greatest judgment was to those who we consider as sinners, but religious hypocrites, who sat in judgement of everyone else.
The so called righteous judged Jesus because he kept company with, wine drinkers, prostitutes and tax collectors. His love drew them to him, because they did not feel hatred or judgement from him. I will leave you with this. I Corinthians 13: Now remain faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love! If you know a LGBTQ youth, allow them to experience God's love coming from you, not our judgement.
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