Now more than ever, it is critical that we support and ally for LGBTQ youth. Imagine feeling confused, isolated and not accepted for who you are and who you know you are supposed to be.
It’s already hard enough discovering who you are as a human being.
Here are some ways you can support LGBTQ youth along their journey:
- Listen to LGBTQ Youth.
Members of the LGBTQ community and youth especially are often not given the respect they deserve when it comes to being able to have their voices heard. This has to change. Be willing to listen to LGBTQ youth and pay close attention to what they are telling you, whether it is in person, or second hand via social media or the news. They know what they want, what their needs are, and how they are feeling more than anyone. Listen with compassion.
- Be a role model for kindness and inclusion.
It is essential that we model kindness and inclusion in our everyday life. Go out of your way to be kind to people and always see the worth and dignity in every person. Strive for justice, equity and compassion in human relations. Don’t get me wrong – it is not always an easy task – but something that we all need to work on because the world could always use more kindness.
- Show young people that they can be authentic around you.
Being a young person in today’s society is hard enough, add in the fact that you are “different,’ and it suddenly can become even harder than it already is; this is the case for our LGBTQ youth. They often feel that they have to act like something they are not around others because of the fear that they will not be accepted for who they are. Can you imagine the feeling of constantly wondering if it is okay to be yourself around another person or if you have to be someone else? In 2018 it is sad that LGBTQ youth still have to ask themselves this question almost every single day and as an adult and an ally, it is our job to make sure that they know they can always be themselves around us.
- Take action & advocate for the LGBTQ youth.
Work with LGBTQ youth to make their lives better. Help them write letters to senators, plan and lead youth-focused events and be the rock they need. Our job as adults is to give them the tools, resources, and support they need to have their voices heard. Today’s youth are fully capable of advocating for themselves when given the chance to do so. They may need assistance along the way and we need to be willing to do the work alongside them and not just do the job for them.
- Stay informed and get involved.
Take it upon yourself to educate yourself about the greater LGBTQ community, attend LGBTQ events and be present in times of need. Thank you for taking the first steps to becoming an ally for LGBTQ youth. The more people on the side of love and justice the better.
My hope is if we join together in support, one day we will be able to say that we live in a nation and hopefully a world where we are all treated with the love, dignity, and respect we deserve. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” So let us all work together hand in hand and make it so.
We invited you to join us and support our LGBTQ youth empowerment initiatives. Together we can change lives.
Contributed by Free2Luv Advocate and LGBTQ Activist, Roddy Biggs @roddybiggs.official