It’s back to school time, and while this can be an exciting part of the year for students and families, for LGBTQ youth it can be exceedingly stressful. Although many people assume that LGBTQ youth today are growing up in a world that supports and affirms their identities, we regularly hear stories of bullying, erasure, degradation, violence, and threats of expulsion because of their identities. The tattered patchwork quilt of policies and practices that support our LGBTQ youth can vary wildly from district to district, school to school, class to class, and faculty member to faculty member.
For years Pride has been a part of a coalition of local and national organizations working diligently to improve the educational environment for our youngest and most vulnerable community members, and we are launching a new way to help more people get connected to these organizations so students, parents, and faculty members from across the region can have more direct access to the resources available to them. By signing up to join that network of support we will be better able to target information to you when issues arise in your area, and other LGBTQ youth-serving organizations such as The Trevor Project, GLSEN San Diego, PFLAG San Diego, TransFamily Support Services, Hillcrest Youth Center, and more will be able to send you information about the programs they are offering as well.
While many schools are improving in their efforts to create safe spaces for LGBTQ youth, lunch time can be one of the most stressful times for them. Who, at some point in our lives, hasn’t heard the phrase, “You can’t sit with us!” That’s why our motto is “You CAN sit with us!” Every second Saturday of the month, meaning this Saturday, we have our Lunch Bunch program in partnership with the Trevor Project where junior high though high school aged LGBTQ youth can simply hang out and eat lunch with other LGBTQ youth for free. It’s a space where they can begin to build community, learn their own power, and find out about what resources are available to them.
Whatever age you are, and however you identify, there is a path for you to help better serve the next generation of our community, as together we Persist with Pride.