By Bethann Morgan
Throughout recent years, there has, without a doubt, been a huge uprising in the acceptance of the LGBT+ community. Gay marriage is universally recognized throughout all 50 states; even popular stores like Target are beginning to do away with gendered signing on their displays. However, even though there are a lot of positive changes happening, there is still a lot of work to be done. We need to be focusing on where a lot of struggles begin: with the youth.
The National School Climate Survey conducted by GLSEN in 2011 reported that 82% of LGBT youth reported bullying about their sexual orientation, 64% felt unsafe due to sexual orientation, and 44% felt unsafe because of their gender identity (LGBT Bullying Statistics.) The statistics go on and on, and what they’re saying is that we need to focus on what LGBT+ youth are going through every day of their young lives. I believe that, to do this, we need youth counselors that focus on this community specifically.
The following figure comes from TimeToThrive.org, a subsidiary of the Human Rights Commission.
I believe it is important for there to be specific resources adhering to the needs of every person seeking help. LGBT+ is no exception. When there are individuals coming out every single day, not knowing how their loved ones, society, or the media is going to react, they need someone to turn to. Like any individual seeking help from a counselor, it’s nice to be able to talk to someone who has the right knowledge pertaining to the issues that that person is experiencing. Let’s face it! When you open up to someone, you don’t want to express yourself to a person who has no idea what you’re going through! By having that knowledge and experience, a progressive and mutual conversation can be had.
Overall, it is a wonderful time to be alive when so many positive changes are occurring all over our country. There are still many opposed and uneducated minds as well as other problems that we have yet to tackle as a community. Future social workers have the opportunity to hone in on the LGBTQ+ community and really make a large impact on people who, every day, are struggling to come out or transition. Progress is being made and that’s what counts!
Editor's Note: The views and opinions expressed on our Artist Corner and Blog are exclusively of the author and do not reflect the views and opinions of Punk Out as an organization.
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