My own early years acclimating as a gay man carry some of the deepest wounds of my life. For a while, I sacrificed my education, carried shame about my sexuality, made horrible dating choices, and looked for my self-esteem in the nightclubs. Now I have a deep and visceral need to give Griffin the advice and friendship from an older gay man that I didn't have.
When one of my new straight-male friends asked if he could sit in on a QSA meeting, I immediately said yes and took him to a panel on LGBT dating, hoping to show him how cool the queer community is. The discussion was mostly civil, until my fledgling ally worked up the courage to ask one simple question.
As a young gay man in conservative southern Indiana, I had lots of reasons to argue that LGBTQ scholarships were indeed very necessary. I dreamed of going to college in NYC where I could express myself freely. However, with my mom's very low income the idea of affording college in NY seemed an impossible dream.
As a suicide-prevention organization, The Trevor Project knows how important it is for young people to feel accepted for who they are and know that someone out there cares about their future. That's why we're standing alongside national organizations, colleges, and communities nationwide to help raise the visibility of trans* people and the unique issues they face.
It's one of the most common statements we hear when a young adult first contacts the Hetrick-Martin Institute, the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit organization that provides life-saving services to at-risk LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 24. In fact, about 80 percent of HMI youth are homeless or lack secure housing, most often because of family rejection for identifying as LGBTQ.