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.
I live in Alabama, and as most people know the south can be a very conservative place. Aside from God's love, my family is the principal source of my happiness. Like many of the SEALs I have worked with, I am willing to fight and die to protect that. Unfortunately, this state does not recognize my family, a fact that is beyond disheartening.