I'd believed that I was headed for greatness, but they had revealed in me a thing that was seemingly so dirty, so disgusting that my other talents paled in comparison to the supposed vileness of being a practicing homosexual. And for this they bullied me right out of the church.
My greatest disappointment, however, lies in the management of voiceless students. As a contributing alumnus, I challenge you to take action and make changes in the handling of LGBT and bullying issues.
I decided I would attempt to climb all seven of the highest peaks on each continent to raise awareness and funds for the Trevor Project, to help more LGBTQ youth get the help they need and to call attention to the important issue of LGBTQ youth suicide. This March I leave for Mt. Everest.
The focus of the "You Have a Purpose Project" is to let LGBT kids know that they do have a purpose and that we care. There is something visceral about seeing someone's expression and hearing another person's voice when they tell you that you matter.
On Wednesday nights a group of trans and gender-nonconforming young adults makes a lengthy trek to the Broadway Youth Center in Lakeview. They gather for Trans Youth and Resource Advocacy (TYRA) meetings, a space for safety and discussion.
Should Congress fail to reach a budget agreement and take action before New Year's Day, $54.7 billion in federal spending will be cut immediately. These arbitrary cuts to vital services would mean decreased access to mental health care, safe schools and shelters for LGBTQ youth.
Those of us who are regularly made most vulnerable in this city -- including queer and trans youth -- understood exactly what was at stake: the fight over who matters when help comes and who gets prioritized in the systems we rely on in times of emergency.
With all the discussion lately about bullying and the frequency of reports about LGBTQ suicide, we can sometimes lose sight of the changes that have happened over the past 15 years, and we can forget the ways in which the LGBTQ community is making it better for young people.
Today, a closeted peer can look around a room and see all the people who will support his or her decision to come out. A bullied student can see the people who will not stand by without intervening. As we wear purple today, we give a visual of all the love and support we have to offer.
My family has been bullied by anti-gay activists who want to take the protection and the promise of marriage away from my moms. Were it not for our allies, I might not have had the strength to stand up and speak out in support of my family back in January 2011.
I'm a Spirit Day Ambassador for the same reason that I shared my story of growing up as a young trans girl: Only by amplifying our voices and sharing our truth, in its wide array of brilliant colors, do we learn to accept and embrace one another. I urge you to wear purple Oct. 19.
Recently we published a blog addressing educator reactions to the presence of transgender children in elementary schools. Since then we have received requests for more specific information about our vision for proactive policies and practices. This is a response to those questions.
No matter what side of the debate people are on, marriage isn't everything. In fact, with the challenges of bigotry, hatred, and violence facing LGBTQ youth today, marriage equality can feel like a nice idea, but not an immediate concern.
Spencer, Emily and Aria sit around an outdoor cafeteria table and wonder why Ali needed the alter ego ID. Was it so she could date Ian? Or was it to create a different identity that would allow her to get closer to or even expose A?
On a daily basis I see articles about our struggle as LGBTQ people to push for acceptance in society. Absent is a conversation about our own lack of inclusion, understanding, and acceptance within our community of each other.
This article is my third in less than three years about teen bullying and the tragedy of suicide among LGBT youth. Today, I write an almost identical article with practically the same statistics that I have written for the past two years.
What is needed to create real change is real action on the part of our heterosexual citizenry. After all, these are your children who are driving other kids to suicide. Where are they learning that it's "OK to hate"?
When women are safe, healthy and financially secure, they lead strong families and thriving communities. That's why, as the new mayor sets his or her agenda, the 1.6 million women and girls in Chicago must be a key part of it.