Happy Tuesday, Readers!
Today we’re going to take a short break from talking awesome books to chat a little about some resources you might want to be aware of.
If you identify somewhere on the queer spectrum then you might know about some of these things or even have need for them. If you’re a straight ally, you might want to bookmark this page just in case someone you know needs some extra support.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) GLSEN is an organization working full-time to make sure that when an LGBTQ+ kid heads off to school, they are heading into a safe and supportive environment. They work hard to help schools become Safe Spaces and start Gay Straight Alliances. Essentially, they’re trying to make sure that the worst part of your day is algebra, not dealing with homophobic language in the lunchroom.
Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) PFLAG began because once upon a time a mom wasn’t ashamed to walk with her gay son in the pride parade. From that little action grew a big organization committed to helping families and friends become accepting and supportive allies to the LGBTQ+ people they care about.
The Trevor Project This project is monumentally important because queer youth are statistically much more likely to commit (or attempt) suicide. The Trevor Project is, above all else, a hotline that a person can reach out to when they are struggling and considering self-harm. Suicide is NEVER the answer. If there is ever a point that you or someone you know consider self-harm, please please please contact someone for help. You can call, text, or chat, whatever is most comfortable. Reach out. Someone will always be there.
It Gets Better Project To follow up from The Trevor Project, It Gets Better is a project devoted to reminding anyone who is struggling that is really does get better. But you have to be here to know that. This project began as a single video and has grown to thousands upon thousands of videos from all kinds of different folks, including Broadway stars, writers, Hollywood stars, and business owners. If you are struggling or know of someone who is, spend some time watching these videos and again, reach out if you are in need. There are a lot of people out here rooting for every single kid that is struggling.
LAMBDA Legal These are the folks you turn to when something happens that threatens the civil rights of the queer community. This organization fights those big legal battles that deal with things that impact our fundamental right to be treated as equals in our country. Their website is full of great information about what your rights are and how to stand up for them when challenged.
No H8 Campaign This campaign calls itself a visual protest and works to fight against bullying. Striking pictures of individuals with tape across their mouths and NoH8 on their cheeks spread a powerful message about how queer voices are silenced. This organization is fighting every day against that systemic silencing. Check them out and see how you can help.
True Colors Fund There are some fairly alarming statistics out there in the world about how queer youth are way more likely to be homeless than their straight peers. Not okay. At all. True Colors is fighting to fix that and to end LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. Check them out if you find yourself in danger of becoming homeless or even if you want to volunteer to help in the fight.
GLBT National Resource Database This is precisely what it sounds like, a giant list of resources all compiled into one place, both national and local. There is also a search engine feature to find specific resources close to you. This is a great place to start your search if you’re in need of some type of assistance, from housing to health to education and many more besides.iol organization that connects queer youth with queer adult mentors. They also have all kinds of educational programs and materials. And on top of that, they even have scholarship opportunities. The in-person mentorships are currently limited to NYC and the surrounding tri-state area, but there are tons of other resources worth checking out on their page.
Youth.gov This government sponsored website gives a very basic overview of LGBTQ+ information and issues. This is not a site that goes into great detail about any one facet of queer life, but it does provide tons of additional resources and breaks them down so they’re fairly easy to find. This is another site that is a great place to start searching for specific types of resources.
So that’s that for the serious stuff for now, but if you know of any other great resources, share them in the comments. You never know who you might be helping. And stay tuned for next week when I’ll introduce you to some of my favorite LGBTQ+ YouTube channels.