HRC Turns a Corner – New Youth Study Highlights Struggles of LGBT Youth

And shows the Importance of Full Equality and  a Welcome to Chad Griffin
By Melanie Nathan, June 08, 2012.

The Joe Solmonese reign at HRC hailed what many termed an elitist era at the Human Rights Campaign. But still the organization carried the hope of the T shirt button buying masses.  While personifying the status “GAY INC,” Solmonese helped land President Obama at HRC galas, and at the same time incurred the wrath of grass roots activists with invalidation and snub. But now it is time to welcome the possibility of a new HRC under the leadership of Chad Griffin in the hope that the stain of years gone by will find its track to a fast fade.

So in the spirit of the new, without much further ado, I personally welcome Chad Griffin to his new beat and trust that his tenancy will find its way to an inclusive style.

The release of this information is a shining start and so I re-post from the HRC site and Chad Griffin himself:-

Earlier today, we released the findings of a new study on LGBT youth that paints a vivid picture of both the struggles and the optimism of our next generation. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined me and other leaders to speak about the survey results, and to elevate the importance of engaging LGBT youth needs and fighting for nothing less than full equality.

I want to share just a few findings of the survey with you that will crystallize how hard things are for today’s LGBT youth:

  • Over 90 percent of LGBT youth say they hear negative messaging about being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
  • While nearly 70 percent of straight youth describe themselves as happy, the number drops to 37 percent among LGBT young people.
  • LGBT youth are twice as likely as their peers to face relentless verbal abuse.
  • Our LGBT youth also are at increased risk for physical assault, and are four times more likely than their straight counterparts to be harassed on-line.
  • LGBT young people are twice as likely to experiment with drugs or alcohol, and face significantly higher risks of being homeless or living in foster care.

The report also contains some positive news. Unsurprisingly, LGBT youth are incredibly resilient. And more than three-quarters of them believe things will get better. We have a responsibility to ensure they do get better. As I begin my tenure here at HRC, we will make every decision through the lens of these young people who are counting on us to ensure they are given every opportunity at a bright future. We simply don’t have a choice – inaction has consequences.

Please take a moment to look at the report. You can access it at www.hrc.org/youth.

Note from Melanie Nathan: – I hope that Human Rights Commissions, Principals, Organizations, School Boards around the Country will read this report and use it to promote change. That many more will avail themselves of the tools and resources provided by HRC and other LGBT and related organizations to educate and act to improve the lives of our youth.

Photos (c) Victor Ho


4 thoughts on “HRC Turns a Corner – New Youth Study Highlights Struggles of LGBT Youth

  1. While I applaud HRC’s outreach to our youth it is still remains to be seen if their actions are truly inclusive. It remains to be seen if they will work with grass roots activists. It remains to be seen if they will start promoting activism outside of their organization and stop trying to co-opting the message. Al lot remains to be seen.

    1. Well hopefully Chad will get the message and hear from more people about their feelings and beliefs about this. The real problem I believe is the lack of a unified benchmark in our community. Something that we all strive for together beyond topical equality – what is the benchmark – where is the leadership – we all fight for equality on so many levels – the mantra EQUALITY has not specific goal. What is the PINK PLAN ? I believe always dreamed of a Civil rights ACT II to include So and Gi – but now believe we need to wait till post Obama re=election before we go there. I am too much of an idealist to want to wait for the courts on al,l the individual items. I feel like we need one piece of legislation to spell it all out.

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