In 1999 it was estimated that the average age of people coming out as LGBT was 25. In 2010 the average age for coming out was 16. As people are coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender at much younger ages, their needs for connection and support have grown.
Which is why in 2014, Michael Belkin and his team launched Distinc.tt, an LGBT social network app for people ages 13 and up, which The Wall Street Journal described as "Foursquare meets Facebook for the LGBT community."
"Gay people have special needs from technology," says Distinc.tt Founder and CEO Belkin. "Being an invisible minority, we have a special need to meet and interact with others."
As the app has become increasingly popular with users (whose median age is 16), their need for a helping hand has become increasingly evident to Belkin and company.
"We saw that people were posting about things that they needed support for, such as, 'I just came out to my parents and they didn't take it well. What do I do now?' or trans youth posting, 'I'm not comfortable in my own body.' The community was helping, but we wanted to do more," says Belkin.
The 82 resources include organizations, studies, articles, and other helpful information for LGBTQQ youth as well as parents, friends, families, and educators. The categories include helplines and chat, school and education, sex and health, legal, trans and gender identity, bullying and harassment, coming out, homelessness, depression, suicide and self-harm, and racism and diversity.
"It's the largest and most comprehensive resource of its kind," says Belkin. "It can be nerve-racking to do that Google search, but if the resources are presented to you, you're more likely to get the help you need."
To access the Distinc.tt Community Support Resources online, go here.