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Things You Can Do to Be Part of Some Positive Change for LGBT Youth

support lgbt youth

Recent statistics about the bullying and harassment issues that LGBT youth face paint a troubling picture, but the LGBT community has a proven track record for resilience and supporting its own. We've rounded up some action steps you can take this month, today and throughout the year to make an impact on the lives of young LGBTs.

Show Your Colors on Special Dates
You don't have to be like Cher on Twitter with several million followers to be an inspiring voice of acceptance and unity. October is Bullying Prevention Month, and Spirit Day on October 20 is specifically a date for standing up for young LGBT people. GLAAD is spearheading the Spirit Day campaign again this year, rallying corporations, communities, and high-profile figures from the world of media and entertainment.

The call to action is wear your purple, demonstrating acceptance and solidarity with LGBT youth. The hashtag SpiritDay is expected to become trending, showing the depth of support that's focused on the anti-bullying effort.

Support Organizations Focused on Youth Services
Among the numerous organizations focused on providing youth with critical services and empowerment programs, involvement can be in the form of volunteering or opening your pocketbook for fundraiser efforts. In fact, numerus key nonprofits from coast to coast produce high-profile events and galas to engage the community.

In addition to monetary support, volunteers are critical for the day-to-day operations of certain organizations. For example, the Los Angeles LGBT Center have created a mentoring program called Lifeworks that connects young adults with accomplished LGBT professionals who are volunteers.

To name a just a few among many, GLSEN, Hetrick Martin Institute, the Trevor Project, and True Colors Fund all work at community and government levels to advance the safety and acceptance of young LGBT people.

Be Aware of Legislation and Political Trends and Vote
A recent win in California for LGBT youth that couldn't have been achieved without grassroots support, Bill 524 was recently signed into law of by California Gov. Jerry Brown. The law calls for some regulation of the industry of residential programs that claim to help troubled youth. "Today is a victory for the protection of our children," said California State Sen. Ricardo Lara. "Many facilities or camps that claim to help children are causing irreparable harm. With this bill we will provide oversight for these facilities to ensure that no child is the victim of psychological or physical abuse at the hands of adults they are told to trust."

Since policies surface at the different levels of government that can have a direct impact on the conditions for LGBT youth, there is reason for voting LGBT citizens to consider the rights of young people not yet old enough to vote.

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