Yesterday April 16, 2014 I spent my free period at an event about LGBTQQ. You might wonder what does LGBTQQ stand for? I would have never known until I entered my FNED class and read August article “Safe Spaces.” L stands for lesbians, G for gay, B for bisexual, T for transgender, Q for queer and Q for questioning. You know that old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover?” Yes that’s exactly what I came to learn in this class and participating in this event. The event was presented by a group, “Youth Pride Inc.” Youth Pride is located on Westminister street in Providence. Youth pride is a place where people who are catagories as LGBTQQ or even just want to join and support these people they are welcomed here. It is a place that provides support for youth impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity/expressions. This place allows youth to be comfortable with their peers.
I learned a lot about LGBTQQ and the statics that go along with it. Did you know that LGBT youth are more at risk than heterosexual peers as of a 2011 survey that was done in RI schools. Did you know that 34.4% of LGBTQQ students have tried to kill themselves? This is crazy. When I seen the statics I was shocked. Why should it be okay that youth should ever feel at risk and not comfortable in their environment? Students like these should have a comfort zone at all times. But, in reality it’s hard for that to happen because many people are bullying LGBTQQ youth and adults without even realizing it. I know that I am and I didn’t even realize it until I really thought about the way I talk and the body language I show sometimes. I learned that LGBTQQ students have rights in RI. Did you know that schools must have equal access to all activities for LGBTQQ students and allow them all the same rights as heterosexual students? Also it is mandatory for all schools to have a plan for these students, such as a group like GSA for these youth to feel welcomed!
At Rhode Island College we have a group called “HOPE” which stands for, “Helping Others Promote Equality.” Groups like this will help students feel more comfortable and open to their gender orientation or expressions.
To create a supportive environment for LGBTQQ youth I believe that we should be taught more about it. There should be more promotement towards these individuals, so they feel more comfortable. There should be more places like “Youth Pride.”
Here is the link to the Youth Pride Website.