found via Pinterest
Hello, lovelies! Today I am bringing support - support for me, for you and for all of those like us. Those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and oh so much more. You aren't alone - how can you be? I'm posting this, aren't I? *wink* ONE person CAN change the world - I firmly believe in that. However, we aren't one. We are together, across the world and we are strong. So, today's post is about supporting your LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Let's get started!
Let's start right in your own neighborhood. How can you support LGBTQs?
Do you have a pride group in your school? You can join that! Don't have one? Make one, if you can! I was home-schooled, so I'm afraid I can't offer much on this part of my post, however I am sure Kayte can! (Help a girl out, Kayte!)
If you school doesn't allow a group (some don't, sadly) you can go around that and make a group or activities outside of school. Lately I've been thinking of hosting a pride picnic near our house! You can do a picnic, BBQ, movie night, game night... Think of the possibilities!
If you don't have a lot of queer friends, you can host your event in the free classifieds! Most newspapers and online news sources have a free classified area! (Here in Utah we have KSL.com.) Just make sure you have some sort of defense when going and meeting new people. (Be safe - Not sorry!)
And of course, connect your local Pride Center and see if you can volunteer! I know our Pride Center in SLC has a cafe, a reading lounge, free WiFi, etc. so it's an awesome place for hanging with friends, or meeting new people! Whether you're a volunteer or a guest!
In Your Own Home:
If you've told your family that you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer they may have accepted you with open arms. If so, that is truly wonderful (and please, send us your story!) However, some family members don't realize what being LGBTQ is all about. Some think it's a phase (which both my mother and my wife's mother thought!) Some don't know what to really do, or say. Some think it's "their fault." Sometimes, family needs a little help. Chances are, they will come around!
I can't say that's true for every family - I don't know every family. However, I have read and heard stories from across the world of successful families who support each other. Anyway! They may need help.
You can help by explaining this isn't your choice. You were born LGBTQ. However, it's something you are grateful for. It's a gift. You can explain how long you've known, or if you've just found out, that you know it's not a phase. You just know. You can tell them nothing is their fault and that you love who YOU are.
You can also buy/borrow a book on LGBTQ youth. Or maybe send them a link from YouTube. If you go through YouTube and shift through the smut (trust me - it's out there) you can find some really AMAZING video diaries and informational videos about being LGBTQ!
And finally, some family just needs time. Respect that. Give them time. Don't force your sexuality on them, just like you wouldn't want them to force theirs on you!
From a Distance:
You can help SO MUCH from a distance as well. Like Kayte and I - she in Alaska, I in Utah! We're bonding together, making our friendship stronger and doing our best for LGBTQ youth. Whether you guest post on our blog, start your own blog (which you should - it's so fun!) or start a forum/group online - our join one, I bet you could meet and help a lot of people!
Supporting LGBTQ youth and adults isn't just about helping, it's about being there. Making friends. Helping someone feel better on their down days and better on their good days. It's about building that friendship and having a confidant.
You can also sign up for Freedom to Marry - they have a newsletter, pledge and a lot of amazing information about same sex marriage. Plus, I've known that I am a lesbian for oh - eight years now - and I still learn more about same sex marriage from Freedom to Marry. It's also your main news source for same sex marriage across the country!
And finally, let's work with YOU.
You must, MUST, love yourself. For some of you, this may be a confusing or even scary time. And some of you may be jumping with joy! Again, everyone is different - I was the jumping with joy type. However, many of my friends were beyond confused. So educate yourself, realize you're still "you" - and SO much more. This is a new path in your life, a grand adventure, something that will equal love and happiness. Love, happiness - it's out there for everyone.
So, follow my motto and guide your own life. Follow your dream. Do what is best for YOU. When in need of help, seek help. Through your religious figure, a friend, a family member; a teacher, a psychiatrist (they can help SO much when you need advice), someone in your church/coven/area of religion (or non-religion.) And of course, you can ALWAYS send Kayte and I an e-mail, a tweet or a comment and we will definitely be there for you.
Remember: YOU ROCK.