Pizza and Conversation in Columbus
July 2, 2012 by Paul Guequierre
On Saturday HRC President Chad Griffin visited Kaleidoscope Youth Center in Columbus, Ohio to meet with youth and discuss HRC’s groundbreaking “Growing Up LGBT in America.” Chad was joined by Kaleidoscope Executive Director Amy Eldridge, Kim Welter of Equality Ohio, City Councilman Zach Klein, and Shannon Hardin of Mayor Michael Coleman’s office.
Chad’s motivation for leading HRC is to make the world better for LGBT youth that are at a disadvantage compared to their peers. Earlier this month, he unveiled a startling new survey conducted by HRC on the harsh realities facing LGBT youth. Among the survey’s findings:
- Nationally, LGBT youth more than three times more likely to be verbally bullied. In Ohio, over half of LGBT youth report that they’ve been harassed with anti-gay slurs.
- One in five LGBT teens in Ohio say they have been physically assaulted at school.
- 59 percent of straight youth feel accepted by their community; this number drops to 49 percent among LGBT young people.
- LGBT youth are twice as likely to experiment with alcohol or drugs and a strikingly high number are homeless, in foster care, or living in high-risk situations.
On Saturday’s visit to Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Chad had lunch with LGBT youth and staff and listened to their stories about growing up LGBT and the problems they face in today’s society. Kaleidoscope Youth Center is the only organization in Ohio solely dedicated to supporting LGBT youth. Kaleidoscope Youth Center’s mission is to work in partnership with young people in Central Ohio to create safe and empowering environments for LGBT youth through advocacy, education and support. HRC is proud to work with Kaleidoscope in the important work of serving LGBT youth.
Earlier this month, Chad visited a youth homeless drop-in center in Salt Lake City with civil rights icon Julian Bond, where they had lunch and talked with youth and staff.
July 30, 2014