A Letter To LGBTQ+ Youth: Add Yours Today

by Debi Jackson

As a member of HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council, I know firsthand the bullying and harassment nonbinary and transgender children are experiencing every day. And I know how scared every student, parent, and their loved ones are after this tragedy. That’s why I’m asking you to send a caring message to LGBTQ+ youth in Oklahoma and across the country.

Please send a message of support (or send the letter I wrote below!) to these young people who are incredibly vulnerable right now.

We plan on collecting your messages and sharing them online so that LGBTQ+ youth all around the country know that they are loved and the HRC community will do everything we can to protect them.

To every transgender, non-binary and gender-expansive young person who exists openly or quietly today,

I hope this letter finds you well, although I understand if it doesn’t. I can only imagine the mix of emotions you must be experiencing right now, especially with the fear of violence and discrimination looming over many of you. As the parent of a beautiful 16-year-old non-binary kid myself, it breaks my heart to know that our world is putting you through so many challenges simply for being true to yourselves. I am devastated at the loss of Nex Benedict, who suffered bullying and harassment at their school. Nex deserved better. You all deserve so much better.

I want you to know that you are loved. Unconditionally loved. You are valid, and nothing can change the fact that you are a child worthy of love, respect and a bright future.

I understand the fears that so many of you hold. The world can be cruel and unjust, especially to those who dare to live authentically and to be joyful—to boldly claim their right to feel joy—when others wish that they would shrink away and hide. I also want you to remember that you are not alone. There are communities and organizations, armies of parents and grandparents, who see you, understand you and accept you just as you are. We are here to offer your support and guidance, and to help you find spaces—and create spaces—where you belong.

Your safety is paramount, and I want you to prioritize it above all else. We are prioritizing your safety and well-being. We will not turn a blind eye to the bullying or discrimination that you face. We will fight for you—in our homes, in our faith communities, in our school systems, in our legislatures. You have already shown the world that you have fight in you by recognizing that you don’t belong in a box and embracing your true identity. Hold onto that. Remember, your worth is not determined by the ignorance or hatred of others. You are beautiful; you are brave, and you deserve to live a life free from fear and discrimination—a life full of joy.

As a parent, my greatest wish is that you will continue to live authentically and unapologetically. I, and other parents, will do everything in our power to support you and protect you along the way. You are loved; you are valued, and you are worthy of every happiness life has to offer.

If you are in crisis, please dial 988 or contact Rainbow Youth Project directly at +1 (317) 643-4888.

With all my love,
Debi Jackson
(HRC Parents for Transgender Equality Council)

Add Your Message of Support To LGBTQ+ Youth

Across the country, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and non-binary youth are very vulnerable to attacks from hateful extremists right now — and they need to hear from us, from our community. Please share a note of love and support to LGBTQ+ youth today.

Sign Here!