Showing appreciation, inclusion and support for LGBTQ people, particularly LGBTQ youth, can help them feel better about and during the holidays.
This holiday season, adults should be particularly sensitive and attentive to the needs of LGBTQ young people. 2020 brought unprecedented challenges to each and every one of us, and many of us, including children and teenagers, have given up routines and have been forced to adapt to online and virtual learning, spent time physically away from friends, classmates and teachers and have sacrificed many opportunities for play and exploration.
Many have also been stuck indoors. While social distancing at home with family might seem ideal to many during the holidays, for some LGBTQ folks, it can also be incredibly challenging and even detrimental to their well-being. Our 2018 LGBTQ Youth Report found 67% of LGBTQ youth heard their families make negative comments about LGBTQ people and only 24% report they can “definitely” be themselves as an LGBTQ person at home .
Being in spaces which are not affirming and inclusive of LGBTQ identities can have adverse and irreparable effects. During the holidays, and every single day, it’s apparent that we need to find better ways of supporting LGBTQ youth, particularly at home.
Here are some tips:
If you are looking to assure the young LGBTQ person in your life has a safe online space to interact with others, the Trevor Project offers an online affirming community for LGBTQ young people ages 13-24. They also offer a crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone service available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. Additionally, Q Chat offers live online chats in both English and Spanish for LGBTQ youth ages 13-17. You can find additional resources to help you support young LGBTQ people here.