Finding Others Like Me (2015-2016, 2014-2015)
LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender questioning, intersex) youth feel isolated. They often experience negativity at home, at school, and in social settings because of their sexual orientation. Sixty-one percent feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and 40% because of how they express their gender. An even higher percentage feels uncomfortable at home.
When bullied at school an LGBTQI youth cannot return home for comfort, understanding and acceptance because more often than not, the youth have grown up in a home that has been openly homophobic or at best non-supportive of the gay population. Unlike their fellow students who might be bullied at school because of their immigrant status, the color of their skin, or for any other reason, these youth cannot go home and receive the support they need.
There is a deep need for youth to see themselves reflected in how their parents/guardians, family, teachers, and community member's lives evolved, but most LGBTQI youth do not see their own life reflected in those immediately around them.
The struggles and obstacles these youth face are not reflected in the lives of the role models available to them. Our project will expand our services to provide the youth we serve with LGBTQI experiences that will help them build both self-esteem and self-awareness, and hope for the future as adults in the LGBTQI community.