SUPPORTING LGBTQ+ YOUTH IN CRISIS
40% of young LGBTQ people have seriously considered suicide in the last year.
That's just one of the many disturbing findings of The Trevor Project's annual survey of LGBTQ youth under 25 years old. The survey, which focuses on LGBTQ youth's mental health, was conducted between December 2019 and March 2020, right before the onset of the coronavirus crisis.
The Trevor Project's research also revealed:
In my role as an Adult Advisor for the New Bedford Gay and Lesbian Alliance (NB-AGLY), I've seen up close how mental health disparities make life so much more challenging for LGBTQ+ youth, not just on the South Coast but everywhere.
What can we do to support LGBTQ+ youth? Some bright spots in the research indicate that support from peers, friends, and family as well as respect for their identity are two key factors that positively affect LGBTQ+ youth's mental health and outlook. For example:
NB-AGLY A Perfect Place is a safe space where LGBTQ+ youth can feel valued, meet new people, and freely express who they are. We are here for you. Until we can reopen our downtown New Bedford location, we will be hosting weekly Zoom chats and outdoor activities on Thursdays at 5 p.m. Join our Facebook page for details.
If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, contact The Trevor Project's TrevorLifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat every day or by texting "START" to 678-678.
Taking Pride in Our Future
This year's Pride Month was truly historic. Historic for the creative ways in which the LGBTQ+ community came together, in spirit and online, in the midst of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. Historic for the march toward racial justice and equality powered by #BlackLivesMatter. Historic for the Supreme Court's landmark ruling protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ people at work.
We may not have been able to organize parades, rallies, and dances as we have in years past, but The South Coast LGBTQ+ Network worked hard to find other ways to celebrate with all our friends in the LGBTQ+ community. On our weekly broadcast, The LGBTQ Voice, we featured a range of wonderful guests, including LGBTQ+ superstar ally Sara Cunningham, whose Free Mom Hugs campaign has inspired millions. We shined a spotlight on some of the South Coast's most talented artists and performers. We meditated and stretched. We played virtual Bingo. We reviewed books that inspired us. We talked about faith.
At the beginning of June, we launched a new website that we hope our community will always turn to for information, education, and inspiration. Now we end Pride Month 2020 by announcing some big news: The South Coast LGBTQ+ Network has purchased an historic building in downtown New Bedford which we will transform over the next two years into a new Community Center for everyone to enjoy.
It's been a long and eventful 30 days for us all. As the pandemic rages on, we send all our love and sympathy to those whose lives have been upended by this terrible event.
We want to acknowledge all the artists, organizers, partners, and participants for giving so much of yourselves during this challenging time in our history. And we want to thank you, our beautiful South Coast LGBTQ+ community, for making it all worthwhile. Before you know it, we'll be making plans for Pride 2021.
In the meantime, stay health, stay safe, and stay proud!
welcome to OUT FRONT
Welcome to Out Front, the blog of The South Coast LGBTQ+ Network. Here we share our thoughts on issues affecting our little Massachusetts community.
PROUDER THAN EVER
On behalf of The South Coast LGBTQ+ Network, I want to wish everyone a happy, hopeful, and healthy Pride 2020! The pandemic has made this an especially challenging time for those of us in the LGBTQ+ community who struggle with health-related, social, economic, and spiritual issues. Please know that we are always here to help. On our new website, we're making it easier to find national, state, and local support for dealing with COVID-19. On our Tuesday "The LGBTQ Voice" broadcasts, we are bringing in experts to talk about self-care and other important topics. We are adding new content focused on health and wellness in our new meFIRST program. We are hosting Bingo nights and launching a new Book Club. And, of course, we are celebrating Pride all month long beginning on June 6 with a joyous "Show Your Pride" event, an online interview with Stonewall veteran David Velasco Bermudez, an LGBTQ+ Artist Showcase, and a "Werk It!" event featuring the fabulous drag queens and kings of the South Coast. We've even built a Pride Spotify playlist we can't wait for you to listen to. So the spirit of Pride lives on this summer, even if we can't be together in person to celebrate what makes the South Coast LGBTQ+ community so vibrant and so special. Enjoy and stay safe! Andy xo
The South Coast LGBTQ+ Network
A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization
P.O. Box 8473
New Bedford, MA 02740