Despite the adversity we’ve faced, in the last two months, we’ve seen a lot of change and progress for the LGBTQ community, including the Pentagon repealing its ban on transgender people serving in the military and two transgender women winning their primaries in Utah and Colorado. From a youth suicide prevention bill clearing the California Assembly to the Obama Administration issuing a guidance protecting transgender public students nationwide, we are paving the way for a brighter future for LGBTQ youth. Learn more about how we’re continuing the fight for equality here.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014, access to firearms enabled 2,444 young people ages 10-24 to take their own lives. This accounted for 44 percent of all suicide deaths for that age range in the US. We are standing up against gun violence with over 30 organizations in LGBTQ and gun control movements. On June 29, we participated in a National Day of Action for stricter gun control legislation roundtable hosted by Los Angeles Congress members Lucille Roybal-Allard, Karen Bass, Judy Chu, Xavier Becerra, and Maxine Waters. Learn more here and see our most recent post about our need to keep fighting for youth in The Advocate.
On June 1, 2016, California approved AB 2246, a bill that would require the adoption of comprehensive suicide prevention plans by local California school districts with students in grades 7-12. Co-authored with Equality California, The Trevor Project, and Assembly member Patrick O’Donnell, AB 2246 now has to move to the Senate for approval. Learn more in The Advocate from our Associate Director of Government Affairs, Amy Loudermilk, about how we helped pass a similar bill in Washington D.C.
Executive Director and CEO Abbe Land visited The White House Summit to speak about the needs of African American LGBTQ youth. Discussions addressed the importance of creating safe spaces on the internet and in schools, as well as the health and income disparities that impact African American LGBTQ youth. Abbe discussed our free online Lifeguard program, which teaches suicide prevention and crisis intervention to youth-serving professionals, and the importance of addressing intersectionality when creating programs and addressing needs. Since this talk, Trevor has participated in Twitter advocacy chats regarding LGBTQ data inclusion in government surveys, transgender health, intersectionality and social activism. Follow along in these important conversations on Twitter.
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