How to Support LGBT Youth

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National Coming Out Day, celebrated on October 11, supports those who have come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) or as an ally (a straight and/or cisgender individual who supports LGBT rights). 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day. 

When people know someone who is LGBT, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. Every person who speaks up changes more hearts and minds, and creates new advocates for equality. We know that having a supportive community, including friends, family and educators, is vital to the health of LGBT youth. ​Because of this, we've compiled a guide to help educate family, friends, educators and other individuals who have the opportunity to actively support queer youth in their lives.

Coming Out as a Supporter
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, in partnership with Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National, have released a comprehensive update of Coming Out as a Supporter. The resource is intended to be a welcoming guide for supporters to build bridges of understanding when someone they know comes out to them as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The guide answers initial questions and shares facts, strategies, and ways to show your support as an ally in the fight for LGBT equality. Click here for the complete guide.

Cultivating Respect: Safe Schools for All (PFLAG)
For the 9 out of 10 LGBT students who experience some form of mistreatment in school, education can be a frightening experience. It’s incumbent upon parents, families, friends, and allies to make schools safer for ALL students. PFLAG chapters work directly with schools and stakeholders in their communities, providing support, resources, training, creative programs, and even model policy to create an environment of respect. Click here to learn more about supporting youth in schools.

10 Trans and Gender-Non-Conforming Youth Activists of Color Changing the World
Growing up LGBT and a racial minority can have significant challenges. Representation is important for youth, and providing visibility to other LGBT youth of color can provide confidence and empowerment. Here are 10 trans and gender-nonconforming activists of color, all 21 or younger, making notable strides for the LGBT community. This list, in no particular order, isn't exhaustive — it's just a tiny sample of stellar youth activists doing incredibly impactful work.