Lesbian and gay kids are coming out of the closet earlier than ever. Can we help them with the challenges?

Lawrence King’s murder has put America on alert. The 14-year-old boy was shot in the back of the head because he asked another boy to be his Valentine. The accused shooter – also 14 y.o. – has been charged with premeditated murder and will be tried as an adult. If convicted, he faces 50 years to life in prison.

The Los Angeles Daily News recently notified its readers about the nonprofit group called Friends of Project 10, which supports questioning youth in 46 LA-area schools.

Executive director of Project 10, Virginia Uribe, tells the News:

“[Gay kids] deal with hostile families, hostile churches…and they deal with hostile schools. Certainly the [school] administrators should be at the top of the food chain, making the charge against discrimination. Many times they’re reluctant to take a stand with regard to gay kids until something terrible happens. I think some students are feeling more comfortable coming out, feeling empowered in the sense they are aware they have certain rights.”

Founded in 1984, Project 10 works to ensure that the voices of LGBT youth are represented in school policies and practices. Project 10 provides assistance and support to students, faculty, and staff who have experienced harassment or discrimination. The Project 10 office interacts closely with the teachers union, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, Human Rights Watch, the Anti-Defamation League, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles County and City Human Relations Commissions.

One thought on “Lesbian and gay kids are coming out of the closet earlier than ever. Can we help them with the challenges?

  • April 13, 2008 at 6:29 pm
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    Youth sexuality is such a complex thing. I feel like a caring community should encourage and discuss the complexities of sexuality, sexual desire, and dating. However, in many communities discussing anything surrounding sex other than “don’t get pregnant” or “don’t get anyone pregnant” is still taboo. We have to move out of an area of discomfort and move into one of interaction. Maybe this tragic death could have been avoided.

    “I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. That the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect.” – Audre Lorde

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