A safe place for lesbian and gay youth. California support group acknowledges depression and tragedy for some kids

The Mountain View Voice spotlights a group called Outlet, which supports area LGBT youth. The piece – posted April 18th – reports that a national survey shows 5 to 7 percent of teenagers will realize they are gay by the time they graduate.

Furthermore, the news source points out, “According to an Outlet survey of nearly 50 local LGBT youth – 60 percent answered ‘yes’ when asked whether they have ‘had thoughts about suicide to the point you had a plan in mind’.”

Shannon Turk, director of Outlet, describes the disastrous effects of feeling ostracized while in high school. She explains:

“Most of us walk through the world expecting the people we interact with are straight, and they will grow up to have 2.5 kids, a minivan and a white picket fence. [But LGBT students] are afraid their life will not have a happy ending.”

Turk goes on to point out, “LGBT students are more likely to be depressed, to get lower grades and to binge drink simply to dull the pain…”

According its website, Outlet supports youth ages 13-20 living on the Peninsula and South Bay. Leadership training, community education and advocacy are included in its support services. The group hopes to “successfully increase youth confidence, build personal assets, and create healthier communities”.

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