Blog
Search
Close this search box.

Pride Part 2 – 4 Ways A Caring Adult Can Support LGBTQ+ Youth

Introduction:

A growing number of young people in the United States identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning (LGBTQ+). As a caring adult and prospective youth life coach, there are many ways you can support the youth in your life. This article will suggest immediate ways you can strengthen your support of and advocacy for queer and trans youth.

Here are 4 ways to support LBGTQ+ youth as a caring adult:

  1. Cultivate an Open, Safe, Accepting, Non-Judgmental Space

According to the CDC, LGBTQ+ youth are more likely than non-LGBTQ youth to experience violence at school and have lower levels of school connectedness.

It is imperative for caring adults in schools and community spaces to create an environment where all young people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, etc. feel accepted, seen, and heard. The adult can communicate this principle through openly expressing their acceptance of all identities and ways of being through verbal affirmation, physical reminders (posters with LGBTQ+ flags, marking a safe space, rules of engagement with others in the space) and empathy.

  • Do Your Research

In order to support LBGTQ+ young people, the adult must develop a current and contextual understanding of the experiences of those youth. LBGTQ+ youth face higher rates of bullying, mental health issues, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors compared to non-LBGTQ+ youth. Many non-profits and activist organizations produce yearly surveys that provide insight into the experiences of these youth in school, at home, and in community. Check out our blog for some of the latest research on the state of mental health for U.S. LGBTQ+ youth.

  • Mind Bias and Language

Bias is both conscious and unconscious, and can directly impact the relationships we form with other people. Take time to reflect on any personal bias regarding LGBTQ+ people and issues. Use appropriate and affirming language; ask when uncertain, apologize and restate when incorrect. If possible or applicable, engage in professional development around LGBTQ+ youth issues.

  • Advocate for LBGTQ+ Youth Access to Care

In 2019, the Trevor Project reported LGBTQ+ youth who have at least one caring adult were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year. Additionally, LBGTQ+ youth disproportionately experience homelessness and resource scarcity. Caring adults can advocate on the behalf of LGBTQ+ youth for supportive and affirming policies in school/community and access to healthcare and social services. That can look like inclusive and supportive school policies, demanding resources like housing, financial support and access to affirming, competent physical and mental health care for LGBTQ+ youth.

Want more information on how to support all youth through openness and communication? Check out our blogs here. Interested in becoming a youth life coach? Here’s the link to our accredited training opportunities.

Change the lives of youth. Starting today.