I am a proud parent of an LGBT son. If you’ve visited my blog in the past you may recall that I’ve shared the occasional story about his journey toward self acceptance and our family’s role as his avid supporters. No, I’m not going to break out baby pictures or rehash old tales. He’s a normal twenty-one year old young man living in a diverse city away from home struggling with the same things other college students do. Budgeting issues are his number one problem at the moment. The kid spends money faster than he gets it…drives me crazy! But let’s stop here for a second because in my opinion this is where the divide begins. My child is a well loved individual with many supporters. That foundation of support allows him to navigate the everyday concerns of an average college kid and even the BS ones that come from being gay and living in a society that doesn’t always practice what it preaches.
But what happens to the kids who don’t have that? What happens when a young LGBT teen is turned out of his home because of his or her sexual orientation? Some make it. They find shelter, guidance and a lifeline of hope at an LGBT Center or with other outside help. Others don’t. And they suffer terribly. But these lives are not disposable. These lives matter. These kids are our future. Someone walked away or turned them away in shame when they were needed most. The crime lies with the parent, guardian or members of society who allow hate and intolerance to continue. Even in a fucking pizza parlor. No law should support anyone’s freedom to revel in prejudice. No religion should be used as a shield for fear and ignorance. No one’s life is more important than another based on skin color, religion or sexual orientation. Equality matters.
I am one of the authors supporting the LGBTQ Pushback Charity Giveaway. Please read below and be sure to click the link to the Diverse Reader blog for AJ Rose’s short story and Rafflecopter info.
Changing laws and attitudes takes time, and right now there are LGBT people in need who can’t afford to wait. The sooner we can help them, the better, and the more resources we have, the more help we can offer.
That’s why 224 authors, review bloggers, and publishers have got together to offer something wonderful: a reward for people who do a little bit to give back to charity. Instead of spending $5 on a book in the next two weeks, give that $5 to an LGBT charity of your choice, tell us about it in the comments, and go into the draw to win a book from one of our participating donors. And because it’s not all about money, if you can’t make a donation then please take a moment to share a charity’s links and tell us about that instead.
Three fundraisers have been set up to counter the hateful effects of Indiana’s SB 101. #Pizza4Equality is aiming to match the money raised by *that* pizza parlor, with all donations going to Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund. Another fundraiser is aiming to raise $100,000 for Indiana Youth Group. Finally, Planting Peace is trying to raise $100,000 to provide beds for homeless LGBT people.
Please consider giving to one of these deserving fundraisers, or any other LGBT charity anywhere in the world. We’re not telling you where you should donate your time and money, only asking that you do. The smallest things can make the biggest difference, and together, we can do something incredible.
You can check out an AJ Rose’s short story at Diverse Reader and enter the Rafflecopter LGBTQ Charity Giveaway here. Please do what you can to support our LGBT youth.
While Elijah’s story is fiction, here are some facts. LGBT people make up less than 10% of the overall population, yet 40% of homeless kids in the U.S. identify as LGBT. Of them, 68% cited family rejection for the reason they were on the streets. Studies have repeatedly shown that homeless LGBT kids are more at risk of being attacked, robbed, and raped than their heterosexual counterparts, more likely to engage in prostitution or survival sex, more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol, and more likely to attempt or commit suicide. Despite this, less than 25% of homeless shelters cater for or specifically target LGBT kids, leaving them at the mercy of individual organizations who can pick and choose who they help and who they abandon on the streets. Laws such as Indiana’s SB 101 enshrine the legality of refusing service—including such basic assistance as food and shelter—to people specifically because they’re LGBT.
This isn’t about pizza. This is about creating a climate in which LGBT individuals feel isolated from and rejected by the rest of society. It’s about creating a climate in which parents feel justified for kicking their kids out on the street. It’s about cutting off any and all support networks which might otherwise be available to prevent kids from ending up on life’s scrapheap because of how they were born.
“No man is above the law, and no man is below it.” -Theodore Roosevelt