Everyone can become a victim of harassment or bullying, even if they don’t belong to the groups that are unfairly stigmatized by society. However, when referring to sexual and other minorities, the situation becomes critical.
College is a challenging environment for every student. According to the National Survey on LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health conducted in 2019, 71% of LGBTQ+ youth reported being discriminated against their sexual identity and orientation. While 87% of them said it was crucial for them to find a safe space and organization that supports LGBTQ+ youth. Gladly, resources for LGBTQ+ students do exist and students have a chance to stick to them. Also, there are websites and programs that may help educators and parents treat LGBTQ+ students in a supportive manner. Let’s discuss them!
RESOURCES FOR LGBTQ+ STUDENTS, THEIR FRIENDS, AND SUPPORTERS
It’s great when your family members and friends support you. However, sometimes, they are not sure that they know the right way to do that. Especially, when it comes to such a delicate question as sexual orientation. Here are some resources that will help both LGBTQ+ youth and their supporters:
Institutions are created to provide a place for learning, development, and communication. Stomp Out Bullying is an organization that defends the ideals of an equal and friendly college environment. They arrange various campaigns and events to allow the LGBTQ+ community to come in full force without fear and shame. There you can find various informational articles, supportive materials, and interesting events to visit and learn more about the life of LGBTQ+. They also defend equality among people and stand against all forms of bullying and harassment that might happen at colleges and schools.
If you think that online public chats for numerous people are a matter of the past – you are wrong! Here is a great resource where you can find gay, lesbian, transgender and other like-minded peers. This is a safe environment, where they can find support, help, and get information. This place is pretty lively, so you can always find someone who cares there.
On this website, you can find numerous inspiring stories shared by LGBTQ+ people. This community is highly-supportive and stands for individualism and human rights.
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) is an organization that encourages students to act when they really want to change something. They provide learners with resources to arrange various events and programs all year round. GLSEN is one of the most initiative and active LGBTQ+ organizations.
RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS AND SCHOOL/COLLEGE ADMINISTRATORS
College tutors and educators need to find a way to help and support students that don’t feel comfortable in the academic community. Here are some resources for educators and administrators who want to know how to make learners feel better:
The Trevor Project is a free online package for educators. Here they will find curriculum, videos, and other materials for high and middle school learners. There are various care training created for educators that work with youngsters. These materials will help admins, school nurses, social workers, and teachers discuss LGBTQ+-related topics more competently.
Stop Bullying is one of LGBTQ+ support groups that provides information and support to LGBTQ+ students and educators. Here you will find materials on different topics relevant to the issue. There are also useful materials about other types of bullying here.
AFY (Advocates for Youth) addresses different sexual behavior topics. In addition to numerous informational articles and blog posts, this platform also holds various campaigns aimed at minorities’ acceptance and freedom.
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND FAMILY
Parents are the first people to support their kids when they experience hard times. Considering the fact that LGBTQ+ youth is a risk group, it is important for their family to access helpful resources and learn how to create a safe and healthy environment for their children.
Every LGBTQ+ student needs support from his/her closest people, but they are not always aware of how to help youth. On this resource, family members will find numerous research materials and initiatives that work to prevent psychological problems for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and other LGBTQ+ youth. They address problems like suicide, HIV, and homelessness in the context of LGBTQ+ teenagers and their families.
Strong Family Alliance gives support for parents and children in the LGBTQ+ community. Strong Family Alliance provides parents with accurate information and ways to keep their children safe and healthy.
PFLAG (Parents, Families, Friends, and Allies of Lesbians and Gays) provides a large network for education, support, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ youth in more than 50 states. This center is active since 1972 and they have already saved thousands of families and lives.
This detailed article provides information on how parents can prevent frustration and misunderstanding in their relationships with their LGBTQ+ kids. Following the advice and recommendations described in this piece, adults will have more chances to track and prevent unobvious reasons for kids’ mental health and self-esteem obstacles.
Chrysalis Mama is a unique website, podcast, and blog for you to explore. Chrysalis Mama is the product of a family’s journey with depression, anxiety and embracing their son who, among many wonderful traits, is gay. It is their desire to transform the LGBTQ+ conversation, pass on valuable information, and offer support to those who are traveling a similar path. Read on, listen, join in, enjoy, and remember to just breathe, you are not alone!
WHAT ARE THE LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY COLLEGES?
It is critical to find an LGBTQ+-friendly institution to ensure the happy and safe being of non-conforming young people. For years, prestige and large institutions were fighting to boost the cultural level of students and give them all opportunities to express themselves in all ways. Political views, artistic expression, and other ways of self-representation were protected and supported for decades. However, when it comes to LGBTQ+ students, this might be an issue of life and death. As we have already stated at the beginning of this article, discrimination at colleges is real trouble nowadays. For that reason, choosing a tolerant institution is important.
- Princeton University
Princeton has an LGBTQ+ Center opened in 2006. Due to this center, students can enjoy all the necessary resources to explore their sexuality. Various thematic workshops, lectures, and events are held there regularly. Princeton attentively addresses the LGBTQ+ issues that arise at the campus as well as in the entire world. Today, this university is considered as the top option for LGBTQ+ youth.
- Macalester College
Macalester College has a Gender and Sexuality Resource Center to support LGBTQ+ learners. The college’s website provides plenty of resources for learners that try to explore their sexuality and gender identity. Also, students identified as LGBTQ+ representatives can enjoy gender-inclusive housing at Macalester College.
- Ithaca College
In 2001, Ithaca College established an LGBTQ+ center to provide a friendly environment for students that identify themselves as gays, lesbians, transgender, and other sexual minorities. The administration works to boost students’ academic and personal growth.
- University of Oregon
The University of Oregon provides environment and resources for LGBTQ+ students and youngsters that explore their sexuality. There are gender-inclusive housing as well as halls for students that don’t identify themselves as representatives of the male or female gender. The University of Oregon has programs and events to increase students’ awareness and respect for different sexual identities.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR LGBTQ+ STUDENTS
Many educational institutions try hard to improve the well-being of gay, lesbian, and bisexual learners. They do face unique problems at college and funding is one of them. Choosing the right scholarship, students can make their college life a better experience, but it is important to find the right one. Here is a list of the best options to consider:
Deadline: June 1, 2020
This one is a scholarship for athlete students that pursue undergraduate education in America. Arranged for LGBTQ+ learners, this program can become a perfect option for gays, lesbians, and other sexual minority representatives that show successes in sports.
Deadline: February 5, 2020
Open LGBTQ+ students that made a positive impact in the gay and lesbian community can apply for this scholarship.
Deadline: February 5, 2020
If you are a continuing UC San Diego students openly LGBTQ+, you have all chances to get this scholarship. It is even better if you took part in any events that impacted the LGBTQ+ community positively.
Deadline: April 15, 2020
The (UUA) Unitarian Universalist Association offers various scholarships for applicants with non-traditional sexual orientation. To get the financial aid, you must have an aspirant/candidate status, attend seminary in the upcoming year, and be in seminary half-time or full-time.
Deadline: February 5, 2020
This scholarship is available for LGBTQ+ students with financial needs. The preference is given to those youngsters that are involved in LGBTQ+ organizations and activism.
Deadline: February 3, 2020
This scholarship is available for two LGBTQ+ students. Applicants must be residents of Mecklenburg, Union, Cabarrus, Lincoln, Gaston, or York, SC as well as intending to attend a college or university located in North or South Carolina.
PROBLEMS MOST LGBTQ+ YOUTH FACE
- Discrimination because of their sexual orientation
- Increased risk of stress, depression, and self-destructive behavior
- Suicidal thoughts
- Physical and sexual abuse
- Social inequality in different spheres of life (healthcare, work, academic community, etc.)
- Sexual experiences that can lead to risk of STDs
- Family rejection and peer victimization
LGBTQ+ students suffer from rejection because of their gender or sexual identity too often. This may lead to serious psychological problems that can ruin their entire life, from personal relationships to career. However, discrimination, bullying, and misunderstanding are the problems of low awareness and lack of literacy. Whenever students are not accepted by their peers, relatives, or educators, this might be a matter of failed communication and incompleteness of knowledge. The saddest thing is that a lack of understanding might be also an issue for those who want to support LGBTQ+ youth.
With the help of resources located above, LGBTQ+ students, their friends, supporters, teachers, and family members can improve their communication and understand each other better. Hopefully, they will help you live a happier life full of understanding!
This list of resources was graciously provided for cross-publishing by Madison Kingsley from LGBTQ Resources & Support