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LGBT Youth Basics / Mentoring Partnerhips of New York Breakfast Forum


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  • 1. Effective Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth Presented by Nicole Avallone, LMSW The Mentoring Partnership Breakfast December 6, 2012
  • 2. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center  1983  The Center is founded  The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Center provides a home for the birth, nurture and celebration of our organizations, institutions and culture; cares for our individuals and groups in need; educates the public and our community; and empowers our individuals and groups to achieve their fullest potential.NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 3. Youth Enrichment Services Mission Statement: The YES program exists to provide Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning young people with community support to foster healthy development, in a safe, affirming, sex-positive, alcohol and drug-free environment. At YES we are guided by our goal of creating a Community of Inclusion for everyone who comes to the program. Today • Over 1000 youth annually Started in 1989 • 90% youth of color • 60% under the age of 19NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 4. Goals for Today  Define LGBT-related terms  Identify current challenges & strengths  Review Affirming approaches for working with LGBTQ Youth & Families  Identify resources for additional supportNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 5. You don’t have to be LGBT… To be effective working with LGBTQ youth and families. All you need is:  Some basic information  A willingness to show that you care  A willingness to keep learningNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 6. Starting with language…NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 7. Sexual Orientation Refers to who we are attractions to emotionally, physically, spiritually Some identities people may use include  Lesbian – woman attracted to woman  Gay – man attracted to man  Bisexual – attraction to both men & women  Asexual – no attraction  Pansexual – attraction to people across the gender spectrumNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 8. Assigned Sex Refers to the sex assignment given to us at birth, usually by a healthcare provider based on genitalia, organs, and assumptions about our chromosomes Sex assignments include  Male  Female  IntersexNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 9. Gender Identity Refers to how we self-identify our gender.  This doesn’t always match our assigned sex. Some identities people may use include  Male  Female  Transgender – an umbrella term  Trans-man/Man of transgender experience  Trans-woman/Woman of transgender experience  …OthersNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 10. Gender Expression Refers to how we present ourselves in terms of dress, posture, roles. Different cultures have their own definitions of what is considered “normative” Examples include  Masculine  Feminine  AndrogynousNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 11. Genderbread PersonNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 12. Traditional Gender Model Assigned Sex Male Female Hormones, genitalia, secondary sex characteristics Gender Expression Masculine Feminine Dress, posture, roles, identity Sexual Orientation Attracted Attracted to Women to MenNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 13. Inclusive Gender Model (adapted from Samuel Lurie; VT Dept. of Public Health) Assigned Sex Male Intersex Female Hormones,genitals, secondarysex characteristics Gender Identity Man “Trans” Woman Sense of self and experience; Gender Expression Masculine Androgynous Feminine Dress, posture, societal roles Sexual Orientation Women Neither Both MenNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 14. This is personal This is not just specific to LGBT people  We all have a SEX ASSIGNED AT BIRTH  We all have a SEXUAL ORIENTATION  We all have a GENDER IDENTITY  We all have a way we EXPRESS OUR GENDERNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 15. Exploring our identities The Genderbread Person
  • 16.  Anything that stood out for you?  Anything that surprised you?NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 17. The problem is not our kids. The problem is our culture not accepting kids. -Sarah, parent of a Gender Variant Child
  • 18. LGBT risk factors Variables associated with an increased health risk or concern  Multiple oppressions Poverty, Racism, HIV/AIDS related issues and/or other concerns  Lack of social spaces Reliance on LGBT bar scene for socialization and identity  Violence affirmation The threat and/or experience of  Disconnection from family and anti-gay or anti-trans violence other institutions  LGBT-related stigma Family, religious and social Discrimination in housing, intolerance of LGBT education, employment, health lifestyles care access…NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 19. LGBT Youth: Targets of Violence In a recent survey of over 7000 LGBT middle and high school students…  Eight of ten had been verbally harassed at school;  Four of ten had been physically harassed at school;  Six of ten felt unsafe at school; and  One of five had been the victim of a physical assault at school From Kosciw JG, Greytak EA, Diaz EM, Bartkiewicz MJ. The 2009 National School Climate Survey: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth in Our Nation’s Schools. New York: Gay, Lesbian Straight Education Network; 2010. Available at data/GLSEN_ATTACHMENTS/file/000/001/1675-5.PDF .NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 20. LGBT youth and the YRBS (Youth Risk Behavior Survey)  Approximately two to five times more likely than their [straight] peers to report skipping school because of feeling unsafe during the past month  Twice as likely to report bingeing on alcohol at least once in the past month  Twice as likely to report smoking cigarettes  Nearly twice as likely to be a teen parentNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 21. LGBT youth and suicide Studies have found that LGB youth are  One to three times more likely to report suicidal ideation  One and a half to seven times more likely to report having made a serious suicide attempt There is little current research to help us understand experiences of transgender youth. Suicide Prevention Resource Center. (2008). Suicide risk and prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Newton, MA: Education Development Center, Inc. This publication is available for download: LGBT Community Center
  • 22. Young MSM and HIV By age in NYC, 2001-2007NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 23. It may be getting better, but we still have a long way to go.
  • 24. Protective factors with LGBTQ Youth Conditions associated with increased positive outcomes  High family connectedness  Caring adults  High self esteem  Family acceptance  Safe school environment  Positive peer and adult role modelsNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 25. Why talk about this in mentoring programs?NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 26. Affirming ApproachesNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 27. Health Youth Development  Includes  A sense of competence - being able to do something well LGBT youth, like all youth, need  A sense of usefulness - support, guidance, and having something to opportunities contribute  Especially during periods  A sense of belonging - of rapid growth and being part of a community change  A sense of power - having control over ones future  Coming out  A sense of Pride in Identity  Gender transition – knowing and liking who  Personal health threat, you are such as HIV diagnosisNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 28. Keys to Positive Youth Development  Caring & Trusting Relationships  High Expectations  Engaging Activities  Opportunities to Contribute  Continuity  Recognition of unique identity developmental needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youthNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 29. When youth don’t feel accepted…  They don’t tell you the whole story  They may skip meetings, or not show up at all  They engage in more risky behaviors Everyone should feel free of stigmatization. If we are consciously or unconsciously creating those kinds of conditions for students, we have the obligation to do better.NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 30. The Family Acceptance Project Video Clip
  • 31. New Research: The Family Acceptance Project LGBT youth adults with low levels of family acceptance were over three times more likely to report suicidal thoughts and attempts compared to peers with high levels of family acceptance High Family Acceptance contributed to…  Reduced suicidal behavior, depression, and substance use  Higher self-esteem, social support and general health LGBT Community Center
  • 32. Using inclusive language  Reflect back the language a young person uses with you  Use gender-neutral language when talking about relationships  Ask about preferred names and pronouns  Revise forms to be inclusive of all genders and sexualities  Work to avoid assumptionsNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 33. Reduce Isolation Consider all options that reduce isolation and increase community  LGBTQ-specific supports  family & individual support groups  drop-in programs  Phone and Online support  For youth: Trevor Project hotline, Trevor chat  For families: The Family Acceptance Project, PFLAG-NYCNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 34. LGBTQ Youth Support Programs  LGBT Community Center’s in all 5 boros, NJ, Long Island  LGBT Community Center Youth Enrichment Services –  Hetrick-Martin Institute, Home of the Harvey Milk High School -  Trevor Project –  Trevor Hotline, Trevor Chat, searchable database of LGBTQ youth resources by zip code around the countryNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 35. Help Families with Acceptance Is increased family support an option?  Ask youth if they think their family would be open to getting support  Consider everyone they may consider to be “family”  Work to connect families to resourcesNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 36. When in doubt…  Maintain an “asking stance”  Allow your young person to be your guide  Reach out to colleagues  Seek additional information and training No one is expected to have all the answers. Know that if you demonstrate a willingness to learn, it will show.NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 37. Practicing our skills
  • 38. Resources for Lesson Planning  Teaching Tolerance Many articles and lessons around LGBTQ issues.  Welcoming Schools LGBTQ-inclusive approach to addressing family diversity, gender stereotyping, bullying and name-calling in K-5 learning environments.NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 39. Gender-related Books (K-6th) My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis About a boy who likes pink and enjoys wearing tiaras and other princess clothes. The boy is accepted for who he is and how he likes to dress. 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert Bailey, dreams about beautiful dresses and longs to make them and wear them.NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 40. Books about Coming Out  Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Lesbian or Gay Child by Michael C. LaSala, Ph.D.  Oddly Normal by John Schwartz One Family’s Struggle to help the Teenage Son to Come to Terms with His SexualityNYC LGBT Community Center
  • 41. Additional Resources GLSEN 2009 National School Climate Report Report Includes Analysis of 10 Years of Data, Finds Little Change in Victimization The Family Acceptance Project - Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9–12 — Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Selected Sites, United States, 2001–2009 . MMWR – June 2011 A systematic review of parental influences on the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth: time for a new public health research and practice agenda. Journal of Primary Prevention. 2010 Dec;31(5- 6):273-309. Bouris A, Guilamo-Ramos V, Pickard A, Shiu C, Loosier PS, Dittus P, Gloppen K, Michael Waldmiller J. A Review of Positive Youth Development Programs That Promote Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health. Journal of Adolescent Health. Volume 46, Issue 3, Supplement , Pages S75-S91, March 2010. Loretta E. Gavin, M.P.H., Ph.D., Richard F. Catalano, Ph.D., Corinne David-Ferdon, Ph.D., Kari M. Gloppen, M.P.H., Christine M. Markham, Ph.D.NYC LGBT Community Center
  • 42. Questions?
  • 43. Thank You! Nicole Avallone, LMSW Director of Youth Services The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center 208 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 646-358-1739 LGBT Community Center