Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006
Town and Village

‘LGBTQ+ Alphabet Soup: A Community Conversation’ will discuss the world of today’s youth

BRATTLEBORO—Have questions about any of the LGBTQ+ letters? Confused about the differences between gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression? Want to better understand your teenager’s world?

The Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro, New England Center for Circus Arts, and the New England Youth Theatre will host a panel discussion for parents, caregivers, educators, and youth age 12 and older to better understand and support LGBTQ+ youth in our community.

The event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Boys & Girls Club on Flat Street as a belated celebration of National Coming Out Day, which took place Oct. 11.

The goal of this forum, organizers said, “is to provide an open, frank, safe, and welcoming space for questions.”

National Coming Out Day began in 1988 and is observed annually to celebrate and raise awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and civil rights movement.

In the beginning, the day was marked by people coming out, whether privately or publicly (and, in the case of the latter, often in the media), to raise awareness and let the mainstream know that everyone knows at least one person who identifies as LGBTQ+.

While coming out has become easier since 1988, it remains a struggle for many, affecting young people the most. In 2018, a Human Rights Campaign survey of youth ages 13 to 18 found that:

• 24 percent of LGBTQ youth said they could “definitely” be themselves as an LGBTQ person at home.

• 67 percent of LGBTQ youth said they hear their families make negative comments about LGBTQ people.

• 58 percent of trans and gender-expansive youth said they could never use school restrooms that align with their gender identity.

• 73 percent of LGBTQ youth have experienced verbal threats because of their actual or perceived LGBTQ identity.

• 26 percent said they always feel safe in their school classrooms.

• 5 percent said all of their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people.

The panelists include LGBTQ youth and adults and parents of LGBTQ children.

The forum will be moderated by Jenna Struble, NECCA executive director and nationally recognized diversity, equity, and inclusion educator.

Drop-ins are welcome, but registration at bgcbrattleboro.org/lgbtq-event is preferred.

Masks will be required, and capacity will be limited to 30 participants.

Like what we do? Help us keep doing it!

We rely on the donations and financial support of our readers to help make The Commons available to all. Please join us today.

What do you think? Leave us a comment

Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.

Comments

We are currently reconfiguring our comments software. Please check back if you’d like to read or leave comments on this story. —The editors

Originally published in The Commons issue #634 (Wednesday, October 13, 2021). This story appeared on page C3.

Share this story

Links

0

Related stories