Support is everywhere
A lot has changed since I was in high school. We didn’t have cell phones or Ipods, and used pay phones and cassette players instead. We also didn’t discuss GLBT issues or offer support to GLBT students, either.
Today, more and more high schools are adding Gay/Straight Alliance groups than ever before. There are also plenty of national nonprofit organizations that were created specifically for GLBT kids. For example, Campus Pride is a national nonprofit organization that helps to create a safer college environment for GLBT students. The primary objective of Campus Pride is to develop necessary resources, programs and services to support GLBT and ally students on college campuses across the United States. There are even GLBT-related student conferences that take place at different colleges and universities throughout the school year. Students can attend these conferences in order to interact with other GLBT students from other cities and states, engage in thought-provoking conversations, attend educational workshops, and learn how to spread positive GLBT awareness at their own school.
I wasn’t out in high school because I felt as though I didn’t have the support that I needed in order to come out. As a result, I struggled in isolation. But kids today have access to some amazing resources so that they don’t have to deal with their sexuality alone. The support resources that are available for GLBT students today are incredible. Organizations like Campus Pride, Campus Calm and others are paving the way for a generation of positive change and acceptance.
If you feel isolated or alone, take some time to explore the networks of support that exist around you. Visit Campus Pride’s website. Talk to a GSA advisor, or attend a GSA group meeting. If there is no GSA group in your school, talk to your school counselor or visit your local GLBT youth organization. It doesn’t matter which avenue of support you choose, the important thing is that you take advantage of the support. Whether it’s a local or national organization, a group at your high school, or even a teacher or a friend, reach out to someone. You’ll find that support is everywhere. You don’t have to struggle in isolation. Not now … not ever.
I have seen how far the GLBT community has come since I was in high school. And it makes me giddy with anticipation to see how much further we can go from here. I have no doubt in my mind that upcoming generations of GLBT students will feel more empowered than ever before, and they will be able to accomplish great things in school and in life.
~ Lyndsey D’Arcangelo
GLBT Student Stress Expert, Campus Calm