A Historical Moment for LGBT Teens and Youth
On June 24, President Obama sent an extremely positive message to the LGBT teens and youth of the future. NPR reported that Obama declared nearly 8-acres in New York City not only part of the National Park System, but as the first monument to specifically highlight LGBT history in the US.
The Stonewall National Monument encompasses one of the most well-known LGBT landmarks: The Stonewall Inn. The Stonewall Inn is commonly thought of as the “birthplace of the modern gay rights movement” in the United States. This choice sends out support to LGBT teens, youth, and adults that may be struggling with accepting themselves or being accepted by others.
How are LGBT Teens and Youth at Risk?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state, LGBT teens and youth are at a higher risk of developing mental health issues and experiencing bullying due to the anxiety around being accepted and understood by peers. The stress connected to coming out to family and friends can create anxiety and depressive disorders in LGBT teens. President Obama’s act of declaring an LGBT monument, sent a clear message across the country: You are supported. This message encourages people to further understand the issues LGBT teens and youth face, creating a more accepting and positive view of them.
A Message of Support
Hopefully President Obama’s message of support will encourage parents, schools and more to take action in helping LGBT teens and youth. A supportive and accepting environment can significantly decrease depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and other mental health issues surrounding LGBT teens and youth.
It’s important that parents reach out to their child and explain that they’ll be accepted and loved, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. With love and support, mental health issues among LGBT youth will decrease—but this will only happen when action and support comes from all sides of the country.