Time Out Youth Calls for Community Support to Reach Out to LGBTQ Youth

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Time Out Youth, a non-profit center for LGBTQ youth in Charlotte, North Carolina, asks everyone to educate themselves about sexual orientation and gender identity and expression following the recent untimely deaths of two local LGBTQ youth.

Responding to local and national attention surrounding the untimely deaths of two local LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning) youth in recent weeks*, Time Out Youth, a non-profit center for LGBTQ youth in Charlotte, North Carolina has released the following statement:

“We implore everyone to educate themselves about sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Respecting and validating someone’s identity is a matter of life and death for many of our LGBTQ youth. LGBTQ youth are exponentially more likely to consider suicide than their non-LGBTQ peers. Time Out Youth Center wants our youth to know that if you’re considering suicide, it’s important for you to reach out to someone to get the support you need.”

“We also want our youth to know that they’re not alone and that we’re always here to support them. Our goal is to help them to recognize the power and strength within themselves and to know that asking for help is a courageous act that takes strength. Above all, we need them to know that we love them and honor and respect their identities without question.”

“None of our youth have to endure their struggles alone. Reach out and tell us what you need when you need help and support. Recognize your self-worth and your ability to create change. And, most importantly, love and be kind to one another.”

“To all communities: Listen to the voices of our youth and understand that their experiences and identities are valid and vital to their well-being. Work within your own community and organizations to create safe spaces where all youth can thrive. When a youth reaches out to you for support, recognize what he or she need and make sure that he or she able to access support relevant to their needs.”

“Time Out Youth would like to thank the community for their continuous outreach and support. Ensuring our youth have the support necessary to navigate and heal from these tragedies is a critical priority for us. We would like to thank KinderMourn, local counselors, and members of the faith community for your partnership and support in providing grief counseling for our youth and staff in response to the untimely deaths of two LGBTQ youth who were part of our family at Time Out Youth.”    

About Time Out Youth

Time Out Youth is a non-profit organization in Charlotte, North Carolina that strives to promote respect, acceptance, honesty, confidentiality, and individuality among all youth. The center’s mission is to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning youth by promoting unconditional acceptance and creating spaces for self-expression through support, advocacy, social engagement, and leadership development. Their vision is to inspire inclusive communities where all youth are equally empowered to reach their true potential. Through a variety of social events and workshops, participants work to build a community that helps to strengthen belief in youth leadership, systemic change, unconditional acceptance, inclusiveness, self-expression, and self-determination. Time Out Youth works to educate other agencies and organizations about how to be inclusive of LGBTQ youth through Safe Zone Trainings and education.

To learn more about Time Out Youth, please visit http://www.timeoutyouth.org.

Additional Not-for-Profit Resources

TransLifeLine, a support network for transgender people: http://www.translifeline.org/
The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ suicide hotline and crisis line for youth: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
CenterLink, a nationwide network of LGBTQ centers and a great way to find an LGBTQ resource in your area: http://www.lgbtcenters.org/
GLSEN, organization that promotes education and advocacy to ensure that schools are safe and welcoming for LGBTQ youth: http://www.glsen.org/
Campus Pride, a nationwide resource for college-age youth who may be in need of support at their colleges and universities: http://www.CampusPride.org

*The Advocate, 3/24/15, http://www.advocate.com/obituaries/2015/03/24/trans-teen-activist-homecoming-king-dies

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Matt Myler

O'Neale Atkinson
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