Pride Month, the month of June, is all about celebrating the LGBTQ community, where we’ve been and how far we have come and where we still have to go. Ed Drantch says tonight’s special is focusing on the youth, the LGBTQ youth, because for so long they have been kind of under-represented and not really discuss but there are so many young people affected by everything LGBTQ; it’s the allies, it’s the teachers, it’s the friends in the classrooms; it is the healthcare and the mental health as well. Tonight we will be talking all about these issues, really taking a deep dive into how the education system is changing and how mental health care and health care is available to these kids. We are also be hearing from the parents of Jamey Rodemeyer, Tracy and Tim Rodemeyer, who, for the last ten years have been thrust into the spotlight after the death of their son Jamey. He died when he was 14 years old. He was a freshman at Williamsville North and his parents obviously very emotional still. Ed says it was a raw and poignant interview that he did with them earlier this week and, to hear where they’ve been and where they are going, I think can inspire a lot of people. He says they have dealt with this for so long and they really have had to change who they are as people and we talk about those lessons learned at 5:30pm.
There are some statistics one of which is 55% of LGBTQ youth feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation. Another statistic is 39% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. A 2017 report from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) sites a survey of 12,000 LGBTQ students and say only about 5% feel that their teachers and support staff actually support the LGBTQ community. Ed says that is a stunning statistic in addition to the idea that there are so many children that self-harm, who are committing suicide, thinking about suicide and of course also winding up in the justice system as well and that’s where GLYS Western New York comes in really helping the youth here in Western New York because without this kind of a resource, support groups, drop-in centers and just that feeling of support these kids really would be in a terrible place.
A Buffalo Strong Conversation: Connecting with the LGBTQ Community tonight at 5:30 pm on Channel 7
Crisis Services - 716-285-3515 or
LGBTQ National Youth Talkline – 1-800-246-7743