2015 begins in much the same way that 2014 ended – bittersweet. The victory in Florida has us celebrating with Florida – equality is now the law in 35 states and Washington DC, with several additional states awaiting the outcome of stayed court rulings. We anticipate the real possibility of legal recognition and protection of our families nationwide. It can’t come soon enough for our families and couples!
But even as we celebrate our tremendous progress toward marriage equality, we are quickly reminded that too many in our community still face tragic circumstances.
Our hearts are broken at the news of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn's death and the circumstances that led to it. Her story highlights the truth that our youth and our transgender sisters and brothers still suffer. LGBT youth continue to make up 40% of the homeless youth population in the United States, many of them rejected by their families because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. More than 50% of transgender youth have attempted suicide at least once before the age of 20. These statistics are horrifying. And they're not just statistics; they are the lives of our youth.
Join us as we fight to protect our youth, fight to put an end to heinous practices such as conversion therapy and help us find ways to overcome familial rejection – these are among The Center’s highest priorities. We are a community. We can't fully celebrate our progress until we are able to ensure all those among us are able to celebrate.
For information on transgender services and youth services at The Center, visit us at www.thecentersd.org/programs/transgender-services, www.thecentersd.org/programs/youth-services and www.thecentersd.org/programs/youth-services/youth-housing-project.html.