Sixty-Two Films About LGBTQ+ Teens That Aren’t Love, Simon | The Pool:
It’s great that a film with a gay protagonist has created this much support and this much conversation. The problem is that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the conversation we’re having. In the marketing of this film – and the numerous think-pieces written about it – you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was the first film about LGBTQ+ teens to have existed, ever. And it’s not. Not even close. Yes, Love, Simon is a step forward as it is *takes a deep breath* the first LGBTQ+ teen romcom released by a major studio, but that’s quite a niche accolade. It’s important and great and it’s a good thing it exists, but it’s not as groundbreaking as the hype would have you believe.
And that’s a good thing! It’s great that there are loads of LGBTQ+ teen films out there already; it’s just important that, when talking about the progress we are making with Love, Simon, we don’t ignore them. For one thing, it erases the queer filmmakers who have been doing the work and creating these stories for decades, when big studios wouldn’t have dreamed of picking them up.
What’s your favorite queer teen movie? Read the full thing here.
Colorado House passes bill banning conversion therapy for youth:
This week in Colorado, the House of Representatives passed a bill banning the harmful and ineffective practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors. The bill now moves forward to the Senate.
“No child should be subjected to this dangerous and debunked practice condemned by every major medical and mental health organization,” said HRC Legislative Counsel Xavier Persad. “Right now, it’s incredibly important that fair-minded voices across the state of Colorado speak out and demand the Senate pass this crucially important legislation. Young LGBTQ Coloradons deserve to live their lives authentically and should never be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called conversion therapy.”
There is no credible evidence that conversion therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. To the contrary, research has clearly shown that these practices pose devastating health risks for LGBTQ young people such as depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicidal behavior. The harmful practice is condemned by every major medical and mental health organization, including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Medical Association.
Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Washington all have laws or regulations protecting youth from this abusive practice. A growing number of municipalities have also passed similar protections, including cities and counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Wisconsin. In addition, the Maryland state legislature passed similar protections earlier this week.
Go, Colorado, go!
Transgender youth whose chosen names are respected have better mental health:
Once again, research has found that transgender youth whose identities are respected have better mental health than those who are not. More specifically, this research looked at the impact of trans youth having their chosen names used throughout their lives.
The new study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that trans youth fared vastly better when their chosen names were used at places like home, work, and school.
The results showed a very clear link. For each additional context in which they could go by their chosen name, there was a 29 percent decrease in suicidal thoughts and a 56 percent decrease in suicidal behavior. That was even after the researchers controlled for factors like personal characteristics (like race/ethnicity, sexual identity, access to free lunch, or the differences between the three cities) and the impact of social support (from parents, friends, classmates, teachers, and their school).
“Depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behavior were at the lowest levels when chosen names could be used in all four contexts,” the study explains.
Stephen T. Russell, one of the researchers on the study, said the results were impressively demonstrative. “I’ve been doing research on LGBT youth for almost 20 years now, and even I was surprised by how clear that link was,” he said in a statement. “It’s practical to support young people in using the name that they choose. It’s respectful and developmentally appropriate.”
Yes, water is wet, but we can’t write off the significance of research like this. The more data we have about the importance of respecting and validating trans people’s transitions, the stronger a case we have for making those processes easier, especially for young people. More research!
As PrEP Use Soars Among Men in California, Racial Disparities Persist:
Use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has expanded rapidly in recent years among beneficiaries of California’s Medicaid system, known as Medi-Cal. Following trends seen across the country, white men older than 25 are the predominant population using Truvada (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine) as prevention for HIV.
Ali Forney Center opens the Bea Arthur Residence, a new NYC LGBTQ youth homeless shelter:
It’s been a big week for the Ali Forney Center, the largest LGBTQ homeless youth agency in the country. Based in New York City, the center has just opened the Bea Arthur Residence, an 18-bed housing facility created in honor of the late actress’s commitment to Ali Forney and LGBTQ people.
The 18-bed facility, located in New York’s East Village neighborhood, will house participants in the center’s two-year transitional living program, designed to prepare homeless LGBTQ young people for successfully living alone.
Arthur was a staunch LGBTQ rights advocate during her lifetime, and lent her support to the Ali Forney Center, which she praised for “saving lives,” on a number of occasions. A 2005 benefit performance of her one-woman show, “Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends,” raised more than $40,000 for the center.
When she died in 2009, the Emmy- and Tony-winning actress left $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center in her will. At the time, officials say the facility had been struggling to survive because it had fallen behind on rent.
Part of Arthur’s donation was used to renovate the building that will accommodate the shelter. In 2012, the New York City Council and the Manhattan borough president allocated an additional $3.3 million toward the renovations.
Gosh, I love New York and I love LGBTQ chosen family and I love this.
Why LGBTQ+ Education Needs to Start Before High School:
“Detractors to middle school GSAs may say the kids are too young to know their gender or sexuality, but those in the LGBTQ+ community can attest otherwise. Timing is irrelevant anyway, as the goal of the GSA is to increase knowledge, awareness, and understanding, as well as prevent a mental health decline. With the pervasive harassment and discrimination LGBTQ+ students experience, school-based supports like GSAs can truly make a difference.“ 🌈
If you need support, remember that we’re here for you 24/7: 866.488.7386 or text/chat thetrevorproject.org 📲