protecting the Rights of LGBTQ Youth
During Pride Month, Girls Inc. is proud to celebrate and also reaffirm the rights of LGBTQ youth with a call for action regarding the Equality Act. Why? Because we believe that the world and our organization are enriched by all types of diversity and experiences.
Girls Inc. is committed to providing the Girls Inc. experience to all youth who identify as girls regardless of their assigned sex at birth, and those who are exploring their gender identity or expression during their time at Girls. Inc. Furthermore, we are proud to provide girls across the U.S. and Canada with a welcoming, inclusive environment where they can feel safe and comfortable expressing themselves freely.
Unfortunately, LGBTQ individuals disproportionately experience sexual harassment and discrimination in schools. Reports have shown that three out of five LGBTQ students report having been sexually harassed while at school. In fact, nearly half of transgender and bisexual women face some type of sexual assault within their lifetime. In many cases, this sexual harassment and violence begins during childhood. As a result, LGBTQ individuals feel unsafe, and making survivors hesitant to seek support. Sexual harassment and violence can negatively affect LGBTQ youths’ self-esteem, educational aspirations, GPAs, and school attendance.
Two Ways You Can Be a Part of the Change
It’s long past time to address the prevalence of discrimination against the LGBTQ community. So this Pride Month, join us in celebrating and reaffirming the rights of LGBTQ youth and take these steps to prevent pervasive sexual harassment and discrimination, especially in schools:
- Take action. Ask your Senator to cosponsor the Equality Act (S. 788), which has already passed the House. The Equality Act aims to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
- If you haven’t yet, take the #GirlsToo pledge. If you have, then please share it and help us spread the word. Our #GirlsToo campaign aims to shift deeply entrenched norms that lead to sexual harassment and violence in our society and create a culture where all young people grow up safe, respected, and valued. Take the pledge TODAY and join our efforts to prevent and address sexual harassment and assault.
The change starts with each of us. Take action now! Happy Pride!