Recently, many states have begun legislating against the LGBTQ+ community, particularly targeting children and their caregivers. These bills do not stop at restricting the rights of LGBTQ+ children, but seek to erase their existence and identities. The harm caused by the increase in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is not limited to the impact on children in those states; the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ+ children everywhere is put in danger when their personhood is threatened.
LGBTQ+ young people, particularly transgender children, experience significantly higher rates of depression and self-harm, the risk of which increases with every instance of harassment and marginalization. The Trevor Project has identified safe and affirming schools and communities as a key factor in reducing self-harm for LGBTQ+ young people.
Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington affirms and stands in solidarity with LGBTQ+ children and families, especially transgender children. All children and families deserve dignity, care, and respect, and YA is proud to be an inclusive organization that celebrates and supports our LGBTQ+ staff, artists, students, and community partners.
As an organization that works in schools and with young people in community settings, Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington is committed to offering programs where LGBTQ+ children and young adults are recognized, valued, and protected.