....More gays and lesbians are coming out as teenagers and some as early as middle school. But many don't have the social support to deal with bullying or the financial support to live on their own if their families kick them out.Not every city across the country has a place where young gays can turn for help. But teens in North Texas can visit Youth First Texas."Coming out at an earlier age presents the same issues as an adult, but the youth don't have the mental capacity to deal with the adverse reactions from people," said Johnny Cooper, Youth First Texas' director of development and administration.........Last year, the group served more than 1,200 teens and college-aged members. While many are gay, lesbian or bisexual, others are transgender and some question their sexuality. Heterosexual friends join them to provide support or to volunteer.Youth First Texas, marking its 10th year, is vital for local gay and lesbian youth, said Cece Cox, an associate executive director at Resource Center Dallas, which serves the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community."The case is so compelling for what they do," Cox said. "GLBT youth are among the most vulnerable constituency. ... There's a need for support and role models to say, 'You are fine the way you are, and you're a human being with dignity.' "A survey of 100 youths who visited Youth First Texas, or YFT, last year showed that more than half had tried to commit suicide, while about a quarter had been kicked out of their homes because of their sexual orientation......
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Posted by De Sube at 11/25/2009 07:59:00 AM