Joe Biden’s foundation has launched a major campaign aimed at stopping parents from rejecting their LGBT kids.
Barack Obama’s former Vice President Joe Biden, a long-time supporter of LGBT rights, has made LGBT issues a core focus of the Biden Foundation, which was set up following his departure from the White House.
Biden today launched a campaign to raise awareness of “the importance of family acceptance in the lives of LGBTQ young people,” putting significant resources towards campaigns bolstering acceptance by families.The “As You Are” campaign launch is backed by a number of high-profile figures including Cyndi Lauper and former NFL star Wade Davis.
“We’ll use our resources to highlight the harms of family rejection—and lift up research, best practices, and personal stories to powerfully show the significant value of family acceptance.”
The Foundation added: “Today far too many LGBTQ folks continue to face rejection at home and discrimination in their communities. This kind of rejection leads to heartbreaking outcomes.
“Forty percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. Many of them have been kicked out of their homes, or no longer find it safe to stay at home.
“Gay, lesbian and bisexual youth are five times more likely than their straight peers to have attempted suicide. 40 percent of transgender and gender nonconforming adults report having attempted suicide at some point in their lives. Most of them before the age of 25.
“Some parents subject their children to the vile practice of conversion therapy or pressure them to keep their identities secret. It doesn’t have to be this way.”
It adds “Stories like these have incredible power to inspire, to remind, to create communities, to heal families, to move us towards a culture of acceptance — not rejection. And we want to hear from you.
“If you are an LGBTQ person who has experienced rejection or acceptance we want to hear from you. If you are a parent we want to hear from you. If you are a teacher, a coach friend neighbor co-worker sibling or ally we want to hear from you, too.
“By sharing your stories — your stories, we can work together to change the culture and ensure a bright future for the LGBTQ young people in America.”
Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Director of the Family Acceptance Project said: “Our research shows that LGBTQ young people who are accepted by their families are healthier, have higher self-esteem and are much less likely to report depression, abuse substances or attempt suicide. Family acceptance is like a vaccine that protects their LGBTQ child with love and helps them deal more effectively with challenges, adversity and stigma.”
Judy Shepard, Co-Founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation said: “No matter who you are, where you live, or how you pray, surely we can all agree that we ought to live in a society where all our young people are supported and affirmed. It’s not enough to change laws and policies. We have to change hearts and minds.”
Marsha Aizumi, author of “Two Spirits, One Heart” said: “As a parent who has been on a journey of acceptance, I know firsthand the importance and impact of being my son’s ally and champion. All of our children deserve the right and dignity to live their lives as authentically as possible. In sharing our stories of love and acceptance, we move closer to a safer, more peaceful world for all our children.”
Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project said: “Family acceptance can save lives. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are more than four times more likely than their straight peers to attempt suicide. And 40% of transgender and gender nonconforming adults report having attempted suicide at some point in their lives, most of them before the age of 25. That’s why it is so important to support LGBTQ youth and let them know that they are not alone.”