Finding Hope: Suicide risk high among LGBTQ youth in Idaho

By : wire report
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NAMPA, Idaho (AP) | According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, LGBTQ+ people are at a higher risk than the general population for suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, and experts tell us, in Idaho, those rates are especially high among LGBTQ+ youth.

“It was very clear what needed to happen to remain alive and healthy,” Jess Cziapewski, trans woman from Idaho told Boise television station KIVI .

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Derek Shaye shares his story, advocates for Zebra Coalition ahead of the Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: Derek Shaye performs on stage in CFC Arts’ production of “Bye Bye Birdie” this past summer. (Photo courtesy of Derek Shaye)

Six years ago, Derek Shaye ran away from home. After years of struggles — including homelessness and trafficking — Shaye found help with the Central Florida LGBTQ youth organization Zebra Coalition. Now, 23-year-old Shaye is ready to tell his story.

Shaye grew up in Washington with a very religious family. He referred to his home as “unstable and abusive,” especially as an LGBTQ person.

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Detroit suburb bans so-called gay conversion therapy

By : wire report
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FERNDALE, Mich. (AP) | A Detroit suburb has banned so-called conversion therapy, a scientifically discredited practice to change a gay person’s sexual orientation or someone’s gender identity.

Ferndale council member Julia Music says the ban is an effort to build a “safe and inclusive space” for all people. The Detroit News says the vote was unanimous Monday.

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LGBTQ youth to connect, be educated at Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: City of Orlando’s Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Senior Specialist Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez gives a speech at last year’s Orlando Youth Summit. (Photo by Melanie Ararat)

ORLANDO | The City of Orlando, Zebra Coalition and LGBTQ organizations across Central Florida will be celebrating and educating LGBTQ youth with the upcoming Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit.

The fifth annual summit will take place at Valencia College’s West Campus on Oct. 19 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The event is free of charge.

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Lighthouse offers a beacon to LGBTQ teens in Connecticut

By : wire report
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GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) | When Joe Belisle was growing up in the 1970s, there were no support groups or resources for teenagers questioning their sexuality. So, he and other teens made what they thought was the safest decision—they remained under the radar and hid their identities.

For Belisle, a gay teenager growing up in a devout Catholic household in Hadley, Mass., coming out could have invited physical or verbal violence, or exclusion from his family and religious community.

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LGBTQ youth who are making a difference: Gabriell Rush

By : Jeremy Williams
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24 | Bisexual | She/Her/Hers

Gabriell experienced homelessness at the age of 20. She was involved in a domestic violence situation and even though she had nowhere to go she knew she couldn’t stay there.

“I was in a transitional housing program with another youth-related homeless group but I aged out when I turned 21,” Gabriell says. “By that time I wasn’t getting anymore services and I was not ready to be out on my own, I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have a stable job. I was dealing with depression, so someone told me to go to Zebra Coalition.”

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Drag Queen Story Hours enchant Central Florida, Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Once upon a time, in the mystical land of San Francisco, wordsmith Michelle Tea had a dragulous idea.

As the Lambda Literary Award winner for Best Lesbian Fiction and the creator of RADAR Productions, the nonprofit that develops groundbreaking literary work by supporting LGBTQ artists, she understood both the power of community and the written word—and so Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) was born.

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Keeping It Real: Grit, grace and gaps across our LGBTQ+ generations

By : Nathan Bruemmer
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Pride Month is a wrap. This year was monumental—50 years since Stonewall.

What began as a single confrontational event that turned into a one-day march, grew into a weekend and then blossomed into a weeklong festival, has matured into a month of non-stop activities for all ages. However, we can’t seem to agree on how we define Stonewall. An uprising? Protests? Riots? What happened and who was there continues to be debated. But 50 years ago, the world changed.

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06.13.19 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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It was the late 1980s and I was hanging around the house with my brother and our friends. My brother and I are only 11 months apart so we shared everything—clothes, friends, a bedroom—I basically had nothing of my own until I was into my 20s.

We were all in the family room watching TV. The movie “Teen Wolf” was on. For those unfamiliar,“Teen Wolf” is a 1985 film where heartthrob Michael J. Fox turns into a werewolf and plays basketball really well. The movie is very 80s, right down to the nonchalant use of the word “fag.”

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The Dru Project awards 2019 LGBTQ youth scholarships

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The Dru Project announced the five recipients of the 2019 Spirit of Drew Scholarship ahead of the organization’s third year anniversary, which will be on June 14.

Drew Adams, who will attend the University of Central Florida; Emily Silverio-Williams, who will attend Florida International University; Dean Rooney, who will attend Florida State University; Evan Malzberg, who will attend Columbia University; and Dalton Vanderford, who will attend the University of South Florida, will each receive $5,000 toward their education.

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Va. health officials take steps to ban conversion therapy

By : wire report
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) | The Virginia Board of Psychology has issued a letter of guidance stating that conversion therapy should be considered a violation of standard practices, which LGBTQ advocates hope is a major step toward halting the practice.

Conversion therapy, which aims to change the sexual orientation, gender expression or identity of LGBTQ individuals, has been banned in several states across the U.S. but is still legal in Virginia.

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OYA in the running to be Lucky’s Market Orlando 1st quarter fundraising recipient

By : Amanda Espinosa
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ORLANDO | Lucky’s Market is a supermarket chain not only with a focus on organic foods but also a focus on giving back to its local community. Bags of Change, a fundraiser organized by the supermarket chain, helps three local nonprofits to raise some much needed funds each quarter.

Each one of Lucky’s Market locations nominate five nonprofits and its customers vote on which three will be the fundraising recipients, and Lucky’s Market Orlando selected the Orlando Youth Alliance as one of the five nominees for its first quarter. Now it is up to you to make OYA one of the top three.

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