June is a time to celebrate diversity at The Bridge for Youth. The Twin Cities PRIDE festival is a call to action for all people gay, straight, and in between to appreciate how rich our world is with an array of talents, skills, perspectives, and experiences.
Long before it was popular, The Bridge stood by LGBT youth. In the early 1970’s when The Bridge was founded, staff welcomed lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, and gay teens, recognizing that these children needed love, acceptance, and guidance. That work continues today at The Bridge and our counselors play a role in bridging the gap between LGBT youth and parents when conflict arises about identity, gender, and lifestyle.
There continues to be a disproportionate number of homeless youth who identify as LGBT. These young people struggle with parent, family, and community acceptance and depression, mental health and chemical addiction issues are higher than in the general youth population.
The Bridge for Youth offers core services that support straight and LGBT teens. LGBT specific services include commitment to a facility that is designated a safe place (visible signs in the building), all staff trained in best practices for working with GLBT youth, intentional use of diverse populations in marketing materials, private room for transgender youth in our Emergency Shelter, hosting a weekly support group for GLBT teens, and supporting youth in the community with specific outreach strategies.
Here’s how you can support our mission:
3 Ways to Support The Bridge for Youth and LGBT Teens:
Visit The Bridge for Youth’s Booth BO37 at Twin Cities PRIDE.
Read the recent article in Lavender Magazine about our weekly LGBT teen support group, So What if I Am? (see page 160) and share it with teens
In the Fall, The Bridge for Youth will host an event for parents of LGBT Teens. With 40+ years of expertise working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens and their parents, we can provide helpful information that will support and sustain family relationships.