They’re still young and they’re still not “entitled,” as so many of their parents’ generation are wont to declare them. They are the Millennials; they are Echo Boomers; they are Generation Y.
If entitlement means a feeling that whatever I want, I have the right to take – regardless of whom the taking is from, we should ask ourselves who really acts as if they are entitled.
Or, as New York Times columnist Timothy Egan puts it, “If anyone should be complaining about deficits, it should be the 20-somethings who will have to pay for all those meds-popping boomers moving into the comfort of Medicare and Social Security.”
As a member of a demographically insignificant generation (Generation X is one third the size of Gen. Y and one fourth the size of the Baby Boom generation), I’ve watched Millenials (most of whom are children of the Boomers) all around me demonstrate maturity beyond anything my peers and I were capable of at their ages. I find them to be humbler, quieter and more responsible than my own generation in the face of a far more challenging world than we inherited. Meanwhile, their societal inheritance is being stolen even as you read this.
Read the rest here.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens are fielding negative messages about their sexuality from places most consider as safe havens, according to a survey of more than 10,000 LGBT youth ages 13 to 17.
Ninety-two percent of LGBT teens surveyed confront hostility toward homosexuals—and schools, religious leaders, and elected officials are often the ones sending the messages, states a report released last week by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a nonprofit that advocates for LGBT rights.
Compared with their peers, LGBT teens are also more likely to report feeling isolated and unhappy, experience verbal or physical harassment, and try drugs or alcohol.
These findings should be a wake-up call for parents, writes Benjamin Siegel from the American Academy of Pediatrics. “This survey is a call to action for parents and all adults who care for children and youth,” he writes in a statement on HRC’s website. “We each have a role to play so that LGBT youth, in our communities and in our families, have the support they need to thrive and succeed.”
Giving this support means letting teens know you accept them regardless of their sexuality, says Michael Cole-Schwartz, communications director for the Human Rights Campaign.
“Half of these gay teens say there’s not a single adult that they can turn to if they feel worried or sad. Not even about their identity, but just in general,” he says. “That points to the fact that these kids feel alone and alienated, and they need someone to reach out to them and let them know that there’s a sympathetic ear.”
Read the rest here.
A new paper called the New Family Structures Study claims that the children of gays and lesbians fare worse than those raised by heterosexual couples, but nothing in the methodology supports those claims whatsoever. Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin has already written hefty debunks, but because the study is now getting mainstream media attention, here are some important highlights:
- Everybody who said that one of their parents had had a “romantic relationship with someone of the same sex” before they were 18 counted in the sample of children of gays and lesbians.
- The study did not ask if those participants were actually raised by same-sex parents — most of them were actually the product of a “failed heterosexual union” or parents who were not even married to begin with.
- The author of the paper is Mark Regnerus, a social conservative who writes from an evangelical perspective.
- The study was funded by the Witherspoon Institute and Bradley Foundation, two conservative groups tied to anti-gay organizations like the National Organization for Marriage.
Read the rest at ThinkProgress here.
Max Hirsh says he sensed something wasn’t quite right when the psychiatrist focused on his failures with sports and teenage girls, as well as his deficient relationships with older men, particularly his father.
Hirsh became convinced of the psychiatrist’s rationale for those questions by the fourth session, when he essentially told the openly gay Hirsh that his true sexuality was in the closet.
“But you’re heterosexual,” Hirsh recalls the psychiatrist telling him.
Hirsh insisted he was gay; the psychiatrist wasn’t buying it.
“He said `No,’ like he had some extra information about my sexuality that I didn’t,” Hirsh said.
Hirsh, 22, contends the Oregon psychiatrist was practicing “conversion therapy” to change his sexual orientation. His experience is the subject of an ethics complaint filed this month by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which plans to take the same action in other states as part of a national campaign to stop therapists from trying to make gay people straight.
Read the rest here.
As long as there are celebrities, and people are curious about their lives, there will always be celebrity gossip. The media has recently been a flutter with the rumor that Raven Symoné may potentially be in a same sex relationship with _America’s Next Top Model beauty AzMarie Livingston. Ms. Symoné took to Twitter recently to respond to the speculation.
Raven is not the only celebrity whose private life has been speculated about like this. Will Smith, Queen Latifah, and Anderson Cooper all face ongoing questions about their sexuality and all have refused to comment, preferring instead to keep their private life private. A refusal to answer in the minds of many constitutes affirmation that one is indeed a member of the LGBTQ community.
These inquires arise because we live in a heterosexist world, which assumes everyone is straight, thus turning homosexuality into something that must be divulged. If a celebrity plays a role in which they are a LGBTQ character, or sits too close to someone of the same sex, the rumors are off and flying. Will Smith didn’t even actually kiss his co-actor in Six Degrees of Separation and has been married to Jada for many years, yet still people continue to question his sexuality.
There can be no doubt that out celebrities serve as positive reminders that LGBTQ people are present in our society. In the case of LGBTQ youth, this can be especially helpful because it shows them that they are not alone, and that they are not deviant. The pressure for an individual celebrity to come out, however, normally has very little to do with affirming the life of LGBTQ people and very much to do with marking them as “other.”
Read the rest at Clutch Magazine here.
New Rules Target Sexual Assault Epidemic Facing LGBT Inmates
The Obama administration’s Department of Justice has released new rules to combat the epidemic of sexual assault in the nation’s prison system, a crisis that disproportionately affects LGBT inmates, as the agency specifically addressed Thursday.
The new rules coincide with a presidential memorandum mandating that the Prison Rape Elimination Act, a law passed by Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support nearly a decade ago, applies to all U.S. correctional and detention facilities (the Justice Department has been finalizing rules pertaining to the law over the past several years).
“Sexual violence, against any victim, is an assault on human dignity and an affront to American values,” President Obama wrote. “To advance the goals of PREA, we must ensure that all agencies that operate confinement facilities adopt high standards to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse.”
While LGBT advocates have hailed the Justice Department rules as a significant step forward in protecting vulnerable gay and transgender inmates, questions remain about why DOJ’s PREA regulations, which it has spent years and millions of dollars developing, do not directly apply to the nation’s immigration detention facilities that hold approximately 32,000 people every day. (For more on this issue, read The Advocate’s Eight Months in Solitary report.)
Read the rest here.