LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2014) – The Bluegrass Chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has received an $18,000 grant from the Kentucky System to Enhance Early Development to host a conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and their families.
The conference, planned for early 2015, will be developed primarily by LGBT youth and their allies in an effort to best meet their needs. GLSEN’s core values include the development of youth leadership skills for use in their schools and communities. Youth leaders from GLSEN Bluegrass who will come from a broad range of backgrounds and identities will partner with Kentucky’s statewide Youth M.O.V.E. Council, an organization focused on transforming the Behavioral Health system by Motivating Others through Voices of Experience.
Most LGBT students attending middle and high school in Kentucky report having been victimized at school. Nine out of 10 students reported harassment because of their sexual orientation, according to GLSEN’s 2011 School Climate in Kentucky state snapshot.
“Our conference, planned by youth with the assistance of GLSEN Bluegrass board members, will be an amazing opportunity to connect LGBT youth from across Kentucky. Workshops at the conference and participating in the planning process will help build their leadership skills and form coalitions for change,” said Zoey Peach, Chair of GLSEN Bluegrass. “Providers attending the conference, from educators to mental health professionals, will also learn much about how they can best support LGBT youth in and out of school.”