Tag Archives: LGBT Youth

LGBT Teens Homeless in South Florida

LGBT-Homeless-Family-RejectionAs many of you know, finding solutions to the issue of homeless LGBT youth is a gnawing passion of mine. I am happy to say that slowly but surely these crucial issues are finding themselves to the media forefront. I was pleased to be one of the individuals interviewed for this article.

“School is just not even an issue if you’re trying to survive,” Mandi Hawke said. “You shouldn’t be concerned about who you are and being accepted and fitting in and bullying and being afraid.”

To read the article click below:





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Am I really an Author?

I am still afraid to call myself an author…why?

Since self-publishing my book last October I have slowly allowed my excitement and passion to fizzle. Because PROUD did not immediately and without massive effort take off, I silently called myself a failure. Because people questioned my target audience saying “you can’t be a best selling author ONLY targeting queer youth,” I believed them and stopped really trying. Why?

Watch this video – it struck a cord with me and had me in tears.  I’d love your thoughts, ideas and any solutions you’ve found that work. I know this my next area of personal growth.



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Filed under Lessons Learned, Youth Empowerment

Mandi Hawke Raises Awareness for LGBT Youth with Her Life Story

Mandi Hawke was in the fifth grade writing “I love Stephen” in her notes, only to casually drop them off her desk for her classmates to find.

Mandi Hawke

He was the one person in the classroom that every girl liked,” she remembers. “I thought it was a safe name to write.” In a small private school classroom of about 24 kids, playground crushes grew and Hawke was suddenly accused of not dating anyone.

It wasn’t until her freshman year of high school that Hawke came out to her friends and family, only to be told it was a phase and a trend. But she didn’t know that then.

via Mandi Hawke Raises Awareness for LGBT Youth with Her Life Story.

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Thoughts about PROUD – Hil Says

“Incredible, awesome, in a class of it’s own! I would absolutely recommend PROUD as it offers all humans an opportunity to learn how to accept and love themselves and others. The author has written this book in a way that can benefit youth and adults and the worksheets are so helpful in aiding understanding.” She keeps each section short enough to keep the reader interested in all the wisdom and suggestions she offers. She doesn’t drone on about “methods”, “steps”,etc., as do so many authors of self-help books.”

~ Hil Laguna
PROUD parent of a gay son.
Therapist and
LGBTQA Youth Group Facilitator

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We all need commUNITY!

“In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.”
Marianne Williamson

As a follow-up to yesterday’s article Shame and the Dangers of SHOULD, I want to give some gratitude to the allies in our community. The power of a united commUNITY with a loving mission can truly transform the world.

The generally accepted statistic is that 10% of the population is LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). That is a very small percentage when it comes to shouting for equal rights. We need our straight allies who love, support and stand up WITH US! This recent election was a HUGE illustration of that. Marriage equality was won in 3 states, Maine, Maryland and Washington and Minnesota rejected a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. These were BOLD moves and it took more than 10% of people to vote this way; we couldn’t have done it without the support from our entire commUNITY!

There is a great shift in consciousness that is happening and it is SO EXCITING to be part of it! Last weekend I was privileged to work on a film project with youth from SunServe and Drag it OUT. The film crew that came out and donated their time, awesome equipment and passion to assist the creation of this project was a team of 5 amazing straight guys – WOW! The youth were so floored, they rarely get to witness such acceptance and celebration!

The film is a short PSA (Public Service Announcement) that speaks to LGBT youth who are struggling with their identity and have not yet connected to a commUNITY. The film begins with one youth all alone, walking down the street, she’s struggling a great deal and feels all alone, she begins to run, faster and faster – trying to get away from all her problems. Through creative editing we illustrate the internal chaos we all have sometimes. Inserting audio clips of disapproving politicians, religious leaders, even our own voice that says “you’re not good enough” or “you SHOULDN’T be this way.”  At the height of panic in this short clip the background begins to fill up in other young people, all sending love to the youth in crisis. The film ends with a friend that reaches out and touches the youth’s shoulder, letting her know – she’s not alone. Information is then shared about how to reach out and connect to resources in the community…. because we ALL need commUNITY in our lives.

Creating this PSA was way beyond exciting, it was downright exhilarating! Doing something that makes a difference for others feels great! I am excited to share the video below of the back scenes footage of the film – stay tuned for the FULL COMPLETED PSA!

How are YOU involved in your commUNITY?

To get connected check out GLBTNearme.org and search for a youth group near you. You can also also join an online LGBT youth community at TrevorSpace.

Click the link to check out the “Behind the Scenes” of the Drag it OUT and SunServe PSA Filming

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Filed under Gratitude, Youth Empowerment