Friday, October 08, 2010

Research Guides on Bullying and LGBT Teens, Suicide Prevention

Thank our colleagues at Santa Clara University Law Library and the ALA's LGBT Roundtable for two very timely resources:

The New York Public Library has a Gay Teen Suicide web page of Resources for LGBT teens and those who care about them, including 24-hour hotlines (for instance, 1-866-in addition to books. They also include a link to this YouTube video:

ItGetsBetter, words of wisdom from LGBT adults, who also lived through the difficult times, and survived, and can tell about how it does, get better. A similar YouTube message comes from Ellen DeGeneres, in this YouTube video. These videos bring hope. And it's largely a good thing. Except that for some LGBQT youth, it doesn't get better. Sad to say, especially for trans, for LGBT youth of color, things really may not get better as they grow up. It depends on where they live. Perhaps the newer generation will be more tolerant. We need to be alert in our communities to help make it better. has a Let's Make it Better for LBGT Youth, which actually has lots of self-help stuff. Lots of Civil Rights info with links to legal organizations like GLAD, Lambda Legal and ACLU, warning signs of depression and suicidal tendencies, another "It Gets Better" video, and lots of links to great support groups like TransYouth and Family Allies, TransActive, and Gender Spectrum. They have helpful hints for adults, petitions, and the 24/7 Trevor Hotline to talk about the problems of finding your gender/sexual preference identity at a time when life is already difficult for any teen:

1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386) and now on the Trevor Project website, a good informational resource for those who may feel isolated. The nice thing about this one is that it does not rely on books, and it has information links on all sorts of things that may not be accessible or may be taboo, depending on your family, culture, religion and/or geographic location.

LGBT youth are at higher risk for homelessness and subsequent exploitation than any other group. There are a number of specialized shelters and a few legal services that specialize in serving this group. In Boston, I know that Northeastern University Law School has a new clinic that focuses on the legal issues of LGBT youth, and works with a shelter service. It may be the Waltham House, a specialized segment of the Home for Little Wanderers, but I had the impression that it was a different program, which may not show up on a web search.

In New York City, there are,

In Los Angeles, I find the Gay and Lesbian Center,

Her Juicebox offers a listing by state of further resources, and seems to be up to date.

For parents of gay, lesbian, bi- or trans youth, Scott Bidstrup offers a bunch of resources that looks as though it might be somewhat dated, but a lot of advice is certainly timeless.

For teachers and folks in teaching-type positions, there is a helpful video titled, "Coming Out" in The Art of Teaching series. It's obviously aimed at high school teachers, but it may be helpful for people in other types of educational institutions, because it deals with stopping bullying, pervasive hostile environments and dealing sensitively with fragile students.

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