The latest study by the Williams Institute showed that 19.3% of youth in out-of-home child welfare placement (foster care and residential care) identify as LGBTQ youth who are twice as likely to be mistreated in a foster home and twice as likely to like in a group home as opposed to a family foster home.
This is unacceptable and quite frankly alarming. I was a lucky man who grew up in a loving family and this same family stood by me and loved me for the man they knew me to be, not by my sexual orientation. Just as I did not hold their sexual orientation against them. To choose violence and throwing your child out like garbage because they tell you who they truly are, who they are in their heart and soul, well to me the parents are the garbage and shame on them.
As a young kid growing up in a rural town in Oklahoma, I carried this knowledge with me that I was gay, that I was different and yes, I had the fear of what would happen if people found out. I had my fair share of people calling me gay, queer, fag and such growing up, but it made me stronger; I didn't realize it at the time because it felt like my life was ending but in hind sight, it was a huge growing phase for me. I learned to be strong.
Not everyone has that opportunity and for various different reasons. So please, educate yourselves, your family, friends and neighbors. Don't continue this string of hate, ignorance and inhuman actions. Show compassion, empathy and reach out to all of those in need of support. Gay isn't contagious, but compassion can be, kindness can be. I love the saying "be the change you want to see in the world."
Go out and change the world.
You can read up and follow the very couragous man, Chris Thompson, in the video SupDaily06 on YouTube, SupDailyCrew on Facebook and @SupDaily06 on Twitter.
Have a peaceful night!
Johnny Bryan Ward
@SupDaily06 #LGBTQ #PFLAG #FosterCare #Disproportionality #homophobia #equality