Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Keelie sent me a link to an organization she thought I may want to look into. Wow, am I glad I did. I have been in contact with the founder, Fred Elia and his partner David and they have shared unbelievable stories with me that show the dire need for attention on this issue. So many times, we hear gay rights and immediately think marriage; there is sooo much more.
Too often, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBT/Q) youth in foster/adoptive care experience rejection, from their families, from their peers, from society. The results are among the highest rates of social problems, most alarmingly, teen suicide. A Thousand Moms, a non-profit organization, works to build community support so that these youth may live in stable homes and live healthy, productive lives.
In Central New York, there was a five year-old boy who lost his birth parents. At age 10, he was adopted with his sister who was three years older. Overall, he had a great relationship with his adoptive family. Approaching 16, he was going through puberty and questioning his sexuality. This boy is gay and his parents and sister do not accept him. He ran away - was placed in a psychiatric unit - was placed in diagnostic therapy to "get over being gay." That, of course, did not work. The family said they were willing to allow him to come home if he never discussed being gay in their home and if they controlled all aspects of his life, so he would not engage in gay acts. Deservingly so, this child wanted to be readopted by a family who loved and accepted him just as he his. You can read the entire case letter HERE.
I challenge you not to gasp...Children have been UNADOPTED because they have come out to their foster parents. Think about that one for a second. When you adopt someone at age two, you don't know what their sexual orientation is! 30% of LGBT kids are "dumped" into foster care because they are not wanted. 1 in 4 foster children are dealing with issues of sexual orientation. These kids have the highest rate of substance abuse and attempted suicide.
We need your help. A Thousand Moms is up for a $50,000 grant which would allow them to take incredible strides in the improvement of the foster care system in NY as well as educate and train so many more foster parents, case workers, social workers, guidance counselors and teachers and therefore directly effect the kids in NY. Please vote for A Thousand Moms in the Pepsi Challenge by clicking HERE. Vote now. And once a day through the end of April.
A Thousand Moms | www.athousandmoms.org
Pepsi Challenge | www.refresheverything.com/athousandmoms
I'll be working with them at the NYC LGBT Center for Banners of Hope next week and filming a PSA. Check back for updates next week!
Posted by Claire Buffie at 8:27 PM