In light of the recent increase in visibility for issues facing LGBT youth, The New York Times is providing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers with a chance to share their stories firsthand. The ongoing project, entitled “Coming Out,” is a unique opportunity for the experiences of LGBT teens to reach a wide audience of parents, educators, and fellow young people. Participants in the project are asked to submit a piece of writing or a video online that explores the individual’s experience as an LGBT youth. The Times will publish select stories on the project’s website.
“Coming Out” has already generated a diverse representation of LGBT teenagers. The Times has spoken with or e-mailed nearly 100 LGBT youth and received about 250 online responses from teenagers around the country at various phases of coming out. Some teens have found acceptance from their families and peers, while others are still struggling to have their identities acknowledged and appreciated. You can read some of their stories here.
GLAAD encourages LGBT teenagers to participate in “Coming Out” and make their voices heard. You can submit your story here. You may want to refer to GLAAD’s Media Essentials Guide as you craft your story for the media. This important project, in conjunction with organizations like the Trevor Project and It Gets Better, can help foster understanding and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers who, as the Times points out, “just want to be teenagers.”