The New York Times has been a leading source in amplifying the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in the past few months, and their recent coverage of marriage is no exception. By including the impact of marriage equality on young people in its coverage, The Times continues its trend of increasing the visibility of youth in the LGBT community.
We encourage you to listen to the overwhelmingly supportive voices of 18 straight and bisexual youth in New York in last week’s piece, “Young New Yorkers Speak Out on Gay Marriage.” This audio piece gives a diverse group of young people the opportunity to voice their thoughts on marriage, whether they plan to marry themselves, and how their backgrounds influence who they are today.
“For the Sake of the Children” is a New York Times piece highlighting the impact several couples’ children had on their decisions to marry. One couple, two fathers who have been together for 25 years, was motivated to wed as a way to announce their family as legally recognized and protected for their children – who served as best men in the wedding. Another couple explains that their daughter will not be in attendance at their ceremony, to prevent exposure to potential protestors—but that they “hope to fill the room with children” at a later party that will include their friends, most of whom are parents. Similar themes ran through the Op-Ed column “2 Dads, 2 Daughters, 1 Big Day” where two fathers explain their daughters’ involvement in their plans to marry.
Additionally, in “Portraits from the New York City Marriage Bureau,” The Times explores the diversity of couples who wed on Sunday and features a portrait of Amanda Mason Johnson, 20, and Da’Onna Johnson,18, a newly wed couple. Listen as they share their story of what marriage, faith and family mean to them.
Finally, the Times also covers what might be in store for LGBT young adults as they enter their 20s. With the passage of marriage equality in NY, some couples are finding that the pressure to marry might look a lot like the pressure their straight peers face. “Ready to Wed? No, Mom” tells stories of couples in their 20s who are facing additional pressure from their parents to wed now that marriage is an option in the Empire State.
The Times has highlighted major LGBT youth issues such as bullying, coming out, and homelessness in the past few months. Its emphasis on youth voices regarding marriage is integral, as there is a demonstrated generational gap in opinions about marriage equality, and makes the Times exceptional in its coverage.
GLAAD will continue to follow national and local media coverage of LGBT youth issues and urges you to share your story about what marriage equality means to you.