For the 6th year, Bamby Salcedo and the Children's Hospital Trans Youth Health and Development Program have created a calendar featuring 12 transgender youth who, in addition to being models, are ambassadors and advocates for the program. Salcedo's program provides support to young transgender people.
At the kickoff event in November, Bamby presented the youth to the community. The youth shared their aspirations for careers in medicine, social services and entertainment and how they plan to speak out this year in order to increase awareness.
The event launched their one year role as spokespeople for the program which will ensure that youth throughout the country will be empowered and have someone to look up to as they fight discrimination and live their lives.
According to a GLSEN 2011 School Climate Survey, 80% of transgender students reported that they did not feel safe at school. Programs like Angels of Change help counteract the negative messages from school bullies, often times unresponsive adults and rejecting families. In fact, one of the hosts commented on how beautiful it was to see that the youth had cheering sections made up of family and friends supporting them at the event.
In California, some progress has been made to improve the lives of transgender people, such as passage of groundbreaking AB 1266 in August. Opponents, however, are trying to repeal the law by qualifying a proposition for the 2014 elections. The bill ensures transgender youth are protected in public schools from discrimination and harassment.
So buy a 2014 Angels of Change calendar. Cross off each day and each month as we lead up to the elections and figure out how to support transgender youth and adults in your community every day. The youth representing each month will inspire you to keep moving forward as an ally or member of the LGBT community.