NBJC's Sharon Lettman-Hicks on Being a Straight Ally and Standing with LGBT Youth

In “It Takes a Village: Standing with Our LGBT Youth,” Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a national organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, writes about the importance of straight allies standing up against anti-LGBT bullying in schools.

Lettman-Hicks explains:

Bullying and violence have no place in our schools. When our children are the targets as a result of their orientation, perceived orientation, gender identity or gender expression, it is critical that there are adults they can turn to. It is imperative that their allies be visible so that they won't have to be invisible.

This is our responsibility to not only our black LGBT youth but every child. It is going to take a village to change the culture of bullying. As adults, we have an obligation to help young people "own their power." If they are bullied or witness their friends being harassed, they should feel empowered to speak up and speak out. That's where we come in.

Read the piece in its entirety here.

GLAAD worked closely with NBJC and the Huffington Post to elevate the voices of straight allies in communities of color. We applaud the National Black Justice Coalition for their continued work to create safe spaces for all LGBT youth.