Just hug your kids already

mom-hugging-teen-sonYep, you heard me. Hug ‘em—especially the queer ones. I spout this simple directive after watching a tear-jerking, gut-wrenching, true-to-life public service announcement from the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.

I’m not going to soften it for you. As one coworker put it, it’s as emotionally-charged as the Sarah McLachlin animal abuse commercial, but it’s about LGBTQ-identified homeless youth instead. It’s an important message, but if you decide to watch it, please take care. The realities portrayed here include hurtful language, physical and sexual violence, and suicidal ideations.

Complete with celebrity sponsors, Any Given Tuesday starkly outlines the trauma, abuse, and danger that comes when our families, communities, and society fails to take care of some our most vulnerable youth. Homeless and runaway youth, too often turned out of their homes because of their sexual or gender identities, need every one of us.

Instead of lived experiences that include bullying, survival sex, rape, and drug abuse just to stay awake, let’s create a culture of care. Make sure that our parenting, teaching, working, and living proclaims affirmation instead of hate.

I cannot emphasize enough how important this issue is to folks who are working to end sexual violence. The overlaps and intersections seem countless to me. You—yes you, the person reading this blog post—have an ethical obligation to care about heterosexist oppression. Not sure where to start? Start by reading up on some great resources on this topic.

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