We’re All in This Together

Outright Vermont is hosting an open house today from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM for anyone who wants to write a “Heck Yeah” (a card or note of affirmation, care, and solidarity) to trans people, especially youth. We will also accept and print messages sent to info@outrightvt.org. Each note will be photocopied and delivered to trans and non-binary youth throughout the state.

This event is being held in response to a flurry of identity-based hate targeting transgender people in recent weeks. An internal letter was sent to the Burlington School Board demanding the district stop teaching about trans identities, and anti-trans materials were posted around UVMs’ Campus. The most recent event, planned for today, was “a discussion group for Vermonters who oppose the subversion of Women’s Rights by the transgender agenda” at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington.

All of this comes on the heels of the release last week of the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). Fourteen percent (14%) of students in Vermont identify as LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender – these are the identity choices within the survey). Compared to their cisgender, heterosexual peers, Vermont’s LGBT youth are:

  • Two times more likely to skip school due to safety concerns (13% vs. 5%)
  • Twice as likely to have been bullied in the last month (31% vs. 15%)
  • Nearly four times as likely to have hurt themselves on purpose in the past year
  • (50% vs. 13%)
  • Four times as likely to have made a suicide plan (36% vs. 9%)
  • Five times as likely to have attempted suicide during the past year (19% vs. 4%)

Identity-based hate speech and events create hostile, frightening, and unsafe communities for Vermont’s LGBTQ+ youth, and contribute to the devastating impacts conveyed by the YRBS study.We can’t stop identity-based hate activities from happening in the future, but we can respond with love.Join us today and stand up for trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming youth. Our “Heck Yeah” event is one way in which Vermonters can let youth know that the number of people who support them far outstrips the minority of folks looking to inflict harm.  Outright Vermont works with LGBTQ+ community members and allies across the state to counter these trends. We provide direct services to youth, support families, and train teachers, medical providers, state employees, legislators, and more.Our goal is to ensure all LGBTQ+ youth, including trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming youth targeted by these most recent events:

  • Feel safe in their schools, communities, and homes
  • Find anchors of support and hope in the people around them
  • Know that they are trusted and believed as the experts of their own lives
  • Have access to adult mentors and allies
  • Know that they too have a right to be who they are, and explore their identities
  • free of judgment and bigotry

WHO: Outright Vermont, and LGBTQ+ community members and alliesWHAT: “Heck Yeah’s” for Transgender YouthWHEN: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PMWHERE: Outright Vermont, 241 N. Winooski Avenue, Burlington (and online via info@outrightvt.org)