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COMMUNITY FORUMS ::

A 1999 survey of Massachusetts high school students revealed alarming statistics about the risk behaviors of GLBT youth. Compared to their peers, these students are:

over four times more likely to have attempted suicide;
over three times more likely to miss school because of feeling unsafe;
three times more likely to have been injured or threatened with a weapon.

In order to foster support for this vulnerable population, SpeakOUT coordinates a statewide community forum series to help Massachusetts cities and towns recognize and address the needs of LGBTQIA* youth.

In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, SpeakOUT is helping to create "Communities of Courage" by bringing together youth and adults from a variety of settings – including education, health care, religion, business, and youth advocacy. The interactive format of the forums encourages candid, constructive conversations and serves as the catalyst for the development of an action plan to support and protect
LGBTQIA youth.

SpeakOUT has held forums in Melrose, Worcester and other communities and invites all Massachusetts cities and towns to participate in this important program.

 

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 *LGBTQIA = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer & Questioning, Intersex, Asexual & Allies