Resources Removed Without Consultation
In an unusual, shocking, and out-of-protocol move, Gov. Glen Youngkin has quietly removed life-affirming resources for LGBTQ+ youth from the Virginia Department of Health’s website without going through normal review channels and without consulting LGBTQ+ youth, organizations, or medical professionals.
“We are extremely disappointed that the governor made a politically motivated decision that directly and profoundly impacts the lives of LGBTQ+ youth, particularly trans youth, nearly a quarter of whom attempt suicide and 45% of whom consider it, often because they cannot speak to their unaccepting parents about these issues,”said Stacie Walls, CEO of LGBT Life Center
Walls went on to say, “Striping these resources from websites won’t make youth safer; it will cause more harm. Our LGBTQ+ youth deserve a safe and affirming environment to talk about issues impacting them so they can thrive and love their life.”
Q Space Traffic from VA Among Highest in Country
CenterLink, which operates as a national LGBTQ+ chamber of commerce and of which LGBT Life Center is a member, told LGBT Life Center that Q-Chat Space, a chat room they run for LGBTQ+ youth, gets more clicks from Virginia than most other states. Q-Chat Space, helps LGBTQ+ youth 13 and up find and give support, have fun, connect around shared interests, and get good information. This is done through chatting online with like-minded peers in live chats designed for youth and by youth, facilitated by trained volunteers and professionals.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
With everything we know about the harm a lack policies like this foster, like that less than 1/3 of transgender and nonbinary youth found their home-life gender-affirming and that 60% of LGBTQ+ youth that wanted mental health services were unable to access them, this is not the time to make resources less accessible to queer youth. Data shows that affirming, knowledgeable resources are desperately needed to save lives, improve mental health, and ensure our LGBTQ youth become LGBTQ adults.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
Send a message to Gov. Glen Youngkin’s office letting him know that you DO NOT SUPPORT removing LGBTQ+ youth resources.
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