Despite all positive developments, sexual prejudices (homo- and trans*hostilities / heteronormativity) are still present; especially among young people who themselves are still struggling for a stable identity or acceptance by their peers. Young lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans* and inter* experience this every day: “gay” is still the most popular swearword among young people, young trans* are not taken seriously in their self-definition and young lesbians are massively affected by sexist slurs. It does not always remain with verbal attacks.
Loneliness is a particular burden for most young LGBT*I*. Out of fear of discovery or discrimination, many withdraw from friends or are ostracized after their coming out. At the beginning, very few have contact with other young LGBT*I* with whom they can exchange ideas.
This is where LGBT*I* youth projects like together can help. As a contact person of young people, you can help them to learn about the offers and find new contacts. We are happy to send them posters and information material.
You are needed not only because LGBT*I* youth projects do not exist nationwide and are therefore not accessible to all young LGBT*I*, but also because young LGBT*I* need acceptance, contact persons and support everywhere in their everyday life! As a specialist in youth welfare institutions, youth centers, schools, day care centers or counseling centers, you are an important contact person for children, youth and families. You can help – even without concrete individual cases or crises – to reduce prejudices and promote acceptance. In this way, you support all young people!
Even for professionals, the life situations and special challenges of young LGBT*I* are often new. Unfortunately, the topic often appears for the first time directly with a crisis.
The NRW expert advisory service “gerne anders!” supports professionals, youth welfare offices and independent youth welfare organizations by providing expert advice, sensitization and further training on the topics of sexual and gender diversity. Thanks to funding from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the service is free of charge.
For all children and young people, school is a central place and at the same time a living space. Here young people form and maintain friendships and spend a lot of time together – whether in class, on the schoolyard or on school trips. For many young LGBT*I*, school is not an unencumbered place, as they experience a lot of exclusion and discrimination here or have to expend a lot of energy to hide their sexual or gender identity for protection.
It is still far too rare for topics of gender and sexual identity to be addressed in the classroom or for sexual diversity to be taken for granted. Teachers are often unsure how to react to hostilities against students labeled as lesbian, gay, bi, trans* or inter*.
SCHLAU’s volunteer educators support students and teachers both. They themselves are young lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans* and/or inter* and are qualified through training and pedagogical support to conduct educational and awareness-raising workshops. With the help of an extensive repertoire of methods and authentic reports from their own biographies, they make an important contribution to breaking down prejudices and promoting acceptance.