Mon | Nov 23, 2020

LGBT youths need safe spaces, too

Published:Wednesday | June 5, 2019 | 12:34 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

As we end another Child Month, I implore you to remember me, remember them, remember those who do not speak for themselves, remember us. LGBTQI+ children and youths need to be represented in policies and legislation so that we can challenge the stigma, discrimination and violence that exist in youth spaces, state care and schools.

I did not choose. I was born LGBTQI+, but youth workers, teachers, principals, police officers and social workers chose to empower youths on biblical notions and societal norms, which cannot be a justification. If you have to justify your actions, errors were made. Eliminate your preconceived notions, because your bias cannot be a tool you take to work. Challenge the status quo, because citing your policies does not make the gaps in inclusion disappear. Exercise your positions of power, not to inflict harm, but to create change.

Any human, by virtue of being born in Jamaica, should be included and protected by all policies.

Your opinion is subjective and should not deny me my right to co-exist peacefully. Saying you did not know does not exonerate you; it is a convenience used while minorities and vulnerable groups suffer in silence.

CONCERNED YOUTH