Young people are leading us towards a fearless world. Together, they are standing up and fighting for a world free of poverty, racism, sexism, ableism and all forms of violence, inequality and discrimination.
For LGBTIQ+ youth, this is a fight for survival. LGBTIQ+ youth are more likely to experience family rejection, poverty, discrimination, bullying, violence, exclusion from education – based on their age as well as their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. As a result, they are at a higher risk of homelessness, poor health outcomes and suicide compared to their peers.
Trans youth are denied recognition of their gender identity and face high levels of hate speech, bullying and exclusion. Intersex children are often subjected to medically unnecessary interventions that cause lifelong pain and trauma. Lesbian, gay, bi and trans youth are subjected to unethical, harmful and traumatic so-called “conversion therapy”. Young LGBTIQ+ people who also face discrimination based on their race, ethnicity, gender, disabilities, religion and migration status are disproportionately affected by exclusion, discrimination and violence.
In a number of countries, LGBTIQ+ youth face censorship both when they seek information and when they speak about their issues, online or offline. In some contexts, discriminatory laws criminalize same-sex relations as well as trans people. Those who speak out and demand equality sometimes face imprisonment, hate speech, violence – even killings.
With great courage and resilience, young LGBTIQ+ people are leading change and standing up for a future that is safe, respectful, empowering and celebrates the beautiful diversity of humankind. A world where each and every one of us is free to be who we are and love whom we choose. Together, all of us can make this future a reality – when #LGBTIQ+ #YouthLead, anything is possible!