Human Rights Campaign survey: Latino LGBT youth want family acceptance

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A Human Rights Campaign survey has shown that family acceptance is the main concern for many LGBT Latino youth. The survey, which involved 1,397 people aged 13-17 years, showed that LGBT Latino youth want their families to accept and support them, and that this is a central wish for their lives.

But despite this, many feel they are not accepted by their family. Nine out of 10 said that they were out to their close friends, but far fewer had the confidence of their family. About a half (53%) were out to their immediate family. Less than a third (29%) were out to their extended family.

Just under half (47%) said they had someone in their family that they could go to when they were worried or sad. In contrast, eight out of 10 non-Latino LGBT youth said there was someone in their family that they could go to when they were feeling like this.

The Latino youth were also twice as likely to feel that they don’t “fit in” the communities where they live as compared to non-Latino youth. About a third (32%) said they didn’t have an adult anywhere that they could talk to about their problems.

Human Rights Campaign survey

What can we do about it?

Let’s start with three changes

In the Human Rights Campaign survey the youth were asked what they would want to change if they could. Their top three suggestions were:

1. They want others’ understanding, tolerance and hate of LGBT people to change for the better

2. They want to change the situation related to their parents and family

3. They want to become more honest and open about their sexual orientation

What can we do to make this happen?

1. Speak up against intolerance

Speaking up against intolerance and challenging derogatory language can help foster tolerance and understanding of LGBT youth and their needs. This can help improve understanding and tolerance within the Latino community.

2. Talk about sexual orientation and gender orientation

Discussions about sexuality, sexual orientation and gender orientation are not always encouraged in the Latino community. But by opening up discussions about sexual and gender orientation you can help cultivate feelings of acceptance within families and communities. Identifying LGBT adult role models within the Latino community may also help with talking about sexual and gender orientation.

3. Open up discussions with LGBT Latino youth

If you are an adult, talk to a youth about their sexual and gender orientation. This may help lessen their feelings of isolation within their community. Help them to be honest and open about their sexual and gender orientation.

Want to know more?

The Human Rights Campaign report is freely available from the Human Rights Campaign. It is called Supporting and Caring for Our Latino LGBT Youth.

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