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LGBT Latino Youth Report Shows Promise And Perils For Teens

Concern about family acceptance is the top problem identified, but optimism for their future is high.

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A new report says that while there is difficulty for young people growing up lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender in America, Latino LGBT youth can face an even steeper climb toward acceptance and equality.

The Latino LGBT Youth Report, released by the Human Rights Campaign, in conjunction with The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), spotlights some of their realities when it comes to navigating the process of telling family and friends.


According to the report, 37% of Hispanic LGBT youth said their families are not accepting of gays. In general, few have an adult to talk to about their concerns or problems.

“The well-being of Latino LGBT youth is fostered by the support of family and trusted adults in their lives,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a release. “We must do better in supporting LGBT youth who still fear rejection, being judged and ostracized in school and being rejected from their religious congregations and the broader community.”

Not everything in the report painted a negative picture. LGBT Latino youth are nearly as optimistic as their non-LGBT Latino peers about future life achievements, the report found. There were also places to turn to for acceptance.


"As a nation, we are making great strides towards greater equality for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender," said Los Angeles Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti. "However, gaining acceptance and understanding is still very difficult for LGBT youth and especially for young LGBT Latinos. This report highlights the need to do more to help Latino families stay strong and supportive of their children's needs."

After the Human Rights campaign's marriage equality symbol went viral, immigration activists followed up with one of their own.

Steve Alfaro, of Voto Latino, created his own version to bring attention to the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the report offers the takeaway of a call to action for adults to become an ally to Latino LGBT youth, detailing how to become one by educating yourself and keeping the conversation alive with LGBT youth.