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.
While the report does not make a distinction on "community" being cultural or geographic, it is clear that many teens don't feel completely comfortable.
Some of what they had to say:
Of those surveyed, 34% had been verbally abused outside of school and 11% had been physically assaulted.
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.
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."
LGBT issues and Latino as well as immigration awareness have increasingly received more attention together.
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.