LGBT Young People Deserve a Safe Place to Grow and Strive
COLOR urges lawmakers to do more to meet the unique needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people who are in need of housing.
(Denver, CO) – Statement by Karla Gonzales Garcia, Policy Director for the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) on the hearing on House Bill 1072, which ensures training for out of home placement staff to adequately meet the needs of LGBT youth and makes sure that LGBT people do not face obstacles to becoming foster parents:
“Too many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth face hurt, rejection and even violence when they talk to their family about their sexual orientation or gender identity. Many young people are even forced out of their homes, or will run away, becoming homeless or entering the foster care system. Research has shown that LGBT youth are over-represented in the foster care system. They often also face differences in experiences in care or treatment by the system. We simply must do better.
Every young person should get to have the chance to be who they are and to have a safe place to do their homework, dream about the future and sleep at night. We must ensure that the foster care system is equipped to competently meet their needs and not subject them to further bias or discrimination.
LGBT youth deserve to be safe from harassment and discrimination, to have people the people who are supposed to help meet their needs and find them a place to grow and thrive be trained to do so, and to lay their heads down each night surrounded by people who accept them for who they are. They deserve for us to do all we can to make that happen. House Bill 1072 makes great strides in achieving this important goal.”
Karla Gonzales Garcia is available for interview upon request.