Darkness to Light is committed to the safety of ALL children, including our most vulnerable youth. And that is why Katelyn Brewer, President and CEO, led an Honest Conversation about child sexual abuse in the LGBTQ+ community—because ALL kids deserve to be safe from harm.
As part of this commitment, it’s important that we remain dedicated to continued learning, in order to meet the changing needs of children. She was joined by two dedicated LGBTQ+ allies, that helped us discover how we can provide safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth, which is a critically important foundation of prevention.
Joining us for this Honest Conversation was Stephanie Lange, LMSW, an At-Risk Youth Specialist and District Sex Education Supervisor for Dakota High School, north of Detroit and Ricardo DeLeon, MBA, the CFO for the Los Angeles LGBT Center and a Darkness to Light Board Member.
We started the conversation about language and vocabulary and Ricardo agreed that it was the best way to start “Identity is key to individuals in this community. . . but you always go back to Google and confirm because things evolve.” Stephanie pointed out that she often asks the students she works with “tell me more about what that means to you?” and Ricardo agreed, it comes back to an individual’s identity. And that needs to be respected, that “they deserve to be understood as they stand in front of whoever they are interacting with.”
Katelyn made sure to remind the audience to come to this conversation with grace, curiosity and positive intent in your learning. As the Honest Conversation went on, the learning continued as well as the resources in which audience members could continue learning on their own.
- The Trevor Project: 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health
- When Bias Gets in the Way
- Guide to Being a Straight Ally
- Safe Zone Training
- A Handbook for LGBTQ Young People The Trevor Project
Our conversation also talked about being an ally and what that means. For Stephanie, there are 5 main ways someone can be an ally:
- Follow the lead of the person you are talking to.
- Stay curious.
- Do not make assumptions about the other person.
- If you make a mistake, do not make a big deal of it. Correct yourself and move on.
- Be supportive.
For more on this amazing conversation, please watch the video. Also, stay tuned for two Honest Conversations that will dive deeper into child sexual abuse in the LGBTQ+ community.
This series contains descriptions of adult subject matter, including child sexual abuse. It may not be suitable for everyone and viewer discretion is advised. If you need support after watching, please reach out to 866-FOR-LIGHT for confidential support and resources. For more information on our Honest Conversations web series, click here.