CHAOS is an issue in society that creates divisions from a lack of understanding.
These issues are most commonly organized around identities such as race, sexuality, religion, disability, gender, and politics, which carry strong and divisive connotations.
COMRADES are the people who seek to bring awareness and unity to the CHAOS in unique and empowering ways.
C+C is a publication run by minorities who seek to break down identities by fostering unity and understanding through multimedia storytelling. Our 1st issue focuses on Jess Guilbeaux, who appeared on season 3 of Netflixâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Queer Eye. Our cover pays homage to her journey in a reimagining of The Wizard of Oz.
Editor In Chief Ashton Brooks
Special Thanks To:
Deputy Editor Ian Kumamoto
Tammye Hicks (Mama Tammye)
Editorial Assistant Stijn Talloen
Photography David Urbanke
Cover Designer Diogo Sampaio
Editorial Design Chantal Hernandez
Stylist Beonica Dunn Makeup Artist Tai Ceme chaosandcomrades.com
ÂŠ 2019. All Rights Reserved. Chaos+Comrades No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission from Chaos+Comrades.
THE EDITORS ASHTON BROOKS My vision for Chaos+Comrades has always been about bringing visibility to marginalized communities, particularly Black, Brown and Queer people. I believe that the failure to represent these marginalized groups in the media is extremely harmful to future generations, as young Queer people won’t have the language or the tools to embrace their identity and understand the beauty of who they are. In my own experience, it wasn’t until my mid-20’s that I came to understand my identity as a Queer person and I attribute my lack of that understanding to the lack of representation of people like myself.
The goal of our “Scrapbooks,” or digital publications, is simple: to bring visibility to marginalized people by highlighting “Comrades” from those communities who’ve become catalysts for change. In our 1st issue, we explore the story of Jess Guilbeaux, a strong, black, lesbian woman as she struggles to reach a place of love and acceptance. When I first watched her peel back the layers of her life on season 3 of Netflix’s Queer Eye, I thought of all the Queer children coming up in the world today and the damage inflicted upon them by others, damage that I am sure they will spend their whole lives working through. Jess’ story is one of strength, perseverance and triumph in the face of all that is wrong in our society and she is leading the way as our first ever Comrade.
Standing at the intersections of Blackness and Queerness, I didn’t see many people whom I could look up to or aspire to be. I didn’t even have an understanding of what it meant to be Queer until a few years ago and when I did, I realized that the people who were most often uplifted in the media were not people who looked like me; they were not people of color. I realized from a young age that society saw something inherently wrong with Black people but I am just now understanding the plight that Queer people face for simply existing, as I myself step into my own identity.
I hope that by reading her story your sense of empathy is heightened and you are able to reflect on the “Jess” in your life and how you can love them exactly as they are.
IAN KUMAMOTO seeds of constructive and respectful dialogue so we can move towards a more functional place.
Growing up as a multi-racial queer person, I never saw or knew of anyone who shared my identites, something which I now understand led me to resent myself in almost every way— from how I looked to how I spoke, down to the way I walked. I didn’t realize then what I do now: that just because I didn’t see myself represented didn’t mean that people like me didn’t exist. It just meant that people like me were not yet fully seen as human in the eyes of the cultures in which I grew up in. I strongly believe that excluding certain people’s stories from the media is its own form of violence, a way that the wider culture re-affirms what you already feel: your narrative doesn’t matter. Your existence is peripheral.
To me, Chaos+Comrades is more than a magazine: it is a radical act of selflove and love for those who like myself have felt ‘othered.’ My biggest hope is that little kids in tiny towns who are feeling despair and loneliness will know that there are people like them who are not only living their truths, but thriving. That there is an amazingly rich lineage of Queer people of color. That there are hundreds of extraordinary folks who are just like them but whose voices have not been amplified. I hope we can help change that.
The good news is that our strongest emotions— fear, prejudice, anger— are shaped by culture, and culture changes. The world is a reflection of our values and I like to imagine a world where Black, Brown and Queer kids are celebrated, where LGBTQ children of color walk through the world with more self-love and self-assurance because they see people like them validated and uplifted. I believe that such a future is possible, if we only take the time and patience to learn from each other. In this issue, we wanted to reframe the narrative and ask not why gay children exist, but instead why straight adults feel so threatened by their existence. We interrogate the conditions that create homophobia but also celebrate the fact that hope exists, in the form of compassionate parents like Mama Tammye. In all of our content, we hope to plant the
06 Intro 09 Yellow Brick Road 13 Queerness 17 Blackness 21 Chosen Family 28 Words From Mama Tammye 31 Conclusion
A STROng BLACK LESBIAN WOMAN
JESS GUILBEAUX Epic American stories sometimes begin in small Kansas towns. Eighty years ago, a little girl named Dorothy weathered a life lived in sepia and longed for something more; her wish came true when a tornado thrust her over the rainbow and into a land where life was lived in color. But upon arrival, Dorothy quickly realized that beyond its glittering facade, Oz was a land brimming with discord, where evil witches lurked in the shadows of its forests. The story of Jess Guilbeaux, like Dorothy’s, begins in the CHAOS of Kansas life, several decades later but catalyzed by similarly violent forces. After she came out as a lesbian to her adoptive parents at age sixteen, Jess was exiled from her home and left to fend for herself. At the heart of Jess’ and Dorothy’s journeys are a desire for a sense of home after circumstances work against them. Both forge their own families and tread unfamiliar territory alone: the biggest difference, of course, is that Dorothy has the certainty of the yellow brick road, a guiding light that leads her home.
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In its first Scrapbook, Chaos+Comrades explores the CHAOS of family through the story of Jess Guilbeaux, a COMRADE whose identities were deemed unworthy of love. We also interview Mama Tammye, a religious mother who learned to love and accept her gay son and who, in the final page of this issue, gives advice to other parents struggling to love their Queer children. In the process, we explore what it means to be Black, Queer, and thriving, no longer apologizing for being.
YELLOW BRICK ROAD
The Yellow Brick Road leads to the Emerald City, home to the Wizard who, according to legend, can grant anyone’s wish: give the tin man his heart, the scarecrow his brain and the cowardly lion some courage. From the beginning, the search for the Wizard is a search for normalcy, or what the characters believe will take them closer to who they are “supposed” to be. But if that film taught us anything it is that in the end, paved roads do not always lead to where we hope: the Wizard proves to be a regular Kansas man, no more capable of granting wishes than Dorothy herself. He is inauthentic, a fraud, and anyone who believes in his promise is complicit in the illusion. A life lived authentically, though it undergoes its own moments of uncertainty and disillusion, is more secure than any life lived in the pursuit of abstract illusions. Jess, like most of us, attempted to follow the roads laid out in front of her, treading carefully through a racially charged upbringing and battling her desires before coming to terms with her sexuality. At her majority-white schools, Jess says she navigated pressures to “speak and act white,” while also feeling the guilt of not being “black enough.” She hid her desires and made sure never to mention the fact that she was dating, afraid that she could lose her job. But Jess’ cards had been dealt and she eventually chose to live a life true to herself, even if it meant steering into territory unknown.
The roads we are told to follow are not always paved for us. We are often too afraid to pave our own and force ourselves to stay on trajectories that are comfortable but ridden with unhappiness. Against our better judgement, we heed to the voices imploring us to “Follow the Yellow Brick Road! Follow the Yellow Brick Road! Follow, follow, follow, follow…” Jess, like many exiled Queer children, steered off a road that forced her to deny indubitably real parts of her. By doing so, she gave herself a chance at happiness. When she left home, Jess attended the University of Kansas to study Computer Science, but increasing financial burdens forced her to drop out and work fulltime at a restaurant, leaving her future uncertain once again. Then, in 2018, Netflix released Queer Eye, a reboot of an early-2000s Bravo series featuring five gay men who help refine people’s wardrobes, homes, and diets. In their third season, the show cast Jess Guilbeaux, a then self-described “lumberjack lesbian”— a masculine-presenting gay woman—for a makeover after a close friend nominated her. Her episode, “Black Girl Magic,” aired on March 15, 2019. In it, Jess spoke about her identity struggles: she was outcast from the Black kids at school and conformed to narrow ideals of what it meant to be a lesbian. “Don’t put yourself in a box,” Tan France told her.
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Shortly after the episode aired, fans raised $100,000 for Jess to return to college. Big media outlets asked her for interviews. She met her current girlfriend. Janelle Monae wrote a tweet about her. Amidst the commotion, Jess made plans to escape Kansas. She felt that to fully grow into herself, she would have to start from scratch, to dig out parts of her identity that she was taught to bury and blossom into something new, authentic to her roots.
Humans, like onions and baklavas, have layers. The identities projected onto us by the cultures we inhabit shape our meaningful understanding of our sometimes inchoate experiences: fuzzy feelings of warmth are interpreted as romantic love, and if we feel it for a member of the same sex, we are a homosexual. If you dress or speak a certain way, society will treat you as a homosexual. To be identified as a homosexual comes with certain expectations: what to like and how to be. To be homosexual is to not be heterosexual; it is to be “not normal.” Nevermind, of course, that the distinction between hetero and homosexual dates from the late 19th century, whilst same-sex desires, love and relationships far pre-date the creation of this word. But language is mutable and changes over time, shaping our values. To understand Jess’ multifaceted story, we must understand the word “Queer,” simultaneously a derogatory word to incite violence against a group of people, and a word with extraordinary power in the process of its reclamation. In the 19th century “Queer” simply meant peculiar, unusual, or strange. But in the mid-twentieth century it became a slur against homosexuals, denoting their position relative to the American identity synonymous with whiteness and the pursuit of normalcy and uniformity— marriage, a house, 2.5 kids, a 9 to 5 job. The pathos of The American Dream, as it is known, strove to control even the most minute details of our ambitions, down to the color of the picket fences containing our yards. If we are convinced that a new flat-screen TV will
make us happy, then we are willing to work soul-sucking office jobs to make that happen and oppression becomes common sense. But by the 1980s, the evolution of feminist and gay politics was well underway. Scholars continued to develop language to criticize the rigid set of ideas on which our deep-rooted notions of Americanism were based. But as our analyses deepened, so did the identities and tools to resist expand: from narrower notions of homosexuality and political lesbianism, activists began to reclaim and politicize Queerness as a more radical critique of inherited conceptions of human desires and expression. Queer, as an intentionally broad identity, leaves room for heterogenous understandings and uses, including as a vehicle to articulate the sentiment that it is none of your business who I sleep with or love. When we ask LGBTQ people to “come out,” we are also asking them to identify their sense of self around where their genitalia goes during sex: do we ever ask that of their counterparts? Imagine identifying heterosexual people based on their favorite sex positions.
Queer Eye helped Jess explore her own Queerness and allowed her to embrace her masculine side while also rejecting the limiting connotations of a “lumberjack lesbian.”
By reclaiming the word for their own use, Queers undermined the dominant discourse, but not exactly by disarming the word, as much as rearming it with a political conviction of its own. Rather than referring to the antonym of straight and normal, activists use Queer identity as a refusal of such binaries altogether. To be Queer is to recognize the fluid spectrum of human expression without labels. Anyone can be Queer and in fact, only 48 percent of Generation Z identified as “completely straight,” according to a study by J Walter Thompson Innovation Group.
“Some days I’ll want to wear a dress and heels and others I feel more like wearing a suit,” Jess says.
who are different can be “fixed” through rituals like conversion therapy, a practice in which LGBTQ people are taken to camps in an attempt to change their orientations. Jess now feels most authentic when she is in touch with all sides of herself, free of labels.
One of her biggest inspirations is Janelle Monae, the pansexual Black artist whose eclectic fashion sense flirts with the boundaries of gender. Monae’s 2018 album Dirty Computer is a staunch critique of the “programming” of previous generations and the idea that people
But beyond her sexuality, Jess also battled with the meaning of something far more visible: her Blackness.
"Black culture is anything a Black person does.
What does it mean to be Black, and who is “authentically” Black? Who defines Blackness, both a color and a purveyor of American culture, and to what extent is Blackness contingent on the existence of that which is not Black? In an essay, psychologist and author of the book Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? Beverly Daniel Tatum writes that the idea of authentic “Blackness” is elusive. That’s because people can interpret what it means to be Black in very limited terms informed by harmful stereotypes perpetuated in the media. Is Barack Obama, when he gives a commencement speech at a predominantly-white institution like Notre Dame, “less Black” than Jay-Z when he sings about b*tches and guns? Is Jess Guilbeaux, who tends to be quiet, listens to rock music and speaks in a “white-sounding” voice, less Black than her counterparts? Although these questions seem inconsequential, they say a lot about how we commodify the aesthetics of race as identities.
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Jess Guilbeaux grew up not feeling “Black enough,” a phenomenon common among those who grow up in majority-white environments and a dilemma that further complicated her relationship to home. Jess was one of only a few people of color in her classes and recalls having to answer ignorant questions and disproof assumptions, so much so that it became second nature. People assumed she listened to hiphop (she didn’t) or was good at sports (she wasn’t), because they had never as much as seen a Black person on television; to some, she was a caricature of Blackness, not a person with the complexity and nuance that people tend to have. At work and school, Guilbeaux allowed curious White people to touch her hair, something that made her deeply uncomfortable but she didn’t know why. She listened to rock music, which embarrassed her since no other Black people she knew listened to that genre.
In the past year, much of that has changed, largely due to the impact that Queer Eye and the ensuing publicity has had on her life. Jess’ journey has ultimately been one of becoming Black, with a capital ‘B,’ a process which the social theorist William Cross referred to as “Nigrescence” in 1971. “Nigrescence” gained popularity after the Civil Rights movement, when Black people realized that they could not be “passively Black” if they were going to attain the same rights as White people. Instead, “Nigrescence” is being “actively Black,” which requires advocacy for Black issues and awareness of Black history in a country where a majority of high school students know little about slavery. A study by the Southern Poverty Law Center found that only one-third of students knew about the 13th Amendment, the law that formally ended slavery after 246 years. According to Cross, “passive Blackness” can lead to self-hate, a lack of appreciation for one’s heritage, resentment towards other “Negroes” and a desire to distance oneself from them. To become aware of one’s roots and history, especially when that knowledge is hidden, is an act of radical self-love.
“Am I even allowed to do this?” she wondered. But the lack of seeing herself represented in media affected Jess in ways she has only recently come to terms with. “I didn’t realize that I hated my hair,” she says. “And it was affecting how I felt as a Black woman.”
To “become” Black, Guilbeaux now realizes, all she needed to do was to love the way she looked and appreciate the fact that she came from a rich heritage. “I’m constantly learning that Black culture is not just one thing,” Guilbeaux said. “Whatever Black people do is Black culture.”
When Jess was kicked out of her house, she lived an uprooted life and moved from couch to couch, never staying anywhere for long.
said, and the relatability of their stories might make all the difference for a Queer child somewhere. Not too long after, Jess took a trip to Atlanta to visit Skyler.
During that time, she found family in those who had experienced similar rejections in their lives, many of them Queer. Once in college, Jess went to Drag shows, which allowed her to feel a semblance of pride for an identity that had made her a statistic: 40 percent of homeless youth in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Some of those children have had to find families in each other, a bitter reality wherever homophobia thrives.
“Our experience as Queer individuals on that show is way different than those of our straight counterparts,” Skyler says. A majority of the show’s episodes feature straight-identifying people. Part of what makes Skyler and Jess’ experiences so different, Skyler said, is their sudden status as celebrities within the LGBTQ community. Now, the spaces they once frequented to feel safe have become “overwhelming.”
Since the release of her Queer Eye episode, Guilbeaux has extended her chosen family. After she discovered that she would be on the show, she combed through the past seasons and identified with Skyler Jay, a trans man from season two who was also exiled from his home at a young age. For months, Jess wasn’t allowed to contact Jay because her season had not yet been announced. When the trailer for season three was released, Skyler and Jess quickly connected; they got along instantly and spoke for hours about identity and family. Their appearance on the show was inherently political, which they both knew it: it would “reach moms in Middle America,” Jay
“People constantly approach us and want to talk or buy us too many drinks,” he says. LGBTQ spaces are no longer guaranteed places of peace. Jess and Skyler’s chosen families extend to all of those featured on the show. Jay began a chat on social media for the “Heroes,” the term of endearment the guests of Queer Eye use to refer to each other. “It’s just amazing to see all these different perspectives and stories and it just kind of fortifies my belief that even
though we all come from different backgrounds we all have things in common,” Guilbeaux says. “And we can all relate and grow from each other.”
“God spoke to me one day,” Mama Tammye said. “And asked me, ‘Why can’t you love your son the way I do?’” Since then, she sought her own relationship with God, independent of what others around her believed. She asked her son for forgiveness, as the Bible instructed her to do if she wronged someone.
The ugly reality of homophobia in the United States is that it is most rampant in communities of color and in Christian households. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 77 percent of African Americans “have heard their families say something negative about LGBTQ people” and only 12 percent feel comfortable talking about their sexuality to their parents; that number is reduced to a mere 3 percent if they are religious.
“From now on,” she told her son. “Mama’s got your back.” Today, Mama Tammye has also become a ‘spiritual mother’ to Guilbeaux and considers providing “security, safety, warmth and love” to Jess one of her maternal duties. (You can find Mama Tammye’s full letter to religious parents struggling to accept their children in the last page of this issue.)
Organized religions, namely Christianity, are amongst the biggest culprits of perpetuating homophobia in this country: only 36 percent of Evangelical Christians believe that homosexuality should be accepted, compared to 61 percent of the general U.S. population, according to the Pew Research Center.
And so, although no one can be certain of where this new fork in the road will go, there is a semblance of comfort in knowing that the journey is being undertaken with love: with those who see us and who want to get to know us, who will not condemn us for how we feel or who we love, who will not cast judgement when we stumble, because stumble we will, or throw doctrines that strip us of our humanity.
All of this makes the story of Tammye Hicks, one of the straight “Heroes” of the show, that much more extraordinary. Mama Tammye, as she is affectionately known, has become a staple of Guilbeaux’s chosen family. She is the mother of Myles, a gay black man who was featured in the second season of the series. Mama Tammye is a devout Christian who initially rejected Myles but learned to love and accept him.
Today, Guilbeaux is surrounded by the love of people like Skyler and Mama Tammye. She also has a girlfriend, Emma, who she met online and motivates her to do more. They live in Philadelphia, a Black city hundreds of miles away from the pain and familiarity of Kansas, where Jess plans to finish her degree in Computer Science. Although the future is uncertain, Jess knows one thing for sure: she wants to be an advocate for self love, authenticity and LGBTQ people of color. RETURN TO OUR ROOTS In her Queer Eye episode, Bobby takes Jess to the Midwest Genealogy Center in Missouri to trace back her ancestry. Because Jess lived an uprooted life, knowing where her family came from would help root her in a physical location: somewhere far, perhaps, but it was a start. The family tree only took her a few generations back and closer than expected, geographically: to her great-great-grandmother Sylvie, buried in a Civil War cemetery in Arkansas. But if she traced her origins back a few more generations, Jess would have likely found that she came from societies where gender fluidity and sexuality were accepted— and at times celebrated— parts of society. Contempt for different forms of sexual expression outside of heterosexuality is rooted in anxieties around the “destruction” of Christianity and Western Civilization. Notice, for example, the arguments made before the 2015 Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage across all 50 states: opponents feared that gay marriage would open the doors
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to everything from state-sanctioned pedophilia to sex with animals. Earlier this year, several lawmakers in Kansas backed a bill that would deem non-heterosexual unions “parody marriages,” illegitimate by nature. What many opponents get wrong is that sexual and gender fluidity can be found in the histories of civilizations around the world: the love affair between Socrates and Alcibiades is a starting point. For those who claim Western Civilization as their grounds on which to condemn Queerness, the bad news extends into the Ancient Roman Empire. Virgil is said to have had a sexual preference for boys, and his masterpiece, the epic Aeneid, features same-sex relations. He was not alone: homosexuality and gender fluidity were documented extensively in Roman literature and elsewhere.
fluidity, is owed to the influence of the ‘West.’ But if opponents of sexual minorities have one thing in common, it is historical amnesia: in describing homosexuality as something new on a ‘pure’ continent, Mugabe is grossly misrepresenting the history of Africa. Ironically, whilst denouncing homosexuality in the name of African independence from Western influence and anti-colonialism, it is only his homophobic attitude itself which is decidedly a Western import.
Whilst some in America and Europe falsely disparage Queerness as an outside disease introduced by progressives and liberals, homosexuality in Africa is being presented precisely as a Western import, “a scourge planted by the White man on a pure continent,” in Zimbabwean ex-President Robert Mugabe’s words. Mugabe may of course be right to suggest that the increased visibility of homosexuality in Africa and by extension other forms of sexual and gender
Among the Fon, the largest ethnic group in the West African nation of Benin, it is acceptable for boys to have close sexual friendships with each other. Meanwhile in the East-Central African Kingdom of Baganda, in modern-day Uganda, King Mwanga II executed male pages of his harem who refused his sexual advances. In Malawai and Mozambique, men who had sex with other men were seen to possess powerful muthi, a substance that they believed carried magic charms, according to scholar Thabo Msibi. In Senegal, there were “men with feminine demeanor, who dressed like women and made a living from prostitution.” Meanwhile, homosexual men in Dakar had a language to distinguish themselves as men with same-sex sexualities and
referred to themselves as gordjiguene (which translates as ‘manwoman’). Performative anti-colonialism and renunciation of Western influence by denouncing homosexuality, then, in fact reproduces a homophobia inherited from colonial times which itself crushed actual distinctively and historically African cultural practices. The new homophobic fervor in countries such as Uganda are directly tied to the influence of Evangelicalism, contorted and misinterpreted forms of Christianity that focus on spreading fear and hate for the other, in opposition to Jesus’ practice of loving and listening to the outcasts and all those who judgement was cast upon. Same-sex desires and gender fluidity have never been unnatural: it is the angry intolerance for deeply personal forms of expression that is new to human history.
state of Kansas derives its name), were exiled by English settlers. In Kaw communities, gender fluidity was commonplace, with a coveted place for two-spirit people and a recognition of at least five different genders including mixo’ge, those who expressed themselves as neither man nor woman, but a combination of both. In 1850, those European settlers invented a law against “sodomy”— a concept once unfamiliar to the Americas—with up to 10 years in prison. Just as Dorothy did in order to find her way home, sometimes we need to look inside ourselves to find the answers: our own history, our own beliefs and our own lineage. The answers often lie there, if we look carefully enough.
But closer to home, our story concludes with the greatest irony of all: Jess’ exile happens in the very same land from which the Kaw, an indigenous community who spoke Kansa (from which the
Every road was paved with a specific destination in mind, to take us from point A to B, but we seldom pause to wonder whether we genuinely want to arrive at point B or if we are headed there because it seems like the natural course of things. For people like Jess and other outcasts for which conventional roads were not paved, it is best to seek answers elsewhere: to grab a shovel, plant it firmly into the soil and begin to pave a new road.
from mama tammye
THE RAINBOW When we talk about equality, we talk about politics or economics: we measure the success of a nation by its GDP, the freedom of a country by its citizens’ right to vote and their access to public services. That same logic applies to how we think about the place of LGBTQ people in American society: if they are allowed to marry and participate in politics, haven’t they already achieved the same rights as everyone else?
Feelings of not belonging emerge early on, when we stump signs of Queerness and stigmatize the parts of LGBTQ people that are immutable. When we exclude same-sex education from schools, we are erasing the validity of gay existence; when we make people feel that their most intimate desires are wrong, we rob them of their right to pursue happiness. Even after coming out and experiencing acceptance, meaningful relationships or even marriage, sentiments of unworthiness might endure.
But we very rarely have conversations about something that fundamentally disenfranchises millions of Queer people from their communites: the extremely high rates of childhood shaming and rejection that sometimes lead to homelessness. Today, nearly half of the country’s homeless youth identify as LGBTQ and many of them are also victims of physical abuse.
We must confront the root of the dysfunction in our community: the fraught relationships we have with ourselves because of the multitude of rejections many of us faced early on. We must also scrutinize a huge, some would say ironic, reality: the fact that in the United States, a lot of the bigotry tearing families apart is disseminated through religious institutions, meant to bring communities together and promote compassion.
Modern psychology has proven the link between childhood rejection and selfesteem; two in five LGBTQ children say they do not feel accepted by their loved ones, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Queer people also suffer from the highest rates of depression and 30 percent abuse drugs, compared to 10 percent of the overall population, according to the Addiction Center.
We must believe that there is a better place, somewhere over the rainbow, where LGBTQ children are celebrated and parents don’t feel the need to give up on their children. Although it may be difficult to imagine, that place might be much closer than we think.
If you or someone you know is homeless or in danger of becoming homeless, contact your nearest LGBTQ center or the Homeless Youth Crisis Hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY