The Biden Foundation has launched “As You Are,” a family and community acceptance campaign to raise awareness of the importance of family acceptance in the lives of LGBTQ young people. Despite unprecedented gains in legal protections by the LGBTQ community over the last decade, LGBTQ youth continue to be among the most at-risk youth populations in America. Specifically, LGBTQ young people are disproportionately more likely than their non-LGBTQ peers to experience homelessness, suffer from depression, and experience suicidal ideation.
Research shows that family rejection significantly contributes to negative outcomes. Rejecting behavior is not limited to a parent disowning or kicking out their child; it can also include subjecting young people to “conversion therapy,” blocking their access to LGBTQ friends and networks, or keeping a young person’s LGBTQ identity “secret.” In contrast, supporting LGBTQ youth, affirming their identity, and advocating for equal treatment can prevent many of these outcomes and set LGBTQ youth on a positive trajectory.
“I’m so proud to announce the Biden Foundation has launched this campaign,” Vice President Joe Biden said. “We’ll use our resources to highlight the harms of family rejection—and lift up research, best practices, and personal stories to powerfully show the significant value of family acceptance.”
The “As You Are” campaign is collecting personal stories—from LGBTQ youth, parents, siblings, educators, social service providers, coaches, and others—to help educate the broader public about the critical importance of affirming, accepting, and supporting our LGBTQ young people, and the harms these youth face when their families and communities reject them. Because stories like these have incredible power, the Foundation will share these narratives with the hope that they will serve to inspire, to create communities, to heal families, and to change the broader culture to ensure a bright future for all LGBTQ young people.