Tim Rymel wrote a great piece about The Pride and Joy Campaign that Debi Jackson and I are running in November and December 2014.
Pride and Joy Campaign Aims to Support Kids on the Spectrum During the Holidays – by Tim Rymel
Daniel Ashley Pierce was kicked out of his house for being gay. The video he secretly recorded of coming out to his parents went viral. In it, you hear one family member confess that she knew he was gay since he was a “tiny little boy,” but soon after, tells him he made a choice. “I’m going by the word of God,” she says. It isn’t long before the incident escalates and his Christian parents start calling him names. The video becomes even more difficult to watch, as the altercation turns physical.
As a parent, it’s difficult to imagine what my children could do for me to kick them out of my house. Even if they did something “against God,” I’m of the opinion that that’s between them and God. I’m here to nurture them and help them be loving, kind, and productive members of society. Not all parents feel this way.
Unfortunately, when it comes to LGBT kids, many parents draw the line. 20-40% of homeless youth, in fact, are LGBT. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 42% of the youth say that the communities in which they live are not accepting of LGBT people, 26% say their biggest problems are not finding acceptance with their families, bullying at school, and fear of being outed. They are also twice as likely as their school peers to have been physically assaulted.
Liz dyer, the parent of a gay son, and Debi Jackson, the parent of a transgender daughter will have none of that. Both became painfully aware of how LGBT youth were treated as they faced the issues head on in their families. Neither were content to quietly provide a loving environment for their own kids, they wanted to do more. In fact, they aren’t just putting up with their kids’ idiosyncrasies; their children are their pride and joy.