One of the hardest parts of being an LGBTQ youth is the exposure to bullying by peers. We want you to know you are not alone, and we will work with you to minimize the harmful effects of the bullying you will most likely face.

We’ve found an excellent article on Huffington Post that offers advice to bullied LGBTQ youth. You can read the whole article here, and we’re sharing the 5 pieces of advice.

  1. Don’t back down. It is a cliché, but I mean it. There will be times when life may be dark, when even the sun lacks its brightness, and all will feel cruel and hopeless. I have been there, and I have done everything in my power to never return to that state of emotion. Find someone to lean on; there has to be someone out there you can find to support you and your life. If there’s no one in real life, then there are plenty of forums and websites where trustworthy people are available to talk to… you can even trust me. But please, do not give up on life. Your life is too precious to lose; if I had known life would be so good five years ago, I would have gone through high school like a champion, but life wasn’t meant to be that easy, as we must mature and learn through our own battles that we can naturally conquer. Youwill find your bastion of hope. This world is not that bad; I assure you that there is a place where you can celebrate and sing your identity among others who love you.

  2. Find your support network, and keep it. Friends will be everything to you in these hard times of bullying; friends can be anybody you can trust, such as family, teachers, and even your dentist.

  3. Pursue an education. Yes, some of us might not be good at math or writing, but we all have our strengths and weakness when it comes to the world of academia. Hone in on your strengths, and go to college, and work toward a career. Major in a field that you are willing to dedicate your life to (it is not easy to choose which major to study, but you will get there). Make your education and your college life fun, but do not be careless. A good education is a good life; stray away from it and you will regret it in the long run.

  4. Follow your passions. Aside from academics, find something you personally love to do or think you would love to do. This could be something like cooking, fashion design, painting, writing, or even running. For example, since middle school I have always wanted to dance, and in college I was given the chance to do just that. Ever since I started dancing, I have been so happy, and I long to improve and learn more. Doing what you love really keeps your mind focused on something you know will make you happy. And happiness is always welcome, right?

  5. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes you may think you can solve issues like bullying on your own, but it is best to seek help when you need it.

The Glaad Amplify Your Voice program believes no one should be bullied or called names simply for being who they are. They have a resource kit that includes a vast array of helpful information meant to help students who are being bullied.