Former US Vice President Joe Biden today announced the launch of a new campaign aimed at helping LGBTI youth.
The ‘As You Are: A Family and Community Acceptance Campaign’ is launching through his Biden Foundation.
The Democratic politician tweeted about the launch of the campaign and asked people to come forward with their stories.
‘LGBTQ young people should never have to face rejection from those who love them. Share your story with @bidenfoundation about the importance of family acceptance, because we all deserve to be safe, loved, and affirmed.’
LGBTQ young people should never have to face rejection from those who love them. Share your story with @bidenfoundation about the importance of family acceptance, because we all deserve to be safe, loved, and affirmed. #AsYouAre https://t.co/FKAz3mirQO pic.twitter.com/fMWz2SUoiL
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) August 7, 2018
LGBTI youth more likely to be homeless or suicidal
A press statement from the Foundation revealed more details. It says the campaign will, ‘raise awareness of the importance of family acceptance in the lives of LGBTQ young people.’
Numerous research has found that LGBTQ young people are disproportionately more likely than their non-LGBTQ peers to experience homelessness, suffer from depression, and contemplate suicide.
Some studies have found that around 1 in 4 homeless youth identify as LGBTI. Family rejection is known to contribute significantly to these problems.
‘I’m so proud to announce the Biden Foundation has launched this campaign,’ Biden said in a statement. ‘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 Foundation wants to collect stories to help educate wider society about the importance of family acceptance.
One of those sitting on the Biden Foundation advisory council is Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project.
‘Family acceptance can save lives,’ said Paley.
‘Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are more than four times more likely than their straight peers to attempt suicide. And 40% of transgender and gender nonconforming adults report having attempted suicide at some point in their lives, most of them before the age of 25.
‘That’s why it is so important to support LGBTQ youth and let them know that they are not alone.’
Biden has also posted a video in which he discusses the importance of the project.
‘By sharing your stories, we can work together,’ says Joe Biden
The Foundation wants to hear from LGBTI children who have experienced rejection or acceptance, and from parents, siblings, teachers, coaches and allies.
‘By sharing your stories, we can work together to change the culture and ensure a bright future for the LGBTQ young people in America,’ says Biden.
This is far from being the first time Biden has spoken out in support of LGBTI people.
In April 2017 he issued a statement condemning the treatment of gay people in the Russian region of Chechnya. He also criticized President Trump’s attempt ban on transgender people serving in the military. He said at the time the ban was announced, ‘Every patriotic American who is qualified to serve in our military should be able to serve. Full stop.’
Earlier this year it was announced the Biden Foundation was teaming up with the YMCA to launch an LGBTI youth program.