A 1999 survey of Massachusetts high school students revealed alarming
statistics about the risk behaviors of GLBT youth. Compared to their
peers, these students are:
||over four times more likely to have attempted
||over three times more likely to miss school
because of feeling unsafe;
||three times more likely to have been injured
or threatened with a weapon.
In order to foster support for this vulnerable
population, SpeakOUT coordinates a statewide community forum series
to help Massachusetts cities and towns recognize and address the needs
of GLBT youth.
In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and
the Governors Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, SpeakOUT is
helping to create "Communities of Courage" by bringing together
youth and adults from a variety of settings including education,
health care, religion, business, and youth advocacy. The interactive
format of the forums encourages candid, constructive conversations and
serves as the catalyst for the development of an action plan to support
and protect LGBT youth.
SpeakOUT has held forums in Melrose, Worcester and other communities
and invites all Massachusetts cities and towns to participate in this