GLAAD announced on Friday that they are accepting applications for its Campus Ambassador Program for the 2017-2018 school year. According to the press release, ambassadors will produce media content "relevant to the lived experiences of queer youth," as well as work within their communities to advance acceptance and end discrimination of the LGBTQ community. They're also trained as media spokespeople, in line with GLAAD's role as a media advocacy organization.
“With an administration constantly attacking the LGBTQ community, it’s crucial to provide support and resources to queer youth,” Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO, said in the press release. “GLAAD’s Campus Ambassador Program does just that by amplifying their stories and impactful work to advance acceptance of LGBTQ people.”
The organization describes itself as having an "invigorated focus" on LGBTQ youth partly as a result of their most recent Accelerating Acceptance report, which showed that 20 percent of Millennials identify as LGBTQ, more than any other age group, and compared to 12 percent of the general population. The report also found that 12 percent of Millennials identify as trans or gender non-conforming.
Despite these numbers, 30 percent of people polled still said they are uncomfortable with LGBTQ people in their schools, families, and communities. This work is also crucial during a time when trans students see federal protections stripped by the current administration, and trans women, particularly trans women of color, are being murdered on a regular basis.
“Not only has GLAAD taught me how to amplify my voice, but it’s given me the tools to have my voice be heard,” L. Juliett, a founding Campus Ambassador, said in the press release.
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