Gay Youth Hub

Girl Scouts Will Now Welcome Transgender Girls

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The Girl Scouts of America announced a change to one of their policies that now allows transgender kids to become members. A guest post on GSUSA's website, titled "The Meaning of 'Serving All Girls,'" from Andrea Bastiani Archibald confirmed the bold new direction the organization is taking in fostering diversity:

"The foundation of diversity that Juliette Gordon Low established runs throughout Girl Scouting to this day. Our mission to build "girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place" extends to all members, and through our program, girls develop the necessary leadership skills to advance diversity and promote tolerance.

"If a girl is recognized by her family, school and community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe. Inclusion of transgender girls is handled at a council level on a case by case basis, with the welfare and best interests of all members as a top priority."

The Boy Scouts of America continue to lag behind their progressive sisters as bans against gay male troop leaders still exist. However, BSA President Robert Gates called for the organization to repeal the discriminatory ban today at a meeting with the organization's leadership.

Surprising Study Finds Gay, Bi Teens More Likely To Get Pregnant Than Straight Peers


A study survey of 10,000 New York City teens over the course of three years revealed that gay and bisexual teens are twice as likely to get pregnant over their heterosexual peers reports The survey study conducted through the Center for Disease Control measured sexual orientation in two different ways: how an individual behaves sexually and how an individual labels their sexuality. 

The study found that women who identify as bisexual or lesbian, along with women who chose not to label their sexuality but admitted to sleeping with men and women, were more likely to experience a pregnancy than the 14.3 percent of heterosexual female students and 10.8 percent of heterosexual male students who experience one. The same results apply to men who identify as gay, bisexual or admit to sleeping with both men and women. 

It's unclear why the rates are higher among LGB youth however, the possibility of LGB youth hiding their true orientations through entering heterosexual relationships combined with a lack of proper sexual education is listed as a possible reason for the higher LGB youth pregnancy rate.

Illinois House Votes To Block 'Ex-Gay' Conversion Therapy For Minors: VIDEO

A bipartisan Illinois House majority yesterday approved House Bill 217 which aims to protect LGBT youth from “ex-gay” therapy, reports Equality Illinois.

Illinois_House_of_RepresentativesThe bill - which was passed 68-43, with support from 61 Democrats and seven Republicans - prohibits licensed mental health care providers from engaging in “reparative therapy” with anyone under the age of 18.

Equality Illinois (EI) has now called on the state Senate to approve the Illinois Youth Mental Health Protection Act before the scheduled May 31 adjournment of the General Assembly.

EI CEO Bernard Cherkasov said:

"Ending conversion therapy is our top priority in the legislature right now. Trying to change the unchangeable, our innate sexual orientation and gender identity, should not be attempted because it risks the health of LGBT youth.”

However, although every major Illinois mental health organization supports the bill - including the Illinois Psychological Association, Illinois Psychiatric Society, American Psychoanalytic Association, Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics - the legislation does not apply to religious leaders and would not impact the ability of clergy to practice their religion.

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu introduced a federal bill that would explicitly prohibit therapy to change people's gender identity.

Watch law student Scott Blair pick apart a counselor's attempt to cure him of his homosexuality, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Bullied Gay Student And LGBT Activist Isaiah Smith Sues Texas School District


Isaiah Smith was 16 when an episode of "What Would You Do?" inspired him to petition the City Council in small, conservative Keller, Texas, to add LGBT protections. He would go on to speak repeatedly at council meetings, including calling on the mayor to sign a pledge in support of marriage equality. 

A year later, Smith was suspended from Birdville High School for carrying a Bible from which he'd ripped out pages containing anti-gay passages. Smith, a Christian, said his decision to carry the Bible was a silent protest against bullying, after other students told him being gay is a sin and he was going to hell. 

After the American Humanist Association sent a complaint to the school district alleging it had violated Smith's First Amendment rights, the suspension was overturned, and he was allowed to continue carrying the Bible. Which brings us to this week, when the AHA filed a lawsuit on Smith's behalf against the district and its board over its practice of promoting Christian prayers. Fort Worth Weekly reports: 

According to the lawsuit, filed on behalf of a former student, Isaiah Smith, the school board has had a longstanding policy of choosing students to offer Christian prayers at the beginning of public school board meetings. Smith claims that the prayers made him feel unwelcome at the public meetings and that the school board endorsed Christianity. Students and teachers also regularly attend the meetings. ...

The lawsuit asserts that the Birdville District is a repeat offender of the separation of church and state, including school sponsorship of religious baccalaureate ceremonies, school overnight trips to churches, and inclusion of Christian iconography in classrooms. In addition, Smith was wrongfully suspended from his high school for carrying a ripped Bible as an act of peaceful protest against students who bullied him because of his sexual orientation. The legal center successfully convinced the school district to expunge his record, but it so far refused to cease prayers in school board meetings.

In addition to enduring bullying at school, Smith was kicked out of his home by an unaccepting parent, according to his Facebook page. Last year, he launched a petition calling on the US to cut off all aid to Uganda over the country's anti-homosexuality law. And earlier this month, Smith received the AHA's Humanist Pioneer Award.   

WATCH: Miley Cyrus And Ariana Grande Perform Soothing Cover Of ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ for LGBT Youth Group


Miley Cyrus teamed up with Ariana Grande in the latest installment of her Happy Hippie Foundation's "Backyard Sessions," series performing a touching cover of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over." Cyrus recently launched the Happy Hippie Foundation to provide support to homeless LGBT youth and shot music videos with other singers including Joan Jett and Grande to raise funds for the foundation.

Watch Cyrus and Grande perform a soothing cover of the 80's hit while sitting on an inflatable couch and wearing adorable, goofy animal onesies, AFTER THE JUMP

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Jussie Smollett And Smoldering ‘Empire’ Co-Stars Cover Essence Magazine: VIDEO

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Essence Magazine satiated Empire fans' thirst for more of actor Jussie Smollett after featuring the openly gay actor on the magazine’s cover for its June vacation issue reports Out. The magazine released four covers with one cover featuring all three of Empire's Lyons brothers together and three other separate covers with Smollet, Trai Byers (Andre) and Bryshere "Yazz" Gray (Hakeem) receiving their own individual covers.

Smollet reveals in the issue how he auditioned for the role of Jamal and how reaching out to the show’s creator, Lee Daniels, on social media helped him snag the role. Smollett also addresses his coming out earlier in the year, and why he chose to do so saying:

"If I can help someone else feel less alone, no matter what they’re going through, I’m happy to have that opportunity,"

Empire returns this fall on Fox with an 18-episode second season with nine episodes airing in the fall and the remaining nine airing in 2016.

Catch Jussie performing "You're So Beautiful" from Empire on Good Morning America, AFTER THE JUMP...

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