Celebrating Pride: How to Support LGBTQ+ Youth

Zenni rainbow eyeglasses with heart-shaped frames. Rainbow candy surrounds the glasses on a white table.

Officially celebrated in June, Pride month is a major pillar in the LGBTQ+ community. It not only gives us the opportunity to reflect on our history, but we can also set new goals and commit to furthering equality for all moving forward.

For the past five years, Zenni has proudly partnered with the It Gets Better Project, an organization that provides outreach to LGBTQ+ youth. Growing up as part of this community has a unique set of challenges, and the It Gets Better Project helps young people face those challenges head-on with support, advocacy, and resources.

As an eyewear company, we understand the importance of feeling seen. With that in mind, here are recommendations from the It Gets Better Project to support the LGBTQ+ youth in your life.

Let them know they are loved.
LGBTQ+ youth often feel isolated, so support from parents and the adults in their life is crucial. This can take on any form, so long as you are accepting, loving, and supporting them.

Encourage them to talk.
Whether it’s about their feelings or just what’s going on in their daily lives, this reinforces that they are important to you. Not every conversation has to be deep, it’s more about you being there to listen.

Be actively involved in their school life.
When LGBTQ+ students feel good at school, their educational outcomes are significantly stronger. You are your child’s biggest advocate. Click here for more info.

Help connect them to the community.
Their school’s Gender & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) is a great place to start. If they don’t have a GSA, advocate for one. Online resources help too, like IGBP’s Youth Voices Program.

While it may seem daunting at first, learning the LGBTQ+ glossary is a vital way to communicate with young people. Sure, mistakes will be made along the way, but doing the work will yield fabulous returns.

For more information on supporting LGBTQ+ youth, visit the It Gets Better Project.

“To me, pride is freedom. And I have never felt more proud — I’m proud of myself, to be myself, of the fact that I see myself. I have the freedom and courage to love myself outwardly. Pride makes me feel free because I no longer hide the best part of myself.”