In a July 13 Los Angeles’ Times article, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released a report showing a 13 percent increase in hate crimes against gay, transgender persons in the United States. In recent months, national campaigns have been launched to prevent occurrences such as these; however, a study has found that it only gets better when a supportive environment is present.
Here in Orlando, local non-profit Zebra Coalition provides support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth in need and will launch a youth transgender support group Wednesday, July 20. Led by a licensed counselor, the group will address important issues facing today’s transgender youth between the ages of 13-24.
The Zebra Coalition operates under the mission to foster hope, dignity and self-respect in LGBTQ youth by providing them with a safe, substance-free and encouraging environment. To fulfill this mission, Zebra partners with organizations such as the Center for Drug Free Living and the Orlando Youth Alliance, which allows for the provision of shelter, food, clothing, medical and counseling services and peer support.
Under the leadership of Director Anthony Armstrong, the coalition will also host a volunteer information and training session for its 24 hour youth crisis hotline this Saturday, July 16 from 9AM-3PM. If at all possible, I would love to work with you and your media outlet to incorporate a mention of these opportunities to help spread the word about these critical needs in Central Florida and the ways in which Central Florida volunteers can plug in to lend a hand.
Armstrong is available for interviews regarding issues of homelessness, bullying and teen suicide trends in the LGBTQ community. He can help to provide a more local angle to the article mentioned above. If you would like to receive more information about the Zebra Coalition, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you for your time and consideration.