Everyone needs to be accepted, respected, and know they are loved. This community would be free of prejudice, discrimination, and hatred.
GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services, Inc. is dedicated to engaging in effective advocacy for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered (GLBT) people. We are committed to ensuring the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of youth and young adults struggling due to sexual orientation or gender identity issues. James Robinson lives in Huntsville, Alabama. He is Executive Director and founder of GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services, Inc. He is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The agency uses social media extensively to reach youth across the region and to share a message of hope, love, and respect for everyone. Robinson speaks publicly whenever possible about issues affecting the GLBT community and youth including speaking engagements at local universities. The agency has elevated the profile and understanding of the needs of GLBT youth living in rural communities across the country. The agency offers several programs and services to the community:
• A community wide anti-bullying campaign in conjunction with other local organizations and individuals.
• Support groups for youth, young adults, and the transgender community.
• The Huntsville Host Home Program to prevent homelessness among youth & young adults. The National Center on Family Homelessness in its report, America’s Youngest Outcasts 2010, ranked Alabama as the worst state in the nation for homeless youth to live due to the lack of services and support.
We know that 20 to 40% of homeless youth identity as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
• Public advocacy for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.
• A volunteer program which enlists the help of people from throughout the community.
Our work in this community is extremely important. Recently, while speaking to youth groups approximately 50 teenagers were asked how many knew someone who had attempted suicide. Almost all these young people indicated they knew someone who had attempted suicide. When asked how many knew a young person who had been evicted from their home even temporarily at least 75% raised their hands. One teenager consistently drives 4 hours round trip to attend our weekly support group for GLBT youth 18 & under. There are no other groups of this type being offered in our region. The need for funding is extremely important as all services up to this point have been provided on a volunteer basis. In order for services to continue and for programs for the GLBT community to grow in our region it is critical that we secure sustainability through the support of our community.
We envision a community free of sexual exploitation, alcohol and drug abuse, bullying and harassment, homelessness, and suicide. This is a community where social skills, continuing education, and employment are emphasized as vital keys to personal success and are available on a non-discriminatory basis. The community would be free of prejudice, discrimination, and the fear of personal attacks and other forms of violence and hatred. We envision a community where the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of all people are priorities.