The kids aren't all right

There's something up with the youth nowadays. The kids aren't all right, and they aren't all right with not feeling all right. Get what we mean? These kids know the world they're growing up in isn't LGBTQ-friendly, and they're decidedly pissed off about it.

But they're more than pissed: they're positive. In this issue of BTL alone, you'll read about Cassidy Creech, the 17-year-old who organized a support group for high school gay/straight alliances, in order to help them influence change in their schools. You'll read about the fifteen-hundred-plus students who attended last weekend's Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference at the University of Michigan. And you'll read about the controversial campaign, an attention-grabbing attempt to get young people tested for HIV/AIDS. It was largely planned with the input of young people, because campaign sponsors knew that youth would have the most effective and provocative ideas to make it go.

This generation is often ridiculed for having a sense of entitlement. But these kids show us that they feel entitled to basic human rights. And if those rights aren't there, they're going to organize, ask, demand and fight to have them.

They're kicking the stereotype of the lazy, indulgent kid to the curb. They're standing up to school boards, teachers, professors and college administrators. They're getting recognition. They're changing the rules. They're gaining acceptance, understanding and love from their parents and peers.

This generation knows life is much different now than it was for their parents. These kids relax by watching sitcoms and dramas that show gay parents and teens. And they're obsessed with Facebook and Twitter, especially as tools to connect with one another. For them, isolation is a problem of the past. But they also know things could be much better.

They're pissed, they're positive, and they're banding together so that they're no longer powerless. And half these kids still have a curfew. If this is the kind of push they're giving now, as they're growing up, imagine what kind of world they'll create when they are grownups. Imagine what kinds of policies, rules and laws they'll create when they're CEOs, national lawmakers or university presidents.

Something tells us that when that time comes, things will be more than all right.

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