Pre-College Programs

Addresses the Issue of Homophobia Amongst GLBTQ Teens and Young Adults

From the Leadership Institute Symposium on Social Change

Author: Carly Knitzer

My action plan addresses the issue of homophobia amongst GLBTQ teens/young adults. I wanted to reach teens/young adults in a way that is familiar and comfortable for them.

I decided to create a blog that could spread my message of acceptance and tolerance virally. On my blog (my action plan) I write personal articles, answer questions that are submitted, post inspirational photos, and post GLTBQ informational sites and articles about current events.

Since November, I have been writing on my blog (wehatethehate.tumblr.com) every day and have sent out the blog link to all of my friends and family, and have spread the blog throughout social networking sites. Friends and family who have enjoyed reading WHTH have passed the blog along to their friends.

I am the only person working on my project. I set up the website, design, post, and advertise WHTH.

My project has made me incredibly patient. I used to get frustrated when people didn't understand what I was saying or when I thought that they were being ignorant. Because of my blog, I learned that patience really is a virtue and that educating people about certain issues can change minds and give activism an big push. I learned that I have the ability to make a difference even though I'm a teenager and that anyone can make a difference if they are truly passionate about something.

Several people, both anonymously and directly, have let me know that my blog has changed their lives. Recently a student from NYU who follows my blog (however, I do not know her personally) asked if she could write a paper about me and my blog. One compliment that let me know that I was making a difference was when I got an anonymous submission that read: "When I feel lonely you're blog helps me remember that I'm not alone. So thank you." I have around 320 followers who follow my blog regularly and many others who visit from time to time.

In November, after the catastrophic suicides in the GLBTQ community due to homophobia, I started my blog to be a safe place for young people who are afraid to be out in their communities and be themselves without fear of judgment. I felt that GLBTQ teens were in need of support and being out and comfortable with myself, I was motivated to pass on my confidence and self assurance to those who really need it.

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