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Rutgers Expands Gay Youth Outreach Program

NEWARK, NJ -  Answer, a national sexuality education organization based at RutgersUniversity, has announced the launch of a new, expanded section of their award-winning teen Web site, Sexetc.org, that includes the most up-to-date resources on issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) young people. 


“Far too often, the only discussions relating to LGBTQ youth are about suicide rates, drug and alcohol use and HIV—all of which paint very negative pictures of what it means to be LGBTQ,” says Elizabeth Schroeder, Answer’s executive director. 


“Our goal with this expanded area of Sexetc.org is to offer sexuality-related information and resources that both support LGBTQ youth who are struggling with who they are and celebrate what it means to be LGBTQ.”  Funding for the site comes from the New York City-based H. van Ameringen Foundation.


All of the new resources can be found at sexetc.org/topic/lgbtq. They include stories, links to the discussion forums, blog posts, quizzes, Web sites, hotlines, and books—as well as a gallery of famous LGBTQ faces.  This gallery includes both LGBTQ leaders, as well as politicians, entertainers, artists, educators and sports figures who also happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender.


According to Schroeder, a unique aspect of the expanded LGBTQ area of Sexetc.org is a focus on individuals who are not LGBTQ but who wish to be allies to friends or family members who are.  “Just like with any disenfranchised community, LGBTQ people need the folks who are not LGBTQ to lend their support.  But there aren’t many resources to help people become allies.”  That is, until now.  Sexetc.org now features a guide for people who are not LGBTQ but who want to celebrate and support people who are.


Answer’s mission is to provide and promote comprehensive sexuality education to young people and the adults who teach them.  Says Schroeder, “While our national programs have always paid close attention to the needs of LGBTQ young people, at this time in our history much more needs to be done.”  She is referring to the recent national attention on bullying of young people who are or perceived to be LGBTQ that included the suicide of RutgersUniversity student Tyler Clementi after he was bullied by his roommate.


“Negative feelings toward LGBTQ people are just like any other prejudice,” she says.  “Prejudice comes from ignorance; ignorance breeds fear; fear can cause irrational, often hateful behavior.  The only cure to ignorance is information and education—and that’s what Answer’s mission is all about.”



Answer is an award-wining national organization based at RutgersUniversity that is dedicated to providing and promoting comprehensive sexuality education to young people and the adults who teach them. Its ongoing programs include the national Teen-to-Teen Sexuality Education Project, which reaches hundreds of thousands of teens with teen-written sexual health information through the Sex, Etc. magazine and Web site, Sexetc.org; and the Sexuality Education Training Initiative, which provides training, resources and technical assistance to more than 5,000 educational professionals per year. To learn more about Answer, log on to http://answer.rutgers.edu


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