Arizona Gives Day March 20, 2013: Ben’s Story

Ben grew up in a loving home and came out to his parents and brother as a freshman in college.  His parents embraced him and provided every opportunity for success.  He graduated from college, met a boyfriend and established himself in a profession.   Despite their acceptance of Ben’s orientation, his parents, nonetheless, cannot bring themselves to publicly display support for the gay community.  Ben has asked his parents to simply display the HRC equality sign on their cars.  His mother has repeatedly responded,  “I am just not ready.”  His parents insist that Ben not tell his Grandmother he is gay; they believe this “information” will hurt her. Ben’s mother and father love their son – but Ben knows that his parents and brother remain quiet to the world and that his Grandmother must be “protected.”

Gay teenagers and young adults experience differing degrees of support.  Some are loved and accepted unconditionally.   Some, like Ben, are loved but asked to keep their “secret” and understand that their parents aren’t ready to publicly state their support.   Sadly, many gay youths experience bullying and intolerance in their homes, causing them to believe that something in them is “disordered.”   For this group of youths, the streets are a better place to call home.

one•n•ten heroically serves all LGBT youth in Phoenix. It is a place where all LGBT youth are fully welcome without reservation.  one•n•ten’s message is that all LGBT youth are valued human beings who do not have to live in secret.  This organization’s mission is “to enhance the lives of youth by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self-expression, self-acceptance, leadership and healthy life choices.”  one•n•ten provides counseling, mentoring, housing, food and toiletries for homeless youth and a safe place for all LGBT youths to gather.  Ben says it would have been nice to “have a safe place to connect with others without judgment.”

To further support LGBT young people who have dropped out of high school,  one•n•ten founded Q High.  At  Q High, LGBT youth can earn their diplomas in an atmosphere free from bullying and intolerance.Inflatable Air Track

one•n•ten provides a family-style atmosphere, unconditional support, and a safe place for LGBT youths to call home.

Please support one•n•ten’s mission on Arizona Gives Day March 20, 2013.  It is Arizona’s one-day online giving opportunity intended to support the critical work of Arizona’s nonprofits.  .