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JUST. KEEP. GOING. Creating Change Through Queer Art.”

What is the JUST. KEEP. GOING. initiative?

I’ve spoken about it briefly on the main page and the “about” section, but I wanted to give more insight into what JUST. KEEP. GOING. is really all about.

**Trigger Warning** Discussion of suicide

Too many members of the LGBTQ+ community have been faced with more adversity than anyone should have to go through in their lifetime: bullying, harassment, abuse, homelessness, estrangement from family, etc., simply because we were born this way.

Because of the constant struggles people in our community face, not only do we have higher rates of alcoholism and drug addiction, but we also suffer from higher rates of self-harm and suicide.

Check out these stats (from thetrevorproject.org):

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24.1
  • LGB youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth.2
  • LGB youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth.2
  • In a national study, 40% of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt. 92% of these individuals reported having attempted suicide before the age of 25.3
  • LGB youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to have attempted suicide as LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection.4
  • Each episode of LGBT victimization, such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times on average.6

These numbers are staggering. Therefore, JUST. KEEP. GOING. is an initiative (that will hopefully soon be a non-for-profit organization) to give art scholarships and grants (poetry, photography, drawing, painting, writing, music, etc.) to members of the LGBTQ+ community who need a little help in pursuing their dreams.

Additionally, we will find a way to provide accessible, affordable mental healthcare resources.

I want struggling members of our community to be excited about the future and to have something that drives them forward, especially during difficult or uncertain times.

As the survivor of a suicide attempt at 23 (the year I came out), I am grateful every single day for my life and for this second chance. It breaks my heart to think back to that time when I didn’t think I had any other options or anything to live for. But I do–I always did–and thinking that I didn’t was the biggest mistake of my life.

I want this program to prevent others from going down the same path–to inspire, motivate, and most importantly, save lives.

Hopefully through shared art experiences and the building of a safe space for members of our community to feel seen, heard, and understood we can inspire more people to JUST. KEEP. GOING., as there is always another option, and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can’t see it.

One step at a time, one day at a time, one poem/drawing/painting/photograph/song/story at a time, you can get through anything. WE can get through anything. And JUST. KEEP. GOING. wants to help you get there.

Stay tuned for more information about this initiative in the coming weeks.

For posts on similar topics, Click here

Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255

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