ABA Opening Doors Project — LGBTQ Youth

The American Bar Association Opening Doors Project is targeted “to provide the legal and child welfare community tools, resources, and support for improving outcomes for LGBTQ young people in foster care.”  Many of the resources are also helpful for those working with LGBTQ youth in the juvenile justice system, including handouts on inclusive language interview suggestions, judicial bench cards, and definitions.

A thought-provoking handout — Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack II – Sexual Orientation: Daily Effects of Straight Privilege — speaks to the experiences and preferences that are enjoyed based on identifying as straight or heterosexual.  For example, “on a daily basis as a straight person…

  • When I talk about my heterosexuality (such as in a joke or talking about my relationships), I will not be accused

    of pushing my sexual orientation onto others.

  • My sexual orientation is not considered a choice and I do not have to defend my heterosexuality.
  • I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my sexual orientation will not work against me.
  • I can go home from most meetings, classes, and conversations without feeling excluded, fearful, attacked, isolated, outnumbered, unheard, stereotyped or feared because of my sexual orientation.”

There are also a number articles on research results, surveys of laws, and support group guides here.

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