Last Saturday night, I attended an event called Glitz presented by Out Youth. This is their annual fundraising event here in Austin to support LGBT youth in Central Texas. They offer peer support groups, counseling, educational programs, social activities and community outreach. It was attended by over 250 people and raised at least double what it raised last year (final amount tbd). The highest amount ever raised by an Out Youth event! http://outyouth.org
Glitz 2012 was held at the beautiful home of Cord and Annie Shiflet in Westlake Hills. It is definitely a house with a surprise around every corner. Everything from a classic Cadillac, to several motorcycles, to a giant-sized swing set, to a cow from the Cow Parade auction benefiting the Dell Children’s Medical Center and even a one year old pot bellied pig named Peppa. The house with something for everyone!
I attended Glitz last year and I was pleasantly surprised to see so many familiar faces along with a lot of new ones! This crowd was much larger than last year and filled with people wanting to show their support for LGBT youths in our community. It was amazing that the crowd crossed all type of demographic lines – straight allies, community leaders, business professionals, younger adults, etc. To them it didn’t matter that these youths were LGBT, but they were there showing support because these are just kids, they are our future and all kids need adults to be advocates and mentors for them.
Bullying. Suicide. These are hot topics effecting our youth today. The self-esteem and health of these youths is so important to nurture in positive ways.
“In fact, statistics show that nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT youth (86.2%) reported being harassed at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation, and 3 out of 5 LGBT youth (60.8%) felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, according to GLSEN.”
There are a lot of resources out there and Out Youth is one that we have right here in Austin that makes an impact in the lives of many teenagers every day. I warmed my heart to see so many people out on Saturday night making this a priority in our community.