• February 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 2

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Stories From LGBTQ Youth in Care

Represent magazine utilizes youth-written stories to provide information and encouragement to youth in foster care and offer professionals insight into the related challenges this population faces. The real-life stories span a variety of topics, including child abuse, experiences in foster care, aging out of care, mental health, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) matters, and many others.

Represent currently has over 50 stories on a range of LGBTQ topics; most are written by teens about their LGBTQ-related challenges. The site also includes "in the news" pieces—a study on gay adoptive parents and a story on the gay foster parent debate. In one story, 14-year-old Mariah, a transgender male, explains the importance of finding a supportive foster care group home. She describes what being transgender really means, her entry into foster care, the challenges she struggled with—abuse, often physical, from her peers and social work staff—and the associated feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that led to running away from a group home. Ultimately, she was able to find a bed at a group home for gay and transgender boys, where she feels more comfortable and accepted.

Represent is a quarterly magazine published by Youth Communication, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help marginalized teens strengthen the social, emotional, and literacy skills that contribute to success in school, work, and life. Youth Communication uses nonfiction stories to provide lessons and staff development to help Independent Living, social work, education, and other youth-serving professionals improve outcomes for youth at their agencies.

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