Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently launched his “As You Are” campaign which promotes family acceptance of LGBTQ youth.
“I’m proud to announce that the Biden Foundation launched a family acceptance campaign,” Biden states in the campaign video. “We’ll use our resources to highlight the harms of family rejection, and to lift up research, best practices, and personal stories to show the importance of family acceptance.”
The announcement of this campaign couldn’t have come at a better time. As we gear up for the midterm elections, politicians on both sides of the spectrum are making their stances heard on LGBTQ issues.
Last month, U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions announced the launch of his anti-LGBTQ campaign in the form of what he refers to as “task force” to protect the religious liberty of the American people.
The only thing Session’s Religious Liberty Task Force protects is anti-LGBTQ sentiment by providing a license to discriminate against the queer community using religious beliefs to justify the discrimination.
Even worse, Session’s task force is not the only attack the Trump administration has waged against the LGBTQ community since they took office. Trump’s military transgender ban and Session’s argument that the 1964 CIvil Rights Act doesn’t extend protection to queer workers are two prime examples.
Biden announced the campaign in coalition with Wade Davis – an NFL player who came out as gay – and 80’s pop sensation and LGBTQ activist, Cyndi Lauper and many more celebrity and queer activists.
According to the camping website, “As You Are” focuses on educating the general public about the “critical importance of affirming, accepting, and supporting our LGBTQ young people.”
Many people in the queer community face a long list of adversity when coming out, some so devastating that many decide to commit suicide.
According to the campaign video, queer youth are five times more likely to commit suicide than their straight peers.
“In the past decade, we’ve seen storytelling drive nationwide progress for LGBTQ equality,” the campaign website states. “But far too many LGBTQ people—especially those under 25—still face rejection from the people closest to them. So we’re inviting you to help us change that.”
Many of the adversities that queer youth face are made worse by the rejection of their family members. The unbearable notion of disownment from family members leads many of these youth to lose the will to live, their youthful ignorance and innocence sometime makes it difficult to see any other way out.
“Many of them have been kicked out of their homes or no longer find it safe to stay in their homes,” Lauper said in the video.
With all the current anti-LGBTQ sentiment being brought upon this nation by the homophobic rhetoric of the Trump administration, campaigns like “As You Are” are important to show the resilience of the American people to digress in the fight for equality and queer rights.
“Every American deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, but too many in the LGBTQ community are denied this basic human right today,” Biden told CNN this past May. “This is unacceptable in a country founded on the belief that we all are created equal.”
You can join the “As You Are” campaign by sharing your story here.