Nancy Mullen, MSW Executive Director, Youth Outlook Andrea Drott, MSEd Youth Leadership Coordinator

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  • Nancy Mullen, MSWExecutive Director, Youth OutlookAndrea Drott, MSEdYouth Leadership Coordinator

  • Not-for-profit agency providing supportive, social, educational and recreational services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender variant, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth since 1998 in DuPage, Kane, Whiteside and DeKalb Counties of IL

    Youth Outlook is the only not-for-profit that is dedicated solely to LGBT youth in our service area

  • Direct service to LGBT youth:Drop-in CentersYouth Leadership

    Indirect service to LGBT youth:Community Education

    Youth Outlook, 2011

    Youth Outlook, 2011

  • EriksonAdolescence as the crisis state: The search for identity must be resolved in order to successfully transition to the next stage

    Ryan and Futterman During adolescence, males and females begin to consolidate adult

  • Identity FormationPersonalityGender IdentitySex RolesSexual Orientation4 Factors Compose the Sense of Self(Ryan and Futterman, 1998)

  • Individual traits of a person, can be considered collectively

    Sensitivity Intellectually giftedImpatientSense of humorEasily bored or distractibleShyAggressive

  • Ones sense of being male or female

    Thought to be established by about age

  • Expectations of and beliefs about female and male behavior, usually established between ages 3 and 7

    Clothing ToysSportsEducational pursuitsCareer choicesRelationship

  • Sexual attractions and behaviors, thought to be established by early childhood

    Most children and youth are assumed to be heterosexual.

  • The average age that gay and lesbian youth come out = 13

    The average age that gay and lesbian youth begin self-identifying = 5 to 7 years old

    Center for American ProgressThe Federal Response to Gay and Transgender Homeless YouthJune,

  • You know what makes you YOU +you are female +your insides match your outsides +you accept what moms and dads do +you know who you are attracted to +you know what to do with that attraction

  • www.youth-outlook.orgEarly AdolescenceMiddle AdolescenceLate Adolescenceconfusioncomparisontoleranceacceptancepridesynthesis

  • 6 stages in Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life (Blumenfeld and Raymond, 1988)

    4 stages in Gay and Lesbian Youth Care & Counseling (Ryan and Futterman, 1998)

  • Identity ConfusionIdentity ComparisonIdentity ToleranceIdentity AcceptanceIdentity PrideIdentity Synthesis

    From Vivienne Cass work

    SensitizationIdentity ConfusionIdentity AssumptionCommitment

    From RR Troiden

  • Whats happening with our youth?

  • Younger adolescents

    Highly publicized and gruesome reports of LGBT youth suicide

  • Youth Outlook,

  • The average age that gay and lesbian youth come out = 13

    The average age that gay and lesbian youth begin self-identifying = 5 to 7 years old

    Center for American ProgressThe Federal Response to Gay and Transgender Homeless YouthJune,

  • Youth coming out at younger ages have, based on developmental models, less time for cognitive abilities to develop

    Fewer, less developed coping skills to handle harassment and maintain intact self-identity

    Potential for homelessness, mood disorders and risk-taking behaviors

  • Youth Outlook,

  • Billy Lucas

    Seth Welsh

    Asher Brown

    Tyler Clementi

    Raymond Chase

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US but it is the 3rd leading cause of death among youth and young adults, ages 10 to 24.www.youth-outlook.orgCenters for Disease Control, 2010

  • Suicide is a complex behavior impacted by individual, social and family structures.

    There are RISK FACTORS but no identified

  • Previous attempt(s)Firearm ownershipIsolationHopelessnessImpulsivity and recklessnessFamily discord and

  • LGB Youth are 1.5 to 3 times more likely to report suicidal ideation than heterosexual youth

    LGB youth are 1.5 to 7 times more likely to have attempted

    LGB youth from highly rejecting families are up to 8 times more likely to

  • Higher death rates have not been


  • Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

  • Physical AnatomyGender IdentityGender PresentationOrientationwww.youth-outlook.orgCourtesy of Deb Wilke, LCPCCompassionate CounselingBolingbrook, IL


    Physical AnatomyPeople who are intersexed


    Gender IdentityPeople who are transgender

  • www.youth-outlook.orgGender PresentationAndrogyny


    Sexual OrientationHeterosexualHomosexualBisexual,Asexual,Pansexual

  • What do we know about timing and the development of the brain when things really begin heating up for LGBT youth?

  • Youth Outlook,

  • Historically, LGBT people have been

  • All kids, not just the gay ones, are growing up in a world that seems very happy to publicly ridicule, shame and reject LGBT people.

    All kids are absorbing the message that this is

  • 84.6% of LGBT students report being verbally harassed

    40% report being physically harassed

    18.8% report being physically assaultedGLSEN 2009 National School Climate Survey

  • 61% report feeling unsafe in school because of their orientation

    39.9% feel unsafe because of their gender

  • 29% of LGBT students missed class at least once

    30% missed at least one day in the last month

  • Center for American Progress, June

  • Complex-two youth experiencing the same stressor do not respond the same way

    Synergistic-the effect of a single factor increases with additional factors

    Dynamic-the effect changes over time

  • OrientationGender varianceGender expression varianceVictimizationLack of supportFamily problemsSuicide attempts of friendswww.youth-outlook.orgHomelessnessSubstance useIsolationPsychiatric disordersAbuse is repetitive and severeFewer protective factors

  • Gender nonconformity1Internal conflict about sexual orientation2Time of coming out3Early coming out4Low family connectedness5

    1. Fitzpatrick et al. 2005; Remafedi et al. 1991 2. Savin-Williams 1990 3. DAugelli et al. 2001 4. Remafedi 1991 Youth Outlook, 2011Lack of adult caring5 Unsafe school5 Family rejection6Victimization7Stigma and discrimination8

    5. Eisenberg & Resnick, 2006 6. Ryan et al., 2009 7. Bontempo & DAugelli 2002; Russell & Joyner 2001 8. Meyer

  • More risk factors or more severe ones:Unsafe schoolRejection/abuse within familyVictimizationPrevious attempt(s)Exposure to suicide loss

    Specific to or mostly relevant to LGBT youth:Gay-related stress and minority stressGender nonconformityInternal conflict regarding sexual orientationYouth Outlook,

  • Increasing the protective factors is found to be more effective than reducing the risk factors.Archives, Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 153 (6)

  • MissionYouth Outlook is committed to creating a safe, supportive, and respectful environment for youth, whether they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender-variant, questioning or queer. Youth Outlooks programs facilitate ongoing personal growth, and the development of a positive identity for the people we serve.VisionYouth Transforming the Future!

  • Four+ Locations

    Ages 14-18 and 16-20

    Social, recreational, educational

  • StructureLGBT specificNon-LGBT specificYouth Outlook to-go


  • Benefits to Youth OutlookOwnership

    Peer to peer

    New Ideas

  • Benefits to Youth InvolvedLeadership skills

    Helping Behaviors

    Mentor opportunities

  • RecruitmentApplicationInterview

    TrainingYouth OutlookCommunicationGroup Dynamics

  • Assist in Drop-in centersOutreachFundraisingAdditional Events

    It gave me the confidence and the experience that I feel that I needed.~22 year old, bisexual, transman

  • School Gay Straight AllianceIn-serviceHelp othersShare storiesIt gave me a sense of who I wanted to be, and what I wanted to be.~24 year old, bisexual, transman

  • Utilizing opinion leaders as a source of education for peers.HIV prevention Bystander programsIt gave me something to do, something to care about, something to stay alive for.~24 year old, bisexual, transman

  • The individual student must be considered as a whole person.Each student is a unique person and must be treated as such.The student's total environment is educational and must be used to help the student achieve full developmental potential.The major responsibility for a student's personal and social development rests with the student and his/her personal resources.

  • The individual student must be considered as a whole person.

    LGBT people are everywhere and they could be anyone. They arent this separate group of people. ~ 23 year old, gay man

  • Each student is a unique person and must be treated as such.

    Give students the opportunity to be who they are, dont make them fit into boxes that work better for you.~24 year old, bisexual, transman

  • The student's total environment is educational and must be used to help the student achieve full developmental potential.

    [Youth Outlook was responsible for] planting the seeds to the long process of accepting myself. ~23 year old, queer, woman

  • The major responsibility for a student's personal and social development rests with the student and their personal resources.

    It was the only long term source of stability in my life that even when I strayed I knew that I could go back whenever I wanted/needed and my presence would be welcomed and celebrated.~23 year old, queer, woman

  • Higher rate of family acceptance as protective factorHigh vs. Low Acceptance of LGBT childrenEthnicityImmigration statusOccupation statusReligious affiliation

  • I didnt plan on having much of a future while I was in high school until Youth Outlook.~24 year old, bisexual, transman

  • Family Acceptance in Adolescence Young adult positive health outcomesProtective factor for negative health outcomes

    Having my mom there from the beginning on my side is probably what kept me around.~22 year old, bisexual, transman

  • I very much feel that Youth Outlook saved my life in that I dont think I would have made it all the way through high school with as depressed as I was, without finding that niche. I dont think I would have been able to stop self-injuring without the support of the friends that I had made at Youth Outlook, or the staff that showed genuine concern without reprimanding me as my parents did- while their concern was genuine, accompanied by threats and anger [it] means nothing.~24 year old, bisexual, transman

  • If it wasnt for Youth Outlook I wouldnt be the person I am today, they have changed me in ways that I cant even begin to describe, but in ways that I will forever be grateful. And I wish that more people can be able to experience that. ~21 year old, pansexual, gender neutral

  • Recommendations for PracticeAsk LGB adolescents about family reactions to their sexual orientation and gender expression and refer to LGB community support programs for supportive counseling as needed.Identify LGB support programs in the community and online resources to educate parents about how to help their LGB children. Parents need access to positive parental role models to help decrease rejection and increase family support for their LGB children.

  • Advise parents that negative reactions to their adolescents LGB identity may negatively influence their childs health and mental healthRecommend that parents and caregivers modify highly rejecting behaviors that have the most negative influence on health concerns, such as suicidality.Expand anticipatory guidance to include information on the need for support and the link between family rejection and negative health problems in LGB young people.

  • PFLAGNational non-profit organization with over 200,000 members and supporters and over 350 affiliates in the United States.University ResourcesConsortium of Higher Education Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Professionals! Our goals are to support colleagues and develop curriculum to enhance this work; to seek climate improvement on campuses; and to advocate for policy change, program development, and establishment of LGBT Office/Centers.

  • It would be nice to go to a doctor who is at least aware of what transgender is. If Im coughing up a lung, I dont want to have to give a lesson. ~22 year old, bisexual, transman

  • Youth Outlook would be a breath of fresh air in my week. There for me throughout my coming out process. Everyone being very supportive.~22 year old, gay, manMostimportantlyit let me know that I wasn't alone.~24 year old, queer, man

  • I come from a background of bigotry and bi-polar disorder, just being in attendance brought just the sense of belonging that I know has kept others and myself from self-destruction.~24 year old, queer, woman

  • People fear what they dont understand. But instead we should replace fear with knowledge. Just learn.~21 year old, pansexual, gender neutral

  • Thank you!Contact information:



    ******What are those traits that make you YOU?*I know I am female becauseI know I am male becauseThe world lets me know I am female byThe world lets me know I am male by.What happens when you start to answer the question: The world lets me know I am female or male byand the only answer you can come up with is that it doesnt? Who I believe I am on the inside matches my outside. Some of our youth do not find that match.

    Ethnic influencemust take into consideration factors shaped by ethnic identity about what it means to be male and female in each culture*What moms do, what dads doMom wears a dress, dad wears a tie. Mom CAN wear a tie, but she doesnt usually.Moms cook, dads do the dishesMoms marry dads, dads marry momsAdults may be distressed by the child...


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