Editorial: A boon to LGBTQ youths

Congratulations to JP’s Katy Erker on her appointment to the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth.

It is great to see representation on the commission from Jamaica Plain, whose organizations are well-known for its effective LGBTQ activism, particularly on marriage equality and transgender rights.

It is even better to see someone of Erker’s background on the commission. Erker’s work at Rosie’s Place has given her firsthand experience with the social and economic discrimination that often forces young LGBTQ people into homelessness and poverty.

A glance at the national news shows how many homophobic and transphobic bigots are out there attempting to wreck the lives of LGBTQ youths in the false guises of family values and religious camaraderie. It is easy enough to recognize the hypocrisy in such hatred. But it is much harder to see the devastating impact of external abuse and self-hate it can generate in young people, who may find themselves rejected by their schools, their churches, their communities, even their families.

That Erker brings such knowledge to the table is a boon to the Commonwealth and its young people. We urge officials to listen closely to her and the rest of the commissioners.

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