It is estimated that approximately 1.8 million youth between the ages of 13 and 24 will contemplate suicide each year, and at least one person attempts suicide very 45 seconds. Many of these young people feel lost and alone, often struggling to find acceptance related to questioning their identities, genders or sexuality.
Queer Youth of Faith Day has been founded to provide a safe space for these young people to experience acceptance and care at a critical time in their lives.
History of Queer Youth of Faith Day
Queer Youth of Faith Day can trace its roots back to 2019 when it was started by a group called Beloved Arise. This non-profit group was the first national organization in the US to celebrate and empower youth with a faith who identify as queer. Statistics show that one in five LGBTQ+ youth consider their faith to be important to them. Whether they connect with Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism or some other spiritual space, all youths deserve to know that they are loved and cared for!
The purpose of Queer Youth of Faith Day is to show acceptance of, support for and encouragement toward young people, particularly those who have felt like they are not accepted in their communities of faith. Beloved Arise partners with several organizations, including GLAAD, National LGBT Taskforce, NASDAQ, and more. Together, these groups encourage people of faith to take this opportunity to express care for the youth of today as well as praying for them – for the safety, well-being and flourishing of these young people.
How to Celebrate Queer Youth of Faith Day
Looking for ways to be an encouragement and observe Queer Youth of Faith Day? Consider some of these ideas to help youth shine brightly:
Care for a Youth
One of the best ways to observe Queer Youth of Faith Day might be to commit to be a bit more careful and attentive when it comes to the teens in your life. Parents, teachers, youth workers, grandparents and other adults can get educated and have open conversations with teens. Building trusting relationships with youth can help them know that they are cared for, that they will be embraced and encouraged to be their authentic selves.
Sign Up at Beloved Arise
Each year on Queer Youth of Faith Day, the Beloved Arise organization offers opportunities for individuals to sign up on their website in an agreement to pray for the young people who identify as LGBTQ+. The organization hopes to have 1.8 million people sign up, a number that is significantly based on statistics of how many young people will consider suicide each year.
Beloved Arise also hosts a gathering on this day on their Instagram page for people who want to participate.
Volunteer for a Crisis Line
People who want to be more actively involved in helping youth who are struggling may want to volunteer for a crisis hotline or teen text line. One of the desires for Queer Youth of Faith Day is that teens and young adults who need support can get it, and volunteering to help others is a great way to do that.