Commission on GLBT Youth Seeking Input from Mass. Teens and Adults
Twenty years after Massachusetts Governor William Weld created the first-ever Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, gay, lesbian, bisexual,and transgender (GLBT) youth in the Commonwealth continue to experience greater rates of violence victimization and health disparities than their heterosexual peers. The challenges facing GLBT youth, as well as their strengths and resiliency, will be the focus of hearings June 20 in Boston and June 21 in Holyoke of the Massachusetts Commission on GLBT Youth, the successor to the Commission Governor Weld created (Governor Mitt Romney abolished the Governor’s Commission in 2006).
Data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as dozens of studies published in peer-reviewed academic journals indicate that GLBT youth are at greater risk than their heterosexual peers of violence and victimization, self-harm and suicidality, substance use, sexual risk behavior, and skipping school because they feel unsafe.
Massachusetts Commission on GLBT Youth invites you to attend our upcoming Public Hearings on the opportunities and challenges facing gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth in the Commonwealth.
The Commission is an independent agency that recommends effective policies, programs, and resources for GLBT youth to thrive. In our first year as a Commission, we held statewide hearings on the health and welfare of GLBT youth. Now, in honor of our 20th anniversary and continued commitment, the Commission welcomes youth, families, schools, and communities to provide testimony; to both to celebrate successes and illuminate areas where more work needs to be done.
We are eager to hear from residents across the Commonwealth who are interested in participating in these Hearings. Youth and adults of all races, genders, abilities, and experiences are encouraged to testify.
The Public Hearings will be conducted on:
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 1 - 6 p.m. Gardner Auditorium State House Boston, MA Reception to follow
Thursday, June 21, 2012 2 - 6 p.m. Performing Arts Center Holyoke Community College Holyoke, MA
Reception to follow
Testimony can either be spoken at the hearing itself or submitted in writing. Oral testimony will be limited to three minutes per person. Written testimony, as well as written copies of oral testimony, may be submitted to the Commission in the following ways:
- at the hearing;
- by email to Justin.T.Burke@state.ma.us, or
- by mail to Justin Burke, Executive Secretary, Mass. Commission on GLBT Youth, Department of Public Health, 250 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108.
Please make your submissions by July 1, 2012. Written submissions can also be kept anonymous. If you are planning to testify in person, please contact us by June 15, 2012. If you are planning to submit written testimony, the deadline is July 1, 2012. Written submissions can also be kept anonymous.
For questions about the Public Hearings, to request an accommodation, or for resources on how to draft effective testimony, please contact Commission Chair Arthur Lipkin at Arthur.Lipkin@state.ma.us.
For more information, visit us online at: Hearings Website: http://mcglbty.org Twitter Account: @MassGLBTYouth
We look forward to your participation.