Care Page Headers - Youth
The term youth has always had two meanings. The first describes any individual or group of pre-adulthood individuals (any age below 19 years), effectively the period from birth up until late teenage years. The second describes an appearance or behaviour, such as being full of life, fresh-faced and energetic.

The transition from youth to adulthood is often liberating, moving away from being told what to do by their elders. Hitting a milestone in which they are independent and in control to make their own life decisions. Simply put, the youth today are the leaders of tomorrow

  ALL ABOUT YOUTH

LGBTQIA+ Youth (4)
Youth is much more than describing a person’s age. It is more a state of mind during a person’s life, full of excitement, energy, learning all about the world around you, vulnerability and reliance on others. Being young is exciting and, at the same time, one full of fear and confusion.

Human biology means that our bodies will likely undergo a physical reaction whenever we try something new. A biological response causes us to feel nervous or even sense danger (fight or flight response). The more we do something, the more experienced we become and the less fearful we think of it. Young people will likely experience many things for the first time. They will typically confront each new experience using their instincts and what they have already been taught.

The lack of life experience means that those under 18 years of age will rely on their parents or guardians to make decisions concerning their daily lives and overall safety. In most countries, minors or those under age are under the protection and the sole responsibility of their guardians. Those with legal responsibility for their care will decide how they are brought up, where they live and how they are educated.

As individuals grow older and begin to understand their environment and the world around them, many may challenge or disagree with the views or how their parents or guardians live their lives. Most youths will likely experience a rebellious stage during their lifetime, typically during their teenage years. For most children or young adults, this stage of their life passes; however, it can result in rejection, homelessness, or worse for others.

During a child’s or teenager’s late teens, they will experience true independence. The right to vote, to serve their country or even to have consensual sex are all freedoms young adults will eventually experience.

Most of today’s youth will take what they have learnt from their family, environments and society. They take much of what they are taught and either accept, reject or improve their views, opinions and behaviours. They, in turn, will pass down their interpretations and ways of doing things to the next generations.

TAKING PRIDE IN YOU

Acceptance and coming to terms with a part of what makes you can be challenging for many people. The Gayther pride in series is about celebrating all things relating to sexualities, gender identities and special groups. Showcasing the exceptional people, interesting facts and ways to connect with those unique communities, all designed to help and promote pride in LGBTQIA+ identities

AGES 0-4 YEARS

656.6 million or 8.2%

Babies – Infants – Toddlers and Pre-schoolers

AGES 5-9 YEARS

682.7 million or 8.5%

Early to Middle Childhood

AGES 10-14 YEARS

671.9 million or 8.4%

Middle Childhood – Young Teens

AGES 15-19 YEARS

635.8 million or 7.9%

Teenagers to Young Adults
LGBTQIA+ Youth - Statistics

1 in 3 or 2.6 billion

of the world’s population are under the age of 19

  BABIES - INFANTS - TODDLERS AND PRESCHOOLERS

(ages 0-4 years)
LGBTQIA+ Youth (6)

The first age group is typically from birth until a child starts formal education in most countries. The youngest age group of all youths and one that is most vulnerable, these infants rely on their parents or guardians to protect, feed, support and take care of all their needs. Babies and children within this age group will be in the early stages of their development. They typically start understanding and forming words as they develop their language skills. This group covers an age range from birth up until four years. Typically, children within this age range will:

  • be in the early stages of their social and emotional development, as they start making sounds, mimicking words and talking, learning anything between 300 and 1,000 words
  • double in size and quadruple in weight as they go from baby to preschooler
  • begin developing hand-to-eye coordination, mastering skills such as crawling, sitting, walking and even using the toilet
  • need a lot of sleep, often 12 hours or more, and will need good nutrition, routines and rituals to help keep them feeling secure and safe and aid their growth and development
  • become more self-aware, will love to explore their environment, will recognise themselves in the mirror and becomes more expressive facially and with their emotions

Average LGBTQIA+ development

Infants typically mimic the behaviours of those around them, becoming more aware of gender roles, and begin developing their unique personalities. Though a child may prefer more traditionally feminine or masculine items, many children in this age group are exploring their environment around them, and it is too early and they are too young for many to understand their feelings and how they may develop longer-term

EXCEPTIONAL AND DIVERSE LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY

Learn more about the exceptional and diverse global LGBTQIA+ community. Discover interesting facts, join in the fun with interactive games, learn more about the exceptional pioneers and advocates and take pride in all of the sexualities, gender identities and special groups. Discover all things LGBTQIA+ with Gayther today

  EARLY TO MIDDLE CHILDHOOD

(ages 5-9 years)
LGBTQIA+ Youth (1)
By the time a child hits early to middle childhood, they will now be within the early stages of their education. Attending nursery leading into middle or primary school, many will start developing their social skills, integration, and personal development by playing with children of a similar age. Children during this age will learn to read and develop their writing skills, be encouraged to develop their creativity, and learn new skills such as mathematics and science. This group covers an age range from five up until nine years. Typically, children within this age range will:
  • become more independent from their parents or guardians, learning empathy and the ability to see another person’s perspective
  • further develop their social skills, integrating and working within social dynamics. Children of this age will also start experiencing peer pressure
  • begin displaying a range of feelings and emotions, with the growing need for some privacy for their elders
  • begin to form opinions based on what they have heard and will have a sense of right and wrong
  • become more aware of the difference between the genders, and may begin to feel non-sexual attraction to others

Average LGBTQIA+ development

Children develop social skills, mixing with others of a similar age. These interactions typically create social structures, group behaviours and teasing amongst other children. A child’s environment and influences will significantly impact how they think and feel. It will affect a child whenever society, parents, guardians or those in authority share strong-held views and opinions about gender and sexuality.

Any opinions passed down will influence a child’s perspective, resulting in some children teasing others who act differently from the perceived norm. Many LGBTQIA+ children start becoming aware that they feel different at this stage. However, they will often not know how to understand their thoughts and feelings at this stage.

For rural communities, countries traditionally more conservative, many views and opinions regarding the LGBTQIA+ community are based on stereotypes and misinformation. The lack of understanding can often lead to older generations passing down long-held views and opinions to children who may be confused about who they are.

Repeatedly being told or made to feel how they are thinking and feeling is wrong. Words hidden behind veiled threats that should the child act on these feelings in the future would likely result in them being disowned or rejected by those closest to them. All factors create conflict and confusion among young children.

WORLD POPULATIONS

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WORLD

2.6 billion or 33%

out of the 8 billion people worldwide

AFRICA

734.9 million or 27.8%

out of 2.6 billion people under the age of 19

THE AMERICAS

295.6 million or 11.2%

out of 2.6 billion people under the age of 19

ASIA

1.4 billion or 54.7%

out of 2.6 billion people under the age of 19

EUROPE

155.2 million or 5.9%

out of 2.6 billion people under the age of 19

OCEANIA

13.6 million or 0.5%

out of 2.6 billion people under the age of 19

  MIDDLE CHILDHOOD - YOUNG TEENS

(ages 10-14 years)
LGBTQIA+ Youth (2)
At this stage of a child’s life, they undergo a significant period of change, moving from middle childhood to their young teenage years. One major landmark for most children is puberty, a process in which a child’s body begins to adapt, preparing them for adulthood. The average age for a girl going through puberty is at age eleven when they will start to develop breasts and see the start of their periods. Boys typically experience puberty at around age twelve, when their voice begins to deepen and begin to grow facial hair. This period of a child’s development is often confusing and frightening for most as their bodies change and they move away from childhood to early adulthood. This group covers an age range from ten up until fourteen years. Typically, children within this age range will:
  • start to become more hormonal, with frequent mood swings, often struggling to handle their emotions and likely suffering from depression
  • see accelerated periods of growth, where they will grow in height and where their weight may increase or fluctuate
  • start becoming more independent, relying less on family and turning more to their friends and peers for support and guidance
  • start becoming more sexually aware, feeling attraction towards others and begin to experience physical, sexual arousal
  • continue improving their cognitive skills with problem solving and reasoning

Average LGBTQIA+ development

Many children and young youths, as they go through puberty, become much more aware of their bodies. During this time, they will begin to experience sexual awareness and attraction, often through a physical reaction. It is typical for many LGBTQIA+ children, during puberty, to start understanding their sexuality or gender identity better. However, many will not fully understand what they are going through and may begin to feel isolated and alone. During puberty, many youths are most vulnerable. They are still too young to decide how they live and legally rely on their parents or guardians. In coming out, many will often fear rejection and, in some extreme cases, are forced out of their homes and rejected by their families.

LGBTQIA+ COUNTRY & REGION GUIDES

With countries around the world treating members of the LGBTQIA+ community differently, planning an overseas trip can be challenging. With over 233 country and 435 regional guides, Gayther guides provide you with all the information you need when planning your trip. From LGBTQIA equality to essential travel information, discover Gayther guides today

  TEENAGERS TO YOUNG ADULTS

(ages 15-19 years)
LGBTQIA+ Youth (5)
Once children hit their teenage years, they are closer to becoming adults. Beginning to move further away from being children. In many cultures, ages 15 and 16 hold a lot of importance and are a milestone. A boy becomes a man; a girl becomes a woman, and those that identify as non-binary become adults. Many are becoming independent, with the average minimum legal age for work being 13 years for light work, general employment at 15 and hazardous work when 18 and over. This group covers an age range from fifteen to nineteen years. Typically, teenagers within this age range will: –
  • begin thinking about their future, about their long-term goals and objectives
  • likely begin forming committed romantic relationships, including more intimate ones, physically and sexually
  • become more independent, spend more time away from the family, move out and go off to college
  • become more in control of their emotions, and the growth spurts that occurred during puberty will begin to slow
  • become better at communicating and at reasoning, including being able to explain their choices, those good and bad

Average LGBTQIA+ development

Though some teenagers may explore their sexuality before 17, they become more independent in their teens. A period when they can fully accept and explore their sexuality and gender identity. Many will leave home, go off to college, or even travel independently, seeking out like-minded people and experiences. After 18, many LGBTQIA+ people are now considered adults in many countries and can gain long-term employment and even housing. This development is critical for those individuals who have been forced to endure destructive and hostile home environments. The lack of life experience is when many need guidance at this crucial stage of their lives.

EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE MAKING HISTORY

Over the past 50 years, the LGBTQIA+ global community has seen many positive developments, where the rights and protection for community members have greatly improved. The improvements and changes are a direct result of the exceptional individuals who stood up, often at great personal risk, to fight for and promote community rights. Discover more about some of these exceptional individuals today

  FOSTERING A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT

LGBTQIA+ Youth (3)
The reality is when it comes to children, parents and guardians have ultimate control over what they are exposed to and how they are brought up. Some western governments have implemented laws to ensure that children are taught about LGBTQIA+ related subjects as part of the core curriculum. Though these laws are a positive development, they could cause more harm to children from specific communities, families and groups.

Ultimately, teaching children more progressive subjects without resolving their parents’ concerns will expose more vulnerable children to negativity at a younger age. Likely, children will already be confused about how they think and feel, confronted by their parents’ views and beliefs much earlier than they might have had otherwise. Instead, it is important to address why parents are concerned and to educate them better.

Typically, the first question these parents raise is whether learning about or being exposed to LGBTQIA+ people will influence a child or cause confusion. The simple answer is no. LGBTQIA+ education is new, and many community rights and freedoms have only significantly improved over the past twenty years. So, was there no gay, bisexual or transgender people without this type of education? Again, the answer is no. If a child is confused and potentially gay, bisexual, transgender, or any other non-traditional gender or sexual identity, nothing or no one will change that. No one is to blame, and there is nothing wrong; the child is just made that way.

Some adults and even children might be curious or even experimenting sexually. Most will know early on in their lives that they think and feel differently from the so-called norm. It is not a sin, curse or blight; they are the same person that has always been. Instead, it is who they are attracted to or how they identify that has changed and nothing else.

LGBTQIA+ education is essential, but more from accepting who you are and how you feel and less from labels or defined gender roles. The more a parent or guardian resists, the harder it becomes for that child or adult to accept themselves, making their journey longer and more complex.

Not accepting who they are might make it a little harder for them in the future, but the youth are the priority, not how others think or act towards them. Simply put, LGBTQIA+ people cannot change who they are. Instead, the only thing they can learn is how to hide and suppress how they think and feel, effectively living an unhappy lie.

The second question is whether more youths identify as LGBTQIA+ than ever before. Over the past year, several news items, stories, and articles have reported that those who identify as millennials also identify as LGBTQIA+ in more significant numbers. Many see the increase as some form of LGBTQIA+ ideology, almost cult-like or as a trendy fad.

People fail to see that it is more likely that those born after the year 2000 have grown up in environments where they have the freedom to accept who they are and live without fear of persecution. With growing acceptance, understanding and progressive anti-discrimination laws, more people can be honest with themselves and everyone around them about their sexuality and gender identity.

Ultimately, there are not more than ever before. Instead, more people have the freedom and confidence to accept and be with whomever they wish without fear.

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  LGBTQIA+ YOUTH HOMELESSNESS

LGBTQIA+ Youth (9)
With 30% of countries still criminalising same-sex relationships and growing traditional value campaigns worldwide, it is still difficult for many to identify as LGBTQIA+. According to research carried out by the Institute of Global Homelessness, it is estimated that within the United States alone, 20-40% of homeless youths identify as LGBT.

The reasons for youth homelessness are typically due to: –
  • Being rejected by their families, with 46% of homeless youths running away after rejection and 43% evicted from their family home due to their sexuality or gender expression
  • Discrimination by private landlords and evictions from public housing due to their sexual orientation
  • In a survey spanning 115 countries of the 3,340 young gay men interviewed, 24% had no stable housing
  • LGBT youths, compared to heterosexual adolescents, are more likely to: –
    • have a major depressive episode
    • suffer from a posttraumatic stress disorder
    • have suicidal tendencies
    • become dependent on illegal substances such as cocaine, crack, or methamphetamines (Keuroghlian, Shtasel and Bassuk 2014)

Many vulnerable youths are forced to live in hostile environments and will likely face many difficulties. Many children face the rejection of their families and loved ones to homelessness, targeted by criminals while living on the streets. Ultimately, this leads to hopelessness and difficulty accepting who they are, causing many youths to take their own lives, let down by society.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) compiles a mortality database detailing information relating to the causes of death in any given year. Looking at data collated over seventeen years (2000 to 2016): –
  • The average suicide rate amongst young individuals aged 10 to 24 years was 3%
  • For youths aged from 10 to 14, the suicide rate was 1.6% (an average of 1,500 deaths each year)
  • For adolescents aged from 15 to 19, the suicide rate was 3.2% (an average of 8,099 deaths each year)
  • For young adults aged 20 to 24, the suicide rate was 3.3% (an average of 13,050 deaths each year)
  • Suicide rates amongst the age group (10-24 years old) have increased each year by an average of 0.2%, and comparing 2016 to 2000; the rate has increased by 2.6% (which is now 5% in 2016)
  • 55.3% of suicides amongst the young occurred in the Americas, followed by Asia at 21% and Europe at 20.8%
  • Young men accounted for a massive 75% of all suicides worldwide. The percentage of young men was higher in Europe at 80% and in the Americas at 76.1%

Homeless, living on the streets, where many underage children face being taken advantage of by adults to obtain food and shelter. Rejection by their guardians and their education suffer because their families cannot accept one part of what makes them who they are. Whatever the reasons the parents or guardians may have, they surely should be outweighed by the desire to love, protect, and ensure that their child or any child they have known since birth is happy and healthy.

If a person believes their faith justifies the treatment of their child based on the concept of sin. If sin exists, is the rejection and persecution of a child more important than that child’s safety, happiness, education and ultimately the value of their life? No event or circumstance can justify treating children in such a brutal and unloving way.
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