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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Report finds Black LGBTQ+ youth hardships easing a bit

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Wednesday, March 13, 2024   

A new report said Black LGBTQ+ youth are seeing more equality, in Connecticut and the U.S. but it does not always mean greater opportunity.

The Human Rights Campaign reported around 82% of kids were "out" to someone in their immediate family, showing a growing comfort level they have in being who they are. But the findings also indicate comfort does not always translate into acceptance and can lead to concern.

Ryan J. Watson, associate professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Connecticut and a researcher for the report, said a key takeaway is how Black LGBTQ+ youth face exclusion on several fronts.

"Maybe their Black African American relatives, friends, are in particularly unsupportive of them being a sexual-gender minority, and so, they kind of have stigma from that side," Watson explained. "And then also, the kids in this report are reporting they feel excluded by white LGBTQ youth and populations."

Almost 59% of kids reported they have experienced some form of parental rejection and around three-quarters have dealt with racism from the LGBTQ+ community. The report suggested parents can educate themselves about sexuality and gender identity as well as use the name and pronouns their kids use to define themselves.

The report also found mental health is a big concern. Around 59% of Black LGBTQ+-plus youth screened positive for depression, while close to 40% of those surveyed were diagnosed with anxiety. Watson found the figures alarming.

"We can leverage health professionals, teachers, parents," Watson noted. "But if I were developing an intervention right now to help a particular group of youth, this to me seems like a population in dire need."

Nearly half of Black transgender or gender-expansive youth have unmet mental health needs. Surveys have shown accessing mental health care in Connecticut is a challenge for many Black or minority residents.

Many are concerned about how their gender identity will affect their futures. More than 80% said they want to attend college but almost one-third worry how being LGBTQ+ could harm their future higher education opportunities.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.


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