Some LGBTQ youth struggle in homes that won’t accept them during quarantine

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A Time Out Youth Center organizer says that if you or a young LGTBQ you know is struggling right now, they are providing therapy services for free.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – The quarantine has kept families largely at home for weeks now, and for LGBTQ youth whose families don’t accept them, it seems to be wreaking havoc.

Time Out Youth Center https://www.timeoutyouth.org/ in Charlotte, there has been an increase in the number of young LGTBQs seeking advice since the coronavirus crisis necessitated quarantine, as some do not have an accepting family life.

“For many of our young people, the family is not always the most supportive space,” said O’Neal Atkinson of the LGBTQ youth organization Time Out Youth Center in Charlotte.

Atkinson says it can go beyond feelings of non-acceptance and contribute to depression and anxiety.

“When you constantly get these messages that who you are is not normal, wrong, or just despised, these things are internalized,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson says quarantine seems to be taking its toll.

“We have certainly seen an increase in the number of people with access to counseling over the past month,” Atkinson said. Atkinson says some have even expressed hurtful thoughts.

“In counseling and even in our virtual spaces, we have had people who have expressed that being at home is very traumatic and triggering,” Atkinson said. “If you already have depression or anxiety, it really starts to erode a person’s resilience. “

Atkinson says that’s what setting up the Time Out Youth Center usually helps.“We’re kind of where they get what they need to be able to navigate other less inclusive spaces,” Atkinson said.

Since the quarantine closed their facilities, Atkinson says they have had an influx of young people using their digital platform.

“It’s a space where even when they’re not physically in our center, they can chat in real time with their friends,” Atkinson said.

While this may help some, Atkinson said families should try to find a way to coexist peacefully.

“Concepts like gender and direction, people have very strong feelings,” Atkinson said. “Even though maybe you don’t fully understand it, or even if you don’t necessarily agree with it, the way we talk to someone or how we talk about someone is free.”

Atkinson says that if you or a young LGTBQ you know is struggling right now, the Time Out Youth Center provides free therapeutic services.

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