Giving Back: LGBT Mentoring of LGBT Youth
The Los Angeles LGBT Center released a video that shares information about their Lifeworks program, a program which matches LGBT adults with LGBT youth in a mentor program.
The video features Lawrence and Damien, mentor and mentee, who both share the benefits of having a mentor and of being a mentor. Damien wanted someone to talk to and ask questions of. He noted that it was nice talking to his mom about stuff he was going through, but he preferred having a male mentor to speak with, especially about certain topics that he may be uncomfortable speaking to his mother about. The video also noted that Damien’s mother wanted him to have a positive gay role model and so she helped her son become involved in Lifeworks.
Lawrence said, “As the older generations, it’s almost our civic duty to give back.” He added that members of the LGBT community should think back to when they came out and realize that they do “have the time to commit to being there for somebody else.”
Though Lifeworks is a Los Angeles based program, the video highlights how important it is for older generations to give back to the new and emerging generations through mentoring.
If you don’t live in Los Angeles, there are ways for you to get involved in mentoring LGBT youth in your area.
- Contact your local LGBT center and see if they have a similar program.
- Do a quick google search for “LGBT mentor program + [ your city ]” and see what pops up!
- Contact big mentoring organizations (Mentoring USA, Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters) and see if they can match you with LGBT youth in their programs.
As Damien and Lawrence show us in this video, giving back and helping youth who have gone through similar struggles as you have can be very rewarding for both the mentor and mentee. Check out the video below and be inspired.