The San Diego LGBT community is an exceptional one and its youth will help it stay that way.
San Diego is famous for its beaches, its history and something that may or may not surprise you; it's LGBT community. And when you hear Ashlyn Burgess' story you'll understand why.
Ashlyn is 15-years-old (pictured upper left) and loves drawing, music, water and fur babies--any kind will do. But aside from those things she is also gay and came out to her family in the eighth grade. But unlike a lot of kids, her parents Dave and Shelley didn't shun or humiliate her. Instead, her family, including brother Hayden, embraced her with unconditional love.
Unfortunately, this story is an exception to the rule as 67% of LGBT youth have an unsupportive family and only 26% feel that their schools are safe.
Ashlyn's parents are San Diego natives and were educators themselves. Shelley says she has a responsibility to all kids, especially students. They need to feel safe and protected in school and in their communities.
"This is why we are huge supporters of Pride and in particular their programming for LGBTQ youth," Shelley says. "We are so grateful for the opportunities they provide for LGBTQ youth to feel safe, welcome and empowered and give them a way to connect with and contribute to the community."
It was this mindset that motivated them to help Ashlyn to connect with the local LGBT community and San Diego Pride’s LGBTQ youth programming. Now in 10th grade, Ashlyn is getting involved with her community and getting her parents to rally behind her. And that they did, in a big way.
San Diego Pride is raising funds for their 2019 LGBTQ youth programming on Give OUT Day.
The Burgess family has pledged up to $10,000 to match all donations raised by San Diego Pride for their LGBTQ youth programming on Give OUT Day taking place on April 18.
The San Diego LGBT community is an exceptional one and its youth will help it stay that way. But work needs to be done in order for future generations to remain the example as well as the exception. Donating just $10 ensures that future generations will contain many more like the Burgess family.
"I have seen benefits [from being involved with Pride]," said teen Jay Sieber (pictured bottom left), "like youth who didn't feel like they had a community, find people that they like to be around and people that accept them for who they really are. I have made many great friends, even some family, from being involved with Pride."
You can make your Give Out Day pledge today by clicking HERE.
Just fill out the donation form to the amount you would like to pledge, and check that your “Charge Date” is pre-set to April 18!