Big Siblings

Pride-FB

Many years ago my mother worked for BBBS and so, being aware of the program I had long considered volunteering. However, at a time in my life when I was really becoming myself, embracing my gender outside of the binary and working as an advocate for gender and sexual diversity, I had a bug in the back of my head regarding the appearance of a much gendered organization.


I decided to message the local chapter to voice my concerns and ask about any gender diverse youth in need. I received  word back very quickly that they would be more than happy to have me apply as a mentor, and that there was a good possibly that there may be some gender diverse youth needing mentorship.  A short time later I received   a message informing me that BBBS had changed the mentorship application form from the binary choice of "Male" or "Female" to allowing the applicant to describe their gender in their own words.


I was beyond excited by this and proceeded to fill out an application and disperse this new information to the gender diverse community immediately. To many this may seem like a small change but for those of us in the gender diverse community is was a very big and exciting moment and yet it would not be the last I would hear. Shortly after my initial mentorship meetings I was informed that a "Big Siblings" program had been added to the BBBS database for Gender Diverse volunteers and children/youth.

 
Gender Diverse individuals often experience discrimination, harassment and violence on a daily basis and are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their cisgender counterparts. Unfortunately these numbers are often even higher in young people.  These are only some of the many reasons it is important to show support of all people and provide these important opportunities to LGBTQ+ youth. By showing willingness to continually to educate staff and provide additional programming for the gender diverse community BBBS is truly leading the way when it comes to acceptance and diversity. 

I was very recently been matched with an amazing 'little sibling' and have greatly enjoyed getting to know them. Each time we meet I learn a little more about them and have a ton of fun. I can't wait to see this bright young person continue to learn and grow as our match continues!

Big Sibling, Dexton