NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As a new school year begins, Live Out Loud is launching a new national public service advertising (PSA) campaign to encourage successful lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adults to "gay it forward" as part of its Homecoming Project - a program for LGBT professionals to go back to their high schools and talk about their experiences.
Many LGBT youth actively seek role models to compensate for a lack of support when they come out to family and friends. LGBT students are far more likely than their non-LGBT peers to run away from home, experience academic problems, and to struggle with substance abuse, low self-esteem, and depression (Lambda Legal); The Homecoming Project, created by the non-profit organization Live Out Loud, aims to bridge that gap and provide LGBT youth with positive role models.
"Despite all the progress we've made in the LGBT community, students still struggle with lack of support - this program fills a very important gap at a critical time in their lives," said Leo Preziosi, Jr., founder and Executive Director of Live Out Loud. "People in our community can make such an impact just by sharing their wisdom, skills and experience."
For the last four years, the initiative has encouraged LGBT adults to inspire a new generation, with more than 40 role models returning to their high schools in all. In the past year alone, 18 individuals have returned to their high schools all around the country, including New York, New Jersey, California, Kentucky, Missouri, Utah and more.
The program is open to adults from all careers, including college students, educators, working professionals and more. Past participants include Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black, screenwriter for the movie Milk and Neil Giuliano, the former president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
Live Out Loud is launching the "Gay It Forward" advertising campaign, created pro bono by ad agency, Deutsch A Lowe & Partners Company, to generate national awareness of the Homecoming Project and encourage participation. Partnering with renowned photographer Martien Mulder and famed director Sorrel Ahfeld, the campaign has created videos and images of participants sharing their lessons and personal stories.
For more information on the Homecoming Project, visit www.liveoutloud.info.
ABOUT LIVE OUT LOUD
Live Out Loud understands that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth need a strong system of support, including the presence of positive LGBT role models to successfully navigate the challenges of developing both a healthy social and sexual identity. In order to support the growth of LGBTQ youth, Live Out Loud conducts programs in high schools, middle schools, and colleges for LGBTQ and allied students. These programs present youth with role models from the LGBT community who give them tangible examples of the successful relationships, career opportunities, and social fulfillment that are available to LGBT people.
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SOURCE Live Out Loud