By Casey Quackenbush
August 9, 2018

The Biden Foundation has launched a new campaign called ‘As You Are’ in an effort to promote the importance of family acceptance for LGBTQ youth.

The campaign, which was announced Tuesday, aims to collect and share personal stories from LGBTQ youth, parents, siblings, educators, and others in order “to inspire, to create communities, to heal families, and to change the broader culture to ensure a bright future for all LGBTQ young people,” according to a news release.

“We’ll use our resources to highlight the harms of family rejection — and lift up research, best practices and personal stories to show the importance of family acceptance,” former Vice President Joe Biden said in a campaign video posted on the Biden Foundation website.

In the video, Biden is joined by a number of advocates including Cyndi Lauper and former NFL player Wade Davis to highlight that LGBTQ youth continue to face rejection, discrimination and higher rates of homelessness and suicide.

“Family acceptance can save lives,” Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project said in a statement, according to NBC News. “Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are more than four times more likely than their straight peers to attempt suicide. And 40% of transgender and gender nonconforming adults report having attempted suicide at some point in their lives, most of them before the age of 25.”

“That’s why it is so important to support LGBTQ youth and let them know that they are not alone,” he added.

According to a recent study from the University of Chicago, LGBTQ youth experience homelessness are more than twice as likely experience homelessness than their straight peers.

“LGBTQ young people should never have to face rejection from those who love them,” Biden wrote on Twitter announcing the campaign launch.

Biden has been a long time champion of LGBTQ rights and ensuring LGBTQ equality is one of the pillars of his foundation. Last year, he urged the LGBTQ community to “hold President Trump accountable for his pledge to be your friend,” at a gala hosted by the Democratic National Committee in New York.

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