The mission of the Kentucky Youth Law Project, Inc., is to enhance and protect the legal rights and entitlements of LGBTQ+ youth through direct, no-fee legal representation, education, and public policy advocacy. Because 40% of all homeless youth self-identify as LGBTQ+, our goal is to reduce homelessness and promote equal treatment for LGBTQ+ youth in social welfare agencies, government services, the courts, and public schools through Kentucky.
As a part of this mission, KYLP has assisted numerous transgender clients with obtaining name changes as an early step in their long transition process. We have also represented youth in neglect and abuse cases as court-appointed special guardians for LGBTQ+ youth. And we have spoken to hundreds of lawyers, judges, social workers, counsellors, doctors, educators, and foster parents in an effort to make the courtrooms, classrooms, and foster and adoptive homes safer and more welcoming to LGBTQ+ youth. But while KYLP attorneys never charge a fee for their assistance, there are still court costs and expenses related to investigating and providing a top-notch legal representation. There are also substantial costs in preparing and presenting trainings to these professionals and paraprofessionals. Your gift to KYLP will help us continue this vital work.
For us, one of the most urgent issues we are currently addressing is to protect LGBTQ+ children and youth from the harmful and discredited practice of so-called conversion, or reparative, "therapy" by licensed mental health professionals. This practice, more aptly called "conversion torture," when used on minors under the age of 18, can be devastating to young people, and can lead to life-long difficulties establishing emotionally healthy relationships, engaging in high-risk behaviors, as well as depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, and self-harm, including suicide. We are working with a wide array of mental health professionals, clergy, educators, lawmakers, and community activists to ensure that no one under age 18 can be exploited and abused by a licensed mental health professional by falsely claiming that they can "cure" homosexuality and "make them straight."
If you support our mission and the work we are doing to protect LGBTQ+ children and youth, please make a generous tax-deductible gift to the Kentucky Youth Law Project today.