QUEER VOICES

Think Being Young And LGBT Has Gotten Easier? Think Again

"I was taught to hate myself, in a sense, for being gay."

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth who have benefited from New York's Hetrick-Martin Institute open up about their personal experiences in this heartwarming video. 

"I grew up in a very religious family in a small town," Lorenzo, who is a young aspiring artist and fashion designer, explains in the clip, which can be viewed above. "Every Sunday, the pastor would condemn all the homosexuals, and then he would turn right around and say, 'God loves everyone.' I felt hate because of 'gay.' So I was taught to hate myself, in a sense, for being gay." 

Lorenzo is one of several Hetrick-Martin Institute beneficiaries highlighted in the video, which was produced in conjunction with AOL and had its premiere at the 2015 Emery Awards gala in New York. Founded in 1979, the institute is dedicated to providing aid to minors in the LGBT community, including legal aid and counseling services.

Bravo TV host and media personality Andy Cohen, the 2014 Broadway production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," and Chris Salgardo, who is the president of Kiehls USA, were honored for their support of the LGBT community at this year's Emery Awards, which were held Nov. 12 at Cipriani Wall Street.   

Find out more about the Hetrick-Martin Institute in the below video, and then take a look at some photos from the Emery Awards.

  • Andy Cohen
    Hetrick-Martin Institute
    Andy Cohen
  • Bob Tuschman, The Food Network's Senior VP
    Hetrick-Martin Institute
    Bob Tuschman, The Food Network's Senior VP
  • Lena Hall, Stephen Trask and the Tits of Clay 
    Hetrick-Martin Institute
    Lena Hall, Stephen Trask and the Tits of Clay 
  • Co-Chair Rob Smith and Kiehls President Chris Salgardo 
    Hetrick-Martin Institute
    Co-Chair Rob Smith and Kiehls President Chris Salgardo 
  • Robert Verdi and Tamron Hall 
    Hetrick-Martin Institute
    Robert Verdi and Tamron Hall 
  • The interior of Ciprani Wall Street 
    Hetrick-Martin Institute
    The interior of Ciprani Wall Street