#AskDanielTrust is a weekly column and vlog where Daniel Trust, an award-winning social entrepreneur, motivational speaker and youth advocate, answers questions and gives advice to young people from around the world. Do you have a question for Daniel Trust? If so, please connect and send him a message on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.
In this week’s #AskDanielTrust, Manzi says:
Daniel, most of the time, it’s hard for someone from the LGBTQ community to overcome the hate and discrimination and get to pursue their dreams.
How did you overcome all that and get to pursue your dreams and get to a point where most of us see you as our role model?
LGBTQ = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer.
Manzi, this is a great question. In this week’s column and vlog, I am going to share 4 strategies LGBTQ youth can use to overcome the hate and discrimination they face everyday.
1. Accept yourself and be proud of who you are
I believe one of the best ways you can overcome the hate and discrimination you face as a member of the LGBTQ community is to accept yourself and to be proud of who you are.
I know that many LGBTQ youth grow up being told that there is something wrong with them, that they are committing a sin and that they will go to hell if they don’t become straight.
That is completely wrong and unfair.
If you are a member of the LGBTQ community and you haven’t accepted yourself, I encourage you to find the strength within you to accept yourself because it allows you to be proud of who you are.
Before coming out 10 years ago, I hated myself. I hated myself because of all the mean things I was told about LGBTQ people when I was young. But after coming out and understanding that there was nothing wrong with me, I accepted myself for who I am and it helped me a lot.
When you accept yourself and you are proud of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, it helps you become strong and it gives you the strength you need to deal with all the hate and discrimination you might face from your family and society.
2. Don’t care about what people say about you
Another way you can overcome the hate and discrimination you face as a member of the LGBTQ community is to not care about what people think or say about you.
I know this one is very hard to do especially when you are consistently getting mean comments about who you are. However, ignoring what the haters say about you can be very helpful.
I use this strategy in my daily life and it has helped me overcome a lot of the hate and discrimination I face as a gay person. Instead of caring about what other people say or think about me, I focus on living my life, being a good person and contributing positively to the world.
You know what? People are always going to have something negative to say about you, whether you are a member of the LGBTQ community or not. If you can train yourself on not caring about what people say or think about you, it will help you overcome a lot of challenges in life.
3. Surround yourself with people who support you
Life is very hard for a lot of LGBTQ youth. One of the best strategies you can use to help you overcome the hate and discrimination you face is to surround yourself with people who support you.
Don’t waste your time hanging out with people who bring you down. You should always hangout with people who lift you up. Anyone who brings you down and is always negative about who you are, should be cut out of your life.
This strategy helped me a lot when I first came out. Members of my family and friends who were not supportive and had negative things to say about me, I distanced myself from them. In some cases, I unfriended them.
Training yourself on how to get rid of negative people out of your life can help you overcome a lot of hate and discrimination you face as member of the LGBTQ community.
4. Practice self love and appreciation everyday
I strongly believe practicing self love and appreciating yourself can help you overcome the hate and discrimination you face as a member of the LGBTQ community.
I know there are LGBTQ youth who are lucky to grow up with parents who accept them and show them a lot of love. I also know that there are many LGBTQ youth around the world who grow up without experiencing the love of their parents and this affects them.
If you grew up without experiencing the love of your parents and family, I want you to start loving and appreciating yourself. Even though no one showed you love and support when you were young, you can do it for yourself.
I love this strategy so much because it has helped me overcome a lot of the hate and discrimination I have faced as a gay person. I love and appreciate myself so much. Everyday, I show myself a lot of love and I appreciate everything that I am.
Practice self love and appreciation everyday and this will help you overcome the hate and discrimination you face as a member of the LGBTQ community.
Use the above 4 strategies and you will overcome anything in life
Manzi, I hope my answer to your question is helpful to you and to all the LGBTQ youth around the world who face a lot of hate and discrimination from their family and society because of who they are.
Did you find this article and video helpful? If so, please share it on your social media or with a young person who can benefit from reading it.
Do you have any other advice you’d like to add to my advice? If so, please share it in the comments of this article or video. Thank you so much for reading and watching. Stay tuned to next week’s #AskDanielTrust Q&A.
Daniel Trust is President and CEO at Daniel Trust Foundation, an award-winning nonprofit organization that supports young people in the United States and Rwanda through various educational programs and digital campaigns. To support Daniel Trust Foundation's work, please sign up to become a monthly donor by visiting: www.DanielTrustFoundation.org.