Just say gay

We are trans. We are intersex. We are two-spirit. We are asexual. We are queer. We are lesbian. We are bisexual. We are gay. We have always been, and forever we will be.

Repost from Youth OUTright [Say Gay — Youth OUTright]

State Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga), Phil Berger (R-Eden) and Sen. Michael Lee (R-New Hanover) have introduced the so-called “Parent’s Rights” bill to the NC General Assembly – which is essentially a copy-cat of Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill. This legislation is a blatant attack on young people, LGBTQIA+ families, and a political tactic to incite a false moral panic and to create a wedge issue to further political division before the November election.

We call on Roy Cooper to veto this bill if it comes to his desk. We call on local elected officials, Kim Roney and Jasmine Beach-Ferrara to support us in resisting this harmful legislation.

We agree with Jill Johnson of Durham County City Council when she tweeted:

“A bill targeting LGBTQ children being announced in the NCGA on the same day an unthinkable number of children are shot to death at school in Texas is a tragic and perfect illustration of the catastrophically bankrupt set of values we’re dealing with right now.”

Youth OUTright knows and recognizes the positive impact that inclusive and affirming school environments have on ALL children. Celebrating the incredible diversity of lived experiences across our community is key to success, from the local level to the national level. We know that LGBTQIA+ affirming environments improve health outcomes across ALL gender and sexualities, including cisgender and heterosexual youth.

We are also keenly aware of the harm that comes from policies like these. Legislation that sanctions discriminatory behavior emboldens bigotry. Forcing teachers and counselors to out students to their parents will increase the rates of homelessness within the youth community. LGBTQIA+ youth are already 120% more likely to experience homelessness than their cisgender and heterosexual counterparts most often because they are expelled from their homes due to their identities. Policies like Don’t Say Gay worsen this problem.

Using children as political pawns to create a moral panic based on false information is a debased, unethical, and violent strategy that folks in power have used against the LGBTQIA+ community for decades.

AS A COMMUNITY, WE WILL RESIST THIS OPPRESSIVE AND VIOLENT MOVEMENT.

We stand with youth and families across North Carolina & the entire country. We will continue to hold space for youth to be in community with each other. We will continue to support the emerging youth leadership in our community. We will continue to speak our truths.

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Mental Health Providers

Eric Davis  MS, LCPA, NCC, Counselor

Willow Wellness and Recovery, PC 9 All Souls Crescent  Suite B, Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 490-4137 | Website I am a firm believer in empowerment and self-determination. In the past, I have worked well with folks experiencing a range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, substance-use, sleep disturbances, relationship issues, and issues unique to the LGBT community.

Scott Thomas,  Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, LCAS

Silver Lining Therapy 70 Woodfin Place  STE 21, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 705-3084 | Website I believe humor can be a powerful tool for healing and seek to incorporate this into our time together. Unique to my practice is an approach that truly puts you at the center of the counseling experience, and I draw from a wide variety of techniques to help you see and experience real change in your life. To see if therapy might be a good fit, I offer free phone consultations.

James Harrison, PhD Psychologist

12 Westridge Dr , Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 348-6300 | Website I enjoy helping people achieve physical and emotional intimacy whether they are young or old, straight or gay, in healthy, responsible, and mutually affirming ways. I also enjoy helping people improve their earning and manage their assets. And I like working with older people. I offer free phone consultations.

Judy Maris, Counselor, LPC, LCPC, MA, MS

Maris Psychotherapy 41 Clayton St, Suite 301, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 537-4489 | Website We can explore troublesome patterns that tend to repeat themselves in your life or look at new issues that have just come up. The important thing is for us to work together to get to the bottom of your difficulties and resolve them. I will assist you in becoming more aware of what you are feeling and thinking in the present moment. The untapped wisdom within you is a powerful healing force. Let me help you gain access to your full inner resources. I offer free phone consultations.

Elizabeth Heaney, Counselor, MA, LPC 

166 E Chestnut Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (520) 447-3319 | Website I work with individual adults with concerns like: family history issues, relationship concerns, life satisfaction issues (related to jobs, living situations or relationships), anxiety and depression. I’ve had a particular focus on working with couples, addressing every aspect of relationship challenges – relationship dissatisfaction/boredom, affairs, sexual/intimacy issues, etc. And I was a civilian counselor on military bases for several years, so I have a clear understanding of the unique pressures and challenges facing service members and families. I offer free phone consultations.

Siljoy Maurer

Holistic Perspectives P.O. Box 333, Enka, NC 2872  Phone: (828) 333-0103  | siljoy@me.com or  www.HolisticPerspectives.com For many years now I have been mentoring men and women from all walks of life. It continues to be my greatest joy to accompany someone from “just being ok” into thriving! As a Mentor & Healer I partner with my clients in creating authenticity, wellness and deep contentment, in whatever area of their lives they are seeking change. The combination of giving very practical, livable tools for direct “next steps” while “holding the big picture” and then manifesting that big picture often feels like this: a new client brings me their life or life situation in a jigsaw puzzle box, they lost the lid and forgot what the picture on it looked like. I am good at knowing that picture and then guiding my clients/mentees to put all the puzzle pieces together.  

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