The I Want the World to Know Initiative encourages lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) individuals from all walks of life to share their coming out stories as a way to defeat homophobia, anti-gay bullying, and teen violence and suicide.
This initiative is inspired by two young boys–Carl Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera, both 11-years-old–who took their own lives in April 2009 as a result of constant bullying and name-calling. Their bullies used the words, “gay” and “fag,” to make both boys feel ostracized, excluded, and humiliated. Regardless of their sexualities, the world needs to know that using homophobic harassment has to stop now.
1) Reach youth and young adults who are struggling with their sexualities and who believe their feelings are wrong or bad. The idea is to create a place where LGBTQ people can share their stories in order to inspire others to discover their true potentials as human beings.
2) Have an international impact by reaching well-known out media personalities. With the help of a strong LGBTQ network, this initiative will take flight and garner the attention from the youth who need it most.
3) Stop the hatred and homophobia that exists today. By sharing stories, people relate to one another. It is how we come to understand and sympathize with people who we may not have connected with before. If everyone takes the time to listen, then perhaps we can all begin to acknowledge the beauty in being different.