Handbook of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Administration and Policy

By Wallace Swan | Go to book overview

8

Queer Youth Issues

Tracy Phariss

Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network of Colorado, Lakewood, and Jefferson County Public Schools, Golden, Colorado, U.S.A.


I.

INTRODUCTION

Public administration is the process by which public policy is carried out and laws are enforced. In today's society, public administration is increasingly complex because of the incredible range of tasks that government has undertaken, the need for organizing and directing millions of employees, and the billions of dollars needed to keep such a system operating ( 1). The political and governmental institutions that underlie the practice of public administration effect all youth. This chapter will explore the effect the various systems have on and are influenced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth.

In the United States, it is estimated there are approximately 20 million Americans who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual ( 2). However, there are approximately 60 million youth ages 14 to 24; therefore, there are approximately 6 million gay, lesbian, or bisexual youth in America. These youth are members of what has been called “Generation Y, ” “Millennials, ” “Echo Boomers, ” “Gen 2000, ” and “Generation Why.” According to author and speaker Eric Chester ( 3), this generation asks questions like “Why does it matter?” “Why should I care?” and “Why should I?” Chester reminds those who work with youth that this generation has never known a world without cell phones, ATMs, personal computers, MTV, or AIDS. Coining the term Generation Why, Chester describes this generation with all of its stimuli as being adaptable, efficient, innovative, resilient, passionately tolerant in terms of diversity,

-157-

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