Combating Bullying and Violence in the LGBTQ+ Community
Steve Adubato goes on-location to the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey to talk to Brian McGovern, CEO, North Jersey Community Research Initiative, about NJCRI’s history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community and the specific challenges LGBTQ+ individuals face when it comes to bullying and violence.
"Welcome. This is Steve Adubato. We're actually on location at the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. This is part of a series they're doing called Breaking the Cycle, the cycle of abuse, the cycle of bullying, particularly among teens. We're pleased to be joined in this conversation by Brian McGovern, CEO, North Jersey Community Research Initiative. Good to see you Brian. Thank you. It's interesting. The population you serve. Describe it. Well we just... we serve a very... variety of people at NJCRI. We have both a medical side and a social service side. The people that we serve are our Newark community, which happens... one population happens to be an LGBT youth center. We also have a medical center where we also serve them. We also have mental health, substance use, case managers, that help the homeless in that population. Food pantry. It's a very... quite a variety of services that we provide. But when we talk about abuse, you said to me before we got on the air, "You know, we would be a lot better off if we were more tolerant." Why is it so difficult for so many to be tolerant, particularly of the LGBTQ+ community, if you will? Yes. I think that people are not comfortable with what's not them. Or they're not exposed to it. What about if they have a family member? A friend? Someone they're close to? Exactly. Shouldn't that do it? Well... Because they know what that person's experiencing? Well we hope. And I think sometimes that's what brings us there, is that if we've experienced something close to us, and we, you know, someone we would care about. But there's religion that gets in the way. Many of the young people we serve are from strong religious backgrounds, so their family are having a hard time with it. To speak to an LGBT person, me being one, you see people that might go through their own personal struggles accepting their own identity as an LGBT person. What was good for me to do was to be able to understand, "If I'm struggling with this as a young person, what of the people around me that can't even understand what I'm going through?" So I had to have my own tolerance with people to have them understand. So I think that's something. And I think we're in a different world today, of where... How so? I think with the social media with so much more education online, where our young people can get at. Where I think, years back, people were more isolated. Ten years back, it was a different world. So I..."