Check out our new blog on cyberbullying - what counts, what you can do, and other resources. 

Moreover, they need quality education that offers information regarding sexuality and gender identity.  

Hopefully studies like this will help push things in the right direction.

What do you think? At what age should youth be taught about sex? What about the content of the education? 

(Source: fuckyeahsexeducation, via hellyeahscarleteen)

Yes, LGBTQ youth need access to quality sexual health information!

Yes, LGBTQ youth need access to quality sexual health information!

Explaining Genderqueer

This video not only offers an explanation of what genderqueer means, but also how one comes to terms with their identity and explores various labels.

Check out this uplifting video on sports and LGBTQ folks.

Happy Friday!

Time for another ask an expert blog!!
Question:  How do I tell my partner if I am unhappy?
“Answer:  Being able to communicate well with your partner is very important. If you are able to express your thoughts, feelings, and needs to your partner, you will feel better about yourself and are more likely to have a satisfying relationship.
First of all, it helps to know that every relationship has its tough spots, and even couples that seem perfect to an outsider may have underlying issues. What makes a relationship healthy is being able to work through those issues in a way that is respectful to the feelings of both partners.
When something doesn’t feel right or isn’t going well, it can be tough to bring it up. Start by finding a time and space when you two can be alone without interruptions. If it feels natural, you might want to ease into the conversation by starting with something positive, such as something you like about your partner. But don’t wait too long to bring up what is on your mind.
Be direct and focus on your perspective and how you feel. Let’s say you want to spend more time with your partner, but he always seems to be busy with his friends. Instead of saying, “You’re so rude. You never invite me out,” say, “I feel left out when you don’t invite me out with your friends.” Or to start with something positive, say, “I like it when you text me when you are out, but when you don’t invite me out with you, I sometimes feel left out.”
Discussing things in this way can help you avoid some common mistakes like put-downs or attacking your partner’s character. Put-downs are things like name calling and insults. Attacking your partner’s character is generalizing blame (“You never…”, “You always…”), instead of talking about something specific. If you find yourself or your partner using put downs or getting caught up in anger, it’s best to pause, take a time out, and finish talking when you have calmed down.
Give your partner a chance to talk about her perspective. Part of being a good communicator is being an active listener. In other words, don’t just hear what your partner says, but you try to understand what she is saying.
If you try to work through a problem with your partner, and you just can’t, that isn’t necessarily bad. It could mean that the two of you aren’t right for each other or that this is not the right time for you to be together. If your partner verbally puts you down, tries to manipulate you, forces you do anything sexually that you don’t want to, or physically hurts you in any way, these are all forms of abuse. In these cases, sometimes the healthiest decision is to end the relationship.
Whatever it is that is on your mind, your partner won’t know unless you tell her. Having tough conversations in relationships takes practice, but it gets easier over time.
Additional resources:How Can We Communicate Better?Myths about Intimate Partner Violence in the LGBTQIA Community”
In our “Ask an Expert” blog series, researchers from the IMPACT Program answer questions from LGBTQ youth. This month’s expert is Dr. Brian Mustanski, director of the IMPACT Program and a licensed clinical psychologist.
Featured image credit: By Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany (IMG_26671) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Time for another ask an expert blog!!

Question:  How do I tell my partner if I am unhappy?

Answer:  Being able to communicate well with your partner is very important. If you are able to express your thoughts, feelings, and needs to your partner, you will feel better about yourself and are more likely to have a satisfying relationship.

First of all, it helps to know that every relationship has its tough spots, and even couples that seem perfect to an outsider may have underlying issues. What makes a relationship healthy is being able to work through those issues in a way that is respectful to the feelings of both partners.

When something doesn’t feel right or isn’t going well, it can be tough to bring it up. Start by finding a time and space when you two can be alone without interruptions. If it feels natural, you might want to ease into the conversation by starting with something positive, such as something you like about your partner. But don’t wait too long to bring up what is on your mind.

Be direct and focus on your perspective and how you feel. Let’s say you want to spend more time with your partner, but he always seems to be busy with his friends. Instead of saying, “You’re so rude. You never invite me out,” say, “I feel left out when you don’t invite me out with your friends.” Or to start with something positive, say, “I like it when you text me when you are out, but when you don’t invite me out with you, I sometimes feel left out.”

Discussing things in this way can help you avoid some common mistakes like put-downs or attacking your partner’s character. Put-downs are things like name calling and insults. Attacking your partner’s character is generalizing blame (“You never…”, “You always…”), instead of talking about something specific. If you find yourself or your partner using put downs or getting caught up in anger, it’s best to pause, take a time out, and finish talking when you have calmed down.

Give your partner a chance to talk about her perspective. Part of being a good communicator is being an active listener. In other words, don’t just hear what your partner says, but you try to understand what she is saying.

If you try to work through a problem with your partner, and you just can’t, that isn’t necessarily bad. It could mean that the two of you aren’t right for each other or that this is not the right time for you to be together. If your partner verbally puts you down, tries to manipulate you, forces you do anything sexually that you don’t want to, or physically hurts you in any way, these are all forms of abuse. In these cases, sometimes the healthiest decision is to end the relationship.

Whatever it is that is on your mind, your partner won’t know unless you tell her. Having tough conversations in relationships takes practice, but it gets easier over time.

Additional resources:
How Can We Communicate Better?
Myths about Intimate Partner Violence in the LGBTQIA Community

In our “Ask an Expert” blog series, researchers from the IMPACT Program answer questions from LGBTQ youth. This month’s expert is Dr. Brian Mustanski, director of the IMPACT Program and a licensed clinical psychologist.

Featured image credit: By Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany (IMG_26671) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

We are an LGBTQ Health & Development Research Group @ Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.  Our work focuses on improving the health of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, with a particular focus on adolescents and young adults.
www.impactprogram.org - visit our site for more LGBTQ youth sex & health development info!

We are an LGBTQ Health & Development Research Group @ Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.  Our work focuses on improving the health of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, with a particular focus on adolescents and young adults.

www.impactprogram.org - visit our site for more LGBTQ youth sex & health development info!

Check out our latest video with Laura Kuper to learn more about the recent IMPACT publication, published in the Journal of Sex Research.

(Source: impactprogram.org)

Making a sexual agreement with your primary partner is crucial to keeping your relationship happy, trusting, and safe. A relationship agreement can be any number of conditions or limitations that you and your partner equally agree on about having sex within and outside of your relationship. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to fit one particular model. Each agreement is different—the important part is that you agree honestly about what fits your relationship, that you protect each other by playing safe, and that you admit when you’ve broken the pact, so that you can take precautions, get tested, and stay safe—together. learn more…

Making a sexual agreement with your primary partner is crucial to keeping your relationship happy, trusting, and safe. A relationship agreement can be any number of conditions or limitations that you and your partner equally agree on about having sex within and outside of your relationship. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to fit one particular model. Each agreement is different—the important part is that you agree honestly about what fits your relationship, that you protect each other by playing safe, and that you admit when you’ve broken the pact, so that you can take precautions, get tested, and stay safe—together. learn more…

Trans-queer-pansexual-bigender-two-spirit-lesbian-gender-queer graphic created by one of the terrific IMPACT film interns…for a film project, but the image is so great on it’s own that we just had to share.

Trans-queer-pansexual-bigender-two-spirit-lesbian-gender-queer graphic created by one of the terrific IMPACT film interns…for a film project, but the image is so great on it’s own that we just had to share.