Tanager is aware of the bills recently introduced into Iowa legislature (House File 8 & House File 9) related to gay and transgender youth. As the operator of the only LGBTQ+ youth center in our community, Tanager staff and volunteers see firsthand the stress that youth and young adults face daily.
“The toll on the mental wellbeing for LGBTQ+ young people is significant, and support for their journey is vital to their overall health and wellbeing,” says Lori Ampey, Director for the LGBTQ+ Youth Center at Tanager.
While Tanager understands the spirit behind the proposed legislation, it is our organization’s belief that these bills recently introduced into the legislature have the power to cause deep harm to a family unit. Tanager’s efforts to cultivate resilience and wellness through its RISE framework are crippled when a young person’s safe connections and vital relationships are threatened. Therefore, the proposed legislation would make youth and young adults in our community feel unsafe, devalued and could cause unnecessary and irreparable harm to a family unit.
“Our staff regularly sits with youth and families in moments of immense pain and significant trauma. We hear stories on a daily basis from young people and families who would be directly impacted by this legislation,” says Okpara Rice, CEO at Tanager. “It’s imperative that those voting on this legislation are able to have a dialog with young people and families about the impact these bills have on those people most affected by them. It is so important to understand the daily struggles these young people face.”
Tanager values inclusion, and we lift and listen to the voices of others. We are committed to providing a safe and welcoming space for everyone in our community.