Greetings all, yes the Voice of the Youth column has returned! Amidst my graduation from Coppin State University, Celebrating Christmas, and the New Year, I am back. This year, I promise to make more of an impact and be a voice for the LGB&T youth everywhere, but enough about that subject and me.

In this edition of the Voice of the Youth I want to touch on a subject. Remember when you were young? No, really, I’m asking you remember when you were in middle school and how good and/or bad life seemed for you? The reason I’m bringing this up is that I recently started working at a job where I work with kids who are in the sixth through ninth grade and working around these kids, I’ve learned a lot from them. More than I probably learned in any classroom in college. Watching these kids, I remembered how I felt as an eighth grader. I felt out of place and at times weird. I felt like I had all the energy in the world and thought that I could run the world better than any man in power could. I remember wanting to be popular and liked by my peers.

As adults, many of us forget where we come from. My mother always enforced in my sister and me that “Those who forget their past are doomed to repeat it.” Many of us remember when we were at that age and we started to realize that we were attracted to the same sex, and how when and if our peers did find out how we would then be ridiculed them and told that we were going to hell. How many of us suffered beating after beating from our peers and told that we were freaks and that we should all kill ourselves and we wished that someone was there in our corner telling us “It gets better.” Often times, I think that we in the community over shadow the youth and don’t advocate enough for them. This is why they are working in Baltimore to make sure that places like “The Den” come from thought and into existence, so that the youth we serve can have a place to be themselves and be happy and to know that it gets better for them.

Adults need to remember who we were when we were young and to remember at times to bring out their inner child. If you don’t bring out your inner child they may died, and you may lose touch with yourself. Sit back now and think about it. Do you remember when you were young?

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Rev. Dr. Rob Apgar-Taylor