Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth who have benefited from New York’s Hetrick-Martin Institute open up about their personal experiences in this heartwarming video.
“I grew up in a very religious family in a small town,” Lorenzo, who is a young aspiring artist and fashion designer, explains in the clip, which can be viewed above. “Every Sunday, the pastor would condemn all the homosexuals, and then he would turn right around and say, ‘God loves everyone.’ I felt hate because of ‘gay.’ So I was taught to hate myself, in a sense, for being gay.”
Lorenzo is one of several Hetrick-Martin Institute beneficiaries highlighted in the video, which was produced in conjunction with AOL and had its premiere at the 2015 Emery Awards gala in New York. Founded in 1979, the institute is dedicated to providing aid to minors in the LGBT community, including legal aid and counseling services.