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Georgia Unites Launches #BennettsProject to Support Transgender Youth October 26, 2017

ATLANTA – The Georgia Unites Against Discrimination campaign is launching a new effort aimed at generating support for transgender kids across the state. #BennettsProject encourages Georgians from all walks of life to write letters of support to transgender kids, and aims to spread awareness about the challenges transgender youth face on a daily basis.

The project originated with Bennett, a 10 year-old boy in Roswell. Bennett was hearing much of the anti-transgender rhetoric that was reverberating both nationally and in Georgia earlier this year, and as part of a class project he decided to get some friends to join him in writing supportive letters to transgender kids.

“My friends come from different backgrounds and families, and that includes transgender kids,” Bennett said in a video announcing the state-wide effort. “But there’s a lot of controversial things said about what it means to be transgender. I want to make sure transgender kids know they are supported and loved all the time and no matter what.”

Bennett gathered letters from classmates and, earlier this summer, delivered them to the Georgia Equality offices. That’s when #BennettsProject became a statewide effort.

“We were so incredibly impressed with Bennett’s commitment and passion for supporting transgender kids,” said Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality’s Executive Director. “What makes #BennettsProject so special is that this is an effort truly created and sustained by Bennett, his classmates, and all the other people who take the time to express their support for transgender youth. This is an opportunity to talk with other Georgians about what it means to be transgender and what types of challenges transgender kids face every single day. And ahead of next year’s legislative session, we want to send a strong message that Georgians from all walks of life support their transgender friends, loved ones, and neighbors.”

The challenges transgender kids face are real and daunting: According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, 80 percent of transgender kids in Georgia experience discrimination. Fifty percent of transgender youth are subject to verbal harassment, and nearly a quarter experience physical violence. #BennettsProject aims not just to provide words of support and encouragement to transgender kids, but to spread awareness to others across the state about these challenges.

To learn more about the project, view Bennett’s video, and write your own letter of support, please visit www.georgiaunites.org/bennettsproject.

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