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SOUNDS LIKE HATE 3: When Anti-LGBTQ Parents and Families Foster Hate, LGBTQ Youth Suffer

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Today the Southern Poverty Law Center launched part two of “Fostering Hate,” the fourth episode of the new season of the Sounds Like Hate podcast, which reports on the overt discrimination and hate allowed to fester throughout Philadelphia’s foster care system.

On part two of Fostering Hate our hosts, award winning independent journalists/producers Jamila Paksima and Yvonne Latty, highlight two very personal stories about the consequences of being placed in a non-affirming home – along with lessons in finding and accepting yourself even when others won’t.

“The story of Azair and Nia are so important to listen to, as we must all understand that this kind of trauma is what far too many foster children face. Although I worked on this story on every listen, I am moved to tears,” says Latty.

Despite being adopted by their first foster parent, Azair went through 21 different placements in mental health facilities and unsupportive group homes while dealing with identity challenges. We also learn how Nia survived repeated victimization as a transgender youth stuck in foster care, and how she now uses those experiences to help LGBTQ youth and change the system from within.

“The measure of who we are as a people comes down to how we protect the most vulnerable among us from discrimination and enable them to enjoy the same rights. The brave and resilient families who opened up their homes to us deserve better from their democracy. Listen to their stories, they are members of our community who need us to take a stand and make our system work better for all people,” says Susan Corke, Director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.

LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in foster care. As many as 30% of children in foster care identify as LGBTQ, many of whom end up in group homes rather than stable foster families with disparities of care. As we learned from the Growmillers in part one of Fostering Hate (released Nov. 9), there is a desperate need for affirming LGBTQ foster families across the country.

“This episode shows us how deep the wounds of hate and trauma can be for LGBTQ youth trying to navigate the foster care system. Azair Sallard and Nia Clark speak from the well of raw honesty and have been willing to expose their truth with staggering courage,” says Paksima. “It is my hope audiences who listen to Fostering Hate will experience a new level of understanding about what it takes to own your identity and fight for one's life.”

All of the guests featured in both episodes of “Fostering Hate,” including hosts Jamila and Yvonne, and Susan Corke, are available for interviews.

The podcast can be found at: Sounds Like Hate is produced by Until 20, LLC, for The Southern Poverty Law Center.