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We’d like to sincerely thank all the donors who are supporting us through GlobalGiving.
Each one of the stories we heard during over 400 counseling sessions with our LGBTQIA+ youth is important. When our youth called us and told said “I want to kill myself,” we saw and felt the deep sadness, anxiety, and anger through the phone line. We did our best to support youths who struggled with debilitating gender dysphoria, telling them that it’s okay to have body dysphoria until they began to believe that they will be okay.
We reached LGBTQIA+ youth across the country through tens of thousands of messages exchanged via our anonymous messaging counseling service, and over 400 individual sessions. (In 2019 we had 81 cases of suicide crisis and self-harm; and 124 cases of acute mental health crisis.)
In 2019, LGBTQIA+ youth continued to be forced to hide who they are in order to survive and be loved by their family, friends, and those closest to them. For many youth in South Korea, coming out to their families and those around them results in abuse and violence, rather than acceptance and being celebrated for who they are. And when LGBTQIA+ youth are forced to leave their family and home, society refuses to treat them as human beings with rights.
(158 cases of family conflict, abuse, violence; 72 cases of forced estrangement from family; and 35 cases of housing instability, as compiled in 2019)
DDing Dong works to keep the light at the end of the tunnel lit for LGBTQIA+ youth in Korea. No matter how dim the light may seem at times, we work to make sure it never flickers out. We hold hands together with our youth, guiding each other through the darkest parts of the tunnel. And even when our youths can’t see the light, through the touch of our hands they know that it is and will always be lit.
As we keep walking in the tunnel together, we are able to celebrate a hard-won school graduation, the day when a formerly homeless youth has their first job interview, and the moment when someone looks you in the eye and smiles brightly for the first time.
(89 cases of counseling for emancipation, 80 cases of gender transition, 74 cases of career and/or education enrollment, as recorded in 2019.)
We believe that one day, every single one of us will reach the end of the tunnel and step out into the sunlight. This belief sustains and drives the work we do. In 2020, we hope to reach even more LGBTQIA+ youth in South Korea.
In 2019, DDing Dong had help from many supporters and volunteers.
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