Kara Angell is a teenage mental health advocate who lives in Davidson. She is the CEO of a nonprofit named RippleLife and of a business named RippleLife Workshops.
From an early age, Kara has seen positive representations of LGBTQ people, reading books with LGBTQ protagonists and seeing TV shows and movies featuring LGBTQ characters. Same-sex couples have been able to marry in her home state of North Carolina since she was just out of elementary school. And when Kara came out as LGBTQ at the age of 12, she received support and love from her parents and friends. But even though our world may be more accepting of LGBTQ people now than it was a decade ago, the reality is that in most states – including North Carolina – LGBTQ people are not protected from discrimination.
“When I’m at school, I feel like my identity is supported by teachers and classmates, whether it’s during meetings for extracurricular activities or in the classroom,” Kara said. “But I won’t be in school forever. Soon I’ll be graduating, living on my own, and entering the workforce – and it scares me to know that in most states, I could be subjected to discrimination based on my LGBTQ identity. That’s why I’ve been speaking out this year about the importance of affirming and protecting LGBTQ people from harm. It’s in our power as young people to take action, to take a stand against discrimination; as teenagers, we will inherit this world. I for one want to inherit a world where LGBTQ people are affirmed and supported – a world where we can live our lives openly and honestly.”