13 to Watch in 2013

By: Gay.net Editors
12.29.2012

DEREK GERSON
Founder of Equalize Youth

Think of the smallest, most conservative town you can. Now think about what it's like for a queer kid growing up there. Gerson had these towns and kids in mind this year when he helped launch Equalize Youth, an online community where small town natives can share their experiences with young LGBT people who may feel alone, hopeless, or cut off from local resources. "Social innovation continues to change the way we interact, solve problems, and grow into adults," Gerson says. "It can connect us to knowledge with a materiality like that of a ladder that gives you access to previously unknown worlds and solutions." The website is still a work in progress, but Gerson's focus and message could turn it into a literal lifesaver for LGBT kids looking for a way to survive and thrive in their own hometowns.

Photo: Erica Deeman

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