Ilana Glazer Shares Her Advice For LGBTQ+ Kids: "Being Queer Is Unquestionably Beautiful"

When asked about advice she'd give to queer kids today, Ilana Glazer has a lot to say. First, she wants to validate the fact that being part of the LGBTQ+ community in America at the moment is not easy.

"If things feel f*cked up, it's because they very much are," she tells POPSUGAR. Our interview comes amid a time of immense tension for the queer community as anti-trans bills gain traction in states across the country and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment spikes in political dialogues.

"Your queerness, your fluidity . . . that is your beautiful, special spirit. The reason that monsters are trying to squash that specialness is because they're afraid of their own."

Glazer blames adults for this — though not only the blatantly homophobic ones or the legislators trying to ban gender-affirming care. Instead, she has some thoughts for adults who claim to care about the LGBTQ+ community but are simply watching anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments gain traction.

"It is an adult's job to make children and teenagers feel safe. I'm not talking about the evil monster adults. I'm talking about normal, sane, healthy, self-loving adults," she says. "We are struggling because we cannot really tell you, honestly, that things are OK, and kids know this. Young people are smarter, sharper, and more conscious than they've ever been. It is not OK, what's happening."

Still, she says the number of people who support equality for all far outnumber those who do not. "The well adults are, I do believe, in the majority," she says. "I can say that I genuinely believe that, and I can say that to young people."

Indeed, a 2022 Gallup poll found that the percentage of Americans who support same-sex marriage has swelled to 70 percent from 40 percent in 2009, and while this support often stops short at trans rights, the statistics show that LGBTQ+ acceptance is rapidly gaining traction overall. In late March, artists including Maren Morris, Hayley Williams, and Hozier held a massive benefit concert in Nashville in protest of the state's antidrag bill. Major stars including LeBron James and Pedro Pascal have also spoken out against anti-trans legislation.

In the meantime, Glazer also emphasizes the importance of embracing queer joy no matter what. "I can tell you that being queer is unquestionably beautiful," she says. "It is hot, it is cool, it is beautiful, it is natural, it is real, and it is what makes you special, and it is what your specialness is. Your queerness, your fluidity, whatever your desires are, however you want to express them — that is your beautiful, special spirit. The reason that monsters are trying to squash that specialness is because they're afraid of their own."

Glazer, who identifies as queer, has long been an outspoken advocate for the community. She's also been an advocate for abortion, climate justice, and women's rights — she recently participated in a campaign that turns outdated Miller Lite beer ads into fertilizer that female brewers can use to make new beer — and she wants to emphasize that others can follow a similar path. At the end of the day, she says, embracing your whole self and leaning into queer joy, when and where you are comfortable doing so, always paves the way for others to do the same. "It is your job as young people, and for young people, to protect what makes you special, unique, and queer, and to stay with yourself in it, because you're going to come out the other side," she says.

Sure enough, more young people than ever are identifying as queer — a 2021 study by the Trevor Project found that 26 percent of Gen Z identifies as nonbinary — and as younger people gain social influence and political power, change is all but guaranteed based on statistics alone. "Whenever it's hard, you are going to come out the other side," Glazer says. "You will be able to protect [queer kids] as an adult."