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Bullying: LGBTQ Youth, while trying to deal with all the challenges of being a teenager, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBTQ) teens also have to deal with harassment, threats, and violence directed at them on a daily basis.

LGBTQ youth are nearly twice as likely to be called names, verbally harassed or physically assaulted at school compared to their non-LGBTQ peers.

Their mental health and education, not to mention their physical well-being, are at-risk.

LGBTQ Youth Facts Sheet

How Is Their Mental Health Being Affected?

  1. Substance Use: Gay, lesbian,bisexual and transgender youth are more than twice as likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol. [1]

  2. Happiness: Only 37% of LGBTQ youth report being happy, while 67% of non-LGBTQ youth say they are happy. However, over 80% of LGBT youth believe they will be happy eventually, with nearly half believing that they will need to move away from their current town to find happiness. [1]

  3. Self-Harm: With each instance of verbal or physical harassment, the risk of self-harm among LGBTQ youth is 2 ½ times more likely. [2]

  4. Suicide: Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.[3]

How Is Their Education Being Affected?

  1. Gay teens in U.S. schools are often subjected to such intense bullying that they’re unable to receive an adequate education.

  2. LGBTQ youth identified bullying problems as the second most important problem in their lives, after non-accepting families, compared to non-LGBTQ youth identifying classes/exams/grades. [1]

  3. LGBTQ youth who reported they were frequently harassed in school had lower grade point averages than students who were less often harassed. [4]

  4. One survey revealed that more than one-third of gay respondents had missed an entire day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe there.[4]

  5. LGBTQ youth feel they have nowhere to turn. Sixty percent of LGBTQ students did not report incidents to school staff. One-third who reported an incident said the staff did nothing in response. [4]

What Can We Do To Help?

  • Schools should offer a safe and respectful learning environment for everyone. When bullying is allowed to take place, it affects everyone. The 2011 National School Climate survey recommends: [4]

  • Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs). School clubs provide safe spaces and support networks for LGBTQ students. Students who attended schools with GSAs reported fewer homophobic remarks, more intervention from school personnel, and a greater sense of connectedness.

  • Supportive educators. LGBTQ Students who report having a greater number of supportive staff (six or more) had higher GPAs.

  • Comprehensive bullying/harassment policies and laws. Students reported that school staff intervened twice as often in schools with comprehensive bullying/harassment policies.

Help End Bullying At Your School With The Following Actions:

  • Be alert to signs of distress.

  • Work with student councils to have programs on respect, school safety, and anti-bullying.

  • Ask school personnel to have a discussion at an assembly or an after-school activity about gay prejudice.

  • Help start a Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education * Network (GLSEN) chapter at your local high school.

  • Arrange for a group like GLSEN to present bullying prevention activities and programs at your school.

  • Do encourage anyone who’s being bullied to tell a teacher, counselor, coach, nurse, or his or her parents or guardians. If the bullying continues, report it yourself.

Other Resources:

National Association Of School Psychologists

(301) 657-0270

www.nasponline.org

American Psychological Association

(202) 336-5500

www.apa.org

Association Of Gay And Lesbian Psychiatrists

(215) 222-2800

www.aglp.org

The Gay, Lesbian And Straight Education Network

(212) 727-0135

www.glsen.org

The Trevor Project

1 (866)-488-7386

www.trevorproject.org

Human Rights Campaign

(800) 777-4723

www.hrc.org

Human Rights Watch

(212) 290-4700

www.hrw.org

National Youth Advocacy Coalition

(800) 541-6922

www.nyacyouth.org

Parents, Families, And Friends Of Lesbians And Gays

(202) 467-8180

wwwpflag.org

Resources

“Bullying: LGBT Youth.” Mental Health America, www.mhanational.org/bullying-lgbt-youth.

[1] Human Rights Campaign. (2013). Growing Up LGBT in America: HRC Youth Survey Report Key Findings. Washington, D.C.

[2] IMPACT. (2010). Mental health disorders, psychological distress, and suicidality in a diverse sample of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths. American Journal of Public Health. 100(12), 2426-32.

[3] CDC. (2011). Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9-12: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

[4] Kosciw, J. G., Greytak, E. A., Bartkiewicz, M. J., Boesen, M. J., & Palmer, N. A. (2012). The 2011 National School Climate Survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in our nation’s schools. New York: GLSEN.

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LGBTQ Relationship Violence

Abusive partners in LGBTQ relationships use all the same tactics to gain power and control as abusive partners in heterosexual relationships — physical, sexual or emotional abuse, financial control, isolation and more.

But abusive partners in LGBTQ relationships also reinforce their tactics that maintain power and control with societal factors that compound the complexity a survivor faces in leaving or getting safe in an LGBTQ relationship.

Are you a victim of abuse?

 

Identify Tactics of Power & Control

  • “Outing” a partner’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Abusive partners in LGBTQ relationships may threaten to "out" victims to family members, employers, community members, and others.

  • Saying that no one will help the victim because s/he is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or that this is why the partner “deserves” the abuse.

  • Justifying the abuse with the notion that a partner is not “really” lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (i.e. the victim may once have had/may still have relationships, or express a gender identity, inconsistent with the abuser’s definitions of these terms). This can be used both as a tool in verbal and emotional abuse as well as to further the isolation of a victim from the community.

  • Monopolizing support resources through an abusive partner’s manipulation of friends and family supports and generating sympathy and trust in order to cut off these resources to the victim. This is a particular issue to members of the LGBTQ community where there may be fewer specific resources, neighborhoods, or social outlets.

  • Portraying the violence as mutual and even consensual, or as an expression of masculinity or some other “desirable” trait.

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"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it"   Proverbs 4:23

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