The world should be a safe place for every human being, a primary source of learning, developing and building a foundation for future success and happiness.
We can all agree that the world can be challenging for any human, there’s nothing perfect or easy. However, this place we live in is even more challenging for many LGBT youth that faces an alarming amount of bullying and harassment.
LGBT youth frequently deal with bullying in the form of harassment, violence, and attacks. Studies have shown that LGBT students constantly received bigoted verbal abuse such as name-calling like homo, fag or sissy more than two dozen times per day.
During 2005 the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) conducted a study concluding that appearance was the number one reason for bullying. The second most common reason was actual or assumed sexual orientation and gender identity. According to a 2007 study by GLSEN, 86% of LGBT youth report being harassed at school. This ratio is very high when compared to 27% of all students being bullied at school, as reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics in 2013.
GLSEN reports on one trans-gendered youth who sought to defend herself against bullies. She reported the bullying to the vice-principal who did nothing to stop the bullying, which had gone on for two years. When the school took no action, a fight broke out between her and three other girls. All the students received suspension, but the trans-gendered youth was the only one charged with criminal assault, even though the school said she was a victim in the incident.
In 2013 two experts from Columbia University reported that LGBT bullying statistics improved when school policies against bullying included LGBT youth.
Here we share shocking facts from BullyingStatistics.org:
- 42 per cent of LGBT youth have experienced cyber bullying
- 25 per cent more than once
- 35 per cent receive online threats
- 58 per cent say something bad is said to them or about them online
- Cyber bullying of LGBT youth is three times higher than other student’s experience.
- 33 per cent report sexual harassment online, which is four times higher than the experience of other students.
- 27 per cent of LGBT youth do not feel safe online.
- 20 per cent report receiving harassing text messages from other students.
- LGBT teenagers are two or three times more likely to attempt suicide than other teens.
- If the family of the LGBT youth does not accept them,they are eight times more likely to commit suicide than other teens.
- One-third of the suicide attempts that actually result in death are due to a crisis in sexual identity.
- LGBT youth miss more than five times as much school as other students because of bullying they receive at school.
- 28 per cent of LGBT youth stop going to school because of being bullied.
- LGBT youth rejected by their families are three times more likely to have substance abuse problems.
- 50 per cent experience a negative environment at home if they tell their parents about their sexual orientation.
- 26 per cent are forced out of their homes.
- Up to 50 per cent of the youth that are on the streets living without a home are LGBT youth, who must live on the streets because of their sexual orientation or gender identification.
For youth to thrive in schools and communities, they need to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe and supported. A positive school climate has been associated with decreased depression, suicidal feelings, substance use, and unexcused school absences among LGBT students. Let us remember that we all come from the same roots, but all leaves are different. It’s up to us to change this!
When are we going to stand up and work to reduce inequalities? Enough is enough. Today is the day we should join together and work for a better world!