Growing up as a member of a sexual minority presents some special challenges. Addressing safety issues for LGBT students can help all students with regards to bullying and self acceptance.
Growing Up LGBT in America, from the The Human Rights Campaign, is a groundbreaking survey of more than 10,000 LGBT-identified youth ages 13-17. It provides a stark picture of the difficulties they face – the impact on their well-being is profound, however these youth are quite resilient.
This post from Youth.gov looks at the terms behind LGBTQQIA...
Understanding key terms and concepts, like the difference between "sex," "gender," and "sexual orientation," will help.
Founded in 1998, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. Students can call, chat or text for help and support. Their resources section includes a support center, their Coming Out Handbook, a how-to guide on being an ally to transgender & non-binary youth, and support information for Black LGBTQ youth.
The CDC reports that most lesbian, gay, bisexual, (LGB) youth are happy and thrive during their adolescent years. However, some LGB youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience negative health and life outcomes.
The report looks at LGBT violence and mental health issues and what steps schools and parents can do to improve student outcomes.
Department of Education: It Gets Better
As part of the It Gets Better Project, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and employees from the U.S. Department of Education shared their personal stories and identify tools that support students experiencing bullying.
Their message is students shouldn't have to wait – together we can help make it better today, not tomorrow.
- YouTube URL
Positive environments are important to help all youth thrive. However, the health needs of LGBT Youth can differ from their heterosexual peers. The CDC has indexed resources from the CDC, other government agencies, and community organizations for LGBT Youth, their friends, educators, parents, and family members to support positive environments.
Transgender is a term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. Gender identity is a person's internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or boy or girl). And for some people, their gender identity does not fit neatly into those two choices.
The Trans Youth Equality Foundation provides education, advocacy and support for transgender and gender non-conforming children and youth and their families. The site includes resource pages for educators, parents and young people.
The It Gets Better Project was created to show young people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.
GLSEN (formerly known as the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) was founded by a group of teachers in 1990. Knowing that educators play key roles in creating affirming learning environments for LGBTQ youth, they support educators and power initiatives like the Day of Silence, Ally Week, and more.
GLSEN conducts extensive and original research to inform evidence-based solutions for K-12 education and authors developmentally appropriate resources for educators to use throughout their school community.
GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) also has an extensive section of Transgender resources, including this FAQ and tips for allies (and teachers) of transgender people.
GSA clubs, or GSAs for short, are student-run organizations that unite LGBTQ+ and allied youth to build community and organize around issues impacting them in their schools and communities. GSAs serve as safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth in middle schools and high schools, and have emerged as vehicles for deep social change related to racial, gender, and educational justice.
Learn more about GSAs, how to start one, and Virtual GSAs.
Intersex is an umbrella term for differences in sex traits or reproductive anatomy – differences in genitalia, hormones, internal anatomy, or chromosomes, compared to the usual two ways that human bodies develop. Intersex people can be born with these differences or develop them in childhood or at puberty.
Depending on your definitions, more than 1% of the population has some form of Intersex issue. InterACT and groups like them can provide guidance and support for this very sensitive topic.
A growing body of research shows that the presence of a GSA has a positive and lasting effect on student health, wellness, and academic performance. It can also protect students from harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and improve school climates for all students in the long-term.