May 19, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

LGBT Youth Bullying is on the Rise

One might be tempted to believe that bullying in schools against LGBT students would be on the decline lately. Why wouldn’t it be? There’s increased media focus on equality for the LGBT community, greater representation of LGBT stories in entertainment, and the emerging of the generally more open-minded millennial generation.

Unfortunately, according to a new 20 year-long study shared with The Daily Beast from RTI International, LGBT bullying has actually been increasing.

The 2017 report, entitled “Violence and LGBTQ Communities: What Do We Know, and What Do We Need to Know?” examined a sample of 73,000 LGBT youth and deduced that LGBT youth bullying in schools “has not improved since the 1990s.” RTI also warns that this harassment could have devastating life-long effects for its victims: “Some forms of victimization, particularly those affecting youth, appear to be worsening…This has serious, lifelong impacts on the physical and behavioral health of LGBTQ youth and adults.”

A co-author of the report, Tasseli McKay, told The Daily Beast that since 1992 “LGBTQ students are two to three times more likely than their peers to be physically assaulted or threatened at school.” This also apparently doubles or even potentially quadruples chances that victims will attempt suicide.

McKay expressed her anxiety towards the results, indicating that the LGBT community should stay aware of these new findings and not practice complacency: “The evidence is pretty clear and pretty unsettling…We want to think that things are getting better. In regards to the victimization that young people are experiencing, the trend is toward victimization worsening, not getting better.”

Diego Sanchez, director of advocacy, policy and partnerships for PFLAG, a family and ally organization for LGBT individuals, echoed McKay’s sentiments to The Daily Beast that greater visibility is necessary for LGBT students being bullied, not just those that are being accepted by their peers: “What we don’t always see is all the students who weren’t able to become homecoming king. We amplify the success stories, but some places are too dangerous for people to speak to the discriminatory experiences they face.”

As it turns out, the caustic, xenophobic rhetoric on display in the recent presidential election may have played a role in recent bullying spikes. A survey from The Human Rights Campaign found that 70 percent of the 50,000 youth polled had faced or witnessed bullying in the 30 days after the election and that more than a quarter of LGBT youth reported being personally bullied or harassed since Election Day.

In the face of these grim findings, McKay and Sanchez both believe much can be done to curb the abuse taking place in schools.

In further statements to The Daily Beast, McKay suggested that LGBT students should seek out starting a Gay-Straight Alliance in their schools if one is not already in place, with teachers taking a more active position in counseling the youth. Sanchez similarly advocated that adults responsible for the youth, such school administrators, federal legislators, as well as the president, need to take positive action to let LGBT youth enjoy thrive in school and enjoy their lives:

“All students deserve a fair and equal way to get the same access to education as every other student…This is a time for hope and a time to dream big. This should not be a time for struggle.”

Related Posts

West Hollywood, Long Beach Earn Top Marks in 2019 Equality Index

December 20, 2019

December 20, 2019

2019 was a great year for the LGBTQ+ communities in West Hollywood and Long Beach.  Both cities earned a score...

Can Kevin Hart Change? Why This Comedian Won’t Apologize for Past Homophobic Slurs

December 17, 2018

December 17, 2018

After weeks of controversy, Kevin Hart gets a defender. We’ve lived through this kind of thing before. A public hero...

COLUMN: Living in the Safest LGBTQ+ City in the United States

October 12, 2018

October 12, 2018

By Elijah Root-Sanchez Waking up and watching the news each morning can be exhausting. There is a constant battle  for...

Trump’s America Earns Straight F’s for the Black Queer Community

September 26, 2018

September 26, 2018

It comes with little surprise, yet large amounts of disappointment, to hear that the current Federal Government is letting down...

Poll: One in Eight California Voters Identifies as LGBT

March 31, 2017

March 31, 2017 809

About 12% of Californians identify under the LGBT umbrella

Prop 8 Defender Chuck Cooper likely pick for US Solicitor General by new AG Jeff Sessions

February 9, 2017

February 9, 2017 502

Maybe Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions was just really excited about being sworn in Thursday as the new US Attorney General,...

In farewell, Obama says “Don’t mope over election. It’ll be OK”

January 18, 2017

January 18, 2017 158

Like a cool drink of water on a scorching political day, roughly 41 frenzied hours before Donald Trump’s controversial inauguration,...

LA Pride board members resist non-disclosure agreements, resign

January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017 340

BY TROY MASTERS  |  Christopher Street West, the non-profit organization that produces the annual L.A. Pride Parade and Festival, apparently...

The Gutting of Donald Trump

January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017 198

BY KRISTEN PRATA BROWDE  |  It’s no secret that the Republican establishment has never been happy with the loudmouthed RINO who...

Eric Bauman to CA LGBTs: Democrats have your back but get engaged

January 6, 2017

January 6, 2017 184

BY KAREN OCAMB  |  First Lady Michelle Obama choked up delivering her final message to young people from the White...

My family voted for Trump and I am so angry

November 10, 2016

November 10, 2016 3,463

BY TROY MASTERS  | I failed to convince my own mother to vote for Hillary Clinton. And my sister. Now...

The New Civil War

November 9, 2016

November 9, 2016 179

BY KAREN OCAMB  |  Early Wednesday morning, half of America cheered with unbridled glee and the other half stared at...

Clinton-Trump Debate Proves Reality TV Star Not Ready for Primetime Presidency

September 27, 2016

September 27, 2016 2,987

BY KAREN OCAMB  |    To supporters of Hillary Clinton and to many Republicans frustrated by Reality TV star Donald...

Under attack? A look at the LGBTQ community as targets of recent acts of terror

September 22, 2016

September 22, 2016 26

BY JEFF TAYLOR  |  Whenever a terrorist attack hits there is a common refrain, “This was an attack on all...

Orlando massacre and gay identity

June 15, 2016

June 15, 2016 156

BY KAREN OCAMB  |  From New York City’s historic Stonewall Inn to Harvey Milk Park in Long Beach, small groups...