Author(s): Human Rights Campaign
Published: June 7, 2017
“The deck is stacked against young people growing up lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender in America. Official government discrimination or indifference along with social ostracism leaves many teens disaffected and disconnected in their own homes and neighborhoods. With an increase in public awareness about anti-LGBT bullying and harassment and the strikingly high number of LGBT youth who are homeless, in foster care, or living in high-risk situations, it is critical that we get better understanding of the experiences, needs, and concerns of LGBT youth.
This groundbreaking research among more than 10,000 LGBT-identified youth ages 13-17 provides a stark picture of the difficulties they face. The impact on their well-being is profound, however these youth are quite resilient. They find safe havens among their peers, online and in their schools. They remain optimistic and believe things will get better. Nevertheless, the findings of Growing Up LGBT in America are a call to action for all adults who want to ensure that young people can thrive.
The survey measured key factors that impact the daily lives of LGBT youth, including:
- A sense of being accepted by family, peers, and the larger community – in sports leagues, clubs, places of worship, school, work, online, and more
- Access to LGBT affirmative support and services
- Negative experiences such as verbal harassment, cyber-bullying, exclusion from activities
- Connection to a welcoming religious or spiritual community
- Level of optimism about the future and the ability to live a happy life as an “out” LGBT person
With more than 10,000 survey respondents, this is the largest known sample of LGBT youth from every region of the country, from urban, suburban and rural communities, and from a wide variety of social, cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds.”