Gay and Lesbian Teens. Annette Bontrager Deb Starling Mike Jarema Andy Scott. Tyler Clementi. Tragic Cases. Constance McMillen. Gay and Lesbian Youth.
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A 2006 report by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force describes the 'Hell Houses' created by right-wing religious groups as an alternative to traditional haunted houses, with the intention of scaring children into a sin-free life. Homosexuality is featured as a damnable sin in these displays, with depictions of the 'sinner' burning in Hell, a lesbian teenager committing suicide, and a male couple at their marriage being forced to swear never to believe that they're 'normal.' It is estimated that 1.6 million people, some as young as 10 years old, visited 'Hell Houses' in 2006
In a 2007 study, 86% of LGBT students said that they had experienced harassment at school during the previous year. (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network -- GLSEN)
Research indicates that LGB youth may be more likely to think about and attempt suicide than heterosexual teens. (GLSEN)
In a 2005 survey, students said their peers were most often bullied because of their appearance, but the next top reason was because of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression. ("From Teasing to Torment: School Climate of America" -- GLSEN and Harris Interactive)
A terrorist act is an act of violence perpetrated against a certain group of people.
The purpose of the crime is to harm the victims both physically and psychologically.
The largest minority group in our society that is victimized by hate crimes consists of lesbians, gay males, bi-sexuals, and transgenders (LGBT), who are victimized solely because of their sexual orientation.
The Youth Risk Survey conducted in Massachusetts indicates that 31% of all gay and lesbian youth were threatened or injured at school.
The National Institute of Mental Health found that gay and lesbian survivors of hate crimes showed more signs of psychological distress than did gay and lesbian survivors of non-bias motivated crimes.
Anti-gay prejudice also affects students who are not gay. For every gay and lesbian youth that was subject to harassment, there are four straight youth who were harassed because people thought they were gay or lesbian.
Few administrators discipline students for harassment of gay and lesbian youth.
Teachers may wish to intervene in harassment of gay students, but feel they have not had the training to effectively intervene.
Many teachers fear reprisals because they lack support from their administrations.
In Michigan, 28% of secondary school teachers felt their schools were unsafe for gay and lesbian youth.
Over 50% of national organizations that service our youth report that they do not have sufficient services or resources in place to educate youth on sexual orientation or to support gay and lesbian youth.
68% of adolescent gay males use alcohol and 44% use other drugs. 83% of lesbians use alcohol and 56% use other drugs.
According to a 2005 report, alcohol dependence is greater among LGBTQ people, especially for women. The report emphasizes the need for including sexual orientation as a subgroup when monitoring alcohol abuse in population studies.