A survey of LGBTQ teenagers across the nation reveals in detail the persistent challenges many of them face going about their daily lives at home, at school, and in their communities.
More than 12,000 respondents, ranging in age from 13 to 17, and drawn from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., participated in the online 2017 LGBTQ Teen Survey, the largest of its kind. The study was conducted by researchers at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and the University of Connecticut.
The survey found that teenagers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer are not only experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, and rejection, but also overwhelmingly feel unsafe in their own school classrooms. LGBTQ young people who participated in the survey also made it clear that supportive families and inclusive schools are key to their success and well-being.
The researchers found that:
95 percent of LGBTQ youth report trouble sleeping at night;
77 percent of LGBTQ teenagers surveyed report feeling depressed over the past week on average; more than 70 percent report feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness in the past week;
LGBTQ youth of color and transgender teenagers report the highest levels of rejection and isolation – only 11 percent of youth of color surveyed believe their racial or ethnic group is regarded positively in the U.S.;
50 percent of trans and gender expansive youth said they never use school restrooms because they are unable to access those that align with their gender identity;
Only 26 percent say they always feel safe in their school classrooms – and just 5 percent say all of their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people;
67 percent report that they’ve heard family members make negative comments about LGBTQ people.
“Our strong research partnership with HRC reflects a shared sense of urgency to address the significant health and well-being disparities facing LGBTQ teens,” says Ryan Watson, assistant professor of human development …