Giving Compass' Take:

• The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the University of Connecticut surveyed more than 12,0000 LGBTQ teenagers across the nation and found some jarring responses about their feelings of safety, emotional security, and lack of school support systems. 

• How can schools and families especially work toward making safe spaces for LGBTQ youth? What organizations are resources nation-wide for them? 

• Read about the struggles and potential improvements for LGBTQ health centers. 

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and the University of Connecticut released the largest-of-its-kind survey ever of more than 12,000 LGBTQ teenagers across the nation, revealing in distressing detail the persistent challenges so many of them face going about their daily lives at home, at school and in their communities.

It found that these teenagers are not only experiencing heartbreaking 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 crystal clear that supportive families and inclusive schools are key to their success and well-being.

HRC and researchers at the University of Connecticut found that:

  • Seventy-seven percent of LGBTQ teenagers surveyed report feeling depressed or down over the past week;
  • Ninety-five percent of LGBTQ youth report trouble sleeping at night;
  • LGBTQ youth of color and transgender teenagers experience unique challenges and elevated stress -- only 11 percent of youth of color surveyed believe their racial or ethnic group is regarded positively in the U.S., and over 50 percent of trans and gender expansive youth said they can never use school restrooms that align with their gender identity;
  • More than 70 percent report feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness in the past week;
  • Only 26 percent say they always feel safe in their school classrooms
  • Only five percent say all of their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people;
  • Sixty-seven percent report that they’ve heard family members make negative comments about LGBTQ people

The research also points to some positive trends illuminating the resilience of LGBTQ young people:

  • 91 percent of youth report feeling pride in being an LGBTQ person, and 93 percent are proud to be a part of the community.
  • Three out of five LGBTQ students have access to a LGBTQ student club

Read the full article about LGBTQ youth by Sarah McBride at Human Rights Campaign