It’s easy to look at the statistics gathered about LGBT kids and teens and feel discouraged. They are more likely to be bullied and to feel isolated. Luckily there is plenty being done to empower LGBT teens and you can be a part of it.
Below are a few statistics about LGBT kids and teens along with a handful of ways you can help them feel accepted within their communities.
- LGBT kids and teens are more likely to experience bullying and have problems with substance abuse
- LGBT teens are 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression
- 42% of LGBT teens report living in an unwelcoming environment
- Young people who are out to their immediate families report feeling happier
- 92% of LGBT youth say they hear negative things about themselves at school, on the Internet, or from their peers.
- 77% say they know things will get better
So what can you do to make a better, more accepting environment and community for LGBT kids and teens?
- Ban bullying towards any student in schools and promote respecting your peers
- Create safe places for LGBT kids and teens to get support while they are in school
- Connect with your LGBT child. Listen to them and let them know you understand.
- Get involved with a gay-straight alliance in your community
- Support your child’s identity
These are just a handful of things you can do to empower LGBT kids and teens. For more information about what you can do, visit the CDC LGBT Youth Resources page here.
Information provided by the CDC, nobullying.com, dosometing.org, and Helping Families Support Their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Children BY CAITLIN RYAN, Ph.D., A.C.S.W