Bullying, Harassment and Violence

Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power or strength. Often, it is repeated over time. Children and youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), or are perceived to be so, can face unrelenting teasing and bullying by their peers. Bullying can range from derogatory comments to physical assaults and violence. Significant research shows that some of those who experience bullying, harassment, and violent behavior by others have long-term effects, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Because these aggressive behaviors are also correlated with increased suicide attempts, reports and resources on suicide and suicide prevention are also shown on this page.

Although bullying, harassment, and violence is more frequent among young people,  it also occurs in an adult’s workplace and social environment.  Research shows that transgender and transgender people of color are at particular risk for violence. 


MPIPP has developed these fact sheets on the mental health impact of bullying, harassment and violence. MPIPP fact sheets generally contain key points of representative research that is cited on the second page.


  • MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association): While trying to deal with all the challenges of being a teenager, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender (GLBT) teens additionally have to deal with harassment, threats and violence directed at them on a daily basis. FACT SHEET: “Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk”: Available online at: http://www.nmha.org/index.cfm?objectid=CA866DCF-1372-4D20-C8EB26EEB30B9982
  • FindYouthInfo.gov    This federal government website offers information on many topics related to young people who are LGBTQ as well as those who are not and includes other information such as mental health, bullying, and preventing youth violence.   To review the range of topics available, go to: http://findyouthinfo.gov/youth-topics/lgbtq-youth 


Shown here are examples of research and reports or surveys that address the psychological impact of bullying, harassment, and violence against LGBT people. The research shown is generally representative of a larger body of peer-reviewed research.  Please note that not all individuals or families are affected in the same way. Also, most of the reports shown here also have extensive bibliographical references that can be reviewed for a more complete analysis of this topic.

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons: This NASW research web page focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) social work research. It provides an overview of an under-researched set of social concerns and provides links to resources and a collection of publications by social work researchers. This web page of the National Association of Social Workers also contains a number of research citations. www.socialworkpolicy.org/research/lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-persons.html


This list of resources and organizations (in no particular order) is designed to enable our website readers to find other information on the topic being described. Many of the organizations listed here also have resource guides and information available on this topic. MPIPP does not recommend nor endorse organizations by providing helpful links nor can we list programs or projects of political parties.  If you are aware of other resources and links that are non-partisan and appropriate, please use the “contact us” page to send the link for consideration.

  • Talking about Inclusive Hate Crimes. Although this was published prior to the enactment of the the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (that gave the federal Department of Justice the ability to investigate and prosecute hate crimes against LGBT people), this guide offers advice in how to share stories of hate crimes and violence directed towards those who are LGBT. Available online from the Movement Advancement Project at: http://www.lgbtmap.org/talking-about-inclusive-hate-crimes-laws
  • LGBTQ Toolbox: Developed by the American Psychological Association, the LGBTQ Toolbox is a collection of resources and documents that supplement information provided in the school staff development workshop, “Preventing Health Risks and Promoting Healthy Outcomes among LGBTQ Youth.” Available online at: www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/programs/hlgbsp/toolbox.aspx
  • Stop Bullying Now: This website, developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration in the federal government, has tip sheets for various audiences (parents, students, school personnel, law enforcement, mental health advisors and student advisors). The tip sheets reference mental health research specifically for LGBTQ students. www.stopbullying.gov
  • SAFE SCHOOLS COALITION: This national organization has numerous resources available for school administrators, parents and young people. Go to the web page listed and click on the topic you are interested in for more information and .pdf downloads. www.safeschoolscoalition.org/blackboard-topic.html
  • 2011 Hate Crime Statistics.  This is the latest report data prepared by the FBI.  Although some care should be used in using this data, especially for comparing various communities, it is the most nationally comprehensive data available.  The charts are available online at FBI.gov.


  • Suicide risk and prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual AND transgender youth A 2008 report from The Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Written by Center staff and reviewed by experts in sexual and gender minority issues, suicide, and suicide prevention, and by youth, this publication addresses the special concerns related to suicide prevention among LGBT young people. This report is available online at: http://www.sprc.org/sites/sprc.org/files/library/SPRC_LGBT_Youth.pdf
  • Talking about Suicide and LGBT Populations.  The Movement Advancement Project prepared this brief guide following a number of suicides of young people who were LGBTQ –or perceived to be.  Among the concerns is “suicide contagion” as a result of expansive media coverage of several suicides in a short period of time. Todownload a copy of this guide (also available in Spanish), go to: http://www.lgbtmap.org/talking-about-suicide-and-lgbt-populations
  • The Trevor Project: The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay,bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Trevor Lifeline:  (866) 488-7386.  Additional information and resources are available online at: http://www.thetrevorproject.org

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