LGBTQ Youth

There is currently no universally accepted acronym for young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), and those who question (Q) their gender identity or attraction.  Most often people use the LGBTQ acronym but some may also include those with intersex (I) conditions and Native Americans who identify as two-spirit (2-S) for an acronym of LGBTQI2-S to be more inclusive.

Issues regarding sexual orientation or gender identity/gender expression are also more complex in that there are young people who may not have a same-sex orientation but who are perceived so by others or who may be gender non-conforming but not necessarily transgender.

There is a considerable amount of research and surveys of young people so that we better understand the many challenges they face from their families, communities, in school, and in their social environment.

As a society we have become more knowledgeable about the impact of bullying on these young people and the importance of a supportive family and school environment. Suicide attempts by LGBTQ young people are also an issue that is acutely related to the impact of stigma and discrimination on their mental health. Therefore, we have included this information on both of these topics on this page as well.

MPIPP FACT SHEETS

MPIPP has developed these fact sheets on the mental health impact of bullying on young people as well as what parents can do if their child is being bullied.  MPIPP fact sheets generally contain key points of representative research that is cited on the second page.

RESEARCH & REPORTS/SURVEYS

Shown here are examples of research and reports or surveys that address the psychological impact of stigma and discrimination against LGBTQI2-S young 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.

  • GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network).  GLSEN has surveyed LGBTQ students across the US every two years for the last 15 years.  The 2011 Report is available at: http://www.glsen.org/nscs

A snapshot of student data, by state, is available at: http://www.glsen.org/learn/research/local/state-snapshots

  • Selected Healthy LGBT Resources (compiled by the American Psychological Association).  This comprehensive list of research and resources will assist anyone seeking to learn more about issues faced by LGBT people.  Available online at: http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/programs/hlgbsp/sites.aspx
  • 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

 HELPFUL RESOURCES & ORGANIZATIONS

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.

  • 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
  • Tribal Equality Toolkit: Tribal Resolutions and Codes to Support Two-Spirit and LGBT Justice in Indian Country.  This booklet offers a description of the historical honoring of Native American two-spirit people, provides information on the impact of discrimination, provides a background for policy decisions and offers language for tribal resolutions on equality.  Available for download at: https://graduate.lclark.edu/live/files/12737-tribal-equity-toolkit

BULLYING

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. Significant research shows that some of those who experience bullying behavior by others have long-term effects, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 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
  • 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

SUICIDE RISK AND PREVENTION FOR LGBTQ YOUTH

  • 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 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. The paper, coauthored by Effie Malley, Marc Posner and Lloyd Potter, includes a resource appendix and an extensive bibliography.  Available online at: http://www.sprc.org/sites/sprc.org/files/library/SPRC_LGBT_Youth.pdf
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health.  This webpage from the federal Centers for Disease Control discusses the experiences of LGBT young people with violence and suicide, the effects on education and health, and what parents and schools can do.  Available online at: http://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/youth.htm

RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS AND SCHOOL PERSONNEL

Having a welcoming and accepting school environment is one of the most critical factors for all young people to learn.  These resources are prepared by several organizations specifically to help educators understand LGBTQ students better and to meet their educational needs in ways that are not harmful to their development.  Please go to the FOR EDUCATORS page of this website for additional information.