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In today's diverse and evolving world, understanding and addressing the needs of all students, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ), is essential. Despite strides toward equality and acceptance, many LGBTQ youth face unique challenges in school settings. These challenges can include stigmatization, peer rejection, and violence. The 2019 National School Climate Survey by GLSEN found that nearly 70% of LGBTQ students experienced verbal harassment at school because of their sexual orientation and over half because of their gender expression.


Educators, parents, and advocates have the opportunity to create a supportive, inclusive, and affirming environment for LGBTQ students to support their well-being, confidence, and academic success. Because of the many challenges faced by LGBTQ youth, many rely on their schools to be safe and affirming places. LGBTQ students who are supported at home or at school, and those whose gender identities are affirmed and respected, have significantly lower rates of mental health symptoms and suicide. Inclusive policies and practices designed to support our LGBTQ students enrich our school culture, and foster empathy, understanding, and respect among all our students.

 

This product is part of the Mental Health Matters Lead with Equity series. Check out other products in this series:

 

Equitable School Practices to Support Youth Mental Health

 

Supporting Diverse Educators