Updated: Oct 26, 2022
With all the activism for LGBTQIA+ that is prevalent nowadays, people believe that this is causing a turn around for how people in this community are treated, but that is far from the truth. The harassment of the community, especially youth, is still frequent and is not slowing down. Bringing these problems to light can help the community as a whole, and can help spread awareness about the issue so it can be stopped.
The bullying of LGBTQIA+ students is continuing just as it used to and even increasing with cyberbullying. Although there is advocacy for normalizing being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc in society, youth are still taking a toll with the harassment. “...more U.S. high school students who self-identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) report having been bullied on school property (32%) and cyberbullied (26.6%) in the past year than their straight peers (17.1% and 14.1%, respectively),” (stopbullying.gov - StopBullying). Many studies show that the students in that community are much more likely to experience harassment and bullying than students who are not a part of the community. When discrimination happens like this to these young people, it causes increased risk for depression, anxiety, suicide, etc. Sage USA states that, “...68% of LGBTQ+ youths reported symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder in the past two weeks, including more than 3 in 4 transgender and nonbinary youths,”(Sage USA - sageusa.org).This study shows just how prevalent mental health issues are within the community due to fear of harassment or harm. “...1 in 3 LGBTQ+ youths reported that they had been physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime because of their LGBTQ+ identity,”(Sage USA - sageusa.org).
Although discriminaton is extremely prevalent within the student and youth community, it is very widespread among adults as well. “...a nationally representative sample of 489 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer adults, found that more than half of them experienced slurs (57 percent) or offensive comments (53 percent),” (Julie Moreau - NBC News). While this survey was done with a small group of people, it represents almost the entirety of the LGBTQIA+ population. “Approximately 8% of respondents self-selected lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender when asked about their identity,” (Joni Madison - Human Rights Campaign Foundation). 8% of the US population is about 27 million people that are a part of the LGBTQ+ population. When realizing that about 53% of 27 million people are told offensive comments, that comes down to about 14 million people that are experiencing this harassment.
The discrimination of people in the LGBTQIA+ community is not slowing down. Although there is a lot of talk about supporting people in this community, there is still harassment including mean comments, calling them slurs, and even harmful or physical actions. Bringing these issues to light will help for others to realize how their actions can affect the community and what we can do to stop this discrimination from continuing.
Mo is a Senior at Poudre High School and is in her first year working with the Poudre Press. She runs a blog called Watashiato Press, about the affect that people's words have on each other. Check it out here!
“We Are Here: At Least 20 Million LGBTQ+ Adults in U.S.” Human Rights Campaign, https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/we-are-here-lgbtq-adult-population-in-united-states-reaches-at-least-20-million-according-to-human-rights-campaign-foundation-report
“Most LGBTQ Americans Experience Harassment, Discrimination, Harvard Study Finds.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 26 Nov. 2017, https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/most-lgbtq-americans-experience-harassment-discrimination-harvard-study-finds-n823876
“Startling Mental Health Statistics among LGBTQ+ Are a Wake-up Call.” SAGE, SAGE, 11 Sept. 2020, https://www.sageusa.org/news-posts/startling-mental-health-statistics-among-lgbtq-are-a-wake-up-call/
Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA). “LGBTQI+ Youth.” StopBullying.gov, 10 Sept. 2021, https://www.stopbullying.gov/bullying/lgbtq