Tash Says: 'That's so Gay!' Queer Kids and Bullying
“That’s so gay!” – Queer kids and bullying by Tash.
Writer, comedienne, career lesbian and blogger. You can find most of Tash’s thoughts at www.Effort-Lez.com
GLSEN has been conducting school climate surveys for LGBTQ youth for the better part of 15 years. This week I looked through GLSEN’s (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) most recent National School Climate Survey and was a little floored I must admit. When I compared this survey against their first, I was saddened to see just how many LGBTQ youth still suffer from bullying and harassment at school.
Bullying is hot topic in schools. Schools and organizations have gone to great lengths to raise awareness and combat bullying however the numbers are still extremely concerning. 74.1% of LGBTQ students reported having been harassed because of their sexual orientation and 55.2% because of their gender expression. Let us compare this to the national bullying statistic for NON LGBTQ kids in the US being 1 in 4 (25%). LGBTQ youth are being victimized in schools at 2-3 times the national average. As a result of this more then half of LGBTQ kids report feeling unsafe at school.
Where once bullying only occurred during school hours youth today now have technology making bullying possible 24 hours a day. A whopping 42% of Queer kids report also having been cyberbullied.
We know bullying can cause self esteem issues, depression, anxiety, lead to missing school, poor grades, isolation and even suicide. It doesn’t have to be that way! There are many things everyone can do to help combat bullying and keep themselves and friends safe and happy. What can you do to help yourself and your friends? Check this list.
- Don’t Bully. Obvi.
- If you are being targeted by a cyberbully. it’s important not to respond. Keep a screen shot of messages and report them to a trusted adult. Mom, Dad, Teacher, counsellor.
- Block and delete persons harassing you online.
- Be a leader and promote LGBTQ positive messages online, at school and in conversation with friends. Be an ally and supporter.
- If you see something happening step in and defend a friend. You have no idea the impact one person standing up and speaking up.
- Always report threats of harm.
- When in doubt or struggling contact any of these numbers for support or advice anytime.
In the U.S.: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (488-7386)
In Canada: 1-877-OUT-IS-OK (688-1765)
In the UK: 0207 837 7324
In Australia: 1800 184 527
In New Zealand: (04) 473 7878
What are other ways you combat bullying at school? Tell us your tips and tricks in the comments below.
Photo compliments of Kelly Balch @kelly.balch #kellybalchphoto