Growing Up LGBT in America Report

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Growing Up LGBT in America Report

Growing Up LGBT in America Report

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  • 1. “I live in such a narrow-minded community—it’s really hard on me.I deal with so muchignorance on a dailybasis.”INTHEAT“It’s nice that myschool is very open,I have a lot of friendswho are okay and arehelpful with my beingbisexual.”Growing upLGBT in AmericaHRC Youth Survey ReportKey FindingsAT
  • 2. AT
  • 3. More than half (56%) of LGBT youthsay they are out to their immediatefamily; a quarter (25%) are out to theirextended family.Out to extended familyOut to immediate family
  • 4. AT“It’s nice that myschool is very open,I have a lot of friendswho are okay and arehelpful with my beingbisexual.”
  • 5. LGBT youth are more than two timesas likely as non-LGBT youth to say theyhave been verbally harassed and callednames at school. Among LGBT youth,half (51%) have been verbally harassedat school, compared to 25% amongnon-LGBT students.
  • 6. “I live in such a narrow-minded community—it’s really hard on me.I deal with so muchignorance on a dailybasis.”INTHE
  • 7. HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS 1The deck is stacked against youngpeople growing up lesbian,gay,bisexual,or transgender in America.Officialgovernment discrimination or indiffer-ence along with social ostracism leavesmany teens disaffected and discon-nected in their own homes and neigh-borhoods.With an increase in publicawareness about anti-LGBT bullyingand harassment and the strikingly highnumber of LGBT youth who are home-less,in foster care,or living in high-risksituations,it is critical that we get abetter understanding of the experiences,needs,and concerns of LGBT youth.This groundbreaking research amongmore than 10,000 LGBT-identified youthages 13-17 provides a stark picture ofthe difficulties they face.The impact ontheir well-being is profound, howeverthese youth are quite resilient.Theyfind safe havens among their peers,online and in their schools.They remainoptimistic and believe things will getbetter. Nevertheless, the findings ofGrowing Up LGBT in America are a callto action for all adults who want toensure that young people can thrive.The survey measured key factors thatimpact the daily lives of LGBT youth,including:peers,andthe larger community –insportsleagues,clubs,places ofworship,school,work,online,and moreand servicesharassment, cyber-bullying, exclu-sion from activitiesor spiritual communityand the ability to live a happy life asan “out” LGBT personWith more than 10,000 survey respon-dents,this is the largest known sampleof LGBT youth from every region of thecountry,from urban,suburban and ruralcommunities,and from a wide varietyof social,cultural,ethnic,and racialbackgrounds.As the first in a series of reportsanalyzing the landscape for LGBT youth,the goal of this document is to summa-rize the major findings from a generalanalysis of all survey responses.Overthe next several months,the Humanadditional analysis that will providea better understanding of the uniqueexperiences of specific groups of youth,for example those living in conserva-tive states,transgender youth,those ofdifferent races,religious traditions,and so on.its partnership in promoting the survey,along with dozens of local and stateLGBT youth-serving organizations.THE DECKIS STACKEDINTRODUCTION
  • 8. HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS 2SUMMARYThe responses to this survey reveal that many LGBT youth are profoundly discon-nected from their communities, in sometimes stark ways. At the same time, LGBTyouth often report resilience in facing today’s challenges and a sense of optimismabout tomorrow’s possibilities.Importantly, LGBT youth believe to a greater extent than their peers that they mustleave their communities to make their hopes and dreams for the future come true.When given an opportunity to describe their most important problem or the onething in their lives they would like to change, LGBT youth and their peers have dif-ferent experiences and priorities. LGBT youth describe the challenges they face asbeing directly related to their identity as LGBT.Among those asked to describe themost important problem facing theirlives right now:123123LGBT youth identified Non-LGBT youth identified123For those asked to describe one thingin their lives they would like to changeright now:123LGBT youth identified Non-LGBT youth identifiedSURVEY DEMOGRAPHICSAmericanIndian/NativeAmericanWhite Black/AfricanAmericanHispanic/Latino/SpanishAmerican/ChicanoAsian/PacificIslanderOther Decline toAnswer65%58%6%12%20%18%3%8%1% N/A4%2% 1% 2%LGBT NONNon-acceptingfamilies (26%)School/bullyingproblems (21%)Fear of being outor open (18%)Classes/exams/grades (25%)College/career(14%)Financial pressuresrelated to college orjob (11%)Understanding/tolerance/hate (18%)My parent/familysituation (15%)Where I live/who I live with (9%)Money/debt/finances(20%)Appearance/weight(9%)Improving mentalhealth (7%)
  • 9. HRC believes LGBT youth will leadlives that are more safe, healthy,and fulfilling when institutionaldiscrimination ends and the countryfully embraces young peopleregardless of their sexualorientation or gender identity.HRC is dedicated to making their livesbetter, through federal and state-levelpolicy work and institutional changein the workplace, healthcare settings,schools, and beyond. HRC also worksto open hearts and minds to greateracceptance and appreciation of theLGBT community, and to infuse thebroader culture with a sense of LGBTpride and dignity that can reach eventhe most isolated young people.3HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS
  • 10. WHAT’SNEXT?expansive set of data and release future in-depthamong others.These key findings can help all youth-serving orga-nizations better understand the concerns,fears,andbarriers facing LGBT youth and help them establishinclusive policies and practices.These data can inform the programmatic work of LGBTadvocacy and direct service organizations,along withfunders and supporters,enhancing our movement’swork on legislation and policy,administrative and reg-ulatory changes at the local,state,and federal level.41 2 3HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS
  • 11. The experiences and hopes reported by LGBT youth inthe lives of LGBT youth immediately and in the future.organizations to raise the awareness of the concernsand problems identified here and to find solutions.increase their own level of support and affirmationof the young LGBT people in their lives.54 5HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS
  • 12. levels of happiness, a higher incidence of alcohol and drug use, and less connec-tion to adult support during personal problems.They also are much more likelythan their non-LGBT peers to say they can be more honest about themselves onlinethan in real life. When asked to describe their most important problem or one thingthey would like to change, LGBT youth describe the challenges they face as beingdirectly related to their identity as LGBT.FINDINGSPERSONALWELL-BEINGNon-LGBT youth are nearly twiceas likely as LGBT youth to saythey are happy.Among non-LGBT youth, 67% reportbeing happy while only 37% of LGBTyouth say they are happy.LGBT youth are more likely thannon-LGBT youth to report thatthey do not have an adult theycan talk to about personal prob-lems.Among LGBT youth, about a third(29%) disagreed with the statement“There is at least one adult I can talkto about my personal problems”while only 17% of the non-LGBT youthdisagreed with it.LGBT youth are more thantwice as likely as non-LGBTyouth to experiment with alco-hol and drugs.Over half (52%) of LGBT youth saythey have used alcohol and drugswhile only 22% of non-LGBT youthsay they have.Roughly three-quarters (73%) of LGBTyouth say they are more honest aboutthemselves online than in the realworld, compared to 43% among non-LGBT youth.LGBT NON1/3NEED AN ADULTTO TALKTONONLGBT6HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS
  • 13. Among those asked to describe themost important problem facing theirlives right now:123123Non-acceptingfamilies (26%)School/bullyingproblems (21%)Fear of being outor open (18%)Classes/exams/grades (25%)College/career(14%)Financial pressuresrelated to college orjob (11%)LGBT youth identified Non-LGBT youth identifiedFor those asked to describe onething in their lives they would liketo change right now:123123Understanding/tolerance/hate (18%)My parent/familysituation (15%)Where I live/who I live with (9%)Money/debt/finances(20%)Appearance/weight(9%)Improving mentalhealth (7%)LGBT youth identified Non-LGBT youth identifiedBIGGEST PROBLEMSWhat is the most difficult problem facing you in your life these days?7Over one-half of LGBT youth (54%) saythey have been verbally harassed andcalled names involving anti-gay slurssuch as “gay” and “fag.”!!!!!Non-LGBT YouthTrouble with classes/Exams/Grades 22%College and career decisions 17%Financial problems/Paying for college/Getting a job 14%Family stress/Pressure 10%Life balance 8%General stress 5%Want a boyfriend/Girlfriend/Boy/Girl problems 5%Family illness/death 3%Problems with lack of friends/Social life 3%Bipolar/Depression/Eating disorders/Anxiety 3%Injuries 2%I don’t have any difficult problems 2%Problems in romantic relationships 1%Drugs/Drinking 1%Other 15%Don’t know/ Refused 1%LGBT YouthMy parents/family not accepting 26%Trouble at school/Bullying 21%Afraid to be out/open18%Eating disorders/Self-harm/Depression/Suicide 14%General being LGBT 12%Trouble with classes 9%Lonely 7%Religion leading to lack of acceptance 6%Problems in romantic relationship 6%Concerns about college/money for college 6%Confused about sexuality 5%Finding a partner/Accepting partner 5%Drama 3%Nobody to date 2%Other 4%Don’t know/Refused 1%Three-quarters (77%) of LGBT youthsay they know things will get better.Nearly a quarter (23%) of LGBT youthdisagree with that statement comparedwith only 8% of their peers.“This is me, thisis how I was bornand I’m happywith it.”HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS
  • 14. HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS 8PARE8“I HAVE BEEN GRACIOUSLYRECEIVED BY MY PEERS,BUT THE BIGGEST ISSUEI FACE IS MYAFRAID TOWALK AROUND“IT’S VERY EASY TO LOOK ATME AND TELL I’M GAY AND ITMAKES ME FEELKNOWING THERE ARE PEOPLEHERE IN MY HOMETOWN THATHATE ME, AND PEOPLE LIKE MEENOUGH TO ATTACK ME.”“I CAN’T COME OUTTO ANYONE I KNOWAT CHURCHBECAUSE THEYWILL IMMEDIATELYSEE ME AS A BADPERSON.”HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS
  • 15. HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS 9“I WISH I COULD MEETMORE GAY PEOPLE TOTALK TO AND GET TOKNOW.”9“I LIVE IN SUCH ANARROW-MINDEDCOMMUNITYIT’S REALLY HARD ON ME. I DEAL WITHSO MUCH IGNORANCE ON A DAILY BASIS.”I HAVE BEEN CALLED SICKAND PERVERTED BY THEM.”ENTS,HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS
  • 16. HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS 10COMMUNITYisolation or separation from their community in general, and among specific com-munity activities. Fewer LGBT youth have an adult in their community to talk with ifthey feel worried or sad, compared with their peers. When thinking of their future,LGBT youth believe to a greater extent than their peers that they mustleave their community to make their hopes and dreams come true.COMPAREDWITH THEIRPEERS4 in 10 LGBTyouth (42%) saythe community inwhich they live isnot accepting ofLGBT people.Nearly half of LGBT youth (47%) say they do not “fit in” in their communitywhile only 16% of non-LGBT youth feel that way.42%
  • 17. LGBT youth are twice as likely as theirpeers to say they will need to move toanother town or part of the country tofeel accepted. Among LGBT youth, 63%say they will need to move, while 31%of their peers report the same.LGBT youth are about twice aslikely as their peers to have beenverbally harassed and callednames outside of school (in theneighborhood or mall, etc.) aswell as to have been physicallyassaulted outside of school.Among LGBT youth, 18% report verbalharassment while 10% of non-LGBTyouth report the same;5% of LGBTyouth report physical assault com-pared with 3% of their peers.LGBT NONIn a series of questions ofwhether their future wouldlikely include happiness,agood job,a long-term partner-ship or marriage,children,andan active role in their commu-nities, LGBT youth oftendescribed a high degreeof optimism, frequentlyat similar levels as theirpeers. However,this op-timism declined markedlycompared to their peers whenasked if they could achievethose dreams in the commu-nities where they currentlylive.The most vivid exampleis that 83% of LGBT youthbelieve they will be happyeventually,but only 49% be-lieve they can be happy if theystay in the same city or town.There is a drop among non-LGBT youth as well,but notnearly to the same scale.Verbal HarassmentPhysical AssaultLGBTLGBTNONNON11DECLINE IN OPTIMISMHave agood jobGo tocollegeEstablish a life-long partnershipwith someoneyou loveBehappyGet marriedto someoneyou loveBe anactive partof yourcommunityRaisechildren32%23%17%11%29%15%34%18%14%8%32%25%19%6%LGBT NONHRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGSImmediatefamilyExtendedfamilyClosefriendsClassmatesYourteachersYour clergyAt workYourcoachesAt churchYour doctorAt school56%91%38%8%61%11%64%25%5%11%16%Likelihood of Life AchievementsOverall If Stay in SameCity or TownTotal likely Non-LGBT LGBT Non-LGBT LGBTHave a good job 95 92 72 60Go to college 93 91 82 74Establish a life-long partnershipwith someone you love86 84 71 55Be happy 93 83 75 49Get married to someone you love 89 77 75 45Be an active part of your community 79 70 71 45Raise children 84 68 78 49OUT
  • 18. HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS 12Less than a third (30%) of LGBT youth say theyplay sports very often or sometimes for theirhalf (49%) of non-LGBT youth say they do.LGBT youth are far less likely than non-LGBTyouth to attend religious services in a house ofworship.Among LGBT youth, 28% report attendingchurch or religious services very often or some-times while 58% of non-LGBT youth say thesame. LGBT youth are less than half as likely asyouth group, with 22% of LGBT youth sayingthey participate very often or sometimes while47% of their peers say the same.Attend religious servicesParticipate in a religious youth groupLGBTLGBTNONNONOnly 18% of LGBT youth say they participatevery often or sometimes in an LGBT groupoutside of school. However, 52% of LGBT youthsay they participate very often or sometimesin an online community that addresses issuesfacing LGBT youth.Nearly six in ten LGBT youth (57%) say thatchurches or places of worship in their com-munity are not accepting of LGBT people;athird (35%) say their own church or place ofworship is not accepting.More than 4 in 10 LGBTyouth (45%) reportthat their state government is not acceptingof LGBTpeople;about a third (34%) say theirlocal government is not accepting.Not surpris-ingly,many youth say they are not sure.Only 21% of LGBT youth say there is a placein their community that helps LGBT people;the same (21%) say there is a non-officialplace in their community where LGBT youthcan go and be accepted.LGBTNONGROUP ACTIVITYONLINE GROUP ACTIVITY“In school the peopleI am friends with arecompletely OK with mysexuality, at church Ihaven’t brought it up.”
  • 19. HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS 13When asked in an open-ended question what it is like to be LGBT in their com-munities, 60% of the LGBT youth described negative experiences and 42%described positive aspects.123412Intolerance in thecommunity27%Hard not to becloseted20%Feeling out ofplace or lonely18%Verbally harassedor abused15%Others are veryaccepting20%It is good to beopen / myself13%Top-four negative experiences Most frequently cited positive aspects“I can’t comeout to anyone Iknow at churchbecause theywill immediatelysee me as a badperson.”“The people inmy community andmy family aren’treally acceptingof the LGBTcommunity and it’shard for me to lieabout who I am.”At the same time, nearly half (49%) ofLGBT youth believe things are gettingmuch better or somewhat better intheir communities. Another 41% saythings are about the same, while 9%of LGBT youth report that things aregetting much or somewhat worse intheir communities.WORSESAMEBETTER
  • 20. 14HOME &FAMILYMore than half (56%) of LGBT youthsay they are out to their immediatefamily;a quarter (25%) are out totheir extended family.About half (49%) of LGBT youth say theyhave an adult in their family they couldturn to for help if they felt worried orsad.Fully 79% of non-LGBT youth havean adult in their family they could turnto for help.6 in 10 LGBT youth say their family isaccepting of LGBT people, while a third(33%) say their family is not.Less than a third of LGBT youth (32%)chose their family among a list ofplaces where they most often hearpositive messages about being LGBT;nearly half (46%) chose their familyamong a list of places where they mostoften hear negative messages aboutbeing LGBT.A STRONG BASE OFSUPPORT AT HOME ISCRITICALLY IMPORTANTWhile a slight majority of survey respondents feel accepted by their family, fartoo many young people lack this critical support. We know that a strong base ofsupport at home is essential for the long term positive outcomes for LGBT youth.Out to extended familyOut to immediate familyNONLGBTPositiveMessagesNegativeMessagesFamiliesAcceptingFamiliesNot AcceptingHRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS
  • 21. “My relationshipwith my parents hasbecome much moretense ever since Icame out.”15HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS
  • 22. HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS 16SCHOOL& PEERSLGBT youth are more than two timesas likely as non-LGBT youth to say theyhave been verbally harassed and callednames at school. Among LGBT youth,half (51%) have been verbally harassedat school, compared to 25% amongnon-LGBT students.LGBT youth are about twice as likely asnon-LGBT youth to say they have beenexcluded by their peers because theyare different. Among LGBT youth, 48%say they have been excluded oftenwhile 26% of their peers say the same.Three-quarters of LGBT youth (75%)say that most of their peers do not havea problem with their identity as LGBT.LGBT youth are twice as likely as theirpeers to say they have been physicallyassaulted,kicked or shoved at school.Among LGBT youth,17% report theyhave been physically attacked oftenwhile 10% of their peers say the same.LGBT YOUTH ARE MUCHMORE LIKELY THAN THEIRPEERS TO EXPERIENCEVERBAL HARASSMENT,EXCLUSION,ANDPHYSICALATTACK AT SCHOOL.At the same time, most say most of their peers do not have a problem with theirLGBT identity, nearly all are out to their close friends, and most are out to theirclassmates. LGBT youth rate schools as one of the most accepting parts of theircommunity outside of peers and 47%(54% among LGBT high school students). They are as likely as their peers toparticipate in afterschool activities.
  • 23. HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS 17About a third (36%) of LGBT youth par-ticipate often in an LGBT club in school,most (64%) do not.You have been verballyharassed and called namesinvolving anti-gay slurssuch as “gay” or “fag”.You have been verballyharassed and callednames at schoolYou have been excludedby your peers becauseyou are differentYou have been harassedonline, sometimes calledcyber-bullyingYou have been physicallyassaulted, punched,kicked or shoved atschoolLGBT %23141723815 12 95 5 2 233 341048 6 51713141310232319NON %ParticipateDo NotParticipate9 in 10 LGBT youth (91%) say theyare out to their close friends and two-thirds (64%) are out to their class-mates. About a third (38%) are outto their teachers. In general, nearlytwo-thirds (61%) say they are out atschool.LGBT youth are as likely as their peersto participate in afterschool activities,such as drama, debate, band or aca-demic clubs. Among LGBT youth, 63%say they participate often while 63% oftheir peers say the same.Two-thirds out at school“A lot of kids at my schoolthink it’s sick and nasty andwill give me looks when Ihold hands with my friend,and call us fags and lesbos.I am proud of who I am andI don’t intend on changing,I just wish I wasn’t vieweddifferently.”sometimessometimesoftenoftenfrequentlyfrequently“I want to be able to go toschool without being called afaggot or a dyke bitch. I don’twant to hide in the shadowsabout my sexuality becausemy safety is on the line.”
  • 24. 18CULTURE9 in 10 LGBT youth (92%) say they hearnegative messages about being LGBT.Three-quarters (78%) of LGBT youthsay they hear positive messages.most often hear negative messages about being LGBT:74% chose school, 69%chose their peers, and 70% chose the Internet. Religious leaders (68%), electedleaders (60%), family (46% 42%) and community leaders(20%) followed as places where LGBT youth often hear negative messages.youth say they most often hear positive messages about being LGBT:88% chosethe Internet, 69% chose their peers, and 59%(41%) and family (32%) followed with positive messages, and elected leaders(16%), community leaders (8%), and religious leaders (4%) trailed far behind.92% 78%School PeersInternet ReligiousLeadersElectedLeadersFamily Movies/TV/RadioCommunityLeadersSchoolPeersInternet ReligiousLeadersElectedLeadersFamilyMovies/TV/RadioCommunityLeadersHRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS
  • 25. MOST AREALSO LIKELY TOHEAR POSITIVEMESSAGES.LGBTYOUTHARE BOMBARDEDWITH NEGATIVEMESSAGESABOUT BEINGLGBT.THE INTERNET ANDTHEIR PEERS AREMAJOR SOURCESOF BOTHGOODAND BADMESSAGESFOR LGBTYOUTH.AT THESAMETIME,19HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS
  • 26. 20HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGSThe Human Rights Campaign isAmerica’s largest civil rights organizationworking to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexualand transgender equality. By inspiringand engaging all Americans, HRCstrives to end discrimination againstLGBT citizens and realize a nation thatachieves fundamental fairness andequality for all. Its work has particularresonance for young people who continueto live in a world where societal prejudicecontinues to weigh on them and “that’sso gay” is a common schoolyard epithet.
  • 27. 21HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGSThrough HRC’s visibility andoutreach, HRC is often a first point-of-contact for many youth. HRC’swebsite offers blogs, videos, andother resources on federal & stateadvocacy, hate crimes, health,marriage, parenting, religion & faith,straight supporters, transgender issues,workplace, youth & campus. Onlineand by phone, HRC often refers youngpeople to national, regional, and localresources that meet their individualneeds. www.hrc.org
  • 28. HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS 22COMMUNITYthe LGBT cultural competence of com-munity institutions,including youth-serving organizations and healthcareproviders,and to engage all faith tradi-tions in a dialogue on fairness.-tive is expanding its training curriculumin response to requests from youth-serving agencies that want to improvetheir competence in serving LGBT youth.This includes after-school programs,mental health agencies, and counselingcenters, as well as foster care agenciesthat manage group homes for youth.safe, supportive, and affirming agenciesfor LGBT youth in communities acrossthe country. It is working in collabora-tion with other organizations, includingcomplement the work they are doing.Whether through an emergency or aroutine check-up,hospitals and health-care providers serve all families andIndex (HEI) engages health providers toimplement non-discrimination policiesand commit to be inclusive and affirmingof LGBT patients of all ages.This is espe-cially important for young LGBT people,who may not be out to their families butneed to come out to their health provid-ers to get proper care.The HEI targetschildren’s hospitals to improve thelandscape for all youth-serving medicalculturally-competent care as a commonpractice in the field.To help combat LGBT youth home-new initiative to explore faith-focusedapproaches to family acceptance ofLGBT youth with faith institutions thatprimarily serve Latinos,African Ameri-cans,and white evangelicals.Usingfocus groups and engagement with reli-gious groups,along with groundbreakingresearch from the Family Acceptanceways faith institutions can support fami-lies to raise happy,healthy youth.-ity – a 12-week bus tour that visited18 cities in 13 states and Washington,message of LGBT dignity and equality tocommunities around the country, witha special emphasis on the Midwestprotections for LGBT people and livingopenly and honestly can be difficult.Exhibits featured information for LGBTpeople about families, health, civilrights, community, faith, and the work-educational seminars on religion andfaith, schools and bullying, workplaceand healthcare equality.-rate Equality Index has sought to trans-form the workplace for LGBT employeesby promoting policies of fairness andequality in the country’s leading corpo-rations.Identifying best practices forprotection,recruitment,and retention of-aged companies to improve and excel.how corporate America treats its LGBTemployees,including LGBT youth,influ-encing an improvement in workplaceclimate even beyond the hundreds ofThrough its efforts to improve statelegislation that would ban bullying anddiscrimination of LGBT youth in publicsettings outside of schools.This wouldinclude community agencies such asparks and recreation facilities and clubs,public libraries,foster care agencies,and any other youth-serving publicagency.There are currently few or nolegal protections for youth using thosecommunity resources.support 150+ of LGBT pride and youthpride events,which frequently reachLGBT youth.HOME & FAMILYTo address the disproportionate numberadvocates for federal action to preventhomelessness,improve funding forhomeless youth programs,and expandexisting programs to make them morelegislation,the Reconnecting Youth to-tion project to develop programs that arefocused on improving family relation-ships and reducing homelessness forLGBT youth.-cies,including the Department of Healthprograms that serve youth in foster care,including those aging out of the systemand becoming independent,to ensurethey are inclusive of LGBT youth and thatvulnerable LGBT youth do not get placedinto hostile foster homes.among federal legislators of the Everywould prohibit discrimination in feder-ally financed adoption and foster care,and would ensure that LGBT youth incare do not experience discrimination.Families initiative works with public andprivate adoption and foster care agen-cies to improve their practices regardingLGBT prospective parents.This wouldexpand the number of caring,qualifiedadults who are able to parent youth infoster care,including the disproportion-ate number of LGBT youth in care.-cases the work of leaders in the field offamily acceptance,including the Family-trum,identifying new ways to encouragefamilies to affirm and embrace LGBTyouth and prevent some of the chal-lenges identified here.SCHOOL & PEERSthat protects LGBT young people fromdiscrimination and bullying.Many stateshave already adopted inclusive legisla-tion,but there remains work to be doneto implement those laws through train-ing and increasing the cultural compe-tence of education personnel.better protections for LGBT students,with a current focus on non-discrimina--the way current laws are implementedfor LGBT youth.would prohibit schools from discriminat-ing against LGBT students and providestudents and parents federal protectionfrom harassment and discrimination.HRC’S CURRENTYOUTH-RELATED WORK
  • 29. HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS 23would promote school safety througha comprehensive focus on bullying orharassment with specific inclusion ofsexual orientation and gender identity.specific federal funds would be requiredto adopt codes of conduct specificallyprohibiting bullying and harassment,including on the basis of race,color,national origin,sex,disability,sexualorientation,gender identity and religion.including theJustice Department andthe Department of Education,to ensurethat—wherever possible given currentlaws – federal regulations regardingsafetyandnondiscriminationareappliedto protect vulnerable LGBTyouth.is advancing anti-bullying and non-dis-crimination legislation for K-12 schools.improved laws and more states areconsidering efforts to limit the threatof cyber bullying.Further,some statesthat have other positive LGBT-relatedlaws still do not address bullying anddiscrimination in the schools.approach to addressing family diversity,gender stereotyping,bullying and name-calling in K-5 schools.With a focus onfamily diversity,it actively values familiesheaded by LGBTparents.Its attention togender stereotyping and name-callingcan help create safer school cultures forall students and creates a more balancedand accurate understanding of LGBTpeople as students enter the challengingyears of middle school.While the programwas designed for K-5 elementary schools,some K-8 schools have used Welcomingfor older grades.CULTURELGBT issues and promote positivemessages and images for LGBT people,project brings attention to and combatshomophobia and transphobia whereverit occurs and promotes respect and civildiscourse.Whether it is from a localschool board member,a religious orga-nization,national‘advocacy groups’orelected officials,anti-gay vitriol createsa toxic environment that can make LGBTpeople – particularly youth – think theyare not worthy of the same legal rightsand love that all Americans deserve.There remain additional opportunities tobuild greater acceptance particularly in-Marriage equality can improve the livesof LGBT young people in two key ways.Italters their perceptions of what is pos-sible in the future,beyond current familylife and school,and for those youth whohave same-sex parents themselves,the ability for their family to receive fulllegal recognition can be an importantmilestone toward greater communityconnection.In addition to its extensivelegislative and field work on marriagelaunched the online media campaign“Americans for Marriage Equality.”Thisvideo campaign features prominentAmericans – including athletes,filmand music celebrities,political and civilrights leaders,and business lead-ers – many of whom are admired andrespected by youth.sponsored and promoted Nationalattention and public discussion on theout has a powerful impact beyond theindividual.As the number of Americanswho say they know someone who isLGBT has increased,so has public sup-port for fairness and equality.Throughstories with affirming messages thatare especially important for LGBT youthwho may otherwise be isolated in theircommunities.help individual LGBT people, including youth firstdownloaded and requested materials include:Resource Guide to Coming OutResource Guide to Coming Out for African AmericansTransgender Visibility:A Guide to Being You
  • 30. HRC YOUTH SURVEY KEY FINDINGS 24PUBLIC URL-Bureau, who hosted the Web survey,Greenberg Quinlan Rosner created alink that allowed participants to taketo the study through this source werescreened for (self-identified) LGBTQ(lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender orqueer) status.This method was usedto collect the overwhelming major-ity of LGBT interviews in this studyand ultimately produced a sample of10,030 participants ages 13-17 whoself-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual,in the survey were directed only to self-ascribed LGBT respondents.-tised this link through social media,as well as through direct communica-tion with LGBT youth centers acrossthe country.This method of collectinginterviews is common in exploring hardto reach populations, but it does notrepresent a truly random opt-in sample.Traditional measures of margin of errordo not apply and the results here maynot be representative of this populationas a whole.ONLINE PANELIn addition, this research includes510 interviews among respondentswere not screened for LGBT status andcomprise the “straight” population inthis study. Note however that five per-cent of these interviews self-identifiedas LGBT and were asked questionsdirected at this population.multimillion-member panel of coopera-100 different sources. Diverse methodsare leveraged to gain panelists includ-ing:co-registration offers on partners’websites, targeted emails sent byonline partners to their audiences,graphical and text banner placementon partners’ websites (including socialmedia, news, search, and communityportals), trade show presentations,advertisements,and telephone recruit-ment of targeted populations.When respondents are recruited intothis panel, it is made very clear to themthat they are joining a market researchpanel and that they will be askedperiodically to participate in onlineresearch.They are shown the terms andconditions of panel membership as wellagree to our Terms of Use which statethat panelists are limited to a singlemembership and can be removed if theyare found in violation of this rule.All panelists recruited have completedDOI) process.This process requiresthat each registrant confirm his or herdesire to join our panel by clicking ona link within an email that is sent tothe registrant’s email address uponregistering.The content of the emailspecifies that by clicking on the link theregistrant is expressly stating his or herdesire to take part in the panel. Oncethey consent to join the panel, mem-bers are invited to participate in varioussurveys through email invitations whichinclude a short description of theresearch and indicate the approximatesurvey length.research comply with the legal codes-guidelines, the minimum age to consentto participate in survey research in theA key issue in interviewing children bothresponsibly and legally is appropriateparental consent, which is requiredbefore conducting research with chil-dren under the age of 13. For 8-12 yearolds, Harris Interactive obtains consent-ists themselves, using well-definedidentified as age 18+ with an 8-12 yearold child living in the household aresent email invitations with a link to thechild survey. The invites specify thatthe survey is intended for their childand explain the content and approxi-mate length of the survey. If the parentagrees to allow their child to partici-pate in the survey, they are asked toprovide the link to their child. Thisprocess is also used to supplement the13-17 year old panel through targetedpanelists age 18+ with a 13-17 year oldin the household.Data collected for this survey werefor the data collected and Greenbergfor the survey design, data weighting,methods that apply.METHODOLOGYTwo methodologies were used to collect data for this sample.
  • 31. THE SURVEYQ.1 (SAMPLE 1) Some of thequestions we will be asking in thissurvey may seem quite personal.However, please be assured thatyour responses will remain strictlyconfidential.The responses from allparticipants will be combined andanalysis will be conducted only onthe information grouped together.If you have any questions aboutour confidentiality policies, pleasefeel free to contact our Survey HelpDesk.Your participation and input iscrucial to the success of this study.If you feel uncomfortable answeringa sensitive question, please select“Decline to answer” and then moveon to the next question.(SAMPLE 2) Some of the questionswe will be asking in this survey mayseem quite personal. However, pleasebe assured that your responses willremain strictly confidential.Thisresearch is sponsored by the HumanRights Campaign (HRC), the nation’sleading civil rights groups for lesbian,gay, bisexual and transgender peopleand is designed to allow HRC to bet-ter understand issues facing younglesbian, gay, bisexual or transgen-der people.The responses from allparticipants will be combined andanalysis will be conducted only onthe information grouped together.If you have any questions aboutour confidentiality policies, pleasefeel free to contact our Survey HelpDesk.Your participation and input iscrucial to the success of this study.If you feel uncomfortable answeringa sensitive question, please select“Decline to answer” and then moveon to the next question.SAMPLE 1 Ages 13-17, generatedfrom panelSAMPLE 2 Ages 13-17,LGBTQscreened,generated by link1) DIAL REGION 12) DIAL REGION 23) DIAL REGION 34 )DIAL REGION 45) DIAL REGION 56) LOGOFFQ.2 In what year were you born?Please enter as a four-digit number,e.g.,1963.(For sample 1 and sample2,accept only ages 13-17)2) ENTER NUMBERQ.3 In what state or territory do youcurrently reside?(DROP DOWN LIST OF STATES)1) ENTER RESPONSEQ.4 What is your zip code? Pleaseenter only the first five digits.4) ENTER ZIPQ.5 (If ages 13-17) Do you currentlyattend?2) MIDDLE SCHOOL OR JUNIORHIGH SCHOOL3) HIGH SCHOOL4) UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE OR COM-MUNITY COLLEGE5) NONE OF THE ABOVE, I AM OUTOF SCHOOL6) HOME SCHOOLED7) OTHER8) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.6 Because we want everyonerepresented in this survey,the nextfew questions are for statisticalpurposes only.Do you identify yoursexual orientation as:1) HETEROSEXUAL/STRAIGHT2) GAY3) LESBIAN4) BISEXUAL6) QUEER7) I PREFER TO IDENTIFY MYSELFAS:(SPECIFY)8) DECLINE TO ANSWERQ.7 Do you consider yourself male,female,transgender or other gender(e.g.genderqueer or androgynous)?(Punch 2-7 on LGBTQ OR punch 3-4on gender are coded as“LGBTQ”;therest are coded as non-LGBTQ) (TER-MINATE NON-LGBTQ IN SAMPLE 1)1) MALE2) FEMALE3) TRANSGENDER4) I PREFER TO IDENTIFY MY GEN-DER AS:(SPECIFY)5) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.8 Most people are born eithermale or female,but often feel orbehave in a way that is differentfrom what society believes is male orfemale behavior.On the scale below,please indicate either how male orfemale you feel.1) 0-10Q.9 (IFTRANSGENDER IN GENDER)Would you say that you transi-tioned...?1) FROM MALE TO FEMALE2) FROM FEMALE TO MALE3) NEITHER4) OTHER (SPECIFY)5) DECLINE TO ANSWERQ.10 Generally speaking,how wouldyou say things are these days in yourlife - would you say you are veryhappy,pretty happy,pretty unhappyor very unhappy?1) VERY HAPPY2) PRETTY HAPPY3) SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN4) PRETTY UNHAPPY5) VERY UNHAPPY6) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.11 (SPLIT A) What is the mostdifficult problem facing you in yourlife these days? Please be as specificas possible.1) ??Q.12 (SPLIT B) In your own words,if you could change one thing aboutyour life right now what would it be,and why? Please be as specific aspossible.1) ??Q.13 Thinking in terms of your com-munity,the place where you live,doyou feel that you?1) DEFINITELY FIT IN2) SOMEWHAT FIT IN3) SOMEWHAT DO NOT FIT IN4) DEFINITELY DO NOT FIT IN5) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.14 How often you participate inthe following activities?1=VERY OFTEN2=SOMETIMES3=NOT VERY OFTEN4=NEVER5= (DECLINE TO ANSWER)(RANDOMIZE)____ 14 Attend church or religiousservices in a house of worship.____ 15 Participate in a church orreligious youth group.____ 16 Play sports for your schoolor community league or club____ 17 Participate in afterschoolactivities,such as drama,debate,band or academic clubs____ 18 Participate in a service or-ganizations,such as the Boy Scouts,Girl Scouts,YMCA or Key Club____ 19 Participate in lesbian,gay,bisexual or transgender organiza-tions in your school,such as the GayStraight Alliance.____ 20 Work at a paying job____ 21 (LGBTQ) Participate inlesbian,gay,bisexual or transgenderorganizations outside of your school,such as a gay youth center.____ 22 (LGBTQ) Participate in anonline community that addresses theissues facing lesbian,gay,bisexualand transgender youthQ.23 Would you say your community,that is,the place where you live,isgenerally accepting or unacceptingof lesbian,gay,bisexual and trans-gender people?1) VERY ACCEPTING2) SOMEWHAT ACCEPTING3) SOMEWHAT UNACCEPTING4) VERY UNACCEPTING5) DON’T KNOW6) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.24 Do you believe things aregetting better or worse in yourcommunity in terms of acceptinglesbian,gay,bisexual and transgen-der people?1) GETTING MUCH BETTER2) GETTING SOMEWHAT BETTER3) ABOUT THE SAME4) GETTING SOMEWHAT WORSE5) GETTING MUCH WORSE6) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.25 When it comes to acceptinglesbian,gay,bisexual and transgen-der people,how would you rate thefollowing people or institutions inyour community?1=VERY ACCEPTING2=SOMEWHAT ACCEPTING3=NOT VERY ACCEPTING4=NOT AT ALL ACCEPTING5=DON’T KNOW/DOES NOT APPLY6= (DECLINE TO ANSWER)(RANDOMIZE)____ 25 Churches and places ofworship____ 26 Your own church or place ofworship____ 27 Your school____ 28 Your peers or people your age____ 29 Your family____ 30 Your local city/towngovernment____ 31 Your state government____ 32 Your doctor____ 33 Local businessesQ.34 (IF LGBTQ) In your own words,please describe what it is like for youto be lesbian,gay,bisexual or trans-gender in your community.Please beas specific as possible.1) ??Q.35 In the last year,how often doesthe following happen to you?1=FREQUENTLY2=OFTEN3=SOMETIMES4=RARELY5=NEVER6= (DECLINE TO ANSWER)(RANDOMIZE)____ 35 You are have been excludedby your peers because you are dif-ferent.____ 36 You have been verbally ha-rassed and called names at school.____ 37 You have been verballyharassed and called names outsideof school,for example in your neigh-borhood,or at the mall.____ 38 You have been physically as-saulted,punched,kicked or shovedat school.____ 39 You have been physically as-saulted,punched,kicked or shovedoutside of school,for example in yourneighborhood,or at the mall.____ 40 You have been harassed on-line,sometimes called cyber-bullying____ 41 You have been verballyharassed and called names involvinganti-gay slurs such as“gay”or“fag”Q.42 (LGBTQ SAMPLE) (IF FRE-QUENTLY OR OFTEN FOR ANY ITEMSIN FREQ1) Do you believe thesethings happen to you because ofyour sexual orientation or genderidentity?1) YES2) NO4) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.43 If you felt worried or sad,isthere an adult in your family youcould turn to for help?1) YES2) NO3) DON’T KNOW4) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.44 If you felt worried or sad,isthere an adult in your community orschool,but outside of your family,you could turn to for help?1) YES2) NO3) DON’T KNOW4) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)
  • 32. Q.45 Please answer the followingquestions to the best of your ability.1=YES2=NO3=DON’T KNOW4= (DECLINE TO ANSWER)(RANDOMIZE)____ 45 Is there a club at your schoolthat supports lesbian,gay,bisexualor transgender students,such as theGay Straight Alliance?____ 46 (LGBTQ) Is there a placein your community,such as a com-munity center,that helps lesbian,gay,bisexual or transgender youngpeople?____ 47 (LGBTQ) Is there a non-official place or hang-out in yourcommunity where young lesbian,gay,bisexual or transgender students cango and be accepted?____ 48 (SPLIT A) Are there laws inyour state that protect lesbian,gay,bisexual or transgender from dis-crimination in the work place?____ 49 (SPLIT B) Are there laws inyour city or town that protect lesbian,gay,bisexual or transgender fromdiscrimination in the work place?____ 50 Is there a specific church orsynagogue in your community thatprovides welcome environment forlesbian,gay,bisexual or transgenderpeople?Q.51 If any of the items listed beloware on your list of hopes and dreamsfor the future,how likely do you thinkit is that these will happen?1=VERY LIKELY2=SOMEWHAT LIKELY3=SOMEWHAT UNLIKELY4=VERY UNLIKELY5=ALREADY HAPPENED6=NOT ON MY LIST7=(DECLINE TO ANSWER)(RANDOMIZE)____ 51 Get married to someoneyou love____ 52 Establish a life-long part-nership with someone you love____ 53 Raise children____ 54 Have a good job____ 55 Be happy____ 56 Go to college____ 57 Be an active part of yourcommunityQ.58 Thinking about these issuesagain,if you live in the same city ortown where you live now for the restof your life,how likely do you think itis that these will happen?1=VERY LIKELY2=SOMEWHAT LIKELY3=SOMEWHAT UNLIKELY4=VERY UNLIKELY5=ALREADY HAPPENED6=NOT ON MY LIST7= (DECLINE TO ANSWER)(RANDOMIZE)____ 58Getmarriedtosomeoneyoulove____59 Establish a life-long partner-ship with someone you love____ 60 Raise children____ 61 Have a good job____ 62 Be happy____ 63 Go to college____ 64 Be an active part of yourcommunityQ.65 Please indicate whether youagree or disagree with the followingstatements.Remember,everythingin this survey is kept completelyconfidential.1=STRONGLY AGREE2=SOMEWHAT AGREE3=SOMEWHAT DISAGREE4=STRONGLY DISAGREE5=(DECLINE TO ANSWER)____ 65 I know things will get better.____ 66 I will need to move toanother city/ town or another part ofthe country to really feel accepted____ 67 I have experimented withalcohol and drugs.____ 68 (LGBTQ) Most of my peers donot have a problem with my identityas a lesbian,gay,bisexual or trans-gender person.____ 69 I am more honest about whoI am on-line than in the real world.____ 70 There is at least one adultI can talk to about your personalproblems.Q.71 (SPLIT C) Do you ever hear anypositive messages about being gay,lesbian,bisexual or transgender?1) YES2) NO3) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.72 (SPLITC) (IFYES ON POSMSG).Where do you most often hearpositive messages about being gay,lesbian,bisexual or transgender?Please check all that apply? (ACCEPTUPTO SEVEN RESPONSES)1) AT SCHOOL2) IN MOVIES,TELEVISION SHOWSOR ON THE RADIO3) ON THE INTERNET4) FROM ELECTED LEADERS ORPOLITICIANS5) FROM YOUR FAMILY6) FROM LEADERS IN YOURCOMMUNITY7) FROM YOUR PEERS OR PEOPLEYOUR OWN AGE8) FROM RELIGIOUS LEADERS9) OTHER (SPECIFY)10) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.73 (SPLIT D) Do you ever hear anynegative messages about being gay,lesbian,bisexual or transgender?1) YES2) NO3) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.74 (SPLIT D) (IFYES ON NEGMSG).Where do you most often hearnegative messages about being gay,lesbian,bisexual or transgender?Please check all that apply? (ACCEPTUPTO SEVEN RESPONSES)1) AT SCHOOL2) IN MOVIES,TELEVISION SHOWSOR ON THE RADIO3) ON THE INTERNET4) FROM ELECTED LEADERS ORPOLITICIANS5) FROM YOUR FAMILY6) FROM LEADERS IN YOUR COM-MUNITY7) FROM YOUR PEERS OR PEOPLEYOUR OWN AGE8) FROM RELIGIOUS LEADERS9) OTHER (SPECIFY)10) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.75 (IF HOMESCHOOLED INSCHOOL) Do you attend school athome because of your identity as alesbian,gay,bisexual or trandgenderperson?1) YES2) NO3) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.76 (IF LGBTQ) Have you come outto the following people or institu-tions?1=YES2=NO3=(DOES NOT APPLY)____ 76 Immediate family____ 77 Extended family____ 78 Close friends____ 79 Classmates____ 80 Your teachers____ 81 To your clergy____ 82 At work____ 83 At school____ 84 At church____ 85 Your coaches____ 86 Your doctorQ.87 (SPLIT A) (IF NO ON FAMILY OREXTENDED FAMILY IN OUT3) Pleasedescribe in your own words whyare you are not out to your family orextended family:1) ENTER RESPONSEQ.88 (SPLIT B) (IF NO ON CLASS-MATES,TEACHERS OR AT SCHOOL INOUT3) Please describe in your ownwords why are you are not out toclassmates,teachers or at school? :1) ENTER RESPONSEQ.89 (IF LGBTQ) Would you feel saferevealing your identify as a lesbian,gay,bisexual or transgender personby wearing a t-shirt,button,or put-ting a rainbow sticker or equal signsticker on your locker or bike?1) YES2) NO3) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.90 To ensure that everyone isrepresented equally,what is yourrace/ethnicity?1) WHITE2) BLACK/AFRICAN AMERICAN3) HISPANIC/LATINO/SPANISHAMERIAN/CHICANO4) ASIAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER5) AMERICAN INDIAN/NATIVEAMERICAN6) OTHER7) DECLINE TO ANSWERQ.91 [SKIP IF HISPANIC IN RACE] Doyou consider yourself an Hispanic,La-tino or a Spanish-speaking American?1) YES2) NO3) PREFER NOT TO SAYQ.92 What is your religion?1) PROTESTANT (SUCH AS BAPTIST,METHODIST, PRESBYTERIAN,LUTHERAN, EPISCOPAL)2) ROMAN CATHOLIC3) JEWISH4) MUSLIM/ISLAM5) MORMON6) ORTHODOX CHURCH (GREEK,RUSSIAN, ETC.)7) OTHER CHRISTIAN RELIGION8) OTHER RELIGION(NOT CHRISTIAN)9) NO PREFERENCE10) ATHEIST/AGNOSTIC11) DECLINE TO ANSWERQ.93 (ASKED ONLY OFTHOSERESPONDENTS WHO HAVE APROTESTANT OR OTHER CHRISTIANRELIGIOUS PREFERENCE IN RELIG).When it comes to your religiousidentity,would you say you are afundamentalist,evangelical,charis-matic,Pentecostal,mainline,liberalProtestant,or do none of these de-scribe you?1) FUNDAMENTALIST2) EVANGELICAL3) CHARISMATIC4) PENTECOSTAL5) MAINLINE6) LIBERAL7) NONE8) OTHER (SPECIFY)9) DON’T KNOW10) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.94 (IF RELIG=PROTESTANT/CATH-OLIC/MORMON/ORTHODOX/OTHERCHRISTIAN/OTHER/DK) Would youconsider yourself a born-againChristian?1) YES2) NO3) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.95 How often do you attend reli-gious services?1) EVERY WEEK2) ONCE OR TWICE A MONTH3) SEVERAL TIMES A YEAR4) HARDLY EVER5) NEVER6) PREFER NOT TO SAYQ.96 And you would you describe thearea in which you live?1) RURAL2) SUBURBAN3) URBAN OR CITY4) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)Q.97 Do you currently live with?1)PARENTORPARENTS(NOTFOSTER)2) EXTENDED FAMILY3) FOSTER PARENT/PARENTS4) NO FIXED ADDRESS5) OTHER (SPECIFY)6) (DECLINE TO ANSWER)