According to the CDC, “Positive environments are important to help all youth thrive. However, the health needs of LGBT Youth can differ from their heterosexual peers.” Additionally, “Some LGBT youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience negative health and life outcomes. It is important that at-risk LGBT youth have access to resources and support to deal with the questions and challenges they may face as they mature.”
The CDC offers the resources listed below:
- Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens: Facts for Teens and Their Parents
If you’ve ever wondered if you’re gay, lesbian, or bisexual, you’re not alone. Many teens ask themselves this question. For parents and caregivers, finding out your son or daughter is gay, lesbian, or bisexual can be difficult. Learn more.
- Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN): Student Action
As a student, you have the power to make change in many ways in your school and community.
- Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network
A GSA club is a student-run club in a high school or middle school that brings together LGBTQI+ and straight students to support each other.
- It Gets Better Project
The It Gets Better Project reminds teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone and it will get better.
- Q Card Project
The Q Card is a simple and easy-to-use communication tool designed to empower LGBTQ youth to become actively engaged in their health, and to support the people who provide their care.
- StopBullying.gov: Information for LGBT Youth
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) youth and those perceived as LGBT are at an increased risk of being bullied. There are important and unique considerations for strategies to prevent and address bullying of LGBT youth.
- The Trevor Project: Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention
The Trevor Project is a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
Accredited Schools Online reports, “National School Climate Report states 86% of LGBTQ youth reported being harassed at school, compared to 27% of students overall. School years can be challenging for all students, yet those who identify as LGBTQ often face additional pressures or concerns.” Furthermore, “Incidents can take many forms, including physical harassment, emotional or mental abuse, stronger violence, or discrimination. As the Internet has grown to include the use of various social media platforms, cyber bullying has become an issue. Bullying Statistics found that 42% of LGBTQ youth have experienced cyber bullying, a rate three times higher than other students.” To make schools a safe place to learn, there are three suggestions offered below:
- Create a supportive community
- Creative a supportive school campus
- Build outside resources
Nationally recognized organizations and initiatives include the following:
- CenterLinkFounded with the mission to build sustainable LGBTQ community centers, this organization now has over 200 locations in 46 states and five countries. Aside from strengthening local LGBTQ communities, the organization also provides networking, technical assistance and training, and capacity building services.
- GLAADWith a national focus on leading conversations about equality for the LGBTQ community and informing the media narrative, this organization works with news and entertainment media of all formats and communications and digital strategy outlets to ensure the public is provided with powerful stories about the LGBTQ community that advocates for greater equality.
- Gay & Lesbian International Sport AssociationWith an international reach, GLISA brings together international sports federations, human rights organizations, associations representing sport teams, clubs from major regions, and other stakeholders to facilitate partnerships for building bridges between sports and the LGBTQ community.
- Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education NetworkGLSEN’s mission is simple: to ensure every member of school communities feel respected, regardless of their sexual orientation. This is accomplished through educating teachers, students and the public about the common pressures faced by LGBTQ students and working to remove barriers to success.
- Get EqualGE focuses on equipping the LGBTQ community and their allies to fight against inequalities and to push for progressive change. Whether organizing direct action efforts, hosting local community meetings, training members in tactics of direct action or providing professional consulting, the organization is committed to continuously fighting for equality.
- Human Rights CampaignHRC is the largest organization fighting for the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The organization currently has over 1.5 million members, all focused on making true equality for all possible. The organization has a number of research publications outlining equality indexes on areas such as healthcare, employers, states and corporations.
- Matthew Shepard FoundationBy erasing hate and building compassionate and accepting communities, the Matthew Shepard Foundation hopes to empower LGBTQ individuals to challenge and address discriminatory behavior in their schools, neighborhoods and homes.
- National Center for Transgender EqualityIdentifying as America’s premier social justice advocacy organization for transgender individuals, NCTE works at the federal, state and local levels to leverage political capital and change laws encouraging discriminatory behavior. The organization has a particularly helpful “Know Your Rights” section of their website with information on housing, healthcare, employment, and more.
- National Gay & Lesbian Task ForceSince 1973, NGLTF has focused on building the political capital of the LGBTQ community through activist training, advancing pro-LGBT legislation and raising the profile of LGBTQ interests and causes. The organization is also an excellent resource for learning about the beliefs and platforms of those running for public office in regards to LGBTQ interests.
- PFLAGThrough support, education and advocacy efforts, PFLAG seeks to unite the LGBTQ community with friends, families and allies. By doing so, the organization hopes to further equality efforts and lessen discriminatory practices. Currently, there are more than 350 chapters and over 200,000 members.
- TransYouth Family AlliesTYFA is focused on supporting children and families to create support systems offering encouragement and acceptance regardless of sexual orientation. Main areas of work include educating the public about discrimination, working to eliminate oppression and violence, and forming alliances to ensure support services are in place for LGBTQ individuals.
- The Attic Youth CenterThis Philadelphia-based organization is an excellent example of how LGBTQ youth centers can empower and inspire local teens that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning. Some of the services offered include life skills, mental health counseling, supportive programs, community engagement, and social activities. AYC also provides a number of resources at both the local and national level.
- Gay Straight Alliance NetworksGSAs are student run clubs operating in both high school and middle schools that provide support, socialization, and activism activities for LGBTQ youth. The overarching goal is to fight against homophobia and transphobia; providing leadership and activist training for group members and encouraging them to advocate for nondiscriminatory policies and greater equality accomplishes this.
- International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Youth and Student OrganizationIGLYO is an internationally focused advocacy and activism organization focused on representing the interests of LGBTQ youth. To accomplish this mission, the organization hosts conferences, provides educational materials, and offers the general public many opportunities to get involved.
- It Gets Better ProjectThe mission of the IGB Project is to give LGBT youth across the world hope that things do get better. In response to raised incidents of students committing suicide after being bullied in school, syndicated columnist Dan Savage created the organization to provide both inspiration and resources, including pledges and educational videos.
- The Trevor ProjectWith suicide rates noticeably higher among LGBTQ youth than their straight peers, the mission of The Trevor Project is incredibly important. By providing a 24/7-crisis intervention service, online community, and educational programs, the organization seeks to be both life saving and life-affirming.
- YouthPrideSince 2009, this organization has prevented 151 LGBTQ youth suicides through innovative programming and excellent resources. Whether offering daily after school activities or support and discussion groups, the Atlanta-based organization engages youth and empowers them to advocate for themselves. The organization also provides counseling and free HIV testing.
Trans Lifeline, newest resource for transgender individuals, is a non-profit organization “…dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to the critical needs of our community with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education. It’s vision is to fight the epidemic of trans suicide and improve overall life-outcomes of trans people by facilitating justice-oriented, collective community aid.”
“The Trans Lifeline’s 24/7 Hotline (877-565-8860) is a peer support service run by trans people, for trans and questioning callers. The Hotline operators are located all over the U.S. and Canada, and are all trans-identified. The Hotline is for persons who are in crisis or just need someone to talk to, even if it’s just about whether or not you’re trans.”