Most lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ)* youth are happy and thrive during their adolescent years.
In addition, across the sites― LGBTQ youth are also at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, suicide attempts, and suicide.
A nationally representative study of adolescents in grades 7–12 found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide as their heterosexual peers.
Another survey of more than 7,000 seventh- and eighth-grade students from a large Midwestern county examined the effects of school [social] climate and homophobic bullying on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning (LGBQ) youth and found that Exposure to violence can have negative effects on the education and health of any young person.
However, for LGBT youth, a national study of middle and high school students shows that LGBT students (61.1%) were more likely than their non-LGBT peers to feel unsafe or uncomfortable as a result of their sexual orientation.
* Variations of this acronym are used throughout the Web page to reflect relevant populations.
Many studies consider lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth but do not include transgender and questioning youth.Violence can include behaviors such as bullying, teasing, harassment, physical assault, and suicide-related behaviors.According to data from Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS) conducted during 2001‒2009 in seven states and six large urban school districts, the percentage of LGB students (across the sites) who were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property in the prior year ranged from 12% to 28%.According to data from CDC’s YRBS, the percentage of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students (across sites) who did not go to school at least one day during the 30 days before the survey because of safety concerns ranged from 11% to 30% of gay and lesbian students and 12% to 25% of bisexual students.The stresses experienced by LGBT youth also put them at greater risk for depression, substance use, and sexual behaviors that place them at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).For youth to thrive in their schools and communities, they need to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe and supported.