Best Practices: Creating an LGBT-inclusive School Climate

Schools are places of learning and also miniature societies. The climate of a school has a direct impact on both how well students learn and how well they interact with their peers. Teachers and administrators work hard to make their classrooms welcoming places where each student feels included. But despite these efforts, students who are—or who are perceived to be—lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) continue to face a harsh reality.

Fact Sheet: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth Issues

During adolescence, young people form their sexual identity. This SIECUS Fact Sheet reviews research on sexual orientation during adolescence and presents the available statistics on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students. Many of the studies are regional or local. Much of the research focuses on samples of LGBT youth that are disproportionately at risk.

Helping Families Support Their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Children

This practice brief was developed for families, caretakers, advocates, and providers to provide basic information to help families support their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) children;

Homosexuality and Suicide: LGBT Suicide – A Serious Issue–-a-serious-issue/

No one wants to think about suicide and homosexual suicide is no exception. However, it's important to talk about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) suicides in order to understand the facts and stem their tide. No person should ever feel the need to take their life because of their sexuality and it is important to let people know there is help for gays with depression.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Suicide

"I always knew that I was gay. I also remember seeing heterosexual couples and knowing that I wasn't like them. I would get very depressed about not being like other kids. Many times I would take a kitchen knife and press it against my chest, wondering if I should push it all the way in," said Alex, a 14-year-old gay youth.

Living With Social Anxiety Disorder as an LGBTQ+ Person

People who are LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer [sometimes labeled questioning]) may be at increased risk for social anxiety disorder (SAD) because of the social context in which they develop.

Heterosexual or cisgender individuals (those whose sense of personal identity and gender matches their birth sex) grow up in an environment that is generally accepting of their relationships. This is often not the case for LGBTQ+ individuals, who may face prejudice or stigma for doing things others take for granted, such as holding hands or showing affection.

The need to monitor oneself in social situations sets the stage for the development of social anxiety disorder in individuals who may already be predisposed due to genetics or other environmental factors. Indeed, we know that between 30 and 60 percent of LGBTQ+ people live with anxiety and depression at some point in their lives, and they are 1.5 to 2.5 times at higher risk for these disorders than heterosexual or cisgender individuals.

Making Schools Safe for LBGT Students

School safety is a problem for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students – or for youth who don’t conform to expectations for sexuality and gender. What steps can schools take to promote school safety for LGBT students – and for all students?

Running Away

Running away is a serious problem. According to the National Runaway Switchboard, an organization that takes calls and helps kids who have run away or are thinking of running away, 1 in 7 kids between the ages of 10 and 18 will run away at some point.

Running Away (Girls)

Many teens think about running away from home at some point. If you are thinking about running away, you can get help, and you can learn more about life as a runaway.

Running Away: Why Kids Do It and How to Stop Them

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare—you go to check on your child in the middle of the night, and she’s not there. Your heart starts pounding and you fly into panic mode, calling her friends, your relatives, and the police.

Sexual Attraction and Orientation

As people pass from childhood through the teen years and beyond, bodies develop and change. So do emotions and feelings.

Suicide and Suicide Risk in LGBT Populations: Review and Recommendations

Despite strong indications of elevated risk of suicidal behavior in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, limited attention has been given to research, interventions or suicide prevention programs targeting these populations. This article is a culmination of a three-year effort by an expert panel to address the need for better understanding of suicidal behavior and suicide risk in sexual minority populations, and stimulate the development of needed prevention strategies, interventions and policy changes.

Suicide Risk and Prevention for LGBT

This paper highlights the higher risk of suicidal behavior among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth. This higher risk may well extend to transgender (T) youth. Additionally, the paper provides recommendations to reduce this risk by addressing stigma and prejudice at the institutional and individual level; by forming partnerships across youth-serving, suicide prevention, and LGBT youth agencies; by building on recent advances in research; and by responding to the issues of LGBT youth.