LGBTQIA Youth Bullying - Healthcare Guild

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AC360 special documentary: The Bully Effect

An extraordinary documentary called "Bully" captured a behavior adults hear about, but rarely see: the way some kids pressure and relentlessly harass their peers. Filmmaker Lee Hirsch was embedded in several schools for an entire year. What he filmed was so raw and eye-opening that the project catapulted a movement, sounding the alarm about the critical and dangerous issue of bullying....

Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)

SPRC is the nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. We provide technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide. We also promote collaboration among a variety of organizations that play a role in developing the field of suicide prevention.....

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Numerous research studies have shown that LGBTQ youth are more likely to think about and attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. According to the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey, LGBTQ youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (2007). These findings are confirmed by numerous non-government research studies, many of which actually find the risk among sexual minority youth to be higher...

Help Starts Here - Social Workers Resources for LGBT Suicide Risk

Numerous research studies have shown that LGBTQ youth are more likely to think about and attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. According to the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey, LGBTQ youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (2007). These findings are confirmed by numerous non-government research studies, many of which actually find the risk among sexual minority youth to be higher...

ACT Youth Center of Excellence - On-line Resources

ACT (Assets Coming Together) for Youth Center of Excellence connects research to practice in the areas of positive youth development and adolescent sexual health.  The Center of Excellence (COE) provides: Resources to aid those working in the areas of youth development and adolescent sexual health....

National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO)

Suicide Prevention and Two-Spirited People... First Nations communities can support two-spirited people by providing safe spaces that include and respect them, by standing up for them, and by speaking out about the discrimination they experience.  Suicide rates among two-spirited, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered First Nations are not known, but the rates of related risk factors in these groups indicate that the suicide risk is greater than among heterosexual First Nations....

Trevor Project Hotline 1-866-488-7386 for LGBT Youth

Y-CARE (You are never along: Connect, Accept, Respond and Empower) gives practical advice on how to help a suicidal person.  The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. The Trevor Project is determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including our nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/educational programs that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone.  Trevor Crisis Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386...

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Network - Make It Better Project

GSA Network launched the Make It Better Project on October 1st, 2010 to give youth and adults the concrete tools they need to make schools safer for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students right now. Through our YouTube channel, social media, and the campaigns, initiatives, and resources available on this website, the Make It Better Project aims to educate, motivate, and unite students and adults to effectively take action to stop bullying and harassment in schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity....

Family Acceptance Project - Risk Screener

The FAPrisk Screener is a research-generated screening instrument based on findings from Family Acceptance Project™ studies that have identified and measured family and caregiver behaviors that are highly predictive of negative health and mental health outcomes for LGBT young people. For this screening instrument, these specific health concerns include depression, suicide attempts, substance use problems (e.g., blackouts) and prior diagnosis with a sexually transmitted disease (STD).....

StopBullying.Gov - Bullying and 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. It is important to build a safe environment for all youth, whether they are straight or LGBT. All youth can thrive when they feel supported. Parents, schools, and communities can all play a role in helping LGBT youth feel physically and emotionally safe....

Day of Silence - GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) Calls Attention to the Silencing effect of Bullying LGBT Youth

The Day of Silence is a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT...

The Trevor Crisis Intervention Lifeline

The only nationwide, around-the-clock suicide prevention and crisis intervention lifeline offering free and confidential counseling for tens of thousands of LGBTQ youth....Trevor Crisis Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386...

Recognizing the Warning Signs

Have you heard someone...

    - Describe a specific plan for suicide: “I’ve thought about how I’d do it.”

    - Expressing hopelessness or helplessness: “Things will never get better for me.”

    - Talk positively about a suicide death: “I think she was brave for going through with it.”

    - Say goodbye to important people: “You’re the best friend I’ve ever had. I’ll miss you.”

    - Express a lack of interest in the future: “It won’t matter soon anyway.”

    - Express a negative attitude toward self: “I don’t deserve to live.”

    - Express suicidal feelings: “Lately I’ve felt like ending it all.”


Have you noticed someone...

    - Using drugs or alcohol more than usual

    - Behaving differently than how they usually do

    - Giving away their most valuable possessions

    - Losing interest in their favorite activities or hobbies

    - Planning for death by writing a will or letter


Do you Feel...

- Helpless

- Unimportant

- Trapped

- Overwhelmed

- Unmotivated

- Completely alone


If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are not alone.

Each year over 30,000 teens and young adults call the Trevor Lifeline when they recognize these signs and need someone to talk to. The Trevor Project is here for you 24/7. If you need support, please call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386 to speak with a trained volunteer counselor.

Lowering the Risk  

Fortunately there are several factors which can help lower someone’s risk of considering suicide: 


  1. Easy access to effective, culturally competent care

  2. Support from medical and mental health care professionals

  3. Coping, problem solving, and conflict resolution skills

  4. Restricted access to highly lethal means of suicide

  5. Strong connections to family

  6. Family acceptance of one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity

  7. A feeling of safety, support, and connectedness at school through peer groups like Gay-Straight Alliances.

  8. Positive connections with friends who share similar interests

  9. Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide

  10. Positive role models and self esteem


Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2011; Borowsky et al 2001; Eisenberg & Resnick 2006; Fenaughty & Harre 2003; Goodenow et al 2006; Kidd et al 2006; Resnick et al 1997; Ryan et al 2010

Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk

While trying to deal with all the challenges of being a teenager, gay/ lesbian/ bisexual/ transgender (GBLT) teens additionally have to deal with harassment, threats, and violence directed at them on a daily basis. They hear anti-gay slurs such as “homo”, “faggot” and “sissy” about 26 times a day or once every 14 minutes.[1] Even more troubling, a study found that thirty-one percent of gay youth had been threatened or injured at school in the last year alone![2]

Their mental health and education, not to mention their physical well-being, are at-risk.

How is their mental health being affected?

  1. Gay and lesbian teens are at high risk because ‘their distress is a direct result of the hatred and prejudice that surround them,’ not because of their inherently gay or lesbian identity orientation.[3]

  2. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.[4]

How is their education being affected?

  1. Gay teens in U.S. schools are often subjected to such intense bullying that they’re unable to receive an adequate education.[5] They’re often embarrassed or ashamed of being targeted and may not report the abuse.

  2. GLBT students are more apt to skip school due to the fear, threats, and property vandalism directed at them.[6] One survey revealed that 22 percent of gay respondents had skipped school in the past month because they felt unsafe there.[7]

  3. Twenty-eight percent of gay students will drop out of school. This is more than
    three times the national average for heterosexual students.[8]

  4. GLBT youth feel they have nowhere to turn. According to several surveys, four out of five gay and lesbian students say they don’t know one supportive adult at school.[9]

What can we do to help?

Schools should offer a safe and respectful learning environment for everyone. When bullying is allowed to take place, it affects everyone. For every GLBT youth who reported being targeted for anti-gay harassment, four heterosexual youth reported harassment or violence for being perceived as gay or lesbian.[10] Also, we know that bullying was a contributing factor in the Columbine shootings and other school violence. Students, teachers, and school administrators who look the other way are contributing to the problem. In contrast, kids who said that they had a supportive faculty or openly gay staff member were more likely to feel as if they belong in their school.[11]

Source: Mental Health America.

Additional Resources

Advocates for Youth

Ali Forney Center

Athlete Ally

Brooklyn Community Pride Center

Campus Pride


Center for Artistic Revolution


Fairness West Virginia

Family Equality Council


Gay & Lesbian Youth Services, WNY Inc.

Gay-Straight Alliance Network

Georgia Equality

Georgia Safe Schools Coalition


Huckleberry Youth Programs

Illinois Safe Schools Alliance

It Gets Better Project

Joplin Gay Lesbian Pride Center

Kappa Xi Omega Sorority Inc.

LA Pride

Lambda Legal


The Naming Project

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Youth Pride Services


Open Arms Youth Project Inc.



Positive Images


ReachOut USA

Safe Schools South Florida

Siouxland Pride Alliance

Staten Island LGBT Community Center

Straight But Not Narrow

The Ally Coalition

The Center

The Center Long Beach

The Queer Program

The Trevor Project

Trans Student Equality Resources



Youth Outlook


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