Students who are gay or lesbian or who aren’t sure what they want to be sexually are more likely to be homeless. (Nearly 29% of students who are homeless say they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning, but they only make up 15% of all students.)
And transgender students are even more at risk of homelessness. These students are 9.22 times more likely than their classmates to be homeless.
LGBTQ+ people have to deal with bullying and other problems at school.
More information from the CDC shows that LGBTQ youth are much more likely than their peers to be bullied. In fact, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance shows that LGBTQ youth are more likely to be hurt or hurt others, and they also have a higher risk of health problems and suicide.
The report says that things are getting worse for students who are transgender. In fact, 43% of students have been bullied at school. And the numbers of people who try to kill themselves are shocking. 21% of gay and lesbian teens, 22% of bisexual teens, and 29% of transgender teens have tried to kill themselves at some point in their lives.
In the report, there are also some other heartbreaking facts. For example, almost 30% of transgender youth have been hurt or threatened on campus by someone with a gun. (This is compared to 7% of transgender youth.)
Higher numbers of LGBTQ students drop out of high school
There are no exact numbers on how many LGBTQ students drop out of high school, but the American Psychological Association says that nearly one-third of these students do not get a high school diploma. (That’s more than three times the usual number of students who drop out.)
The main reason these kids don’t finish school? We talked about bullying and worse in the last section. In fact, this same APA memo says that over 60% of LGBT students felt unsafe at school in the past year and that 87% of LGBT students were harassed at school. And almost a third of them skipped school for a day because they were afraid for their safety in the last month.
Also, LGBTQ students do worse in school.
One more problem? Even when LGBTQ students go to school every day, they don’t always do well there. The APA says that these students have lower GPAs, are more likely to fail a class, and feel worse about their teachers and schools.
All of these things can cause problems for LGBTQ students, some of which are very bad. They aren’t just more likely to quit school or miss a lot of classes. Their hopes and dreams are hurt. They feel sad and worried more often. Their sense of self-worth goes down.
But new rules and plans are meant to help LGBTQ students.
Schools can help some of their most vulnerable students in a lot of ways, like making sure they get to school and getting them help there. All homeless students have the right to go to their home school, and there are several ways to get the money they need to do so.
Also, more and more people are starting to realize that LGBTQ students need more help and safety at school. There are a lot of resources out there now that can help teachers, parents, and allies learn how to best support LGBTQ students. Organizations like the American Psychological Association and The Trevor Project have a lot of free, information-packed resources that can help with everything from making curriculums more inclusive to talking about how to prevent suicide.
Also, many schools are doing hard (but very important) work to make their campuses safe and welcoming places for all students, especially the ones who are most at risk. And groups like the American Psychological Association (APA) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) agree that schools need to make campus-wide rules that say harassment and bullying are wrong, support the process of “coming out,” and stress that all students deserve respect.