Family, school, and social pressures create educational and health disparities for queer/trans youth, and for those questioning their gender or sexual identity. Yet talking about gender and sexuality diversity in schools and youth-serving organizations can bring up concerns among leadership about liability, community reaction, or saying the wrong thing. These concerns often overshadow the daily repercussions of an inexperienced or inactive faculty or staff.
Research indicates that queer and transgender young people are more than four times as likely to have attempted suicide in the past year than their peers, as well as face an increased risk of harassment at school, drug and alcohol use, and of being the victims of physical violence. Queer and transgender youth are also over-represented in the juvenile justice system and in systems of state care, where policies and practices often don’t meet the most basic safeguards. Educators, health providers, service organizations, and state agencies often lack confidence and competency to help or to address structural issues related to gender and sexuality.
We believe that in order to improve the lives of queer youth, we need to involve all young people and the adults that work with them in conversations about gender and sexuality. By providing training tools for youth-serving professionals and young people, we invite broad participation in our mission to improve educational and health outcomes for LGBTQ youth, and strengthen communities for all young people.
Contact us to find out more about implementing similar projects in your community.