Saturday, August 13, 2016

"heartbreaking" levels of violence reported by gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth

As the Times reported earlier this week, a recently released report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found horrifying reports from gay, lesbian, and bisexual teenagers:
These adolescents were three times more likely than straight students to have been raped. They skipped school far more often because they did not feel safe; at least a third had been bullied on school property. And they were twice as likely as heterosexual students to have been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property. More than 40 percent of these students reported that they had seriously considered suicide, and 29 percent had made attempts to do so in the year before they took the survey. The percentage of those who used illegal drugs was many times greater than their heterosexual peers. While 1.3 percent of straight students said they had used heroin, for example, 6 percent of the gay, lesbian and bisexual students reported having done so.
Dan Savage, in his usual blunt way, wants to know what straight adults are going to do about it:
The LGBT community will do what it can—we will scream and yell, we will give money to GLSEN, we will try our best to let LGBT kids know that life isn't high school and share our coping mechanisms and strategies for getting through it—but if decent and loving straight people don't do something, if decent and loving straight people don't take action, if there aren't social and legal consequences for indecent and unloving straight people (why aren't parents who throw their queer kids out charged with child endangerment?), this won't stop.
 Our kids. Our schools. Our problem to fix.

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