Chad Griffin: New Youth Survey Highlights Importance of Full Equality
June 7, 2012 by Chad Griffin
Earlier today, we released the findings of a new study on LGBT youth that paints a vivid picture of both the struggles and the optimism of our next generation. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined me and other leaders to speak about the survey results, and to elevate the importance of engaging LGBT youth needs and fighting for nothing less than full equality.
I want to share just a few findings of the survey with you that will crystallize how hard things are for today’s LGBT youth:
- Over 90 percent of LGBT youth say they hear negative messaging about being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
- While nearly 70 percent of straight youth describe themselves as happy, the number drops to 37 percent among LGBT young people.
- LGBT youth are twice as likely as their peers to face relentless verbal abuse.
- Our LGBT youth also are at increased risk for physical assault, and are four times more likely than their straight counterparts to be harassed on-line.
- LGBT young people are twice as likely to experiment with drugs or alcohol, and face significantly higher risks of being homeless or living in foster care.
The report also contains some positive news. Unsurprisingly, LGBT youth are incredibly resilient. And more than three-quarters of them believe things will get better. We have a responsibility to ensure they do get better. As I begin my tenure here at HRC, we will make every decision through the lens of these young people who are counting on us to ensure they are given every opportunity at a bright future. We simply don’t have a choice – inaction has consequences.
Please take a moment to look at the report. You can access it at www.hrc.org/youth.
Photos (c) Victor Holguin
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