Trump Has Failed To Keep LGBTQ Youth Safe

by Wyatt Ronan

Data from the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance evaluated by HRC’s Project Thrive shows that LGBTQ youth are living in a state of crisis and experiencing marginalization from many angles including school bullying, poor mental health, and substance use, with LGBTQ youth of color at greater risk. President Trump’s radical embrace of anti-LGBTQ extremism, his dangerous anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, and his penchant for division have created an environment ripe for anxiety and depression amongst and discrimination against LGBTQ youth.

LGBTQ youth across the United States often feel unsafe at school, and live in a state of mental health crisis

  • A startling 54% of LGBTQ youth are battling symptoms of depression, compared to 29% of non-LGBTQ youth
  • 31% of LGBTQ youth, 43% of transgender youth and 40% of questioning youth have been bullied at school, compared to 16% of their non-LGBTQ peers.

LGBTQ teens, especially transgender youth and LGBTQ youth of color, experience depression and housing instability at rates significantly greater than their non-LGBTQ peers.

  • 16% of LGBTQ youth, 22% of transgender youth and 17% of LGBTQ youth of color are usually sleeping somewhere that is not the home of a parent or guardian, compared to 3% of non-LGBTQ youth.
  • More than half of LGBTQ youth (54%), 61% of transgender youth and 61% of questioning youth are battling symptoms of depression, compared to 29% of non-LGBTQ youth.
  • LGBTQ youth, transgender youth and LGBTQ youth of color are also less likely (16%) than their non-LGBTQ peers (22%) to get eight or more hours of sleep each night

The use of cigarettes, electronic vapor products, alcohol and illicit drugs is a pressing and ongoing issue for LGBTQ teens, and is most likely linked with LGBTQ teens’ experiences with bullying and violence in schools and in their communities.

  • 30% of LGBTQ youth, 32% of transgender youth, and 31% of LGBTQ youth of color have tried smoking cigarettes, compared to 16% of non-LGBTQ youth.
  • 33% of LGBTQ youth, 39% of transgender youth, and 35% of LGBTQ youth of color are currently using alcohol, compared to 26% of non-LGBTQ youth.
  • 33% of LGBTQ youth said they have used cocaine, inhalants, heroin, meth, ecstasy or steroids at least once in their life, compared to 6% of non-LGBTQ youth

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