The third Friday of February marks the International STAND UP to Bullying Day. This year, it’s going to fall on February 28th and will be celebrated across the US. Inaugurated in February 2008 and commemorated bi-annually (in November and February), it’s observed in schools, workplaces, and other organizations to take a stance against bullying done in these spaces.

The day has become part of the LGBTQ campaign over the years, given the amount of bullying faced by queer folks. This is especially common in schools, where the rates if anti-LGBTQ bullying are alarmingly high.

Anti-LGBTQ Bullying In Schools

Approximately 3.2 million individuals between the ages of 8 and 18 identify as LGBTQ. Reports and surveys have shown that most of the LGBTQ youth population has and continues to experience harassment, discrimination, and bullying in schools based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. While federal statutes advocate for anti-bullying in schools and prohibit discrimination because of one’s sex, race, and religion, they don’t explicitly mention bullying done based on their sexuality or gender expression. In fact, less than half the US states have laws specifically outlining anti-LGBTQ bullying and protecting LGBTQ students.

According to a GLSEN report, LGBTQ students are exposed to pervasive bullying, discrimination, and harassment. Over 80% of students who participated in the research had been a victim of some sort of harassment based on their gender expression or sexuality. 58% reported feeling unsafe at their educational institutes because of their sexual orientation, whereas 43% felt unsafe due to their gender identity. Students also reported to having been physically harassed on school grounds as well as being cyberbullied because of their identity.

Another survey conducted in 2015 focused on trans identities showed that individuals who identified as transgender in school faced physical and verbal harassment. 17% of them even had to switch schools because of the bullying they faced.

The Impact of Anti-LGBTQ Bullying In Schools

LGBTQ youth subjected to bullying and harassment face a number of consequences. Bullying impacts their physical as well as behavioral health and largely affects their quality of life. The victims feel unsafe attending classes or being in the same space as anti-LGBTQ individuals. They’re likely to experience severe anxiety and depression, and may even have suicidal thoughts and ideations. Anti-LGBTQ bullying done in schools affects their physical and mental health as well as their emotional well-being, and consequently affects their lives long after school is over.

Trans Central Station is an LGBTQ resource directory that provides all sorts of resources. We also have an up-and-running e-commerce store where we offer exciting new merchandise online.

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