As an LGBTQ youth, you have certain protective rights.

  • While non-LGBTQ students struggle most with school classes, exams, and work, their LGBTQ peers say the biggest problem they face is unaccepting families. 1
  • Young people who are LGBTQ and who are “out” to their immediate families report feeling a sense of satisfaction over time than those who aren’t. 2
  • As of July 2014, same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states plus the District of Columbia. 3
  • The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which restricted lesbians, gays, and bisexuals in the military from openly serving, was lifted in 2011. People who are transgender are not permitted to serve openly yet. 4
  • In July 2009, the Senate approved the Matthew Shepard Act, which outlaws hate crimes based on both sexual orientation and gender identity. 5
  • The Employment Nondiscrimination Act passed Congress in 2007 is the act that prohibits discrimination of sexual orientation in the workplace, specifically during hiring. 6

But being an LGBTQ teen isn't always easy.

  • 40% of homeless teens in the United States who came out were thrown out by their parents onto the streets. 7
  • 4 in 10 LGBTQ youth (42%) say the community is which they live is not accepting of LGBTQ people. 8
  • LGBTQ youth are 2x more likely as their peers to say they been physically assaulted, kicked or shoved at school. 8
  • 26% of LGBTQ youth say their biggest problems involve not be accepted by their families, bullying at school and fear of coming out. 8
  • 9 out of 10 LGBTQ youth say they are out to their close friends and 64% say they out to their classmates. 8
  • 73% of LGBTQ youth say they are more honest about themselves online. 8
  • According to the Williams Institute, 40% of the homeless youth served by agencies identify as LGBT.
  • 43% of clients served by drop-in centers identified as LGBT.
  • 30% of street outreach clients identified as LGBT.
  • 30% of clients utilizing housing programs identified as LGBT.

It's good to know that some people really care.

  • You are not alone.
  • Find your community online and through groups meeting in your area.
  • Opening up with discussion in a safe environment with caring friends and professional counselors can help.
  • Explore the different organizations available in your area to find the one or two groups that are right for you.
  • Being who you are is the first step to reaching your full potential.
  • Receiving support and giving support go hand in hand. You have as much to give others as others have to give to you.

  1. ”Growing Up LGBT in America: View Statistics." Human Rights Campaign. http://www.hrc.org/youth/view-statistics#.U9unmfldVK1 (accessed August 1, 2014).

  2. ”LGBT Surveys: Read with Caution." Youth Allies. http://www.youthallies.com/read-lgbt-surveys-caution/ (accessed August 1, 2014).

  3. Cable News Network. "Appeals court rejects Virginia same-sex marriage ban." CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/28/politics/same-sex-ban-virginia/index.html (accessed July 28, 2014).

  4. “United States Department of Defense." Defense.gov News Article: Obama: Americans No Longer Have to Lie to Serve. http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65381 (accessed July 29, 2014).

  5. “Civil Rights Division Home Page." Civil Rights Division Home Page. http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/crm/matthewshepard.php (accessed July 29, 2014).

  6. ”Employment Non-Discrimination Act." Human Rights Campaign. http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/employment-non-discrimination-act (accessed July 29, 2014).

  7. “Serving Our Youth: Findings from a National Survey of Service Providers Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth who are Homeless or At Risk of Becoming Homeless.” The Williams Institute with True Colors Fund and The Palette Fun. https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/safe-schools-and-youth/serving-our-youth-july-2012 (accessed February 26, 2019).

  8. “Growing Up LGBT in America” Human Rights Campaign. https://www.hrc.org/youth-report/about-the-survey (accessed February 26, 2019).