Tag Archives: teenager

LGBT Kids Struggling In Wake Of “Safe Schools” Scare Campaign

Similar to the Gay-Straight Alliance program found in schools throughout the United States, Australian LGBTI youth programs have fought to enlighten students of all backgrounds and inspire unity of cultures.

After learning of the essential anti-bullying efforts, misinformed parents and conservatives have launched a campaign against the Safe Schools program for fear that might be too influential on the sexual tendencies of Australian youth.

What these parents and conservative citizens don’t understand is the harmful and permanent effects that bullying and misinformation can have on the entire community. Children fear for their lives every day and often resort to self-harm or suicide due to lack of support and compassion.

The Safe Schools program aims to assist youth in healthy expression of their individuality from gender identity, to sexual preference, to overall curiosity.

Many supporters of the “scare” campaign fear that the program is encouraging underage sex and inappropriate behavior among students, but their energy is being focused on the wrong facets of the anti-bullying efforts.


Instead of offering positive reinforcement for authorities behind the program, parents and conservatives are creating a barrier between the protectors of Australian youth, which only further promotes the discrimination that called for the educational program in the first place.

How might concerned parents offer suggestions to the program without compromising the overall nature of LGBTI youth health and safety?

LGBTQ Teens Face A Frightening Disadvantage In The Real World, According New Report

You’d think that the recent achievements for us in the LGBTQ community would somehow lower the discrimination suffered by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens. That however, isn’t the case.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that gay and lesbian teens face an astonishing amount of sexual and physical violence growing up.

The report also notes that this violence is actually growing, and LGBTQs are two to three times more likely than heterosexuals to experience some form of assault, either physical or sexual.

In some cases, the rate was as high as above 20% of all individuals, according to the first-of-its-kind report from the CDC.

Alarming, nearly 43% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual teens said they had thought seriously thought about committing suicide. That’s nearly three times the rate at which their heterosexual peers contemplated it.

And 29% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual teens made a suicide attempt, compared to 6% of their straight classmates.

LGBT youth face the same stresses as their peers, in terms of pressure at school and at home. But they also have an extra burden — “the reality of being a minority in places where it’s still acceptable to openly discriminate against them,” said David Bond, a social worker and vice president of programs at The Trevor Project, a crisis intervention program focused on LGBT youth.

The disparities are stark and go far beyond suicide. For instance, 18 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual teens reported being physically forced to have sex. Among their heterosexual peers, just 5 percent experienced this trauma.

Dating violence affected 23 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual teens, compared to just 9 percent of their peers.

And about a third of lesbian, gay, and bisexual teens reported being bullied at school or online — again, far more than their heterosexual classmates.

Not only this, but it was also reported that they are also at a much higher risk for HIV, syphilis and other sexually transmitted disease.

And that lesbians and bisexual females are more likely to have been pregnant than heterosexuals.

The one question the data cannot answer is why the disparities are so big, said Dr. Deb Houry, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

But other research suggests that LGBT youth may be at higher risk because of social isolation, lack of parental support, or not being perceived as being masculine or feminine enough.

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Study Shows Eating Disorders On The Rise For Lesbian And Bisexual Teens

A new study has shown that lesbians and bisexual youth are continuing to purge, fast or take diet pills to lose weight, while rates for such behaviour among heterosexual youth have decreased.

The University of British Columbia conducted the study which involved 26,000 students from Massachusetts.

The students interviewed were asked to identify their sexual orientation, a question that has rarely been asked in previous studies.

Lead researcher Ryan Watson explained:

Our study has found that it’s (eating disorders) only getting worse for lesbian and bisexual girls.”

The Massachusetts study, based on data collected between 1999 and 2013, was published this week in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Watson said Massachusetts is one of the few states that since 1991 has asked youth about sexual orientation as part of its regular surveys on adolescents.

The study said that in 2013, lesbians were twice as likely to report purging and fasting than they were in 1999. For that year, the prevalence of purging among bisexual girls, at 33 per cent, was higher than for lesbians, at 22 per cent, but stayed nearly the same in 2013, when it jumped to 36 per cent for lesbians girls.

In comparison, eight per cent of heterosexual girls reported purging in 1999, but the rate went down to five per cent in 2013.

Heterosexual boys had the lowest rates of the behaviour, and it declined further over the years.

While the researchers say the reasons for the increase for lesbians is not known they suggest health programs around eating disorders need to be more tailored to lesbians and bisexual girls.

The gap is really widening for lesbian and bisexual girls where it’s not for boys who are gay or bisexual, and so really [there are] some differences here within sexual orientation subgroups that are pretty alarming.”

He said the research suggests healthy eating and body-image programs that seem to be working for straight youth haven’t reached lesbian, gay and bisexual kids.

Dr. Pei-Yoong Lam, a pediatrician in the eating disorders program at B.C. Children’s Hospital, said the study creates more awareness about the impact of sexual identity on eating disorders.

Kids who are lesbian, gay or bisexual or transgender are at risk of various conditions, particularly mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. There also tend to be more risk-taking behaviours in this population and it really is about the support that they receive in the community.”

She said bullying and rejection over sexual identity has an impact on various mental health conditions, including eating disorders among children.

Dr. Laird Birmingham, who has specialized in treating eating disorders for more than 40 years and now runs a private clinic after working at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, said specialized services are needed for sexual minorities.

The government has no specific programs for individuals in those categories. They have to be allowed to hear things in the context of their beliefs, of their life, how it’s developing, and the challenges they have sexually,” he said, adding that it’s all the more important in small-group therapy.

The messaging has to be specific, just the same as it has to be for males and females. In fact, even the tests that diagnose eating disorders are different based on different ethnicities.”

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According To New Survey, More Than Half Of America’s Youth Aren’t Straight

A new survey of Americans aged 13-20 – also known as Gen Z – has found that only 48% of them identify as “exclusively heterosexual”, meaning that the majority of young Americans are queer AF.

The study asked people to rate themselves on a scale of zero to six, with zero being “exclusively heterosexual” and six being “exclusively homosexual”

Most didn’t pick zero or six,were found to be more open-minded and permissive than the group just a few years older – millennials (aged 21 to 34).

The report’s author, J Walter Thompson Innovation Group believes means those people were bisexual.

They also found that over 70% of 13 to 20-year-olds believed in having gender neutral bathrooms, while just over half of millennials feel the same way, making it clear that the younger generation is basically more openminded and progressive than millennials are.

And when asked the question, “do you strongly agree that gender did not define a person as much as it used to?”; over a third of Gen Zers said yes.

Although the survey only polled a small number from across the country, Laughlin was confident the results reflected a national trend.

We’re even more confident about this for this particular survey because we see clear patterns across the different questions that show that Gen Z has a more complex and less binary approach to gender than millennials.”

The survey follows a similar one released in January that revealed woman are more likely to say they are bisexual than men.

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Father Arrested For Pulling Gun On Teenage Daughter For Coming Out

A father is accused of threatening to kill his teenage daughter and pointing a loaded handgun at her because he was upset that she cam out as a lesbian.

Kamiran Bakir from North Dakota in the US was arrested on a felony charge of terrorising after he told the teen he would “blow her head off”. He also allegedly pointed the loaded weapon at other relatives who were in the car at the time.

After police arrested him, Bakir told them he didn’t really want to harm his daughter and that he was just upset by the news that she’s a lesbian, court papers said.

The victim told police her father said “she was lucky that she’s not eighteen because he would have put a bullet in her head”.

A relative told police that Bakir was troubled by his daughter’s sexual orientation because of his religion, which police believe is Islam, court papers said.

Bakir will appear in court on March 30

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Understanding and Accepting Your Sexuality (Video)

TeenLine has a great video called LGBTQ: Understanding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities.

It is an educational video, which focuses on the lives of several LGBTQ teens in Los Angeles. The video discuses their coming out process, the support (or lack of support) they received, and how the learned to embrace their identities.

As we know some LGBTQ youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience difficulties in their lives and school environments, such as violence.

Negative attitudes toward lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people put these youth at increased risk for experiences with violence, compared with other students. Violence can include behaviours such as bullying, teasing, harassment, physical assault, and suicide-related behaviours.

LGBTQ youth are also at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviours, suicide attempts, and suicide. A nationally representative study of adolescents in grades 7–12 found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide as their heterosexual peers.3 More studies are needed to better understand the risks for suicide among transgender youth. However, one study with 55 transgender youth found that about 25% reported suicide attempts.

For youth to thrive in their schools and communities, they need to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe and supported. A positive school climate has been associated with decreased depression, suicidal feelings, substance use, and unexcused school absences among LGBQ students.

Schools can implement clear policies, procedures, and activities designed to promote a healthy environment for all youth. For example, research has shown that in schools with LGB support groups (such as gay-straight alliances), LGB students were less likely to experience threats of violence, miss school because they felt unsafe, or attempt suicide than those students in schools without LGB support groups. A recent study found that LGB students had fewer suicidal thoughts and attempts when schools had gay-straight alliances and policies prohibiting expression of homophobia in place for 3 or more years.