HRC Foundation and the University of Connecticut released the largest-of-its-kind survey ever of more than 12,000 LGBTQ teenagers across the nation, revealing in distressing detail the persistent challenges so many of them face going about their daily lives at home, at school and in their communities.
The more than 12,000 respondents, ranging in age from 13 to 17, and from all 50 states and Washington D.C., participated in the online 2017 LGBTQ Teen Survey. It found that these teenagers are not only experiencing heartbreaking levels of stress, anxiety and rejection, but also overwhelmingly feel unsafe in their own school classrooms. LGBTQ young people who participated in the survey also made crystal clear that supportive families and inclusive schools are key to their success and well-being.
HRC and researchers at the University of Connecticut found that:
- Seventy-seven percent of LGBTQ teenagers surveyed report feeling depressed or down over the past week;
- Ninety-five percent of LGBTQ youth report trouble sleeping at night;
- LGBTQ youth of color and transgender teenagers experience unique challenges and elevated stress — only 11 percent of youth of color surveyed believe their racial or ethnic group is regarded positively in the U.S., and over 50 percent of trans and gender expansive youth said they can never use school restrooms that align with their gender identity;
- More than 70 percent report feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness in the past week;
- Only 26 percent say they always feel safe in their school classrooms — and just five percent say all of their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people;
- Sixty-seven percent report that they’ve heard family members make negative comments about LGBTQ people