Growing up is hard for just about every kid. But it can be particularly hard if you are LGBTQ+. School can be especially tricky to navigate, as these youths face unique challenges.
Here are some of the most common issues LGBTQ+ students experience in school:
LGBTQ+ youths are far more likely to be the targets of bullying, whether that bullying happens in school hallways or on social media. On any given day LGBTQ+ students may face name calling, threats, or even acts of physical violence. And perhaps the worst part is, these may come from other students as well as teachers and staff.
Technically speaking, harassing someone for their sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal. That hardly keeps people from doing it. Harassment at school often causes a toxic and hostile environment, hardly one in which learning is easy.
There’s discipline, and then there’s discrimination. Often LGBTQ+ youth are disciplined for things their peers are not. For instance, two same-sex students showing affection in the hallway may be disciplined when heterosexual couples are not treated the same way.
It is common for LGBTQ+ students to feel lonely and isolated in school, depending on where they go to school. While there may be other LGBTQ+ students and staff in schools in bigger cities, those students who live in rural areas may feel absolutely alone.
Education is a very big part of the adolescent experience, and days spent in school are some of the most formative of our lives. If you or someone you know is an LGBTQ+ student and facing these types of issues and you’d like to speak to someone, please reach out to me. I work with members of the LGBTQ+ community to help them navigate the unique challenges they face in the word today.