The data includes survey responses from more than 34,000 LGBTQ+ people between the ages of 13 and 24, between October and December of 2020. The survey included both open-ended questions and multiple-choice options on a number of topics, ranging from how COVID-19 impacted their lives, to electronic and in-person bullying, to suicidal ideation, with the overall focus on bullying and suicide attempts.

More than 50% of LGBTQ+ middle and high school students said they’d been bullied either through a virtual method (like texting, or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram) or in-person during the past year. About 40% said the bullying had occurred online, while about 33% said the bullying happened in person. About 60% of trans and nonbinary students reported bullying, while about 45% of cisgender queer students did.

Just over 50% of white students reported bullying, similar to about 54% of multiracial students. 40% of Black students, 41% of AAPI students, and 47% of Latinx students also reported bullying. The greatest percentage came from Native and Indigenous students, however, where 70% reported being bullied. 

One out of four high schoolers who said they were bullied attempted suicide, and just under 30% of middle schoolers reported the same. About 14% of trans and nonbinary students who were not bullied attempted suicide, while more than 30% of those who were bullied also did. 

Respondents who described their school as LGBTQ+ affirming had 30% lower odds of being bullied in both middle and school. This finding was also consistent for both trans and nonbinary youth and cisgender youth.

As I’ve covered previously at The Atlantic, LGBTQ+ students being bullied at school is sadly far from new. That said, it’s deeply concerning that in recent months alone, we’ve seen a number of debates and conflicts break out over teachers simply hanging the Pride flag in their classroom or talking about identifying as LGBTQ+ themselves. We’ve seen reports of LGBTQ+ teachers who say they were fired or forced to resign from positions because of their sexual orientation. We’ve seen students advocate on behalf of their LGBTQ+ peers when they’ve felt ignored or punished by the administration. That’s great and inspiring, of course, but no young people should have to experience the trauma of discrimination and exclusion.

And in the background of all of this, of course, Republicans are still pushing heinous anti-trans bills that give fresh credibility to anti-trans hate speech and backward ideas. If you want to support LGBTQ+ folks in your life, consider reading up on how to use gender-neutral pronouns and some starting points on how to show up for trans friends and family members.

Sign the petition: Demand the Senate pass the Equality Act and protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination.





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