Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)-New York City has published some remarkable data on both. In particular, I was struck by the following:
- "LGBT students are twice as likely to say that they were not planning on completing high school or going to college."
- "Gay teens are 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide and 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection."
- "Nearly a fifth of students are physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation and a tenth because of their gender identity."
- "About two thirds of LGBT students report having ever been sexually harassed (e.g., sexual remarks made, being touched inappropriately) in school in the past year."
Now, I didn't announce my gender identity or sexuality in school, mainly because I didn't have the language for either--and, truthfully, almost nobody in that place and time had it, either. Still, most of the boys in my school knew that somehow I wasn't quite one of them. They projected their lurid fantasies (which, of course, were not in any way informed by reality) about what it meant to be gay or a "boy/girl" onto me.