Sadly, even just within the past year, most LGBTQ youth have faced discrimination.* This can happen anywhere — in school, at work, at home, and in public spaces. Experiences with discrimination are painful. They can impact a person’s ability to learn. They can make it hard to find housing and to see one’s identity reflected correctly on official documents. A person might make different choices just to avoid discrimination. They might avoid seeing a doctor for health issues, for example. These experiences negatively impact a person’s well-being and increase their risk of suicide. [source]
Trace shares what it was like growing up as LGBTQ and offers hope for allies and members of the LGBTQ community.
Protections for LGBTQ Youth Vary By State
Only 21 U.S. states fully protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination. Many of the protections that benefit LGBTQ youth benefit others, as well. For example, gender-neutral bathrooms do not only benefit people with nonbinary gender identities. They also benefit people who need physical supports and parents who need changing tables.
Want to Take Action to Stop LGBTQ Discrimination?
It can be as simple as learning about gender identities and teaching others. Below, learn about what anti-discrimination laws exist in your state. Contact your local policy-makers to ask for change. Join other LGBTQ groups and coalitions in your state to get involved.
*Discrimination = unfair treatment of a person or group of people
How are you feeling after reading this?
- Most LGBTQ youth reported that they had experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in the past year. [source]
- Half of LGBTQ youth of color reported discrimination based on their race/ethnicity in the past year, including 67% of Black LGBTQ youth and 60% of Asian/ Pacific Islander LGBTQ youth. [source]
- LGBTQ youth of color are also more at risk for experiencing violence, criminalization, and homelessness. [source]
- Among LGBTQ youth who have attempted suicide, the majority had experienced discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or race/ethnicity or nationality. 36% had experienced all three types of discrimination. [source]
- State legislatures proposed more than 200 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation from 2015-2019. 2021 alone saw more than 200 pieces of legislation of this type in 35 states. [source]
Take Action Now
Explore Related Action Area
Continue your engagement by learning more about and taking action on related issues.
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