Why Colleges Must Provide Support to LGBTQI+ Students

by Carjamin Scott on June 5, 2018, at 8:50 p.m. CST

It’s Pride month across America and people are celebrating their sexuality. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex are some of the terms we use to classify the sexual orientation of people. Sexuality is a capacity for sexual feelings, a person’s sexual orientation, sexual identity, or sexual activity. It’s a touchy subject that many of us just do not want to talk about. So, how can we bridge the gap between straight people and LGBTQI+?

Human Rights Campaign Survey

According to a recent survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign, significant numbers of LGBTQI+ youth feel unwelcome in school and other communities. As educators, we have a responsibility to these students to help them thrive and succeed.

With more than 10,000 survey respondents, this was the largest known sample of LGBT youth from every region of the country, from urban, suburban and rural communities, and from a wide variety of social, cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds.

The survey measured key factors that impact the daily lives of LGBT youth, including:

  • A sense of being accepted by family, peers, and the larger community – in sports leagues, clubs, places of worship, school, work, online, and more
  • Access to LGBT affirmative support and services
  • Negative experiences such as verbal harassment, cyber-bullying, exclusion from activities
  • Connection to a welcoming religious or spiritual community
  • Level of optimism about the future and the ability to live a happy life as an “out” LGBT person

Students growing up LGBTQI+ are facing discrimination in America.

Why does this matter?

Education is a civil right, no matter the race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or background, all students deserve a quality education. Access to a quality education includes a safe space to learn without fear of bullying or exclusion. Students growing up LGBTQI+ are facing discrimination in America. There are a number of LGBTQI+ students who were forced to leave their homes due to their sexual identity, have been harassed or bullied at school, or are socially excluded from their community. Colleges should be the change agents to educate the public about the needs of LGBTQI+ students.

Education is a civil right, no matter the race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or background, all students deserve a quality education.

How you can help?

You can help by attending an LGBTQI+ unconscious bias training, challenging people to stop bullying LGBTQI+ students, elect government officials who support the rights of LGBTQI+ people, or join a gay-straight alliance network.

To review the full Human Rights Campaign report, Growing Up LGBT in America survey, click here.

Request to publish or suggest a correction here.

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie.

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