Today, HRC honors Day of Silence, an annual event led by GLSEN to highlight the bullying and harassment LGBTQ youth face.
“GLSEN’s Day of Silence is a student-led national event organized in thousands of schools, bringing awareness to the silencing effects of anti-LGBTQ name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools,” according to GLSEN.org. “Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBTQ behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBTQ students and those perceived to be LGBTQ.”
LGBTQ youth experience bullying at school more frequently than their non-LGBTQ peers. In January, HRC Foundation released the results of a groundbreaking post-election survey of more than 50,000 young people ages 13-18 revealing the deeply damaging fallout the November election has had on youth across the U.S.
The online survey, believed to be the largest ever of its kind, found that 70 percent of youth reported witnessing bullying or harassment since the beginning of the 2016 presidential campaign. Of these, 63 percent reported having witnessed harassment based on sexual orientation and 54 percent based on gender expression.
More than a quarter of LGBTQ youth had been personally bullied or harassed since the beginning of the 2016 campaign season, compared to 14 percent of non-LGBTQ youth. Among transgender youth, 37 percent reported being personally bullied or harassed.
HRC commends GLSEN and student leaders around the country for leading this vital day of action. Learn more about Day of Silence here.
Now more than ever, LGBTQ youth need to know they have support. You can become a better advocate by attending HRC’s Time to THRIVE conference, the nation’s premier convening for K-12 educators, professional counselors and other youth-serving professionals on LGBTQ youth safety, inclusion and well-being. The 2017 conference will be held April 28-30 in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the National Education Association and the American Counseling Association.
HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools is the nation’s premier professional development program dedicated to creating respectful and supportive elementary schools by embracing family diversity, creating LGBTQ- and gender-inclusive schools, preventing bias-based bullying and supporting transgender and non-binary students. For more information, visit www.welcomingschools.org.