Inside the walls of what we call higher learning institutions are some of life’s most creative, charmingly sassy, and downright elite. Yes, I’m talking about the LGBTQ scene, of course. But before becoming the beautiful being that one is, there are layers that create character in each LGBTQ individual.
In DC public schools, countless acts of violence plague our LGBTQ students—just when they should feel welcomed and be able to thrive. Many LGBTQ students have expressed deep concerns about their treatment.
“Our school is super homophobic; there wasn’t an outlet for me to come out.”
-Cesar Chavez, 2018 Graduate
We must protect our future LGBTQ schoolteachers, health professionals, government officials, and other professionals. LGBTQ youth are suspended 75% more than heterosexual students for the same or lesser offense. You don’t have to be a part of the LGBTQ community in order to take a stand.
Here are five of my favorite LGBTQ-specific anti-bullying resources:
- GLAAD – Originally the “Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation”, GLAAD altered it name to reflect its broader, more inclusive mission. GLAAD provides resources for a wide variety of individuals, including teachers to support their LGBTQ students.
- The Trevor Project – The Trevor Project is a national, 24-hour, toll free and confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth
- RAINN – Though it’s difficult to think or talk about, LGBTQ youth are at a higher risk of being sexually assaulted or abused in their lifetime. RAINN is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the nation and can connect students to the resources they need.
- The DC Center for the LGBT Community – The DC Center educates, empowers, celebrates, and connects the LGBT community. Their up-to-date events page provides resources and safe spaces for a wide range of individuals.
- SMYAL – This list wouldn’t be complete without including SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders). SMYAL empowers LGBTQ youth in the Washington DC metropolitan region through youth leadership, service, and advocacy.