As studies and reports focused on LGBTI youth around the world continue, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and University of Connecticut released a new one on Thursday (10 January) specifically focusing on California youth.
The California LGBTQ Youth Report looks at various aspects of LGBTI youth life in the state, from school to home.
HRC partnered with nine civil rights and education organizations in preparation of this report.
They collected data from 1,700 California youth ranging in age from 13-17 who participated in HRC’s 2017 LGBTQ Teen Survey.
‘This groundbreaking data reveals that the cards remain stacked against LGBTQ youth in California — and especially so for LGBTQ youth of color and transgender and gender-expansive youth,’ said Ellen Kahn, HRC Foundation Director of the Children, Youth & Families Program.
The report’s findings
2 in 10 California LGBTI youth are out to all of their parents. 36%, however, find the idea of coming out to their parents ‘extremely stressful’.
One reason could be that parents and other family members say negative things about LGBTI people.
45% of these youth say family members make negative remarks about LGBTI people in general, while 29% say they’ve been taunted or mocked by family members for being LGBTI
At school, meanwhile, only 10% say all of their school staff is supportive of LGBTI students. In a GLSEN report about LGBTI students’ experiences at school state-by-state, more than half of California students reported having a supportive administration and more than 6 faculty members. The key difference could be the inclusion of the world ‘all’ in the HRC report.
They also experience harassment and discrimination at school.
28% say they’ve been physically threatened at least once due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, perceived or otherwise. Another half have been teased or bullied for the same reasons.
Intersectional LGBTI youth
As other studies have shown, trans and LGBTI youth of color face different struggles than their cis and white peers.
Only 40% of trans and non-binary California students say people use their true names at school. 21%, meanwhile, say people use the correct pronouns at school.
The simple act of using a person’s true name or pronouns can help their mental health, which is important for LGBTI youth.
Further, a majority of LGBTI youth of color (82%) say they’ve experienced racism and racial prejudice. Another 60% say they think about race every day and that the US regards their race negatively.