Is Being an LGBT Teenager Really That Difficult?

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Article from Noviteroditeli.bg

Is Being an LGBT Teenager Really That Difficult?

Kids with non-traditional sexuality are at a high risk of violence at school

When I was in seventh grade, a boy from the year above committed suicide. The whole school found out. He had done it by hanging himself. We knew that as well. We also knew that the reason behind that was that he was gay and had recently come out to his father.

The boy had told one of his close friends that it hadn’t gone without complications. School hadn’t been any better either - he’d been mocked and bullied for no other reason than being who he was. Not by everyone, just by those who didn’t quite understand that attacking someone for being gay is just as absurd as laughing at someone for the color of their eyes or hair.

It’s a well-known fact that our reality has changed over the past fifteen years or so, at least by the looks of it. No one has talked about homosexuality as an illness in a long time, nor is it seriously discussed that being part of the LGBT community is a preface and a trend. Truth is, however, that talking the walk is not the same as walking it and this becomes very clear just by looking at the surveys conducted amongst the gay and bisexual youth.

It recently became apparent that in the US, where same-sex marriage is a right nationwide teenagers with a non-traditional sexual orientation are facing a much higher level of violence, bullying and are at a higher suicide risk than their heterosexual counterparts.

Here’re some results from a poll on the subject:

• Have you ever been sexually assaulted? 17,8% of the LGBT teens give positive answers, as opposed to 5,4% by straight ones;

• Have you ever been bullied at school? 34,2% of the LGBT teenagers give a positive answer, as do 5,4% of their heterosexual counterparts

• Have you ever skipped school because you were afraid to be there or you’ve felt unsafe on your way there? 12,5% of the LGBT say yes, heterosexual kids - 4,6%

• Have you ever felt deeply sad or helpless? 60,4 LGBT, 26,4 the rest

• Have you ever seriously considered commiting suicide? 42,8% LGBT, 14,8% heterosexuals

• Have you ever attempted suicide? 29,4% for LGBT, 6,4% for heterosexual youth

I’m curious what the results would be from a similar survey here in Bulgaria. But perhaps there is no reason to even conduct one because there is no LGBT youth in our high schools...Or is there?

Elisaveta Tsolova

The text is republished from noviteroditeli.bg.