The Human Rights Law Centre has released the results of the largest ever study of LGBTI students in the US, with only 26 per cent saying they feel safe in their classrooms.

The study, which was conducted with the University of Connecticut, had over 12,000 respondents aged between 13 and 17 years old.

The results reaffirm that it remains extremely difficult to be a queer teenager, even as legal and social progress is made.

77 per cent of those surveyed say they felt depressed or down in the last week, and 95 per cent say they have trouble sleeping at night.

Over 70 per cent say they felt a sense of worthlessness or hopelessness in the past week, while only 11 per cent of non-white respondents say they feel their racial or ethnic group is regarded positively.

58 per cent of trans youth say they don’t feel safe using the bathroom that matches their gender, and 65 per cent say they simply try not to use the bathroom at school.

1 in 3 trans youth are always called by their true name at school, while only 1 in 5 are always addressed using their correct pronouns.

Only 26 per cent of students report that they always feel safe in the classroom, and only 12 per cent received safe sex education that was relevant to LGBTI people.

Trans and gender non-conforming students report the highest levels of stress at up to 90 per cent, with young cis men the least at the still extraordinarily high 79 per cent.

Only 24 per cent say their families allow them to be their authentic selves at home, while 67 per cent report hearing their families make negative comments about LGBTI people.

70 per cent say they have been bullied as a result of their sexual orientation, and 11 per cent say they have been sexually assaulted or raped because of their actual or assumed identity.

The survey also reveals a broad level of discomfort among LGBTI youth about coming out to healthcare providers.

Broadly, LGBTI students say they are most often ‘managing’ their outness to friends and classmates, while only 5 per cent are completely out to all of their teachers about their sexual orientation, and only 10 per cent are completely out to teachers about their gender identity.

The results are far from surprising, and reflect the amount of social progress that still needs to be made to make life easier for LGBTI students.

Read the full report here.

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