Negative experiences are common.
- Nearly two-thirds reported at least one of the listed negative experience happening to them in school — 15% higher than the percentage of youth who reported bullying or harassment at school in 2009.
A high percentage of participants reported that their schools do not have, or that they are unaware of, anti-discrimination policies regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression — indicating that there is room for improvement among districts to adopt such policies and ensure that students are aware of them.
Youth are struggling with mental health and psychological distress.
- Regarding the 4 measures of wellbeing used in this study — hope, flourishing, social support, and civic engagement — youth reported significantly lower levels than adults.
- Nearly two-thirds of youth reported anxiety, depression, or serious psychological distress — significantly higher than the rates reported by adult SGM respondents. The rate of psychological distress among SGM youth is 12-15x higher than the rate of the general population.
- Suicidality is strikingly high among SGM youth. 59.1% of youth (3x the national average) reported suicidal ideation, and 21.5% of youth (3x the national average) reported having attempted suicide.
- Youth participants reported relatively high rates of substance use. 30% reported using tobacco products and 28% reported marijuana use without a prescription within the past month, and nearly 1 in 4 reported having used illicit drugs in their lifetime.