Bright Spots and Progress

Many youth are reporting generally positive experiences with family.

  • For participants under 20, 61.2% reported none of the listed negative experiences with family.
  • For participants 19 and younger, 3 out of 4 reported at least one such positive experience.

Youth reported utilizing a range of community programs and services.

  • Nearly 3 in 5 participate in Gender & Sexuality Alliances.
  • Roughly 1 in 3 benefit from Youth Services of Tulsa, Oklahomans for Equality, and the support of a mental health counselor or teacher.
  • Others reference support from Girl Scouts, Camp Fire, and PFLAG.

Many are reporting lower rates of negative experiences in school so long as they are aware of anti-discrimination policies in place.

  • 3 in 4 students who reported policies for gender identity and/or gender expression said they were able to present in accordance with their gender identity in school.


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.

Additional Data

Negative Experiences in School (K–12) and College or Vocational School [1]

“I was verbally harassed”40965.0%15429.7%
“I wasn’t allowed to dress or present in the way that fits my gender identity” [2]5745.2%1414.9%
“I experienced unwanted sexual contact”15424.8%8516.4%
“I was physically attacked”14323.0%295.6%
“I left school because the mistreatment was so bad”528.5%173.3%
“I was expelled from school”142.3%40.8%
[1] Table does not include participants who reported the question did not apply to them.
[2] This question only displayed for individuals who did not report being cisgender.

Other Negative Experiences within the Past Three Years [1] 

None of these35446.1%
Teased, bullied, or intimidated you26734.8%
Verbally harassed you23730.9%
Shunned you or cut off their relationship with you22429.2%
Denied you equal treatment or services in areas of business, a government agency, or a public place7710.0%
Physically attacked you364.7%

Participants’ Awareness of Anti-discrimination Policies at School

Sexual OrientationFrequencyPercent
Gender IdentityFrequencyPercent
Gender ExpressionFrequencyPercent

Adverse Childhood Experiences

of youth reported suicidal ideation (3x the national average).
of youth reported having attempted suicide (3x the national average).