Friday, October 8, 2010

US: Hatred in the Hallways

Violence and Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students in U.S. Schools

The tragic suicide of teenager Tyler Clementi, who jumped to his death off the George Washington bridge after a roommate posted online a webcam of him in an intimate encounter with another young man, highlights the intense social pressures young people face with relation to their sexuality and privacy, pressures that are even more intense for teens who may engage in same-sex relations or whose sexual identity is in flux. There have been several other recent, widely publicized examples of bullying leading to suicide.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in the United States often suffer daily harassment, abuse, and violence at the hands of their peers. These students spend an inordinate amount of energy figuring out how to get to and from school safely, avoiding the hallways when other students are present in order to escape slurs and shoves, cutting gym classes to escape being beaten up-in short, attempting to become invisible.

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