A new survey finds significant anxiety and fear among teenagers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.
The survey findings, released Tuesday, are based on the answers of roughly 12,000 youth ages 13 to 17 who responded to an online solicitation by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and other advocacy groups. Researchers say they reveal the depth of challenges that LGBTQ teens face.
At home, at school, in social circles and communities, these teens are experiencing high levels of anxiety, feelings of rejection and fears for their safety, according to a report on the survey findings.
“Despite the change in social attitudes, they’re still struggling,” said Ryan Watson, an assistant professor in human development and family studies at the University of Connecticut who is one of the researchers. “We still see alarming disparities and experiences, disheartening mental health problems and self-esteem issues.”
The report notes that nearly three-quarters of the teens responding to the survey said they have been threatened verbally because of their sexual identity. Ninety-five percent reported having trouble sleeping.