When you are a teenager and trying to make sense of the world, it can feel as if you are the only one who has ever gone through the experience. Figuring out and becoming comfortable with your sexual orientation (whether you are attracted to girls, boys, or both) and your gender identity (whether you feel male or female) is part of growing up. You may feel alone, afraid, or pain about being different. It is important to know that you are not alone. There are other kids struggling with the same issues, who feel like they need to hide to be accepted – or to stay safe. Being gay, lesbian or bisexual, trans, queer or questioning is not wrong. It does not mean you are sick and it is not a disorder of any kind. It is simply a part of who you are.
We know that far too many LGBTQ students do not feel safe at school and in the community. They experience higher rates of bullying and harassment and have an increased risk of experiencing depression or committing suicide. Bullying and harassment about LGBTQ issues is not OK and should never be accepted. All people have the right to be treated with respect regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. All people have the responsibility to stand up and speak out against bullying.