As this year come to a close, I would like to wish everyone a prosperous 2012. We have had some good times and some not so good. Almost rough you would say. We have had tremendous breakthroughs.
*Marriage Equality in New York
*DADT (Dont Ask, Dont tell) repealed
*Doma is no longer going to be defended by the Obama Administration
*Federal Policy and Immigration. Under the direction of President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton declares to the world that Human rights are Gay rights. The Administration put an end to the deportation of legally married foreign nationals of same sex American citizens.
*Extension of Federal Benefits
These are WONDERFUL strides towards equality. There is one more giant hurdle to leap. That is the hurdle of teen suicide. 34,000 teens attempt or fulfill suicide each year.
It is the 3rd. leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. LGBT youth attempt it 4 times more than their peers.
In terms of school climate, approximately 25% of LGBT students have been harassed due to sexual orientation. LGBT students do not feel safe at school 3 times more, 22% vs 7% heterosexual students. 90%of LGBT students have been harassed or assaulted in 2011 vs 62% of non-LGBT teens.
Sexual minority youth or teens that identify themselves as LGBT, are bullied 3 times more than heterosexual teens. And almost ALL transgendered students have been verbally harassed. e.g. called names or threatened in the past year because of their sexual orientation. (89%) and gender expression (90%)
So as you can see, we still have great strides to go. It's great for LGBT adults to have their freedoms, but what about our youth? But I propose we do not just focus on LGBT teens in the coming year. It's a sad state of affairs that so many teens in America attempt or follow through with suicide. We send our children to school to be taught not taunted.
I'm reminded of the words of a great man. But, until we get these numbers down, I do not believe they can be said. When that day comes, then we can say........
"That's one small step for Man, one giant leap for Mankind"
Astronaut Neal Armstrong, first man on the moon.
Thank You to the GLSEN site for their statistics. That's the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network.