Randy Slovacek's picture

HRC Asks Education Secy Betsy DeVos "How Do You Sleep At Night?"

After interviewing over 12,000 LGBTQ teenagers, the HRC Foundation and the University of Connecticut has released the largest-of-its-kind survey detailing the anxiety and challenges so many of them face going regarding their daily lives at home, at school and in their communities.

With teens ranging in age from 13 to 17, and from all 50 states and Washington D.C., the survey reveals teenagers are not only experiencing stressful levels of apprehension and angst, but only a small minority (26%) feel unsafe in their own school classrooms. 

The researchers found that:

• 79% of LGBTQ teenagers surveyed report feeling depressed or down over the past week

• 95% of LGBTQ youth report trouble sleeping at night

• LGBTQ youth of color and transgender teenagers experience unique challenges and elevated stress -- only 11% of youth of color surveyed believe their racial or ethnic group is regarded positively in the U.S., and over 50% of trans and gender expansive youth said they can never use school restrooms that align with their gender identity

• More than 70% report feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness in the past week

• A scant 5% say all of their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people

• 76% report that they’ve heard family members make negative comments about LGBTQ people

To protest the harmful effects the Trump/Pence administration is having on young LGBTQs, artist Robin Bell and HRC projected a message on the U.S. Department of Education building (above).

The projection read, “Betsy DeVos, How do you sleep at night when only 26% of LGBTQ youth always feels safe in class?”

You can read the full survey from HRC and the University of Connecticut here.