An Examination of Homophobic Bullying and Discrimination

Introduction

The purpose of this report is to examine the ways in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning youth (LGBTQ) experience harassment and discrimination within high school environments as well as how LGBTQ youths can be best supported within these school frameworks. I have chosen this topic of research for several important reasons, which range from my own experiences within high school environments as both a teacher candidate and student, the precarious statistics surrounding LGTBQ youths, and from the philosophical position that LGBTQ issues remain one of the few areas in modern society that are acceptable areas of discrimination.

In terms of my own personal experiences as a straight male within a high school setting, I have witnessed far too many occasions of open and direct discrimination aimed at LGBTQ youths. I am not proud to share that I myself (like many of us) have been guilty of using defamatory words to express my frustration over annoyances that are offensive to gay or lesbian individuals. These attitudes began to shift however, after having two distinct experiences that have impacted my current view of LGBTQ discrimination. The first of these, experienced as a student. My teacher at the time, juxtaposed the unacceptable societal practice of racial discrimination with LGBTQ discrimination, and shared his message of hope: that although in todays world it is permissible to treat LGBTQ people as individuals of color were once treated; the day will come when it will be viewed as just as reprehensible to treat someone differently based on their sexual preference as it is to treat someone differently based on their skin color. The second of these experiences came when I became close friends with someone from the LGBTQ community, an experience which as we will examine below helped dispel many of the previously held notions I was guilty of holding towards the LGBTQ community.

The second reason I have chosen to focus on this topic revolves around the startling statistics associated with LGBTQ youths that cannot, and should not be ignored. According to EGALE’s National School Climate Survey, ninety percent of students report hearing homophobic comments on a daily basis (ten percent report hearing these comments from teachers), and almost seventy percent of LGBTQ students feel unsafe in school.[1] A Center for Suicide Prevention survey reported that forty-two percent of the LGBTQ youth studied reported thoughts of suicide at one time and that youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirited, queer or unsure of their sexual orientation were more than three times more likely to report a suicide attempt in the previous twelve-month period.[2] As a future educator these statistics scare me and cannot be ignored. In writing this report we were asked to choose one of the topics examined in class this year and when I began researching different topics I came to the realization that LGBTQ students are the most likely group of students to be the victims of all of the topics examined throughout the duration of this course. Not only do these students exhibit the highest dropout rate of any group, they also have the highest depression rate of any group, highest incidents of violence/bullying, highest addictions rate (alcohol and drug), highest suicide attempts (especially Trans), and highest rate of homelessness[3]. Instead of examining any one of these issues, I have chosen to examine the group that is most likely to be affected by them all.

In exploring the issue of LGBTQ youth in educational settings, I have organized this report into four distinct areas of interest, each of which focuses on an important issue for educators who are concerned with improving the aforementioned statistics as well as the general experience of LGBTQ youths within their own classrooms. The first part of this report will focus on understanding both the terminology and language of the LGBTQ community as well as an examination of who fits within this community because as we will see there is a tendency to group all LGBTQ community members within the same framework, that is unrepresentative of their individual needs. Following this discussion, this report will then discuss the lack of support offered to the LGBTQ community from both teachers and administrators within schools- a necessary component involved in improving the lives of these students. This report will then thoroughly examine some of the consequences of this lack of support in the areas of academic performance, drug abuse, and other problems faced by these youths. Finally, this report will advocate a number of ways educators can go about making positive change within their classrooms, schools, and communities in order to make a positive lasting impact on not only the LGBTQ youths within their classrooms, but all the students within their school because as we will examine, the consequences of homophobic bullying have negative impacts on all students not just those who identify as LGBTQ.

LGBTQ Terminology and Language

To begin, let us first define some of the terminology used to describe the various positions one may take with regards to sexual orientation and gender. I feel that this is important because if we are going to be discussing matters relating to LGBTQ youth, we must first come to understand what a lot of the common terminology means as well as what it implies. The need for this type of an education is important not only for educators but for students as well, as many of them may lack the ability to identify where their own sexual preferences and gender place them according to the language used to describe these positions. This is important when one considers that according to the Human Rights Watch many youths begin to become aware of their sexual orientation at a very young age (sometimes as young as eight).[4] Heterosexual or straight individuals as understood in this report are those individuals who are attracted to some members of the opposite sex. Homosexuals or gay/lesbian individuals are understood as those who are attracted to some members of the same sex. Bisexuals are those who are attracted to some members of more than one sex. It is important to note that all of these terms describe an individual’s sexual orientation.[5]

Often, ones gender is often associated with their sexual orientation, however this is a misconception. The gender by which an individual identifies has no bearing on their sexual preferences. This is a commonly held assumption many people mistakenly make, that can lead them to categorize gay/lesbian issues or problems with those of transgendered or transsexual issues/problems.[6] In fact, the divide between these positions is so distinct, that one could argue that the issues impacting gay men and lesbian women are autonomous enough to warrant a finer distinction between both gays and lesbians. In terms of gendered distinctions, this paper understands the term Transgendered to mean individuals who feel that the gender by which they were born does not fit how they identify themselves, whereas Transsexuals are those who choose to undergo medical procedures to transition to the gender they feel is appropriate for how they perceive themselves.[7]

The problem at the heart of lumping many of the issues felt by gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered/transsexual individuals into the same category revolves around the notion of heterosexism. Heterosexism can be understood as:

A systematic process of privileging heterosexuality relative to homosexuality, based on the assumption that heterosexuality and heterosexual power and privilege are normal and ideal (Chesir-Teran 2003; Friend 1998; Pharr 1988). This definition includes attitudes and ideologies that are expressed by individuals, but emphasizes contextual processes that privilege one group over others. In most settings including schools heterosexist regularities are maintained through subtle processes that reinforce LGB invisibility and through explicit expressions of anti-LGBQ discrimination or victimization (Chesir-Teran 2003; Friend 1998; Lipkin 1999).[8]

Accordingly, those who do not identify as homosexual or trans tend to view all matters relating to sex and gender that is not heterosexual as the same or similar and against the “norm”. Despite the differences in these sexual and gendered positions, another explanation as to why they tend to get placed together is that many of these individuals, whether gay, lesbian, transgendered, or transsexual, experience very similar types of hardships and discrimination, perhaps because they are viewed as being the same by our heterosexist society.

A second important issue relating to LGBTQ terms and language that lead to abuse and discrimination revolves around the power of language. As both a student and an educator I can personally attest to the amount of homophobic language that not only exists within our school system but within our society. It has become acceptable to express ones frustration by saying “that’s so gay” or “you’re so gay” in the place of “that’s so stupid” or “you’re so strange” and what must be recognized in order to illicit change is that this language has power and can hurt. As the Human Rights Watch states:

The unrelenting verbal attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students creates a hostile climate that can be unbearable for them. It can undermine students’ ability to focus at school as well as their well-being. When school officials routinely ignore the pervasive verbal harassment or dismiss its seriousness, they create an atmosphere that the gay students are powerless to change from which they can only escape by dropping out of school… One young gay youth who had dropped out of an honors program angrily protested, “Just because I am gay doesn’t mean I am stupid.”[9]

These comments are damaging even when directed towards students who do not identify as LGBTQ, as they imply that to be LGBTQ is bad. In my own practice, I have tried to make it a habit to point this out to my students and whenever I hear someone say “that’s so gay” I make a point to ask them what is wrong with being gay? In my experience many of the students do not mean to use such discriminatory language, however they are largely unaware of the heterosexist society in which they live where saying like “that’s so gay” are an acceptable form of expression. However, by making students aware of the power of their language, I believe that we can curb these discriminatory and hurtful expressions. Despite this, I have heard it expressed by some educators that expressions like “that’s so gay” are just a social reality and to try to prevent such language is tantamount to fighting a losing battle. I believe David Kilmnick has an appropriate response to this kind of mentality when he points out “heterosexist language and comments must be confronted in the same manner as one would confront racist or sexist remarks.”[10] Just because homophobic expressions are more popular in today’s society does not make them any more acceptable.

Lack of Support Given to LGBTQ Youth

To continue, let us now examine the lack of support LGBTQ students often face from both high school teachers and administrators. This lack of support can take two distinct forms; the first kind takes place subtlety, when teachers and administration fail to acknowledge closeted gay or lesbian students in the classroom or school, further adding to the invisible minority status of this community. The second type of lack of support is much more overt and damaging. It occurs when teachers and administration vocally speak out against LGBTQ students or fail to enforce school policies when a LGBTQ student has faced harassment or discrimination. Since the former has been discussed in the first section, as it essentially falls into heterosexist attitudes and language, the purpose of this section will be to examine the second way in which LGBTQ students often feel that teachers or administrations have failed at supporting them.

A major problem faced by LGBTQ students stems from schoolteachers and administrators who fail to take reports of, or condemn LGBTQ harassment and abuse. This is dangerous because it effectively reinforces heterosexist attitudes and sends the message that homophobic bullying is permissible within the school.[11] At the heart of this attitude are two very alarming mentalities: the first being that the students being abused provoke or deserve the attacks because they “flaunt” their identity, and the second being that students who “insist” on being gay must “get used to it.”[12] As the Human Rights Watch points out: “For gay youth who survive by carefully concealing their sexual orientation or gender identity, they learn that they will be protected only if they deny who they are- a message that too often leads to self-hatred and a fractured sense of identity.”[13] What is equally worrying is that teachers and administrators only tend to take an interest in homophobic bullying when they discover that this form of bullying has targeted straight students who are perceived as homosexual.[14]

From my experience within schools, I have seen that administrators are quick to point out that the school has a zero-tolerance policy regarding any kind of bullying, however I have found that the degree to which these policies are being enforced is questionable. At my last school, I had several conversations with LGBTQ students regarding their perception of teachers and administrators and many of these students shared with me that they felt like they were essentially alone and had little support. This mentality has been backed up by much of the research I have cited in writing this report. One particular story stands out when thinking about these issues as shared by Cooper-Nicols and Bowleg:

We have a zero-tolerance rule, but it’s not really enough. It’s supposed to protect us. It’s supposed to be in effect, but everyone ignores it. Like they say, “That’s so gay,” and “faggot” and “dyke” in any context, and they’re like “I didn’t mean that.” And no one stops them… if a student said the word “nigger,” they’d take out a detention slip or send them to an administrator and they might get suspended. To this they’re like “Don’t say that again.” But most teachers don’t even do that! They pretend they’re deaf.[15]

I believe that this story reflects the reality that many of the LGBTQ students I have talked to experience.

Personally, I find this problem disturbing as I feel that as teachers we have a responsibility to promote and encourage the self-expression and development of within of our students. I see the role of an educator as more then a source of knowledge; I would argue that a teacher must also work towards making their students healthy and productive members of society; students must be allowed to express who they are without fear of any form or repercussion. Likewise, it has to be the responsibility of teachers and administrators to enforce policies relating to any kind of harassment or discrimination; we cannot expect students to become self-advocators if the environment in which they are developing is perceived as being unsafe. Furthermore, we cannot expect these students to be “experts” in educating their fellow peers about LGBTQ issues as is expected by some teachers and administration because many of these students are still discovering how they are choosing to experience their sexuality.[16]

Consequences of LGBTQ Bullying

Within this section I would now like to examine some of the consequences of LGBTQ bullying. Before we examine the consequences of homophobic bullying, it would be beneficial to look at the different forms it can take. Homophobic violence can take several forms ranging from physical/sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, verbal harassment, threats, and neglect.[17] According to one study sixty-eight percent of homosexual individuals reported being physically abused at school, thirteen percent sexually assaulted, fifty-eight percent emotionally/psychologically abused, eighty-five verbally harassed, fifty-four percent received threats, and twenty-four percent reported being neglected.[18]

The effects this bullying can have are as diverse as the kinds of bullying experienced by LGBTQ youths. Consequences include, but are not limited to: depression, drug and alcohol abuse, risky sexual behaviors, runaway, homeless, and “throwaway” youths, and suicide.[19] Another frequent consequence of homophobic bullying is that it isolates homosexual youth and can result in attempting to “pass as straight,” causing them to withdraw from social situations in order to avoid having their sexuality exposed. This isolation deprives them of opportunities to form friendships, develop social skills, as well as forming and maintain intimate relationships.[20]

Depression is considered by some to be the most common consequence of homophobic bullying and can lead to several of the other outcomes outline above. As Ann Cook notes, gay and lesbian youth “Often invest tremendous energy in coping with societies negativity and discrimination. Lacking healthy adult role models, skills and support systems, many conclude that they have no hope of ever becoming happy and productive.”[21] Thus, alcohol and drug use are used as a means to escape and cope, consequently leading homosexual individuals to have much higher lifetime rates of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and injected drug uses when compared to heterosexual individuals.[22]

Similarly, many LGBTQ youths engage in unsafe sexual practices out of a desire for companionship and intimacy, putting them at risk for sexually transmitted diseases.[23] Worse still, as noted by Caitlin Ryan and Donna Futterman “the pervasiveness of AIDS within the gay community has resulted in feelings of futility among many young gay males; they believe that HIV infection is inevitable and thus that prevention is useless.”[24] One surprising consequence of homophobic bullying is that it places homosexual youth at risk of unplanned pregnancies. In fact, homosexual youth are around three times more likely to be responsible for unplanned pregnancies than heterosexual youth.[25] This is explained as an attempt by many LGBTQ youth to try to hide their sexuality by engaging in sexual acts with the opposite sex resulting in unplanned pregnancy.[26]

Other consequences faced by LGBTQ youth revolve around homelessness and suicide. Homelessness is a common problem as many individuals are thrown out of their homes after their sexual orientation is discovered or “outed.” It can be difficult to ascertain the exact statistics surrounding LGBTQ homelessness, however some studies of homeless youth have found that between sixteen and thirty-eight percent of youths examined identified as LGBTQ.[27] A final result of LGBTQ bullying is suicide, which can be caused by any number of factors including the harassment and violence these youths have to endure on a regular basis. Some studies have noted that LGBTQ youths are three times more likely to report a suicide attempt.[28] In fact, a Minnesota junior and senior public high school survey found that twenty-eight percent of gay or bisexual boys and twenty percent of lesbian or bisexual girls reported that they had attempted suicide compared to four percent of heterosexual boys and fourteen percent of heterosexual girls.[29]

Beyond the consequences that homophobic bullying have on LGTBQ youths, it is also important to consider how this type of bullying has far reaching outcomes that affect all of us whether heterosexual or homosexual. Some of these outcomes include Heterosexist attitudes, which can inhibit many straight youths from forming close bonds with members of their own sex out of fear of being perceived as homosexual.[30] Homophobia also prevents some LGBTQ youths from developing an authentic self-identity and when coupled with the pressure to marry, this can place undue stress on both themselves and their heterosexual spouses and children.[31] Homophobia along with other types of oppression can also discourage a unified and effective governmental and societal response AIDS prevention and awareness.[32] Finally, “Homophobia prevents heterosexuals from accepting the benefits and contributions offered by the gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual communities; theoretical insights, social visions and options, and contributions to the arts and culture, religion, family life, and other sectors of society.”[33] As we can see the effects of homophobic bullying take a variety of forms and have a variety of undesirable consequences. The next step will be to examine how we as educators can make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ students and serve as a positive influence while creating a safe educational environment for all students.

Improving the Situation for LGBTQ Youths

Finally, let us now consider some of the steps we can take in order to improve the situation for LGBTQ youths in our classrooms and school communities. I believe that the most important thing to acknowledge from the outset is the positive role teachers can play in the lives of the LGBTQ students in their schools. Nearly every study in which LGBTQ students report having a positive school experience, they attributed this to the presence of supportive teachers.[34] By creating positive learning spaces for students, that not only prevent forms of violence and harassment but also allow for positive expression, teachers go far towards building self-acceptance, which is a major indicator of positive mental health.

In researching this report, I have come across a plethora of helpful strategies and recommendations that can be used to improve the situation of LGBTQ youths and I encourage anyone who is looking at educating themselves on these issues to consider the sources I have cited in this report. Here I will share some of the best strategies I have found in my research. Many of the recommendations I have come across concern themselves with laying out clear and concise zero-tolerance policies that make it very clear that any type of discrimination is not acceptable. These policies must be introduced to students and made clear from the outset as well as outlining how breaches of these policies will be followed up with and who will be responsible for doing so.[35]

Likewise, many of these policies point out that teacher’s, administrators, and councilors must have appropriate discrimination and sensitivity training in order to be effective at dealing with these issues. Although many school boards offer these kinds of training as Cooper-Nicols and Bowleg point out many of these sensitivity training sessions are optional and are thus ignored by large portions of teachers.[36] In order to be effective such professional development must become mandatory to all teachers, administration, and staff.

Furthermore, many of the strategies recommended by the experts involve making LGBTQ issues more visible to the general student body. This includes being critical of language that targets the LGBTQ community as well as language that is heterosexual in nature (as we have previously seen the power of language). In order to fight heterosexism many of these resources advocate spending more then a class or a month on LGBTQ awareness and instead actively folding LGBTQ contributions into and throughout the curriculum.[37] This would include lessons on the history of all forms of oppression as well as improving library and textbook holdings to those that include both heterosexual and homosexual achievements and accolades. Most also advocate the inclusion of openly LGBTQ adults and youth as resources for classrooms and assemblies.[38] In short, the aim of these strategies is to raise awareness of the issue instead of simply trying to silence the hate we must also work on spreading the positive aspects of the LGBTQ community to our students.

In terms of what we can accomplish with the aid of the LGBTQ community; all of the examined resources have recommended the formation of gay-straight alliances (GSA’s) as a helpful outlet to raise both community and awareness. These organizations have a great impact and as related by Walls, Kane, and Wisneski:

Many of the documented benefits of GSAs appear to be related to the direct support offered to students and the focus on developing and supporting individual and collective empowerment (Garcia­Alonso, 2004). This support may come in the form of providing information about topics such as coming out or relationships, connecting with supportive faculty and staff, finding faculty and staff mentors, or assisting youth to develop coping strategies for living in a frequently hostile world.[39]

These organizations serve to provide support for otherwise isolated students who may be looking for a somewhere to turn. In order to form a successful GSA’s however support is often required from school administration further leading to the importance of LGBTQ friendly policies and practices.

With this in mind let us briefly examine some of the ways in which one can get support from fellow administrators and teachers. In order to gain support of school administrator’s one strategy involves asking sympathetic principals or VPs to sponsor awareness sessions for both staff and students.[40] Being active and organizing student presentations at board or staff meetings is also advocated as a positive strategy to bring about change. Ways in which to get teachers involved range from professional development sessions (as discussed above), the presentation of curriculum resources, videos, and books which deal with LGBTQ issues at staff or department meetings, as well as creating networks in which teachers can communicate the effectiveness of their positive practice with other teachers.[41]

I believe that each of these strategies represents important ventures that a teacher must take on as part of their responsibilities to their students. As I have mentioned above, I feel that that job of a teacher is not simply the transmission of information but also the formation of productive, healthy, and happy members of society. Our goal must be to reach all of the students in front of us not just the majority. The LGBTQ community is often invisible and closeted out of fear and my own view is that by allowing this to continue we effectively limit our perspective and create a disservice not only to the LGBTQ students who are not given a chance to share their lived experience but the heterosexual students as well who miss the opportunity to learn from these perspectives. I recognize that the issue of homophobic bullying is a difficult problem to solve; however, it is a worthy cause. If in the course of my teaching practice I can cut the statistics presented in the introduction in half then I will take comfort in the number of lives that have been improved, however we should not rest until homophobic bullying is a thing of the past.

Conclusion

In summation, the purpose of this report has been to examine the ways in which LGBTQ youth experience high school environments as well as how these youth can be best supported within school frameworks. In accomplishing this task this report has examined the role that language and terminology plays in shaping and defining LGBTQ youth, the lack of support given to LGBTQ youth from schoolteachers and administrators, the forms and consequences of LGBTQ bullying, and finally the ways in which LGBTQ bullying and discrimination can be addressed and prevented within school frameworks. In discussing these issues I have provided my own critical feedback and commentary relating from my experience as both a high school student and teacher candidate. I believe that what is most important is to let students know that homophobic discrimination and bullying will no longer be an acceptable social practice within our classrooms and school communities. By creating positive safe environments and encouraging all students to “be out” I believe we can change the attitudes surrounding LGBTQ community. As research shows, knowing someone in the LGBTQ community significantly changes the minds, attitudes, and perceptions of those who exist outside the community.[42] In speaking about the necessity to create an open space in which one can be themselves, I do not believe I can express this attitude better than the late Harvey Milk:

I cannot prevent anyone from getting angry, or mad, or frustrated. I can only hope that they’ll turn that anger and frustration and madness into something positive, so that two, three, four, five hundred will step forward, so that the gay doctors will come out, the gay lawyers, the gay judges, gay bankers, gay architects. … I hope that every professional gay will say ‘enough,’ come forward and tell everybody, wear a sign, let the world know. Maybe that will help.[43]

Works Cited

Bacon, J. Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for

Educators Concerned with Equality. Toronto: Education Wife Assult, 2002.

Bowleg, L. & Marjorie Cooper-Nicols. “My Voice is Being Heard: Exploring the Experiences of

Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth in Schools”. Beyond Progress and Marginalization:

LGBTQ Youth in Educational Contexts. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2010.

Chesire-Teran, D. & Diane Hughes. Heterosexism in High School and Victimization Among

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Questioning Students. New York: Springer Science &

Business Media, 2009.

EGALE’s National Education Survey Final Report. May 2011.

<http://egale.ca/index.asp?lang=E&menu=4&item=1489>

Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways: Violence and Discrimination Against Lesbian,

Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students in U.S. Schools. New York: 2001.

Kane, S. & Others. “Gay-Straight Alliances and School Experiences of Sexual Minority Youth.”

Youth and Society. SAGE Publications, 2010.

Kilmnick, David. “Introduction”. Beyond Progress and Marginalization: LGBTQ Youth in

Educational Contexts. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2010.

Metcalfe, G. Creating Safe Spaces Lecture. York University, 23 January 2012.

Rivers, I. Homophobic Bullying. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Toronto District School Board Facts and Statistics. 2001.

<http://www.tdsb.on.ca/_site/viewitem.asp?siteid=15&menuid=5401&pageid=4717>

[1] EGALE’s National Education Survey Final Report. May 2011. <http://egale.ca/index.asp?lang=E&menu=4&item=1489&gt;

[2] Toronto District School Board Facts and Statistics. 2001. <http://www.tdsb.on.ca/_site/viewitem.asp?siteid=15&menuid=5401&pageid=4717&gt;

[3] Metcalfe, G. Creating Safe Spaces Lecture. York University, 23 January 2012.

[4] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways: Violence and Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students in U.S. Schools. New York: 2001. Pg. 19

[5]Metcalfe, G. Creating Safe Spaces Lecture.

[6] Metcalfe, G. Creating Safe Spaces Lecture.

[7] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. xv

[8] Chesire-Teran, D. & Diane Hughes. Heterosexism in High School and Victimization Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Questioning Students. New York: Springer Science & Business Media, 2009. Pg. 964

[9] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 35

[10] Kilmnick, David. “Introduction”. Beyond Progress and Marginalization: LGBTQ Youth in Educational Contexts. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2010. Pg. x

[11] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 81

[12] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 83

[13] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 3

[14] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 31

[15] Bowleg, L. & Marjorie Cooper-Nicols. “My Voice is Being Heard: Exploring the Experiences of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth in Schools”. Beyond Progress and Marginalization: LGBTQ Youth in Educational Contexts. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2010. Pg. 32

[16] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 21

[17] Bacon, J. Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for Educators Concerned with Equality. Toronto: Education Wife Assult, 2002. Pg. 37

[18] Rivers, I. Homophobic Bullying. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Pg. 95

[19] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 68

[20] Bacon, J. Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for Educators Concerned with Equality. Pg. 27

[21] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 68

[22] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 70

[23] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 71

[24] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 71

[25] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 72

[26] Bacon, J. Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for Educators Concerned with Equality. Pg. 10

[27] Rivers, I. Homophobic Bullying. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Pg. 102

[28] Rivers, I. Homophobic Bullying. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Pg. 81

[29] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 75

[30] Bacon, J. Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for Educators Concerned with Equality. Pg. 10

[31] Bacon, J. Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for Educators Concerned with Equality. Pg. 10

[32] Bacon, J. Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for Educators Concerned with Equality. Pg. 10

[33] Bacon, J. Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for Educators Concerned with Equality. Pg. 10

[34] Human Rights Watch. Hatred in the Hallways. Pg. 79

[35] Bowleg, L. & Marjorie Cooper-Nicols. “My Voice is Being Heard: Exploring the Experiences of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth in Schools”. Pg. 47

[36] Bowleg, L. & Marjorie Cooper-Nicols. “My Voice is Being Heard: Exploring the Experiences of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth in Schools”. Pg. 48

[37] Bacon, J. Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for Educators Concerned with Equality. Pg. 39

[38] Bacon, J. Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for Educators Concerned with Equality. Pg. 39

[39] Kane, S. & Others. “Gay-Straight Alliances and School Experiences of Sexual Minority Youth.” Youth and Society. SAGE Publications, 2010. Pg. 311

[40] Bacon, J. Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for Educators Concerned with Equality. Pg. 73

[41] Bacon, J. Creating Safer Schools for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: A Resource for Educators Concerned with Equality. Pg. 73

[42] Kilmnick, David. “Introduction”. Beyond Progress and Marginalization: LGBTQ Youth in Educational Contexts. Pg. xiv

[43] Kilmnick, David. “Introduction”. Beyond Progress and Marginalization: LGBTQ Youth in Educational Contexts. Pg. xiv

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