To close out the work week, here’s a selection of LGBT-youth-related news from around the world.
• As I mentioned earlier this week, GLSEN has released its 2011 National School Climate Survey. It contains some good news: “The 2011 survey demonstrates a continued decline in anti-LGBT language over the years, and for the first time the 2011 survey shows a significant decrease in victimization based on sexual orientation.” However, the head researcher at GLSEN, Joseph Kosciw, cautions that “an alarming number of LGBT youth still face barriers that inhibit their ability to receive an education. And although we have seen an increase in school supports that can improve school climate for these youth, many of these young people reported being unable to access these supports in their schools.”
• A former high school teacher in Connecticut has filed a lawsuit, saying he was forced out of his job for being gay. You’ll find more details here.
• There are several stories from the Midwest today: Queerty has posted this description of Adam Hoover, a determined young advocate working for change in Ohio, and the Windy City Media Group has a profile of openly gay Michigan student Jose Aburto, whose efforts on behalf of gay youth have earned him a spot in the Bank of America Student Leaders Program. The Advocate, meanwhile, reports on a young transgender man who has joined his high school’s football team, also in Michigan. Finally, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), working with Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Waples & Hanger, filed a federal lawsuit over the alleged discriminatory treatment by the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) of student Dynasty Young. Young is the student who made national news for allegedly firing a stun gun last spring to ward off school bullies. The NCLR reports that the 17-year-old student
faced severe and relentless harassment at Arsenal Technical High School (Tech) throughout the 2011-2012 school year. Rather than address the constant harassment and abuse suffered by 17-year-old Dynasty Young, school administrators blamed the harassment on Young’s gender nonconforming clothes and “flamboyant” behavior. Ultimately, IPS expelled Dynasty instead of taking effective measures to protect him from the harassment.
NCLR provides more information about the lawsuit here, and you can read the . The suit alleges violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as violations of state law and a federal law known as Title IX; I described the latter law in this July post.
• There are two stories today from the “That’s so gay” Department: Students at an Alabama school will apparently face discipline after displaying a sexist and homophobic banner at a football game broadcast on television. The banner mocked the opponent team’s school colors (which included purple), calling them “gay.” (It wasn’t an especially creative insult, as one commentator noted. Still, it should be taken seriously.) Across the globe in Australia, ““ Just yesterday, ‘I posted a comment about using the word “gay” as an insult.
• And speaking of Australia, Queerty reports on an Australian doctor who was reprimanded after giving a castration drug to a gay teenager.
• Moving north from Australia, there are exciting developments in Japan: A campaign is getting underway to address and prevent suicide among LGBT youth and to send affirming messages to them. The Wall Street Journal has more here.
• In neighboring China, families are complaining about a widely distributed booklet that calls on parents to “prevent” their children from being gay.
• Back in the Middle East, a study of 1,134 teens revealed that “20% of gay youngsters” in Israel had attempted suicide, according to Pink News. This is 112 times the rate of the general population, and the rate was even higher for religious LGBT youth.