conference provides an opportunity for professionals who work with youth to build the
awareness and cultural competency, learn current and emerging best practices, and pass on
research from leading experts and national organizations in the field.
Growing Up LGBT in America
Growing Up LGBT in America is a report by the HRC that surveys more than
10,000 LGBT-identified youth ages thirteen through seventeen. The report is the largest
known sample of LGBT youth from every region of the country, centered on uncovering
the difficulties LGBT youth face and the impact on their well-being. These difficulties
stem from official government discrimination or indifference along with social ostracism.
The survey measured key factors that impact the daily lives of LGBT youth,
A sense of being accepted by family, peers, and the larger community – in sports
leagues, clubs, places of worship, school, work, online, and more;
Access to LGBT affirmative support and services;
Negative experiences such as verbal harassment, cyber-bullying, exclusion from
Connection to a welcoming religious or spiritual community; and
Level of optimism about the future and the ability to live a happy life as an “out”
The results showed that one of the biggest problems LGBT youth face are their
parents/family not accepting them. Compared with their non-LGBT peers, LGBT youth
surveyed reported much lower levels of happiness, a higher incidence of alcohol and drug
use, and less connection to adult support during personal problems.
HRC believes LGBT youth will lead lives that are safer, healthier, and more
fulfilling when institutional discrimination ends and the country fully embraces young
people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. HRC fights to bring these
problem areas to the media, in turn, sparking legal action and policy changes. Visit their
website, http://www.hrc.org/, for more information and to holistically learn about their
CHILD WELFARE INFORMATION GATEWAY, SUPPORTING YOUR LGBTQ YOUTH: A GUIDE FOR FOSTER
PARENTS 1-3 (2013), https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/LGBTQyouth.pdf.
HRC Staff, HRC Foundation Youth Ambassador Reflects on the Power of Adoption, Acceptance and Family,
HUM. RIGHTS CAMPAIGN (Nov. 29, 2015), http://www.hrc.org/blog/hrc-foundation-youth-ambassador-reflects-on-the-power-of-adoption-acceptanc.