April 02, 2015
LGBT Hate Crimes Many gay and lesbian youths are fortunate to have families that are supportive. Some are even more fortunate to attend a high school where there are many gay, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender groups. Some of the high schools make an outstanding effort to make it a safe place for students both physically and emotionally. Sadly, there are not many schools that make an effort to protect or make it a safe place for homosexual students. In this essay I will argue that schools can prevent not only bullying but also suicide rates from going up towards homosexual students. Going to a school that creates a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and having caring and accepting parents are really important. This helps all youths achieve good grades and maintain good mental and physical health. However some LGBT youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience difficulties in their lives and school environments, such as violence. When students have negative attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people put these youth at increased risk for experiences with violence, compared with other students. Violence can include behaviors such as bullying, teasing, physical assault, harassment, and suicide-related behaviors. Many homosexual students do not feel safe in their schools due to the fact that they constantly have someone calling them out for their sexual orientation. Which causes homosexuals to feel different and not wanted in this world.
The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) came to a conclusion that a person’s appearance was the number one reason for bullying. The second reason was actual or assumed sexual orientation and gender identity. According to a study by GLSEN in 2007, “86% of LGBT youth reported being harassed at school. Compare this to 27.3% of all students being bullied at school as reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics in 2013.” LGBT youth are also at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, suicide attempts, and suicide.
I am heterosexual, I personally don’t know what goes through a homosexual’s mind but what I do know is what they tell me. Carlos Medina, was my guy friend since middle school the first time I met him was in 6th grade science class, he would wear baggy clothes but didn’t hang with the gangster’s from our school he always seemed to keep to himself. Until one day our science teacher gave us each a partner for a project that was due, and when we first started talking I didn’t think of anything. We became friends and we were always together, many people thought we were going out, but we were just best friends. The following school year we had mostly all our classes together. Which made us even closer, then we started to share secrets he would tell me many things that were going on, and then the secrets became deeper. When he told me that he didn’t feel attracted to girls but he felt attracted to boys I was surprised I never thought that he would turned out to be gay. I didn’t have a problem with it, since I have an uncle that was homosexual, and he happened to be very awesome and fun to be around. Well, Carlos was ashamed to show it nobody knew that he was attracted to men but me. I told him he shouldn’t be ashamed of being homosexual, people have to love you for who you are and that they don’t have a right to criticize. During summer he finally came out and told his parents, they were so supportive, his mother was happy that he told them she said she didn’t care who he liked or loved as long as he is happy she is happy.
Then came 8th grade, he started to dress in his skinny jeans tight shirts, and started wearing his colorful bracelets. Many of our classmates would make fun of him and call him names, I always had his back when it came to people making fun of him. I knew the words they would call him hurt him. They were constantly bullying him, and since he