STORY BY NYJAH WARREN & MASON RILEY, FNN REPORTERS, COLLEGIATE BUREAU.
January 15, 2013. Now that I’m in high school and even when I was in middle school, I have learned a lot about kids my age and a few years older who are LGBT and the things they go through. There have been recent news stories about gay/lesbian teens who were bullied. The stories show that some boys and girls may turn to suicide to escape the cruel bullying. According to “About Our Kids.Org", nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT high school students were bullied—from basic teasing to being beaten up. LGBT teens may allow this to happen without taking any type of action because low self-esteem.
For LGBT teens, self-esteem isn’t low by choice, but from the negative messages they receive from their environment—both at school and home. Classmates play a crucial role in a teen’s self-esteem, but a parent’s role is valued much more. Teenagers who have been rejected by the family or are unsuccessful socially or academically are most vulnerable. Therefore, parents can positively or negatively influence a teen’s self-esteem.
In many cases, LGBT teens will not seek help, and will instead suffer in silence, due to shame. As these social problems build up, these teenagers have a much higher risk for mental and physical health problems compared with their peers.
For LGBT youth, social adversity makes negotiating teenage development tasks more difficult in their families, religions and school. There may be problems with conversing among family members who don’t agree with the LGBT lifestyle. Some religions do not accept it, and children at school may not like or support it. These issues can make school life, and basic everyday life very difficult.
LGBT teens may hide who they really are, and become isolated from their peers. They might go into a phase of depression and self-hatred, not wanting to show who they really are—all because they’re afraid (or they know) of all the dangers, problems and issues that follow.
To me, judging someone because of their sexuality is stupid. I am totally against hatred like that.
“ I am bisexual and I get talked about for it all the time, but unlike other people, it doesn’t phase me,” says an older friend of mine who’s in high school.
But, an anonymous student who I decided to ask had a completely different approach. “I don’t think two of the same gender should be together. It’s just not right...not how things are supposed to be.”
So, what can we do to help? We can show people that instead of bullying and things similar to it, we can help. Here’s a list of places where LGBT teens can go for help:
The DC Center (For the LGBT community)
Go Gay DC
GLAA (Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance)
Nyjah Warren and Manson Riley are freshman at Friendship Collegiate Academy.