Spirit Day: 16 Shocking Facts About Bullying

Spirit Day
Today is Spirit Day - a day to stand together in the fight against the bullying of LGBT youth. Here are some facts you need to know about bullying in America. GLAAD.org/SpiritDay

Today is National Spirit Day, a day when we stand together to put an end to the bullying of LGBTQ youth. Bullying has become a widespread epidemic in the United States, and the bullying of gay, lesbian or transgender youth has reached critical levels. By wearing purple today, people around the country can show their solidarity in the fight against bullying.

Purple is the color representing "Spirit" on the LGBTQ rainbow flag. It is a representation of courage and strength in the face of the adversity faced by members of the LGBTQ community on a regular basis. In recent years, much has been done to prevent bullying of gay and lesbian youth: Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" program, as well as the work of the Trevor Project have helped decrease the alarming rate of gay teen suicides. Huge strides have been made in the quest of LGBTQ rights, but it seems that with the new government all that progress is going backwards.

Mississippi last year passed and anti-LGBTQ law that allows for businesses and government employees to decline service to LGBTQ people, and that includes bakers, florists, county clerks and and other government employees, based on religious beliefs. Texas joined Michigan, South Dakota and Mississippi in allowing bans on adoption to same-sex couples by state-funded adoption agencies.

The Trump administration has withdrawn guidelines on protecting trans students that were put in place by the Obama administration for schools nationwide. Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resigned in recent weeks, calling Trump a “president who simply does not care.”

LGBTQ youth continue to face bullying and gay and transgender people are attacked on a regular basis. If we are to put an end to this violence, it must begin in our schools and in our homes. It is startling to see how endemic the problem of bullying is. Below are 16 shocking facts about bullying and bullying of the LGBTQ community. They are a reminder of the importance of Spirit Day in creating awareness and promoting solidarity in the fight against bullying across America.

  • One in four kids in the US are bullied on a regular basis.
  • Students in grades 6 through 10 are the most likely to face bullying.
  • 77% of students report being verbally bullied or abused in some way.
  • 85.2% of LGBTQ students report being verbally harassed
  • 63.5% of LGBTQ students report hearing homophobic remarks from teachers and/or school staff because of their gender expression

  • In 85% of school bullying cases, no intervention was made by a teacher or school administrator.

  • 57.6% of LGBTQ students did not report experiences of bullying because they doubted an intervention
  • 63.5% of LGBTQ students who did report an incident said that school staff did nothing in response or told the student to ignore it
  • 57.6% of LGBTQ students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation

  • Approximately 80% of students report being bullied online.

  • 48.6% of LGBTQ students have experienced cyberbullying
  • Teens who identify as gay are five times more likely to commit suicide than those that identify as heterosexual.

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death in American teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18.
  • Gay teens are 20% more likely to attempt suicide in politically conservative areas of the country.
  • In September 2010, 9 gay teenagers killed themselves across the country. That's 9 young men under the age of 18 in one month.
  • 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment. 61% have felt unsafe and 22% have reported being physically assaulted.


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Maria G. Valdez

Maria was born and raised in Dominican Republic, where she began her career in journalism covering human interest stories, entertainment, beauty and wellness for a national magazine. She moved to New York City to study Musical Theatre, but went back to journalism after graduating in an attempt of becoming the Latina Carrie Bradshaw. She has an unhealthy obsession with JLo and claims to be Sofia Vergara’s long-lost daughter, and has tried a crazy amount of treatments to keep looking young. She became a Zumba instructor for fun.