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Volume 22, Number 3
May/June 2006

Making Schools Safer for LGBT Youth

Despite signs of progress, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students say harassment persists


Shelby is an openly gay junior at a large suburban high school near Boston. On most days, she says, she feels lucky to attend a relatively affluent, liberal school that offers her “an excellent education, opportunities to pursue my passions, and a fairly safe place for me to express my sexual orientation.” Issues like same-sex marriage, now legal in Massachusetts, have been discussed in several of her classes, and incidents of homophobia are addressed swiftly.

Nonetheless, Shelby says the undercurrents of homophobia run deep among her peers.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.


For Further Information

For Further Information

Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, 90 Broad St. 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10004; tel: (212) 727-0135.

L. McCready. “When Fitting in Isn’t an Option, or, Why Black Queer Males at a California High School Stay Away from Project 10.” In K. K. Kumashiro, Troubling Intersections of Race and Sexuality: Queer Students of Color and Anti-Oppressive Education. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.

Safe Schools Coalition, 10501 Meridian Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133; tel: (206) 632-0662.

R.C. Savin-Williams. The New Gay Teenager. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

L.A. Szalacha. “Safer Sexual Diversity Climates: Lessons Learned from an Evaluation of Massachusetts’ Safe Schools Program for Gay and Lesbian Students.” American Journal of Education 110, no. 1 (2003): 58-89.