Last year, over 12,000 LGBTQ+ teens age 13 to 17 participated in an online survey created by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and the University of Connecticut, reports Sarah McBride the HRC’s website. This survey was designed to gauge LGBTQ+ youth’s mental health and how bias and prejudice affected them. They’ve just released the results, and they’re not good.

Seventy-seven percent of LGBTQ+ youth reported feeling depressed or down in the past week, while over seventy percent reported feeling hopeless or worthless in the past week. Nearly all of them–ninety-five percent–reported trouble sleeping.

Over half of all trans and gender non-conforming teens said they never used school restrooms that affirmed their gender. Said one respondent, “I just don’t go to the bathroom at school. I’ve had friends who were harassed about it, and don’t feel comfortable using them.”

mental health
Findings of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and UConn survey suggest that LGBTQ youth need support in the face of political attacks on LGBTQ equality. (Photo courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign)

LGBTQ+ people of color also suffer, with only eleven percent believing their race or ethnicity is viewed favorably in the United States. Both people of color and transgender teens surveyed reported elevated stress.

Respondents also described hearing anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments at school and from family members. Only five percent said all their school’s teachers and staff members were LGBTQ+ allies. One teen wrote, “I’m afraid that any information or questions that I have aren’t confidential between me and my councilor [sic]. I’m afraid he’ll call my parents or try to convince me that my sexuality is wrong.”

Despite these challenges, ninety-one percent of the teenagers surveyed reported feeling pride in their identity as an LGBTQ+ individual, and ninety-three percent were proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Read the HRC article here.