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Study Shows LGBT Youth in Alabama Face Enormous Challenges, Remain Optimistic

Lee Hedgepeth

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By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY – A new study released by the nonprofit organization Human Rights Campaign shows that LGBT youth in Alabama face particularly persistent challenges. Despite this, though, the statistics revealed in the survey show Alabama’s LGBT community is an optimistic one.

According to the survey, in which over ten thousand LGBT youth participated, members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender communities in the Yellowhammer State face prejudice and both overt and covert discrimination at staggeringly high rates.

For example, of the LGBT youth surveyed, one in four reported having been physically attacked at school, compared to just one in ten heterosexuals nationwide. Six in ten Alabama LGBT youth reported having been verbally harassed versus only 1 in four heterosexuals.

Even amongst the LGBT communities geographically, changes are clear. In Alabama, about seven in ten LGBT youth said they had been verbally abused with phrases like “fag,” compared to just half nationwide.

Some 81% of Alabama LGBT respondents said that their places of worship are intolerant towards them.

In fact, 86% of LGBT youth in Alabama say they feel the need to move to become accepted compared to just 63% of LGBT in other states.

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Despite those grim numbers, there is some statistical silver lining: LGBT youth in our State seem to be more resilient and optimistic about the current situation than youth elsewhere.

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Alabama LGBT youth reported they were “happy” two percent more often than those elsewhere, albeit significantly (about thirty percentage points) more heterosexuals reported the same.

The report notes that in this State, it is a fact that 100% of LGBT youth hear negative comments about their lifestyles.

“The results are a call for action for adults to encourage all students to succeed,” HRC said in a statement. “The survey shows how critical the work of achieving equality is for future generations.”

Human Rights Campaign have recently begun a full-fledged tolerance campaign for LGBT rights across the State known as Project One America.

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