Articles and information from academic and professional sources. Some links may require a user account and login for access to content.
Welcoming Schools: A project of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation
Welcoming Schools offers tools, lessons, and resources on embracing family, avoiding gender stereotyping, and ending bullying and name-calling in elementary schools. It offers an LGBT inclusive approach that is also inclusive of the many types of diversity found in our communities.
Administrators, educators, and parents/guardians can find materials here necessary to create learning environments in which all students are welcomed and respected.
Facing History and Ourselves has released an official guide to the film, BULLY.
The facilitator's guide helps students and adults confront the stories in this film and explore the meaning for their schools and communities.
A brief discussion of the film and a link to download the guide are at http://safeschools.facinghistory.org/content/about-facing-history-and-bully
BVSD Guidelines for the Support of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students
Attached is the final version of this document, which has been developed with significant input from BVSSC and other interested parties. This document will be going to CASE (Colorado Association of School Executives), so it will be available statewide.
Safe and Caring Schools for Two Spirit Youth: A Guide for Teachers and Students
This resource is intended to provide a brief but informative window into the challenges that many Two Spirit students face within educational settings and to contribute practical suggestions that teachers can use to begin addressing these issues.
Playgrounds and Prejudice: Elementary School Climate in the United States
A survey of teachers and students conducted on Behalf of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) by Harris Interactive
Previous research has documented the prevalence of biased language, name‐calling and bullying, as well as supportive resources, at the secondary school level. Yet, the precursors to secondary school climate are less understood. This study examined school climate, student experiences, and teacher practices at the elementary school level. The study examined biased remarks at school, bullying and school safety, teachers’ beliefs and practices, and school-wide efforts and professional development.
LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance
Movement Advancement Project
This new report shows how children living in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families of color have become collateral damage of antiquated laws, social stigma, and discrimination.
The report offers a snapshot of how racial and ethnic discrimination, anti-LGBT social stigma and outdated family laws intersect to hurt children living in LGBT families of color. Driven by the need to shed light on the double jeopardy faced by these children and families, the report brings together a coalition of public policy and family advocacy organizations: The National Black Justice Coalition, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, UNID@S, the Fighting Injustice to Reach Equality (FIRE) initiative, the Family Equality Council, the Movement Advancement Project and the Center for American Progress.
The report can be downloaded at: http://lgbtmap.org/lgbt-families-of-color-facts-at-a-glance
It is also available online at: http://www.lgbtmap.org/file/lgbt-families-of-color-facts-at-a-glance.pdf
Childhood Gender Nonconformity: A Risk Indicator for Childhood Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress in Youth
By A. L. Roberts et al.
February 20, 2012
Children in the U.S. whose activity choices, interests, and pretend play before age 11 fall outside those typically expressed by their biological sex face increased risk of being physically, psychologically, and sexually abused, and of suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by early adulthood, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health.
Abstract available for free at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/02/15/peds.2011-1804.abstract
The complete article can be purchased at the above site, or it will appear in the March print edition of Pediatrics, available at the library.
Safe and Caring Schools for Two Spirit Youth: A Guide for Teachers and Students
From the Introduction: Before first contact with European colonizers, most Indigenous people recognized the importance of Two Spirit individuals and the special responsibility bestowed on them by the Creator. Nevertheless, the impact of colonization has been long lasting, suppressing Two Spirit traditions and roles and leaving generations of Two Spirit people suffering from multiple layers of discrimination and stigma. Two Spirit youth are particularly at risk. This resource hopes to provide a brief but informative window into the challenges that many Two Spirit students face within educational settings and to contribute practical suggestions that teachers can use to begin addressing these multi-layered issues.
Resources from Advocates for Youth
A brief fact sheet filled with information on the intersecting impacts of racism and homophobia on LGBTQ youth of color: http://www.lgbt.ucla.edu/documents/ImpactofHomophobiaandRacism_000.pdf
Strategies for meeting the needs of LGBTQ youth: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/485?task=view
Larkin Street Stories: Neither/Nor: Working with Transgender Youth
This video provides guidance on using language that is fully inclusive and respectful of youths’ diverse sexual orientation and gender identities. It includes discussion of developing office forms that allow for a full range of self-identities and may be useful to anyone working in an office or clinic setting. It also give some clues about how youth understand gender presentation—i.e., how they think they need to “show up” to properly represent particular gender identities in particular settings. (7 min. 22 sec)
High School Gay–Straight Alliances (GSAs) and Young Adult Well-Being: An Examination of GSA Presence, Participation, and Perceived Effectiveness
By Russell B. Toomey, Caitlin Ryan, Rafeal M. Diaz, and Stephen T. Russell
Applied Developmental Science, 15(4)
This recent publication from the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University shows that the presence of a GSA, participation in a GSA, and perceived GSA effectiveness in promoting school safety were associated with young adult well-being and, in some cases, reduced the negative effect of school victimization on well-being.
Two shifts educators can make to improve outcomes for LGBTQ students
A disproportionate number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students are at increased risk for bullying, suicide and falling behind in school in their middle school and high-school years. A new Inservice blog post points to research published by AERA that not only explores educational outcomes for this group but offers strategies that educators can use to turn things around. Read research takeaways and tips for middle- and high-school educators in the post.
The following three papers report the work of Ellen Riggle and Sharon Rostosky, who will be the keynote speakers at the upcoming “Celebrating Queer Identities” event (see the announcement on our homepage)
The Positive Aspects of Being a Lesbian or Gay Man
Professional Psychology: Research and Practice
Riggle, Whitman, Olson, Rostosky, & Strong
This article is the first in a series addressing the positive aspects of LGBT identity (subsequent articles discuss positive aspects of bisexual and transgender identities). These articles challenge the common notion that LGBT experience can only be understood in terms of the risks, obstacles, struggles, and bias faced by LGBT people. In this case, the authors report a research study that asked lesbian and gay people to talk about what is positive about their lives.
The Positive Aspects of Bisexual Self-Identification
Psychology and Sexuality,
Rostosky, Riggle, Pascale-Hague & McCants
This article describes the results of a survey study that asked bisexually identified people to discuss the positive aspects of bisexual identity.
The Positive Aspects of Transgender Self-Identification
Psychology and Sexuality,
Riggle, Rostosky, McCants, Pascale-Hague,
This article completes the series by examining the responses of transgender-identified people describing the positive aspects of trans identity.
Sexual arousal patterns of bisexual men revisited
by Rosenthal AM, Sylva D, Safron A, Bailey JM
Biological Psychology, July, 2011 [Epub ahead of print]
The first comprehensive study demonstrating that there are, in fact, bisexual men. Many people believe
that men are only sexually attracted to one sex/gender or the other and identify as bisexual as a social and
often temporary identity. This study shows that men can be sexually attracted to both men and women.
It’s a great reminder and conversation starter for those who work with teenagers and young adults as
they think about and question their sexual orientation. Although we allow women to identify as bisexual
(even that is debatable in many circles), we generally force males into boxes that are restrictive and
alienating. Follow the links below to a New York Times article and the abstract of the study.
Report by the American Psychological Association Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance
The six-member task force spent more than 2 years reviewing the scientific literature, as well as APA
policies regarding transgender issues. It was also charged with developing recommendations for education,
professional training and further research into transgenderism and proposing how APA can best meet the
needs of psychologists and students who identify as transgender or gender-variant. See their report here:
"The social environment and suicide attempts in lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth."
By Mark L. Hatzenbuehler (2011)
Pediatrics, 2011, 127(5), 896-903.
This study documents an association between the social environment (an index based on (1) the proportion of same-sex couples, (2) the proportion of registered Democrats, (3) the presence of gay-straight alliances in schools, and (4) school nondiscrimination and anti-bullying policies that specifically protected lesbian, gay, and bisexual students) and suicide attempts among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth.
The abstract is available for free at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/5/
The full article is available at the same site to folks with (or willing to purchase) a subscription.
Otherwise, check the library.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adolescent School Victimization: Implications for Young Adult Health and Adjustment
By Russell, S. T., Ryan, C. R., Toomey, R. B., Diaz, R. M., & Sanchez, J.
Journal of School Health, 81(5)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender-related school victimization is strongly linked to young adult mental health and risk for STDs and HIV; there is no strong association with substance use or abuse. Elevated levels of depression and suicidal ideation among males can be explained by their high rates of LGBT school victimization.
Abstract available online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00583.x/abstract
Full article available for purchase at the same site or for free at the library.
Safe Schools Policy for LGBTQ Students
Issued by the Society for Research on Child Development
The Society for Research on Child Development has just issued a Social Policy Report that reviews research relevant to these federal, state, and local laws and policies. Research on sexual orientation/ identity development is reviewed, with attention to the growing numbers of youth that “come out” or disclose their LGBTQ identities to others during their school-age years. Schools are often hostile environments for LGBTQ students; this evidence is considered along with research on the consequences for compromised achievement and emotional and behavioral health. The report also reviews strategies in education policy and practice that are associated with well-being for LGBTQ (and all) students.
Available as a pdf at http://www.srcd.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=1164
Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel
The American Psychological Association and the other 12 organizations that comprise the Just
the Facts Coalition have just published a new edition of Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation
and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel (PDF, 254 KB). This
group of national education, health, mental health and religious organizations believe that all
students should have an opportunity to learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment.
Just the Facts provides information and resources for principals, educators, and school personnel
who confront sensitive issues involving gay, lesbian, and bisexual students.
The Right to be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America’s Public Schools
By Stuart Biegel, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law
University of Minnesota Press, 2010
The Right to Be Out begins with a cogent history and analysis of the dramatic legal developments concerning the rights of LGBT persons since 1968. Stuart Biegel then turns to what K–12 schools should do—and in many cases have already done—to implement right-to-be-out policies. He examines recent legal and public policy changes that affect LGBT students and educators in the K–12 public school system.
For a more detailed description and reviews, go to
Gender Spectrum is a consulting group that provides education, training, and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for all children and teens. Gender Spectrum provides consultation, training, and events designed to help families, educators, professionals, and organizations understand and address the concepts of gender identity and expression. The site offers information including a glossary, FAQs, articles, as well as assorted resources and blog (which appears to be written by Gender Spectrum staff; they invite blog contributions, but it’s not clear how one would post), a store, and a place to make donations.
Gender-Nonconforming Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: School Victimization and Young Adult Psychosocial Adjustment.
New research to be published in the print edition of Developmental Psychology has found that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth who do not conform to societal gender norms have compromised mental health that is clearly linked to the bullying and harassment they receive in school.
Research Roundup: Cyberbullying
Highlights of a growing literature base that informs psychologists about cyberbullying and how to help perpetrators and victims. This link takes you to summaries of a number of articles on this topic.
Revision Suggestions for Gender-related Diagnosis
A thoughtful discussion by activists and psychologists on the controversy about the "Gender Identity Diagnosis" and trans identity.
The Gay Generation Gap: Communicating Across the LGBT Generational Divide By Glenda M. Russell & and Janis S. Bohan
The radical discrepancy between the life of today’s LGBT youths and that of their elders when they were young, the pervasive age-segregation within LGBT communities, the extreme speed of change that renders today’s certainties tomorrow’s irrelevancies, and the tendency for each generation to dismiss the other’s perspective—these things combine to make it difficult for us to listen across the generational gulf. Both youths and adults contribute to the divide, and both can help us to get beyond it.
The National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS)
This is the longest-running study ever conducted on American lesbian families. The project has produced a series of studies about lesbian-headed families. Here are summaries of a couple of those:
A national study that has followed the children of lesbian mothers for 17 years has found the teen-agers demonstrate healthy psychological adjustment and have fewer behavioral problems than their peers. (Published in the journal, Pediatrics, 2010: DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-3153.) For a review and interviews of the main author, go to:
The U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (now in its 24th year) found that 0% of adolescents raised by lesbians had been physically or sexually abused by parent. The article, published Nov 10, 2010 in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, reported findings from 17-year-old daughters and sons of lesbian mothers who were asked about sexual abuse, sexual orientation, and sexual behavior. (Published in the journal, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2010: DOI 10.1007/s10508-010-9692-2.).
The first major study of the families of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth
The Family Acceptance Project, San Francisco State University
The Family Acceptance Project makes available key information from their research on how families can help support their (LGBT) children. Several publications are available on their site, including
• Supportive Families, Healthy Children (in English and Spanish) designed for families and those who work with them
• Groundbreaking Research on Family Rejection of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Adolescents Establishes Predictive Link to Negative Health Outcomes, an article for professionals with an interest in LGBT issues and family systems issues
• Best Practice Guidelines for Serving LGBT Youth in Out-of-Home Care, guidelines for policies and practices for working with LGBT youth in child welfare and justice settings.
Download these publications
Connecting the Invisible Dots: Network-Based Methods to Reach a Hidden Population at Risk for Suicide
By Vincent Michael Bernard Silenzio, et al.
Social Science and Medicine
This is a journal article intended largely for professionals, but the subject matter could be of interest to many other folks. The paper reports a study that explores online social networks as a venue for prevention research targeting LGB youth. From the abstract: “Young lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals report higher rates of suicide ideation and attempts from their late teens through early twenties. Their high rate of Internet use suggests that online social networks offer a novel opportunity to reach them.”
*Disclaimer: These articles are provided for informational purposes only. Any opinions, findings, or recommendations expressed in these articles are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Boulder Valley Safe Schools Coalition or its affiliates.