This post is part of the Report Homophobic Violence, Period initiative.
Anti-LGBTQ bullying is prevalent in Canada’s schools. The RHVP program works to actively diminish and eventually eradicate bullying to make all schools safer for Canadian youth.
From 2007 to 2009, ECHRT undertook Canada’s First National Climate Survey on Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia in Canadian Schools (egale.ca/egalefinalreport-web.pdf), to identify the forms and extent of students’ experiences in high schools, the impact of those experiences, and the efficacy of measures being taken by schools and government to combat these forms of bullying. This study revealed shockingly high levels of bullying, violence and harassment directed toward LGBTQ students:
- 70% of all participating students, LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ, reported hearing expressions such as “that’s so gay” every day in school and almost half (48%) reported hearing remarks such as “faggot,” “lezbo” and “dyke” every day in school.
- 68% of trans students, 55% of female sexual minority students and 42% of male sexual minority students reported being verbally harassed about their perceived gender or sexual orientation.
- 20% of LGBTQ students and almost 10% of non-LGBTQ students reported being physically harassed or assaulted about their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
- 49% of trans students, 40% of gay male students and 33% of lesbian students reported having experienced sexual harassment in school in the last year.
- 80% of LGBTQ students from schools with anti-homophobia policies reported never having been physically harassed versus only 67% of LGBTQ students from schools without anti-homophobia policies.
- Youth of colour, both LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ, are far less likely to know of any out LGBTQ students (67% compared to 81% of Caucasian and 87% of Aboriginal youth, LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ combined) or to know of any teachers or staff members who are supportive of LGBTQ students (48% know of non, compared to 38% of Aboriginal and 31% of Caucasian youth, LGBTQ and non-LGTQ combined).
- 90% of trans youth hear transphobic comments daily or weekly from other students and almost a quarter (23%) of trans students reported hearing teachers use transphobic language daily or weekly. Almost three-quarters (74%) of trans students reported being verbally harassed about their gender expression.
- A quarter of trans students reported having been physically harassed (25%) or having had property stolen or damaged (24%) because of being LGBTQ.
- 58% of non-LGBTQ youth find homophobic comments upsetting.
Educators are key to helping eliminate homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in Canada’s schools. Check out these resources and many more at www.mygsa.ca/educators: