You can get the gist from the title of the report: Harsh Realities: The Experiences of Transgender Youth in Our Nation's Schools.
Transgender youth face extremely high levels of victimization in school, even more so than their non-transgender lesbian, gay, and bi peers.
The report had one bright spot: Trans students are more likely to speak out about LGBT issues in the classroom. They don't just speak out on harassment, bullying, or other issues relating only to transgender students either, but instead work for the entire LGBT community.
Key findings of the report include:
School Safety and Experiences of Harassment and Assault
90% of transgender students heard derogatory remarks sometimes, often or frequently in school in the past year.
90% of transgender students heard negative remarks about someone's gender expression sometimes, often or frequently in school in the past year.
Less than a fifth of transgender students said that school staff intervened most of the time or always when hearing homophobic remarks (16%) or negative remarks about someone's gender expression (11%).
A third of transgender students heard school staff make homophobic remarks (32%), sexist remarks (39%) and negative comments about someone's gender expression (39%) sometimes, often or frequently in the past year.
Impact of Victimization on Educational Outcomes
Two-thirds of transgender students felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation (69%) and how they expressed their gender (65%).
Almost all transgender students had been verbally harassed in the past year at school because of their sexual orientation (89%) and gender expression (87%).
More than half of all transgender students had been physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (55%) and gender expression (53%).
More than a quarter of transgender students had been physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (28%) and gender expression (26%).
Most transgender students (54%) who were victimized in school did not report the events to school authorities. Among those who did report incidents to school personnel, few students (33%) believed that staff addressed the situation effectively.
In-School Resources and Supports
Almost half of all transgender students reported skipping a class at least once in the past month (47%) and missing at least one day of school in the past month (46%) because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
Transgender students experiencing high levels of harassment were more likely than other transgender students to miss school for safety reasons (verbal harassment based on sexual orientation: 64% vs. 25%, gender expression: 56% vs. 32%, gender: 68% vs. 38%).
Transgender students who experienced high levels of harassment had significantly lower GPAs than those who experienced lower levels of harassment (verbal harassment based on sexual orientation: 2.2. vs. 3.0, gender expression: 2.3 vs. 2.8, gender: 2.2 vs. 2.7).
School is tough enough, and it's tough enough being part of a marginalized group, but imagine being part of the fringe of the margin. Check out the full report. Like most of GLSEN's work, it provides excellent and compelling data.
Although transgender students were not more likely to report having a GSA in their school, they did report attending GSA meetings more frequently than non-transgender LGB students.
Although most transgender students (83%) could identify at least one supportive educator, only a third (36%) could identify many (six or more) supportive staff.
Only half (54%) of transgender students reported that their school had an anti-harassment policy, and only 24% said that the school policy included specific protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
The reality can be harsh indeed, but don't be scared to look - the information is important. Knowledge and education are the keys to eliminating prejudice and improving policy.