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LGBT teens struggle more than straight teens - new study

The Human Rights Campaign sign is seen in this file photo. The group took the largest-ever survey of LGBT teens to identify what struggles they face growing up in America. The findings were released Thursday, June 7, 2012.

June 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A groundbreaking new study revealed a vast disparity between the lives of straight teens and those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

The Human Rights Campaign interviewed more than 10,000 LGBT teens -- the largest survey ever done -- and found many have a rough time getting through their high school years.

According to the survey, 54 percent of LGBT teens say they have been verbally harassed and called names that include anti-gay slurs, and 47 percent of the LGBT teens in the survey say they feel they don't fit in with the community they live in.

Meanwhile, the report also said 67 percent of straight teens say they are happy, but just 37 percent of LGBT teens say they're happy.

"It's fair to say that America's gay youth a profoundly disconnected from the communities around them, and let me be clear: This is not their choice," said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

Some of the young people who spoke to Eyewitness News said the LGBT study is a very accurate reflection of what they've had to deal with.

"A lot of the time, the bullying is done silently, it's more of a rejection and a kind of turn the other cheek, and that hurts just as bad," said Kayla Ryan of Glendale.

Francisco Armenta of Los Angeles agrees.

"Even if you go home and turn off the light, you're still constantly thinking about what somebody said, it could be just a little comment but it inflicts you so much," he said.

According to the survey, six out of 10 LGBT teens say their parents are accepting of their sexual orientation. Still, the survey found family acceptance was listed as the most important problem currently facing LGBT teens.


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