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Social pressures are part of the school experience of many students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.But the experience can be particularly difficult for LGBT students, who often struggle to make sense of their identities, lack support from family and friends, and encounter negative messaging about LGBT people at school and in their community.

LGBT students also described persistent patterns of isolation, exclusion, and marginalization that made them feel unsafe or unwelcome at school.As a result of these factors, LGBT students are more likely than heterosexual peers to suffer abuse.“I’ve been shoved into lockers, and sometimes people will just push up on me to check if I have boobs,” said Kevin I., a 17-year-old transgender boy in Utah.The research focused on public schools, including public charter schools, rather than private schools that enjoy greater autonomy to act in accordance with their particular beliefs under US law. Whenever possible, interviews were conducted one-on-one in a private setting.Researchers spoke with 358 current or former students and 145 teachers, administrators, parents, service providers, and advocates for LGBT youth. Researchers also spoke with interviewees in pairs, trios, or small groups when students asked to meet together or when time and space constraints required meeting with members of student organizations simultaneously.

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