Tools Against Homophobic Bullying
"Suicide rates among L.G.B.T. teens are four times the rate of their straight counterparts, and in last few months alone, four teenagers committed suicide, apparently in response to homophobic bullying. Nothing can erase that horror, but perhaps something good can be built in their memories. 'So often the problem is that students are invisible and unprotected,' says Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director of Lambda Legal, which works for the civil rights of lesbians, gay men and people with H.I.V./AIDS. 'Now we have some highly visible, horribly tragic cases — and, I hope, the potential for all of us stepping up to make a difference.'
"She recommends the Web site Stop Bullying Now as a resource for parents of younger children, to start the conversation early. It is not just for victims, but also addresses bullies and those who witness bullying.
"Lambda’s Web site has several resources designed to teach older L.B.G.T. students their rights. 'Out, Safe and Respected' includes chapters on how to start a gay/straight student alliance, the legal rights of L.G.B.T. students, and what national resources exist to smooth the way. 'Bending the Mold' is a version aimed more narrowly at transgender student, and includes a chapter on 'Preventing Violence and Bullying.'"