Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Children and Families

In This Section

Notes from the Backpack Podcast

In Focus: LGBTQ Children and Families

  • Between 2001 and 2009, 12%-28% of LGBTQ students were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property each year.[1]

  • In 2013, 74% of LGBT students were verbally harassed (called names or threatened) because of their sexual orientation, and 55% because of their gender expression.[2]

  • 30% of LGBT students reported missing at least one entire day in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable at school, and 10.6% missed four days or more.[3]

Key Strategies for Inclusion

  • Encourage LGBTQ students and families to self-identify. Emphasize the inclusiveness of the PTA and support for LGBTQ issues. Provide welcoming conditions so that self-identifying students and families feel safe and comfortable participating in PTA meetings and events. Respect privacy and confidentiality preferences.

  • Advocate for LGBTQ student safety and success. Encourage professional development for all school personnel to understand, assess and improve school safety and climate for all students, including LGBTQ students.

  • Educate parents and communities about LGBTQ discrimination and bullying. Support federal, state and school policies on harassment and bullying to address sexual orientation and gender identification/expression.

  • Create and maintain a safe and accepting school environment for LGBTQ children and families. Support health education standards and curriculum that address the issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in a positive way. Support student-led initiatives and extracurricular clubs facilitating a climate of acceptance and inclusion.

  • Support families. Offer connections to local and online information resources, and encourage family engagement with students and school staff.

PTA Resources


[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. LGBT Youth: http://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/youth.htm

[2] Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). (2014). The 2013 National School Climate Survey. Retrieved from http://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/2013%20National%20School%20Climate%20Survey%20Full%20Report_0.pdf

[3] Ibid.