Homophobia Rules Schools
Mitchell, Penni, Herizons
Homophobic and transphobic comments are heard on a daily basis by nearly half of high school students. This is among the findings of the first Canadian study on homophobia and transphobia in schools, in which over 3,700 students participated, of which roughly 1,200 self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two Spirit, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ).
Forty-eight percent of students who responded to the survey that forms the basis of the report Every Class in Every School said that they heard terms like "faggot" and "dyke" used daily in a derogatory way.
According to the report, verbal harassment was more widely reported among female sexual minority students (55 percent) than male sexual minority respondents (42 percent). Sexual minority students are defined in the study as "youth who did not identify as exclusively heterosexual." An even higher rate (68 percent) of verbal harassment was reported by students who identified as trans.
The report, commissioned by Egale Canada Human Rights Trust with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, was led by University of Winnipeg professor Catherine Taylor and Tracey Peter, a professor at the University of Manitoba.
Disturbingly, 74 percent of trans students, 55 percent of sexual minority students and even 26 percent of non-LGBT students reported being verbally harassed about what the researchers call "gender expression."
Twenty-one percent of LGBTQ students who responded to the survey experienced either physical harassment or assault on the basis of their sexual orientation. Even "perceived sexual orientation" can pose a danger. …