LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and/or Transgender) students often face discrimination and bullying in education settings for their gender and sexual identities. While dependent on the incident, LGBT-targeted discrimination and bullying can be very harmful to students and the learning environment as a whole. Counter intuitively, LGBT bullying affects straight and cisgender students too—students who are seen as having abnormal responses and behaviors to the societal standards can face homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Phobias and bullying against LGBT students originate from the normalization of traditional gender and sexual identities and the ‘othering’ of LGBT identities. Where heterosexuality is perceived as normal and good (or neutral), too frequently homosexuality is perceived as deviant, an illness, and inferior.

How can we help? Researchers and practitioners propose that education is key. In order for students and teachers to work effectively with LGBT people, they need to know how—what to do and what not to do. LGBT-targeted bullying is not just a series of individual incidents, it is the result of cultural misconceptions.

Confidence of teachers in challenging LGBT-phobias

(Chowen 2016)


States that do not allow LGBT discussion in public schools

(Stoltzfus 2016)