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Breaking news from the CDC for LGB youth!

For the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will make sexual orientation items standard on their national and state/local high school Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) questionnaires, providing first-of-its-kind national data on youth’s sexual identities and allowing for identification of same-sex sexual behaviors! 

Why is this so important?

Inclusion of these questions in the standard survey instead of the optional question bank will mean that most states and localities will include them, and we will have state and local data for most places. And importantly, the YRBS national survey will include these questions, ensuring the collection of national-level health data on lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adolescents and allowing for comparisons with non-LGB youth’s health-related behaviors.

What’s next?

Of course, our work in this areas continues as we press on in developing the best way to ask about gender identity/transgender status in the general population of adolescents, as well as continue our advocacy with states and localities with the capacity to ask the currently-optional YRBS question on gender expression that we tested with youth. But for now, it's great to take a moment to celebrate this victory! Many thanks to the CDC and our partners in the All Students Count Coalition, who have been working on LGBT-inclusion in YRBS for many years.