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LGBTQ Student Experiences in School Sports and P.E.

GLSEN's research brief, The Experiences of LGBT Students in School Athletics (pdf), is an in-depth look at the experiences of LGBTQ student athletes, using data from GLSEN's 2011 National School Climate Survey. The survey included responses from 8,584 secondary school students between the ages of 13 and 20. Respondents were from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and from 3,224 unique school districts.

Findings in this research brief uncover four key concerns:

1. Physical Education classes were unsafe environments for many LGBTQ students.
2. LGBT students may be underrepresented on extracurricular sports teams.
3. Many LGBT students experienced discrimination and harassment in school sports.
4. LGBT student athletes may not be fully supported by school athletics staff and policies.

Resources are available to educators, parents and student athletes interested in addressing LGBTQ issues in school-based athletics. In 2011, Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project was developed to assist K-12 schools with creating safe and respectful sports and physical education environments for LGBTQ students. GLSEN's Changing the Game offers a variety of strategies and resources for P.E. teachers and coaches to incorporate into school athletic programs.

Related Resource: Learn more about what physical education teachers, coaches, and student athletes can do to promote respect in school-based athletics at GLSEN's sports project, Changing the Game.