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GLSEN Statement on IDAHOT
Media Relations Manager
GLSEN Statement on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
NEW YORK (May 17, 2016) – GLSEN’s Chief Research & Strategy Officer, Dr. Joseph Kosciw, made the following statement in recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), celebrated on May 17.
“Across the globe, violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression remain significant problems. This year on IDAHOT, we specifically recognize the effects of this violence and discrimination on mental health and wellbeing, and we know that for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in schools, anti-LGBT victimization and discrimination are associated with higher levels of depression and lower levels of self-esteem. GLSEN is committed to changing that reality by collaborating regularly with international partners who share this commitment and who seek to create school climates in which all students thrive.
“This year, I and GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard will mark IDAHOT at UNESCO's International Ministerial Meeting on Education Sector Responses to Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression. This groundbreaking gathering is a critical moment in a five-year partnership between GLSEN and UNESCO to bring the grave challenges facing LGBT students out in the open and spur action by the education sector globally to address them. We will present data from the first regional research study supported by GLSEN's global initiative, from a Latin American consortium of nongovernmental organization partners led by Todo Mejora in Chile. We will also help to highlight existing efforts to improve school climate.
"On this important day, we urge the education ministers and other governmental representatives assembled for this convening to open their hearts and minds to the stories of LGBT students, to learn about promising practices already in place in various countries, and to commit to on-going efforts to monitor and improve the experiences of LGBT youth at school."
GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.