This report was written by Michael Bochenek, counsel to the Children's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, and A. Widney Brown, advocacy director of the Women's Rights Division, based on information the authors gathered during visits to California, Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Utah between October 1999 and October 2000. Melanie Breen, Rook Campbell, Sam David, Derek R. Henkle, Tejal Jesrani, Rachel Lanzerotti, Kerry McArthur, Shalu Rozario, and Sadie Zea Ishee provided additional research assistance.
Lois Whitman, executive director of the Children's Rights Division; Regan Ralph, executive director of the Women's Rights Division; Michael McClintock, deputy program director of Human Rights Watch; and Wilder Tayler, legal and policy director, edited the report. Pamela Bruns, California director for Human Rights Watch; David Buckel, senior staff attorney, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund; Allyson Collins, Human Rights Watch senior researcher; Joanne Csete, Children's Rights Division researcher; M.K. Cullen, director of advocacy, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Kate Frankfurt, a consultant and former advocacy director for GLSEN; John Green, Human Rights Watch director of operations; John F. Sherwood, Jr., teacher,Waverly Middle School, Lansing, Michigan; and Saman Zia-Zarifi, Human Rights Watch academic freedom director, also reviewed and commented on the manuscript. Pamela Bruns, Adam Greenfield, Rona Peligal, and Robert Peterson helped secure development support for this research. Sobeira Genao, Fitzroy Hepkins, Veronica Matushaj, and Patrick Minges provided production assistance.
We wish to express our deep appreciation, above all, to the many courageous and resilient youth who spoke with us, particularly the members of our youth advisory committee. This report would not have been possible without their willingness to share their experiences with us. The names of all of the youth we interviewed have been changed to protect their privacy.
David Buckel; Kate Frankfurt; Shannon Minter, staff attorney, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), San Francisco; and Gretchen Noll, National Network for Youth, Washington, D.C., were instrumental in helping us formulate the scope of this research project. We also received early advice and input from Cynthia Brown, former program director of Human Rights Watch; Rea Carey; Melisa Casumbal, National Youth Advocacy Coalition, Washington, D.C.; Arthur Coleman, Esq.; M.K. Cullen; Michael Kaplan, National Youth Advocacy Coalition, Washington, D.C.; Gara LaMarche, Open Society Institute, New York; Jennifer Middleton, staff attorney, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), New York; John Spear, director of field services, GLSEN, New York; and Hector Vargas and Blake Cornish, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Washington D.C.
Susan Fineran, assistant professor, Boston University School of Social Work; Ramona Faith Oswald, assistant professor of family studies, Department of Human and Community Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne; Virginia J. Mahan, doctoral candidate, Texas Tech University; Caitlin Ryan, director of policy studies, Research Institute on Sexuality, Social Inequality and Health, San Francisco State University; and Stephen T. Russell, assistant cooperative extension specialist, University of California, Davis, shared their unpublished research with us.
In addition, we are grateful to the members of the advisory committees for the Children's Rights and Women's Rights Divisions, the Human Rights Watch California Committee (South), and the Human Rights Watch Young Advocates for their input on this project.
In the course of our field research, we were assisted by the following individuals and organizations: Katrina Avila, director, Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Youth, Boston; Jerry Battey, Eagles Academy, Los Angeles; Brenda Barron, assistant field director for southern organizing, GLSEN, Atlanta; Kirk Bell, assistant field director for western organizing, GLSEN, San Francisco; Dr. Roberta Benjamin, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD); Steve Bewsey, director of homeless and housing services, Lifeworks, Austin, Texas; Brent Boultinghouse, Project 10, Los Angeles; David Bowden; Ralph T. Bowden, Jr., Esq.; Julie Browne, crisis line coordinator, Community United Against Violence (CUAV), San Francisco; Conni Champagne, Speakers Bureau coordinator, CUAV, San Francisco; Chattahoochee Valley Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Columbus, Georgia; Emma Cherniavsky, associate California director, Human Rights Watch, Los Angeles; Adam Christian, Human Rights Watch, Los Angeles; Brian Chue, executive director, Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center (LYRIC), San Francisco; Stephen Clark, legal director, ACLU of Utah, Salt Lake City; Chris Coggins, Macon Pride, Macon, Georgia; Judy Colbs, PFLAG, Atlanta; Larry Crane, development director, Youth First Texas, Dallas; Heather G. Daims, principal, Fairfax High School, LAUSD; Betty Dotts, PFLAG, Lubbock, Texas; Emma Dumont, Human Rights Watch, Los Angeles; Linda Ellis, executive director, Youth Pride, Atlanta; Bill Farrick, North Shore Alliance of Gay/Lesbian Youth, Beverly, Massachusetts; Fenway Community Health Center, Boston; Tina Fernandez, program director, Orange County Human Relations, Santa Ana, California; Michael Ferrera, clinical director of group homes, Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS), Los Angeles; Scott Fitzmaurice, Cape and Islands Gay and Straight Youth Alliance, Hyannis, Massachusetts; J. Robert Force, Esq., Human Rights Watch Young Advocates, Los Angeles; Jill Francis, Cathedral of Hope MCC, Dallas; GLSEN, Kansas City; GLSEN Utah, Salt Lake City; WesGiles, Gay and Lesbian Community Center, San Antonio, Texas; Carol Gnade, executive director, ACLU of Utah, Salt Lake City; Kevin Gogin, director, Support Services for Sexual Minority Youth, San Francisco Unified School District; Michelle Golden, Boston Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services, Boston; Gail Goodman, executive director, Out Youth, Austin, Texas; Janet Glass; Anna Gregory, board member, Dimensions, San Francisco; Louis Harvey III, Anti-Violence Project, L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, Los Angeles; Richard Haynes, executive director, New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project; Steven Hicks, co-chair, GLSEN, Los Angeles; Elle Hills, Macon Pride, Macon, Georgia; Matt Humphrey, Athens GLBT Youth Support Group, Athens, Georgia; Christine Hwang, staff attorney, NCLR, San Francisco; Robert M. Ivancic, executive director, Youth First Texas, Dallas; Cristal Jang, Support Services for Gay and Lesbian Youth, San Francisco Unified School District; Pamela K. Johnson, executive director, Men of Color Against Aids, Roxbury, Massachusetts; Jaron Kanegson, TransYouth, Berkeley, California; Mike Kennedy, Larkin Street Youth Center, San Francisco; Joseph Kosciw, research program manager, GLSEN, New York; Caroline Laub, director, Bay Area Gay-Straight Alliance Network, San Francisco; Camille Lee, teacher, Salt Lake City School District; Carol Lee, volunteer coordinator, L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, Los Angeles; Julie Leinert, Catholic Charities of the East Bay, Oakland, California; Asha Leong, program manager, Youth Pride, Atlanta; Robin Levi, advocacy director, Women's Institute for Leadership Development in Human Rights, San Francisco; Vern Lewis, Georgia Equality Project, Atlanta; Anne Lundbom, youth services coordinator, CUAV, San Francisco; Gerald P. Mallon, Green Chimneys Children's Services, New York; Dion Manley, FTM International, San Francisco; Terry Maroney, staff attorney, Urban Justice Center, New York; Ronnie Mendoza, Lifeworks, Austin, Texas; Sandy Miller, Out Adolescents Staying in Schools (OASIS), Long Beach, California; Carla P. Moniz, youth coordinator/outreach worker, Boston Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services, Boston; Alex Night, Lambda GLBT Community Services, El Paso, Texas; Seana O'Farrell, member services coordinator, Bay Positives, San Francisco; Nancy Otto, ACLU of Northern California, San Francisco; Felicia Park-Rogers, director, Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, San Francisco; Julie Parker, Human Rights Watch Young Advocates, Los Angeles; Robert Peterson, Human Rights Watch, Los Angeles; Carol Petrucci, Houston Area Teenage Coalition of Homosexuals (HATCH), Houston; Merle Price, LAUSD; Eric A. Pliner, Learning Support Services, Massachusetts Department of Education, Malden, Massachusetts; Jennifer Rakowski, CUAV, San Francisco; Patrick Rauber, Eagles Academy, Los Angeles; Andrea Reece, youth counselor, Franklin Community Action Corporation Youth Programs, Greenfield, Massachusetts; Eli Reyna, community building program coordinator, Orange County Human Relations, Santa Ana, California; DianeRitchie, Esq; Gail R. Rolf, coordinator, Project 10, Los Angeles; Joe Salvemini, OASIS, Los Angeles; Victor Sanchez, Bienestar, Los Angeles; Christine Sartiaguda, GLASS, Los Angeles; Steve Scarborough, staff attorney, Southern Regional Office, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Atlanta; Jack Siebert, GLSEN, San Francisco; Zak Sinclair, youth leadership coordinator, LYRIC, San Francisco; Sierra Spingarn, Queer Youth Leadership Project at LYRIC, San Francisco; Anne Stanton, executive director, Larkin Street Youth Center, San Francisco; Erik R. Stegman, GLSEN, Whittier, California; Kate Stern, coordinator for the Safe Schools Initiative for GLBT students, Boston Public Schools; Becky Thompson, director, The Walt Whitman Community School, Dallas; Erik Travis, GLSEN, Los Angeles; Luis Torres, co-chair, GLSEN Orange County; Clayton Vetter, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah; Shawna Virago, domestic violence client advocate and hate violence victim advocate, CUAV, San Francisco; Ofelia Virtucio, Aqua, San Francisco; Vitaly, staff attorney, Legal Services for Children, San Francisco; John Volpe, director, Green Chimneys Children's Services Gramercy Residence, New York; Wendy Weaver, teacher, Nebo School District, Utah; Shannan Wilber, staff attorney, Youth Law Center, San Francisco; Paula Wolfe, Gay and Lesbian Center, Salt Lake City; Rob Woronoff, director of LGBT services, Home for Little Wanderers, Boston; Doug Wortham, GLSEN Utah, Salt Lake City; Manson Yew, Human Rights Watch Young Advocates, Los Angeles; and Caprice Young, LAUSD Board of Education.
In addition, we thank those who asked not to be named.
Grants and other support from the Susan A. and Donald P. Babson Fund, the Paul and Edith Babson Fund, the David Bohnett Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr., Fund, the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Leo Model Foundation, The New York Community Trust-The Paul Rapoport Fund, the Snowdon Foundation, and An Uncommon Legacy Foundation and Barbara Dobkin made this investigation possible.
Attracted to persons of both sexes.
Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA)
In the closet
U.S. School Grades