Nothing Really Changes for those who are “Down by Law”

Growing up obviously LGBT/TQ was a minefield when I was a kid and still is a minefield, especially for the children of poor and working classes be they white or people of color.

Socially ostracized, bullied and treated as less worthy than your straight peers.

If you physically fought back then you were on detention, if you fight back now you are arrested and charged with a crime while people can abuse you with impunity.

If you work and study hard and win a scholarship people make you feel so unworthy of that scholarship you self sabotage.

While straight kids can start having relationships and engage in public displays of affection LGBT/TQ kids are not supposed even admit they are different.  As for entering a relationship with another kid who is different in the same way you are…  Better keep it a secret.  Better be ashamed of it… Better not engage in the same sort of public displays of affection straight people can and do.

If you dare act like you are as worthy as straights of having the same rights they have the abuse gets ratcheted up.  Teachers and schools administrators find reasons to punish you.  Parents find reasons to disown you and put you out on the streets to live or die on your own.

Be an obviously different kid of the lower classes, without the protection conferred by middle class status and the legal assistance middle class money can buy.

Being different results in police persecution and the treating of crimes committed by others upon your person as less serious.

There is always the message that if you weren’t queer this wouldn’t have happened to you or that you asked for this treatment simply by being what and who you are.

So pardon me if I put the following study in the same file as “Scientists discover people need oxygen”.  Something so obvious to those who are in the position of having been abused by not only bullies but by people in authority but apparently some obscure discovery on the part of those who are straight.

From Phyorg: http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-lesbian-gay-bisexual-teens-singled.html

Lesbian, gay and bisexual teens singled out for punishment

December 6, 2010Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adolescents are about 40 percent more likely than other teens to be punished by school authorities, police and the courts, according to a study by Yale University researchers. Published in the January 2011 issue of the journal Pediatrics, the study is the first to document excessive punishment of LGB youth nationwide.

“We found that virtually all types of punishment—including school expulsions, arrests, juvenile convictions, adult convictions and especially police stops—were more frequently meted out to LGB youth,” said lead author Kathryn Himmelstein, who initiated the study while she was a Yale undergraduate. The research was supervised by Hannah Brueckner, professor of sociology and co-director of the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course at Yale.

The study was based on the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and included about 15,000 middle and high school students who were followed for seven years into early adulthood. The study collected details on participants’ sexuality, including feelings of sexual attraction, sexual relationships and self-labeling as LGB. Add Health also surveyed participants about how frequently they engaged in a variety of misbehaviors, ranging in severity from lying to parents, to using a weapon.
Add Health included detailed questions about school expulsions and contacts with the criminal justice system.

Himmelstein, who now teaches math at a public high school in New York City, said that adolescents who identified themselves as LGB were about 50 percent more likely to be stopped by police than other teenagers. Teens who reported feelings of attraction to members of the same sex, regardless of their self-identification, were more likely than other teens to be expelled from school or convicted of crimes as adults.

Continue reading at:  http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-lesbian-gay-bisexual-teens-singled.htm

Notice: They didn’t even bother to include TS/TG kids in this survey yet they tend to get even worse abuse than LGB kids.

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