Research shows that transgender students often face unsafe school environments to a greater extent even than their lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) peers. The fifth National School Climate Survey, supported by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), found that nearly all transgender students experienced verbal harassment at school because of their sexual orientation and gender expression, more than half experienced physical harassment because of their sexual orientation and gender expression, and more than a quarter experienced physical assault because of their sexual orientation and gender expression. These levels of victimization were higher than those faced by the non-transgender lesbian, gay, and bisexual students who participated in the survey (Greytak, Kosciw, & Diaz, 2009). Only 24% of transgender students said they were aware of their school’s anti-harassment policy and that it included specific protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression (Greytak, Kosciw, & Diaz, 2009). In this research brief we report on prior studies and present new data about school safety for transgender students
Transgender: Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth or the stereotypes associated with that sex. The term may include transsexuals and others who do not conform to gender stereotypes (Transgender Law Center, 2009).
Gender non-conforming/Gender variant: Refers to individuals whose behaviors and/or interests fall outside what is considered normal for their assigned birth gender (The Transgender Child, 2008)