More than one third of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered undergraduate college students have experienced antigay harassment in the past year, according to a new report released Tuesday by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. The study also found that almost one fifth of gay students on college campuses across the country fear for their physical safety because of their sexual orientation and that 43% of gay students consider the climate on their campuses to be homophobic.
"It is extremely alarming that in 2003, people on college campuses continue to experience anti-GLBT harassment," said National Gay and Lesbian Task Force executive director Lorri L. Jean. "Higher learning institutions should be at the forefront of educating people about the damage of homophobic and transphobic acts. Because most of the 14 universities surveyed provide visible support through pro-GLBT policies and resources, we can only imagine the extent of homophobia on college campuses across the country."
Other findings from the study:
1) 41% of the respondents stated that their college/university was not addressing issues related to sexual orientation or gender identity;
2) 51% of the respondents concealed their sexual orientation or gender identity to avoid intimidation;
3) 71% felt that transgendered people were likely to suffer harassment, and 61% felt that gay men and lesbians were likely to be harassed.