top of page
  • Writer's pictureMeg Smith

Supporting LGBTQIA+ Students: Embracing Diversity and Fostering Resilience

Meg Smith, MSW, LICSW, ACSW Workforce Development Coordinator, Center for Trauma Care in Schools

Photo by Anete Lusina:

As we celebrate Pride Month, it is a time to reflect on the unique challenges that LGBTQIA+ students face and to highlight the resilience and strengths these students bring to our schools.

LGBTQIA+ students navigate a complex landscape of social and emotional challenges - from discrimination and bullying, to family rejection and mental health struggles. For Black LGBTQ+ youth, the Trevor Project’s 2022 study found that “these youth are at higher risk for poor mental health outcomes and are significantly less likely to receive professional care. With some states having political and social climate policies that are not supportive, and even hostile,  towards Black and LGBTQ+ students, Black LGBTQ+ young people’s mental health continues to be placed at even greater risk: 71% of LGBTQ+ youth — including 86% of trans and nonbinary youth say state laws restricting the rights of LGBTQ+ young people have negatively impacted their mental health (Trevor Project). Currently there are 557 anti-trans bills across 42 states with 37 passed, and 324 active ( 

Supportive school environments can have a profound positive impact on LGBTQIA+ students well-being. The Trevor Project’s 2022 study demonstrates that students who reported affirming environments in their home and schools reported much lower rates of attempting suicide in the past year. Schools can help reduce bullying and create a sense of belonging as they focus on building safe and supportive policies and practices. The GLSEN website has helpful strategies and resources for educators.

LGBTQIA+ students bring diverse perspectives and strengths to our schools. School community leaders need to embrace these students and their families. As we celebrate Pride Month, let's commit to creating schools where every student feels valued, supported, and empowered to succeed.


Happy Pride Month!


bottom of page