Response Letter from the Director
10/1/2010 1:51 PM
To members of the USC LGBT & Ally Community,
Over the course of this week there have been a number of suicides of young people that have received national attention. According to reports, several of these students experienced bullying and public embarrassment at their schools.
According to the Massachusetts Youth Risk Survey (2007), lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Recent research indicates that nearly 50% of young transgender people have thought seriously about taking their lives and approximately 25% report having made a suicide attempt.
These statistics and recent incidents across the country remind us of the important role we play in supporting one another and assisting those who may be victims of bullying or harassment. Most importantly, if you are being victimized, we encourage you to speak out and seek help.
Let’s use recent events as a prompt to keep our ears and eyes open to the subtle cues that may help us identify peers in distress. If you notice a friend, roommate, or classmate experiencing emotional reactions to these incidents, please refer him/her to one of our campus or local resources:
The USC LGBT Community plans to sponsor a LGBT Town Hall Discussion to address our concerns about these incidents and how they affect our campus climate for LGBT students:
LGBT Town Hall Discussion
Thursday, October 7
Fishbowl Chapel at the University Religious Center
Staff from Religious Life and the Student Counseling Center will be present at the Town Hall to answer questions and provide support. I hope you will join us for this discussion.
In addition, the OUTlist, published in the Daily Trojan on Tuesday, October 12, will be dedicated to the LGBT youth who have taken their lives because of bullying at their schools and institutions. Please sign the list to include your name in this dedication.
Remember that the LGBT Resource Center and many different student organizations, programs, and services are here to help you if you need any additional support.
Vincent E. Vigil
Director, LGBT Resource Center