Report Released on LGBTQ Families’ Experiences in Schools

The Gay, Lesbian Straight Education
(GLSEN), Family Equality Council and
Children of Lesbians and Gays
(COLAGE) have released a joint report on the
experiences of LGBTQ-headed families in our nation’s public

Called, “Involved, Invisible, Ignored,” the report highlights the
contradictory experiences of LGBTQ-headed families.

LGBTQ parents, the report finds, are more likely than the general
parent population to be involved in their children’s schools.
Meanwhile, LGBTQ-headed families feel invisible in the school
community — their family units not recognized by teachers, other
parents and students; their contributions left unnoticed.

And in many cases, families feel excluded or ignored — not as
likely to be contacted directly by schools officials, asked not to
talk about their families in class, involved in school activities
that don’t fit all kinds of families, like homework assignments
that assume a mother-father household.

Students, especially, report harassment and violence because of
their family type, as well as their association with LGBTQ people
through family ties.

On the positive end, the report clearly shows that schools that
employ robust nondiscrimination policies that include LGBTQ-headed
families are much less likely to report incidents of harassment and
violence. The message is clear: Policies that protect all students,
faculty, staff and families do matter. Their adoption and
implementation can go a long way in improving the educational
experiences of all students in schools.

To read the full report and to check out what a robust
nondiscrimination policy for schools looks like, visit our resources
and click through our Making Schools Inclusive section.