Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Students: A School Nurse's Perspective
Approximately 4.1% of the population identifies themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2002). While personal opinion on this matter varies widely there are undoubtedly pressing professional issues that must be addressing regarding this vulnerable population. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth experience higher rates of victimization--including mental, physical and sexual assult--than their heterosexual peers. This violence places LGB youth at an increased risk for mental health problem, poor health choices, substance use, depression, and suicide. Necessary factors to protect LGB youth include preventative education, adequate support services, acceptance towards diversity, and a nondiscriminatory school atmosphere (Blake et al., 2001). The goal of this paper is to share knowledge pertaining to LGB youth and to educate healthcare professionals to facilitate change in today's schools.