Today, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are denied many of the basic rights that most Americans enjoy. Certainly, the movement for full equality has has come incredibly far in a short period of time – from the first-ever LGBT-inclusive hate crimes law Congress passed in 2009, to executive orders prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors in 2014, to nationwide marriage equality in 2015. But many barriers remain, and LGBT Americans still face discrimination in many facets of their lives.
Every day, students who are (or are perceived to be) lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) are subjected to pervasive discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation, and violence. These hostile school climates drag down our education system and have lasting negative impacts on students’ mental health and academic achievement.
Recent surveys show that eight out of ten LGBT students report experiencing harassment at their school within the past year based on their sexual orientation. Discrimination against LGBT and gender nonconforming students has a direct and negative impact on the students’ education. Nearly a third of LGBT students reported skipping a class at least once and three in ten reported missing at least one entire day of school in the past month because of safety concerns. Worse still, a nationally representative study of students grades 7-12 found that LGBT students are more than twice as likely to attempt suicide as their peers – oftentimes citing persistent bullying and harassment as a reason.
LGBT quality of life challenges represent major civil rights issues for this country. As the first opening gay professional wrestler, I know first hand how difficult it can be to live in the shadows of basic civil rights millions of Americans enjoy everyday.
The "Block The Hate" LGBT Rights Campaign's goal is to reach 10,000,000 people by 2020 through social media, speaking engagements and T.V. appearances. The primary goal is to educate Americans and facilitate "RESPECT" of our follow citizens, to educate the LGBT community about their "RIGHTS" and to 'REDUCE" the number of young LGBT people committing suicide.