20 September 2023
A message from the Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre
As the current researchers evaluating SOGI 1 2 3, the Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC) would like to express our support for educational programs that make schools safer for 2SLGBTQ+ children. These programs are vital for the well-being and safety of all children and, to quote the BC Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender, “the human rights of LGBTQ2SAI+ people are not up for debate.”
We know that inclusive education initiatives like Gay-Straight Alliances in schools increase feelings of safety for both 2SLGBTQ+ students and their heterosexual peers as we found in this 2019 study. Results from the BC Adolescent Health Survey, too, show feeling safe at school is an important protective factor for youth, especially sexual minority and gender diverse youth.
Statistically, if gender diverse youth felt safe at school, they are:
- 8 times more likely to report good or excellent mental health;
- 6 times more likely to go on to post-secondary education;
- 85% less likely to have attempted suicide in the last year;
- 90% less likely to have missed out on physical health care.
Responses of sexual minority youth also suggest similar outcomes with 90% of gay boys who felt connected to their school reporting plans to go on to post-secondary education (as opposed to 53% who did not feel connected to their school).
Inclusive education is essential to fostering safe school environments. The continued erosion of inclusive practices in school environments poses significant risks for youth, and decreased safety in schools is associated with negative health outcomes. Continuing to foster inclusive education is to the benefit of all youth, and 2SLGBTQ+ children have the right to feel safe in school.
We join with the many voices today to express our solidarity with the 2SLGBTQ+ community and our continued commitment to advancing equity for youth.
The SARAVYC Team
View our resources from the 2019 Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey.
 Excepting trans girls.
 Saewyc, E.M., Thawer, Z., O’Dwyer, C., Sinclair, J., Smith, A. (2021). Gender-diverse: A spotlight on the health of trans and non-binary young people in BC. Vancouver, BC: Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre, University of British Columbia, and McCreary Centre Society.
 Smith A, Poon C, Coronel M, Rana M, Nath R, Taylor A, Saewyc E. (2022). Not Yet Equal (The Sequel): Results of the BC Adolescent Health Survey. Vancouver, BC: Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre, University of British Columbia, and McCreary Centre Society.