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HRC releases report on ‘Growing Up LGBT in America’ as Chad Griffin’s tenure kicks off

The Human Rights Campaign marks the start of  the tenure of its incoming President, Chad Griffin, by releasing the results of a survey that takes a look at the landscape for LGBT youth today and the challenges ahead in the struggle for equality. Some of the findings:

  • Over one-half of LGBT youth (54 percent) say they have been verbally harassed and called names involving anti-gay slurs;
  • Nearly half of LGBT youth (47 percent) say they do not “fit in” in their community while only 16 percent of non-LGBT youth feel that way;
  • 67 percent of straight youth describe themselves as happy but this number drops to 37 percent among LGBT young people;
  • 83 percent of LGBT youth believe they will be happy eventually, but only 49 percent believe they can be happy if they stay in the same city or town;
  • 6 in 10 LGBT youth say their family is accepting of LGBT people, while a third say their family is not;
  • 92 percent say they hear negative messages about being LGBT – 60 percent say those messages come from elected leaders.

Griffin: “No one would say that growing up LGBT is easy, but this survey is a stark wake-up call to the daily toll that discrimination takes on vulnerable young people. We have a responsibility to change that, because we know all too well that there are real life consequences to inaction.”

The report, available at:, also coincides with HRC’s project under Griffin to analyze and put a face on the unique experiences of specific groups of youth, for example transgender youth, those of different races, and religious traditions.

Griffin is a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the sole sponsor of the Prop. 8 lawsuit, and was behind the brilliant strategy to recruit Theodore Olson and David Boies to successfully argue the case. A veteran of the Clinton White House communications team and a native of Arkansas.


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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding