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Op-ed: The LGBT Achievement Gap Needs to Get Out of the Closet

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Huffington Post
|
September 11, 2013
Issues: 

"My parents saved my life by choosing to homeschool me. I would have committed suicide if they hadn't."

These are the words of 11-year-old Marcel Neergaard, an awesome youngster who is championing equality in his middle school. At a very young age Marcel had the foresight to remove himself from a toxic school situation, an action that may have saved his life. Bullying of LGBT youth is literally a matter of life or death, as teenage suicides from bullying continue to make headlines.

Students are consistently told that "it gets better" by older LGBT individuals who survived high school. Inherent in this moniker is the idea that school is psychological warfare and that it'll be over eventually. Unfortunately, that's just not the case. A recent study found that bullied children may be more prone to serious mental and physical health problems as adults. Moreover, they may be less likely to develop meaningful relationships or hold steady jobs. On top of this, in most states LGBT individuals are legally second-class citizens. It gets better? Hardly.