Guest post: Working together to prevent bullying of LGBT youth

October 13, 2015

by John Lake, LGBT Segment Manager, Enterprise Marketing, Wells Fargo

Over the last year the LGBT community has made great strides toward equal rights in the United States, but for many, those strides only scratch the surface. Every single day LGBT youth are still bullied in our communities and schools. In fact, according to the latest National School Climate Survey conducted by Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), over 80% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed due to their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

For us at Wells Fargo, this is simply unacceptable. Bullying can take many forms from workplace harassment to intimidation on the playground, and can lead to constant fear and a loss of hope. Wells Fargo is firmly committed to standing against bullying, and by addressing this issue, we hope to create an environment where all students can thrive and find opportunity.

Our commitment is ongoing, as Wells Fargo is one of the largest corporate supporters of organizations working to raise awareness and put an end to bullying. We are proud to be a presenting sponsor of GLAAD’s Spirit Day efforts and we encourage everyone to join our team members, as well as millions of supporters throughout the country, on Spirit Day, October 15, as we wear purple to show our solidarity with LGBT youth. 

Since 2013, we’ve collaborated with GLSEN to place Safe Space Kits into every middle and high school in the U.S., so that each school is equipped with tools to create visible allies and safe havens for students when they feel threatened. Follow-up research indicates that these resources have an impact on both students and educators.  Nine out of ten teachers who received the kit report teaching their students about the importance of respecting all people, and three-fourths say they have intervened when witnessing anti-LGBT behavior.

We take this as evidence that working togetherwith our partners we can bring about tangible change  and provide hope to so many kids  who have often been marginalized and discouraged.

Bullying does not need to be a reality for LGBT youth. Through education and empowerment, we can reverse the cycle and begin to move forward together, giving all kids the opportunity to reach their full potential.

GLAAD thanks Wells Fargo for its support as a Presenting Partner of Spirit Day.