Native Americans & Philanthropy

Erasure and Resilience: The Experiences of LGBTQ Students of Color

by Adrian D. Zongrone, M.P.H.; Joseph G. Kosciw, Ph.D.; Nhan L. Truong, Ph.D.

Jan 1, 2020

Existing research has illustrated that Native American, American Indian, and Alaska Native youth (referred to, henceforth, as Native and Indigenous youth in this report) as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth often face unique challenges at school related to their marginalized identities. A long history of violence and cultural erasure targeting indigenous communities has contributed to Native and Indigenous youths' experiences of discrimination and harassment at school from both peers and school personnel. These experiences may contribute to disparities in high school completion as well as troubling rates of substance use and suicide among Native and Indigenous youth. Similarly, LGBTQ youth often face unique challenges related to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. LGBTQ youth often report experiencing victimization and discrimination, and have limited access to inschool resources that may improve school climate. Although there has been a growing body of research on the experiences of Native and Indigenous youth and LGBTQ youth in schools, very few studies have examined the intersections of these identities – the experiences of Native and Indigenous LGBTQ students. Existing findings show that schools nationwide are hostile environments for LGBTQ youth of color, where they experience victimization and discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or all of these identities. This report is one of a series of reports that focus on LGBTQ students of different racial/ ethnic identities, including Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black, and Latinx LGBTQ youth.