LGBT kids and adults face harsher punishment than straight people for the same crimes. Young people who aren’t hetero are more often expelled from school, arrested, and convicted of a juvenile offense compared to their straight counterparts. At least 15 percent of the population in juvenile detention is LGBT. Dice the numbers according to gender and the statistics get worse: 27 percent of girls booked into detention sites across the country disclosed lesbian or bisexual sexual orientations or otherwise failed to conform to expectations of how girls should behave. Like kids of color, LGBT youth are punished more often than their straight peers.
Translation: the majority of LGBT youths in detention are African American, Latino, Asian, Native-American, and multi-racial, too. Why are so many more LGBT kids of color in juvenile detention? And how can we change the system to make sure that all kids– including youth of color– aren’t being punished for their sexual orientation and gender identity?