Understanding what gay students face on and off school grounds

October 28, 2010

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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Chicago Gay Pride Parade (Flickr/Alan Chan)

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people.

The day to day trials of adolescence prove too much for some. For those feeling marginalized or even targeted because of their sexual identity, the pressure can be even greater.

Over the past few months there have been a number of cases where young students – either gay or thought to be gay - killed themselves, reportedly after being bullied by their peers.

So, what should we be doing to help? And what is life like for gay teens locally?

Now to find out what resources are available, we spoke with a few people who work directly to combat harassment of gay youth.  Shannon Sullivan is executive director of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance. The group works with schools across the state to provide a safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trangender and questioning youth.

We also talked with two students involved in their schools’ gay straight alliances: Anna Rangos is a senior at Maine South High School and Britney Fryer is a senior at Walter Peyton College Prep.