The Human Rights Campaign, a national civil rights organization that advocates for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, defines gender identity as “one’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.” In keeping with the Systems of Care principles and the core value of culturally competent services, Systems of Care seek to serve and support all youth regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical disability, socioeconomic status, language, immigration status, or other characteristics.

Statistics related to LGBTQ youth show that this population has many mental and behavioral health challenges. The report, Health Risk Behaviors among Gender Expansive Students, published in 2016 by Advocates for Youth and the All Students Count Coalition reveals the following:

Masculine females as compared to feminine females:

  • 7 times more likely to have carried a weapon on school property
  • 4 times more likely to have used heroin
  • 4 times more likely to have had sexual intercourse before age 13
  • 2 times more likely to make a plan on how they would attempt suicide

Feminine males as compared to masculine males:

  • 3 times more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe
  • 3 times more likely to be a recipient of cyberbullying
  • 3 times more likely to attempt suicide
  • 4 times more likely to have used amphetamines or heroin

Androgynous females as compared to feminine females:

  • 2 times more likely to be a recipient of cyberbullying
  • 2 times more likely to have had sexual intercourse before age 13
  • 1.5 times more likely to seriously consider attempting suicide
  • 1.5 times more likely to conduct non-suicide self-injury

The full report can be found here: Advocates for Youth