Around 600 students took part in the annual LGBT Network conference Tuesday at Stony Brook University — the largest turnout to date.
This year, organizers revealed staggering new statistics showing that 83 percent of LGBT students nationwide say they have been bullied at some point. Twenty-eight percent of LGBT teens drop out of high school.
The LGBT Network announced that it received $300,000 in state funding for what’s known as Pathways to Pride, a program to help with career counseling, job opportunities and more. David Kilmnick, LGBT Network president, says the program should help teens feel more comfortable and safe so they will stay in school.
Logan Malfer, a 17-year-old who was born female and now identifies as trans nonbinary, says harassment from peers is a reality in many schools. And Oliver Chavez, a 15-year-old trans male, says he was bullied in middle school, often having slurs thrown his way.
The state grant will fund Pathways to Pride for two years. It will include a daily after-school youth program.