LGBT Conference at Stony Brook addresses rise in bullying
Students from over 30 districts across Long Island came to Stony Brook University Tuesday for the 22nd annual Long Island LGBT Conference.
A total of 450 students registered for the conference took part in a variety of workshops that touched on topics such as self-care, sexual rights as a member of the LGBT community and information on trans-inclusive campuses across the country.
One of the major themes was the rise in bullying against the LGBT community. The LGBT Network, headed by David Kilmnick, pointed to statistics that said 1 in 3 LGBT students will skip school out of fear of bullying throughout their educational careers. Recent statistics also found that 40 percent of LGBT youth believe that their environment at school and home are not accepting to LGBT people.
"This is why we're here today,” said Kilmnick. “To bring awareness and light to this reality."
A Sachem East transgender student told News 12 that the conference was “incredibly important.”
"I'm still getting the courage to go out in the world and be myself and have a fulfilling life,” said the high school senior.
Kilmnick says the LGBT Network is also giving $5,500 in grants to 17 school districts across Long Island. He says the funds should be used for resources to help battle bullying.