Bullying of LGBTQ Teens Addressed at Workshop

CARSON CITY, Nev. - A seminar in responding to bullying LGBTQ, or lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender, or questioning teens, was held in Carson City Tuesday. The goal was to give parents and teens struggling with this issues, some tips on how to stop it.

PFLAG, or Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays hosted the seminar. It was led by Christopher Daniels, a community educator for Planned Parenthood.

"I was bullied and teased a lot in middle school and high school," Daniels said. "I was a young gay youth. There weren't a lot of resources available."

But thanks to family and friends he was able to come to accept who he was.

"Having those support networks in my life really helped me be comfortable and confident in who I was, and really let me know that it gets better," Daniels said.

Unfortunately even in today's world, bullying those who are different is still making life difficult for kids. Thanks to social media, bullying is more public than ever. Cyber bullying opens up a wider audience to people's humiliation.

Though most bullying goes on during school hours, people listening to the seminar say you can't just rely on school officials to fight the problem alone.

"We're seeing parents who bring us the issues, want us to do something about it, but yet a lot of times they're not taking a leadership position at home," Michelle Lewis, Dean of Students at Carson High School said.

Daniels says parents need to monitor what their kids are doing online and talk to them about their actions.

"Open up those lines of communication," he said. "Let them know their actions have consequences.

According to Daniels, being open with your kids about bullying and accepting others who are different is the best way we can end the problem.

"Parents who don't agree with LGBTQ individuals, can still tell their children treat people how you want to be treated," he said. "Even if you have a moral, or religious, or cultural disapproval of LGBTQ people, the important word there is people, and we're all deserving of dignity and respect."