The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Resource Center at the University of New Mexico and community partners present a Community Forum on Anti-Gay/LGBTQ Bullying on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 4-5 p.m. at the UNM Student Union Building, ballroom C. The forum is free and open to UNM and Albuquerque communities.

The Community Forum on Anti-Gay Bullying was created in response to recent reports about teen suicides throughout the country resulting from homophobic bullying and harassment. The forum includes speakers disclosing their own experiences while enrolled in colleges and K-12 schools, a safe room with counselors and information from campus and community resources for those who have been bullied or are looking to end bullying in their communities.

Research from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network found that 86.2 percent of students who identify as LGBTQ report verbal harassment and 44.1 percent report physical harassment about their sexual orientation, while 66.5 percent of students report verbal harassment and 30.4 percent report physical harassment about their gender expression while in schools. About 90 percent of all public high school students have reported hearing anti-gay remarks on a daily basis while in schools. GLSEN reports that hostile school environments put students at greater risk for additional negative outcomes, including depression, anxiety and reduced self-esteem and educational attainment.

Representatives from the New Mexico Department of Health, UNM Office for Equity & Inclusion, UNM Health Sciences Center Office of Diversity, UNM Queer Straight Alliance, UNM OUT Queer Grads, UNM Women's Resource Center, Albuquerque Public Schools and New Mexico Gay-Straight Alliance Network are expected to attend.

Contact the UNM LGBTQ Resource Center at (505) 277-0834 or lgbtqrc@unm.edu.