Results of !OutProud!/Oasis Internet Survey of Queer and Questioning Youth Released
San Rafael, California -- !OutProud!, The National Coalition for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth and Oasis Magazine have announced the publication of the results of the first-ever survey of queer and questioning youth on the Internet. A summary report of responses from the survey, which included more than 150 questions and ran from August 15 through October 31, 1997, is now available to the public on the World Wide Web.
Early in 1997 !OutProud! and Oasis embarked on this ambitious project with the goal of understanding more about the queer youth communities they serve. The result was a survey which explored a wide range of issues in the lives of queer youth: school, coming out, sexual activity and health, the role of the media in forming self-image, harassment and suicide, religion and spirituality, community, relationships, and the future.
More than 2,000 youth - the youngest ten years old - responded. The average respondent was 18 years old; 78% of all respondents were male, 21% female, and 1% transgendered or "other." A few key findings of the survey include:
"Due to the nature of the Internet, this is the first-ever survey to have 'glass closet' access into the lives of youth who have not yet told anyone they are queer," said Jeff Walsh, founder of Oasis Magazine. "With the results of this survey, we have data that pinpoints exactly what it is that we must all do to better advocate for the needs of queer and questioning youth and to provide them with support."
Oasis Magazine is read by over 40,000 people online each month, and is the oldest and most widely-read publication for queer youth. !OutProud!'s resources, which include the QueerAmerica online and Lambda Youth Network referral services, and Channel Q News, are used by more than 100,000 unique individuals on the Internet and America Online each year.
"Never before have we had such a window into the lives of queer and questioning youth," said Christopher Kryzan, Executive Director of !OutProud! "Thousands of youth across the country - gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender - responded, typically spending 30 minutes to tell us more about themselves in ways that help us understand, for the first time, who they are, how they live, and of what they hope and dream."
This first-ever survey was undertaken with the goals of providing information to community service organizations for use in their outreach efforts, to social service agencies providing services to at-risk youth, to those organizing queer youth in the community and at school, and to those who set government policy, so that they may be accurately informed about the issues these youth face, and the needs which must be met. The survey was unique in its ability to reach in-the-closet youth, one of the most invisible of all minorities.
The survey took approximately thirty minutes to complete, and was delivered electronically via a special Web site. The results can be viewed online or downloaded as a 60-page report at www.oasismag.com/survey/.
!OutProud!, The National Coalition for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth was founded in 1993 to provide advocacy, information, resources and support with the goal of helping queer youth to become happy, successful, confident and vital gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adults. The organization pioneered outreach to in-the-closet and openly queer teens through America Online and the Internet, and today serves more than 100,000 youth each year with referrals and self-help resources, and activists and educators with organizing and training materials.
!OutProud! is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation based in San Rafael, California, and provides services both to individuals and to other agencies working for the benefit of queer youth.
About Oasis Magazine
Oasis has published monthly since its inception in December 1995. It features over 50 young columnists ranging in age from 13 to their mid 20s. Over 40,000 readers visit Oasis each month at www.oasismag.com to read about their lives as queer and questioning youth. A larger queer youth online service is expected to be launched by Oasis Magazine in Summer 1998.